About the Magazine
From the President
Welcome to a very special edition of USF magazine.
This summer issue offers just a snapshot of the many ways the University of South Florida contributes to, and benefits from, the global community. That commitment is among the reasons Times Higher Education – a leading international publication based in London – asked USF to host the Young Universities Summit 2018 on the Tampa campus June 5-7.
USF is the first university in the United States, Canada or Mexico to host this prestigious event, because we are such an innovative and fast-moving young university. It previously was held in Barcelona, Spain, and Brisbane, Australia, among other international locations. We are delighted to welcome colleagues from around the world as we assess strategies for success and discuss challenges faced by younger universities.
USF is a global research university dedicated to student success. Innovation, entrepreneurship, best practices and partnerships are at the heart of what we do, and we have a wonderful story to share with our higher education colleagues. At the same time, we look forward to learning from them new strategies that will help us further enhance our teaching, learning and research.
With 50,000 students overall, 5,000 of whom come from 146 countries, USF is truly a global community. Our students' exposure to that rich diversity helps prepare them to be the leaders of tomorrow.
In addition to their campus experiences, we encourage all students to benefit from at least one international learning opportunity during their time at USF. The many students who take part in study-abroad or service trips every year serve as ambassadors for our university and our country, and learn valuable lessons about other cultures.
In this issue, you will meet several students who have received prestigious, highly competitive scholarships to study abroad. Three USF Honors College students who graduated in May – Janine DeBlasi, Justin Doherty and Alejandro Navas – earned the generous Frost Scholarship, which provides funding for top students to study for a full year in master's courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. A fourth student, Kayla Li, who graduates in August, was awarded Oxford's Medical Sciences Graduate School Studentship, which will fully fund her graduate studies in clinical embryology.
In addition, 32 USF students – a record number – will participate this summer in exciting learning opportunities thanks to the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. This program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, awards students of limited financial means up to $5,000 for study-abroad costs.
We also are proud to have 12 faculty members named as Fulbright Scholars for 2018-19, which places us near, if not at, the top of the list of recipient-producing institutions this year. In addition, four USF students have earned Fulbright grants this year. The Fulbright program, also sponsored by the U.S. State Department, fosters international education exchanges.
USF also has a strong history of participation in the Peace Corps, and in the pages that follow, USF alumni share stories of their rewarding experiences. This year, the Peace Corps ranked USF No. 3 among graduate schools and No. 19 among large schools on its list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities. We are proud of the 45 Bulls currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers.
There also are wonderful stories of international collaborations – we have 280 international partnerships – across the USF System. Dr. Jean Kabongo, a professor of management and entrepreneurship at USF Sarasota-Manatee, is overseeing a World Bank program in the Democratic Republic of Congo designed to help grow that nation's agricultural sector. At USF St. Petersburg, a collaborative initiative with academic and cultural institutions in Spain led to the groundbreaking La Florida: The Interactive Digital Archive of the Americas.
As you also will learn in this issue, our strong international flavor extends to the athletics department. The 12-member women's basketball team – which had another outstanding season in 2017-18 under head coach Jose Fernandez – included eight players from other nations. One of them, standout forward Maria Jespersen from Denmark, was named Outstanding Student in Civil Engineering. The award is given to graduating seniors who have stellar academic records and participation in university, college and student organizations. International student-athletes also have played major roles in the success of our men's golf team.
I want to again welcome our colleagues to our beautiful campus and region for the Young Universities Summit. And I invite our loyal alumni and many friends of USF to enjoy an international journey through this issue of USF magazine.
Thank you for your support of USF and our students.
As always, Go Bulls!
Judy Genshaft, President
University of South Florida System