University of South Florida


USF faculty experts available for interviews on key midterm elections issues

The University of South Florida offers a variety of faculty experts to discuss key issues relevant to the 2022 midterm elections.

Listed below are some of USF’s experts by topic. If there is interest in a topic not listed, USF’s Experts Guide is another resource to quickly locate faculty members by keywords, expertise or college. Members of the media interested in an interview are asked to contact Kevin Watler at or 407-267-8402.


Susan MacManus (Professor Emeritus)

  • Florida politics 
  • Elections 
  • Political issues

Darryl Paulson (Professor Emeritus)

  • Local and state government/politics
  • American government

Rob Mellen Jr. (Assistant Professor) 

  • Presidential activities
  • Legislative branch
  • Conflict between branches

Janna Merrick (Professor)

  • Public policy
  • American national government

Jianing Li (Assistant Professor)

  • Mis/disinformation
  • Contentious politics
  • Social inequality


Josh Scacco (Associate Professor)

  • Political communication
  • Media content and effects

Monica Ancu (Associate Professor)

  • Social media and politics
  • Campaign advertising and media


Jay Wolfson (Distinguished Professor)

  • COVID-19
  • Health policy and ethics 
  • Health law 

Jill Roberts (Associate Professor)

  • COVID-19
  • Public health guidelines and implementation 
  • Broad perspective on infectious diseases 

Katherine Drabiak (Associate Professor)

  • Health policy
  • Health law
  • Bioethics/clinical ethics


Chris Meindl (Associate Professor)

  • Regional geography
  • Water management
  • Environmental policy

Christian Wells (Professor)

  • Environmental justice
  • Anthropological approaches to human-environmental health

Feng Hao (Associate Professor)

  • Human causes of climate change
  • Renewable energy deployment
  • Public opinion on environmental issues

Richard Mbatu (Associate Professor)

  • Political ecology
  • Global conservation
  • Sustainable development


Edelyn Verona (Professor)

  • Criminal behavior
  • Psychopathy
  • Substance use and violence

Jessica Grosholz (Associate Professor)

  • Recidivism
  • Prisoner education
  • Prisoner reentry


George W. Burruss (Professor)

  • Policing
  • Homeland security 
  • Victimization in cyberspace

Giti Javidi (Professor)

  • Cybersecurity governance and policies
  • Cyber threat intelligence
  • Cybersecurity risk management 

Thomas Hyslip (Assistant Professor)

  • Computer hacking
  • Cybercrime 
  • Digital forensics 


Michael Snipes (Associate Professor)

  • General economics and policy
  • Inflation
  • Housing and cost of living

Huijian Dong (Associate Professor)

  • Stocks and bonds
  • Investments and wealth management
  • Firms and businesses

Richard Smith (Associate Professor)

  • Health care economics


David Rosengrant (Instructor)

  • STEM education
  • Educational technologies

Karla Davis-Salazar (Associate Professor)

  • Anthropology of higher education
  • Educational policy and practice


Mohsen Milani (Professor)

  • Comparative politics
  • Comparative revolutions
  • Modern Iran

Golfo Alexopoulos (Professor)

  • Russia and the Soviet Union
  • Stalinism and authoritarianism
  • Political violence and human rights

Steven Roach (Professor)

  • Global governance
  • Critical international theory
  • International criminal court

Thomas Smith (Professor)

  •  International humanitarian law
  • Middle East
  • Laws of war


David Rubin (Associate Professor)

  • Transgender studies
  • Queer theory
  • History of gender, race and sexuality

Jennifer Ellerman-Queen (Instructor)

  • Women’s health
  • Reproductive justice
  • Fat studies

Michelle Hughes-Miller (Professor)

  • Politics of motherhood
  • Women and social justice
  • Gender, crime and justice

Navita James (Associate Professor)

  • Ethnic and gender diversity
  • Teaching and intervention in diversity issues


Elizabeth Aranda (Professor)

  • Undocumented young adults in Florida
  • Immigration policies
  • Inclusion/exclusion

Heidi Castañeda (Professor)

  • Critical border studies
  • Migration
  • Migrant health

Jody McBrien (Professor)

  • Refugee resettlement
  • Families affected by war
  • International migration


Gen. (Ret) Frank McKenzie (Director)

  • Global and national security 
  • National security policy 
  • Countering violent extremism

Murat Haner (Associate Professor)

  • Countering violent extremism
  • Radicalization
  • International security

Randy Borum (Professor)

  • Criminal psychology
  • Terrorism
  • Intelligence concepts and analysis

Zacharias P. Pieri (Associate Professor)

  • Terrorism
  • Extremism
  • Boko Haram


Dasha Rhodes (Assistant Professor)

  • Police and community relations
  • Psychological distress among Black/African Americans
  • Racial disparities

David Ponton (Assistant Professor)

  • Afro-America and the 20th century United States
  • Racial residential segregation 
  • Segregation in postwar America

Ray Arsenault (Professor Emeritus)

  • Civil rights
  • African-American history
  • History of the American South/Florida culture and politics

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