USF Mourns Loss of Recent Graduate

TAMPA, Fla. (May 19, 2009) The University of South Florida is mourning the loss of recent graduate Aly Zain Lakdawala, 21. The United States Embassy in Costa Rica confirmed that his body was found one nautical mile offshore near where he was swimming with other USF students in the Pacific Ocean near Matapalo. Lakdawala graduated from USF on May 1 with dual majors in International Studies and Philosophy, and was well known at USF for his involvement in community service.


Since May 8, 14 USF students have been working with the organization "International Volunteer HQ" in rural Costa Rica. The trip was part of a community service trip of USF's alternative spring break program. Lakdawala went missing when a heavy current caught some of the group swimming during a lunch break midday Saturday May 16. Costa Rican coast guard, police, lifeguards and Red Cross have been searching for him.


USF staff and the director of the Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement were with the group during the entire trip. Maria Crummett, Dean of International Affairs, and other staff flew to Costa Rica to assist his father in rescue efforts.



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