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University of South Florida: A Preeminent Research University

USF earns national award for excellence in diversity and inclusion

The University of South Florida is a recipient of the 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award, which recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is the third time that USF has earned this honor, which is presented by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

September 13, 2022Honors and Awards

University of South Florida: A Preeminent Research University

USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus Members and Community Partners Honored for Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Nominees represented students, faculty, staff, and community leaders for consistently advancing diversity, equity and inclusion to transform the lives of others, their organizations, or the broader USF community. Corey Posey, diversity officer for the Sarasota-Manatee campus, co-hosted the event with Veronica Cintron, vice president of communications at Tampa International Airport.

April 25, 2022Honors and Awards, Sarasota-Manatee Campus

(L-R) President Rhea Law, Denise Davis-Cotton, director of the Florida Center for PAInT (Partnership for Arts-Integrated Teaching) and Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, interim vice president of institutional equity and senior advisor to the president and provost for diversity and inclusion.

Celebrating diversity, equity and inclusion across One USF

The Inclusive Excellence Awards celebration was the first and largest university-wide, in-person event hosted by USF’s newly restructured Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – formerly known as the Office of Diversity, Equity and Opportunity – under the leadership of Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, interim vice president of institutional equity and senior advisor to the president and provost for diversity and inclusion.

April 22, 2022Honors and Awards

Mariela Noles Cotito Civic Merit Medal

Mariela Noles Cotito (USF ISLAC MA, 2018) awarded the Civic Merit Medal by the National Tribunal of Elections in Peru.

Mariela Noles Cotito was awarded the Civic Merit Medal by the National Tribunal of Elections in Peru, which also recognizes her as a “defender of democracy.” Mariela is a Professor of Political Science and of Discrimination and Public Policy at the Department of Social and Political Science at Universidad del Pacifico, in Lima, Peru. Her research agenda includes topics of gender equality, social inclusion policies in Peru, and how the intersection of different systems of oppression position different groups outside of the scope of legal protection in the country.

March 22, 2022Honors and Awards, Notebook

Ruthmae Sears

Empowerment through representation: Ruthmae Sears advocates for greater diversity in STEM

Perfect exam scores as well as chess and bible reading competitions came easy to Ruthmae Sears when she was young, contributing to her future in academia. Sears grew up in Nassau, Bahamas, where her family were heavily involved in the church community. This group was where she met a host of mentors that would aid her in beginning her accelerated academic track. Reflecting upon her achievements within mathematics research and academics allows her to better appreciate the “village” that uplifted her during her upbringing, according to Sears. As the first Black USF faculty member to be inducted as an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow, she said the support she received from her community during her childhood remains fundamental to her success.

March 3, 2022Honors and Awards, Tampa Campus

Ruthmae Sears teaching a class

USF math professor shows students the beauty of numbers

Math has always come easy to Dr. Ruthmae Sears. As a child, she excelled, earning perfect scores on standardized tests. As an adult, it became her career. Teachers on her home island of Nassau in the Bahamas fostered her love for numbers.

February 28, 2022Honors and Awards, Tampa Campus

Picture of the 10 USF Faculty members that received the AAAS fellows for academic research

Ten USF faculty members receive national recognition as AAAS Fellows for academic research

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has named 10 University of South Florida researchers as new Fellows, including a College of Education associate professor who will become the university’s first Black faculty member to receive one of the world’s most prestigious honors for academic research.

January 26, 2022Honors and Awards, Research and Funding

Ruthmae Sears

Boundless Bulls: Ruthmae Sears

As a mathematics educator, Ruthmae Sears has a true flair for problem solving. Her work extends far beyond using formulas and finding solutions to abstract mathematical problems. Using mathematical reasoning to examine social disparities such as poverty, literacy and structural racism, Sears develops community-centric solutions. Her work emphasizes inclusivity in all spaces, stemming from her belief that schools are microcosms of a community.

January 13, 2022Honors and Awards, Research and Funding

USF provides scholarship to help bring more diversity to brewing industry

Through a partnership between the University of South Florida and Yuengling, students have a chance at funds for USF St. Pete’s Brewing Arts program with a scholarship meant to help promote diversity in the brewing industry.

December 2, 2021Honors and Awards, Student, University Efforts

Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton

USF center director promotes the arts while focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion

Already busy Denise Davis-Cotton, director of USF’s Center for Partnerships in Arts Integrated Teaching (PAInT), is about to get even busier thanks to an $8.5 million arts learning grant. A popular presence on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, Davis-Cotton was named principal investigator of the grant, which was awarded this fall by the U.S. Department of Education to strengthen arts-educational programming in the nation’s educational system.

December 1, 2021Honors and Awards, Research and Funding, Sarasota-Manatee Campus

Dr. Paola Sequeira, left, was the first recipient of financial aid through the Latino Scholarship Program.

Girl of 8 who spoke no English now a doctor. USF Latino scholarship helped.

In the 30 years since it started, the Latino Scholarship Program has done more than pay the bills. It has created a community of support that helps ensure success in life for its recipients.

October 22, 2021Honors and Awards, Student

Geraldine McKinnon Twine

Boundless Bulls: Geraldine McKinnon Twine

In February, Twine received the League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her efforts to provide proper health care to the disadvantaged and to foster opportunities for minorities. In 2017, she was inducted into Hillsborough County’s Women’s Hall of Fame.

October 13, 2021Community Engagement, Honors and Awards

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Our Newsroom is dedicated to sharing USF's story as it relates to anti-racism, equity and inclusion in and beyond Tampa Bay. We encourage you to send us impactful projects, and if you have an event or a story to share, please fill out this form. For the latest news on recent happenings related to anti-racism, please be sure to check back here regularly.