Feb. 23, 2023

“Together we will impact the future” is emblazoned on the wall of the new USF Digital Engagement Center, an inspirational reminder to the student engagement specialists working in the space about the purpose of their efforts.

“Without my scholarship I would not be able to pay for my education. The fact that I’m able to give back to other students who might be in same position as me is an amazing opportunity,” said Shania Gonzalez, Biology ’23, part of the first cohort of student engagement specialists for the center.

The Digital Engagement Center launched on Jan. 17, with 65 students reaching out to connect with alumni. While calls have already brought in more than 500 gifts totaling above $25,000 in just one month, the center’s main goal is simply to engage with USF alumni and friends.

Jay Stroman meets with Students
USF Foundation CEO Jay Stroman
visits with the student engagement specialists.

“You guys are ambassadors for the university. It doesn’t matter if you get one gift tonight. What matters is that you talk to somebody and you make them feel even better about their alma mater than they did before,” said Jay Stroman, CEO of the USF Foundation, during a visit to the center.

Student engagement specialists represent numerous backgrounds and majors and have enjoyed connecting with alumni, hearing about their USF and life experiences, and providing updates about what is currently happening at USF.

“It’s really important for us in the Digital Engagement Center to create positive meaningful connections with our alumni,” said Andres Benavides, Engagement Center Manager. That includes reaching out to alumni in the ways they prefer, whether that’s by phone, video chat, text, email or even social media.

Students also gain valuable professional experience in a welcoming environment right on campus.

“USF, it’s not only an academic institution,” said Sara Lorca Garrido, Mathematics and Physics ’26, a student engagement specialist at the center. “It’s also a place where you can grow socially, personally and, from now on, also professionally thanks to this opportunity to work here.”


Total Donors in FY23


Total First Time Donors in FY23


Endowment Assets Through FY23