Golden Bull Awards
Congratulations to the 2022 Golden Bull Award winners! Take a moment to learn more about these exemplary students.
Jaida is a Bachelor of Arts candidate in Political Science. Her hometown is Alexandria, Egypt. During her time at USF, Jaida has demonstrated a commitment to building community. Through her involvement in the USF Student Government, she worked on numerous programs including the Day at the Capitol, a safety forum with the USF Police Department. Additionally, she worked to expand access to menstrual products on campus and created a guide to make Student Government resources more accessible. Jaida has been the treasurer of the student organization First Amendment Forum for two years and is proud to be a part of their Free Speech Expression initiative. As a member of the Judy Genshaft Honors College Citizenship Committee, Jaida is especially proud of her work on the Citizenship Wall installation, a oneUSF initiative that promotes reflection on what it means to be an active citizen.
Jaida is the Vice President of the Order of the Golden Brahman where she works closely with the Vice President and Executive Director of the Alumni Association, Bill McCausland, who said “I have worked with thousands of college students in my career, and I would be hard pressed to find someone who embraces and cares so deeply about her university as Jaida.”
Michelle is a Ph.D. candidate in the Educational Leadership, Policy, and Lifelong Learning program. Her hometown is Brasília, Brazil. During her time at USF, Michelle has advocated for the rights of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Michelle’s leadership efforts, research, and community work are focused on the rights of underserved immigrant children, mothers, and families in K-12 public schools in the U.S. and Brazil, and immigrant human trafficking victims and survivors in Florida. Michelle is an activist, and she is a member of four interdisciplinary task forces on human trafficking, mental health, safe and humane schools, migrants, and displaced persons organized by the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice.
Michelle is also a volunteer of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU), where she contributes to advocating for the rights of immigrant youth and families. In 2018, Michelle received the CARIBE Volunteer Teacher Assistant Award, where she helped adult refugee students learn English and advance their professional and critical thinking. In 2019, Michelle received the Latin America & Caribbean Scholarship provided by the USF College of Education; and the Scholarship, Leadership, and Service Honors Award by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS). She was also selected as a council member of the Curriculum & Pedagogy Group.
Michelle is co-editor of the book “Making a Spectacle: Examining Curriculum/ Pedagogy as Recovery from Political Trauma” published by IAP, and co-published scholarly work at the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and book chapters in English and Spanish. In addition, Michelle received the 2020 Outstanding Student Abstract Award at the Coming Together for Action conference. She is an academic planner at Cyber Florida, located at USF. Her work concentrates on providing free cyber workforce professional development training for veterans, first responders, and historically underrepresented communities (women, People of Color, and professionals with disabilities).
Aiming to share her skills developed at USF with her transnational community, in the past years, Michelle became a mentor to Brazilian undergraduate students, created a YouTube project called “Our Stories’’ in Portuguese and English, where she interviews scholars and activists from the U.S. and Latin America to share their activism and community-based work and presented at several conferences with Brazilian Indigenous and Black activists and scholars. Currently, Michelle is working on her dissertation where she uses arts to listen to the emotions and experiences of Latinx emergent multilingual mothers in K-12 public schools in Florida.
Zach is a Bachelor of Arts candidate in political science with a minor in public administration. His hometown is Saint Petersburg, Florida. During his time at USF, Zach has demonstrated leadership, civic engagement, and a commitment to learning. Serving as the first Lieutenant Governor of the USF Tampa campus under a new consolidated Student Government, he worked alongside the Governor and their executive cabinet to represent over 40,000 students in meetings with university administration, politicians, and community leaders. He helped negotiate partnerships with campus and community stakeholders to implement initiatives such as the USF Counseling Center “Togetherall” online mental health platform, and more. Zach’s time in Student Government was truly a transformative experience for him.
Zach also worked with USF professors and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity on a nationwide survey about how Americans interact with social media and their opinions on moderation and regulation. Zach helped write the survey, analyze the data, create data visualizations, and author an article in the Tampa Bay Times about the results.
Jennifer Bielen, one of Zach’s mentors throughout his time at USF, says that Zach “is very passionate about ensuring he is a servant leader and advocate to all, and that showed daily in his work within SG and beyond.”
Currently, Zach is spending his final semester in Washington, D.C.as a Congressional Intern in the United States House of Representatives.
Guy is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry. His hometown is Plant City, Florida. Guy has demonstrated commitment to leadership, community building, and academic excellence. In 2018, Guy was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The following year, he founded an education-focused financial technology company that was named a 2019 startup-to-watch.
Off campus, Guy shares his passion for science and education with the greater Tampa Bay community by organizing and volunteering for Family Science Nights at underserved middle schools, providing students with a safe space to perform exciting experiments after school. His recommenders describe him as being “among [the] top 1% young scientist [they]have ever worked with” and an “exemplary student, not only devoting time to his own development, but also that of his peers and his community”.
Guy’s research is interdisciplinary, spanning Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Genomics, Molecular Medicine, Physics, and Volcanology. His dissertation focuses on accelerating supercomputer simulations of biomolecules using artificial intelligence. To date, Guy’s research efforts have resulted in 11 published manuscripts with another 6 manuscripts awaiting peer-review.
Victoria's hometown is West Palm Beach, Florida. During her time at USF, Victoria spent a significant amount of time researching reading cognition in the Eye Movements and Cognition lab in the Psychology department at USF. While pursuing her undergraduate career, Victoria earned a research grant from Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, to fund her thesis project. Further, she presented her research at the annual Psychology Exposition last November, in addition to defending her honors thesis project in December of 2021, and will be graduating with honors from the Department of Psychology and the Judy Genshaft Honors college.
Victoria also served as an executive board member for the George W. Jenkins scholarship. As a Jenkins scholar, Victoria understands the impact of community service and has dedicated much of her college career to donating her time. While involved with the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement’s Bulls Service Break program, she first joined as a participant, and then served leader, for two alternative break opportunities where she worked alongside minorities and refugees. Victoria also volunteered with the Kerolle Initiative in the Dominican Republic to support physicians who provide medical care to indigenous populations in remote communities. These opportunities led Victoria to pursue her most impactful experience while at USF - as a medical translator and aide at a local medical clinic, where she has been volunteering over the past year. As a volunteer, Victoria developed a strong passion for serving disadvantaged populations and will continue to do so in her future career as a healthcare professional.
Kianna is a Bachelor of Science candidate in Econometrics and Quantitative Economics. Her hometown is Kingston, Jamaica. During her time at USF, Kianna demonstrated a passion for serving the USF community. As a sophomore, she served as an Assistant Director of Programming in Student Government, a student representative on the highly selective Student Green Energy Fund Allocation Committee and became a University Ambassador. The following year, she served as the Tampa Chief of Staff in Student Government and was inducted into the Order of the Golden Brahman. This year, she serves the Order of the Golden Brahman as President.
A Global Citizen Award recipient, she engaged in a faculty-supervised independent research project, studying the socio-economic effects of oil trade with the United States on Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. Her engagement led her to be nominated to be a member of the Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honor society for Economics.
As she prepares to end her undergraduate career, she initiated a project with Parking and Transportation Services to increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations across the Tampa campus in her role as Student Assistant in the Resource Management and Development Unit in Student Success.
After graduation, Kianna will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics where she hopes to further research energy-trade relationships between first-world countries and the Latin American and Caribbean region.
Kédrine is a Bachelor of Science degree candidate in Public Health and a Sociology minor. She was born and raised in the island of Jamaica but currently calls Ocoee, Florida, home. As an admirer of the great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Kédrine was elated to receive the USF Alumni Association’s Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship during her freshman year. Throughout her undergraduate tenure, she was a recipient of the USF Black Leadership Network Scholarship, the USF Moonlighting Musicians Scholarship, the Project Inspire Scholarship for Creative Mind. She has served on the executive boards of the Jamaican Alliance Movement, the USF Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., and the USF Gospel Choir. Dr. A. Blake, remarked that “Kédrine is a true inspiration and leader in her own right. She displays the beautiful importance of diversity in leadership.”
Kédrine serves as a USF Ambassador, Resident Assistant for USF Housing and Residential Education, outstanding student assistant for the USF College of Public Health, Student Advisory Board member for the USF Black Leadership Network, student co-chair of the Intercultural Student Leadership Conference, and past student staff member of the Center for Student Involvement. Kédrine deems some of her best memories were hosting USF traditional events such as the Homecoming Kickoff and Welcome Back Jam.
Towards the conclusion of her reign as Miss USF 2021, Kédrine, in partnership with the USF Black Leadership Network, visited West Tampa Elementary School. There she spoke with 3rd and 4th graders about the 4Ps- Purpose, Promise, Potential, and Possibility. What she deemed her crowning glory of this experience was being told by one of the students, “thank you, you changed my life…I want to be Miss USF in the future.”
Zeegan is a medical student at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. He is our next Golden Bull recipient. During his time at USF, Zeegan has demonstrated a dedication to promoting the principles of diversity, inclusion, and equity. He was invited to lead the Morsani College of Medicine Student Council on Diversity and Inclusion, an interprofessional team of students across each of the programs at MCOM, where he worked closely with students and administration to advance evidence-based and equitable changes to curriculum and policies. The council also organized guest speakers, seminars, and forums for students and faculty to learn about health disparities, combatting discrimination and microaggressions, and cultural competencies.
As President of Neurosurgery Interest Group, Zeegan has spent the last two years constructing a pipeline that ensures medical students receive the necessary interprofessional experience, research, and networking opportunities to match into the highly competitive field of Neurosurgery. His research efforts have resulted in a research team where world-class neurosurgeons and students investigate the use of cutting-edge technologies, including deep brain stimulation and machine learning algorithms. He also researches medical education with the hope of addressing health disparities, the shortage of primary care physicians, and systemic inequities in medicine. Zeegan assists students in writing scientific protocols, manuscripts, and abstracts and mentoring high school and college students from diverse backgrounds who hope to enter the medical field themselves.
Shannon is a bachelor’s degree candidate in the fields of Political Science and Sociology. Her hometown is Pinellas Park, Florida. During her time at USF, Shannon has focused on advocating for her fellow students and serving her community. Shannon spent two years working for the Student Government Supreme Court where she worked to help consolidate the student government. In her second year, Shannon served as the Chief Justice of the first consolidated Supreme Court, where justices saw proceedings brought to the court from all three campuses. Shannon’s work on the Court included planning and facilitating educational events, advocating for the needs and wellbeing of students to university leadership, and collaborating with her fellow justices to adjudicate over twenty legal proceedings, including five trials. Shannon is most proud of working to create USF’s first ever Pre-Law Fair, which brought together law schools, law firms, and community partners to speak to students about legal careers.
When not working in Student Government, Shannon has had the honor of serving as a peer mentor with the Judy Genshaft Honors College, a violence prevention trainer with the Center for Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention, and a student member of the University Conduct Board. In these roles, she has hoped to focus on being an ally and friend to students navigating through difficult circumstances in their college careers.
Outside of USF, Shannon has been committed to serving the Tampa Bay community. She spent a year and a half as a Guardian Ad Litem, where she advocated for foster care children as their cases went through the dependency system and she currently a volunteer with Global Connection Legal Services, where she helps community members who are applying for American citizenship.
Syed Hasan is majoring in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Psychology. His hometown is Dhaka, Bangladesh. Syed moved to the United States in 2014 and started high school in Orlando. In March of 2020, Syed became a citizen of the United States and currently holds dual citizenship.
During his time at USF, Syed has demonstrated courage, care, and authenticity in all of his roles on and off campus. His leadership journey started at the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement where he completed the Emerging Leaders Institute program as well as participated in Bulls for Kids, also known as Dance Marathon at USF.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Syed was published in two different peer-reviewed journals, presented at multiple research conferences - the American Public Health Association, USF Health, USF Undergraduate Research Conference, Psych Expo.
He has also been very involved within the LGBTQIA+ community on campus through his role as the Stonewall Suites Resident Assistant, which is the residential community on campus for queer students and allies.
Upon graduation, Syed plans to work at the Moffitt Cancer Center in a lab focused on quality of life among cancer survivors and plans to apply to medical school. As someone who lost a parent to motor neuron disease and the other parent being a prostate cancer survivor, Syed is passionate about supportive care medicine and wants to go into either oncology or psychiatry as a future specialty.
Jataya is a Bachelor of Science candidate pursuing concurrent degrees in Biomedical Sciences and Public Health. Her hometown is Riverview, FL. Jataya is a proud member of the Judy Genshaft Honors College and has been involved with the college in numerous ways. As a teaching assistant, she co-leads a course called Backstage Pass to Health Professions in which she brings leaders from the USF Health community to speak with undergraduate honors students. She describes this experience as “one of a kind” because she has had the opportunity connect with prominent leaders within USF Health and undergraduate students as they learn more about the different career paths available to them. As an ambassador, Jataya serves a liaison for prospective Honors students by leading tours of the college. Her experience within the Judy Genshaft Honors College was a major determining factor in coming to USF and she enjoys being able to inform students about the opportunities available to them through Honors.
Jataya has a passion for advocacy and education. She took part in a Bulls Service Break trip in 2019 focused on human trafficking education. Through the program, she was able to hear from law enforcement officers, psychologists, and survivors to expand her knowledge and become better equipped to advocate for survivors and susceptible individuals. Her passion for human trafficking education and awareness continued when she took part in a study abroad service-learning program in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The program was an anti-human trafficking initiative that included youth empowerment programs and conversational English lessons for grade school students.
Jataya plans to use what she has learned through her experiences at USF to pursue an MD/MPH, specialize in Obstetrics/Gynecology, and continue to advocate for individuals who cannot advocate for themselves.
Junayed “JJ” Jahangir
Junayed is a Bachelor of Science candidate in Finance and Accounting. His home country is Bangladesh. Junayed is currently the Student Senate President of USF Student Senate, the legislative branch of Student Government. This branch consists of over 80 elected officials across all three campuses that advocate on behalf of students and oversee an allocation of over $21 million dollars every year. Junayed’s prior service includes roles as Vice-President of the International Student Association, USF Ambassador, Residential Assistant, and Finance Chair for Student Government. These opportunities enabled Junayed to represent the student body and engage with key stakeholders of the university such as alumni, administration, donors, and faculty members. He then utilized these engagements to advocate on behalf of the students and improve the USF experience.
Two of Junayed’s many big accomplishments during his time at USF, highlight his commitment and dedication to the student body. His fundraising efforts with the Office of International Student Services provided urgent financial support to over 50 international students in financial need during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. As Finance Chair, Junayed and the finance committee helped overhaul an in-person budget and fund utilization training into a digital course to enable student organizations to acquire the necessary training and ability to apply for funding, which helped significantly increase virtual programming and campus engagement during the pandemic. Junayed was awarded as the most exemplary leader in Student Government and the finance committee won the Committee of the Year award.
Junayed’s recommender, Gary Manka, Director of Student Government Advising, Training & Operations stated that “Mr. Jahangir has consistently demonstrated the interpersonal skills necessary to deal with students, faculty, staff, parents and community members and his confidence translates well when working with these different personalities. He is caring, humorous, and perceptive, which sets an excellent foundation for good public service.”
Junayed is enrolled in the Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Collegiate Leadership Program, has interned with the fortune 100 company, TechData, and is currently developing his own business with the USF Student Incubator program. This summer, Junayed will be interning as a consultant for the leading accounting and consulting firm, Ernst & Young.
Gautam was born in Bangalore, India, but was raised locally and is proud to call Tampa Bay his hometown. During his time at USF, Gautam has demonstrated exceptional commitment to medicine, compassionate patient care, and service to the local community. As a clinical student, Gautam prioritizes both team and patient health and excels as a servant-leader. USF's former Chair of Family Medicine describes Gautam as "one of the top 10 students he has worked with in over 32 years of academic medicine".
Outside the clinic, Gautam mirrors these ideals through research as a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He has helped author multiple textbook chapters focused on applying lifestyle medicine principles to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors, including chapters in the latest update of the landmark Rippe Lifestyle Medicine clinical manual. His work has a common theme of promoting patient centered decisions, compassionate care, and ways for practitioners to self-empower patients through their medical ailments.
Gautam currently works for the Florida Health Department to develop remote blood pressure education programs that target increasing accessibility specifically for local refugee and homeless populations. As a result of his efforts for this community, he has also recently become an invited member of Florida's Diabetes Self-Management Education Advisory Board.
Gautam is a proud first-generation American citizen and is grateful to his family and especially to his parents for their sacrifices.
Frank is a fourth year MD candidate at USF’s Morsani College of Medicine. His hometown is Lancaster, PA. During his time at USF, Frank has demonstrated collaboration, finding ways to improve healthcare. During his first summer at USF, he helped the Tampa General Radiology department by creating 3D-prints of patients’ CT scans to aid in planning difficult reconstruction or cancer surgeries. He, along with two classmates, represented USF at the Florida Blue Health Innovations Challenge, winning 3rd place for their mobile app business idea to use artificial intelligence to help track diet choices for prediabetic patients.
Frank is also passionate about equitable delivery of healthcare. He gave a lecture to his class about the use of a racial coefficient for calculating African American’s kidney function, that his teacher said the talk was “so impactful that I asked him to give it to the hospital leadership and present to the Department of Medicine.” Frank ultimately presented his research at Grand Rounds and helped transition to a race-free equation at USF’s Lehigh Valley campus. This work was accepted as a poster presentation at the National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting. He has participated in scholarly work at USF. As a member of the Barness-Behnke Gold Humanism Honor Society and Robert Good Research Honor Society, he has written 4 peer-reviewed publications and co-authored 1 chapter article, on topics of breast cancer treatments, improving care to the homelessness, and reconstructive surgery.
Frank is part of USF’s SELECT program, in which he receives additional training on leadership, healthcare systems, and delivering values-based patient centered care. Giving back and paying it forward to the community is important to Frank. During medical school, he cotaught an MCAT class to the USF Honors College premed students. He volunteered at the Bridge Clinic and Judeo Christian Clinic to provide medical check-ups to the underinsured.
Frank was selected as one of four students to be clinic co-director at Valley Youth House, a shelter for teens experiencing homelessness. He is excited to announce that he matched into a general surgery residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Lastly, he is incredibly grateful to the teachers, friends, and mentors who helped him through medical school and get here today and cannot wait to see all that his classmates accomplish as future physicians.
Spencer is a Bachelor of Science candidate in Business Analytics and Information Systems with a Concentration in Cybersecurity. His hometown is Ramstein Air Base, Germany. During his time at USF, Spencer has demonstrated servant leadership, academic achievement, and love for his university. Over his four-year journey, Spencer has served in various roles in Student Government from Finance Committee Chairman to a first Tampa Campus Governor in the consolidated University. As Tampa Governor, Spencer was appointed as Campus Allocation Funding Committee Chairman and led the committee in allocating over $17 million during the tumultuous financial time of COVID-19. In this service, he was presented with the Judy Walker award, which is given to the person who made a tremendous impact.
In the summer of 2021, he participated in an internship with the United States Special Operations Command, a partnership with the USF Institute of Applied Engineering, combining his interest in military and technology.
In the fall of 2019, Spencer was inducted into the prestigious Order of the Golden Brahman in fall of 2019 and received the Muma College of Business 25 under 25 designation in the Spring of 2021 for his achievements in leadership and academics.
A member of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps since his early days at the University, Spencer will continue his military career by Commissioning as a Second Lieutenant on the 13th of May and will be reporting to Naval Air Station Pensacola to begin Aviation Training. USF ignited Spencer’s flame for service, and he looks to demonstrate excellence in all things in his Military career and beyond.
Natalie is a Bachelor of Science candidate in Biomedical Sciences. Her hometown is Toronto, Canada. During her time at USF, Natalie demonstrated resilience, curiosity, respect, and compassion. Natalie served in several leadership capacities, most notably as the President of Sigma Alpha Lambda. She is most proud of being able to publish and present several research projects on the national stage at conferences dedicated to healthcare, including the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. She was a panel speaker for the American Association of University Women and for the College Women on the Rise conference that connects women with young girls to show them opportunities in the world of academia. Additionally, Natalie placed 1st in Florida and 3rd internationally at the HOSA Sports Medicine Competition. She has consistently made the Dean’s List of Scholars and was a Gilman International scholarship recipient. Natalie has been nominated for the Dean’s Circle of Merit award in the Judy Genshaft Honors College in the category of global engagement. She is also a candidate to be recognized as a King O’Neal scholar at commencement.
In addition to academic accomplishments, Natalie he worked in the Tampa community as a Greco Middle School math tutor as well as a Reach Out and Read Volunteer at USF 17 Davis Clinic. Keri Riegler, the director of New Student Connections at the university has said that “Her life experiences fostered an appreciation for different cultures, which fueled her desire to develop solutions to global issues.”
Natalie looks forward to beginning medical school this July at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Florida.
Michele's hometown is St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. During her time at USF, Michele has demonstrated strength, knowledge, and diversity throughout her jobs and volunteering experiences. Michele has fought for students concerns as a Senator for the 2ndConsolidated Term of Student Government and has worked to make sure that every voice is heard. As a Head Lifeguard she has made the USF Aquatics Department more accessible for all students by helping to create an Annual Tread-a-thon that raises money for free swim lessons for USF students and an All-Women’s Swim to create a safe place for women to swim.
As a volunteer of the Food Waste Recovery Project, Michele helped to raise awareness of food insecurity and food waste across the Tampa Campus and create a Sustainability Toolkit for students to educate themselves and find resources on how to be more environmentally friendly while being a college student.
As a member of various student organizations such as the Caribbean Culture Exchange and the Global Citizen’s Project, Michele is devoted to making USF a diverse and accepting campus. She has presented diversity workshops to departments at the USF Recreation and Wellness Center and helps to write for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion monthly newsletter. She takes courses outside of her degree that is concerned with racism and prejudice to educate herself on a subject that is personal to her. Michele is a recipient of various awards such as RecWell Employee of the Month, Senator of the Month, and has been on the Dean’s List since her first semester in 2019.
Born in the Caribbean, she has been surrounded with diverse people and their cultures, so diversity and social justice is something she is very passionate about. In the words of one of her recommenders, “The common thread I see beneath all her positions and experience is a student who cares passionately about the people around her”.
Shanon is from India but was born and raised in the U.A.E. During his time at USF, Shanon has demonstrated accomplishments in the different values of USF. His proudest accomplishment here at USF would be his work with the Epilepsy Foundation. In November 2020, he led a team that launched one of the first collegiate chapters of the Epilepsy Foundation in the country. This was a historic achievement as it triggered a movement empowering the youth to fight this battle at a grassroots level. Ever since the chapter was launched, he has been involved in the training of more than 200 individuals in Seizure First Aid, has successfully passed a resolution with the help of Student Government to increase SFA training across the entire USF community, and contributed to legislative support for the Seizure Safe Schools Act initiative in Florida.
As someone who is personally invested in the fight against epilepsy, it brings him immense joy to see the progress made by this initiative. Shanon’s journey at USF came full circle when he started working at the USF Office of International Services. When he came to USF as an international student, one of the first campus partners he interacted with was this office and they gave him a very kind and warm welcome. For his senior year, he started working as a peer leader at the Intercultural Programs division of the Office of International Services, where he had the opportunity to interact with several international students and scholars.
Shanon was also honored to represent USF twice at the Florida International Leadership Conference; the first time as a participant in 2020 and now as a peer leader. This conference and his position at the Office of International Studies allowed him to bolster his global citizenship attributes by discussing the importance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and how vital it is for us to use our platform and privilege to make a positive change. Looking back at all that Shanon has accomplished, there is warm feeling inside of him that makes him happy and content. Despite all that has happened over the past four years, he was able to do his part and make a positive contribution to the USF community.
Alexis is a Bachelor of Arts candidate in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. Her hometown is Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. During her time at USF, Alexis Roberson has demonstrated a legacy of intentionality through the way that she served, the communities impacted, and the conversations begun. As the Tampa Governor for the 2nd Consolidated Term in Student Government, she diligently worked to envision a future of comfort, community, and collaboration for our USF student population and bring that vision to life, in the most impactful ways.
As Governor, she had an active role in the development of Student Success goals and strategic plans for the Black student population at USF. This active engagement can be seen through her service on the USF/ Black Leadership Network university committee, called to evaluate the decline in Black student population and identify ways to boost enrollment on all three campuses. To prioritize the crucial conversation of diversity during USF orientation, she worked on the Diversity, Equity, and Belonging EverFi module to review and modify content offered to incoming first year and transfer students.
Before serving as Governor, she held the position of Assistant Director of Diversity & Wellness tasked with serving as the bridging gap between our diverse student population and Student Government. She worked to provide a seat at the table for students through the Student Government Diversity Council comprised of diverse students both undergraduate and graduate. Her programmatic execution of the Student Government Diversity Week, annually themed “Pieces of our Puzzle” was created to celebrate and highlight the diverse composition of our USF community. As the previous National Pan-Hellenic Council President, she actively advocated for the opportunity to further impact USF students through visibility and organizational unity. To spread the presence of NPHC, she facilitated the reestablishment and expansion of NPHC campus traditions such as the Summer Yard show, NPHC Week, and introduced a new tabling program named “Divine Thursdays.”
At a time where the stories and experiences of communities of color are under attack, Alexis wants to play a significant role in identifying the impact public policy has on civil and human rights. She currently showcases her passion for public service as a legislative intern for State Representative Fentrice Driskell as she diligently serves Florida House District 63. She embodies the values of our institution as the previous President of the Quality Zeta Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and USF Ambassador.
With her remaining time at USF, Alexis will work to ensure students of color that look and sound like her are confident in their ability to serve and willing to occupy the spaces she is currently leaving.
Jamie is a B.S. candidate in Biomedical Sciences. Her hometown is Orlando, FL. During her time at USF, Jamie has demonstrated dedication to scientific inquiry, a passion for teaching, and fierce servant-leadership. Regarding the scientific inquiry, Jamie has shown consistent dedication to research and to improving the field of medicine. In June of 2020, Jamie presented her first poster entitled “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Building Resilience in Hospice Care Teams” at the Academy of Communication in Healthcare 2020 Research Forum. There, she was awarded the Health Equity Scholarship due to her research’s focus on the underserved. In November of 2021, her hospice team’s paper submission was accepted at the National Communication Association’s 107th Annual Convention.
In December of 2021, she presented four posters– analyzing the impact of political party, race, age, and gender on COVID-19 behaviors– at the 2021 Institute for Healthcare Improvement, for which she was awarded a merit-based scholarship. Regarding her hospice research, one recommender said, “Jamie has displayed tremendous resilience over the past two years. The subject of our hospice study has personal significance to Jamie, given the passing of her father [in 2019]. Initially, I was concerned that a study focused on healthcare providers’ narratives of death and dying would be difficult for Jamie. While these topics are undoubtedly challenging, rather than “closing off,” Jamie’s own experiences have guided her towards openness and empathy. She listens carefully, generously, and humbly to our participants. Burnout and compassion fatigue are some of the most grueling difficulties faced by leaders in the healthcare profession today. Jamie’s resilience in continuing to witness participants’ narratives of death and dying in the face of her own personal loss demonstrates her unique ability to hold on to compassion and vulnerability, a quality I wish more leaders today possessed.”
Throughout her years at USF, Jamie has shown a consistent passion for teaching others, evident through her positions as a calculus peer leader, tutor, and trainer; Honors Peer Mentor; Jenkins Honors College physics tutor; and Kaplan MCAT teacher. Jamie has demonstrated servant leadership through her time as leader of the Bulls Service Break Women’s Empowerment trip to Nashville, TN; her service at Judeo Christian Health Clinic; her position as Community Engagement lead and now co-Team Coordinator of USF Partners in Health Engage; and her medical service trip to the Dominican Republic.
Jamie has said of her time at USF “Inside of those classroom and clinic walls, student
by student and patient by patient—this is how USF has taught me to lead, to serve.
And I couldn’t be more grateful. I am so proud to be a Bull!”
Skyler is a graduating senior studying Health Sciences with a minor in psychology. She is set to graduate Magna Cum Laude in May 2022 and after graduation she will continue to pursue her education at Shenandoah University where she will study to become a pediatric physical therapist to help children with developmental delays and mobility disorders achieve heightened levels of independence.
During her time on campus she has been engaged with the on campus community through her involvement with the COMPASS office, the Tours office, and Campus Recreation. Currently, she works as a Navigator Tour guide where she collaborates with an amazing team of fellow Bulls to share their passion for the university with perspective students. She also works in the Campus Recreation department, primarily as a lifeguard. In this position she works with her high-spirited peers to ensure USF St. Petersburg campus is a great place to have fun and stay active. She also continues to represent the university off the clock as well. As a USF Ambassador, Skyer regularly attends large events both in St. Petersburg and Tampa to welcome guests and create a student presence at events that would otherwise be mostly administrators, shareholders, and donors. The USF Ambassadors work with the Alumni Association to ensure a bright and prosperous future for the university. Furthermore, she was also voted 2020 Homecoming royalty for USF St. Petersburg campus by her peers and was able to represent the student body in that position as well.
Yamaris is a senior studying Political Science. After graduation in the spring, Yamaris will be working on a congressional campaign and applying for law school admission for Fall 2023. Her hometown is San Juan, Puerto Rico.
During her time at USF, Yamaris has demonstrated a passion to help the University
Florida and advocate for the students. To further that goal, she has been a part of Student
Government as a Campus Council Member, Senator, and Deputy Chief of Staff for the St.
Petersburg Campus. In Senate, she authored a resolution that advocates for transgender
students in the University of South Florida, the Tampa Bay Area, the State of Florida, and the
Nation. Yamaris also authored eight bills that improved the Student Government election code,
which paved the way for higher engagement with Student Government. Furthermore, as Deputy Chief of Staff, she collaborated with local businesses to create and improve the Bulls in the Burg Program, a partnership program between USF and local St. Petersburg businesses that gives students discounts for them to enjoy. Yamaris also works in the Regional Chancellor’s office, where she has collaborated to bring events on campus such as SAILebration, an event that takes graduating students on a dinner cruise around the Bay to celebrate their achievement.
Throughout this year, Yamaris has served as the one USF St. Petersburg Mark Orr fellow
Tampa Bay Area Committee on Foreign Relations, a committee that engages in lectures and
conversations with members of the foreign relations community to address how global issues
affect the Tampa Bay Area. Regional Chancellor Dr. Tadlock states that through their
conversations, Yamaris “is thoughtful, with a deeply intellectual approach to understanding the
various perspectives of others.” With that same approach, she has collaborated with committee
members and other fellows to find commonalities and reach possible solutions for the Tampa
In the community, Yamaris has worked in political campaigns that align with her advocacy
She has recently become an intern for a Ben Diamond’s Congressional Campaign for District 13,
a highly contested seat in Pinellas County. As a recommender, Regional Chancellor Tadlock
mentions the conversations he’s had with Representative Diamond about her great work in the
campaign. He further states that Yamaris “will continue to represent USF as a valuable alum of
this university as well, carrying the positive messages about how education at a public university can transform lives and open doors for everyone who attends.”
Sean is a senior studying business management. After graduation this spring, Sean will pursue his MBA from USF starting in the fall. Sean’s hometown is Clearwater, Florida. During his time at USF, Sean has demonstrated a willingness to better the university, and the Tampa Bay community. At USF, Sean has served as a Senator in the student government where he has worked to increase student engagement in local government. To advance that objective, Sean helped to oversee the visit of now-former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman to the USF St. Petersburg campus. During his visit, Mr. Kriseman was able to see recent campus renovations, as well as speak with students and share his experience as a community leader. During his visit, Sean presented Mr. Kriseman with a student government resolution, recognizing Mr. Kriseman’s leadership. This resolution was authored by Sean and received unanimous consent from Sean’s senate colleagues across all three USF campuses.
This past fall, Sean served as a fellow in the Millennium Fellowship, a program created in collaboration with the United Nations to support student projects which address Sustainable Development Goals. Although Sean’s project of creating sustainable tool kits comprised of school supplies for students is still in progress, through this experience, Sean had the opportunity to work among a cohort of fellows from USF, and work with other students throughout the world.
In the community, Sean has been focused on ensuring every perspective is heard and considered. To fulfill that goal, Sean has been selected by the Clearwater City Council to help serve the city in various capacities. In 2019, Sean served as a member of the Clearwater Charter Review Committee, working with other members to review the city’s “governing document” and suggest possible changes. In 2021, Sean was appointed as the Clearwater At-Large Representative on the St. Petersburg Clearwater International Airport Noise Abatement Task Force. In this role, Sean works with representatives from other municipalities in the airport’s flight path to ensure noise abatement procedures are being followed.
While at USF, Sean has worked in the Office of Congressman Charlie Crist, serving as an intern, Assistant Constituent Advocate, and now as Office Manager in the Congressman’s District Office. As a recommender of Sean for this award, Congressman Crist said “Sean has worked hard to make the community and the lives of others better. Since the Golden Bull Award was created to recognize those individuals who have gone above and beyond to help others in service of Florida’s 13th Congressional District, I am confident that Sean embodies the qualities of this award”.
Megan Acosta is a second-degree candidate in the accelerated nursing program. Her hometown is Miami, Florida.
During her time at USF, Megan demonstrated integrity, leadership skills, and a motivation to seek out new learning experiences. While at USF, Megan sought out a research assistant position for the Lyall and Beatrice Thompson Nursing Professorship in Oncology under the guidance of Dr. Lengacher. She assisted in an R01 trial entitled “Efficacy of MBSR treatment of Cognitive Impairment Among Breast Cancer survivors” funded by the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of health. As a research assistant, she collaborated on grant activities, and research papers with the team faculty. In conjunction with other research assistants, she worked to create and submit a poster titled, “Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR (BC)) compared to Breast Cancer – Education Support (BCES) and UC for Symptom Improvement among Breast Cancer Survivors (BCS)” which was accepted for the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) 2022 Annual Virtual Conference.
Aside from her research position, Megan engaged in public service as the Vice President of the Nursing Students’ Association and has volunteered her time at COVID testing sites, and vaccine clinics. Megan also has volunteered at Wholesome Community Ministries with their six-month wellness challenge.
A recommender stated, “Megan has been an outstanding representative for the college and has shown true leadership amongst the team.”
Carter Bedinghaus is a bachelor’s degree candidate in marketing. His hometown is Bradenton, Florida.
During his time at USF, Carter has demonstrated leadership, dedication, teamwork, and bull pride. He served four terms in student government. As a sophomore, Carter was elected president of the Student Government Senate. In this role, he oversaw 15 senators and managed the group’s distribution of $1.5 million in allocations to student organizations. While Carter was president, turnover amongst student leaders dropped to zero.
As a USF Ambassador, Carter volunteered in his community by reading to elementary school students, working directly with the USF President, and advocating for the university at the Florida Capitol.
Recently, Carter was selected as a member of the Muma 25 Under 25 Roster. This program aims to highlight the positive impact students have on campus as well as in the regional community.
Carter will graduate from USF in May and will begin his tenure as a student in the LECOM School of Dental Medicine in the fall.
Riffatul Islam is a Bachelor of Science candidate in Biology and is part of the Judy Genshaft Honors College. His hometown is Dhaka, Bangladesh.
During his time at USF, Riffat demonstrated values of responsibility, determination, diversity, and leadership. He strongly believes in maintaining his cultural identity and using his Islamic Faith as a guide through life.
He first started as a Community Leader, then became Coordinator during the pandemic working hard to bring in new students to Sarasota-Manatee campus. He became Governor for his home campus. Through Student Government, Riffat has helped many students get their very first job. As Governor, he listened to the voices of the USFSM community to better their USF experience. In addition, he has worked and connected with fellow leaders throughout other campuses to create initiatives and programs that unify the three campuses as a whole to embody #OneUSF.
Through orientation, Riffat acted as a peer mentor for a group of students and helped guide them through their first experience of college. As an Ambassador, he recruited many new individuals and has instilled the USF Spirit into them.
In the past three years, Riffat also received over 11 different scholarships.