2024 Alumni Awards

Congratulations to the 2024 USF Alumni Award Recipients 

The 2024 USF Alumni Award recipients include three Distinguished Alumni with extraordinary professional accomplishments and one graduate and one non-alum who have made significant contributions to USF and the Tampa Bay area. 

Presented by the USF Alumni Association since 1976, the Distinguished Alumni Awards are the highest honors bestowed upon former students for professional achievement. Two service awards confer USF’s highest honors for former students and non-alumni who’ve demonstrated outstanding dedication and service to USF and the Tampa Bay area. 

The awards will be presented Oct. 17 at the Alumni Awards Dinner. 
Registration will open soon - Check back for updates


Here are the 2024 USF Alumni Award recipients — only USF degrees are listed:


Tamsen Fadal
Tamsen Fadal

Tamsen Fadal, Mass Communications ’92 – Distinguished Alumni Award

Tamsen Fadal (@tamsenfadal) is a multi-Emmy Award-winning journalist, menopause advocate, documentary filmmaker and author of the new book How To Menopause. Her candor and relatability have established her as a leading voice that resonates with women in midlife.
After 30 years as a television journalist, she is now dedicated to research, advocating for women, and supporting them through later life phases. Fadal is producer and executive producer of the PBS documentary The M Factor, Shredding the Silence on Menopause, which addresses the health crisis affecting 1 billion women worldwide. 
Fadal is also executive producer and host of The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal, which airs in over 120 cities.
Before working in New York City, Fadal worked in Pittsburgh; Orlando, Florida; Charleston, West Virginia; and Philadelphia. She began her broadcasting career as a morning anchor for WHNZ-AM radio in Tampa. 
Fadal is a board member of Let’s Talk Menopause and works with several breast cancer charities. She credits USF for making her fall in love with journalism and kick-starting her career.

Anthony James
Anthony R. James

Anthony R. James, Engineering ’73, Life Member #1940 – Distinguished Alumni Award

Anthony R. James’ journey has taken him from humble roots of loading watermelons in sweltering Florida fields to the heights of energy and education leadership.

Along the way, he engineered a remarkable career, beginning with a co-op work experience at NASA Kennedy Space Center through his 2008 retirement as executive vice president and president of shared services for one of the nation’s largest utilities, Southern Company. He also held key positions with an array of major companies; was selected “Black Engineer of the Year” by U.S. Black Engineer magazine; and recognized by the same organization as one of the “100 Most Important Blacks in Technology” from 2005-2008. In 2023, he received the USF College of Engineering’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 

James serves as chair of the USF Foundation board of directors, and, with his wife, endowed USF’s Anthony and Sheila James Scholarship in Electrical Engineering. 

James, who worked his way through college, benefited from the guidance of mentors who opened doors, helping him become one of the first Black students to graduate in engineering with a focus on electricity.

_0002_Jay Nault-min.jpg
James “Jay” Nault

James “Jay” Nault, Finance ’83 and MBA ’84, Life Member #562  – Distinguished Alumni Award

James “Jay” Nault’s entrepreneurial journey began immediately following his graduation from USF.
He is the president and owner of Anclote Holding Company, Inc., a diversified regional real estate investment company he co-founded in 1986. He is also the president and owner of Storage Zone Self Storage and Business Centers, with 36 locations in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. His career has included leading several other successful businesses.
Nault has a long history of philanthropy. In 2019, he founded the Nault Foundation, which provides affordable housing to those in need and financial support to entrepreneurs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he launched the Hometown Restaurant Gift Certificate Challenge, providing a lifeline for struggling local independently owned small restaurants.

A generous donor to USF, his many gifts include a scholarship for entrepreneurship students and a $10 million donation in 2023, which named the Nault Center for Entrepreneurship at the Muma College of Business, where Nault serves as a mentor. The funding will expand and creative innovative educational opportunities at the nationally top-ranked center, founded in 2002. 

Byron Shinn
Byron E. Shinn

Byron E. Shinn, Accounting ’79, Life Member #2466 - Donald A. Gifford Service Award

For more than 40 years, Shinn has woven civic service and philanthropy into every aspect of his life and business, giving his time, leadership skills and financial gifts to benefit the Tampa Bay region, USF and the accountancy profession.

A Bradenton, Florida, native, he is a partner at the Bradenton/Sarasota office of Carr, Riggs & Ingram LLC, a nationwide Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and advisory firm. Previously, he was managing partner at Shinn & Co., which he founded in 1993. The firm merged with Carr, Riggs & Ingram in 2018. 

Shinn is a member of the Florida Institute of CPAs and chair of the Federal Tax Policy and Procedures committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a national committee focused on IRS policy. At USF, his service includes 11 years on the USF Board of Trustees; past chair of USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Campus Board; and past member of USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Community Leadership Council board.
Shinn has given his time to multiple charities benefiting underprivileged children, including the Manatee County Children’s Advisory Board and the Sarasota County Child Protection Center, among others.

Monica Wooden
Monica Wooden

Monica Wooden — Class of ’56 Award

A pioneer in supply chain management, Monica Wooden has helped the industry become a a source of lucrative, high-demand jobs. Along the way, she has championed women and helped prepare the next generation for satisfying careers.

Wooden is the former CEO of MercuryGate International Inc., a global provider of cloud-based transportation management solutions. She co-founded MercuryGate in 2000 and built a workforce that was 45% female, nearly twice the industry norm. When she sold the company in 2018, many employees became millionaires.

In 2019, Wooden made a transformational gift to name the Monica Wooden Center for Supply Chain Management & Sustainability in the USF Muma College of Business. Seven years earlier, she was instrumental in establishing the center, the first of its kind in Florida.

Over the years, she has provided software licensing and in-kind support, served as a guest lecturer and offered internship and job opportunities for students.

Wooden earned her Bachelor of Science from Ithaca College and a Master of Arts from the University of Georgia.

Annual Awards Honor Bulls Making an Impact

A long-standing USF Alumni Association tradition is to annually recognize and celebrate outstanding alumni and community leaders who have made a significant contribution to the university and the community. The USF Alumni Awards are the university's highest awards for alumni and community members.

Recipients are typically announced in late spring or early summer, and presented with their awards at a ceremony and dinner held during USF's Homecoming Week. They are also recognized on the field at the Homecoming football game.

Distinguished Alumnus or Alumna Award

Since 1976, this award has recognized USF alumni who have reached the pinnacle of success in their careers or professions. Criteria and award selection information »

Donald A. Gifford Service Award

This award, presented since 1991 and renamed in 2000, honors USF graduates who have rendered distinguished service to USF and the community. Criteria and award selection information »

Class of '56 Award

This award recognizes a non-USF graduate who has provided outstanding service to USF and the Tampa Bay community. Criteria and award selection information »

2023 Alumni Awards

The 2023 Alumni Awards was a grand celebration honoring five dynamic, highly successful individuals. The dinner and ceremony were held in the USF Marshall Center during Homecoming.

Meet the 2023 USF Alumni Award recipients

See the full list of past award recipients

Watch the 2023 Alumni Awards Recap

Become a Sponsor

Thank You to Our Sponsor

Green Sponsor

Fleischman Garcia Maslowski