News & Newsletters

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COMMUNITY OUTREACH & department events

March 2023

On March 29th, the Sociology honor society, Alpha Kappa Delta, along with the Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, and the Hispanic Services Council, welcomed seven Latino middle schoolers and their families for a bilingual tour of the USF campus. Special thanks to AKD President, Kenya Sanchez-Torres, USF staff, faculty, and student organizations who came out to support the event!

AKD Middle Schoolers


AKD Middle Schoolers


April 2022

On Monday, April 25, the Sociology honor society, Alpha Kappa Delta, along with the Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, and the Hispanic Services Council, welcomed six Latino middle schoolers and their families for a bilingual tour of the USF campus. Representatives from HCC, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and Undocunited provided information and support for the families. Special thanks to Kenya Sanchez-Torres, USF staff, and faculty who came out to support the event!

Middle Schoolers


Middle Schoolers 2


Faculty In The News at USF & Beyond

June 2024

Dr. Elizabeth Aranda, Professor of Sociology, wrote an OpEd in the Tampa Bay Times.

April 2024

Dr. Feng Hao, Associate Professor, was highlighted in the CAS Chronicles for his course on the Environmental Sociology course offered that prepares students for the economic and social impacts of climate change.

March 2024

Dr. Simone Maddanu, Assistant Professor of Instruction, has had his book published, "Inequality, Youth, Democracy and the Pandemic." The book addresses original analysis and approaches from a global perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic, its governance, and its effects in different geographies.

December 2023

Dr. Sara Green, Professor and Department Chair, recently signed a statement along with the chairs of departments at 10 other Florida public universities in which they strongly objected to a plan that would remove Introduction to Sociology as an option for students to fulfill their General Education requirements. News of this statement was recently featured in this Tampa Bay Times story from November 28, 2023. 

November 2023

Dr. John Skvoretz, Distinguished University Professor and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, recently wrote an Op-Ed in the Tampa Bay Times in which he argued that Florida should retain Introduction to Sociology as a general education option. 

October 2023

Dr. David Jacobson, Professor, along with his co-author Manlio Cinalli has had his book published "Citizenship | The Third Revolution".

August 2022


Dr. Elizabeth Aranda's research (with C. Menjivar and K. Donato) was cited in the Biden Administration's memo (final rule) that fortifies the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  







July 2022

Dr. Feng Hao, Associate Professor of Sociology (pictured on right), was interviewed by ABC Action News on the response to President Biden's speech on the climate. In the interview, Dr. Hao discusses the steps that Floridians can take to help address the climate crisis. 




June 2022


Dr. Nana Tuntiya received the Liberal Arts Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Sciences for academic year 2021-2022.






April 2022

Dr. S. L. Crawley (They/Them/Theirs, pictured on left below), Associate Professor of Sociology, engaged local feminist, lesbian activist Edie Daly (pictured on right) in a conversation about her role as an activist in the Tampa Bay LGBTQ+ community as part of a special event hosted by USF Special Collections during Women's History Month. 

Crawley and Edie

March 2022

Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, Associate Professor of Sociology and Senior Advisor to the President and Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, was recognized with the USF Student Success Innovation Award for partnering with the Office of Decision Support to develop the Diversity, Anti-Racism and Equity (DARE) dashboards to increase data transparency around key DEI metrics. She helped pilot a successful underrepresented student calling campaign, which has supported the enrollment of Black and Latino/a/x students.

October 2021

Dr. Beatriz Padilla, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean (ISLAC), was presented with one of USF's Status of Latinos (SOL) Committee's 2021 Faculty Awards.

September 2021

Dr. S.L. Crawley, Associate Professor of Sociology, was featured in a podcast in which she discussed whether a queer social science is possible. She draws from her recently published article "Smithing Queer Empiricism: Engaging Ethnomethodology for a Queer Social Science” which appeared in the journal Sociological Theory.

Dr. Beatriz Padilla, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean (ISLAC), was recently featured in an article in the Oracle.  The article is part of a continuing series that features Hispanic leaders at USF during Hispanic Heritage Month.  

Dr. Elizabeth Aranda, Professor of Sociology, wrote an OpEd in the Tampa Bay Times to mark the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Maria.  The article describes the results of her NSF study.

Dr. Elizabeth Aranda, Professor of Sociology, was invited by the Social, Behavioral and Economics Division of the National Science Foundation to present one of the Foundation's distinguished lectures based on the research she completed with NSF funding.  

August 2021

Dr. James Cavendish, Associate Professor and 2021 President of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, delivered his presidential address titled "Religion as a Resource in an Increasingly Polarized Society" at the Annual Meeting of the Association, August 7-9. 

July 2021

Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, Associate Professor and Senior Advisor to the President and Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, was quoted in the Tampa Bay Times about the progress USF has made in inclusion during President Currall's time at USF. She organized a phone campaign to help increase Black student enrollment at USF. 

April 2021

Dr. Beatriz Padilla, Assistant Professor and Director of ISLAC, was highlighted in the CAS Chronicles for her research assessing the experiences of refugee women in the aftermath of the so-called refugee crisis.  She has been collaborating with colleagues at the Lisbon University Institute.  

Dr. Jamie Sommer, Assistant Professor, with colleagues Andrew Hargrove and Jason Jones of Stony Brook University, had their research on the possibility that virtual reality could encourage empathy spotlighted in the CAS Chronicles

Dr. Elizabeth Aranda, Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for Communication, Community, and Global Engagement, was highlighted in the CAS Chronicles for her research with Post-doc Dr. Alessandra Rosa, doctoral students Rebecca Blackwell and Melanie Escue and community partner Maritza Novoa-Hadley. The team has been studying how post-disaster migrants from Puerto Rico fared during their relocation in Central Florida since 2019.

Dr. James Cavendish, Associate Professor, was quoted in a Tampa Bay Times article on college students and religious engagement. The article describes the increasing disaffiliation of 
Americans, especially young adults, from organized religion.

March 2021

Dr. S.L. Crawley, Associate Professor of Sociology, was interviewed by 10 Tampa Bay for an article on "cancel culture."  

February 2021

Dr. David Jacobson was appointed to the international advisory board of the "Diversity Studies Centre Oslo (DISCO)" at OsloMet University. Oslo Metropolotin University is one of Norway's largest Universities.

January 2021

Dr. David Jacobson was a guest on NPR Las Cruces, New Mexico's program "Delving In." He discussed his book Of Virgins and Martyrs, Women and Sexuality in Global Conflict.

December 2020

Dr. Jamie Sommer's co-authored article, "Virtual reality and embodied experience induce similar levels of empathy change," was announced as the most influential article published in Computers in Human Behavior Reports in 2020.  Dr. Sommer, Assistant Professor, authored the piece with Andrew Hargrove and Jason J. Jones.

Dr. Beatriz Padilla, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for the Study of Latina America and the Caribbean, was highlighted in the CAS Chronicles for her work with colleagues around the globe who are studying the impact of COVID-19 on migrants. 

Dr. Byron Miller, Associate Professor, presented his research, "The Bridge Kids: Young Adults Who Connect Family, Friends and Racial Groups," in the College of Arts & Sciences Trailblazers series. He was also awarded an Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award from the University for 2019-2020.

November 2020

Dr. Heather O'Leary, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and an Affiliate faculty member of Sociology and ISS, in partnership with Pinellas county school teacher Latesia Coleman, received a Lightning Classroom Grant.  The grant will help O'Leary's EcoFem Lab, of which Coleman is a team leader, in their ongoing work related to diversity, student recruitment and community engagement.

Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, Associate Professor and Senior Advisor to the President and Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, co-hosted with College of Arts & Sciences Dean Eric Eisenberg a discussion with New York Times bestseller and National Book Award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi.  The discussion focused on racism, anti-blackness and their impact on society.

September 2020


Dr. Will Tyson and Dr. Roneé Wilson (USF College of Public Health) were awarded funding for their community research entitled Increasing Job Opportunities for Young Black Fathers to Improve Child and Community Health.  Coordinating with REACHUP, Inc. (Respond, Educate, Advocate, & Collaborate for Health in Underserved Populations), a local community agency, Drs. Tyson and Wilson seek to address unemployment/underemployment among young Black fathers, which in turn should help them develop and maintain healthy relationships with their children.

Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, working with community partner Layla's House, received research funding for her study, Challenges to Engagement with Parent Education and Early Childhood Programming in a Historically Black Neighborhood.  This study examines how Black children and families experience and participate in virtual parent education and developmental playgroups with a focus on the extent to which the service structure minimizes or accentuates the impact of anti-Black racism.

August 2020

Earlier this year, Dr. Maggie Kusenbach, Associate Professor and Associate Department Chair, received a Fulbright Scholar Award to the University of Vienna, Austria. Dr. Kusenbach will teach two courses in sociology and conduct new research on urban culture and community issues in Vienna during Spring and Summer Semesters 2021. The title of her study is: "Does Contemporary Street Art Foster Citizen and Community Engagement? An Explorative Case Study in Vienna, Austria." This is Dr. Kusenbach's second Fulbright Scholar Award.

Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman has been appointed the Senior Advisor to the President and Provost on Diversity and Inclusion at USF.  In her new role she will advise and support university leadership in efforts to foster anti-racism, access, equity, cultural inclusivity and cultural intelligence.

July 2020

In a July 9 Tampa Bay Times news article on USF's reaction against new U.S. rules targeting international students, Dr. Beatriz Padilla , the new interim director of USF's Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean, points out the various ways the new policy, which requires international students to leave the U.S. if they take all of their classes online, is unfair to international students.  

Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman launched a new YouTube series on racism, called “Sweeter the Juice”. The channel was highlighted on the UCM Instagram during the first week of July.

Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman co-authored with Michel Chagas an op-ed COVID-19 in Black Communities in the U.S. and Brazil (in Portuguese).

Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman was featured in a news story, “When Students make racially insensitive comments, should schools be held accountable,” in the St. Pete Catalyst.

June 2020

Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman was interviewed by the Tampa Bay Times and ABC Action News for spearheading the Call to Action letter that was sent to President Currall and Provost Wilcox on behalf of Black faculty and staff in response to systemic racism.

Dr. Beatriz Padilla's research on "The Venezuelan Humanitarian Crisis: Migration, Trauma and Resilience" was featured on The CAS Chronicles, a media outlet of USF's College of Arts and Sciences. This research project, which was awarded one of USF's Nexus Initiative Grants, has documented the experiences of Venezuelan refugees of the humanitarian crisis in their country, which has, in turn, provided policy-makers with critical data to make informed policy decisions.  

Dr. Rob Benford, an expert on social movements, was interviewed for a news story on "The Power of Protest" by Tina Meketa, Director, News Content & Production, University Communications and Marketing (UCM).  In the article, Dr. Benford discusses the Black Lives Matter movement in the context of a broader description of the factors that make social movements effective. 

Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman was quoted by University Communications and Marketing in a news story on the ongoing protests against racism and police brutality in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

December 2019

Sociology faculty were featured in news stories on The CAS Chronicles, a media outlet of USF's College of Arts and Sciences.  


October 2023

Shuvechha Ghimire Sharma, PhD student, is completing a dissertation studying community organizations that form in the US among people of the Nepali diaspora to help create community after migration. She recently presented (virtually) early findings to representatives of the Embassy of Nepal in Washington, D.C.

April 2023

Shuvechha Ghimire Sharma and Shumaila Fatima, PhD students, for publishing their chapter, "Underrepresentation of Women in Conflict Resolution: A Case of South Asia" in South Asian Women and International Relations.

Outstanding Teaching Awards 2022

April 2022

  • The recipients of this year's Graduate Student Outstanding Teaching Awards are (pictured at the right): 

    • Hayden Fulton (on the left),
    • Ashley Green (upper right), and 
    • Alissa Klein (bottom right).

 Congratulations to all!

February 2022

  • Mindy Maconi, doctoral candidate, accepted a full time position related to her doctoral specialty area as a Research Specialist II in PRISM Core at Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.

August 2021

  • Kristopher (Kris) Oliveira, doctoral candidate, has accepted a position as Assistant Dean of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Director of the Gender + Sexuality Resource Center at Princeton University.  

 April 2021

  • Edlin Veras, doctoral candidate, has accepted a 3-year Visiting Assistant Professor appointment in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Swarthmore College.  Veras also received the coveted Golden Bull Award.
  • Zhong (John) Zheng, Sociology doctoral student, working with doctoral students Maham Khan (College of Education) and James Farley (MUMA College of Business), presented their original research entitled "Understanding the Effects of Campus Safety on Student Retention: a panel data analysis" at the Virtual SAS Global Forum 2021.  Their work was recognized for being one of the best 8 presented.  

August 2020

  • Doug Engelman, Ph.D., August 2020, was interviewed by ABC Action News in Tampa.
  • Kristopher (Kris) Oliveira, doctoral candidate, has accepted a position as Director of Sexuality and Gender Diversity at the University of Kansas.  He begins his new job August 10, 2020.


April 2024

Undergraduate sociology major and Judy Genshaft Honors student, Celeste Jasmine Cash, presented thesis research at the 2024 Annual Meeting of the Southern Sociological Society in New Orleans.

April 2022

  • Two of our seniors, Zoe Crocker and Vincent Kroll (pictured below), graduate as Phi Beta Kappa Scholars. Phi Beta Kappa was created in 1776 to advocate for the importance of liberal arts and sciences education, and strives to equip its members with the tools needed to thoughtfully engage in American society as leaders, volunteers, and citizens. 
    2022 Phi Beta Kappa Scholars
  • Each year our department recognizes two seniors, one in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and one in Sociology, for excellence in scholarship and community service through our Outstanding Senior AwardsMs. Abbey Barnes was selected as the Outstanding Senior in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and Ms. Vitoria Cunha De Oliveira was selected as the Outstanding Senior in Sociology. These students are in the center photo below, with Ms. Barnes on the right, and Ms. Oliveira on the left. Ms. Barnes has worked tirelessly to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Her dedication to St. Jude through her sorority Tri Delta led the sorority to raise the most funds in 2019 for their division. Her studies in Sociology and Political Science have greatly impacted her professionally and personally, and she hopes to continue growing as an active citizen with a critical awareness. Ms. Oliveira is an exceptional and dedicated student who served as an intern at the prestigious Washington Center. Following that internship she became an active leader within the Bay area, taking on leadership positions with Equality Now and the Trafficking in America Task Force. Her goals are to continue working to ensure fundamental human rights, specifically in decision-making areas related to ensuring these rights.  Congratulations to both of these outstanding seniors!
    2022 Posimoto and Outstanding Seniors

  • Two students have been awarded the Dixon Posimoto Scholarship to financially support their undergraduate Internships.  These students are:  Ms. Jeannine McElroy and Ms. Kenya Sanchez-Torres (seen above in photos on left and right). Ms. McElroy said in her video application that she "always works to make change in others," whether at work or as a volunteer. She loves to work with at-risk youth and uses dance to empower them to resist negative surroundings that could overwhelm them. This scholarship will permit her to complete an Internship in the summer of 2022. Ms. Sanchez-Torres has excelled not only in our department, but has given back in countless way. She has worked hard to reinvigorate AKD and serves as President. Her success is in part driven by her experiences as an immigrant herself. She came to the U.S. seeking to be self-sufficient, and USF has offered her a start toward that goal. She admits to having faced cultural stereotyping and micro-aggressions, and Sociology, she says, has helped her to recognize that these are not her personal issues but rather social structural barriers. She is committing herself to working toward dismantling these structures and will intern with a law office with her scholarship.

  • A number of our students were recently inducted into the Alpha Kappa Delta International Honor Society of Sociology. This Society seeks to acknowledge and promote excellence in the scholarship and study of social problems, sociology, and intellectual activities that lead to improvement in the human condition. The new inductees this year are:  Kristofer Elverd, Josh Flores, Ellie Fox, Shannon Harner, Sela Keating, Julia Lopes De Paulo, and Elenis Saez

December 2021

  • Emily Darlene LuceChristina Marie DaubneyKenya Alejandra Sanchez Torres, and 
    Bravianne Adelaide Banatte became the newest initiates into the Alpha Kappa Delta Episilon of Florida Chapter.  Alpha Kappa Delta seeks to acknowledge and promote excellence in the scholarship in the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and such other social and intellectual activities that will lead to improvement in the human condition. The Epsilon chapter of Florida was established at USF in 1984. 

past newsletters

Volume 5, Issue 1, Fall 2019

Volume 4, Issue 1, Fall 2017

Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2016

Volume 2, Issue 1, Fall 2014

Volume 1, Issue 1, Fall 2013