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Bull Horn

Bull Horn

September 1, 2022

Dear Students,

Welcome or welcome back!

On behalf of the Dean of Students offices on all three campuses, we are happy to welcome you to the Fall 2022 semester at USF.

You made it through the first week of classes! We hope that you attended some of the many Week of Welcome events to learn about college life, engage with your campus, meet people, and identify the many resources offered to ensure your success.  We enjoyed meeting many of you at these events and look forward to seeing you even more around USF’s campuses. As the semester moves along, we want to encourage you in the following ways:

  • Get Involved! Involvement is important to your success and satisfaction with your college experience. Our departments and student organizations offer events, experiences and programs to help you explore your interests, have fun and meet new people.  Be sure to use BullsConnect for the most up-to-date information on all there is to do at USF – download the app today!
  • Cheer on the Bulls! Of course, we all are excited for our first football game Saturday against BYU! We hope to see everyone wearing USF Green and Gold on Friday to show their pride and support for our football team. Student Government has you covered in terms of transportation to and from the game, so be sure come early to secure your spot.
  • Take Care of Yourself! As we move into the long weekend, take this opportunity to rest. This past week was very hectic and likely overwhelming, so be sure to use the weekend to catch up on sleep, exercise, and eating healthy. As you participate in classes and campus life activities, be vigilant in protecting yourself and others from getting sick. If you think you have any symptoms of the flu, COVID-19 or any other communicable disease, please do not participate in activities, go to classes or use campus facilities without first seeking medical advice from Student Health Services/Wellness Center on our campuses. Be sure to notify your professors as quickly as possible that you are sick.
  • Be a Great Student! Of course, this weekend is also a perfect time to organize your academic timelines based on your class syllabi and get ahead on reading assignments so that you can start next week feeling caught up and prepared to participate in your classes.
    Stay Safe! Safety should always be top of mind, not only this weekend, but every day. Be sure to remember to lock your cars, rooms, apartments, and bikes. Walk with others around campus and off campus, and download and use the USF Safe app.
  • Make Good Decisions! Your success, safety and well-being are our priority, but the decision-making is up to you. Explore the helpful resources linked below regarding safety precautions and your well-being:

As your Dean of Students, we are very interested in your success. When you see us at events around our campuses, please introduce yourself, let us know how you are doing, and if there is anything we can do to improve your college experience. If you need to talk through an issue, need advice, or have questions about the university, we would love to talk with you further. Check out this website for helpful information, including how to contact us.

And as always,
Go Bulls!

Danielle McDonald, Ph.D., Dean of Students - Tampa campus
Winston Jones, Jr., Associate Dean of Students - Tampa campus
Jacob Diaz, Ed.D., Dean of Students - St. Petersburg campus
Teeranai Ovathanasin, Ph.D. - Sarasota-Manatee campus

January 11, 2021

Dear students,

Welcome back to our returning students and welcome to our new students! We hope that your Winter break was peaceful, restorative, and healthy, and we are most excited to begin spring semester 2021!

We are so proud of this community and the resilience and care you demonstrated in the fall.  For those of you who are new to USF, you should know that the university has taken many steps to mitigate the health and safety risks to our community.  We have all worked together to protect our “herd” and we expect the same of you.  For more information about our Coronavirus safety planning and reporting dashboard, you will find this website helpful: www.usf.edu/coronavirus/.

As we begin spring semester in this new reality, we wanted to share some tips and resources dedicated to your success. 

If you are not registered full-time but want to be, it's not too late to add a class. With many courses online, we encourage you to check out what is offered on all campuses. Just change the filters in Schedule Planner for all campuses to explore. Also, it’s Drop/Add Week so revisit that previously full class to see if openings come available – you just might get in! 

While we remain physically distanced this semester, we are still committed to helping you find your community and engage in it.  Here are a few ways:

It’s Week of Welcome! That means there are many opportunities to kick off the semester with some fun and informative programs to connect you with friends, services and programs on all our campuses.  Explore what is offered here. 

  • Check out student organizations and their programs and involvement opportunities . 
  • Visit the Student Toolkit for links.
  • Scan the Note-a-Bull News & Events that hits your email on Sunday evenings. You will find information about events, programs, workshops, and announcements on all campuses. Link to it directly here.
  • We have many resources to support your academic and personal well-being.  These can all be found on the Current Student Toolkit.

Returning students, it is never too soon to begin thinking about your next steps after USF.  Career Services can help you find on-campus student jobs and internships, get your resume ready, and guide you for a virtual environment job search. 

Considering graduate school? The Office of Graduate Studies can assist you in determining the right program for you and how to apply. 

While once again the semester is not exactly how we would want it to be, we are thankful that we can still offer all the support and resources you have come to expect from USF.  Remember, successful students are successful because they use their resources.

Thank you for everything you have done or will do to keep our USF community safe, healthy, and productive. If the Dean of Students Office can be of assistance to you, please contact us.  


The Dean of Students Offices of USF
Danielle McDonald, Ph.D., Tampa campus
Winston Jones, Sr., Tampa campus
Jacob Diaz, Ed.D., St. Petersburg campus
Teeranai Ovathanasin, Ph.D., Sarasota-Manatee campus

November 3, 2020

Hi students,

I cannot believe that it is already November.  It feels as if this semester is coming to its conclusion slow and fast at the same time.  The impacts of COVID-19 have challenged us all in many ways, but I continue to be proud of your persistence, resilience, and commitment to the health and safety of our community.

We are in a critical time now.  As we all move in to this next month and prepare for the end of the semester and the upcoming holidays, I want to share a few thoughts.

First, I want to give my thanks.  You make USF a special place.  I am thankful that I get to work with such talented, diverse, and caring students and staff. I have loved seeing so many of you at virtual events this semester.

As you probably know, we have had a collaborative team working to encourage students to be civically engaged.  The Democratic Engagement Coalition has done an outstanding job encouraging students to create a plan to vote, to be educated in their vote, and to encourage discourse with civility. They have also collaborated with many departments to provide post-election programming and resources to promote wellness, safe activism, and continued civic engagement. I hope that all of you have taken the time to vote or plan on voting Tuesday. I am so proud that this student body is civically engaged and has embodied the Principles of Community in that engagement. While the next few days and weeks will present us with a wide range of emotions,  it is my hope that you will continue to be a strong community that participates in discourse while promoting a safe and inclusive living and learning environment.Remember that while many cultures and religions are celebrating holidays this time of year, many of your fellow students cannot go home and be with family.  So if you have an opportunity to share with others safely, please do.
Remember to take care of yourselves and continue to follow social distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing advice.  It is even more important now than ever that we limit the spread and exposure as you plan to travel home and to put your energies towards your finals.

The next couple weeks will fly by.  As you prepare for projects and finals, remember to also get sleep, exercise, and eat well.  You can only do well if you are well.

This can also be a challenging and lonely time, especially with the added stress of COVID-19, elections anxiety, and upcoming final exams. USF cares about your wellbeing. We have many resources for you. If you or others need assistance, remember that USF is here for you.

Here are a few Resources I want to make sure to call your attention to:

  • Health and Wellness coaches
  • Counseling Center
  • Tutoring Lab
  • Writing Studio
  • Student Outreach and Support
  • Academic Advocacy
  • Ombuds
  • Student Health
  • Feed-a-bull Food Pantry
  • Career Services
  • Bull2Bull Financial Education
  • PAL - Peer Coaching
  • Center for Student Well-being
  • Campus Recreation and Wellness

Remember “Successful Bulls utilize Success Resources”.

With Bull Pride,

Dean McDonald