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Secrets from the Sea Meet Shipwreck Hunter David Mearns, M.S. `86


Surgeon and Golf Pro Reid Sheftall, M.D. `88 TECO Energy President & CEO John Ramil, `78 & MCE `00 Capt. Jason Holbrook’s Legacy of Leadership


Alumni Voice is printed with bio-renewable ink at Interprint, a TEC-certified Green printing facility.






10 Seeking the Secrets of the Seas David Mearns, MSC `86, has traveled the world, becoming an authority on the location and salvaging of shipwrecks, many of which were thought lost forever. But two of his most significant moments happened at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

14 He Cuts, but Never Slices After a debilitating injury nearly ended his career, Reid Sheftall, M.D. `88, dropped everything and moved to Cambodia to start a charity that provides cosmetic surgery to child burn victims. Oh, and while he was at it, he decided to try to qualify for the Malaysian PGA Tour.


18 Capt. Holbrook’s Legacy of Leadership USF Alumni Association Executive Director John Harper and his wife Cindy honor their late son-in-law, U.S. Army Capt, Jason Ellis Holbrook, with a scholarship created to build the next generation of leaders.

22 Bullish on His Commitment to Succeed TECO Energy President and CEO John Ramil, `78 & MCE `00, is considered to be among the country’s most influential business leaders. He also brings those skills to his alma mater as a trustee.






DEPARTMENTS 2 3 4 6 19 24

President’s Message USFAA Board of Directors News Roundup Where’s Rocky? Chapters & Societies Blast from the Past

25 That Was Then; This Is Now 26 Your Membership in Action 27 Employ-A-Bull 28 Class Notes 36 Athletics 37 Calendar



president’s message Fellow Bulls, This is my last letter to you as President of the USF Alumni Association. It’s been my great pleasure to serve in this position and I intend to stay active in the organization. You haven’t seen the last of me by a long shot. We’ve got some fantastic articles for you to read inside this edition of Alumni Voice. I’m especially fascinated by the stories and photos of the famous shipwrecks discovered by USF alumnus David Mearns, owner of Blue Water Recoveries, Ltd. He specializes in the kind of deep-water searches that only few companies in the world can offer. His discoveries of the World War II light cruiser HMAS Sydney II and the hospital ship Centaur more than 50 years after they were lost at sea helped to finally give a sense of closure to the people of Australia. I play a little golf, so I was amazed to read about Dr. Reid Sheftall, the USF med school grad who, in addition to performing pro bono surgery on orphaned burn victims, also qualified for the Malaysian PGA tour and became a professional golfer. You won’t want to miss his stories about counting cards in Vegas, either. If you haven’t been back to campus in a while, there’s no better time than now to check out the new USF Athletics District including the impressive baseball and softball complex. Take a peek at our preview on the Athletics page in the back of this issue. Games run through the end of May. Get the schedule and ticket info at GoUSFBulls. com. If I could say one last thing to you as I close out my term in office, it would be to please consider becoming a Life Member of your USF Alumni Association. Life membership helps to ensure that this organization will operate for years to come, and continue to provide the programs and services that connect alumni, support students and strengthen USF. It’s a great way to show your Bull Pride and to get special perks, such as 25 Athletic Priority Points for preferred game seating and access to special events like our popular Homecoming Parade Watch Life Member reception. Not only are my wife and I Life Members, I bought a Life Membership for my daughter when she graduated. It makes a great graduation gift. For more details on becoming a Life Member, contact Ron Sherman at 813-974-1891 or My best regards to you all. Go Bulls!

Brad Kelly, `79 President & Life Member



Alumni Voice® USF Alumni Association Gibbons Alumni Center University of South Florida 4202 East Fowler Avenue, ALC100 Tampa, Florida 33620 Alumni Voice Editorial: Karla Jackson, or Rita Kroeber, Advertising: Rita Kroeber, or 813-974-6312 Contributing Writers in this Issue: Karla Jackson, `88 Evan Tokarz, `11 Mary Patrick Walker Alumni Association Contact Information Executive Director: John Harper, `76 Membership: 813-974-2100 or 800-299-BULL Alumni & Student Programs: 813-974-2100 General Alumni e-mail: Giving/Scholarships: Ron Sherman, `74 USF Bulls License Plate: Alumni Association website: Letters to the editor are encouraged. Please write to Karla Jackson at kjackson@admin. or mail to the address at the top of the page. Views expressed in Alumni Voice do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the USF Alumni Association, the University of South Florida or the editorial staff. ALUMNI VOICE (USPS# 025203) Number 16 Alumni Voice is published quarterly in January, April, July and October as a benefit of membership in the University of South Florida Alumni Association, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., ALC100, Tampa, FL 33620-5455. Periodical Postage Paid at Tampa, FL. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: University of South Florida Alumni Association, Communications Department, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., ALC100, Tampa, FL 33620-5455. New Address? Moving? Update your official USF alumni record at or email your information to You also may remove the magazine label and send it with your correct address to Alumni Voice, USF Alumni Association, 4202 E. Fowler Ave. ALC100, Tampa, FL 33620. © 2011 All rights reserved.

USF alumni Association 2010-11

PRESIDENT Brad Kelly, CPA, Accounting, `79

SECRETARY PRESIDENT-ELECT Richard Heruska, Kimberly Choto Schmidt, Communication, `92 & M.A. Business, `99 Adult Education, `02

DIRECTOR Gene Balter, P.E., Engineering, `77

DIRECTOR Ed Hoeppner, Marketing, `81

DIRECTOR Michele Norris, Marketing,`79

DIRECTOR Jon Smith, MBA, `07

DIRECTOR Shaye Benfield, Marketing, `97

DIRECTOR Audrey Gilmore, Marketing, `80

DIRECTOR Gary Hoog, International Studies, `83 & Special Education, `87

DIRECTOR Thomas King, Finance, `09

Board of Directors

CO-TREASURER Donna Brickman, Accounting, `81

DIRECTOR Gene Haines, Criminology, `97

DIRECTOR Patrick Poff, Esq., English, `92

DIRECTOR Alan Steinberg, Communication, `78

CO-TREASURER Victor Lucas, Management, `85

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Roger T. Frazee, CFP, CLU, ChFC, CPA, Finance & Accounting, `71

DIRECTOR Lisa Provenzano Heugel, Mass Communications/Journalism, `93, Information Systems, `96 & M.S. Computer Science `07

DIRECTOR Mark Levine, Esq., Psychology, `74

DIRECTOR Diana Michel, Business, `88

DIRECTOR Jeff Reynolds, Finance, `91

DIRECTOR Ted Rivera III, Management, `98

DIRECTOR DIRECTOR Christi WomackJim Weber, Finance, Villalobos, English, `92 `77 & MBA, `82

DIRECTOR Derek Williams, CFP, Finance, `00

DIRECTOR Spencer Montgomery, USF Student Government Vice President

DIRECTOR Lee Winter, Finance, `85


DIRECTOR Dr. Judy Genshaft, University of South Florida President

DIRECTOR DIRECTOR John Harper, Leslie “Les” Muma, USF Alumni USF Foundation Board Association Executive of Trustees Chairman, Director, Mass Mathematics, `66 Communications, `76

DIRECTOR Joel D. Momberg, University Advancement Vice President

DIRECTOR Andrew Cohen, USF Ambassadors President





Patel Center for Global Solutions Opens The countertops are made of recycled steel shavings, glass and resin, the toilets flush with captured rainwater and condensation from the air conditioning system and the landscaping is native to Florida with drought-tolerant plants. Some of the new carpet used to be old carpets. From the 30,000-gallon recycled water tank below ground to lighting systems that turn off automatically as an occupant leaves the room, USF’s Patel Center for Global Solutions is designed and built to be efficient, respectful of strained natural resources and a living learning center in a “green” building. The 75,000-square-foot center is open, capping more than a year of construction for USF’s first fully-constructed sustainable building. The university has incorporated sustainable building practices into all its facilities remodeling and construction, but the Patel Center represents a new era in rethinking how public spaces are created with an eye on better managing limited resources, USF leaders say. The center houses the Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions and the School of Global Sustainability, classrooms, programs for international students and large public meeting spaces. Also located at the center are offices of USF President Judy Genshaft, Provost Ralph Wilcox, Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation & Global Affairs Karen Holbrook, and other administrative services. The $18 million building was designed and outfitted by Ponikvar & Associates and Charles Perry Construction Inc. The firms are longtime collaborators who have worked as a design-build team on more than 20 green projects. The building was made possible with an initial $5 million donation from Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel. Jackson Labs and USF Collaborate on Biomedical Hub The Jackson Laboratory will partner with USF, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, Sarasota County and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation to develop genetics-based treatments for heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes at a new research facility in Sarasota County. The project, to be known as The Jackson Laboratory–Florida, will be housed in a 120,000-square-foot facility in Sarasota County and will also occupy laboratories



and offices within the USF Health complex in Tampa. The Gulf Coast Community Foundation and other community agencies will spearhead the creation of a major biomedical village, including research, clinical medicine, education, and residential and retail activity, that will grow up around the new Jackson facility. Charles Hewett, Ph.D., executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Jackson Laboratory, said the arrangement is ideal for the creation of a regional biomedical hub. “Our facility in Sarasota County, coupled with operations on the USF Health campus, will build the collaborations essential to breakthrough discoveries, clinical medicine and educational outreach,” he said. “These collaborations will enrich the entire region.” Sarasota County put together a $300 million incentive package to lure Jackson Laboratory to the area, with the expectation of bringing hundreds of well-paying jobs with it, but the deal hinges on the Florida Legislature approving $100 million in state funding during the current session, which ends in May. New Mass Communications Director Fred Pearce New technology, as well as the changing media landscape and marketplace are driving exciting changes coming to USF’s School of Mass Communications. Leading the charge is the school’s new director, Fred Pearce. After 19 years at the University of Alaska at Anchorage, he traded its rugged clime for Tampa Bay’s tropical paradise. Pearce envisions a multitude of new possibilities ahead for a school that specializes in advertising, journalism, public relations and telecommunications. “My job is looking at the horizon and determining: here’s how we’re trending,” Pearce said. “It’s like moving into a new home, you notice things, prioritize and then attack the most important things first.” Right off the bat, Pearce noticed the need for courses in graphic and web design. He would like to see more attention and coverage paid to women’s sports as well as volleyball, gymnastics and other areas where student athletes excel. He is also looking to strengthen the graduate program and add diversity to the teaching staff. New Asst. Dean for USF Polytechnic College of Technology and Innovation Internationally renowned scholar, consultant, and author Dr. Joseph McCann is the new assistant dean of the College of Technology and Innovation at USF Polytechnic in Lakeland. McCann’s immediate priority is helping the college and the Division of Innovation Management prepare for a successful

accreditation from AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB accreditation is known worldwide as the longest standing, most recognized form of specialized/professional accreditation an institution and its business programs can earn. McCann earned an M.A. and Ph.D in business and applied economics at The Wharton School and taught at Wharton, University of Florida, Emory University and University of Tampa. He has worked in the petroleum and ocean transportation industries and served as an intern on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee. He also served as dean of the business school at Pacific Lutheran University; director of executive education at the University of Florida; dean of the John H. Sykes College of Business; dean of graduate studies, and co-chief academic officer of the University of Tampa; director of the TECO Energy Center for Leadership and the Florida Directors’ Institute; and dean of the Davis College of Business and professor of management at Jacksonville University. New School of Music Building Opens The USF School of Music moved into its new state‐of the‐art, 113,535-square-foot dream home in February. For decades, music students have practiced wherever space allowed,

studied wherever they could sit, and even on occasion held classes in the courtyard. But no more. From foundation to final touches, the new building was designed meticulously with the music educator and performer in mind. The building features a 485-seat concert hall; a 116-seat recital hall; separate instrumental, choral, and jazz rehearsal halls; and a percussion suite. All have professional-grade recording and playback capabilities, as well as teacher stations that include easy access and control of computer, document camera, projector, video cameras and other electronic technology. View photos of the new building at http://music. Sources: University Communications and Marketing, USF College of The Arts, USF Polytechnics

NEWS & NOTES Genshaft/Greenbaum Passport Scholars Fund USF System President Judy Genshaft and her husband, Steven Greenbaum, have created an endowment of $1 million dedicated to the financial support of USF students who want to study abroad. The gift will create the new Genshaft/Greenbaum Passport Scholars Fund. The $1 million donation over five years is eligible for matching funds from the state of Florida through the University Major Gifts Challenge Grant Program, creating a total endowment of $1.75 million. “From the beginning of my tenure at USF, Steve and I have dreamed that every student would have an opportunity to travel abroad,” said Genshaft. “With this fund, we want to ensure that students with important, innovative ideas can fulfill their goals of doing scholarship and research around the globe.” International travel is increasingly becoming an essential part of students’ education if they are to be competitive and

successful in a global economy, Genshaft noted. Passport Scholarships will allow students to have this opportunity for a few weeks, a summer, a semester or even longer. While other travel scholarship programs are available, many have strict criteria on specific majors. The Genshaft/ Greenbaum Scholarship will be available to all undergraduate and graduate students in the USF System who want to participate in sanctioned education programs abroad. Last year, 810 USF students were studying abroad, a 25 percent increase over the previous year. lllllll The USF: Unstoppable Campaign is a comprehensive fundraising effort by the University of South Florida System to celebrate the energy, vision and future of one of the nation’s most exciting and engaged universities. Our people and programs, our ideas, our research and our solutions comprise an ambitious plan to embrace health care, science, technology, education, business, the arts and global partnerships. The USF: Unstoppable Campaign continues to grow, with $402,427,472 raised as of March 28, 2011. To learn more about the campaign, visit



Rocky where’s

Take Rocky on your next trip and send your photos to: Karla Jackson at or to her attention at the USF Alumni Association, 4202 E. Fowler Ave. ALC100, Tampa, FL 33620-5455.

Rocky takes a break at Trevi Fountain in Rome with future Bulls Megan and Jeramy Butler, who were on a European tour with mom Christine Butler, `97 & M.S. `00.

Tim Barnes, `80 & MBA `98, met a few of Rocky’s relatives during a visit to Amarillo, TX.

Ruth Rogge, `74 and USFAA board member Alan Steinberg, `78, of the USF Broward Alumni Chapter delivered donations of toys, clothing and food collected at the Meineke Car Care Bowl Watch Party to “Big Mama,” president and CEO of the Team of Life in Fort Lauderdale.



Andrea Burke Hughes, `07, and Lee Hughes, show their Bull Pride while on their honeymoon last fall in Montserrat in the Caribbean. The active Soufrière Hills volcano is pictured in the background.

Stirling “Bud” Boomhower, `81, and his wife, Lesa, were pleased to meet the “real” Rocky in the stands at the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, NC.

Rocky joined Nick Chipurnoi `08 and Michala (Magenheim-Morganti) Chipurnoi `07, in Negril, Jamaica, for their wedding on Dec. 18, 2010.



Rocky tagged along with Margaret Karnyski, Ph.D `09, and her friend, Rahul, on their visit to the Mahabodhi Temple in the city of Bodh Gaya, Bihar State, India. Buddhists from all over the world make pilgrimages to the temple. Dr. Karnyski taught in Bodh Gaya for the Fall 2010 semester as part of Antioch University’s education abroad program.

Dr. Lois Mautte, M.A. `77 & Ph.D `90 and Carmen Thomas, `69 & M.A. `72, took Rocky for a little sun bathing on the beach by the famous seven-star hotel, the Burj al Arab (in the background) in Dubai, United Arab Emerates.



USFAA board member Mark Levine, `74, and Rocky take in the view at the St. Bénezet Bridge over the Rhone river in Avignon, France.

In the Bulls Eye

Kevin McCarthy, `87 & MPA `89

By Brynn Frazier, `11 t’s common for Americans to think “Antarctica” and immediately imagine below-freezing temperatures and polar bears. NASA’s MetOp Mission Manager Kevin McCarthy says that’s not really the case. “It was the Austral summer. On most days it was colder in Maryland while I was there and polar bears are in the Arctic,” said McCarthy. McCarthy spent more than two months last winter in McMurdo Station in Antarctica, just about 1,000 miles north of the South Pole with the NASA Near Earth Network. The ground station at McMurdo Station will support the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) meteorological satellite series, MetOp, which was first launched in October 2006. McMurdo Ground Station will support three MetOp satellites over the next 15 years. McCarthy led a team of engineers and support personnel in performing crucial upgrades and maintenance to the electronic systems in the ground station. During his stay, the 49-year-old father of two lived like a college student: sleeping in a dorm bunk, eating meals in a dining room, and trying not to miss his family back home. McCarthy blogged about his


Susan Graham, `77, posted this photo of Faculty College Shirt Day at Lakeland Highlands Middle School on the USF Alumni Association Facebook page. Have you “liked” us on Facebook yet?

experiences in a blog titled “Summer on the Ice” at http://blogs.nasa. gov so that the team’s family and friends could keep updated on their progress. In it he writes of long hours, mediocre food and the challenge of completing risky technical tasks in unpredictable weather conditions. One of the experiences McCarthy shares on the blog was the Field Safety Training Program’s two-day Snow Craft course (referred to as the “Happy Camper” course at McMurdo). It’s a risk management and survival techniques course required of newcomers to the station who could potentially find themselves stranded on the ice. “Out on the ice shelf we learned how to set up the two kinds of tents used here, protect the smaller mountain tents with a snow wall, dig a survival trench for sleeping, and cook with the white-gas stoves,” McCarthy writes in the blog. “The weather turned out to be balmy (~27-35 degrees F).” McCarthy happily returned home in February and recently accepted a position as the MetOp Mission Manager at the Goddard Space Flight Center. But he won’t stay home for long, as he will be traveling significantly through the spring of 2012 for NASA. APRIL 2011 | ALUMNIVOICE


Feature: David Mearns

Seeking the Secrets David Mearns has traveled the world, becoming an authority on the location and salvaging of shipwrecks, many of which were thought lost forever. But two of his most significant moments happened at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.



By Mary Patrick Walker


he first occurred in the mid-1980s when Mearns, then a student in the College of Marine Science, used an old, abandoned piece of equipment for a study of the ocean floor, a decision that later led to breakthroughs in finding shipwrecks. The second happened in 1994, when Mearns returned to USF for the opening of the Knight Oceanographic Research Center. While there, he met with Werner Von Rosenstiel, a USF benefactor who encouraged him to abandon conventional thinking and strike out on his own, developing the oceanographic research wing of the British company he now owns. “The cliché would be ‘seize the day,’” said the 52-year-old Mearns about Von Rosenstiel’s advice. “But it was much deeper than that. I’ll never forget that conversation.” Mearns certainly has made the

most of his opportunities, finding more than 20 sunken vessels over the years. He achieved the deepest shipwreck find ever – of the German World War II blockade runner Rio Grande – at 5,762 meters (almost 19,000 feet); and the oldest colonial wreck ever found – the Esmeralda, a 16th Century Portuguese Nau in the fleet of Vasco da Gama. He also made the 2001 discovery of the British ship HMS Hood (sunk by the Nazi ship Bismarck). In 2009, Mearns led a team that found the AHS Centaur, an Australian hospital ship sunk by a Japanese submarine in May of 1943 off Queensland, Australia. He also found the HMAS Sydney II, an Australian warship sunk in 1941 by a German warship disguised as a merchant vessel. He’s written a book about that discovery, “The Search for the Sydney,” as well as one about finding the Hood, “Hood and Bismarck.” His success in his chosen profession started at USF St. Petersburg and involved, humbly enough, a study of

of the Seas carbonate hard bottoms off the coast of North Carolina. Mearns, a native of Jersey City, N.J., had come to USF after getting a bachelor’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He started in the marine biology program but soon switched to marine geology. Dr. Albert Hine, Associate Dean of the USF College of Marine Science, served as Mearns’ advisor and got him involved in the research of the limestone promontories off the North Carolina coast. Mearns’ graduate thesis focused on biological erosion and the ocean bottom’s [

Above: A lifeboat from the Royal Australian Navy light cruiser, HMAS Sydney, which was destroyed in a battle with the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran in November of 1941. All 645 aboard were lost. Right: David Mearn at the USF College of Marine Science.



Feature: David Mearns

Above: A memorial plaque was laid on the foredeck of Centaur on Jan. 12, 2010. The Centaur wreck site has been marked as a war grave and is protected with a navigational exclusion zone under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976. Right: A sailor’s boot found amid the wreckage of the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur. The ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine off the coast of Queensland, Australia, in May of 1943. Of the 332 persons on board, only 64 survivors were rescued, some 36 hours after the attack.

response to the 1984 Hurricane Diana, which made landfall near Wilmington, N.C. It proved to be an experience that “literally changed my life,” Mearns said. That’s because, at the behest of Hine, he decided to make use of an old “side scanner” at USF that was “ancient and broken and sitting on a shelf.” It worked by towing it behind the ship, scanning in both directions, giving readouts of what lay beneath the waves and on the ocean floor. “A light bulb went off in my head,” said Mearns. He fixed the unit and they used it on the project. Hine said he had a similar experience while in graduate school, and that he wanted Mearns to have the same. “That’s the best way to learn – say, ‘Here’s a broken toy. Learn how to figure it out and fix it. That’s your job,’” said Hine. After getting his Masters in 1986,



Mearns joined Eastport International, a company that specialized in what he wanted to do: search and recovery jobs in the ocean. Based in Maryland, Eastport had a government contract to recover American ships and planes lost at sea. “We could do that down to enormous depths,” said Mearns. “That was our real sort of claim to fame and our specialty. We were the first company to develop an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) that broke the 6,000-meter barrier, which is 20,000 feet. And the key to that is that 97 percent of the oceans are in depths below that.” Mearns was the only scientist at the company, which was primarily staffed by mechanical and electrical engineers. “They saw me as their pathway to not just recovering items off the sea bed but finding them because I had this background in high resolution geophysics that I gained at USF,” said Mearns. “I worked there for nine years and it’s a

fantastic job and company and we did all these amazing projects all around the world.” One of the most interesting – and the one that changed the direction of Mearns’ career – came in 1990, when Eastport International took a commercial job from an insurance company. Their assignment: locate a shipwreck that was at the center of an insurance fraud case, in which an Austrian man was accused of deliberately sinking a ship, the Lucona, and killing half the ship’s crew in the process. The sunken vessel was located in the Indian Ocean. “That was my first major leadership role at sea. And we were successful, we found it. And it put our company on the map,” said Mearns. “That led to a whole string of deep water projects. It started me on shipwrecks.” Eastport’s success led to a buyout from their chief competitor, the muchlarger Oceaneering International based

Artifacts from the wreck of the HMAS Sydney, discovered by Mearns’ team on March 17, 2008, five days after the wreckage of the Kormoran was located. Above, a World War II poster commenorates the sinking of the Australian hospital ship, HMAS Centaur.

out of Houston. Mearns stayed on three more years before moving on to Blue Water Recoveries in the United Kingdom. Blue Water recruited Mearns to start its new research and search division. It involved not only finding shipwrecks but doing all the archival research about the wrecks, determining the lost ship’s cargo, location and story about how it might have sunk. “It was a completely different thing. I had never done it before, but I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” said Mearns. He was encouraged by Von Rosenstiel, a former Nazi soldier who had defected to the United States and fought for the Allies and served as an investigator and translator at the Nuremberg Trials. Mr. Von Rosenstiel, who has since passed away, was a generous philanthropist with an interest in marine science who provided fellowships that have helped numerous USF students. The two met at the opening of the Knight Oceanographic Research building. “I had a short meeting with Werner, and talking to him crystallized a thought I had in my mind to go out and do something myself,” said Mearns.

Photos by David Mearns, Blue Water Recoveries

In Mearns’ first two years with Blue Water, they found 12 shipwrecks, most of them British government cargo ships lost during the two world wars.

5Questions with David Mearns

Q: What is your favorite book? A: The Ides of March by Thorton Wilder Q: What is your favorite movie? A: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” Q: What is your favorite place in the world? A: Where I live in West Sussex, one of the most beautiful parts of England. Q: Who is your favorite athlete? A: Mohammad Ali Q: What super power would you like to have? A: I’d like to be able to go back in time.

Mearns eventually became owner of the company. With his success and reputation, Mearns said he is now “a very specialized consultant hired by governments or private individuals or television companies to put together deepwater expeditions.” Since his graduation, Mearns has kept in touch with Hines and other professors he knows, as well as Peter Betzer, retired-emeritus and first dean of the College of Marine Sciences. Asked how the school has changed since 1986, Mearns immediately responded, “I would never get accepted as a student now!” Another change mentioned by Mearns is that women now are the majority in a profession that used to be dominated by men, with a 65 percent to 35 percent ratio of women to men. In Mearns’ time, it was 80 percent men. Mearns also noted USF’s central role in research efforts after the Deep Horizon oil spill last year in the Gulf of Mexico. “The university was high profile,” said Mearns. “Without even being an alumnus I knew the college was right at the heart of it because it was coming through on the Internet every day in terms of what was going on with the science.”



Feature: Reid Sheftall, M.D.


M He Cuts, A C but Never Slices Reid Sheftall, M.D. `88, moonlights as a pro golfer when he’s not performing surgery. By Karla Jackson, `88


t could be the plot of a major motion picture: A young scholarathlete with impressive eye-hand coordination, a mathematical mind and an exceptional memory graduates from MIT and lands a job as a physics professor at USC at age 21. In his spare time, he learns how to count cards, using his casino winnings to help pay for medical school. He becomes a respected surgeon, but a mysterious injury ruins his health and threatens his career. He is left with permanent numbness in his right hand; still, he perseveres. He switches specialties, moves to Cambodia and starts a charity that performs free operations on child burn victims, later adding a cosmetic surgery practice to help fund it. Amid all that, he picks up golf again after a 28-year lapse, and within a year, earns a spot on the Malaysian PGA Tour. Would you go see that movie, or would you think to yourself, “That’s too farfetched to believe?” Believe it. That, in a nutshell, is the life story of Dr. Reid Sheftall, who graduated from the University of South Florida’s College of Medicine in 1988. He is, in fact, considering making a movie based on his adventures – filmmaking is another of his passions – and plans to adapt the screenplay from his selfpublished book, Striking it Rich: Golf in the Kingdom with Generals, Patients and Pros. Though his life has been extraordinary, Sheftall doesn’t consider himself to be all that exceptional. Anyone



can lead an exciting, fulfilling life such as his, he believes, if they’re willing to step outside their comfort zone and cast off the “golden handcuffs” of a lifestyle based on material rewards. “In my book I wrote that in order to change the quality and direction of your life, you have to change the way

5Questions with Reid Sheftall, M.D. `88

Q. What is the last book you read? A. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky Q. What is your favorite movie? A. Favorite sports movie: “Hoosiers,” favorite caper movie: “The Asphalt Jungle,” favorite coming of age movie: “Rushmore,” favorite gangster movie: “The Godfather” Parts I and II, favorite science fiction movie: “Back to the Future,” favorite prison movie: “The Shawshank Redemption.” Q. Where is your favorite place in the world? A. Anywhere with a girl I’m interested in. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? A. “Close the doors on your past.” Q. What superpower do you wish you possessed? A. Time travel.

you think,” Sheftall said in an email interview from Phnom Penh, where his clinic, The American Medical Center, and charity, Operation Kids, are based. “You have to break the chains of familiarity and comfort which cause you to think a certain way.” This has always come easily for Sheftall. He believes that his intuitive way of thinking “has been enormously helpful from a creative point of view and in math and physics and surgical innovation. But I usually see things differently than everyone else.” “It has been the great blessing and the great curse of my life,” he adds. Sheftall, 54, was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, the youngest of four children. He played several sports and was offered athletic scholarships in golf, tennis and baseball, but decided instead to work summers to pay for his physics degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which he completed in 1978. At MIT, he excelled in varsity lacrosse, tennis and rowed for the crew team. After graduation, he taught Electricity and Magnetism at the University of Southern California. It was then that he picked up a copy of MIT professor Edward Thorpe’s seminal book, Beat the Dealer, and in about three weeks, mastered the technique that involves memorization and assigning ten/non-ten values to cards as they’re tracked. “It was fun to beat the casino and make easy money,” Sheftall said of his weekend jaunts to Vegas and Reno. However, he scoffs at comparisons to the 2008 movie, “21,” which stars Kevin

When Dr. Sheftall first moved to Phnom Penh, there were no golf courses where he could practice. When one opened, he decided to take up the game again after a 28-year lapse. Right: Dr. Sheftall’s 2008 Malaysian PGA Tour Card. Spacey as an MIT professor who recruits students as card sharks who take the casinos for hundreds of thousands of dollars. In real life, counting cards is not that glamorous, he says. “Nothing is portrayed even close to reality in this movie,” Sheftall wrote in a review on “It’s a fairly tedious undertaking that pays off gradually with time, time and more time at the tables.” Life was good for Sheftall then, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. “One day it hit me: There was no artistic expression in my life and this was a major part of me. … I wanted to help people who really needed help. Plastic surgery seemed like a perfect fit.” So he returned to Boston and

completed the necessary prerequisites for medical school, attending Harvard extension courses at night while working during the day as an emergency room orderly. Sick of the cold weather, he applied and was accepted into both USF and the University of Miami medical schools. “Miami was a lot more expensive and I had to pay for it myself,” he says. Sheftall found the environment in USF’s medical school to be competitive rather than collegial, but he does have some fond memories. “Dr. Ernesto Ruas was very nice to me. Dr. Tony Pizzo was in the [medical] community and Craig Uecker and I did an externship with him. He was very nice to us. Uecker was a fellow student and

was an inspiration to me, as were many of the others in my cohort.” After completing residencies in Santa Barbara, CA., Los Angeles (where he first treated child burn victims) and in Cleveland, Sheftall chose to take his surgical skills to a small county hospital in Wiggins, MS, instead of accepting an offer at a state-of-the-art facility in Orange County, CA. “I feel needed in places that are struggling,” Sheftall says. “We are here [



Feature: Reid Sheftall, M.D.

Dr. Sheftall examines a Cambodian orphan named Dane. He has performed 170 pro bono surgeries on Cambodian and Vietnamese children, many of whom have had acid thrown in their faces. for only a little while. None of us knows what happens when we die. The only thing that matters is what we can do while we are here.” It was in Mississippi that he began to have debilitating back and shoulder pain. “There were times when I couldn’t comb my hair it hurt so bad. … No work, no tennis, in pain all the time. I lost 35 pounds. No one knew what was wrong.” One doctor suggested the possibility of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. So Sheftall was actually relieved when he was finally diagnosed with herniated

discs in his neck. Surgery eliminated the pain, but he was left with numbness in his thumb, index finger and in part of the

I could, but I couldn’t do general surgery anymore. It just isn’t safe for the patients. So I concentrated on plastic surgery. … It comes naturally to me; my instincts are very sound.” If anything, his health scare made Sheftall even more determined to wring the most out of life while he could. He describes his first visit to Cambodia as — Dr. Reid Sheftall “serendipitous.” “I stopped here on my long finger of his right hand – a serious way to Vietnam and volunteered for two weeks,” Sheftall says. Something clicked handicap for a practicing surgeon. “I just went ahead and did the best inside of him. “I decided to move here

“None of us knows what happens when we die. The only thing that matters is what we can do while we are here.”



and give it a go. … Once I overcame the shock of giving up everything I had, I felt more free because I was willing to accept whatever I would find and make the most of it.” He opened AMC in 2003. As the sole surgeon, Sheftall operates on everyone from princesses to orphans with AIDS. “Everyone – pro bono and the royal family – get treated the same.” He estimates he has performed 170 surgeries on Cambodian and Vietnamese children, many of whom have had acid thrown in their faces as a result of neighborhood or family feuds. He runs his charity, Operation Kids, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, out of AMC. A few of the O.K. surgeries have been funded by donors, but most are covered by the proceeds of Sheftall’s for-profit cosmetic surgery practice. Amid the demands of running his practice, he decided to start playing golf again. “I wanted to have something to do other than work.” On a trip to the States a few months after he returned to golf, he met PGA pros Mark McCumber and Paul Azinger, who saw him pitching balls at the TPC Sawgrass in Jacksonville. McCumber suggested that – with some instruction and practice – Sheftall could compete professionally. In 2004, he decided to give himself one year to see if he could qualify for the Malaysian Tour. Six months later, he qualified for his first pro tournament. He earned his Tour Player’s Card in 2005. He’s competed on various tours every year since then. “I never would have thought I could do it if they hadn’t said the things they said.” Sheftall says of McCumber and Azinger. Being interviewed on The Golf Channel during the 2008 Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational and being sponsored by Titleist after some good finishes have been the highlights of his golf career so far. Even so, surgery always takes precedence over golf, which can limit his ability to tour. The numbness in his hand affects his lag putting somewhat, but he says he almost never miss hits a shot. His scoring average on tour last year was 72, and he hit 83 percent of the greens in regulation. He makes good money when he tours – averaging $2,000- $3,000 per week – but it’s not something he recommends that other amateur golfers try. Unlike counting

cards, playing professional golf for a living requires an elite skill set possessed by only the “top half of one percent of the top one percent” of golfers, Sheftall says. “A scratch golfer probably could not break 80 in a PGA Tour event,” he cautions. Even so, Sheftall firmly believes that taking calculated risks is the spice of life. That’s why he became a surgeon. That’s why he moved to Cambodia. That’s

why he took a shot at the Malaysian Tour. That’s why he wrote one book, is working on another, and is taking a stab a filmmaking. And that’s why he can’t say exactly what his future holds next. “For a journey to be truly adventurous, you must give up all that is familiar to you and go to a place that is unknown and dangerous. … In other words, if you’re staying at the Kathmandu Hilton, you’re not in Nepal.”



The first three recipients of The Captain Jason Ellis Holbrook Memorial Leadership Award. From left: Army ROTC Cadet Wade Cady, Naval ROTC Midshipman Anna Douglas and Air Force Cadet Kristen Khoury.

A Legacy of Leadership


ou couldn’t help but admire U.S. student from each service: Army, Naval Army Capt. Jason Holbrook. (Navy/Marine Corps) and Air Force to Beneath his soft-spoken, countrysupport their attendance at the National boy veneer was the iron will of a soldier Character and Leadership Symposium, and patriot. A West Point graduate, Army held annually at one of the military Ranger and Green Beret, he earned academies or another prestigious civilian numerous awards during his tours of university. duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, including The first of these scholarship two Purple Hearts, recipients attended a Bronze Star Medal the 2011 conference with V Device, and held in February a Meritorious Service at the Air Force Medal, among others. Academy in Colorado He was the Springs. They were: kind of son-in-law Army ROTC Cadet any father would be Wade Cady, Naval proud to welcome ROTC Midshipman into the family, Anna Douglas and said USF Alumni Air Force Cadet Association Executive Kristen Khoury. Director John Harper, The trio met cadets `76, whose daughter Jason and Heather were married in from across the Heather, `03, married December 2008 at Rosemary Beach in country, attended the Florida Pandhandle. At right, Capt. Jason on Dec. 13, seminars and Holbrook at the Rivers of Babylon in Iraq. received inspirational 2008. Holbrook, 28, a messages from native of Burnet, TX, was killed in the noted speakers including recent Medal line of duty in Tsagay, Afghanistan, on of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Salvatore July 29, 2010, when his vehicle struck an Augustine Giunta, who was a team leader improvised explosive device (IED) during in Afghanistan, just like Holbrook was. a combat reconnaissance patrol. “I think that these individuals are In honor of his life and his service, great examples of what we can expect Harper and his wife Cindy, `74 & M.Ed. not only in the Armed Forces but in `79, established The Captain Jason various aspects of our personal and Ellis Holbrook Memorial Leadership professional lives,” Cadet Khoury said of Award to help benefit students in the the conference speakers. ROTC program who have demonstrated The three cadets told the Harpers outstanding leadership skills. that they were honored to be the first to From this fund, an annual represent Holbrook’s exemplary military scholarship is awarded to an ROTC legacy.



“Thank you for this opportunity to honor him and what he did in his life,” Cadet Cady said. A charitable gift is a meaningful way to honor someone important to you or to remember someone who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. To donate to The Captain Jason Ellis Holbrook Memorial Leadership Award, please visit rotcscholarship or contact Ron Sherman at 813-974-1891 or rsherman@admin.usf. edu.

Did You Know… USF is the only public university in Florida participating in a Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon program that reduces tuition for student veterans. USF was ranked No. 8 nationwide among more than 4,000 accredited institutions of higher learning for its commitment to the success of student veterans by Military Times EDGE magazine’s “Best for Vets: College Rankings.” USF also was selected by G.I. Jobs magazine as a “Military Friendly School” for 2011. This was the second consecutive year that USF has earned the designation, placing the university in the top 15 percent of all higher education institutions nationwide. You can learn about resources available to veterans at USF’s Department of Veteran’s Services at or by calling 813-974-2291.

chapters & societies Past presidents of the USF Alumni Association are recognized at a USF basketball game in February at the end of a day-long visit to the USF Tampa campus that included breakfast and a tour of the new Patel Center and Marshall Student Center with President Judy Genshaft.

USFAA director of development Ron Sherman, `74, shows this bull statue in Old Jaffa in Jaffa, Israel, how to properly throw the horns.

Joseph and Suzanne Lomascolo, Class of `74 and `96, respectively, were among 200 alumni and friends who attended the USF: Unstoppable event at Innisbrook in February. To learn more about how you can help USF become unstoppable, visit www.unstoppable. More than 60 Alpha Tau Omega fraternity members and friends attended an ATO reunion at the USF Tampa campus in October. The group, who were mostly alumni from 1966-76, toured the new Juniper-Poplar dorm, the Marshall Student Center, Athletics and more. They also played golf at The Claw and held a party in Traditions Hall at the Gibbons Alumni Center. APRIL 2011 | ALUMNIVOICE


chapters & societies The D.C. Regional chapter celebrated the holidays with a spirited Bulls outing in December. Alumni and friends from around the Washington D.C. area enjoyed a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol and lunch together at a nearby restaurant.

Eli Levine, future Bull and son of USFAA board member, Mark Levine `74, displayed Bull Pride from horns to toe at the Atlanta alumni chapter bowl watch party. It was a full house with more than 60 alumni and friends gathering in Alpharetta to watch the Bulls defeat the Clemson Tigers.

The College of Business Alumni Society held a watch party for the Louisville game at TGI Friday’s. To learn more about the college’s alumni group, visit Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist spoke to students in the Law and Legal Policies class, taught by Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Court Judge Raymond Gross, `69. Judge Gross is a past president of the USFAA board and a Distinguished Alumnus Award winner. 20


No matter where you live, you’ll always be a Bull! The USF Alumni Association has alumni chapters all over the country. We also have college and special-interest societies for like-minded alumni. It’s easy to get involved. Just email the contact person of the group you’d like to visit. Societies Ambassador Alumni Ted Rivera Architecture Alumni Adam Fritz Association of Filipino Students Alumni Society Aileen Aqui Black Alumni Shomari Sanford

Dallas alumni and friends cheered the Bulls to victory during the chapter’s Meineke Car Care Bowl watch party. Pictured from left to right are: Tina Golden, `81, Jon Fleming, `01 & MBA `04, Cecilia Fleming, Ken Lettre, `81, and Chad Butler, `02. College of Business Alumni Society co-chair Jamie Ellison, `06, and Peter Wingfield, `06, wore their Bulls gear with pride during a visit to Chicago.

College of Business Alumni Jamie Ellison Maegan Fader Education Alumni Freda Abercrombie Engineering Alumni Shelia Carpenter-van Dijk Entrepreneurship Alumni Debbie Bernal Geology Alumni Mike Schackne Honors Alumni Lisa Provenzano Heugel Kosove Alumni Christina Calandro Marine Science Alumni Bruce Barber Beau Suthard Medicine Alumni Christina Brown-Wujick Nursing Alumni Lauren Kelly Pharmacy Alumni Leanna Baylis Public Health Alumni Leanna Baylis Florida Chapters

Chicago alumni came together on Dec. 4, 2010, to watch Bulls football and collect donations for 826CHI, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for kids. Alumni donated dozens of boxes of granola bars and other healthy snacks, as well as notebooks and pens, to the organization.

Greater Tampa Ashley Smith Brevard Todd Bonanza John Carpenter

Barbara Lyn Broward Ruth Rogge

National Chapters Atlanta Denise Dimbath

Alan Steinberg

Austin Brad Heath

Fort Myers Sanjay Kurian

Chicago Greg Morgan

Hernando Kevin Floyd

D.C. Regional Celia Riley

Highlands (FL) Charles Devlin

Kathy Dorf

Jacksonville/St. Augustine Gary Hoog Ellen Rosenblum Manatee/Sarasota Sean Grosso

Dallas Ken Lettre Rob Smith Greenville, SC Brittany Link

Darren Gambrell

Houston Alan Goldsmith

Miami-Dade Carlos Rodriguez

Michael Peppers

Monroe (Key West) Kristen Condella Greater Ocala Jerald “Jerry” Grimes Orlando Katie Giglio Palm Beach Scott Teich Panama City Janet Caragan Pasco County/New Tampa Kimberly Choto Pensacola/Spanish Fort/Mobile Nick Kessler

Indianapolis Ali Bridwell Los Angeles Janet Foster New York Valerie Berrios Northern Ohio Sean Chamberlin Philadelphia/South Jersey Joe Ebner Phoenix Stephen Curry Raleigh, NC Bob Cohn

John Spurny

San Antonio, TX Ruben Matos

Pinellas Brenda Kenny

Seattle-Tacoma, WA Suzann Lombard

Polk Randy Dotson

Corporate Affinity Group

St. Lucie Frank Pennetti

Lockheed Martin – Oldsmar Brent Lewis

Tallahassee Phil Canto



Profile in Leadership

Bullish on By Jeremy Canody Photos by Joseph Gamble Photography

When USF alumnus John Ramil (`78 and `00) commits to something he is passionate about he is known for sticking with it for the long term. Whether it is his 35-year career with the same company, his marriage to his high school sweetheart, his support of his alma mater, or his lifelong passion for fishing, Ramil is a man of perseverance.

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t’s that same loyalty and commitment that has made him one of USF’s most accomplished and respected alumni. Ramil has worked his way up the corporate ladder to become the President and CEO of TECO Energy by taking calculated risks, being patient and, self-admittedly having “a little luck.” He also serves as the Chair of the USF Board of Trustees, an honor he was given in June 2010 after having served on the board since 2001. Ramil is regarded highly among the country’s most influential business leaders and his stature at his alma mater puts him in a decision-making role of one of the most significant university systems in the country. Needless to say, John Ramil is a powerful man, yet his calm, almost quiet demeanor suggests the contrary. Ramil is a Tampa native who grew up playing baseball and enjoying the Florida outdoors in Seminole Heights, where he attended Tampa Catholic High School and met his wife Naida (`89). He said she has been his rock ever since and credits much of his success to her own knack for persistence and thoughtful guidance through their 32 years of marriage and raising two children. “Looking back, I knew I was destined for a career in the utility industry when my first full-time job was reading water meters,” Ramil said. “When my childhood dream of playing baseball for the New York Yankees didn’t pan-out, I began to look at more realistic career opportunities,” he said. Ramil was a good student and had a penchant for math and science in high school, and he was encouraged at an early age to consider going to engineering school. He attended USF because it had a strong engineering program and it was close to home. In 1976, Ramil officially began working for TECO Energy as a cooperative education student while attending USF’s College of Engineering. “We find that a lot of engineering students do well in a cooperative workstudy program as undergrads and that is something I was a product of as a student at USF.” Ramil excelled during his time at

His Commitment to Succeed USF and the officials at TECO Energy began to take notice. Upon graduation, he had several options for work but remained with TECO to begin an impressive career that would culminate at the top. He assumed leadership roles with increasing responsibility throughout the company’s various divisions, including environmental, engineering, fuel procurement, transportation, customer service, operations, marketing and finance. “The engineering curriculum at USF is very broad and covers all aspects of engineering. Having that background coming into a company as diverse as TECO was very helpful in allowing me to work in so many areas of the company.” Ramil became a vice president in 1994, and even served as Vice PresidentFinance and Chief Financial Officer for TECO Energy for a year, working with Wall Street and learning the market. “I used to get a kick out of sharing with the USF business school dean that two of TECO Energy’s former CFOs (Ramil and Gordon Gillette) are graduates of the College of Engineering.” By 2004, Ramil had worked his way through the company to become President and Chief Operating Officer, where he flourished for six years until being named President and CEO in 2010. During that time, he helped orchestrate a $1.2 billion effort to completely modernize the company’s power plants to exceed the government’s environmental standards while keeping costs to customers at a minimum. Today, Ramil is in charge of overseeing TECO Energy’s operations, including four operating companies: Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas, TECO Coal and TECO Guatemala. “My career has been a combination of hard work and good luck, as well as being in the right place at the right time,” Ramil said. “I was lucky in that I’ve always worked for leaders who had no problem helping people excel and I was able to move to various assignments around the company.” Today, he is paying it forward by encouraging a corporate culture that recognizes talent and rewards a job

well-done. “I see a little bit of myself in some of the superstars we have at TECO and our senior staff does a great job of moving talented staff up through the ranks.” Fortunately, Ramil and his executive team don’t have to look far for good talent. “The impressive thing about our senior leadership team and many TECO employees is that we have several USF graduates,” he said proudly, crediting USF’s strong accountancy and engineering programs with producing a large majority of their leadership team. “Green and gold are popular colors around here.”

5Questions with…

John Ramil, `78 & MCE `00

Q. What was the last book you read? A.The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande Q. What is your favorite movie? A. “Indiana Jones” (the first one) Q. Where is your favorite place in the world? A.  Gasparilla Island, Boca Grande, FL Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? A.  “…yesterday’s over my shoulder, so I can’t look back for too long. There’s just too much to see waiting in front of me and I know I just can’t go wrong…”  Jimmy Buffett Q. What superpower would you like to have? A. To throw super-human passes for Coach Skip Holtz

Ramil says the fact that so much of the local workforce is a product of his alma mater is a real testament to how important the university is to the Tampa Bay region. “USF is extremely important to our communities because it provides our citizens with world-class health care, education, research, community outreach and high-tech innovation. Beyond that, and perhaps most important, USF is moving toward significantly generating new jobs in this community.”

In his role as chair of the board of trustees and through his service on several university boards and committees, Ramil is one of USF’s most invested alumni with his finger on the pulse of the university. He said the university remains focused on the big picture goal of becoming an Association of American Universities (AAU) eligible school and is taking a very realistic and methodical approach to making sure that happens. “USF has made incredible progress in the past decade. It has gone from being an average local university to become a national school of first choice for many talented students. USF is now a destination school, and I think we surprise people in that we are a little bit bolder than they expect,” he said. Ramil likens the success of USF to that of his own company. “The university leadership and administration at USF is incredibly strong,” he said, adding that there is a “can-do” attitude at USF that finds ways to succeed even when the odds are stacked against the university. Looking forward, Ramil said he still has a lot to accomplish in what has already been a wildly successful career. “We have a lot of work to do here at TECO and a desire to grow the business. But looking ahead, I plan to remain very involved with USF.” Of all he has accomplished in life, he is most proud of the balance in his life that puts family first. “Personally and professionally, I have been able to maintain a successful family life in conjunction with my career all these years,” Ramil said. “When someone asks me to get involved in something, I tell them my family comes first, my career responsibilities come second, and my commitment to USF comes next. Everything else is going to be subordinate to that.” Ramil says he hopes to encourage other USF alumni to make a similar commitment to the university. Based on his success so far, if Ramil is committed to building that culture of loyalty at his alma mater, then it will get done.



1960 A Blast from the Past ! U.S. PRESIDENT: Dwight D. Eisenhower VICE PRESIDENT: Richard M. Nixon


IN SCIENCE:The first working laser is built by American physicist Ted H. Maiman; American chemist Willard F. Libby is awarded the Nobel Prize for leading the team that developed carbon dating and is named as one of Time magazine’s Persons of the Year.

AT USF: USF opens its doors to 1,997 students on Sept. 26; USF breaks ground on its first two dorms.

IN THE NEWS: U.S. U-2 spy plane is shot down over Russia on May 1; John F. Kennedy defeats Richard Nixon in a closely-fought presidential race; a sit-in by blacks at a Greensboro, NC, diner becomes a key event in the Civil Rights movement.

IN THE ARTS: Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” terrifies movie-goers and becomes one of the year’s most successful films; Bobby Darrin’s “Mack the Knife” wins the Grammy for Record of the Year; 90 percent of U.S. homes have a television set. Sources: USF Communications & Marketing, University of South Florida:The First Fifty Years, 1956-2006, U.S. Census Bureau,; Wikipedia, WikiCommons, Library of Congress



By Evan Tokarz, Class of 2011 Now I must say farewell to USF and to readers. I graduate this summer so this will be my final column for Alumni Voice. In light of that, I decided this would be a good time to list some of the intangible lessons I have learned while I was here. Walking is Good I don’t know how I could have survived USF if I didn’t enjoying walking. The campus is huge, and parking tended to be scarce, so hoofing it from places like the Sun Dome parking lot to the Marshall Center became routine. It also saved on time spent looking for parking. The walks themselves tended to be pretty – dotted with trees, foliage and scampering squirrels. People who parked right next to their buildings missed the simple joy of a walk to class. Helm Your Own Education I might have been stuck with some less-than-stellar teachers if I did not do research before taking classes. Luckily, the website offers pretty good insights into teaching style and effectiveness. Additionally, looking up curriculum vitaes and areas of research interest helped me make sure that my interests and the professor’s were the same. Of course, serendipity played its role too; some of my prerequisite teachers taught me bundles. Make the Most of the Library I understand not everyone likes books (although I don’t understand why not.) But, for other reasons, I found the USF Tampa library incredibly useful. Laptop checkout, study rooms and interesting films and CDs are only part of its charms. The computer lab on the first floor saved me from missing assignments. The basement floor’s complete silence was crucial for studying without distraction. And, of course, the Starbucks was nice too – the vanilla bean frappacino and the banana bread were a couple of my favorite items. Check Out the Culture There are some gems on the USF Tampa campus. I enjoyed the artistic variety of the Contemporary Art Museum. It’s great to see what weirdness modern artists have come up with recently. I also got a lot from the free Campus Lecture Series, which included speakers such as Dan Savage, John Waters and Dr. Drew. The on-campus music scene was virtually nonexistent, but I did catch a free jazz performance put on by the College of Music that was aces. Get Involved Being president of the Society of Professional Journalists taught

me a lot about how the campus works in terms of student government, as well as helping me form leadership skills. I am also glad I attended some basketball games. I was amazed at Dominique Jones’ ability to score in bunches, and I was very happy to catch USF beating some top teams. It may sound somewhat sentimental, but being part of the USF community was very fulfilling. Make Flashcards! The number one thing that helped me be successful academically was to make flashcards. Without them, I do not think I would have received As and Bs in all of my classes. Simple, but true. It has been nice writing this column. I hope you all have enjoyed my work and I look forward to being an alumnus soon.

SAH ARE Memor y Enjoy these excerpts of memories from members of the USF Alumni Association. Email your favorite USF memory to or post it on our Facebook page. My favorite memory at USF was always rushing to the football games to try and get front row seats with my friends. AnnMarie Picinic, `09 Building, operating, and maintaining equipment in the College of Engineering’s clean room. What a cool place that was. Matthew Smith `01 & M.S. `03 The bonfires on MLK Plaza for Homecoming (B.F. – Before football.) Living in The Village my senior year next door to James who was on the basketball team, listening to him play Sega with the entire team until the wee hours of the morning. Nicole Medders Salazar, `96 Living in the dorm as a freshman in 1968; making new friends. Parties at the Wildlife Club, Busch Gardens when it was free to get in ... KDs, Lums, the UC, and now joining so many of my “old” friends for football at Homecoming. Ellen Shanks Rosenblum, `72




your membership in

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Employ -A-Bull

Get ahead of the herd with tips from executive recruiter Jim Weber. Class of `77 & MBA `82

USF Alumni Association Board Member Jim Weber is the founder of New Century Dynamics, Inc., an executive search firm for the food service industry. If you have career questions for Jim, email them to us at

my time either.” I can certainly appreciate his sentiment now that I have my own business. If you are in a commissiononly profession, you had better understand how to use your time wisely, otherwise you will go hungry. If you grasp this corollary to time management you will be viewed as a savvy professional worthy of my networking efforts. Believe me when I tell you that most of your networking contacts want to help you. Your job is to help them help you, by making the networking contact smooth and effective. When I am in networking mode there are three things that I ask: Make it easy for me to know what you want; make it easy for me to introduce you to my network and make it easy for me to contact you. If you can accomplish these three demands, you will be viewed as a true professional, generate a lot of referrals and shorten your job search.

Quick Tips:

All We Have is Our Time

Make it easy for me to know how to help you: • Be crystal-clear as to what you are trying to accomplish and how I can be most helpful. Don’t make me guess at what might be a good connection or a viable opportunity for you. • Your elevator speech must be compelling so I will remember you. • Do your homework. Be prepared for our conversation.


Make it easy for me to introduce you to my network: • Give me a handful of your business cards. • Connect with me on LinkedIn. • Send me updates on your progress and what you are trying to accomplish.

t had to happen eventually. My editor asked for the obligatory time management and “improving your productivity” article. Now, don’t misunderstand, I believe that improving one’s productivity, especially if you are in jobsearch mode, is very important, no question. My hesitation with this topic is that it is difficult to find new and useful tips that will be interesting to the reader. Then it came to me. Let’s approach the issue from a different perspective. Think of becoming more productive and professional by helping others maintain their productivity. Too often we don’t give enough thought to the needs of other people; especially the value of their time. Early in my career I had the opportunity to help jump-start the career of a real estate agent. This agent had helped me buy my home. He did a good job for me so I felt confident about sending him referrals. My employer was building a team of new executives, all of whom were relocating into this city, so this realtor quickly became the go-to guy for these folks, closing some big deals. His business took off. As I got to know this agent better and learned about his business, he relayed one fundamental truth to me. He told me, “Jim, all I have is my time.” I understood his point immediately. Time is a precious commodity that should not be wasted. The flip side of the message is “I cannot afford to waste my time, and I don’t appreciate other people wasting

Make it easy for me to contact you: • Your email correspondence must include a complete signature section with all of your contact information. I rely heavily on my IPhone so having the ability to tap your phone number, email address, or website is a critical time-saving function. • Understand your networking contact’s preferred method of communication and comply. Sallie, a good friend summarized the issue perfectly when she said: “A calendar placeholder, for any type of meeting, should give pause to make sure there is value for all parties involved. If the allotted time was viewed as “billable” would everyone be able to collect on that invoice? If my business development doesn’t yield an ROI, then I’m at a loss.” Professionals want to work and network with other professionals. Demonstrating respect for the value of other people’s time will clearly position you as a professional worthy of my time.



classnotes 60s

Roberto González Echevarría,

Spanish `64, received the National Medal for the Humanities at a ceremony in the White House, on March 2. Dr. González Echevarría is a charter alumnus of USF. He is Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literatures and Chairman of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Yale.

Hazel McCatty Robles, Sociology `65, worked as a social worker in the Hillsborough County School System for 37 years until retiring recently. She and husband Edilio have been married 25 years. Robles was president and chairman of the Board of Tampa GEM Sertoma Club for the 2009-2010 year.

70s David Lynn Anderson, Management `77, recently published the second book in his Sorcerer series, Begotten Son. This book is a sequel to Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows. The third book is due out early 2012. Anderson is also a successful ghostwriter, with three published science fiction hardback books to his credit. Richard Bass, Political Science `75, is a licensed professional planner with over 33 years of development and planning experience. He is recognized in the New York/New Jersey region for his experience in community and economic development, comprehensive and strategic planning, zoning and affordable housing. Bass started his career in Jerusalem, planning new towns for the State of Israel. For the last 11 years, Bass has been employed by the law firm, Herrick, Feinstein LLP, providing land use, economic incentive and political advocacy services. Bass is the former planning director of the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, Jersey City and the City of Coral Gables. He is a frequent speaker concerning planning, development and community empowerment. He is married and has three children. He has a Masters of Urban Planning from Hunter College. For the past 20 years, he has been an adjunct professor at Hunter College and Columbia University. While at Columbia, Bass led a group of students who produced a master plan for Bat Yam, Israel, which is currently being implemented. Bass co-authored a chapter for the Fordham Urban Law Journal and is co-author of Herrick’s land use and environmental blog, ZONE, which keeps readers up-to-date on the latest issues in land use and environmental law. Dr. Sylvia Cantrell Albritton, M.Ed `76, is a

graduate-level instructor in the International Teacher Education Program at Nova Southeastern University.



She also serves as the lead teacher working with juvenile offenders at the Orient Road and Falkenburg jails. Before retiring from Hillsborough County schools after 35 years, she served as an English and journalism teacher at Leto High School and Robinson High School, and was then appointed as dean of girls at Robinson. She later served as an assistant principal for student affairs at Plant High School and as an assistant principal for curriculum at Robinson. She spent almost 14 years as principal at both Robinson High School and Tampa Bay Technical High School before she was promoted to general director for Career and Technical Education for the school district. She has served in numerous leadership positions during her career, including the president of the Hillsborough Association of School Administrators, where she received the Professional Involvement Award. She was also recognized as the Hillsborough Guidance Association Principal of the Year and Florida Guidance Association Administrator of the Year. Dr. Albritton received the Hillsborough Association of Technical, Career and Adult Education School Based Administrator of the Year Award, and upon her return to the classroom was named as the Ida S. Baker Award winner for the Youth Services Program, as well as being a Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year Finalist. She has served on numerous committees and boards of director, including Support, Inc., the Kids and Canines Program at Dorothy Thomas School and currently, the board of directors at the Seminole Heights Charter High School.

Pete Cardillo, American Studies `79, marked the 7th anniversary of the founding of his law firm, Cardillo Law Firm. Cardillo specializes in the representation of property owners who have termite damage claims against their insurance and termite companies. Michael L. Cohen, Political Science `71, has practiced law as a solo practitioner for 34 years in West Palm Beach. During his years at USF, Cohen played varsity soccer in 1967 under Coach Dan Holcomb and co-founded the USF wrestling club. He was a member of the Athletic Council that voted to bring basketball to USF and was a member of the TEP fraternity and student government. Cohen was the student cantor at Hillel’s Friday night services in the old student center, the U.C., and was a resident assistant in Beta 3-West for a year. After graduating USF, he worked as a writer, editor and photographer in the west coast office of the Florida Education Association in Tampa before attending law school. Gerald S. “Sandy” Graham, Economics `77 &

MBA `04, co-established Sequoyah Associates, a small business growth design team focused on helping stage-one and stage-two small businesses achieve business growth and full business

optimization. A 2004 Kauffman Foundation intern, Graham is also a contributing author in Free Cash Flow – the Essential Ingredient for Growing a Business. His first book entitled See the Green$: The Achievement of Your Entrepreneurial Dreams was released in January.

Dan Madock, Psychology `76, was selected to receive the Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce’s annual Medical Hero Award for 2011. Dr. Madock has operated a chiropractic practice in Temple Terrace and Tampa for 30 years. He has lectured on chiropractic and cranial adjusting techniques nationally and internationally. He is the author and developer of the Iso-Cranial technique. He has been a member and/or officer of the University Area Civitan Club, The North Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Chiropractic Association and the Hillsborough Chiropractic Society. Les Miller, Political Science `78, was elected to the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners to represent District 3, which covers the central part of the county. Miller previously served as a member of the Florida Senate from 2000-2006 and as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 1992-2000. During his time in the Florida Legislature, he served as the Minority Leader for both the House and the Senate. He also was appointed to the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission from 2007-2008 and as a member of the Florida Board of Regents from 1977-1979. Miller also serves as the director of the Office of Community Relations and Office of the Student Ombudsman for the University of South Florida. Jose Valiente, Accounting `73, received the Leadership Tampa Alumni Parke Wright III Award on Jan. 27. Established in 2002, the Parke Wright III Leadership Award is presented annually to a member of Leadership Tampa Alumni who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and made a significant difference in the Tampa Bay community. Valiente’s recent accomplishments include: serving as a past chair of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce; establishing the Chamber’s Diploma-See program; and dedicating time and energy on boards and committees for the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), University of South Florida Latin Community Advisory Committee and The Florida Orchestra. In addition to the award, Valiente was presented a $2,000 honorarium by Bronson Thayer of Lykes Bros. Inc., to be given to the charity of his choice.

Don’t be shy Alumni! We’d like to include your news and photos in Class Notes. Send in your information to: or you can mail your information & photo to: Karla Jackson USF Alumni Association Gibbons Alumni Center University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Ave., ALC100 Tampa, FL 33620-5455

80s Donna Arnett, Nursing `81 & MPH `87, was named chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Dr. Arnett has more than 15 years of experience in teaching and research in the area of epidemiology. She received her Ph.D in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since 1994, Dr. Arnett has designed and taught graduate level courses in fundamental and advanced concepts of epidemiology, methodological and theoretical aspects of epidemiology and grant writing. From 1998-2001, she served as chair of the Epidemiology Master’s Degree Program at the University of Minnesota and as director for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded Training Program in Cardiovascular Genetic Epidemiology. At UAB, Dr. Arnett leads the Seminar Series and teaches Grant Writing, a doctoral-level course that teaches the fundamentals of writing grant applications. Dr. Arnett is an elected fellow in the American Heart Assocation Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, the Society of Epidemiology and the American College of Epidemiology (ACE), and serves on the Board of Directors for ACE. She is president-elect of the Greater Southeast Affiliate of the American Heart Association, representing Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Puerto Rico. In addition, Dr. Arnett is chair of the Scientific Publishing Committee for the American Heart Association and serves on the AHA board of directors. Dr. Arnett has served as an associate editor for the American Journal of Epidemiology since 1996 and as an editor since 2004. She currently serves as guest editor-in-chief for Circulation. Dan Bisaillon, Management `83 & MBA `06,

was promoted to chief operating officer of America II Electronics, Inc. Bisaillon will be responsible for directing all of America II’s domestic and international semiconductor business as the company moves to expand its global market presence. He has been with America II for more than 12 years. Most recently, he was CIO and vice president of operations. Prior to joining America II in 1998, Dan was vice president of operations at Dataflex Corp., a position he held for 10 years.

Selma Canas, Economics `89, was hired as

the marketing coordinator for the Small Business Development Center at UNF. She is responsible for coordinating events, marketing and development of the Small Business Resource Network program in the Ocala, Gainesville, and Citrus County markets.

Melissa Carver, M.S. Nursing `86, works at Florida Cancer Specialists in Tampa, FL. John Cash, Business Administration `85, has

joined Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty’s Abaco sales team. An eighth-generation native Bahamian, Cash was born on Great Guana Cay, Abaco, and grew up in Treasure Cay. Cash became a member of the Bahamas Realtor Institute in 2003. In December 2004, he became the first realtor in Abaco to earn the prestigious certified residential specialist designation. Cash later became the Bahamas’ first accredited buyer representative in January 2008, which is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council of the National Association of Realtors.

John Chiang, Finance `84, was re-elected to a

second term as California state controller. Chiang has held the position since 2006. Previously, he worked as a tax law specialist at the Internal Revenue Service and as an attorney in the state controller’s office.

Diane Daniel, Mass Communications `82, has

written Farm Fresh North Carolina: The Go-To Guide to Great Farmers’ Markets, Farm Stands, Farms, Apple Orchards, U-Picks, Kids’ Activities, Lodging, Dining, Choose-and-Cut Christmas Trees, Vineyards and Wineries, and More, which was published by UNC Press. Daniel is a North Carolina-based journalist who writes about travel, the outdoors and people’s lives. She writes regularly for Ode Magazine, The Boston Globe and the (NC) News & Observer, and also appears in The Washington Post travel section, Southern Living magazine, and other national and regional publications. In 2008, Daniel won a national Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for a New York Times travel story.

Dale “Chip” DeBlock, Criminology

`83, has been a Florida law enforcement officer for over 27 years. In 2002 he co-founded LEOAFFAIRS.COM, LLC, a law enforcement website and message board. LEOAFFAIRS.COM is now known as one of the largest law enforcement message board/blogs in the world. It includes over 500 law enforcement agencies in 18 countries and generates over 20 million hits per month. The site is famous for enabling law enforcement professionals to talk about work related issues without fear of reprisal. LEOAFFAIRS.COM has been featured in newspapers, radio and television broadcasts across the country, including MSNBC and The Washington Post.

Steven Goforth, Criminal Justice and Management `84 & MBA `94, is executive vice president of development for M-Dot Network. Fellow alumnus Greg Rapp, Business `79, is vice president of engineering for the company. In December 2010, M-Dot Network, a high-speed

transaction network that provides real-time connectivity between Internet and mobile-based technologies to in-store retail point of sale systems, won the 4th annual Amazon Web Services StartUp Challenge, a global competition among young companies that provide Web services. The AWS challenge received more than 1,500 applications from 22 countries across North America, Asia Pacific and Europe. As the winner, M-Dot Network was awarded $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in AWS service credits at the finale event in Palo Alto, CA. M-Dot Network is based in Erie, PA; its engineering center is in Tampa.

Richard King, Art `80, won his third

Oscar at the 83rd Academy Awards on Feb. 27. This one was for his sound work on the movie “Inception.” His other two Oscars were for “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” (2003.) King has worked on more than 70 films in his long career in Hollywood and won six other awards.

Tom Klebeck, Accounting `85 & MBA

`90, has been named a partner of USC Consulting Group LLC (USCCG), where he is vice president of Finance and Administration. His responsibilities include broad financial oversight for the firm, as well as targeted financial analyses for numerous clients. He is head of the firm’s private equity practice, which involves development initiatives in the areas of private equity and distressed investing. He is also a member of USCCG Europe Ltd’s board of directors. Klebeck has more than 25 years of experience in roles ranging from corporate accounting to senior financial positions with New York Stock Exchange publicly traded companies. He has extensive experience in corporate governance, GAAP accounting, financial analysis, acquisitions and divestitures, operational consolidation, asset valuation, government bidding, public company launches, and process reengineering. He is a member of the Turnaround Management Association and holds a certificate of mastery in Reengineering. Prior to joining USCCG in 2004, he founded three successful companies, including a real estate brokerage, development and investing company and an automobile dealership. Previously, he spent 12 years with Telecredit, Equifax, and then the ChoicePoint spin-off in Tampa and Atlanta.

Gary Kropp, Psychology `85 & M.A. `88, completes 25 years of federal service this year. Kropp’s career began with active duty in the U.S. Army during the early 1970s as an engineer. Kropp joined James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital to work in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Program in 1990. He also was involved with the implementation of the Tampa V.A. Domiciliary and the creation of the M.H. APRIL APRIL 2011 2011 || ALUMNIVOICE ALUMNIVOICE

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classnotes & B.S. Transitional Supportive Housing Program, which helps homeless veterans find housing while awaiting admission to treatment programs. Kropp has since returned to the ADAT program.

Sue E. Mitchell, MBA `84, was named the vice

president for Finance and Administration at Valdosta State University. Mitchell is charged with developing and maintaining fiscal policies and internal controls, ensuring the university’s compliance with regulatory agencies, and providing leadership within facility planning and development. Previously, Mitchell served as vice president for Finance and Business Affairs at the Citadel in Charleston, SC, where she held the rank of colonel.

William E. North, Finance `87, is now a member

of Mote Marine Laboratory’s Advisory Council. North is a certified public accountant who currently serves as manager at Hill, Barth & King, LLC in Sarasota. He has extensive experience in taxation and business consulting for the construction industry and is a certified construction industry financial professional.

John M. Polson, Finance `87,

was included in The Best Lawyers in America 2010 ranking, along with three other attorneys with the firm of Fisher & Phillips LLP in Irvine, CA. Polson is a labor and employment attorney and partner at the firm. The Best Lawyers ranking is based on an exhaustive annual peer-review survey.

Larry Vaughn, Mass Communications `80, is a freelance cameraman, editor, lighting & sound director. His Gainesville-based company is called Gator Films. William Woeltjen, Accounting `84 & MBA `97,

was promoted to chief financial officer at Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. Woeltjen, who previously served as Sarasota Memorial’s treasurer, has been serving as the interim CFO since July 2010. Woeltjen is responsible for all financial matters related to the health care system, including financial reporting, financial planning, revenue cycle, reimbursement, debt management and managed care contracting.

90s John Aquilino, Broadcast-News `98, was recently

promoted to director of national accounts at Ashford University.

James S. Brodsky, Business Administration `92, was named as one of the Ultimate HR Executives in Northeast Florida by the Jacksonville Business Journal. He is the Foundation Financial Group’s



senior vice president for human resources and learning and development.

Beth Brown, Elementary Education `91, was

named the 2011-12 Pasco County Schools Administrator of the Year. Brown’s career began in Pasco County as a social studies teacher at Thomas E. Weightman Middle School. After completing a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, Brown was selected to be assistant principal and helped open Wesley Chapel High School. In February of 2003, Brown was promoted to principal of Bayonet Point Middle School, where she remained for three years. In 2006, Brown opened Dr. John Long Middle School in Wesley Chapel as principal.

Kenneth Curtin, History `91, joined Adams and Reese as special counsel in the Litigation Practice Group in the firm’s Tampa and St. Petersburg offices. He has practiced law since 1996, focused in the areas of complex commercial, construction, community association and real property litigation as well as insurance defense and coverage issues. Curtin is board certified by the Florida Bar in construction law and has extensive experience representing clients before various boards of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. He is certified by the Supreme Court of Florida as a Circuit and County Civil Mediator and has mediated numerous complex commercial, construction and insurance disputes. He has been recognized as a “Top Up and Comer” by the South Florida Legal Guide, 2009 and 2010, and was selected by his legal peers as a 2006 Super Lawyer in the areas of business and construction litigation. He was recognized in October 2009 in the Daily Business Review “Verdicts and Settlements” section for obtaining a verdict in excess of $4.6 million against a Boca Raton developer for breach of promissory note and personal guaranty. Curtin interned for one summer at the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration in Paris and studied law during another summer in Paris. While in law school, he also served as editor-in-chief of the Florida Journal of International Law. He is a former member of the United States Marine Corps in the Second Marine Infantry Division, honorably discharged in August 1988. Rick De Oliveira, Political Science `93, produces and directs television shows such as “Rock of Love with Bret Michaels” and several of the “Real World” series. Chad Dickey, Microbiology `98, M.S. Medical Sciences `02 & Ph.D. `04, is the recipient of the USF Graduate School 30th Anniversary Celebratory Alumni Award. Dr. Dickey joined the faculty at the

Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in September 2008. He earned his Ph.D from USF in 2004. His post-doctoral training was done at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville under the direction of Dr. Michael Hutton, an expert in the field of Alzheimer’s disease genetics. Dr. Dickey was a recipient of a New Investigator Award from the Alzheimer’s Association and a Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation/AFAR New Investigator Award in Alzheimer’s disease. He has conducted two research projects for the Society for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy to study the mechanisms behind this particular form of hereditary dementia. He is currently funded through the NIH Pathway to Independence program and the Alzheimer’s Association for his research related to molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease. He lives in Tampa with his wife Adria and his two sons, Luke and Jacob.

Peter Gamache, Humanities `97, MLA `99, Marketing `00, MBA `02 & MPH `04, is a Ph.D candidate in the Department of Psychological & Social Foundations within the College of Education at USF. Gamache is also a registered nurse with an Associate’s of Nursing degree from Hillsborough Community College. His dissertation, entitled “HIV Education for Youth in Transition to Adulthood,” focuses on the construction of social distance and stratification. Read more about Gamache at his website, Jason Gaskill, Biology & Chemistry `99, of Adams and Reese LLP Sarasota office was elected partner, effective in January. Gaskill has been practicing law since 2002, handling a variety of commercial litigation matters with emphasis on construction litigation, intellectual property litigation and real property litigation. He is also a registered patent attorney focusing his intellectual property practice on patent and trademark litigation. Michael Gibbons, Nursing `95, is a staff certified

nurse anesthetist for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and currently resides in Stuart, FL.

Jeremy Hayman, Finance & Marketing `99, was

appointed as the general manager for Sedona Golf Resort. Hayman is responsible for all golf operations, food and beverage, marketing, sales, merchandising and tournaments for the newest addition to the OB Sports collection of courses. Prior to this position, Hayman was the head golf professional at another OB Sports-managed facility in Arizona, Eagle Mountain Golf Club in Fountain Hills, from 2005 through 2010.

Adam Hoover, Computer Engineering `92, M.S. `93 & Ph.D. `96, is an associate professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Clemson University. He and his wife, Adair, who also is a USF

Don’t be shy Alumni! We’d like to include your news and photos in Class Notes. Send in your information to: or you can mail your information & photo to: Karla Jackson USF Alumni Association Gibbons Alumni Center University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Ave., ALC100 Tampa, FL 33620-5455

alumnus, proudly cheered for the Bulls during the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Jeanne Hopple, M.S. Nursing `93, is a family nurse practitioner for Family Care Specialists in Ocala, FL.

Sterling Ivey, Public Relations `97, is currently the spokesman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Previously, he was press secretary for former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, and prior to that, worked for the Department of State, Pinellas County School Board, Florida Department of Corrections and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Tim W. Jackson, English `96, has written his first novel, Mangrove Underground, which was published in December 2010 by The Chenault Publishing Group. Jackson set his novel in the Florida backcountry and roots it in the state’s eco-thriller tradition. As a staff photographer for the Citrus County Chronicle and The Tampa Tribune, Jackson has a decade of firsthand knowledge of his subject matter. After journalism, Jackson returned to academia to earn an M.A. in English at Southern Methodist University. His nonfiction travel writing has appeared in the The Tampa Tribune and he has had short fiction published in the High Plains Literary Review, Confrontation, Palo Alto Review, Oracle Story and Letters and Conceit. He currently works as a boat captain and scuba instructor in the Cayman Islands while finishing a second novel.

Manitia Moultrie, M.S. Engineering

“Global Leadership through Timeless Service,” within the Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina chapters of AKA.

Management `97, was appointed the U.S. Sector Power Leader for Golder Associates Inc. As a senior consultant and associate with Golder, Moultrie has more than 25 years of technical and project management experience in a wide range of permitting, licensing, legislative and regulatory issues within the utility industry. An associate with Golder since 2003, Moultrie most recently was Tampa operations manager for Golder, overseeing the firm’s Tampa office. She will continue to be based in Tampa. She is very active with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc (AKA). Locally, she is program director in St. Petersburg for the Youth Development Foundation’s AKA AKademy program that focuses on the developmental needs of adolescent and teen girls and boys, 6th through 12th grade. On a national level, she is on the international program committee and holds the position of regional program chair, responsible for implementation of the sorority’s program theme,

Dr. Scott Paton, Chemistry `95, addressed the

European Parliament at the World Forum for Ethics in Business in Belgium in November 2010. The forum was created to bring together more than 400 economic, social, academic, scientific and political leaders to explore the leadership paradigms. Dr. Paton spoke about global health care issues. After the forum, he and his wife, Janice, went to India to take part in a silence meditation course at an ashram. Dr. Paton operates Paton Chiropractic in Lutz. He is a certified athletic trainer and is certified in acupuncture. He is the author of Health Beyond Medicine: A Chiropractic Miracle, (Healthcare Unity Press).

Mark Richmond, Marketing `97, was named

as the Florida Home Furnishings Representatives Association’s 2010 Distinguished Retailer of the

In the Bulls Eye

Jason Krywko,`07

Dr. Linda Keen-Rocha, M.Ed. `97 & Ph.D

Curriculum and Instruction `08, is currently completing a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Jeff Kronschnabl, MPA `94, was

appointed to the position of Instructor In Charge for St. Petersburg College’s new four-year degree program in Public Policy and Administration, which is part of the College of Policy and Legal Studies.

John Legg, Social Work `95, recently

completed his Master’s of Public Administration degree at USF. Legg is a member of the Florida House of Representatives and is Speaker Pro Tempore. He represents District 46, which includes parts of Pasco and Hernando counties.

Luisella Mazzone Tamayo, Special Education `96 & MS `10, is an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa. Tamaya teaches biology and environmental sciences.

Sleek Audio COO Jason Krywko shows his Bull Pride with the company’s organization and promotions coordinator, Chelsea Duchene, `07. By Melissa Cooper ason Krywko, a USF Sarasota-Manatee alumnus, was 27 and in a marketing class in 2006 when he developed the business plan for Sleek Audio, a company in Palmetto that develops and manufactures the world’s first acoustically tunable earphones. With sales projected to reach nine figures in 2011, a new contract with major hip-hop artist 50-Cent and sponsorship of the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans this season, Sleek Audio has already experienced profound achievement. Jason says he never forgets where his company’s success started. “For me, the biggest thing was learning how to manage and organize myself, and learning how to run a business,” he said. “To have the opportunity to write a marketing plan that turned into a business plan and then get a large loan … and then go back and talk to my professors, receive more guidance … how many people can say that? The small class size and continued connections make a big difference. I was encouraged and received a lot of help when I was at USF Sarasota-Manatee. I’m really grateful for that.”




classnotes Year. Richmond operates The Furniture Warehouse based out of Sarasota FL.

Brandon Rodriguez, Biology `98, and Virmary Rodriguez, Public Relations `99, welcomed a baby

boy, Ashton Gabriel, into the family on January 25.

Lisa Schiavinato, Political Science

`98, North Carolina Sea Grant’s law, policy and community development specialist, recently started a twoyear term as president of The Coastal Society. Known as TCS, the international organization of private sector, academic and government professionals and students, is dedicated to actively addressing emerging coastal issues by fostering dialogue, forging partnerships, and promoting communication and education. She is leading a study of North Carolina estuarine policy funded by the National Sea Grant Law Center, North Carolina Sea Grant and the University of North Carolina School of Law. Schiavinato also was recently named by North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement’s (BOEMRE) North Carolina Task Force on Offshore Renewable Energy. The task force will review proposed leases of federal waters for offshore renewable energy development and provide guidance to the state of North Carolina and BOEMRE regarding offshore wind energy development. She had previously served on a state committee looking at wind energy, providing expertise on issues surrounding policy development regarding coastal wind power.

Scott Seigel, Mechanical Engineering `94, P.E., LEED AP, CEM, recently passed the Certified Commissioning Authority (CxA) exam. He travels the globe managing teams that perform commercial, federal, and industrial building energy audits for Sain Engineering of Birmingham, AL. Denise L. Wheeler, Accounting `91, is a partner with Roetzel & Andress, a law firm with 12 offices throughout Ohio, Florida, New York and Washington, D.C. Wheeler specializes in representing employers in all aspects of employment law. She previously was the office managing shareholder for Fowler White Boggs’ Fort Myers office. Wheeler is board certified by the Florida State Bar in Labor and Employment Law. She was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in 2010 and 2011, and was recognized in Florida Trend Magazine’s “Florida Legal Elite” in 2006 and 2009, ranking in the top 2 percent of practicing Florida Bar members. Wheeler has been recognized annually as a “Florida Super Lawyer” since 2006 and was listed as one of the Top 50 Female Lawyers in 2007 and 2010. She was appointed as a member of the 32


Grievance Committee, Fort Myers Division, for the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. She is also AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. Wheeler earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from Stetson University College of Law.

Lori Wiggins, Speech/Language/Hearing Sciences `90 & M.A. `97, was nominated for the Pasco County Schools Administrator of the Year award. Wiggins began her educational career in Pasco County School District in the fall of 1990 as a speech language pathologist at Deer Park Elementary. She is currently the supervisor of curriculum and instructional services. David Winters, History `97 & M.A. Russian History `99, was named as a partner at the Chicago law firm, Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP. Winters has been an associate with the firm since 2002, practicing commercial and reinsurance arbitration and litigation. He began his legal career at Mayer Brown LLP, where he joined the tax controversy department. Winters is currently working on a litigation matter involving allegations of decadeslong fraud on workers compensation residual markets by a leading insurer. A 2002 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, Winters was associate editor of the Law Review.

00s Alfredo Alamo, Marketing `01, was

one of 72 selected artists to exhibit works during the Solo Art Miami 2010 show at the newly renovated Miami Airport Convention Center. Following Solo Art Miami, Alamo exhibited his works at the inaugural show of the Steinhausen Art Gallery in Stuart, FL. Alamo is a self-taught, awardwinning sculptor from Venezuela. After years as a businessman, he discovered his passion for art and taught himself the metalworking skills he needed to express himself through sculpture. He lives in Tampa with his wife, Dr. Estela Alamo, DDS. Visit his website at

Taurean Barnwell, International Business `06,

is now a diplomatic assistant in the Japanese embassy in Washington. Barnwell spent a semester in Japan on behalf of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.

Lauretta Brown, Business Administration `08,

joined Capgemini Government Solutions as a client executive for the Government Solutions Federal Treasury and Regulatory Markets practice. Brown has an extensive background in tax administration from the Internal Revenue Service. She will offer domain experience, guide operations and lead national program development efforts for Capgemini in the public sector market.

Peiyao Cheng, MS `04 & MPH`10, completed her field experience at James A. Haley Hospital under the leadership of USF alumna Britta Neugaard, MPH `93. While there, Cheng worked on a manuscript that was recently published in Diabetes Care, a high ranking medical journal.

Steven Concepcion, MPA `04, and his wife, Gina Celcis Concepcion, have founded a sustainable development organization in Haiti called Praxis International. Praxis is dedicated to agricultural redevelopment in Haiti, initially focusing on the Southeast region. The immediate goal is to establish and operate a center for agricultural research and training programs (Centre d’Etude et de Formation Agricole--CEFA) that will serve the rural community of Lavanneau, where the majority of citizens live in poverty and have minimal access to resources. This is also where Gina’s family ran a coffee plantation several decades ago and where Praxis will be based. Gina is the chair of the organization’s board of directors. Steven has a Bachelors degree in International Relations from Florida International University, in addition to his Masters in Public Administration from USF. He has also received graduate certification in non-profit management from USF. Recently, Steven served as the president of the American Society of Public Administration’s Suncoast Chapter. Steven is a co-founder of Canaan International, an organization focused drug and alcohol addiction serving Latin America and the Caribbean. In his tenure, he served as executive director of the organization. He was employed with Hillsborough County government as a budget analyst for six years, where he provided financial oversight of departments with substantial budgets and managed public safety grants. Concepcion also created The Celcon Group, which does business as Introspect. This organization focuses on sustainability and executive coaching for both nonprofits and for-profit companies. Steven and Gina have two daughters. He enjoys medium distance running, a good cup of coffee and is an avid fiction reader. Jason Faulkner, P.E., Civil Engineering `03, is the lead structural engineer for the Zion Nuclear Power Plant Restoration Project. The six-year, $1 billion dollar project will involve removal of spent fuel assemblies and dismantlement of the spent fuel pool, two reactor containment buildings, and the turbine building in order to restore the site, located in Zion, IL, back to a “green field” condition. Faulkner is also serving as the American Society of Civil Engineers Illinois Section Younger Members Group chair to promote the civil engineering profession and address issues facing civil engineers of age 35 and under in the Chicago area.

Don’t be shy Alumni! We’d like to include your news and photos in Class Notes. Send in your information to: or you can mail your information & photo to: Karla Jackson USF Alumni Association Gibbons Alumni Center University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Ave., ALC100 Tampa, FL 33620-5455

Trish Higgins, Journalism-News Editorial `00, is the media coordinator supervisor in the Image and Sound Department at CNN. Every piece of video that is received at CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta passes through a person or system that Higgins oversees. After graduation, Higgins studied abroad in Scotland for three months. She joined CNN in July 2001. Peter Katcha, MBA `06, was appointed as the

Ryan McKenzie, Finance `03, was promoted

to tax manager at True Partners Consulting LLC. McKenzie has been with True Partners since 2006 and has held positions from tax consultant to senior tax consultant.

Scott Semanision, Electrical Engineering `02, has passed the Certified Automation Professional exam.

Nicole Stokes, Psychology `03 & MPH `07, is now a financial representative at Northwestern Mutual.

Dava L. Simpson, American Studies `02 & M.A. Communication `06, is an adjunct professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. She teaches Organizational Communication and Free Speech and Ethics. In 2007-08, she was named Adjunct Professor of the Year at GMU. Joy Taylor, MBA `04, is CEO of TayganPoint Consulting Group, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in process design and process improvement. The company recently received

director of sales for the North American market for SEFAR® AG, the world’s leading producer of precision-woven fabrics. Katcha is responsible for directing the company’s strategic development for its architectural product range. Additionally, he will lead the marketing efforts for SEFAR® Architecture LightFrame lighting systems and unique SEFAR® Architecture Vision glass laminate products. Katcha comes to SEFAR from a senior position at Ronstan Tensile Architecture and brings more than 10 years of experience in the design and construction community.

Tracey Koehlmoos, MHA `02 & Ph.D Public Health `05, was interviewed in the British Medical Journal for her opinions on five publishers withdrawing free access to more than 2,500 health and biomedical online journals from institutions in Bangladesh. Dr. Koehlmoos, head of the health and family planning systems programme at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Dhaka, described the situation as very discouraging and said that it was likely to make working in a challenging environment even more difficult. Martha Lopez-Leschke, M.M. Vocal

Performance `06, is on the music faculty of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. She and a colleague helped to organize a benefit concert to purchase wheelchairs for disabled children in Iraq in collaboration with the Reach Out and Care Wheels – Iraq project, lead by CNN “Hero” Brad Blauser. The project was created in 2005 at the request of U.S. service members serving in Mosul, who observed children pulling themselves along the ground because they didn’t have wheelchairs. To date, 863 pediatric wheelchairs have been distributed.

Traci Malik, Accounting `02 & MACC `03,

has made partner at Jones & Company CPAs in Trinity. Malik, who joined the firm in 2002, became a certified public accountant in 2004 and is a member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Maralis Mercado, MPH `07, is currently a program coordinator for Student Health and Wellness at Duke University. APRIL 2011 | ALUMNIVOICE


classnotes national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). The WBE designation, awarded by Women Presidents Education Organization, regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), is one of the most widely recognized certifications in the nation and positions TayganPoint to do business with more corporations and government agencies that prioritize working with certified minority and women-owned businesses. The company is based in Lambertville, NJ.

Rena Upshaw-Frazier, Civil Engineering `01, joined law firm Quarles & Brady LLP as an associate in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group. Upshaw-Frazier will represent clients in all phases of federal and state court litigation and dispute resolution. She has experience in contract disputes, business torts, real estate litigation, admiralty litigation, Jones Act and LHWCA actions, telecommunication litigation and leasing, and unfair trade practices. While in law school, she was a federal judicial intern to the Hon. Judge Mary S.



Scriven, United States District Court, Middle District of Florida.

Robert Vincent, Professional-Technical Writing

`00 & M.A. Criminal Justice Administration `08, is the Chief of Police for the City of Gulfport in Pinellas County. He was recently featured on BayNews 9 in an article about the city’s lower crime rates.

Gary Walby, MSPH `02 & Ph.D `07 is a senior evaluator with The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, Research, Evaluation and Systems Unit, based in Tallahassee. Brandon Whiteman, Management Information Systems `04, and Jackie McCain, Political Science `04, became engaged on September 5, 2010. Brandon, Jackie and their English Bulldog Rocky live in the Washington, D.C. area.

10s Carla Gayle, MPH `10, is a disease intervention specialist for the Centers for Disease Control at the Miami-Dade County Health Department.

In Memoriam

Jennifer Albritton, `66 & M.A. `73, 1/02/11 Debora Lea Corbett, `06, 2/11/11 Roseline A. Cutler, `63, 2/05/11 Barbara E. Fernandez, `81, 1/13/11 Richard Garland, `79, 3/07/2011 Joseph D. Geiger, MFA `72, 1/07/11 Evelio G. Gonzalez, `76, 2/20/11 Judith Gould, MPA `80, 1/08/11 Lara Griffin, `02, 1/20/11 Marian Dwight Harris, `65 & M.A. `70, 1/31/11 Karen Alfonso Rock, M.A. `68, 1/21/11 Kimberly A. Tsokos, `84, 2/08/11 James K. Wiley, M.E. `70, 12/08/10


35 35

athletics Fields of Dreams


ore than 7,500 fans ushered in a new era in Bulls Baseball and Softball in February with the grand opening of a new ball field complex at USF Tampa. The new complex sits in the same general location as the much-belovedbut-aged Red McEwen Field on the eastern side of campus. A landscaped entryway leads up to the Gonzmart

Bulls Baseball Coach Lelo Prado, right, and Softball Coach Ken Eriksen spoke at the opening ceremonies for the new baseball/softball complex. Photo by Aimee Blodgett



Family Plaza, where fans turn to the right to watch softball; left for baseball. A grassy berm provides seating with views of both fields, which have expanded dugouts, bullpens and batting cages.There are also multiple party decks and pavilions for large groups and events.The baseball field has more than 3,200 seats, including a 1,500-seat grandstand and largest scoreboard in college baseball at

25-by-50 feet. Softball can seat up to 1,100, including the berm. The new fields are already making an impact on season-ticket sales, which are up substantially in both sports. The upgrades are part of a $30 million renovation of USF’s Athletics District that includes a new soccer stadium, the Pam and Les Muma Basketball Center and the Frank Morsani Football Practice Complex.To see a photo gallery of the new fields and get tickets for games, visit

The softball field above, seats 700 with additional seating available on the berms. The baseball field, left, has a 1,500 seat grandstand and seats more than 3,200. Photos from USF Athletics


your membership in action

April 14

7th Annual USF LGBT Community Gala, 5:45 p.m. , Traditions Hall, Gibbons Alumni Center, USF Tampa campus. Visit


USF: Unstoppable Event - St. Petersburg, 6 p.m. RSVP to


2011 Earth Day Tampa Bay, USF Botanical Gardens, USF Tampa campus. Visit for a detailed list of events.


Environmental Economic Lecture Series: Business Sustainability, 11:30 a.m., Selby Auditorium, USF Sarasota-Manatee campus. $15 including lunch. RSVP to Pamela J. Gleason at 941-359-4602 or


1st Annual Catch and Release University of South Florida Bull Fish Tournament, Captian’s Party, fishing tournament and awards party. For details contact or 813-281-3283.


CARD’s 6th Annual Fiesta by the Bay, 5:30 p.m., Gaspar’s Grotto, Ybor City. Contact Christine at or 813-974-9264 for details.

May 1

Florida Wind Band Concert, 8 p.m., Concert Hall, USF Tampa campus. Visit for ticket info.


USF St. Petersburg Sailing Overnight Adventure II, Tampa Bay & Gulf of Mexico with stops at Egmont Key and elsewhere. $185 for USFAA members. Contact The Waterfront at 727-873-4597 or for details.

Memorial Day. All campuses closed.


June 13-17

USF St. Petersburg GuardStart Junior Lifeguard/Watercraft Camp for kids 12-14, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., $175 for USFAA members. Contact The Waterfront at 727-873-4597 or for details.


USF Band Camp for ages 14 and older, USF Tampa campus, $485 for resident campers; $315 for non-resident campers. For info, contact camp director Amy Collins at or 813-974-2411.


USF Alumni Association new Board Member orientation, 9 a.m. at the Gibbons Alumni Center, USF Tampa campus. RSVP to jcater@admin. or 813-974-9127.


USF Alumni Association Alumni Academy & Board of Directors meeting. USF Sarasota-Manatee campus. RSVP to jcater@admin. or 813-974-9127.

SAVE THE DATE: Homecoming SuperBull XV: Oct. 22 USF vs. Cincinnati. Visit for details as they develop.

Event dates and details are subject to change. Please visit the websites or call to confirm.


USF Alumni Association Gibbons Alumni Center University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Ave. ALC100 Tampa, FL. 33620-5455 Membership Renewal Date: