Current Students

Dean's Circle of Merit

Dean's Circle of Merit
A prestigious award recognizing select Judy Genshaft Honors students upon graduation, the Dean's Circle of Merit commemorates students who have actively taken part in and contributed significantly to the Honors College and/or Office of National Scholars' (ONS) community and legacy.  

The Dean's Circle of Merit recognizes students in the Judy Genshaft Honors College for their outstanding achievements in four distinct areas, which embody the core values of the college:


Has demonstrated considerable leadership within the Judy Genshaft Honors College community (including ONS) with a dedication to guiding others through the Judy Genshaft Honors College experience. 


Has dedicated a significant amount of time and energy to volunteering on campus, in the Tampa Bay area, or on a global scale through the Judy Genshaft Honors College community.


Has pursued extensive research within the Judy Genshaft Honors College (including ONS), such as through completing exemplary thesis, working with the Office of Undergraduate Research, and/or presenting at conferences.

Global Citizenship

Has shown a significant presence in the global community, actively working to become a more accomplished global citizen through study abroad, learning of culture, and/or taking advantage of the numerous opportunities through the Judy Genshaft Honors College. 


Each fall and spring semester, Judy Genshaft Honors College faculty and staff are responsible for actively nominating graduating Honors students for this prestigious award.

Towards the end of the semester, nominated students will receive an email from the Dean of the Judy Genshaft Honors College and will be asked to submit additional application materials for further consideration.

The application will be reviewed by a panel of representatives from the Judy Genshaft Honors College Student Council, the Judy Genshaft Honors College LLC, the Office of National Scholars, and the Judy Genshaft Honors College Faculty.

Awardees will be announced at the Honors commencement ceremony at the end of the semester. Students who receive the award are encouraged to wear their stoles at their USF university-wide graduation commencement ceremony.


Spring 2024

Leadership | Dylan Schmucker for demonstrating exceptional leadership within the Judy Genshaft Honors College community at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Campus. As the first Honors peer mentor at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, Dylan displayed remarkable dedication and initiative in guiding freshmen through their college experience and creating meaningful connections. His innovative approach to expanding the Peer Mentorship Program further demonstrates his commitment to building a supportive community within the Honors College. Dylan's leadership skills have impacted not only his academic journey but also his involvement in Student Government, athletics, work, and physical therapy shadowing, reflecting his ability to foster connections and lead effectively in diverse settings.

Research | Neha Dantuluri for inspiring firsthand observations of gender violence and health disparities. Through her thesis and numerous presentations at conferences, such as the Johns Hopkins National Humanities Symposium and the USF Undergraduate Research Conference, Neha has shared her work and advocated passionately for diversity, equity, and inclusion in research. Her impactful contributions, guided by the mentorship of faculty members, show her commitment to creating positive change.

Research | Bethany Jowers for exceling at her internship at Tampa General Hospital's Transplant Institute and her involvement in the Cancer Communication Lab, Bethany has conducted important research in the health care field. Her Honors thesis, conducted in the Dominican Republic, shows her passion and dedication to research at the intersection of health and communication. Bethany's commitment to undergraduate research extends beyond her own projects, as she actively works to make research more accessible to younger students through her involvement with the USF Office of High-Impact Practices and Undergraduate Research (HIPUR).

Service | Audra Nikolajski for commiting to service within the Judy Genshaft Honors College community and beyond. Throughout her tenure, Audra has demonstrated consistent dedication to uplifting others, as demonstrated by her numerous leadership roles and impactful initiatives. As a peer mentor lead, she played a pivotal role in guiding freshmen through their college transition, providing invaluable support and mentorship to her students. She has also represented and served the Honors student body as a student council executive board member for the last three years, serving as a Volunteer Committee Co-Chair, Community and Leadership Coordinator, and President. Beyond the USF campus, Audra's service extends into the wider Tampa Bay community, where she interned with the Hillsborough County School Board, advocating for educational equity and transformation. She also coordinated numerous opportunities for other students to join her in serving the Tampa Bay community through Student Council. Audra's tireless efforts to make a difference in the lives of others exemplify the core values of the Judy Genshaft Honors College, making her a truly deserving recipient.

Global Citizenship | Nafisa Uddin for spearheading diversity initiatives like Tampa's annual International Mother Language Day and the Acing Accessibility Course, aimed at promoting inclusivity for students with disabilities internationally. As a Millennium Fellow, she initiated Project Butterfly Effect, a mentorship program empowering children to advocate for humanitarian causes through their talents. Nafisa's commitment to global citizenship deepened through immersive experiences, including a transformative study abroad trip to the Dominican Republic and an internship with Global Health Catalyst, where she explored the intersection of international relations and medicine. Her Honors thesis focuses on integrating medical anthropology into health care delivery, reflecting her dedication to fostering cultural understanding in medical practice. As Nafisa finished her final year at USF, she continued to expand her global initiatives, including collaborations with the JGHC Student Council to address mental health disparities across cultures. Nafisa demonstrates global citizenship through her contributions, driven by empathy, cultural appreciation, and a commitment to social justice.


Fall 2023

Leadership | Sanikaa Thakurdesai for her exceptional leadership within the Judy Genshaft Honors College community. Overcoming challenges, she excelled as a Peer Mentor, Editor-in-Chief of Sparks Magazine, and Peer Health Educator. Through her diverse roles, Sanikaa demonstrated inclusivity, resourcefulness, and a commitment to guiding others, making her a standout candidate for this prestigious award.

Research | Sofia Gonzalez for her exemplary research contributions within the Judy Genshaft Honors College. Sofia's efforts include a substantial Honors thesis on bacteria and effector proteins, a presentation at the USF High Impact Practices for Undergraduate Research Conference, and a fully-funded National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates with mentorship from the Office of National Scholars. Her commitment to research showcases her dedication to advancing knowledge, making her deserving of this award.

Global Citizenship | Ethan Skidmore for his contributions to the global community through his involvement in the Judy Genshaft Honors College. Ethan's active participation in study abroad programs in Spain, Italy, and the U.K. allowed him to immerse himself in diverse cultures, conduct impactful research, and form lasting international friendships. His commitment to interdisciplinary research and his dedication to improving positive youth development programs showcase his commitment to the college's collective value of engaged global citizenship values.

Spring 2023

Leadership | Naziza Bhuiyan for exemplifying the values of inclusive leadership as President of the Judy Genshaft Honors College Student Council and going above and beyond to lead the Council during a temporary absence of the graduate assistant advisor to ensure diverse programming that managed to bring student engagement back to pre-pandemic levels. Naziza is the first international student to serve as President of Council and encouraged students to be proud in their identities while finding their place on campus.

Leadership | Stephanie DeVlieger for re-shaping the Honors Foundations curriculum and connecting student leaders with effective multicultural instructional methods to enhance student learning outcomes in the Foundations program. Stephanie empowered first year Honors students to maximize their opportunities at USF and gave them the tools to be successful college students while also serving as a mentor to other Honors Foundations Peer Mentors to ensure their success as teachers and leaders.

Research | Dang Nguyen for utilizing his experiences as a winner of the Judy Genshaft Honors College Grand Challenge Competition and the connections made with faculty members in the Honors College and other academic departments to develop and participate in numerous health-oriented research projects in Pakistan, Tanzania, the Dominican Republic, Germany, the Philippines, and his home country of Vietnam. Dang also presented at multiple national and international conferences, co-authored over a dozen peer-reviewed publications, and developed his own medical engineering company to design and distribute low-cost medical devices. 

Research | Keven Espinet-Pizarro for completing impactful psychological research through both an Honors capstone research project and Honors thesis. Keven built on his thesis while working as a Virtual Clinical Research Coordinator at Harvard Medical School's Psychiatry Department and represented the JGHC by presenting psychological research at multiple national conferences and was among the first USF undergraduate students to have their research published by Johns Hopkins' academic journal.

Service | Mandy Chuor for serving and supporting countless members of the Honors College community as an Honors Ambassador, Honors Orientation Mentor, Honors Foundations Peer Mentor, Judy Genshaft Honors College Student Council executive board member, and student lead of the Honors Orchestra. Mandy also served the global community by conducting service projects in conjunction with the Kerolle Initiative in the Dominican Republic through an Honors study abroad program and with primary schools in Cambodia for her Honors thesis.

Fall 2022

Leadership | Giovanni Crumbie for exemplifying the value of leadership throughout his undergraduate career and improving the experiences of those in the Judy Genshaft Honors College community and beyond as Volunteer Committee Co-Chair of the Judy Genshaft Honors College Student Council, Honors Orientation Mentor, Honors Living Learning Community Resident Assistant, and Honors Foundations Peer Mentor and Peer Mentor Lead.

Leadership | Shalini Subramanian for a strong commitment to building community in the midst of the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic as Volunteer Committee Co-Chair, providing vision and direction for the Judy Genshaft Honors College Student Council as President, and guiding prospective students and families as well as supporting current students, faculty, and staff as an Honors Ambassador.

Service | Claire-Marie Rocke for serving the Judy Genshaft Honors College and larger USF community as an Honors Foundations Peer Mentor, an Honors Peer Sex Educator and subsequently an organizer of USF's Queer Prom to provide an inclusive opportunity for LBGTQ+ students, and a student member of the Judy Genshaft Honors College Public Arts Selection Committee as a photographer with a mission to celebrate Black culture and bring awareness to issues prevalent in the community.

Global Citizenship | Ryan Shargo for utilizing the insights gleaned from multiple intercultural experiences to Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic to conduct international research and produce informative public service graphics aimed at preventing illness in underserved Haitian batey communities and improving global health equity and to develop an unwavering commitment to taking action on a local level to meaningfully address global challenges.