USF Health Commencement Highlights
USF Health bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral students participated in several University of South Florida commencement ceremonies in the newly renovated Sun Dome over the weekend. Surrounding family friends, faculty and staff, the graduates celebrated a milestone in their journey of lifelong learning as health professionals. Below are some commencement highlights:
College of Nursing
The College of Nursing graduated 194 students this Spring: 117 students earned BS degrees, 73 received MS degrees, and four were awarded doctoral degrees — two DNPs (Doctorate of Nursing Practice) degree two PhDs (Nursing Science).
A traditional pinning ceremony, featuring the Alumni Path of Light, was held Friday evening in the Marshall Center Ballroom before the nursing students walked in their commencement ceremonies on Saturday.
The College of Nursing’s Monica Messer, 71, of Riverview, was the oldest graduate at USF this May, earning a PhD in nursing. This was Messer’s second doctorate in nursing; she earned a DNP from USF in 2008.
Among the baccalaureate students picking up a diploma was Matt Jenkins, a Marine veteran determined to turn his combat lifesaver training into a nursing career at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital.
Elizabeth Beardsley went the extra mile to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing from the USF Tampa campus this May. Rather than lodging at hotels or driving three times a week from her home in Lake City, she and her husband purchased a travel trailer to stay at a local RV park when she was in Tampa.
College of Public Health
In two different commencement ceremonies on Saturday, the USF College of Public Health said good-bye to more than 150 graduates, including 71 with undergraduate public health degrees (BSPH), 79 with master’s degrees and six with doctoral degrees. The college also bid farewell to several faculty members retiring after many years of service — Dr. Ann DeBaldo, Dr. Stan Graven, Dee Jeffers and Dr. Robert McDermott.
The public health graduates were honored at a ceremony in the College’s Sam Bell Auditorium on Friday afternoon, before attending the university’s Saturday commencements. Donna Haiduven, PhD, assistant professor of global health who won the college’s Outstanding Faculty Award, was among those who addressed the graduates.
The USF public health graduates included Ivana Sehovic, a native of Sarajevo Bosnia who followed in her mother’s footsteps by earning a master’s of public health in epidemiology at USF (mom Marina was a 2011 graduate of COPH). Also graduating this May, with an MPH degree, was Patrick Johnson, a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) who developed a target product profile for drugs to treat dengue fever while at USF. Click here to read their stories.
School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences
The Morsani College of Medicine’s School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences graduated 28 DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) students this May. The students were honored at a reception in the USF Gibbons Alumni Center preceding their Saturday evening commencement ceremony at the SunDome. Dr. William S. Quillen, professor and director of SPTRS and associate dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, welcomed and introduced guests.
Awards were presented to two outstanding graduates: Aly Dhanani received the Dean’s Leadership Award, given to a student who consistently demonstrates strong leadership characteristics throughout their professional study. Amanda Colucci received the Dr. Catherine Page Award for Clinical Education Excellence, which recognizes a student with exceptional clinical skills.
School of Biomedical Sciences
The Morsani College of Medicine’s School of Biomedical Sciences expected to graduate 50 students this May — five earning PhDs, 33 MS in Medical Science, two MA in Bioethics and Medical Humanities, and 10 MS in Biotechnology. The graduates who walked participated in Saturday evening’s commencement at the Sun Dome.
Athletic Training Program
The Athletic Training Program, housed within the Morsani College of Medicine’s Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, had 24 students graduate Saturday afternoon with the BS degrees in athletic training. This year’s class scored a 96 percent pass rate overall on their national boards — the program’s highest ever, said Program Director Micki Cuppett, EdD, ATC.