University of South Florida

College of Behavioral and Community Sciences


CBCS students awarded Trailblazer Research Scholarship

trailblazer research scholarship recipients

Scholarship awardees receive certificates to commemorate their accomplishment.

Five CBCS students were selected as recipients of the Sarasota-Manatee campus Trailblazer Graduate Student Research Scholarship Program. The Trailblazer Research Scholarship Program supports training through mentored research experiences for masters and doctoral level students. 

Bilali and Smith

Bilali and Smith celebrate their achievements at a recent luncheon hosted by USF Research.

Second-year criminology PhD student Klejdis Bilali, MA, first-year PhD student Katelyn Smith, MA, and master's student and School of Aging Studies office assistant Sayla Victores received the award. Bilali’s research focuses on interpersonal violence and victimization, including human trafficking.

The Trailblazer Research Scholarship will fund a project dedicated to the development and administration of a statewide victimization survey which will provide more precise prevalence rates of human trafficking in the state of Florida. Through this project, Bilali will collaborate with two faculty members from the USF Trafficking in Persons Risk to Resilience Lab, Professor Joan Reid, PhD, and Associate Professor Fawn Ngo, PhD.

Sayla Victores stands at an information table at a recent conference.

Victores’ master’s thesis bridges the fields of criminology and gerontology. 

Smith’s research focuses on technology-facilitated crime and deviant online communities. Smith will collaborate with assistant professors C. Jordan Howell, PhD, and Roberta O’Malley, PhD, on a project exploring the behaviors of the incel community, specifically how online radicalization and extremism translate into online and offline forms of violence.

Victores’ master’s thesis bridges the fields of criminology and gerontology as she seeks to find if there is an association between the coping mechanisms that older incarcerated adults employ and their mental well-being. Victores is mentored by Associate Professor Jessica Grosholz, PhD

Sarah Bochat, AuD, a PhD student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, was also selected as a recipient of the research scholarship. Bochat's current research involves measuring physical activity and function in adults with hearing loss and evaluating changes in physical outcomes with best-practice hearing intervention.  

Behavioral and community sciences doctoral student Kelsey Greenfield, JD, was also selected. Her research focuses on the intersection of behavioral health and criminal justice and community-based intervention programs as a method of reducing recidivism in the justice-involved population with co-occurring disorders.

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About College of Behavioral & Community Sciences News

The Mission of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences (CBCS) is to advance knowledge through interdisciplinary teaching, research, and service that improves the capacity of individuals, families, and diverse communities to promote productive, satisfying, healthy, and safe lives across the lifespan. CBCS envisions the college as a globally recognized leader that creates innovative solutions to complex conditions that affect the behavior and well-being of individuals, families, and diverse communities.