Timothy Ernest, Marketing and Biomedical Sciences

Ernest, Timothy HeadshotTimothy Ernest is a servant leader who is an honor student in two colleges, a student researcher, a teaching assistant and an active community volunteer. He aspires to be a physician, so he became a Certified Nursing Assistant while pursuing a degree in biomedical sciences, conducting research and shadowing doctors. He believes that doctors must also understand business, so he decided to pursue a second degree in marketing.

As an undergraduate research assistant in the Natural Products Discovery Lab, Ernest worked for a team dedicated to lead generation for new medicines. He worked alongside faculty on several biomedical research projects. He has submitted a handful of papers for publication in the Permanente Journal.

Ernest also served as a research assistant at Shriners Hospital for Children, scientific research conducting scientific research related to quality improvement. He was able to present his findings related to service barriers to the hospital’s leadership team and will present his work with pediatric outpatient clinic appointments at the Academy of Health’s conference in June.

On campus, Ernest landed a spot on a student advisory board for College of Arts & Sciences, serves as a GloBull Ambassador and has served as the campus president for Relay for Life, a fundraising event that honors cancer survivors and provides an avenue to remember loved ones who died from cancer.

An Eagle Scout who calls community service “cherished opportunities,” Ernest has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, the Humane Society and Moffitt Cancer Center. The cancer center named him its Student Volunteer of the Year in 2019.  Ernest says that such service helped him see what effective, compassionate medicine looks like.

Maria Morales Ferrebus, Business Analytics and Information Systems

Morales, Maria HeadshotFor many, immigrating to the United States to start a new life and attend college in the United States is a remarkable dream. Maria Lorena Morales Ferrebus has made it a reality.

She had to learn English first. She did. Challenging herself through dual enrollment and AP courses during her senior year after moving to America just two years prior, she graduated high school with straight As. Proving dreams come true with discipline, courage and determination, Morales received several USF and community scholarships.

A resident assistant, Columbia Restaurant flamenco dancer, Corporate Mentor Program participant and climate activist, Morales will soon graduate with a degree in business analytics and information systems and a minor in environmental policy.

Morales’ devotion to the environment began after witnessing the effects of oil spills on her hometown, Maracaibo, Venezuela. At USF, she has found her passion and learned how she can make a difference advocating for the planet while encouraging people to take climate action. In the past year, she has traveled to Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee to lobby for environmental concerns. She has also attended conferences addressing sustainability, carbon pricing, climate action and climate policy. Notably, she has been an invited panel speaker for two conferences.

One of her proudest accomplishments at USF is her founding of the Climate Action Coalition, a student organization with 88 active members that has hosted lobbying trips, professional speaker series and environmental awareness campaigns. Ultimately, Morales’ objectives is the building of sustainable, resilient grids for communities with the capability of reducing CO2 emissions and increasing quality of life.

Cristiano Fernandes Filho, Finance

Fernandes Filho, Cristiano HeadshotA senior majoring in finance with a minor in economics, Cristiano Fernandes Filho is a tutor at the USF Academic Success Center, helping others succeed in often-dreaded economics, finance and statistics courses. He says the chance to help his peers was challenging and rewarding.

That experience gave Fernandes a taste of service and student involvement. He wanted more.

Fernandes joined the USF Brazilian Student Association aiming to connect with fellow Brazilian students and help others excel academically and grow professionally. In his first semester with the association, Fernandes helped plan and organize the first Brazil-Florida Student Conference, an event that joined students from Florida universities with guest speakers to discuss the importance of entrepreneurship, health, and professional development. His important contributions to the conference were such that, just one month later, Fernandes was elected the president of the largest Brazilian student organization in the country.

The following summer, Fernandes completed an internship with Citi on its financial planning and analysis team. This fast-paced, dynamic environment demanded critical thinking and excellent communication skills, qualities he perfected with the Brazilian Student Association. After his internship, Fernandes joined the USF Student Managed Investment Fund. As one of nine student analysts co-managing the fund, he has pitched stocks to Raymond James portfolio managers, USF leaders and board members from the USF Foundation. Fernandes has discovered a cornucopia of resources to give back to his community while developing academic and professional skills. He will graduate as one of a handful of students to receive the CFA Program Student Scholarship. Fernandes will sit for the CFA Level I exam in June.


Maria Ghulam, Master of Science in Entrepreneurship & Applied Technologies

Ghulam, Maria HeadshotWhen a high school teacher made fun of 15-year-old Maria Ghulam for not knowing what the word “essay” meant, Ghulam was angry. The Saudi Arabian native had just transferred from an all Arabic school to an international one where everything was taught in English and she hated being ridiculed. That experience, combined with her commitment to family and beyond-her-years maturity, led Ghulam to set some goals: to own property, to become an entrepreneur and to be part of the community.

At a young age, Ghulam wanted to be independent and though young, she loved the idea of owning real estate. To her, owning property meant a secure and stable future for herself and her family.  She is working toward that goal.

Ghulam has a wide variety of cultural experiences. She has studied abroad and learned several languages. While fluent in English and Arabic, Ghulam also has working proficiency in Korean and Japanese. She used this knowledge to give back to the community by teaching English to refugees and helping students in the Japanese Club practice their Japanese language skills. Ghulam has also helped with fundraisers and assisted a nonprofit organization, Tampa City Ballet, by coordinating events and upgrading its branding and social media strategies.

Ghulam graduated from USF with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Currently, she has a 4.0 GPA in pursuit of a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, which she plans to use one day in her own business. She works as a graduate assistant for marketing capstone courses, an outreach agent at the Florida Blue Health Care Innovation Competition and holds leadership roles with the USF Entrepreneurship Society and Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization.

Anuar Khamzin, MBA with a concentration in Supply Chain Management

Khamzin, Anuar HeadshotWhen INTO USF awarded Anuar Khamzin a full scholarship to USF, the expectation was that he would do well here. But no one expected that he would graduate as a King O’Neal Scholar, a designation given to those who earn a bachelor’s degree with a 4.0 GPA throughout the undergraduate career.

Now an MBA student who works full-time while attending classes at night, Khamzin aims to graduate from the MBA program with the same GPA.

While in school, he participated in three competitive corporate internships in four years. He served as a supply chain analyst at Weldon Industries, a management trainee at FedEx Freight and a global procurement market intelligence intern at Bristol-Myers Squibb. He mastered sought-after technical skills and software programs along the way, becoming proficient in Excel, SAP, Ariba, Sharepoint, Tableau and Watson. He has achieved Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, SCPro and CPSD certifications, too. After graduation, Bristol-Myers Squibb offered him a job as a global procurement specialist. Now he manages a six-person procure-to-pay operations team.

Khamzin also conducts different types of research related to global supply chain management and sustainability, which, he says, motivates him to wake up every morning.

As an undergraduate, Khamzin was president of the Kazakhstan Student Association, sponsorship chair of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. He improved his public speaking skills through Toastmasters. He played on USF’s club soccer team and participated in six consecutive Stampede of Service events.

A native of Kazakhstan, Khamzin speaks five languages: English, Russian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Uzbek. In his spare time, he enjoys putting his private pilot license to use.

Luiza Garcia de Azevedo Marques, Finance

Marques, Luiza HeadshotAt thirteen, Luiza Marques founded “H-eLO Unite to Transform,” a campaign to better the living conditions of homeless citizens in Sao Paulo, Brazil, aiming to brighten some of her fellow Brazilians’ futures. A strong secondary education was the key to her success and she was drawn to USF’s commitment to transforming students into engaged citizens leading enriched lives in dynamic global markets.

USF’s Brazilian Student Association provided growth opportunities. During her first semester, she became the vice president of the association, where she organized several events. She was selected to become a member of Global BRASA, an organization with more than 7,000 members and 90 association organizations worldwide. She organized U.S. national conferences hosting more than 500 students from every state and abroad and raised money for scholarships for low-income Brazilian students pursuing an education abroad.

Marques received the LAC Scholarship and the Scott Taylor Endowed Scholarship. Professors quickly noted her abilities. A business calculus professor encouraged her to become a peer leader and tutor. She accepted the challenge. Further, Marques is a Corporate Mentor Program participant, working with Danielle Tarasen of Raymond James Financial.

Fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English, Marques jumped at the opportunity to study abroad in China. Immersing herself in a new culture taught her how to be flexible and resilient in intercultural situations that she expects to face in her global business career.

Marques spent the summer of 2018 interning at BTG Pactual, the largest investment bank in Latin America. This summer, she will join A.B. InBev, the world’s largest brewer, as an intern.

Renata Gomes Martins, Global Business – Marketing

Gomes Martins, Renata HeadshotWhen Renata Gomes Martins spoke at the college’s scholarship luncheon, the Brazilian native described what it was like to head to America solo, in high school, in order to get an American education. Her story was not one of tragedy, loss or sadness. It was one of perseverance, hard work and determination.

Martins shared what it was like to navigate cumbersome processes to get the United States and what it was like to be a student-athlete at a boarding school while also mastering English and taking honors classes. She described what it was like to earn an honors degree and, then, later, an associate’s degree from Lake-Sumter State College, both thanks to athletics scholarships.

At USF, the global business major was awarded an academic scholarship and currently has a 4.0 GPA — earned while supporting herself financially. She worked part-time at the Small Business Development Center and, before that, as a sales intern at Florida Golf.

Thanks to scholarships, Martins has also been able to study abroad twice, travelling to Europe and to Africa. The experiences clearly align with her global view and spurred Martins to get involved in the Global Citizens Project, and she eventually served as president of the group. She later cofounded the Global Business Society and helped bring the inaugural World Without Waste Sustain-A-Bull Challenge, supported by Coca-Cola, to campus, giving students a chance to pitch sustainable business ideas to the firm’s leaders.

Martins also finished near the top in several professional development programs, such as Selling With the Bulls and the Elevator Pitch Competition. It is no surprise that she has received a full-time job offer from Cintas several months prior to graduation.