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alumni Keerthana Kallarackal

USF Alumni Named 2022-2023 Florida Gubernatorial Fellow  

University of South Florida (USF) and Judy Genshaft Honors College (JGHC) alumni Keerthana Kallarackal is a 2022-2023 recipient of the Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Program. Keerthana is one of only 11 Fellows to be chosen statewide for the current class and the only USF-affiliated participant in the current class.  
The Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Program is a non-partisan program that immerses students from public and private universities in key areas of state government. During their nine-month tenure in Tallahassee, Fellows receive advanced on-the-job training as well as an invaluable front-line view of the inner workings of government. A key principle of the Florida Gubernatorial Fellowship is that Fellows’ job placements are high-level positions where their work directly impacts present and future state government. Placement opportunities for Fellows include but are not limited to: Agency for Healthcare Administration, Department of Children and Families, Department of Education, and Department of Economic Opportunity. 
From Tampa, FL, Keerthana graduated from USF in May 2022 with her undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Philosophy. She applied for the Program because she wanted to be able to “identify the connection between law and politics in a public servant role”. As a political science and philosophy student at USF and now as a participant in the Program, she wants to “apply and observe the practicality and usefulness of the ideas and theories that I have learned”. At USF, Keerthana was a Student Member of the University Conduct Board and a Trip Leader for a Bulls Service Break to Charleston, South Carolina. Through the USF Legislative Internship Program (LIP), she interned with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. She also interned for family law attorney, Joryn Jenkins at Open Palm Law.  
Currently in Tallahassee, Keerthana has been placed in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). She is the agency’s first FL Gubernatorial Fellow. There, she is placed within the Office of the Chief of Staff and the Office of External Affairs, which includes Communications, Legislative Affairs, and Policy and Planning. She works on projects from strategic planning to media communication to budgeting and legislation. She will also be part of establishing a member wellness program dedicated to retaining law enforcement officers in the state of Florida. 
After completing the Fellowship, Keerthana plans to attend law school. She aspires to be a government lawyer, working for the executive agencies, or as a prosecutor. In 10 years, she hopes to be working as a legal advisor on policies, with an organization or agency that matches her values and to serve in a capacity that ensures the desired laws are enacted and enforced.  
Undergraduate and graduate students interested in the Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Program should contact USF Office of National Scholars (ONS) Associate Director, Lauren Chambers at lschumac@usf.edu. An information session regarding the Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Program will be held on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 12:30pm in MSC 4200. To rsvp please Click Here. 



Phi Beta Kappa Celebrates New Class of Inductees!

After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were thrilled to host an in-person inauguration of our 2022 Phi Beta Kappa cohort on Friday, April 29th in the Marshall Student Center. Click here to learn more about it and see some exciting photos. Congratulations to the new class of inductees!


Honors Alum Teams with Metropolitan Ministries & Hillsborough Schools to Give Free Ballet Lessons!

We are so proud of Honors alum, Hannah Box, for her important community work as a professional ballet dancer and instructor at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Check out this great story about her work! ❤️🤘🩰


Honors Students Win Big at Debate Tournament

Congratulations to our second time debate champions Kaylynn Kennedy and Hannan Wagner for winning The Johnson County Community College Spring Tournament. Our USF honors students defeated teams from Minnesota, Gonzaga, Johnson County, Puget Sound, and Western Washington. 🎉💚🤘💛


Honors student accepted into the London School of Economics and Political Science

We are so proud of Sarah Glaser for her acceptance into the Master's program in European and International Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Congratulations!



Gift of $1 million will benefit USF honors students

The University of South Florida today announced that the Student Leadership Center in the new Judy Genshaft Honors College building will be named in recognition of Claudia McCorkle, a passionate supporter of the college who donated $1 million to the USF Foundation in support of the facility’s construction.

Comprised of a study lounge and conference room dedicated specifically for honors students, the Claudia McCorkle Student Leadership Center will serve as a collaborative space for the college’s student leaders.

Click here to watch the video announcement.


Guest Lecturer, Dr. Nikolai Koposov, gives an informative and captivating lecture on memory laws.

Our College is excited to host events this year as part of our “Together Toward Engaged Citizenship” program. We thank Dr. Nikolai Koposov, Visiting Professor from Emory University, for providing an informative and captivating lecture on memory laws. Click here to learn more.


Honors student named finalist for 2022 Marshall Scholarship!

Alex is a Judy Genshaft Honors College student majoring in Mathematics and Microbiology with a minor in Russian. He seeks to become a contributor to the emerging field of disease ecology and epidemiology through mathematics. In spring of 2021, Alex was selected as a Goldwater Scholar. The Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate STEM research award in the nation.

Alex will interview for final selection to the Marshall cohort in November. Please join us in wishing him luck as he prepares!

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a graduate degree in the United Kingdom. As future leaders with a lasting understanding of British society, Marshall Scholars strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments, and their institutions


Judy Genshaft Honors College welcomes first year students at annual Convocation.

On October 1, we officially welcomed our newest students to the Judy Genshaft Honors College with a special convocation held on all three campuses. Click here to watch our festive recap video. 


Fall 2021 Tapas Night provides festive way to learn about study abroad trips.

The Judy Genshaft Honors College hosted an amazing 2021 Tapas Night in the beautiful Botanical Gardens located on USF’s Tampa campus! People came together to learn about different cultures and study abroad programs. Check out this short recap video, and keep an eye out for future events.


AP Florida Gubernatorial

Honors student is one of 12 recipients for Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Program.

Judy Genshaft Honors College student Andrew Paul (AP) Griffis is a 2021-2022 recipient of the Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Program. AP is one of only 12 students to be chosen statewide for the current class of Fellows, and one of only two undergraduate students selected. Click here to learn more about his accomplishment!

building tour

Honors students tour construction site for the new Judy Genshaft Honors College building.

Participants in Professor Sakai’s Capstone course were the first Honors students in the atrium of the new building! The class has been studying the architecture of the project this semester and received a tour. 



Honors Alumni win first prize in 2021 Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) challenge.

Congratulations to Judy Genshaft Honors College alums Abby Blocker (left) and Carolyna Yamamoto (right), and USF alum Jacob Yarinsky (center), for winning the Steven H. Krosnick first prize in the 2021 Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) challenge. This USF team surpassed the second place team from Rice University and the third place team from Columbia University. Click here to learn more about their accomplishment!



Honors Alumni win first prize in 2021 Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) challenge.

Congratulations to Judy Genshaft Honors College alums Abby Blocker (left) and Carolyna Yamamoto (right), and USF alum Jacob Yarinsky (center), for winning the Steven H. Krosnick first prize in the 2021 Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) challenge. This USF team surpassed the second place team from Rice University and the third place team from Columbia University. Click here to learn more about their accomplishment!


Two USF Honors Students Named 2021 Key Into Public Service Scholars – Only Two In Florida

We are so excited to announce that two Judy Genshaft Honors College students, Sarah Glaser and Samuel Rechek, were selected as Key into Public Service Scholars by The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society. Only twenty students were selected for this award nationwide! Chosen from over 800 applicants attending chapter institutions across the nation, each scholar will receive a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship and take part in a virtual convening in late June to receive training, mentoring, and reflection on pathways into active citizenship.

Click here to read more.



Dr. Lindy Davidson, Honors Associate Dean, and Philip Barrison, Honors alum, publish article.

Congratulations Dr. Lindy Davidson and Philip Barrison on the  publication of your article, “Promotion of Advance Care Planning Among Young Adults: A Pilot Study of Health Engagement Workshop Feasibility, Implementation, and Efficacy,” in American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 

We are so proud of you both! To read their article, click here



Honors student named 2020 Fulbright recipient.

Libbi is one of three 2020 Fulbright recipients in the Judy Genshaft Honors College. She graduated with concurrent BFA/BA degrees in Studio Art & Philosophy, with certificates in Art History and Business. Currently, she works as Exhibitions Coordinator and Grant Consultant at Tempus Projects, as an onsite airbnb host, and as a barista at a supermarket. She will be going to Guayaquil, Ecuador as a Fulbright Creative Research Scholar where she will 3D scan artifacts at the Museo Antropológico y de Arte Contemporaneo to produce an exhibition incorporating these digital files into a virtual and physical realm. Congratulations Libbi! 



Dr. Holly Donahue Singh, Honors faculty member, publishes article.

Congratulations Dr. Holly Donahue Singh, Honors faculty member, on the publication of your article, “Numbering others: Religious demography, identity, and fertility management experiences in contemporary India,” in Social Science & Medicine, one of the top interdisciplinary health journals for social scientists.

Click here to read the article. 



Judy Genshaft Honors College Spring 2020 Commencement

On May 7, 2020 we celebrated our Spring graduates with a virtual commencement ceremony. Click here to take a look at the entire ceremony!




Judy Genshaft Honors College Senior Becomes First USF Student to Earn Prestigious Award for Fully Funded PhD at Stanford University.

University of South Florida Judy Genshaft Honors College senior and Pure Mathematics major, Keller Blackwell, has been named a 2020 Knight-Hennessy Scholar. This award will fully fund his PhD in Computer Science at Stanford, one of the world’s top-ranked universities, and immerse him in a community of exceptional scholars. He is the first USF student to receive this honor and the only recipient among Florida colleges or universities this year.

Click here to read more about Keller Blackwell!



Judy Genshaft Honors College Student, Alexander Mercier, selected for prestigious Undergraduate Complexity Research Program at the Santa Fe Institute (SFI), in New Mexico.

Alexander Mercier, a double Mathematics and Microbiology major in the Judy Genshaft Honors College, is among only ten students nationwide, selected for the 2020 cohort of the prestigious Undergraduate Complexity Research Program at the Santa Fe Institute (SFI), in New Mexico. The institute specializes in the emerging science of complex networked systems, with research ranging from cancer evolution to how the science of cities may drive sustainable development.

Alexander’s interest in complexity grew from his research at USF, where he is applying network analysis in Dr. Andrew Kramer’s lab in the Department of Organismal and Integrative Biology. The goal of this work is to understand the impact of weather and climate on the spread of an infection responsible the white nose syndrome in the Little Brown Bat.



Dr. Alan Bush and his Honors Resilience Practicum students recognized by Pasco County.

Dr. Alan Bush and Judy Genshaft Honors College students Charles Nyberg & Shelby Knobel were recognized today by Pasco County for their work on community resilience through the Honors Resilience Practicum. Through this practicum, Dr. Bush and his students studied how the ecological effects of climate change can impact Tampa Bay in infrastructural, economic, political and social ways.

Click here to see photos!





Boundless Bulls: Judy Genshaft Honors College Alumnus Awarded Prestigious Rangel Fellowship

Judy Genshaft Honors College alumnus Ivan Pineda has been recognized by the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program as a 2020 Rangel Fellow. Pineda is the third Rangel Fellow in USF history. Pineda is one of only 30 fellows selected this year from hundreds of applicants representing institutions across the United States.

Learn more about Ivan!



Honors student, Jeannette Myrick, has been named a Boundless Bull!

 After studying abroad in Thailand, Jeannette Myrick's perspective on human health shifted. She now plans to help marginalized communities gain access to health care. 

Learn more about Jeannette!



Honors student, Richa Bisht, has been named a Boundless Bull!

Richa Bisht was recently highlighted by USF as a Boundless Bull! She is a National Merit Scholar, and a Judy Genshaft Honors College 7-year medical student.

Learn more about Richa!




Renderings of the New Judy Genshaft Honors College Building Now Available!

We are excited to reveal the latest renderings of the new Judy Genshaft Honors College building! Five-stories tall and approximately 80,000 square feet, this building will be the new home for Honors students on the USF Tampa campus.

Learn More About The Building, and View The New Renderings Here!



Honors Students Develop a Portable Energy Source For Rural Africa!

Eight Judy Genshaft Honors College Students were selected for a challenging and rewarding research program funded by the National Science Foundation. The objective of the project was to develop a renewable energy source based on a novel scientific concept, with the goal of making basic commodities accessible to rural and tribal villages in Africa. We are so proud of our students!

Read More About Them Here!



Dr. Wilkins Awarded for Community Engaged Teaching Techniques!

Judy Genshaft Honors College faculty member, Dr. Catherine Wilkins, was recently awarded during the USF Outstanding Faculty Awards ceremony. She received an award for Community Engaged Teaching. We are so proud!



Meagan Gillespie

Meagan Gillespie

Honors Graduate Assistant and Fellowship Recipient

Meagan Gillespie received a fellowship through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Research & Education Foundation’s  Minority Fellowship Program, which supports the training of culturally competent mental health and substance abuse researchers and practitioners. 

"My ultimate goal is to be a licensed marriage and family therapist that specializes with youth in underserved communities with minority populations, particularly Black and African Americans," said Meagan. "I aim to have my own practice or be partnered with a practice that shares my passion for urban communities and their unique needs. Read more here.


Honors students

Judy Genshaft Honors Students

Students Complete Competitive Clinical Research Internship

Mani Bindal, Kobe Robichaux, Hilmi-Muss Mustafa, Aizara Ermekbaeva, and Kendall Chaves completed a competitive clinical research internship with Tampa General Hospital (TGH) in the of Summer 2019. During this intensive program, they conducted clinical research focused on transplant patient outcomes, and were mentored by TGH physicians whom they had the opportunity to shadow on the job. The students then presented their research findings and were recognized with certifications for their hard work! 


Stephanie Lindeman

STephanie Lindeman

Student Academic Success Graduate Assistant Hosts Weekly Mindfulness Videos

Stepahnie Lindeman, the Student Academic Success Graduate Assistant (GA) helps students cope with stress, balancing their work loads, time management skills and much more on a daily basis. Stephanie used to host weekly Mindfulness workshops in the Allen building, when she received a request to post videos with mindfulness excersizes. She quickly realized she can reach more students through social media and potentially help more people! This Fall semester we launched the #honorsmindfulnessmondays series on InstagramTV. Stephanie explains the basics of what mindfulness is and how it can help in our daily lives. She also guides viewers through different excersizes and challenge them to practice on their own! Click here to watch the series and here to read more about our Student Academic Success GAs!



Avalon Jade Theisen

Avalon Jade Theisen

Miss USF is Competed for the Miss Florida title

Avalon Jade Theisen, was excited to be one of 35 candidates competing for the position of Miss Florida the last week of June. Avalon Jade loves being part of the USF community and is active on campus not only with Miss USF appearances, an average of twice per week, but also with Sigma Kappa Sorority, Religious Studies Club, Bulls for Kids, and the Provost Scholars Program. As an action advocate for 10 years, Avalon Jade empowers people of all ages to Conserve It Forward through Small Acts that create Big Change for our planet and ourselves, which is also her Impact Statement for Miss Florida. Please visit www.AvalonJade.com to learn more about her journey.


Megan Mascheri

Megan Mascheri

2019 Fulbright Scholarship Recipient

Megan, majoring in environmental science and policy, is one of two 2019 Fulbright UK University of Exeter Summer Institute on Climate Change scholarship recipients. Megan is both a Judy Genshaft Honors College and a second-year Provost's Scholars Program student. Click here to read the full story.


Eric Kastelic

Eric Kastelic

2019 Fulbright Scholarship Recipient

Eric, second-year Judy Genshaft Honors College student majoring in geology, is one of two 2019 Fulbright UK University of Exeter Summer Institute on Climate Change scholarship recipients. Click here to read the full story.


Tomthy Ernest

Timothy Ernest

Moffitt Cancer Center Volunteer of the Year

Timothy, a rising Honors College senior, business and pre-medical student, was named Moffitt Cancer Center's "student volunteer of the year." He has volunteered over 220 hours in the past year. Read more about this well-rouned honors student here.




Amy Polen

Amy Polen

Capitol Hill Scholars Program Participant

Former USF Geosciences and Honors College student as well as Provost Scholars Program student, graduated her UG in just over 2 years in 2018 and has now been selected for the Capitol Hill Scholars Program. Click here to read more



David Gaviria

David Gaviria

Accepted to UNC Master's in Public Health Program

David Gaviria, recent Honors Grad, will be atteding the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to purse a Master of Public Health with Registered Dietitian Training. David was recognized by UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health as a Gillings Merit Scholar, an award given to a select group of exceptional incoming graduate students. He was also awarded the first ever MPH student assistantship in the Department of Nutrition’s history. UNC is ranked the #1 public School of Public Health and #2 overall. David received a scholarship to the University of Michigan as well.




Erika Winters

Teaching English in Japan as part of JET Program

She was selected to teach English to elementary kids in Japan as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. She will enhance her Japanese skills while showing the kids how confident and energetic the Americans are! Click here to learn more about the program.






Headed to Oxford University for her Master's

She was selected for a scholarhsip to attend the University of Oxford to obtain a Msc in Envirnmental Change and Management. Click here to read more about Awa!





Teresa Kee

Accepted to PhD program at USF

She was recently accepted to the PhD program in Integrated Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Neuroscience, here at USF. Click here for more information about the program.




Alexis Coiner

Undergraduate Research Award Winner

She is one of six USF Undergraduate Health students who were highlighted during the 2019 Health Research Day for earning an Undergraduate Research Award. Click here to read more.


Patrick Mullen

Patrick Mullen

Hillsborough County Medical Association Scholarship Recipient

Honors alum, Patrick Mullen, is one of two USF students awarded a scholarship by Hillsborough County Medical Association (HCMA). Click here to read more!



Avery Dyen, scholarship recipient

Avery Dyen

Future Law Student and Scholarship Recipient

She is awarded the fully-funded Florida State University Garnet and Gold Law Scholarship to pursue her Juris Doctor degree. She was also accepted into Stetson Law School (with a full scholarship) and the University of Florida.