Genshaft Honored

USF President Judy Genshaft receives the Betty Castor Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Trade Center Tampa Bay.


USF President Judy Genshaft and former USF President Betty Castor are joined by (from left) Hillsborough Commissioner Sandy Murman; Steve Michelini, managing director, World Trade Center Tampa Bay; and Tampa City Councilman Mike Suarez.  Photo: Aimee Blodgett | USF News


By Vickie Chachere

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (May 16, 2013) – University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft and her predecessor, former USF President Betty Castor, share a unique experience in leading the university, but they also share a lifelong passion for international engagment that has helped guide the university’s trajectory over a nearly 20 year span.


On Tuesday, the two iconic Tampa Bay leaders came together when the World Trade Center Tampa Bay presented Genshaft with the Betty Castor Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of Genshaft’s role in building USF’s international reputation in education and research.


Citing the rapid internationalization of the campus, the investment in such transformative research efforts such as the Patel College of Global Sustainability and the creation of a $1 million endowment to support study abroad created by Genshaft and her husband Steve Greenbaum, Castor said USF had matured into a global university creating impact far beyond its campus borders.


“We are on our way to making a difference for our students,” Castor said.


The Hillsborough County Commission and the Tampa City Council also weighed in with a commendation and proclamation recognizing Genshaft’s efforts in expanding USF’s international reach for the benefit of the wider Tampa Bay community.


“I don’t think of her as just president of USF, I think of her as the person who has led the charge in thousands of young people’s lives,” said Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman.


World Trade Center Tampa Bay President John C. Birely said “her significant role in encouraging and enriching international research, education and culture in the Tampa Bay Area made her an ideal choice.” 


The tradition of the award stems from Castor receiving a lifetime achievement award from the group in 2010 for setting the standard for women in international relations, trade, education and commerce. The group, which works to promote international trade in Tampa by connecting businesses to new overseas markets, later named the award after Castor, who led USF from 1994 to 2000.


Genshaft said she was heartened by how eagerly the Tampa Bay region is embracing the university as a resource in economic development and expanding international trade.


USF has more than 1,000 faculty members working in more than 140 countries and is recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars. More than 1,000 students in the USF System study abroad, a nearly 30 percent increase from 2010.


“I’ve long said that I wish that every acceptance letter from USF also included a passport application because I believe that strongly in the educational value of international travel,” Genshaft said.


Vickie Chachere can be reached at 813-974-6251.