About Us

Professional Staff

The COMPASS Student Experience Department consists of the Pinellas Pinellas Access to Higher Education (PATHe) Program, New Student Experience, Orientation, and Campus Visitation.



Carolina Nutt, Senior Director of Student Success

Email: carolinanutt@usf.edu 

Education: M.Ed., University of South Carolina, Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration

B.A., Florida State University, Political Science and Sociology

Hometown: Orlando, FL / Bogota, Colombia

Fun Fact: I enjoy cooking and baking, as well as exploring new cities.


Pinellas Access to Higher Education (PATHe)


Tia Gomez Zeller, Assistant Director of PATHe

Hablo Español 

Pronouns: She/Her/Ella 

Email: gomezzellert@usf.edu 

Education:  Associate of Science Transfer Degree, Portland Community College 

B.S. Psychology, Portland State University 

M.S. Education, Leadership & Policy, Portland State University 

Hometown: Cadiz, Spain 

Favorite part of being part of PATHe: As a first-generation student, new to the U.S. I didn’t understand post-secondary education in the U.S. and how I could afford it. I love to be able to help the Pinellas County Community to understand their options, resources, and the different paths to achieve their goals.  






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Sam Fiore, PATHe Advisor for Opportunity and Access 

Pronouns: she/her/hers 

Email:                  fiores@usf.edu 

Education: B.A., University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Political Science 

MPA, University of South Florida, Public Administration 

Hometown: Tamarac, FL 

Favorite part of being part of PATHe: I love inspiring Pinellas County residents to pursue their educational and professional dreams. Anything is possible with some planning and preparing!  



Vacant, PATHe Advisor for Transfer Student Support 





Favorite part of being part of PATHe:



Brenae Hillard, PATHe Advisor for Pre College 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers 

Email:                bhillard@usf.edu 

Education: B.A., Psychology, University of South Florida 

M.Ed., University of South Florida, Curriculum & Instruction – College Student Affairs 

Hometown: Tampa, FL 

Favorite part of PATHe: My favorite part of PATHe is helping students navigate their options-from learning about their interests to finding a path that aligns with their goals! There’s an abundance of information available and I really enjoy helping them make sense of it all. 


New Student Experience


Vacant, Assistant Director - New Student Experience/ Parent & Family Engagement




Fun Fact: 



Macy Thurler, First & Second Year Programs Coordinator

Email: macyt@usf.edu  

Education: Master of Science, Minnesota State University Mankato, Communication Studies

B.A., University of Wisconsin Oshkosh & Texas State University, Communication Studies

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Fun Fact: I love playing UNO! My friends and I have an UNO leaderboard and have played 115 games so far! 



Kevin Jimenez, Transfer Programs Coordinator

Email: kjimenez2@usf.edu  

Education: M.A., George Mason University, Higher Education and Student Development

B.S., University of South Florida St. Pete, Biology

Hometown: Coral Springs, FL

Fun Fact: I love music! I like everything from pop, rock, country, house, disco and more!


Orientation and Campus Visitation

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Lindsey Owen, Assistant Director of Orientation 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Email: lowen2@usf.edu

Phone: (727) 873-4436


Graduate Certificate, University of South Florida, Higher Education Administration

M.Ed., University of West Florida, Educational Leadership

B.S. St. Petersburg College, Elementary Education

Hometown: Dunedin, FL

Fun Fact: I love paddle boarding, biking, reading, traveling and spending time with friends, family and my two doodles!


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Vacant, Coordinator for Orientation



Phone: (727) 873-4849



Favorite part of Orientation and Campus Visitation: 



Vacant, Coordinator for Campus Visitation



Phone: (727) 873-4449



Favorite part of Campus Visitation: 



Belle Jones, Graduate Assistant  for Orientation and Campus Visitation