When 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.
When 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.
At 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.
When 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.
If there’s one word to describe Madison Masterson, it’s resilience. Masterson didn’t just attend college, she excelled.
She was dealt a difficult hand in life, having to leave her high school to attend hospital-homebound schooling due to epilepsy. Attending college was a far-away dream until she spent a summer studying at Harvard University. There, she decided, she would strive for higher education despite the challenges her disability would cause.
Masterson will graduate in May, with a degree in marketing as well as five internships and two jobs under her belt. She’s had experience ranging from management to social media to design, and she continues to push herself to learn more. She has already earned seven certifications and plans to expand her skill set even further before graduation.
Aside from her academics and professional development, she has also been heavily involved on campus as a leader in Student Government, Zeta Tau Alpha and Delta Sigma Pi. She also founded one of USF’s largest organizations, Bulls Against Bullying. During her four years as president, the organization grew from 10 members to several hundred. She took on numerous tasks, planning events, budgeting and marketing, all while working and being a student. It’s clear how passionate Masterson is about the topic of bullying by the fact that she is currently writing a research-based thesis on how marketing can be utilized to prevent and reduce bullying.
She is passionate about community service, too. She has volunteered for five different non-profit organizations and Masterson dreams of opening her own non-profit in the future, aiming to increase awareness of the impact of bullying and change community behaviors.
Born into a family of teachers, Ayse Ongan always knew she wanted to continue the family tradition. Raised in Turkey and fluent in Turkish and English, Ongan credits her father for her academic ambition. She will graduate this summer with a 3.93 grade point average.
On campus, Ongan is in the Judy Genshaft Honors College and serves on the Honors College Student Council. She is also on the volunteer committee, which allows her to pursue her love for event planning and working with others. Ongan has planned events with Relay for Life, Making Strides for Breast Cancer and the American Cancer Society. Further, she is a philanthropy and fundraising committee member in Phi Chi Theta, a professional business fraternity. Her experience on the Honors College Student Council and in Phi Chi Theta have allowed her to develop and practice the professional leadership skills needed to succeed in the industry while meeting others who are interested in a future career in finance. Ongan is also active in the Women in Business Society and the Student Finance Association.
While serving in several organizations, Ongan finds time to fuel her passion for teaching as she tutors peers in algebra, economics and statistics.
In 2019, Ongan returned to Turkey, the country she left as a young girl, as a financial professional. She interned at Ernst & Young and helped audit the factoring department of a large private Turkish bank while translating financial tables.
This summer, Ongan will begin the master’s degree program in finance at Vanderbilt University. Ultimately, she aspires to become a professor, following her father’s footsteps in sharing her knowledge with others and helping them learn.
A native of El Salvador, Parada graduated with an undergraduate business degree in 2017, cum laude, earning these honors while racking up an impressive list of extracurricular activities. Now Parada aims to earn a second USF degree — an MBA, with honors.
When Parada first arrived at USF, he joined the Latin American Student Association but found it to be somewhat insular. It did not collaborate with other multicultural organizations. Parada thought the organization was missing opportunities. A firm believer in inclusion, Parada proposed opportunities for several multicultural clubs to collaborate. He coordinated the inaugural Noche Latina during Hispanic Heritage Month and worked with other organizations to create the Mr. & Ms. Latinx contest. Parada went on to become president of LASA and soon the group became a de facto umbrella organization for several multicultural clubs. Under his leadership, the association received USF’s Outstanding Organizational Collaboration Award.
Parada served as a student assistant for USF’s Center for Leadership Civic Engagement and was named 2018 Student Assistant of the Year. He helped the Association of Future Professionals in Business Management grow by 100 members. And he is in his second term as president of LASA.
Outside of campus, Parada took on a sales job at American Freight/Sears Outlet. Parada was recognized as “Best of Outlet” for three consecutive months as he brought in 600 new leasing accounts. He briefly served as acting manager, filling in for a to-be-hired leadership post. He now works as a supervisor there, working full-time while pursuing the MBA in the evenings.
Raj Patel lives in two worlds: business and medicine. At USF, Patel has risen to leadership roles in just about everything he undertakes.
As an undergraduate, Patel served as a two-term senator of the College of Arts and Sciences, representing more than 17,000 students. He was later elected as president of the Students of India Association, USF’s largest multicultural organization. Through SIA, Patel worked closely with USF World to provide airport pickups and temporary housing for international students.
Patel has helped start many successful student organizations and was inducted into the CAS Dean’s Student Leadership Society. By serving in some of the most influential roles at USF, Patel has advocated for a better student life by addressing student needs while bridging the gap between students and administration. In 2018, Patel graduated summa cum laude from USF with a bachelor’s in biomedical sciences and was lauded at graduation by then-USF President Judy Genshaft.
But he didn’t stop there.
Patel returned to USF to pursue an MBA in Health Care Management, where he is now in his final semester. He continues to develop future leaders as president of The Order of the Golden Brahman, an exclusive organization uniting campus leaders to serve the USF community for a lifetime. Patel has also been passionately involved with clinical and biomedical engineering research. He is a published author in peer-reviewed journals and has presented at local, regional, and national conferences. In 2019, he received The Florida High Tech Corridor Student Research Award.
Equipped with strong business acumen and a heart to serve, he begins medical school this summer. He aims to become a physician-leader.
Courtney Powers is a triple-threat: smart, kind and industrious. And she is one of three kids from a family that bleeds green and gold. So much so, in fact, that the USF Alumni Association named them “Family of the Year” in 2018.
She earned her undergraduate degree in management with honors. And she currently has a 4.0 GPA in the MBA program, earning these grades while working full-time and volunteering in the community.
Powers has a servant’s heart and can often be found helping out behind the scenes at events on campus, such as the Young University Summit, an Open House for potential freshmen and the USF Presidential Investiture Reception. At each of these events, she served as an informal ambassador for the college. She also helps tutor student-athletes.
At PricewaterhouseCoopers, Powers rose from an intern to a full-time associate on the Big Four firm’s Idea2Innovation team. Due to her strong critical thinking skills and willingness to learn, Powers was able to travel to Boston to represent her team in conducting usability testing for an internal tool that would be rolled out to 50,000 employees nationwide. Though it was new to her, Powers quickly picked up the skills necessary for user interface and user experience design.
PwC leaders know how to spot talent and Powers was recently chosen to be a member of an enablement team which is a cross-functional team focused on tackling and delivering on Controller Operations opportunities through automation. She was also tasked with coordinating and planning the PwC stage at the Synapse Summit in Tampa.
As a second-semester junior, Tyler Schulman has found out how to become a big fish in a large pond. Double majoring in finance with a concentration in asset management and personal financial planning, Schulman has maintained a 3.92 GPA while accomplishing many of the goals he set for himself as a freshman.
However, his academic dedication surpasses his GPA.
Schulman is the founding president of the Zeta Rho chapter of Phi Chi Theta at USF, an organization that has grown to over 60 members and has remained successful in multiple professional development and philanthropic efforts since September 2018. In their first year, the chapter raised more than $2,000 for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life while coordinating development workshops and arranging corporate visits to Raymond James and Tech Data. Schulman has also volunteered at Metropolitan Ministries, Feeding Tampa Bay and Habitat for Humanity with the Zeta Rho chapter.
On campus, Schulman is a student in the Judy Genshaft Honors College and the Business Honors Program. In 2019, he was recognized as the Business Honors Ethical Scholars Award recipient, an award sponsored by the dean and awarded to one exceptional business honors student annually. This award is one of the most prestigious awards for business honors students, recognizing academic excellence, leadership, ethical accomplishments and societal achievements.
Professionally, Schulman has completed two internships at well-respected financial service firms, Morgan Stanley and Raymond James Financial. He has landed a third internship at JPMorgan Chase and will work as a wealth management analyst in its private banking sector this summer. After graduation, Schulman plans to obtain both his CFA and CFP designations while pursuing a career in wealth management.
Passionate for ensuring universal success, business honors student Jessica Senatus is determined to consistently put her best foot forward and blaze trails for others. One of the first women in her family to attend college, Senatus has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her undergraduate career thus far and she aims to have the same when she graduates in 2021. Senatus competed in USF’s annual Elevator Competition as a freshman and earned second place out of 200 students.
She is a USF Student Government senator for the Muma College of Business, serving the student body by working on the Senate Policy Committee, Activity and Service Fee Recommendation Committee, Finance Committee and the Grants Committee. She has authored memorials commemorating the lives of USF students to be presented before their families and encourages students to continue paying their service forward to the USF community. Through her senate work, Senatus has learned the importance of working with others — despite not seeing eye-to-eye on issues — the value of fairness and impartiality and the joy of supporting the values she holds close to her heart.
A resident of the invitation-only Bulls Business Community and part of the Business Honors Program, Senatus has worked on service projects for Habitat for Humanity. As a child, Habitat for Humanity extended its helping hand to her own family and Senatus was honored to repay them by helping create welcome home gifts for families to receive during their home dedications. This serves as a reminder of how much Habitat for Humanity’s work had radically transformed her own life.
Even though she won’t earn her bachelor’s degree until 2022, Salvadoran student Adriana Steiner has already done more than many graduate students.
Pursuing a major in global business and a certificate in visualization and design, Steiner has been a three-time dean’s list recipient and was granted the Burman Family Scholarship from the Muma College of Business during the 2019-20 academic year.
Despite the time it takes to achieve academic excellence, she had an itch to give back. She began working as an involvement consultant at the Center for Student Involvement and was quickly promoted. Today, she serves as vice president of involvement for the Campus Activities Board. These positions have given her the chance to provide meaningful and transformational experiences for USF students while leading event planners, staff members and volunteers. She is also the professional development chair for the National Scholars Collegiate Society, responsible for leading students towards realizing and achieving their career goals. Steiner develops workshops, creates content for social media and executes professional development activities for members. In the business school, she is a member of the Women in Business and Society, an organization that has allowed her to enhance business skills, learn from guest speakers and develop her professional network.
Next year, Steiner will participate in a summer study abroad program. This opportunity will allow her to pursue career development and cultural growth along with gaining experience in the professional world. She’s looking forward to expanding her knowledge, developing as an individual and acquiring vast cultural insights.
Few students understand perseverance like Taylor Torres. Torres’ grandparents, both Cuban immigrants, dreamed of seeing their granddaughter become the first person in the family to earn a college degree. Torres worked diligently and earned full college scholarships. She lost both grandparents shortly before she headed to college but she made a commitment to herself that she wouldn’t stop working toward their shared goal.
Just a few weeks into her studies, Torres learned her father was ill. His health and time at home with family became her top priority. She maintained involvement in school and continued excelling in coursework. As her father recovered and as she headed into her first finals week, she learned of a dear friend’s sucicide.
Despite the stress, the self-described “fearlessly unstoppable” student persevered. She remained focused on her big picture goal,which is to land a job where such drive and determination is required. That’s why she chose to major in marketing and sales. She is an excellent student, evidenced by her 3.96 GPA. And she is a highly engaged campus leader. She has served in leadership roles for the USF Professional Sales Club; she is now the club’s vice president. She participated in the Selling with the Bulls competition, taking first place in two segments, second in another and landing near the top in two additional categories. Torres was the first USF student to make it to the semi-finals at the Northeastern Intercollegiate Sales Competition. Beyond campus, Torres served as a sales intern at Cintas Corporation, worked as a marketing coordinator for a local dance school, handled operations tasks at an insurance company and participated in Domino’s Australia’s international internship program.
Transfer student Nikki Weinkauf wasted no time getting involved at USF. She joined Delta Sigma Pi and soon found herself serving as vice president of operations for the business fraternity. She enrolled in the GloBull Ambassador program and was the recipient of USF’s Global Citizens Award. She connected with the Peace Corps and recently finished its Prep Certification program.
Weinkauf also launched the Golden Bulls Dance Team and now oversees two dance teams while handling the group’s finances and its competition schedule. USF recently won first place at the regional level of the National Dance Alliance competition.
Outside of campus, Weinkauf volunteers 16 hours a week at Big Cat Rescue, serving as “keeper” at the animal sanctuary. She also spends every Monday at Ronald McDonald House, working as a development intern.
Weinkauf traveled to the Dominican Republic during a break from classes and volunteered at an orphanage where some of her extended family works. When a student team from the USF Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement headed to Puerto Rico, Weinkauf joined in and worked at a local coffee farm and helped clear landsides in the El Yunque rainforest. She received the President’s Volunteer Award as a result of service while studying abroad.
While she shares her time freely, she maintains a 3.93 GPA while working on professional development. She was a purchasing intern at Aptar, an operations management intern at the Yuengling Center, which led to a guest services supervisor job, and a service and technology strategy intern at New York Life Insurance, where she supported strategic communications and helped with change management projects.
Honduran native Jacobo Zacapa never felt the urge to emigrate. However, in 2016, he realized his limited ability to advance academically in his homeland. Zacapa made the decision to move to the United States to complete his college career.
At USF, Zacapa was awarded the USF International Scholarship due to his academic merit and has renewed the scholarship yearly by meeting academic performance requirements. This year, he received the Raymond James Employee Endowed Scholarship in Business. Zacapa thought he had reached his academic pinnacle. To his surprise, he was later invited to join Beta Gamma Sigma, an exclusive invitation offered only to the top ten percent of the graduating class.
A first-generation college student, Zacapa joined the Corporate Mentor Program, which has helped him develop professionally, offering interviewing skills and resume critiques as well as corporate tours and networking events.
On campus, Zacapa has worked alongside the dean and faculty of the Muma College of Business as a front desk and financial management student assistant. He felt he could do more. In 2018 and 2019, Zacapa returned to Honduras to work as an administrative assistant at INVERCOSA, SA de CV, a grocery and candy import firm. In 2019, he interned at Dinant Corporation, one of the largest Honduran manufacturing companies. With Dinant, Zacapa had the opportunity to work as a cost analyst intern, trusted with reconciling more than $300,000 worth of materials used per day.
Zacapa remains humble through volunteerism. The seven-time dean’s list scholar participates in USF’s Stampede of Service and is currently volunteering at Junior Achievement. Despite his accomplishments, he believes there is nothing more rewarding than making people smile.
Nandini Agarwal is a year away from graduation and already she is making her mark not only here at USF, but around the world. She has worked to better the lives of women in her native country, India. As a freshman, she took on an undergraduate research project titled “Impediments to Indian Women’s Financial Literacy and Participation.” She traveled to India where she interned at the Center for Social Research, a women’s rights organization, in the summer.
Though she’s not yet 20 years old, Agarwal is getting ready to graduate in August 2020. She remembers being just 4 when her mother told her the moon had no light of its own, but that it was the sun that gave light to the moon. She has likened herself and USF to that analogy. USF is the sun, and she is the moon that reflects the light imbibed here.
She is a USF Provost Scholar and Honors College student who is a candidate for a dual degree in accounting and finance. She also is the recipient of the coveted 2018 Golden Bull Award and the Genshaft/Greenbaum International Honors Study Scholarship. She traveled to London with the USF in London program where she was awarded the Greatest Academic Achievement.
She came to the United States when she was 15 and has blossomed in her college career. She serves on the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy Student Advisory Board and is the vice president of the Business Honors Service Association. This summer, she will be interning with Goldman Sachs in New York City.
Sofia Tejera Moran’s life over the past four years has been a period of personal growth and enlightenment. Coming from her home country of Venezuela, she has blossomed into a confident, ambitious young woman who is ready to make her mark in whatever path she chooses. She has interned overseas and here, mastered the tools of marketing, including software and social media, and is ready for the next chapter in her life to open up.
Tejera Moran is set to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in marketing and business administration. She has maintained a grade-point average of 3.94 and has been named to the Dean’s List on multiple occasions. She has taken part in the Marketing Mentorship Program and was the recipient of the Global Citizens Scholarship in 2016, which allowed her to travel to Florence, Italy, to study for a semester as part of the study-abroad program.
She currently is an intern with the Muma College of Business Communications and Marketing Department, where she assists in graphic design, writing and event planning. She also served as an intern for Russel Reynolds Associates in Zurich, Switzerland, a personnel-search company that has offices around the world. There, she helped research candidates for different companies and prepare client presentations.
She currently is the marketing director for the Plan Pais Conference, an annual event that is held in different cities (this year in Tampa) to draw awareness to the social, political and economic upheaval in Venezuela. In that role, Tejera Moran is charged with creating a marketing plan with promotional strategies to encourage participation in the conference, expected to draw 300 attendees.
Frances Rice’s athletic career has held many lessons for her academic life and for what lies beyond after graduation. She has learned teamwork and how to be a leader; that perseverance and comradery can be just as important as personal achievement. She is a scholarship pole vaulter and high jumper for the USF track and field team who practices up to 20 hours a week when not competing at meets and spends 15 hours a week in the classroom.
Rice is set to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in marketing and a minor in mass communications. She has participated in the Marketing Mentor Program and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team, the National Society of Leadership and Success, the USF Athletics Department Honor Roll and has been named to the Dean’s List on several occasions.
She worked as an intern with Macy’s Credit and Customer Service Center where she created reports for software program usage, presented report findings to directors and managers and prepared training materials for new software launches. She also interned with Bell Athletics where she served as a camp counselor at the elite pole vaulting training facility in Arkansas. There, she oversaw 15 campers training to be college athletes.
Off campus, Rice has volunteered at Paralympic Sports of Tampa Bay, interacting with children of all ages. She also traveled to Haiti twice on mission trips to small villages of Duverger and Danndan, working at Haiti180’s mission school, medical clinic, elderly home and orphanage and delivering much needed supplies to villagers.
Karina Rao has risen to leadership roles in just about everything she undertakes. And now, she is poised to enter the real world of business to do the same thing. She already has been accepted into a full-time position with Raymond James Financial as part of the investment giant’s Accelerated Development Program in the marketing department.
Rao is set to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in international business. She has maintained a 4.0 grade-point average both overall and in her major. At the end of her freshman year, she took a position in the USF Honors College as a marketing student assistant. She continues to work there now as a communications and marketing intern. She edits the weekly newsletter, directs, edits and produces video productions to promote faculty, international trips and other Honors College initiatives; updates the college’s website, does interviews, writes stories and shoots photographs for the annual report.
She also served as a marketing development intern at Raymond James Financial last year, a position that found her tracking consumer behavior, assessing diversity in the company and its competitors’ marketing materials and managing projects designed to communicate and collaborate with clients. She also wrote bios of associates who were recipients of the Award of Service Excellence. She currently serves as the company’s campus recruiter.
She entered USF with the intent of honing her leadership skills and making meaningful connections and she has accomplished these goals and much more. She helped create the Global Citizens Club and became its marketing coordinator. She served as public relations coordinator for the Asian Students in America club and was the vice president of memberships for Toastmasters.
Shaquille Kent is ready to head into his future. He already has a job upon graduation at Deloitte, a major accounting and consulting firm, but he also hopes to continue giving back to the community by providing access to education through a scholarship that will provide financial support along with mentorship opportunities to help students realize their dreams just as he did.
He is set to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in marketing with a concentration in supply chain management. He is minoring in business analytics and information systems. He has accomplished so much while here at USF.
He was elected USF student body vice president in 2017, helping shape the university’s policies as they relate to the student body over the past two years. As vice president, he oversees Bulls Radio, Computer Services and the Safe Team. He also served as liaison between the USF Alumni Association and the student body and was the sole student representative on the USF presidential search committee for the university’s seventh president to replace Judy Genshaft. Along the way, he was chosen to be a USF student ambassador, a role in which he helped host events for the university and participated in community service programs.
Kent was chosen as a member of the Order of the Golden Brahman and served as a resident assistant. He participated in the Corporate Mentor Program and was a member of the Council for Supply Chain Management Professionals. He also is a world-class paddler, having represented Trinidad and Tobago in several international Dragon Boat competitions, winning a silver medal in Hungary in 2013 and in the world championships in Tampa in 2011.
Julianne Woodard experienced a turning point in her sophomore year here at USF when she headed to San Francisco to be a customer finance intern with Genentech, a biopharma company. She was one of 400 interns chosen from a field of 30,000 and was one of the few selected from Florida. Her ability to quickly adapt helped her navigate the demanding work ahead of her and she returned to the classroom re-invigorated and eager to learn more.
Woodard is set to graduate in May 2020 with a degree in finance with a concentration in corporate finance. She is minoring in international studies. She has maintained a grade point average of 3.83 and is enrolled in the business honors program and is the recipient of the USF Scholars Award, the USF Foundations Award and the Honors Scholarship. She is enrolled in the Business Honors Program.
She also has worked for New Student Connections as a peer advisor leader providing students with a safe space to discuss personal and adjustment issues and has worked as a marketing intern for the USF Athletics Department, where she assists in implementing marketing strategies to the student body through social media and other platforms. She also is a challenge-course facilitator for USF Outdoor Recreation. There, she creates innovative team building programs for groups ranging from middle school students to executives.
She has volunteered for Bulls Service Break, Camp Kesem as an outreach coordinator and is a USF Ambassador, fostering relationships between the student body and alumni. Additionally, she served as a lead mentor with the Bulls Business Community, helping manage the living/learning community of 25 first-year and 10 second-year students.
Samantha Whyte lives in two worlds: the law and accounting. She began her academic career as a criminology major and soon realized her love of the law. But a crossroads loomed ahead. After taking some accounting courses, she became conflicted. But now, she’s getting ready to graduate in May 2020 with dual degrees: criminology and accounting.
Maintaining a 3.93 grade-point average while taking a diverse and full course load would seem to be enough. But in her first year at USF, she was elected senator in student government and went on to be re-elected two more times. As part of her senatorial duties, she was appointed to the Senate Executive Board as vice chair of the ethics committee. That involved looking into matters involving student activities and services fees, and cases of misconduct.
She also served on the grants committee, the policy committee and relations committee. As part of her work on the grants committee, she received the Legislative Legend Award, given to a senator who has exceeded the job description by creating and executing initiatives.
Whyte is president of the Bulls Bar Association, an organization she has been a member of for two years; secretary of the USF Criminology Club and member of the Chi-Omega fraternity, the Accounting Society as well as serving as an Honors College orientation mentor.
Outside of her responsibilities on campus, she has volunteered at Fraud Doctor as a research assistant and volunteered with animals at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. She also has participated in the annual Stampede of Service.
Sharleen Kiana So’s path through her academic career is remarkable. She and her family came here from the Philippines in 2015 and she began taking classes online only. That’s because she was working three jobs – a crew member at McDonalds, a cashier at Publix and later, a part-time teller at J.P. Morgan and Chase Bank – to make ends meet.
It wasn’t until 2018 that she had to finally come to campus to take classes face-to-face with professors and classmates. And that experience opened her eyes to the full university experience. Organizations she had no idea existed were there to join, mentors helped students, scholarships were available and studying abroad was a reality. And she took full advantage. She received scholarships that allowed her to travel to Florence, Italy, in the summer of 2018 and she has never looked back.
She now is getting ready to graduate in December 2019 with a degree in accounting with an overall 4.0 grade-point average. She is a member of the Accounting Society at USF, the Student Investment Club, the USF Chinese Students Association and she is a USF GloBull Ambassador. She speaks five languages, including Filipino, Mandarin, Hokkien, and has received a certificate for business skills and practices from Sandler Training.
This summer, she will join Carr, Riggs and Ingram, an accounting firm, as an audit intern.
Off campus, she has helped raise funds for a handful of charities, including the March of Dimes, Special Olympics and Food for Sharing.
Mariam Raza’s grandfather owned a business in Pakistan and that inspired her to study finance, but once she began taking courses at USF, the world opened up for her, offering so much more to enrich her life. She was elected senator by Muma College of Business students last year and continues in her role of representation in student government by participating in internal committees and helping to allocate the money towards student organizations and addressing student concerns.
Raza is expected to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in finance and a minor in business analytics and information systems. She is part of the Provost’s Scholars Program and the Business Honors Program and the USF Honors College and is researching and writing her thesis: “The Current and Future Implications of Money Laundering on the Individual and the Government.” Her thesis advisor said she is the first student he has worked with who is working toward getting the article published.
Raza has interned with Citi where she reviewed and assessed the risks of third-party on-boarding processes and she served as an accounting clerk at the Muma College of Business, reconciling payroll accounts and budgets. She was also the environmental awareness and animal welfare chair for Service Fellows in the Center of Leadership and Civic Engagement. In this role, Raza led volunteer trips twice a month to encourage service within the community. She also mentored freshmen as part of the Bulls Business Community and is the community outreach chair of USF’s BuildOn program.
Off-campus, Raza volunteered as an assistant with the Pasco County Library, served as a summer science camp counselor with the Museum of Science and Industry and, with Radiant Hands, distributed donations to Syrian refugees.
Thomas McLaughlin II, with a year to go before he graduates, already has put on full display his leadership capabilities. From his involvement with the USF Lecture Series, to his work with the USF Center for Student Involvement, along with being named to the Dean’s List every semester since he came here, McLaughlin has proven his commitment to academic achievement and community enrichment.
McLaughlin is set to graduate in May 2020 with a degree in business analytics and information systems and a minor in finance. He previously served as the vice president of marketing for the Phi Chi Theta business fraternity, of which he is a founding member. He also helped the Sun Blaze Elementary Parent-Teacher Association in Orlando develop a website and member database.
He previously served as executive director of the University Lecture Series whose guests have included Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, Winston Duke, from “Black Panther,” and “Me Too” movement founder Tarana Burke. In this role, he allocates a budget of $200,000 plus speaker budgets for the series. He served as a mentor with the Bulls Business Community, assisting freshmen as they adjust to university life.
As a volunteer, McLaughlin has been involved with the Relay for Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, and worked with 100 students to host an overnight fundraising event at an Orlando high school. In 2015, he traveled to Haiti, where he planted trees in Haitian villages as part of the Mission of Hope project, as well as tutoring children in a Haitian primary school.
Brittany Junkins is heavily involved in off-campus activities. She has cleaned enclosures at the Tampa Big Cat rescue, cooked and served dinners to people affected by cancer at Hope Lodge, helped feed the homeless at Metropolitan Ministries and served breakfast to residents of the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital. Through all of that, she has maintained her self-imposed, high-achieving academic goals.
Junkins is set to graduate in May 2021 and has maintained a grade-point average of 3.97 in her dual-degree program that will award her degrees in advertising and business. She is enrolled in the Zimmerman Advertising Program and has been a member of the Bulls Business Community and the Bulls Business Network as well as the USF Honors College. She also serves as co-chair of the Honors College Student Council Marketing Committee.
She has served as a graphic design intern since August 2018 for the College of the Arts and is a freelance writer for OneClass Blog. She also was a marketing intern for the USF Student Affairs and Success Office, where she executed creative marketing approaches, coordinated marketing research and assisted with project management.
As part of the Bulls Business Community and the ZAP program, she has participated in countless opportunities including company tours, networking chances with influential professionals and even a study-abroad opportunity in Europe. In the BBC, she became a mentor for students in that program and ZAP, where she not only is a role model but also a leader students can turn to and depend on to help them with obstacles they may face in class, elsewhere on campus or in their everyday lives.
Frank Harris’ transition from college student to equity research associate will be seamless. Already, he has accepted a job right after graduation at Raymond James Financial, covering 20-25 stocks in a sector and using his skills to advise clients, including some hedge fund managers. It’s not new to him, as he served as a corporate banking intern prior to becoming equity research intern this spring and twice was sent to New York City to meet with clients and management teams.
Harris is set to graduate in May 2019, majoring in finance with a concentration in asset management and a minor in economics. He is one of a small group of students chosen to manage the Student Managed Investment Fund, a portfolio valued at $1 million. The students make up a class that studies investments and pitches opportunities to a panel of working investment professionals and portfolio managers.
He has been named to the Dean’s List multiple times and is registered as a June 2019 Level 1 CFA Candidate. Harris also serves as executive chairman of the Student Investment Club and played a significant role in its early growth. He has given weekly seminars, teaching club members about basic/advanced topics of investing and how they can begin investing for their future.
In addition to leading seminars, speaking to classes, assisting students in resume critiques and job searches, participating in recruiting events and being involved in creating a bi-weekly newsletter for finance students in the club, Harris has found time to be a USF campus ambassador for Raymond James. In this role, he assists in recruitment efforts for the investment corporation in search of a new generation of talented employees.
Maria Garzon Rincon has immersed herself in the USF experience since coming here four years ago. She enrolled in the Corporate Mentor Program, tutored students and participated in the study abroad opportunities in London. She is comfortable adapting to different business environments and is adept at sharing ideas with others.
She graduates in May 2019 with a dual degree in finance and management. In July, she embarks on her career, having landed a position as an analyst with Goldman Sachs in Salt Lake City. It was her experience there as a summer analyst last year that paved the way. During that stint, she participated in the pilot rotation program and worked on various teams under trade and transaction management.
On campus, she continues to be a business calculus tutor in the Academic Success Center and teaches the ins and outs of calculus to 15 students at a time in a group setting and she serves as a peer leader for business calculus in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. She is enrolled in the USF Honors College and is a member of the Latin American Student Association, the University Student Tutor Association, Venezuelan Student Alliance and is a volunteer for Autism Shifts.
She also worked as a student leader for INTO USF, welcoming international students during orientation week and helping them adapt to the American educational system and culture. A native of Colombia, Garzon Rincon was promoted to executive student leader at INTO USF and was given the responsibility of mentoring, leading and supporting her coworkers. She speaks Spanish, her native language, and is fluent in English.
Sonia Duraimurugan wouldn’t exactly call herself a scholar before she came to USF as a freshman in 2016. But since coming here, she has set her mind to the task and has excelled in just about every way. She took full advantage of her education here and increased her involvement in leadership opportunities both on and off campus. She has gained skills such as public speaking, which she never thought she possessed before coming here.
She is set to graduate in May 2020 with a degree in marketing. She has maintained a 3.97 grade-point average and currently serves as executive vice president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, where she coordinates the annual induction ceremony. At the society, she also trains officers on how to perform their duties and coordinates with other organizations to host events on campus. In 2017-18, she was vice president of publications for the society, assisted in increasing campus engagement through the outreach program and strengthened member involvement via social media platforms.
Duraimurugan is vice president of the USF Marketing Association, leading a group of 15 members in creating policies and guidelines, making community connections with local firms through networking and resolving issues as they may arise within the association. She continues to serve a marketing intern for Web Direct Brands.
She placed first in the 2017 Elevator Pitch Competition at the American Marketing Regional Conference and has served as a mentor for Liberty Middle School students, all while being named to the Dean’s List throughout her time at USF.
Emmanuel Fernando Martes’ was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia and moved to the United States when he was 17 years old in order to pursue his dream to study at USF. He has interned with nonprofits and for-profit companies, excelled in his classwork, and is on track to graduate in just three years with a GPA of 3.87. He was elected as one of the seats for the USF legislative branch in student government where he writes resolutions and allocates funds to enhance the USF experience for all students.
Emmanuel graduates in May 2019 with a degree in finance. He has participated in in the Student Managed Investment Fund at USFSP in which he developed a stock report and pitched it to various professionals. He is also a part of the board members for the Financial Planning Association and is a member of the Student Investment Club, the Corporate Mentor Program and others, including the Phi Eta Sigma and the Phi Kappa Phi honor societies.
He also served as a mentor for the Academic, Cultural and Engagement Program at USF, where he guided more than 100 students transitioning into the college experience.
He currently is a financial planning trainee/intern at AXA Financial Advisors in Tampa where he analyzes and creates financial plan reports and analyzes risks in portfolios. In the past, he completed an internship with the Corporation to Develop Communities in Tampa, an organization that oversees real estate projects for low-income residents in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
But it was his experience at AXA Financial Advisors that sparked his interest to pursue a career in financial planning after graduation.
Gregory Klug began his college career studying mechanical engineering at the University of Florida, but left all that behind to embark on an academic career that centered on investments and portfolios at USF. He made the right choice. Inspired by the stories of 25 under 25 honorees two years ago, he set his sights on one day being among this group. His work has paid off.
Klug is set to graduate in May 2020 with a degree in finance, excelling in some of the more difficult courses in the finance department, including financial statement analysis, principles of investments and financial accounting.
He will intern this summer at J.P. Morgan as an analyst and has previously interned at Foresters Financial in the financial services department. In 2017, he started his own business, Carstats4u, an online service that provides car enthusiasts with statistics on more than 200 vehicles. As founder, he was responsible for budgeting for the website that has expanded onto social media sites.
He credits his leadership abilities to coaching soccer at his alma mater, the Carrollwood Day School, where he coached a team of 16 players on the junior varsity squad and assisted the varsity head coach. The experience taught him how to manage time and personnel, leading players through daily drills and game strategy.
Earlier this year, he served as an employer host with the USF Career Services’ Accounting Fair and Bulls Connect Career Fair and will continue as a data and economics intern this semester. He also traveled to the Dominican Republic as a teenager volunteering to teach English to elementary school-age children.
Jessica Kelso’s short three-year college career has provided her with the inspiration, knowledge, and skills she will need to successfully enter the professional business world. Kelso spent the summer of 2017 studying at the University College of London Birkbeck. She also maintained several leadership roles within Zeta Tau Alpha, the Student Finance Association, and the Bulls Business Community.
Majoring in finance, she is set to graduate in May 2019 with recognition as a high-achieving member of the Business Honors Program, Honors College, and Provost Scholars Program. Kelso is graduating in the top 10% of all undergraduate and graduate students at USF, having been inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society.
As part of the USF-Tampa team, Kelso was recently awarded first place at the CFA Ethics Invitational hosted by the CFA Society of Tampa Bay. Additionally, she will present her thesis to the research community at the USF Undergraduate Research Conference in early April.
Kelso’s admission into the Applied Securities Analysis course, an elite program in which only a handful of high-achieving finance students are enrolled, has strengthened her passion for investments. As a student equity research analyst in the Student Managed Investment Fund, Kelso analyzes undervalued equities, presents her stock recommendations to a board of industry professionals, and monitors the fund’s portfolio of $1 million.
During her senior year, Kelso interned at Jaffe Tilchin Wealth Management, where she will begin her professional career upon graduation.
Marina Jankovic’s life has been shaped by advice that her mother gave her when she was just 5 years old. Her family had just emigrated from ex-Yugoslavia and was struggling in their new U.S. home. Her mom said: “The only way you can afford to go to college and have a successful life is if you work harder than everyone else.”
Jankovic took that advice and practiced that mantra through every facet of her life and academic career. She is set to graduate in May 2019, with a dual degree in marketing and mass communications. She maintains a grade-point average of 3.95 and has participated in the Corporate Mentor Program, the Marketing Mentor Program and the USF Honors College. She is a USF Presidential Scholar, a Florida Academic Scholar and a USF Honors Scholar.
Jankovic, for the past three years, has served as marketing coordinator and graphic designer for the USF Marshall Student Center where she designed the 10th anniversary art exhibition and the weekly Takeover Tuesday social media campaign. At one point two years ago, when the marketing manager went on leave, Jankovic took over as interim marketing manager, supervising a marketing team and supporting clients. Jankovic interned at AAA for 11 months, during which she planned and launched multiple marketing plans. She also interned at Ashley Furniture.
She is fluent in Croatian, Bosnian and English and is verbally fluent in Serbian.
Sarah Gimbel is a year from graduating, but she’s already giving back to the USF community. Having received a scholarship at a time of personal crisis that allowed her to start and continue her classes at USF, she has established the Howard Gimbel Memorial Foundation in her father’s name and has raised $3,600 in scholarship money for deserving students of Riverview High School, her alma mater, in 2017.
She plans to do the same this year and expand scholarship opportunities for children of Tampa police officers planning to attend college. Her father, a 20-year veteran of the Tampa Police Department, was killed in a motorcycle accident weeks before she was to start her freshman year at USF.
As president of the foundation, she plans charity events, including an annual sport-clay shooting event; designs all the marketing materials, prepares the annual budget and financials for tax returns. She handles all reporting to be compliant with taxing agencies.
She is set to graduate in May 2020 with a degree in marketing with a concentration in sales and a minor in entrepreneurship and has been on the Dean’s List in the fall of 2017 and spring of 2018. She serves as the chief marketing officer for the USF Professional Sales Club and placed third overall out of 64 students in the recent Selling with the Bulls Intercollegiate Sales Competition. She also has taken on the responsibility of recruiting new members to the club with classroom presentations and engagement through social media.
She also is a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha-Kappa Sigma chapter, where she serves as vice president of philanthropy and has set this year’s goal to raise $40,000 for breast cancer education and awareness.
Zakaria El Jbari took a job as an intern at the USF Credit Union in 2016 knowing nothing about banking. Two years later, he was managing the Marshall Student Center branch office during the busiest time of the year. The rewarding experience was just one of several that has fallen on the Morocco native.
Now, he’s getting ready to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in finance and a grade-point average of 4.0. He has been named to the Dean’s List since coming to USF in 2015. He currently works as a teaching assistant in the Information Systems and Decision Sciences Department, grading examinations and assignments and holding office hours to take care of student needs.
In his time working for USF Credit Union, El Jbari not only managed the Marshall Student Center branch, but he opened more than 500 new accounts and reached $1 million in money market and certificates of deposit. With his outgoing nature he was named ambassador team leader within the credit union, a role in which he collaborated with management to interview and identify top candidates for the credit union’s internship program.
He is the co-founder and chief of recruitment for the International People of Tomorrow, an organization dedicated to making international students feel at home while offering various involvement opportunities.
He placed second in the 2018 Selling with the Bulls competition for a marketing plan he presented to the Tampa Bay Lightning marketing team.