Sometimes Melissa Adams, a senior majoring in biomedical sciences, gets funny looks when she asks strangers to take her photo while she travels.
It’s possible it has something to do with the larger-than-life visage of a smiling USF President Judy Genshaft’s face printed on glossy paper she carries with her.
Adams, who has taken the cutout with her to Buckingham Palace in London, Buddhist temples in Thailand, the Eiffel Tower in Paris in addition to several other locations across the globe, started a Facebook page called “Judy Travels the World” to document her travels and celebrate “the amazing president of the University of South Florida.”
Adams, who plays for the Herd of Thunder’s marching band, said she printed the cutout at the printing services store in the Marshall Student Center in 2012, when the basketball team traveled to New York for the Big East Conference. She had seen other teams’ fans tout cutouts of head coaches and major players, and thought that at USF, perhaps one of the most on-campus popular figures — who had a shirt made with her face printed on it a year ago — was Genshaft.
“She’s just really friendly and has so much school spirit,” Adams said. “You see her all the time and she really connects with people.”
Since then, Genshaft’s face has been globe-trotting with Adams, though she said she has accidentally forgotten the cutout, which doesn’t take up much suitcase space due to its ability to roll up, a few times. She even made a second one and sent it to her friend in Ireland who is touring Europe and taking photos with it at the moment.
Though she’s graduating this year, Adams said she may continue to take Genshaft’s face traveling with her so she can continue to spread her popularity on a global scale.
“Sometimes I wonder what she thinks about it,” she said. “I hope she likes it.”
USF Media and Public Affairs Coordinator Adam Freeman said he did not know if Genshaft was aware of the page, but that the university did not wish to comment on this story.