USF System Summer Graduates Top 2,900

Ceremonies will be held Saturday afternoon at the St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa.


By Barbara Melendez

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 4, 2011) – Summer commencement exercises will bring all of the institutions in the University of South Florida System together – USF, USF St. Petersburg, USF Sarasota-Manatee and USF Polytechnic, Aug. 6 at 2 p.m. in the St. Pete Times Forum. More than 1,400 graduates are anticipated to be in attendance with as many as 12,000 to 14,000 guests.


Keeping with tradition, USF System President Judy Genshaft will preside and Honors College Dean Stuart Silverman will be the ceremony announcer, both greeting each of the graduates.


Seven students in the USF System have been identified as King O’ Neal Scholar candidates, earning a cumulative grade point average of 4.0.


Emily Tocci, graduating with a bachelor of arts in political science from the USF College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the Outstanding Graduate by the USF Alumni Association.


The total number of degrees to be conferred for the summer 2011 semester are about 2,905 for the USF System. Of those, 2,540 are from USF in Tampa, 171 from USF St. Petersburg, 121 from USF Sarasota Manatee and 73 from USF Polytechnic.


This diverse group came to USF from 42 states and 72 nations. The youngest person in this graduating class is 19-year-old Menna Yassin, who is receiving a bachelor of science in civil engineering from USF.


(Parking could be an issue. Read this story for more.)


Notable graduates:


·         Volleyball player Christine Knoechel received Big East All-Academic Honors for all four years.


·         Charles Morris II is a first generation honors graduate.


·         Vickie Carver is receiving her master’s degree and graduated from USF on the same date exactly 30 years ago.


·         Angela Mansingh completed her degree while serving in the U. S. Army and is looking forward to being an Army-Bull nurse.


·         Matthew Chandler, a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve is graduating from USF Polytechnic with high honors.


·         Joshua Hollis will start his journey in the Marine Corps as a commissioned second lieutenant.


·         Derek Dyer made his USF memories as the Captain of the 2011 National Champions USF Wakeboard Club.


·         Azieza Uhnavy co-founded the USF St. Petersburg Marketing Student Association.


·         Yanay Pais helped build United States embassies around the world while completing her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.


·         Marcy Gordon worked on a team that developed the software to assist handicapped bus riders, which is now in the process of becoming available to the general public.


·         Jazmin Davis completed her degree in two years while working full time.


·         Michael Belliveau II underwent multiple brain surgeries, but despite his long recovery, today he is graduating with his bachelor’s degree.


·         Joah Aliancy simply loved his time at USF and the lasting friendships he developed, describing this period as, “The best four years of my life thus far.”


For additional information call the commencement hotline:  (813) 974-9406 or (813) 974-1816 or visit


Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.