TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 6, 2019) – The University of South Florida Alumni Association has announced USF’s three Outstanding Graduates for Fall 2019. These students have excelled academically while also displaying leadership, school spirit, community involvement and a love for their university.
USF recognizes one Outstanding Graduate for each regional institution of the USF System – USF, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee. The following honorees will be recognized at USF Commencement ceremonies at their respective institutions Dec. 13-16.
Courtney Landis, BS Integrated Public Relations and Advertising, USF Tampa
A multi-talented and apparently tireless student, Courtney holds down a variety of jobs related to her major while performing with – and helping lead – the Herd of Thunder (HOT) Marching Band and volunteering her time to causes close to her heart. Even with those extra-curricular commitments, she has a 3.82 GPA and is the recipient of scholarships and other honors recognizing her academic achievements. Courtney is a clarinetist, four-year HOT member, and band captain, the organization’s highest student leadership position. She also serves as the band’s social media coordinator and marketing director. Concurrently, she works part-time as the social media coordinator for Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society and is a social media intern for three hotels in the Holiday Inn and Marriott chains. Her volunteer work includes advising students with undeclared majors, service projects with honorary band sorority Tau Beta Sigma, and using her photography and writing skills to help shelter animals find homes.
Jake Burklew, BS Elementary Education, USF St. Petersburg
A first-generation college student, Jake worked full-time out of necessity while attending school full-time during his first year at USFSP. Still, he was determined to become part of campus life and joined two clubs that offered service and leadership opportunities. Through COMission and Campus Community Church, he participated in volunteer initiatives and served on the leadership team. Eventually, he found part-time work related to his major so that he could become more involved on campus while applying his studies on the job. He became the inaugural ambassador for the College of Education, volunteered at schools experiencing low to no academic gains, and worked as a USFSP SMART Start Camp counselor for fifth-graders from a local Title I school and as an ESOL assistant to Chinese students. He was awarded USFSP’s Teacher-Leader Scholarship among other awards and honors. Jake is graduating with a 4.0 GPA and will teach first grade until May, when he leaves for international missionary work.
Bashar Roumia, BS Biology, USF Sarasota-Manatee
With his sights firmly fixed on his goal of becoming a physician, Bashar has excelled in the classroom while seeking opportunities to learn and give back via local health-care organizations. Since 2015, he has worked at Manatee Community Rural Health Services, handling medical and other records while also taking the opportunity to shadow health-care providers from different specialties. He volunteered at Florida Cancer Specialists for two years, assisting staff with physical tasks and providing emotional and physical support for patients, and he worked with Trae-Eye-D research group, which develops chemical explosives detection technology. Bashar is a member of the Pre-Health Professions Club, the student chapter of the American Chemical Society, the Student Research Society and Phi Beta Phi Honor Society. Graduating with a 4.0 GPA, he plans to take the Medical College Admission Test in the spring.
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 348,000 USF graduates worldwide. For more information, log on to www.usfalumni.org, like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USFalumni or follow us on Twitter @USFAlumniAssn.