Meet the Staff

Senior Administration


Senior Vice Provost and Dean

Dr. M. Dwayne Smith (Tampa campus)
Email | Phone: (813) 974-2267
Executive Administrative Specialist: Rosie Lopez

Download the Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Smith.

Dr. M. Dwayne Smith is Professor, Senior Vice Provost, and Dean of the Office of Graduate Studies at the University of South Florida. He received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from the University of Houston and a Ph.D. from Duke University. Before his appointment at USF in 2000 as Chair of the Department of Criminology, Dr. Smith was a faculty member and chair at Tulane University (Department of Sociology, 1980-1994) and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Department of Sociology, Anthropology, & Social Work, 1994-2000; Department of Criminal Justice, 1998-2000). He was named Vice Provost for Faculty & Program Development at USF in July 2005 and appointed as Senior Vice Provost in January 2008. In August 2013, his assignment was expanded to include serving as Dean of the Office of Graduate Studies. Specializing in the study of criminology and deviant behavior, Dr. Smith's current research concentrates on analyses of jury decisions in death penalty cases in North Carolina, while his past efforts have focused on the dynamics of homicide offending and victimization among specific populations within the United States and developing social-structural profiles of cities that demonstrate either high or low rates of violent crime. In addition to publishing numerous journal articles and book chapters, he has co-edited (with Margaret A. Zahn) two books, Homicide: A Sourcebook of Social Research and Studying and Preventing Homicide: Issues and Challenges, and is the founding editor of Homicide Studies: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal.



Associate Dean

Dr. Ruth Huntley Bahr (Tampa campus)
Email | Phone: (813) 974-7359
Executive Administrative Specialist: TBA

Download the Curriculum Vitae of Dr. Bahr.

Dr. Bahr is a Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders in the College of Behavioral & Community Sciences, specializing in speech/voice production and spelling development. She edited the Routledge Handbook of Communication Disorders (published May 2015). In addition, she is the author of numerous articles and book chapters dealing with research issues including between and within speaker variability in forensic situations, the nature of phonological representations in dialect speakers and second language learners, and patterns of misspelling in typically developing children and those with various learning disabilities. She comes to the Office of Graduate Studies having just served as Graduate Program Director for the Speech-Language Pathology program. Dr. Bahr also served for five years on the Graduate Council, including three years as Chair of the Graduate Council's Policy Committee. You can learn more about Dr. Bahr from her website.



Campus Assistant Dean, St. Petersburg Campus

Dr. Donna Knudsen
Email |Phone: (727) 873-4567

A strong advocate of adult and lifelong learning, Dr. Donna Knudsen received her B.A. in American Studies with a focus on American History from Eckerd College in 2010; her M.L.A. in Liberal Studies from USF St. Petersburg in 2012; and her Ed.D. in Educational Program Development, with a concentration in Innovative Education from USF in 2019. Her research interests focus on graduate student mentoring and ways in which these key relationships between graduate students and their mentors can be maintained and improved upon in today’s digital learning environments. Dr. Knudsen joined USF in 1990 and became the founding director of the Office of Graduate Studies at USF St. Petersburg in 2005. She is passionate about providing a one-stop, personal touch approach to graduate education for each graduate student pursuing their academic goals at the USF St. Petersburg campus and is dedicated to enhancing graduate education at the University of South Florida for all graduate students and the graduate program faculty committed to their support.



Campus Assistant Dean, Sarasota-Manatee Campus

Dr. Sandra Stone
Email | Phone: (941) 359-4507

Dr. Stone is a professor in the Criminology program and has experience in the fields of health, social services and education as a teacher, researcher, administrator and consultant with a variety of agencies and higher education institutions. Dr. Stone joined the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus in 2014. She received a B.A. in sociology and psychology and an M.A. in psychology from the University of West Georgia, a Ph.D. in sociology from Emory University, and a post-doctoral certificate in organizational behavior from Tulane University. She has specialized training in gangs, mediation, and critical incident stress debriefing and has received awards for teaching, research, service and leadership. Her research interests are family violence, juvenile delinquency/juvenile justice, women in the criminal justice system, public policy, and program evaluation, with a number of publications and presentations in those areas. Her current research includes work with Selah Freedom, a national anti-human trafficking organization headquartered in Sarasota.