TAMPA, Fla. (May 2, 2018) — The University of South Florida Alumni Association has named three Outstanding Graduates for the Spring 2018 Commencement ceremonies, one for each regional institution of the USF System. Outstanding Graduates embody leadership, school spirit, academic excellence, community involvement and a love for USF.
The following honorees will be recognized at USF Commencement ceremonies at their respective institutions May 3-7.
Dakota Becker-Greene, BS Biomedical Science, BA Psychology, USF Tampa
Along with his academic ambitions, Becker-Greene arrived at USF Tampa with the personal goals of developing strong leadership skills and making a lasting impact on the university. He accomplished this by mentoring more than 150 students as a campus housing resident assistant and serving as an undergraduate research assistant, all while maintaining a 3.81 GPA and summa cum laude standing. Additionally, he served in several student leadership groups including the Pre-Medical American Medical Student Association, Dean’s Student Leadership Society, Order of the Golden Brahman, and USF Ambassadors. He is the co-founder and co-president of USF’s Undergraduate Research Society, which brings together student researchers from disparate disciplines to learn from one another. The organization grew to more than 1,000 students in its first year. Becker-Greene will begin as a technical research assistant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston after graduation and plans to attend medical school to become a professor of medicine.
Alexandra Kuchta, BA Political Science, USF St. Petersburg
Whether employed four summers at the U.S. Embassy in London, where her responsibilities grew to include “site officer” for dignitaries such as First Lady Michelle Obama; volunteering 15 hours a week at a non-profit; or working in the College of Education, Kuchta is known for her unflagging initiative, enthusiasm and excellence. Despite her many extracurriculars, she has maintained a 3.96 GPA in political science, minoring in geospatial science. At the nonprofit Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA), she turned an unstructured cell phone recycling program into a sustainable fundraiser generating $45,000 to date, while providing emergency phones for domestic violence victims. As assistant to the associate education dean, she serves as a resource for students on everything from volunteering in schools to scholarship opportunities, among other tasks. Her opinion is so respected she was tapped to serve on the dean search committee for the College of Arts and Sciences. Kuchta intends to continue her education and pursue a career in the international sector.
Geborah Joseph-Smith, BA Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, USF Sarasota-Manatee
A heart for service drove Joseph-Smith to devote countless volunteer hours to USF Sarasota-Manatee, from spearheading production of the first The Sarasota-Manatee Stampede, a 67-page student guide, to founding a religious-oriented club now in its fourth year. She also excelled in various service-oriented part-time jobs, including technological assistant, admissions assistant and high school tutor. Meanwhile, she maintained a 3.72 GPA in her major and two minors, business and Spanish. Joseph-Smith quickly became an influential student leader, serving on the Multicultural Affairs Committee, which implements cultural programs; as the Student Government Association chief of staff; and as a committee chair for the USFSM Student Ambassadors. Beyond the university, she volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and served an “alternative spring break,” where students dedicate their week off to giving, among other projects. Joseph-Smith plans to pursue a career in social work, focusing on mental health counseling for families who’ve experienced trauma.
About the USF Alumni Association
The USF Alumni Association is a nonprofit organization composed of former students and friends of the University of South Florida. Our mission is to provide meaningful ways for USF Bulls to support, protect and promote their university. There are more than 325,000 USF graduates worldwide. For more information, log on to www.usfalumni.org, like our Facebook page at <a href=”http://www.facebook.com/USFalumn”www.facebook.com/USFalumni or follow us on Twitter @USFAlumniAssn.