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Tampa Bay History Maker Invests in Student Historian’s Success

Thursday, March 21st, 2013 | Posted in Your Library in Action by Eileen M. Thornton | Comments Off

Jan Platt. USF Libraries donor, longtime Hillsborough County Commissioner and public servant

Jan Platt, longtime Hillsborough County Commissioner, and USF Libraries donor

A passion for helping students grow inspired longtime Tampa-Hillsborough elected official Jan Platt to give to the USF Libraries. Mrs. Platt characterizes her direct support of learning as “…a brilliant new way of giving. You’re giving to an individual, rather than to put your name on a wall, and giving them the opportunity to grow.”   Justin M. White is glad she understands the importance of her contribution. As the recipient of the Jan Platt Graduate Student Assistantship in Special & Digital Collections, Justin gets valuable experience working in Special Collections that he otherwise would not.

“Most of the things I do here, I do before I learn about them in class.”

-Graduate student and Special Collections assistant Justin White

Justin has already earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history. Now pursuing his master’s in library and information science at USF, he aims to become a public historian or archivist. He characterizes his work in Special Collections as ideal preparation for his chosen career. “Most of the things I do here, I do before I learn about them in class,” says White. Justin is currently processing the donated papers of hydrogeologist Garald G. Parker. Known as the “Father of Florida groundwater hydrology,” Parker contributed much to the understanding of the Floridan and Biscayne aquifers underlying the state. He recently worked with the papers of Bernard H. Kendrick, a fiction author known for his insightful blind detective character Duncan McLain, and those of former Lieutenant Governor Tom Adams.

Justin White, recipient of the Jan Platt Graduate Student Assistantship, discusses his work with the position's benefactor

Justin White, recipient of the Jan Platt Graduate Student Assistantship, discusses his work with the position’s benefactor

“This is a brilliant new way of giving. You’re giving to an individual
…and giving them the opportunity to grow.”

-USF Libraries benefactor Jan Platt

The USF Libraries offer a host of graduate assistantships and fellowships, from environmental sustainability and mapping to Holocaust and genocide studies, all of which offer opportunities for giving. Jan Platt appreciates that, “with this particular type of giving, the donor has an opportunity to see an individual grow as a result of the gift.” Which student program would you like to support? To fund a graduate student for a year of hands-on experience, contact Merrell Dickey at (813) 974-1654 or mdickey@usf.edu.

 

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