Academic Programs

Academic and Advising Staff

The Office of Undergraduate Studies (BGS/BSAS/ECM) is working remotely until further notice as the University of South Florida closely monitors the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our services are currently being offered in a virtual setting to maintain communication and student support via Microsoft Teams.  We deeply appreciate your understanding and we hope you all stay healthy and focused on your academic progress. We look forward to meeting you with in person again soon. Please continue to refer to for the latest information and resources.

Kyna Betancourt

Kyna Betancourt, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean, General Education, Assessment, and  Academic Programs

Dr. Betancourt earned her M.S. in Clinical Linguistics from University of Potsdam, Germany followed by her M.S. and Ph.D. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of South Florida. She was an inaugural fellow of the Doctoral Leadership Program at USF and has recently completed the Professional Development in Higher Education Leadership Program. Before joining Undergraduate Studies she was an Instructor and Director of the Language, Speech, and Hearing Undergraduate Program for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She was also the Chair of the General Education Council for two years and helped lead the effort of the General Education Enhancement at USF. In her role with Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Betancourt continues to work with the General Education Council and curriculum at USF, is creating and overseeing the new Undergraduate Studies Assessment, Analysis, and Visualization Team, is developing and carrying out Undergraduate Studies' efforts to make student success practices public via publications and presentations, and is creating and maintaining an Interdisciplinary Institute focused on fostering interdisciplinary teaching by providing services and resources to faculty. 

Beth Taylor

Beth Taylor, MA
Assistant Director

Beth was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. In 1995, Beth moved to Ocala, Florida and attended the College of Central Florida. Beth transferred to USF, where she earned her B.A. in Political Science, an M.A. in Adult Education and Leadership, and a graduate certificate in College Student Affairs. Beth currently serves as the Assistant Director for two degree completion programs housed in the Office of Undergraduate Studies: the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) and the Bachelor of Science in Applied Science (BSAS). Beth also serves as the administrative contact for Complete Tampa Bay, a degree completion initiative funded by the Lumina Foundation.  

Academic Foundations

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Caroline Twachtman, Assistant Director

Caroline Twachtman supports the UGS adjunct faculty and coordinates student success courses for first-year and transfer students. Caroline earned her Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University (History) and her Master’s degree from the University of South Florida (College Student Affairs). She is currently a doctoral candidate in the University of South Florida's Higher Education program. Her previous work experiences in higher education include admissions, Honors programs, and academic advising. She is particularly passionate about the success of first-year college students and supporting students with major changes and other transitions.

Student Assistants

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Megan Diaz, Graduate Assistant

Megan was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. She received her A.A degree in liberal arts from HCC in 2014. At this point in her life, she decided to take a few years off from school to find her passion. In 2017, Megan enrolled in the college of Behavioral Community Sciences and started her degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a concentration in Language, Speech and Hearing. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2019.  Currently, Megan is enrolled in the Speech Language Pathology Master’s program at USF. Megan loves going to the beach, hanging out with family, and traveling all over the world.


Zayna Mennell, Student Assistant

Zayna is a University of South Florida undergraduate student from Miami, FL and her family originates from Jamaica. She is majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a concentration in Language-Speech-Hearing. She graduated from the School for Advanced Studies in 2019 with an Associate in Arts Degree from Miami Dade College. Zayna is studying to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. While at home, Zayna spends most of her time with the NMB Police Athletic League where she is an advocate for positive relationships between law enforcement and youth. She also enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and two Yorkies.

Bachelor of Science in Applied Sciences (BSAS) Advisor

Cathy Marquez

Cathy Marquez
Instructor and BSAS Academic Advisor

Cathy joined the Academic Programs team as theAcademic Advisor for the Bachelor of Science in Applied Science (BSAS) degree program. Ms. Marquez has an extensive background working with both community college and university students. Her 25-year career at USF includes assisting BSAS students as well as major re-selection advising, and most recently as the Exploratory Curriculum Major (ECM) advisor for undecided freshmen. Ms. Jewel also certifies the USF AA, BSAS and BGS degrees. She completed her bachelor's degree in English at the University of South Carolina and her master's degree in Counseling and Guidance at the University of South Florida.

Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) Advisors 


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Ryan Hughes
BGS Academic Advisor, (Students with Last Names A-K)

Ryan serves as the Bachelor of General Studies degree for students with last names beginning with the letters A-K. A born and raised Floridian, Ryan graduated from the University of South Florida with his Bachelors degree in Finance and Masters degree in College Student Affairs. He has held several positions in higher education ranging from college admissions to academic advising. At USF, Ryan has served on a variety of committees through the Council on Academic Advising (CAA), and is working on his dissertation in higher education administration. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, live music, volunteering, and supporting USF Athletics. Go Bulls!

Joseph Chambers

Joseph Chambers
BGS Academic Advisor, (Students with Last Names L-Z)

Joseph serves as an Academic Advisor for the Bachelor of General Studies degree program. A native of Beckley, West Virginia, Joseph graduated from Mountain State University, where he majored in Liberal Studies with a focus in American Law & Politics, in 2008. Joseph has advised for a range of programs, including criminal justice, leadership studies, pre-medicine, and engineering technology. He has done significant work with first-generation students and international students, as well as adult and post-traditional learners. For over a decade, he has been a supporter of Toastmasters International, the world's largest organization dedicated to communication and leadership skills development, in which he has held several award-winning leadership roles. A proponent of autodidacticism, Joseph enjoys reading about history. He loves chicken nuggets, and is a devoted supporter of the Oxford comma.

NOTE: Please fill out an Intake Form prior to your BGS/BSAS Advising Appointment. Phone appointments must call 813-974-4051 and will be transferred to their Academic Advisor.

Exploratory Curriculum

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Shane Combs, Exploratory Curriculum Advisor

Shane is dedicated to helping students make their own decisions regarding academic plans, career goals, and most importantly their major of choice. In his prior role with the Collier Student Success Center in the USF Muma College of Business, Shane helped students obtain internships and careers with companies like Amazon, Lockheed Martin, Raymond James, Goldman Sachs, Disney, and more. Shane is a proud alumnus of the University of South Florida, where he earned a Master of Business Administration and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration. 

Need to schedule an appointment? Please click on the appropriate link below:

Undergraduate Studies Minors contacts:

Note: Please be sure to contact / schedule appointments with your specific USF college advisor. Questions related to your specific major should be directed to the appropriate advising contacts. The above advisors specialize in the programs mentioned above and cannot advise on majors other than those listed.