Commencement ceremonies set to take place Dec. 9-10
TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 5, 2022) – The University of South Florida will award more than 4,500 degrees during fall commencement scheduled for Dec. 9-10. The ceremonies include recipients of approximately 3,282 undergraduate, 1,101 master’s and 161 doctoral degrees.
The group features 41 undergraduate students earning a perfect 4.0 GPA and 584 student veterans, and includes graduates from 49 states and 84 nations. At 18 years old, the youngest graduate is earning a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences. The oldest graduate, who is 76 years old, is receiving a bachelor’s degree in history.
USF President Rhea Law will preside over all ceremonies, which will be held at the Yuengling Center on the Tampa campus.
Student feature stories to consider
- Danylo Solomentsev persevered through several major challenges during his academic journey. In 2017, Solomentsev left his home in Ukraine to pursue a marketing degree at USF. In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted his studies and internship plans, Solomentsev went back to Ukraine. He returned to Tampa in January 2022, just a few weeks before the Russia-Ukraine war began. The event divided Solomentsev’s life in two. Solomentsev’s mother fled for safety, however the rest of his family remained in Ukraine. Despite the constant news of the war, Solomentsev stayed focused on graduating. He also sought ways to help Ukrainians affected by the war. Solomentsev teamed up with a small group of Ukrainian, as well as Russian friends at USF and used his marketing skills to help coordinate a campaign that raised more than $7,000 for humanitarian relief. After graduation, he plans to pursue a master’s degree at USF. Solomentsev’s mother, who ultimately fled to Slovakia, is planning to attend his ceremony. (Friday, Dec. 9, ceremony)
- While pursuing dual degrees, producing a podcast on race and equity and working as a resident assistant, Alexia Castellon also had to worry about her family in Fort Myers, who evacuated to a shelter during Hurricane Ian. Castellon was supposed to join them as the hurricane approached but wanted first to help students evacuate from the St. Petersburg campus. By the time she ensured all resident students had a plan in place, it was not safe to drive the two hours back home. So instead, she rode out the storm safely on campus. In the end, the Castellon family was fortunate to have only minor damage to their home, but they lived without power for the next two weeks and struggled to feed their large family. With limited communication, it was challenging at times for Castellon to focus on the demands of classes and extracurricular activities, but she pressed forward. Castellon is graduating with a bachelor’s in biology and a bachelor’s in health sciences. She plans to take a semester off and volunteer at a local hospital. After that, Castellon hopes to attend the nursing program on the St. Petersburg campus. (Saturday, Dec. 10, 9 a.m. ceremony)
- Born in the Dominican Republic, Yaniris Garcia-Jerez immigrated to the United States with her mother when she was just three years old to seek medical treatment for cardiovascular disease. Growing up, Garcia-Jerez struggled with anxiety and depression and in high school, lacked the motivation to complete certain assignments. Everything changed two years ago when, at age 20, she was diagnosed with ADHD while attending USF. As Garcia-Jerez, the first in her family to attend college, prepares to graduate debt-free with a bachelor’s in psychology from the Sarasota-Manatee campus, her vision for the future is clear. She wants to work with others — children, teens and young adults with disabilities — who struggle with their mental health in academic settings. She has her sights set on USF’s clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling master’s program. (Saturday, Dec. 10, 9 a.m. ceremony)
To view these student stories and others on the USF newsroom website, click here.
Friday, Dec. 9
- 6:30 p.m.: Bachelor’s degree recipients from the colleges of Behavioral and Community Sciences, Muma College of Business, Education, The Arts and the Office of Undergraduate Studies (approximately 690 graduates expected to attend).
Saturday, Dec. 10
- 9 a.m.: Bachelor’s degree recipients from the following departments of the College of Arts and Sciences: Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications; Anthropology; Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology; Integrative Biology; Chemistry; Economics; School of Geosciences; School of Information; School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies; Journalism and Digital Communication; Mathematics and Statistics; Physics; Psychology; School of Public Affairs; Sociology; and Women’s and Gender Studies (approximately 820 graduates expected to attend).
- 1:30 p.m.: Bachelor’s degree recipients from the colleges of Engineering, Nursing, and Public Health, and from the following departments of the College of Arts and Sciences: Communication, English, History, Humanities and Cultural Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and World Languages (approximately 720 graduates expected to attend).
- 6:30 p.m.: Master’s, educational specialist and doctoral degree recipients from all colleges (approximately 720 graduates expected to attend).
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success, generates an annual economic impact of more than $6 billion. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, placing it in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher income students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at www.usf.edu.