Undergraduate Programs

Student Achievements

2021-2022 Phi beta kappa SCHOLARS

Two of our seniors, Ms. Zoe Crocker and Mr. 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.

Phi Beta Kappa


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. Ms. Barnes has tirelessly worked 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 served as an intern at the prestigious Washing 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. 

Undergraduate Award Winners

2021-2022 dixon Posimoto scholarship awards

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.

2021-2022 Alpha Kappa Delta Inductees

Alpha Kappa Delta is the International Honor Society of Sociology, which 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


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.