Student Achievements


Sharon Benitez, a Sociology major and Wallace Scholarship recipient, was recognized by the Status of Latinos (SOL), a USF Presidential Advisory Committee, for her many accomplishments.  A Columbian-American, Sharon, served as the President of UndocUnited, a student organization on campus that advocates on behalf of undocumented workers.  She has also served as the education chair and treasurer for the LGBT Pre Health Alliance at USF.  Sharon aspires to be a physician who works with immigrant and intersex communities.  She was sponsored for the SOL award by mentor and professor, Dr. Beatriz Padilla.


Mr. Robert Beasey (pictured right), a recent graduate in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences on the St. Petersburg campus, was featured in a news story in the St. Petersburg campus student newspaper The Crows Nest. Beasey used his senior capstone project as an opportunity to research accessibility on the St. Petersburg campus of USF. 

2019-2020 outstanding senior awards

Ms. April Smith was awarded the 2019-2020 Outstanding Senior in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Award.  Because of her extensive history of leadership, scholarship, and community engagement, she is very deserving of this recognition.  In response to the news of this award, Ms. Smith stated: "I am humbled and excited to accept this award on behalf of myself and everyone that has helped me along the way. I cannot say that my journey has been easy but having the help of my professors and loved ones has propelled me through every struggle. The past year has been eye opening to the possibilities that lie ahead for me in research. I cannot wait to start graduate school and hone the skills that I have learned during my undergraduate program. Thank you all so very much for this honor."

Ms. Rachel Dominguez was selected as the 2019-2020 Outstanding Senior in Sociology because her accomplishments both inside and outside the classroom have been exemplary. In addition to her high scholastic achievements, she resurrected Tau Sigma, an honor society for transfer students at USF, and she worked with the Dream Center to mentor young children in underrepresented communities. These activities, in combination with her outstanding scholarship and goal of someday earning a Ph.D., make her an ideal recipient of this award.

Ms. Tiffany Calderon received Honorable Mention in the selection process for 2019-2020 Outstanding Senior in Sociology.  Her incredible sense of altruism combined with her strong sociological imagination will serve her well in the future.  By receiving Honorable Mention, Ms. Calderon joins a long list of exceptional students who have excelled in scholarship, leadership and service within the department. 

2018-2019 outstanding senior Awards

Ms. Janice Albury received the 2018-2019 Outstanding Senior in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Award.  Besides excelling academically, Ms. Albury has demonstrated leadership through her work for Tampa’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit and her volunteerism with Elves for Elders and a variety of programs that assist people with Autism, Dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

Ponticelli and Hussain

Ms. Grace Hussain (pictured here with Dr. Chris Ponticelli) received the 2018-2019 Outstanding Senior in Sociology Award.  In addition to her academic achievements, Ms. Hussain served on the USF Civic Engagement Board, and in spring 2018 she became the founder and president of the Southern Poverty Law Center chapter on USF’s Campus.  Her community involvement has included volunteering for the Humane Society and interning with the Florida League of Cities. 

Recent Undergraduate Research Presentations

ISS Student Research Presentation

Interdisciplinary Social Sciences major Alexandra Mancini (pictured at right) presented her Directed Study research titled "A Sociological Interpretation of Uniqueness" at the 2020 Student Research Symposium on the USF St. Petersburg campus.

ISS Majors at SSS Conference

Sara Rocks
and Savanah Catalina, ISS majors on the St. Petersburg campus, presented their Directed Study research titled "It's Your Decision to Date Interracially: The Influence of Family Approval" at the 2018 Southern Sociological Society Conference in New Orleans, LA.

ISS Students at Conference

Tatum Flowers
and Devin MacIntire, ISS majors on the St. Petersburg campus, presented their Directed Study research paper titled "Considering The Intersection of Race and Gender on Multiracial Mental Health" at the 2019 Southern Sociological Society Conference in Atlanta, GA.