Inaugural Honors Brunch a big success

The inaugural USF St. Petersburg Honors Brunch drew students and parents from across Florida to Nelson Poynter Memorial Library on Sunday.

About 150 guests attended the brunch, which was designed to introduce the Honors Program to high-achieving high school students who are considering attending USF St. Petersburg. The program gives such students the attention and challenges they deserve at a university with small class sizes, a high-quality faculty and abundant undergraduate research opportunities. Students and parents from as far as Jacksonville and South Florida attended.

The highlight of the brunch was a panel discussion involving current Honors students  Tiffani Thornton, Class of 2016, Political Science; Teri Deardorff, ’16, Environmental Science & Policy; Marco Padilla-Rodriguez, ’13, Environmental Science & Policy; and Chelsea Meredith, ’13, History.

Marco, who last week was flown to Tucson by the University of Arizona to
interview for its Ph.D. program, described his honors thesis and his graduate school plans. Chelsea talked about her work on Holocaust remembrance and a trip she made to Washington, D.C., over the Christmas break to interview curators at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Tiffani and Teri described their first-year experiences in the program.

“I was thrilled at the turnout and the students’ level of enthusiasm,” said Thomas Smith, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Government and International Affairs and director of the Honors Program. “We want USFSP to be a destination campus for high-achieving students.”