Record Graduates for Commencement

By Lara Wade


TAMPA, Fla. (May 3, 2010) – The University of South Florida will welcome the greatest number of participants at its commencement ceremonies this spring, which also represents the largest number of students applying to graduate in the university’s history (degree statistics will be official in June).


Degrees for the Spring 2010 semester for the entire USF System amount to 5,608 - of that number 4,908 are from USF Tampa: bachelor’s degrees: 3,662; master’s degrees: 1,073; and doctoral and specialist degrees: 173.


Commencement exercises for Tampa will be held Friday, May 7, 6 p.m. and Saturday, May 8, 9 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Sun Dome.


The youngest graduate is Kristen Shalosky, 19, who has earned a bachelor’s in international business from USF Tampa. She began her education at USF when she was 15 years old. Rose Burke, at the age of 81, is this class’ eldest graduate. She is receiving a bachelor’s degree in English literature from USF Sarasota-Manatee. Her first school was a one-room schoolhouse that held eight grades and her high school had only three teachers because of World War II.


Eighteen students have been identified as King O’ Neal Scholar candidates, needing to have earned a cumulative grade point average of 4.0. Of those, 14 are from USF Tampa.


Kristen Corpion, B.A. anthropology and political science in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the Outstanding Senior by the USF Alumni Association.


The Friday 6 p.m. ceremony will recognize undergraduates from Arts and Sciences, departments A – M. Over 1,000 graduates are anticipated.


Notable Friday 6 p.m. graduates:


·         Darren Michael Klawinski, who at the age of 12 was diagnosed with brain cancer is graduating with plans to attend medical school;


·         Melissa Anduiza follows graduation with a major appearance May 29 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Her solo, Stained Glass, was chosen from hundreds of possible entries for the Kennedy Center’s National College Dance Festival. The National Festival showcases dances selected by the adjudicators from each of the regional conferences based on their outstanding artistic excellence and merit;


·         Student filmmaker Sarah Wilson has made her USF memories in movies, and won several local, national and international awards for her films;


·         Sean Masse played on the nationally ranked USF rugby team for four years;


·         Kelsey Varney was a walk-on for the women’s basketball team and made her way to a full scholarship, winning the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.


The Saturday 9 a.m. ceremony will recognize undergraduates from the College of Arts and Sciences, departments P-Z as well as the College of Business and the College of The Arts. Over 900 graduates are anticipated.


Notable Saturday 9 a.m. graduates:


·         Music major Preston Beebe admitted being denied twice to get into USF, but once accepted, he was awarded a music scholarship and is graduating with a triple major in music;


·         Irena and Sanela Dedovic are twin sisters and both majored in psychology. They are two of a set of quadruplet sisters. Sister number three may be attending USF in the fall;


·         Business graduate Carolina Romero, a member of the USF Golf team who speaks three languages, already has a job offer on Wall Street.


The Saturday 1:30 p.m. ceremony will recognize undergraduates from the Colleges of Behavioral and Community Sciences, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing and Undergraduate Studies. Over 870 graduates are anticipated.


Notable Saturday 1:30 p.m. graduates:


·         Gil Kerlikowske, ’78, ‘85, director of the White House office of National Drug Control Policy, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the Saturday 1:30 p.m. ceremony;


·         Sean Young took his USF experiences to new heights as the two-time Big East pole vault champion.


The Saturday 6 p.m. ceremony will recognize graduate students from all USF colleges. This includes doctoral, education specialist, master of fine arts and masters degrees. Over 700 graduates are anticipated.


Notable Saturday 6 p.m. graduates:


·         Martin Berdugo, originally from Argentina, thought 10 years ago that being able to be a student in the United States was an unreachable goal, is graduating with a master’s degree in business;


·         Nishani Knight is a USF legacy student, choosing the same major as her mother from the College of Education.


Allan Goodman, president of the Institute of International Education, will receive the President’s Global Leadership award at the Saturday, 6 p.m. ceremony.




The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.