Recent travel restrictions and financial hardships have caused some obstacles for Honors students looking to make a positive impact on our world. This fund helps them beat those obstacles by providing MCAT prep materials for future medical professionals and access to virtual global internships that allow students of all majors to both learn and give back in a global setting. Examples of these virtual internships include helping promote public health in rural areas of the Dominican Republic and learning from Engineering elite in Germany.
who we are
The Judy Genshaft Honors College consists of more than 2,400 high-achieving, cross-disciplinary scholars and future leaders. Our academic community provides specialized courses and programs designed for top students who are taught by a diverse and talented faculty. Students are encouraged to participate in global experiences through study-abroad, undergraduate research and hands-on community-engagement and service projects, all of which offer exceptional professional development opportunities. The college is open to students from every academic major on each of USF’s three campuses. On average, our students maintain a 3.72 GPA and represent a large percentage of the university’s Phi Beta Kappa initiates each year.
For the past five years, Honors faculty and students have collaborated with the Kerolle Initiative for Community Health, run by Dr. Reginald Kerolle and based in the Dominican Republic. Dr. Kerolle and his team operate a free community-outreach health program in rural towns including Ascension, Batey Baraguana, La Cambirma, Loma Blanca and Poncho Mateo, serving more than 1,500 people each year.
Traditionally our students travel to the Dominican Republic as part of a service-learning study abroad opportunity. With current travel limitations, this opportunity is now offered in a virtual format. Students spend 60 hours learning about social determinants of health specific to the Dominican Republic and the importance of taking a holistic view of healthcare. They also engage in daily Spanish language lessons to prepare for their role of providing virtual community public health presentations.
"The most rewarding experience I had was teaching children in the Dominican Republic the importance of clean water,” says Honors sophomore Ashley Rocks, who participated in the Fall 2020 virtual program. “I was able to put the Spanish skills I learned to use while making a difference in children’s lives. I liked how even though we were thousands of miles away, I could still have an impact!"
This internship not only signifies the importance of global partnerships, but also the determination of Honors students to make the most of innovative opportunities. “I am very proud of the students who participate in this program,” says Honors Dean Dr. Charles Adams. “Our current circumstances provide challenges for us all, but each challenge offers us the opportunity to think creatively and find new ways to learn, grow, and serve. These students can do just that thanks to the funds provided by the ‘Shine and Rise’ initiative.”
what your gifts will do
Your gift will help us fund these important opportunities for Honors students and allow them to serve others, both at home and abroad.
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