Graduate Studies


Contact Us

Graduate Studies
USF St. Petersburg
140 7th Ave. South, PNM 102
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Telephone: 727-873-4567


The Team

Donna Knudsen

Campus Assistant Dean

Donna Knudsen
Email | Phone: (727) 873-4567

A strong advocate of adult and lifelong learning, Dr. Donna Knudsen received her B.A. in American Studies with a focus on American History from Eckerd College in 2010; her M.L.A. in Liberal Studies from USF St. Petersburg in 2012; and her Ed.D. in Educational Program Development, with a concentration in Innovative Education from USF in 2019. Her research interests focus on graduate student mentoring and ways in which these key relationships between graduate students and their mentors can be maintained and improved upon in today’s digital learning environments. Dr. Knudsen joined USF in 1990 and became the founding director of the Office of Graduate Studies at USF St. Petersburg in 2005. She is passionate about providing a one-stop, personal touch approach to graduate education for each graduate student pursuing their academic goals at the USF St. Petersburg campus and is dedicated to enhancing graduate education at the University of South Florida for all graduate students and the graduate program faculty committed to their support.

Terri Hayes

Academic Services Administrator

Terri Hayes 
Email | Phone: (727) 873-4283

Terri Hayes is an Academic Services Administrator in the Office of Graduate Studies. As an Academic Services Administrator, she is responsible for academic program planning, implementation, and evaluation of Graduate Certificates. Terri holds a B.A. in Public Administration from the University of South Florida. Her personal mission is to contribute to student success through quality engagement opportunities which foster global leaders. 

Marketa Teal

Graduate Recruiter and Advisor

Marketa Whitehead
Email | Phone: (727) 873-4770

Marketa is the graduate recruiter for the Psychological Sciences, Conservation Biology, Digital Journalism, Florida Studies, and Graduate Certificates programs at the USF Saint Petersburg campus. She has more than 12 years of successful experience in recruitment and college counseling/advising. She is responsible for assisting prospective students in understanding the graduate admission and application process, degree requirements and potential career opportunities. Marketa is a St. Petersburg native. She earned her B.S. in Business Administration (with a major in Marketing and a minor in Information Systems Management) from USF in 2007. She earned her M.A. in Education, with a concentration in Career and Technical Education, from USF in 2015. Marketa is a current USF doctoral student in the College of Education.

Lisa Akins

Office Manager

Lisa Akins
Email | Phone: (727) 873-4884

Lisa is a fifth-generation Floridian and has lived throughout the state. Prior to becoming the office manager for the USFSP Office of Graduate Studies, she managed commercial construction operations and software conversions for 11 years. She graduated from Eckerd College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a minor in American Studies. She is currently earning her M.L.A. in Florida Studies at the USF St. Petersburg campus. Lisa’s primary responsibilities include balancing the office budgets, managing office staff, serving as human resources liaison for the department, initiating department travel, organizing moves, working with facilities and maintenance, assisting in hiring in the department, handling ordering and scheduling, and updating the website and catalog. She enjoys canoeing, swimming, and good books.