News & Newsletters
U.S. News & World Report, which recently ranked USF #46 among public universities, also ranked our graduate program in Sociology in the top 100.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH & department events
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!
faculty IN The NEWS at USF & beyond
(Scroll down to see recent achievements of graduate and undergraduate students)
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.
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.
Dr. Nana Tuntiya recevied the Liberal Arts Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Sciences for academic year 2021-2022.
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.
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.
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. A description of how her research has been inspired by her commitment to social justice can be found at "Boundless Bulls."
Dr. S. Crawley, Associate Professor of Sociology, was featured in a podcast in which she discusssed 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 anniversay of Hurrican 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.
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.
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.
Dr. Beatriz Padilla, Assistant Professor and Director of ISLAC, was highlighted in the HUB 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 HUB.
Dr. Elizabeth Aranda, Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for Communication, Community, and Global Engagement, was highlighted in the HUB 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
Americans, especially young adults, from organized religion.
Dr. S. Crawley, Associate Professor of Sociology, was interviewed by 10 Tampa Bay for an article on "cancel culture."
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.
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.
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 USF College of Arts & Sciences' HUB 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.
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. 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.
2 FACULTY RECEIVE PROJECT FUNDING ON ANTI-RACISM
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 HUB, 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.
Sociology faculty were featured in news stories on The HUB, a media outlet of USF's College of Arts and Sciences.
- One story is about Dr. Cecil Greek’s use of a graphic novel project to “resurrect” dead sociologists.
- The other story is about Drs. David Jacobson’s and Zacharias Pieri’s research on the rise in incidents of civil conflict, and the fact that tribal patriarchy is a major factor driving religiously motivating violence.
GRADUATE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Doug Engelman, Ph.D., August 2020, was interviewed by ABCActionNews 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.
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS
- 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 throughtfully engage in
American society as leaders, volunteers, and citizens.
- 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 Awards. Ms. 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!
- 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.
- Emily Darlene Luce, Christina Marie Daubney, Kenya 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.
Volume 5, Issue 1, Fall 2019
Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2016