A faculty member called Paula Souto Stefani detail-oriented, intelligent and ambitious when writing a reference letter for the dual major with a 3.9 GPA. Those adjectives could describe many students, the faculty member said, but what stands out is that Souto Stefani approached her management professor asking to conduct a research inquiry that looked at workplace wellness. Souto Stefani completed a literature review and sought to understand the role of leadership support and its impact on COVID-19 front-line healthcare workers. After that initial research, she networked with other faculty in the USF Taneja College of Pharmacy and soon submitted a $25,000 grant to continue the research. While the grant was not warded, she will present her initial findings at USF’s Undergraduate Research Conference. She envisions sharing findings with hospital administrators, too, to guide their actions related to employee care and well-being.
That curiosity, combined with her helpful and driven attitude, is part of what makes this international student stand out. Souto Stefani is also a volunteer for Feeding Tampa Bay, where she serves as a student ambassador and she helps with hands-on packing/sorting. Souto Stefani volunteers for the Hillsborough Education Foundation, helping in a teachers-only. Her resume also includes service as a fundraiser for A Seed Changes the World Project in her native Brazil and as a baker whose bake sale raised money for Doctors Without Borders.
Souto Stefani is part of a trio of students who are working on a startup, ShopSmart, as part of the USF Student Incubator Program. They are developing an app to help support sustainable businesses while addressing health concerns