Alumni & Friends

Community Outreach

What can Andrew Cuomo’s language tell us about effective leadership? 

Camilla Vásquez, Ph.D., Professor of Applied Linguistics, Department of World Languages

May 20, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, people around the globe are looking to their political leaders for both information as well as guidance. In the United States, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, is being widely praised by the mass media and laypeople alike for standing out as a great leader in this time of uncertainty and adversity. This presentation discusses five key language features of Cuomo’s daily press briefing that help enact effective leadership in the face of crisis.

Social Connection Despite Social Distance

Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D. and Fallon Goodman, Ph.D., Department of Psychology

May 14, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has fractured social support systems and the effects of loneliness will likely be magnified during social distancing, especially among those with pre-existing psychological vulnerabilities, such as depression and anxiety. In this video, Dr. Jonathan Rottenberg and Dr. Fallon Goodman discuss their work on a project to document and analyze the impact of COVID-19 on psychosocial and physical well-being and work to develop new tools and solutions to help vulnerable people maintain social connections while adhering to social distancing guidelines. 


Golfo Alexopoulos, Ph.D., Professor and Director of USF Institute on Russia

May 6, 2020
The United Nations Secretary-General stated that “Our common enemy is COVID19, but our enemy is also an ‘infodemic’ of misinformation.” The COVID-19 “infodemic” has involved not just false information and rumors, but foreign adversarial disinformation or information warfare. In the past, the Soviet KGB pushed out false stories calling HIV-AIDS a bioweapon created in CIA laboratories, and in recent years Russian disinformation tried to instill fear of an Ebola outbreak in the CDC’s home of Atlanta. During the coronavirus pandemic, Kremlin disinformation has targeted the United States and its European allies, undermining efforts to safeguard public health. This research project examines Kremlin disinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to understand its content, motives, and impact, in order to better protect the public health.


Alex Levine, Ph.D., Professor & Chair, Department of Philosophy

April 10, 2020
The crisis presently facing our society is unprecedented, but crises themselves are not. Historical precedents—like accounts by Athenian historian Thucydides of a plague sweeping through Athens in 430 BC, can help us to understand them, to shed light on our present situation, and to cope.