Call Me MiSTER: College of Education Initiative

Designed to provide academic and financial support to men of color interested in becoming public elementary school teachers in the City of St Petersburg.


About the Call Me MiSTER program

students sitting in a classroom raising their hands

Call Me MiSTER is a College of Education initiative based on the USF St. Petersburg campus that partners with Pinellas County Public Schools. We are recruiting men of color to get their undergraduate degree and teacher certification or a Master’s of Arts degree in Teaching. The mission of USF’s Call Me MiSTER (an acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) initiative is to increase the pool of available licensed teachers from a broader, more diverse background. Men desiring to teach and serve as role models in urban elementary or middle schools are encouraged to apply.

Program benefits

Call Me MiSTER requires a deep commitment to becoming an elementary school or a middle school teacher in urban schools. Call Me MiSTER supports could include:

male teacher sitting on classroom floor with students
  • Cohort membership
  • Mentorship opportunities
  • Financial support which may include but is not limited to tuition and fee assistance, book support, or housing
  • Academic and social supports
  • Monthly urban education professional development seminars
  • Field experiences in urban schools
  • Summer Leadership institutes
  • Conference presentations and other professional experiences
  • Guaranteed urban school teaching position in Pinellas County Schools

Becoming a MiSTER

To be admitted to the Call Me MiSTER program, students must complete the following steps:

  1. Apply for and be accepted into the University of South Florida

  2. Complete the Call Me MiSTER online interest application

Following the submission of the items above, an interview will be scheduled with prospective program participants to discuss their commitment and interest in teaching in urban schools.

Call Me MiSTER Interest Application

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Call Me MiSTER program. Learn more about our admissions requirements by clicking the button below.

Submit Application

For more information, please contact Sandra Vernon Jackson at


Thank you for your interest in the Call Me MiSTER program at the University of South Florida! We’re excited to share more with you about our program. For more information, please contact:

Project Director

Brenda L. Walker, Ph.D., J.D.
Interim Associate Dean and Professor

Project Coordinator

Sandra Vernon-Jackson, Ph.D.
Instructor Mathematics and STEM Education and Director STEM Robotics Innovative Lab