USF Health faculty inspire middle-school students to aim high in career choices

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Deanna Wathington, MD, MPH, associate dean for academic and student affairs at the USF College of Public Health, shared her passion for public health with students at the Girls Preparatory Academy Ferrell Middle School.

USF Health faculty shared the successes and challenges of the career paths they’ve traveled with students at two same-gender magnet middle schools in Hillsborough County earlier this month.

For the second year, Catherine Lynch, MD, associate vice president of women’s health, associate dean of faculty development, and professor of  obstetrics and gynecology at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, chaired the career day at the Girls Preparatory Academy Ferrell Middle School.  Modeled after the program Dr. Lynch spearheaded at Ferrell last year, Erich Wyckoff, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at USF Health, launched an inaugural career day at the Boys Preparatory Academy Franklin Middle School on Feb. 1.

“Our role is helping empower these girls and boys to realize their full potential,” Dr. Lynch said. “We say education is your ticket to do what you want to do.  Here are some different, rewarding careers that you may not have considered yet, and here’s what it takes to succeed in them.”

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Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor looks over her certificate of appreciation for participating in the career day at Ferrell, which was spearheaded by USF Health’s Dr. Catherine Lynch (right).

Over the two career days, more than 20 faculty members representing the USF Health colleges of medicine, nursing, public health and pharmacy joined other speakers from the community who have forged successful careers in health, law, education, finance and public service.

Both Ferrell and Franklin are sibling middle schools with a college-preparatory culture that nurtures character development, academic rigor and student achievement, said Carla Sparks, supervisor of Choice & Magnet Programs for Hillsborough County Public Schools.

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Barbara Morris, DHSc, ATC, director of the USF Sports Medicine and Athletic Related Trauma Institute, spoke to students in the band room.

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Students June Orand (left) and Emily Campos listen to a career day speaker.

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Angela Massey-Hill, PharmD (far right), chair of Pharmacotherapeutics and Clinical Research, with other members of the USF College of Pharmacy faculty, shared career stories.

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Dr. Lynch and Carla Sparks, supervisor of Choice and Magnet Programs for Hillsborough County Public Schools, chat with students and teachers in Ferrell’s Media Center.

Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications