Congratulations Class of 2007!

Congratulations to Class of 2007 graduates from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health! The Commencement Ceremony for medical students was held May 3rd at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Downtown Tampa, followed by a Graduation luncheon at the College of Public Health on Friday, and nursing and public health graduates participating in USF’s university-wide commencement ceremony Saturday, May 5th.

The College of Medicine’s Class of 2007 is comprised of 116 graduates. Jordan J. Cohen, MD, delivered the commencement address. Mr. Cohen is the Chairman of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and Past President of the Association of American Medical Colleges. This year’s recipients of the Dean’s Awards included Dr. Paul Wallach, the USF College of Medicine’s outgoing Vice Dean of Educational Affairs. Dr. Wallach has been named Dean of Touro University’s newly formed College of Medicine in New Jersey and leaves Florida later this month. Also honored with the 2007 Dean’s Award were Tampa Bay philanthropists and USF champions Les and Pam Muma – their gift of $6 million to USF Health last December will support neonatal research and neonatal care.

Among the highlights of the morning: faculty member Karl Muffly, PhD, received the rare honor of being selected by all three classes for awards- Class of 2007 honored him as their Basic Science faculty hooder, the Class of 2008 awarded Dr. Muffly the Outstanding Pre-Clinical Teaching Award, and the Class of 2009 awarded Dr. Muffly the Outstanding Freshman Instructor Award.

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For family and friends of the graduates, it was a morning filled with plenty of emotion. For mom’s like USF faculty member Kay Perrin in the college of public health, the commencement ceremony gave her the rare chance to salute her graduate right on stage! Perrin couldn’t resist planting a big ol’ kiss on son Scott D. Perrin on stage moments after being hooded. Her son Scott is graduating from the College of Medicine bound for Diagnostic Radiology. (Pictured above.)

Donna Petersen, Dean of the USF College of Public Health.

At the USF College of Public Health, more than 120 COPH students, faculty, staff and guests enjoyed a special graduation luncheon on May 4th. The college’s Class of 2007 consists of 1 PhD graduate, 45 graduates receiving Master of Public Health degrees; 6 graduates receiving a Master of Science in Public Health; 1 graduate receiving the joint degree of Master of Healthcare Administration(MHA) & MPH; and 5 graduates receiving MHA degrees. A total of 58 degrees were granted.

Students from the College of Public Health recited the International Declaration of Health Rights during their ceremony May 4th. From L to R: Dr. Suzanne Perry Casler, COPH Faculty; COPH graduates Harlee Bustamante, Jenny Blanco and Erika Arteaga Cruz; Erika’s mother; Rosa Avila, current COPH student; COPH graduate Suzanne Wright; COPH staff member Linda Rodriguez; and daughter of graduate Erika Arteaga Cruz.

Among the highlights of the ceremony: Dr. John LeSar, a professor in the COPH Department of Global Health, was awarded Outstanding Professor of 2007. Dr. LeSar was described by students as someone who challenges and motivates them to reach their full potential.


Dr. LeSar receives a congratulatory hug from Dean Petersen. Receiving the award was especially emotional for Dr. LeSar who is teaching his last semester at the USF COPH.

At the USF College of Nursing, the Class of 2007 graduating this spring consisted of nearly 150 students. They included: 3 PhD’s, 6 Doctorate of Nursing Practice, 24 Master’s and 114 Bachelor degrees. Students and loved ones were honored on Commencement Day, May 5th, during a special nursing ceremony at the USF College of Nursing building.

Patricia Burns, Dean of the College of Nursing, celebrated with Class of 2007 Nursing graduates during a special May 5th ceremony at the USF Health campus.

Congratulations to all graduates across the three colleges, from your USF Health family! Photo highlights below.