2021- 2022 Alumni Board Members
Samson was born in China and came to the US at 3 years of age. After earning his Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering from the University of Washington, he moved to Tampa, FL, for medical school at USF. He is currently a diagnostic and interventional radiology resident at USF.
Brandon Faza is an emergency physician and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Miami, heavily involved in teaching EM residents and UM medical students. He was an on-campus Kosove Scholar from 2001-2005 and on-campus President from 2003-2005, then received his MD and MBA from the University of Miami. Brandon is also the Medical Director for Hope 4 Humanity Worldwide, which engages in international medical mission trips. He remains an avid USF football fan since starting the Beef Studs, a student group of body painters for sporting events, while on campus at USF. Brandon is currently starting a new emergency physician group practice as its CEO, targeting Tampa, FL for its operations.
Rhea Bhatt is a Designated Federal Officer in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at the FDA and completed a fellowship in the Division of Rare Diseases and Medical Genetics (DRDMG) in the Office of New Drugs (OND). Prior to joining the FDA, Rhea conducted clinical research in the bone marrow transplant department at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and in the Department of Radiation Oncology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital assessing socio-demographic factors that impact likelihood of presenting with metastatic breast cancer. As a student, Rhea worked on a technology assessment on the opioid vaccine in the Center for Science, Tech, and Engineering at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and interned on the Hill with a focus on pharmaceutical and health policy.
Rhea is a graduate of the Systems Medicine program at Georgetown University Medical Center, with a focus in Clinical Informatics. She earned her B.S. in Biomedical Sciences and Political Science at the University of South Florida. As a Kosove Society Scholar, she studied in Peru, Panama, and completed her senior thesis at the University of Exeter in the UK.
Justin Geisler is Senior Vice President for Citibank where he manages multiple teams. He has spent the last 15 years working in banking operations, risk and controls, and project management. He graduated from USF with a Bachelor of Arts in Management and Economics. Justin went on to obtain his MBA from USF specializing in Advanced Management, Entrepreneurship, and International Business. He was an on-campus Kosove Scholar from 2002-2004 where he held the position of Treasurer. During his time at USF Justin was a placekicker for the USF football team from 2000-2004. Since graduating, Justin has served as the President and Treasurer of the Kosove Alumni Society for multiple years. He also has served on the USF Alumni Board of Directors from 2017-2021 and currently is a member of the Finance Committee. Justin is passionate about USF, community service, coaching soccer, and being a Dad. He is grateful for the Kosove Society for all the opportunities it has allowed him to become engaged at USF as well as make an positive impact on the local and global communities.
Board Member - DEI Committee Chair
Sheneka Blue is the principal of “Outstanding” Oriole Elementary and has worked with the Lauderdale Lakes community for the past five years. This year marks her nineteenth year as an educator in the Broward County Public School system. After graduating from USF in 2002 with a B.S. in Elementary Education, she had varied experiences as a teacher, Literacy Coach, Assistant Principal, and currently Elementary School Principal. In 2006, she received a M.S. in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. During the first eight years of her career, she served at the elementary level teaching a variety of grades and the next six years as the Assistant Principal at Wilton Manors Elementary. Always willing to help, over the years, Ms. Blue has been tapped to support many schools in transition as “Acting Principal” and mentored both new and veteran administrators in the areas of school culture, data analysis, and instructional leadership.
For the past ten years, Sheneka has served as the National Youth President and the Assistant General Secretary of her church ministry. She is an active member of the ministry’s youth team, praise team, and homeless outreach ministry. She has organized many community events, youth outings, dramatic plays, and volunteer experiences that have served as a true blessing to the community.
Sheneka’s life experiences have added to her perceptions as a leader and continue to enhance her professional and personal beliefs. But, more than anything, her passion for educating others drives her to push towards improving educational experiences for all and empowering others to push beyond barriers and soar to higher heights.
Born in Oak Park, Illinois, John Osterlund moved with his family to Sebring, Florida at age five. John graduated from Sebring High School where he was involved in a variety of extracurricular activities and athletics. He also had the good fortune of getting to know Harri and Ruth Kosove by doing work around their house and yard. The University of South Florida would be his next stop. John received the first A. Harrison and Ruth Kosove Endowed Scholarship which enabled him to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. USF was a rich experience for John in that he served in Student Government and liaised with the university in establishing the Kosove Society.
After graduating from USF, John received an Ambassadorial Scholarship from The Rotary Foundation which provided the opportunity to study political science and social welfare for one year at the University of Stockholm. Given John’s Scandinavian heritage, this cultural opportunity provided the means to travel throughout Northern Europe and to learn his mother’s native tongue- Swedish.
Returning from Sweden, John matriculated at Florida State University for a Master of Science in History Education. While at FSU, John taught undergraduate history classes as a Teaching Assistant and had an internship with the Florida Senate Committee on Natural Resources. After graduation, John taught Western Civilization at Broward Community College and worked for State Senator Tom McPherson and subsequently Majority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives, Anne Mackenzie. John eventually made his way back to Tallahassee to work for the House Committee on Agriculture.
John was recruited to join the development team of The Rotary Foundation and moved to the Chicago area in December of 1991. He has been a nonprofit executive in the Chicago market ever since. Most of his career was spent raising money for The Rotary Foundation but he subsequently served as Chief Development Officer of the Archdiocese of Chicago and finalized a $350 million capital campaign. He served as Vice President for Development and College Relations for Monmouth College. Currently, he serves as Senior Vice President for Development for Easterseals.
John and his wife, Beth, live in Evanston. They are gradually adjusting to being empty-nesters. During the pandemic they acquired a beagle named Bernie that keeps them plenty busy. The Osterlunds have three children, two sons, Ben and Peter, and a daughter, Abigail. John is an avid runner and cyclist; he has run three marathons and in July 2021 cycled from West to East across the state of Iowa- a distance of 454 miles. John is a past president of the Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club and is active in his parish- St. Athanasius. When not watching one of his beloved Chicago sports team, you’ll usually find him with his nose in a book.
Matt Burgess is a radiologist and Medical Corps officer in the U.S. Navy, currently stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. He was inducted into the Kosove Society as a freshman at USF in 2003 and eventually completed the 7-year combined BS/MD degree program through the USF Honors College and College of Medicine, graduating in 2010. Matt has been stationed in Virginia, Florida, Japan, and California in addition to his current tour. He enjoys spending time traveling both professionally with the Navy and personally with his family. Matt and his family of six are hopeful to again be stationed overseas with the next assignment.
Board Member - Recent Alumni
Andrea Bustamante is a Project Manager at EMB Builders & Contractor, Corp. and the Communications Chair of the Hispanic Professional Women’s Association, Inc. In Spring 2021, she graduated as a King O’ Neal Scholar with a B.A. in Global Business and a B.A. in English.
A 2017 Kosove Society Inductee, Andrea served as the 2018-2019 VP of Community Service and the 2020-2021 President. During her four years at USF, she studied abroad in London and Barcelona, held different leadership positions, including the Undergraduate Student Representative of the English Undergraduate Committee, and presented in two Research Conferences. She is honored to serve in the Kosove Alumni Board this year.
Board Member - Recent Alumni
Sam was inducted into the Kosove Society in 2017 and graduated in 2021 with a degree in Marine Biology and a minor in Psychology. While at USF, she studied abroad in Saint Lucia and Australia and served as President of the GloBull Ambassadors. Her work includes scientific diving to monitor the effectiveness of marine protected areas, rehabilitation of injured sea turtles, and research into the affects of ocean acidification on coral reef communities. She is currently an Animal Care Specialist and Trainer for Bottlenose Dolphins at SeaWorld Orlando. Her hope is that the experiences she provides guests with encourage them to participate in conservation efforts and incorporate more sustainable activities into their daily lives with the goal of a healthy ocean for generations to come.