Tess Zambella is a leader. She is part of USF Student Government, served as the Sarasota-Manatee campus council’s Community Engagement Committee representative, and serves as the deputy financial officer for Sarasota-Manatee’s SG. She currently chairs the committee that approves SG budget allocation requests. She works with department heads and student leaders on that campus to review and vote on requests. On top of this, she works at a local accounting firm preparing taxes part-time.
Her SG experiences provided an opportunity for Zambella to serve as executive producer for TEDxUSFSM, which is a grassroots initiative created in the spirit of TED’s overall mission to discover “ideas worth spreading.” Zambella says leading TEDxUSFSM taught her how to plan and implement events more creatively than she can in budgetary roles.
When Hurricane Ian made landfall just an hour south of that campus in Ft. Myers, Zambella helped organize an emergency school cleanup to help area schools open sooner. She took part in USF’s Alternative Spring Break program, which sent a group of students to Ohio to help the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition. She has attended leadership retreats, such as the Emerging Leaders Retreat, Advanced Leaders Retreat and Boss Lady Retreat, taking lessons related to communication, diversity, and self-advocacy from each.
It is clear that she balances her community engagement work with her academics, evidenced by her 3.91-grade point average. Zambella is pursuing two degrees, one in accounting and one in business analytics and information systems. She is also working on a minor in economics.