USF 2012 graduation

December 17, 2012 

USF graduation

Number of Graduates: 240

Award winners: Marina Cosgrove was named Outstanding Graduate by the USF Sarasota-Manatee Chapter of the USF Alumni Association. Olivia Santiago received the Golden Bull Service and Outstanding Leadership Award presented by the USF Sarasota-Manatee Student Government Association. Cathleen Cornish, Diane Florez and Jessica Souders shared the King O'Neal Award, each having achieved the highest cumulative grade point average of 4.0 during their academic careers. Elizabeth Carlson, an accounting instructor in the College of Business, was selected by the students as Fall 2012's Outstanding Professor. Shining Moment: Bradenton's Shawn Skidmore, a graduate in the College of Business, was named Unsung Hero by USF Sarasota-Manatee Sunday. Skidmore, who graduated from Bayshore High in 2008, persevered to get his degree despite a learning disability that requires roughly four times the amount of study time as other students. Skidmore also has a heart condition called aortic stenosis where his aortic valve doesn't fully open. He has had two open heart surgeries and faces at least one more, he said. But he's not letting all that slow him down. He's aggressively looking for a job as a business consultant. "People can call me at 941-753-5809," said the eager graduate.

Best quote: Judy Genshaft, president of the University of South Florida: "Our national and international reputation has made great leaps forward in recent years due to the hard work of our students, faculty and staff. USF is now a Top 50 research university. We are a global leader in generating new U.S. patents. We are recognized nationally as the fourth most veteran-friendly university in the nation. We were also recently named by the Sierra Club as the nation's 12th ranked "Cool School" for our commitment to sustainability in research and education."

Interesting sight: Sarah Coit of the College of the Arts sent the packed Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall crowd into wild applause with her fiery National Anthem rendition.

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