Mendez among USF athletes at spring graduation
USF baseball outfielder Alex Mendez, a national finalist for the prestigious CLASS Award, will graduate this weekend with magna cum laude degrees in both biomedical sciences and management, leading an impressive list of athletes among USF's spring graduates.
Joining Mendez from USF's baseball team are outfielder Anthony Diaz -- graduating summa cum laude in finance -- and reliever Steven Leisure, graduating in marketing. Other graduates across USF's athletic department:
-- Football has a pair of former players earning their second bachelor's degrees, with tight end Evan Landi adding a cum laude degree in criminology to his Dec. 2011 communications degree, and safety Jon Lejiste adding a philosophy degree to his December degree in criminology. With cornerback Kayvon Webster (health sciences) and linebacker Mike Jeune (communications) earning their degrees, 23 of the 25 seniors from last year's team have now graduated, with the other two due to graduate this summer.
Returning football players who will graduate this weekend are defensive tackle Anthony Hill and offensive guard Steven Jacques, both in communications. Two former Bulls walk-ons who saw game action also will graduate: defensive lineman Cody Durakovic in criminology and receiver Bermanley Augustin in electrical engineering.
-- Men's basketball has three players earning their degrees -- forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick in communications and guards Shaun Noriega and Jawanza Poland in interdisciplinary social sciences. Noriega is in position to earn a medical redshirt and have an additional year of college eligibility.
-- Women's basketball has Sasha Bernard and Tahira Johnson getting degrees in communications, Aleshia Flowers in health sciences and Caitlin Rowe in criminology. Since twins Andrell and Andrea Smith have already graduated, at least six of the Bulls' eight seniors now have their degrees.
-- Two of softball's key seniors got their degrees, with Kenshyra Jackson in public health and Lindsey Richardson in health science. Baseball had former player Daniel Rockhold in communications.
-- Men's soccer's Leston Paul (geography) and Ricardo Webb (health sciences); women's soccer's Ellycia Colon (ISS), Kelly Campbell (cum laude in biomedical sciences) and Alexandra Eagle (cum laude in elementary education); volleyball's Jessica Burghart (health sciences), Claudia Cabrera (criminology), J'Beria Davis (mass communications) and Kayla Walton (communications); men's golf had Devin Hernandez (communications) and women's golf's Shena Yang (ISS). Men's tennis had Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard go magna cum laude in finance and Joao Evangelista de Souza in health science.
-- Women's track had jumper/sprinter Miriam Skipper earn her master's degree in entrepreneurship and sprinter Dariel Jackson graduate in health science; men's cross-country had Felix Soto in criminology and women's cross-country had Rachael James (communication sciences) and Robyn Oakley (magna cum laude in communications).