Developments Newsletter - Fall 2022

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Poloni-Staudinger has been a Distinguished Fulbright Fellow at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, Austria, a Ket tering Foundation Fellow, and a consultant for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. She attended Harvard’s Management Development Program, which provided training in higher education leadership.


Lori M. Poloni-Staudinger joined the University of Arizona on July 18 as the dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She’s also a professor in the School of Government and Public Policy and a new member of the college’s Magellan Poloni-StaudingerCircle.was formerly interim dean of Northern Arizona Uni versity’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She promoted student success, faculty governance, community engagement, international education, and diversity in the college.

Fall 2022

Poloni-Staudinger has worked to increase citizen participation in politics, facilitating community forums throughout the state of Arizona. Her civic engagement work led to the development of Arizona Deliberates, a cooperative, grant-funded project between Maricopa Community Colleges, Northern Arizona University, and various nonprofits. She has also served as president of the Women’s Caucus for the Midwest Political Science Association.

Developments caught up with Dean Poloni-Staudinger during her first month on the job to ask her about her plans as dean:

Poloni-Staudinger received her Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University and has conducted research on social movements and political participation in Europe and the United States. Her recent work examines questions around women and political violence as well as women and politics more generally. Her expertise has led to publications in The Washington Post and other popular media outlets.

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is the People College, so it is fitting that I am most excited about getting to engage with new people. It’s a dream come true to be able to work with such a high caliber group of faculty, staff, and students. The work being done at the University of Arizona and in SBS is groundbreaking and being a part of that is very exciting. I am also very much looking forward to getting to know long-time friends of SBS as well as making new friends for the college. After nearly two decades in Flagstaff, I’d also be remiss if I didn’t say I was a little excited about not shoveling snow all winter.


Lori Poloni-Staudinger Continued on next page... THE




I would like us to think innovatively about which part of the community we are serving, and which parts we may be leaving behind, to make sure that we are inclusive in our approach. I also believe that people inside the college have much they can learn from other community members. My approach is one where I hope SBS can be of service to the community, listen to needs, and engage when we are asked.




A. I believe the college is an integral part of the community and has both a responsibility and a desire to engage beyond our campus confines. Our kids go to school in this community. We volunteer at organizations, frequent shops and restaurants, and attend places of worship. Members of SBS are very much a part of this community.

My overarching goal is to build a sense of community that promotes psychological safety at all levels, so we can take risks in support of advancing entrepreneurial ideas without fear of sanction.

I would like us to focus on student success, both retention and graduation, with an eye to ensuring equitable results for students from underrepresented backgrounds. Because our graduate programs are key to maintaining strong research programs, I would like to work toward growing opportunities for graduate fellowships. Internships and co-curricular expe riences are important in building career skills in students, so I am interested in growing our graduate and undergraduate internship opportunities. Faculty affairs and mentorship is a part of the job I find particularly rewarding, and I look forward to being of service to faculty as they build strong careers. Finally, I hope to interact with as many stakeholders as possible so that we can work together to advance a strategic plan for the college.

A. I learned to swim before I learned to walk and to this day love any activity associated with water. (It is not lost on me that I live in a desert .)




Lori Poloni-Staudinger sailing with her husband and kids in the Virgin Islands – “one of my favorite things in one of my favorite spots.” (l-r): Lori, Liam (17), Hannah (21), and Reinhold

A. SBS donors already make a huge difference in the lives of others. Because of donors’ generous gifts, students are able to travel to conferences to present their work or take an important unpaid internship to advance their career-readi ness skills. Donor support helps faculty push knowledge in their fields to solve some of the big challenges of our time. We would love to work with donors to grow fellowship opportunities for doctoral students. This will allow us to maintain the strong graduate education for which SBS is internationally known.

Peggy’s determination has been a thread throughout her life.

Peggy is also a long-time Magellan Circle Patron and has taken Magellan Circle excursions to Israel, Cuba, Oaxaca, and Mexico City. She values the friendships she’s made along the way – when Peggy recently married Paul Gardner, former SBS dean John Paul Jones III videotaped the wedding.

Board Profile Margaret Houghton

“I care about giving students the chance to have a good education,” Peggy said. “I want them to be able to focus on their education and not worry themselves sick about paying for it. I also want students to see themselves as part of a community.” Peggy Houghton with her Magellan Circle Scholar in 2020

“Being a cultural anthropologist meant that I could see both sides of things,” Peggy said. “When I went on the bench, it was extremely valuable for me to have that kind of interest and care about people and their lives.”

Instead, Peggy went on to get her J.D. in law – with three teenagers at home – from the UArizona James E. Rogers College of Law. It was hard, she said, and she got little sleep. “I didn’t hang out with other students at Gentle Ben’s.”

After high school, Peggy married, had children, and volunteered. Always longing for more education, in her 30s Peg gy attended community college and later transferred to the University of Arizona. She obtained her B.A. in anthropology because she was fascinated by people and cultures.

When the Honorable Margaret “Peggy” Houghton was 10, she had polio and was paralyzed. She was placed in a children’s hospital ward where her parents could visit her for one hour a week.

Peggy walked out of the hospital four months later, with the help of forearm crutches. “I worked very hard to get to that point,” Peggy said.

“I love anthropology. If I didn’t have children to support, I would have gotten a Ph.D. in anthropology,” Peggy said.

Peggy practiced law in Tucson for eight years before she was appointed Judge of the Arizona Superior Court in Pima County in 1989. Peggy says her background in anthropology helped her be a better judge.

“Nobody told me what was going on, except the doctor who stood at the foot of my bed when he was doing Grand Rounds with younger doctors. He said, ‘This one will never walk again,’” Peggy recalled. “I found that really unacceptable.”

Her priority for being involved with the college and the university is supporting the next generation of scholars.

In addition to her volunteer activities in the community, Peggy has been involved with initiatives across campus. She’s served on the boards of the W.A. Franke Honors College and the James E. Rogers College of Law. She’s a member of the College of Science’s Galileo Circle. She’s also served on the Women’s Plaza of Honor Committee and the Women’s Studies AdvisoryPeggyCouncil.agreed to be a member of the SBS Advisory Board, along with her late husband Bert Falbaum, because she values the study of people and, “I know everybody, and everybody knows me.”

Peggy received many awards for her work and spoke and wrote about family law issues nationally and internationally. She was a founding member of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association and was the first woman elected president of the Law College Association. She also made it a priority to mentor other women.

“I was motivated to study interpersonal communication more out of confusion than anything else,” Kory said. “Grow ing up, it wasn’t always easy to figure out why families and friendships worked the way they did.”

Kory received his Ph.D. in communication from the University of Arizona in 1998 and, after 15 years at Arizona State University, returned to UArizona in 2015 as a profes sor in the Department of Communication. Brian joined the University of Arizona Police Department in 1980 and was named chief of police in 2014. After a 41-year career with the university, Brian retired in 2021 as the longest-serving officer in the history of the UAPD.


“Education is always the right investment,” Kory said. “Because when you’re educated, you can question assump tions and you can think beyond your emotions. Education provides tools for growth, innovation, and social advance ment.”Brian – who has three godchildren from undergraduate students he’s worked with over the years – says supporting students is at the heart of the couple’s giving.

The couple previously helped establish the O.M. Hartsell Memorial Scholarship in the Fred Fox School of Music in memory of a professor friend of Brian’s.

“[The fellowship] is giving an additional opportunity to somebody who may need extra money,” Brian said. “School’s expensive, and education is so important.”

The fellowship focuses on interpersonal communication, which is Kory’s area of expertise.

“The university has been so good to us,” Brian said. “So, we want to give back.” In 2013, the couple established the Kory Floyd Fellow ship in Interpersonal Communication, which is awarded each year to a graduate student in the Department of Com munication.“Iremembered how challenging graduate school can be, particularly for people who want to be involved in research,” Kory said. “It’s not always easy to get resources – money for a study or to travel to a conference.” Kory added, “This communication department has a long history of training students who become influential schol ars and teachers and leaders in the discipline. I wanted to support that legacy.”

By establishing a graduate fellowship in interpersonal communication, Kory Floyd and Brian Seastone are investing in what matters most to them – students, higher education, and the importance of understanding relationships. For Kory Floyd and Brian Seastone, higher education and the University of Arizona have been a critical part of their lives.“We’ve both invested our professional lives in higher education,” Kory said. “We have gained a great deal from these relationships, both professionally and with students.”

Kory studies the communication of affection in close relationships and its effects on stress and physiological functioning. He has written 16 books, including The Loneli Brian Seastone and Kory Floyd.

Photo by Glenn Currie.

(l-r): Maggie Pitts, Dana Dinsmore, Kory Floyd, and Chris Segrin

“I think we’re in a moment in history when we have never needed the ability to get along with other people more. With this fellowship, we’re supporting the ability to make discoveries that are applicable and valuable.” Kory Floyd

Later, Kory gave Steven, who is currently a lecturer in the Department of Communication at UC Davis, job hunting advice. Kory now gives video guest lectures in Steven’s classes. And they still meet for coffee whenever Steven is in Tucson.“Even though I was never Kory’s advisee, I felt like he was willing to treat me like one,” Steven said. “He’s this great researcher but also a great friend and mentor.” Dana Dinsmore received the Kory Floyd Fellowship in 2017 and completed her Ph.D. this year. Her dissertation fo cused on the relationship between partner communication and depressive symptoms. She is currently a data analyst and communication consultant and teaches communication at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

“In the discipline, Kory is basically a celebrity,” Steven said. “He was just so friendly and kind and supportive.”

Dana Dinsmore with her committee after her dissertation defense.

Steven Brunner received the Kory Floyd Fellowship in 2014 – before Kory was a professor at UArizona. He met Kory at a conference and was surprised when Kory offered to meet with him to talk about research.

ness Cure and Affectionate Communication in Close Rela tionships. He has received numerous awards, including the 2020 Mark L. Knapp Award in Interpersonal Communication from the National Communication Association. “I think we’re in a moment in history when we have nev er needed the ability to get along with other people more – to understand other people and to communicate in ways that are respectful,” Kory said. “With this fellowship, we’re supporting the ability to make discoveries that are applica ble and valuable.”


Working with graduate students has been “unquestionably the best thing about my job,” Kory said. Over time, Kory’s advisees become professional col leagues and friends, many of them becoming “a part of our family,” Kory said. A former Ph.D. student officiated Kory and Brian’sRecipientswedding.of the Kory Floyd Fellowship recall not just the financial boost from the award but Kory’s mentorship and care for their well-being.

Steven said the fellowship award was a major reason he could do two of the three studies in his dissertation –which explored the connection between attachment and self-disclosure across different communication technologies – allowing him to pay coders and participants.

In addition to providing much-needed funds, allowing her to focus on her research, the fellowship gave Dana a feeling of legitimacy as a scholar, she said. “Graduate students are often plagued by not feeling ‘good enough,’ but receiving the award gave me a sense that my research was recognized and that I was truly grow ing as a scholar,” Dana said. “It was even more meaningful that Kory and Brian fund the award. They are both lovely people and having their support was a powerful motivator.” Dana added, “Kory is one of the kindest people I know. He studies affection, and he truly practices what he preach es. I have pages upon pages of notes on advice he has given me on research, theory, and the job market. He al ways encouraged me to pursue success as I define it, not as defined by the assumed expectations of academia. He has a huge heart and an amazing capacity for nurturing gradu ate students.”

CREATING A LEGACY To honor his dad’s career in journalism, Josh has estab lished the Robert J. Grossfeld Endowment in the School of Journalism at the University of Arizona. He also wants to promote professional training in journalism, which he sees as “more important than ever.” The endowment will provide a financial award to a student majoring in journalism who intends to pursue a career in broadcast journalism and has financial need. Preference will be given to applicants who were raised in a single-parent home. “I hope that the scholarship gives a student on the cusp of pursuing a career in journalism a little extra jolt,”

By establishing a scholarship in the School of Journal ism, Josh Grossfeld is honoring his dad’s career and giving a boost to students studying broadcast journalism.

Bob’s love of journalism began in high school when he hosted a radio news program during lunch over the

When University of Arizona alumnus Josh Grossfeld was growing up, he often hung out with his dad, Robert “Bob” Grossfeld, at his journalism and political strategy jobs on the weekends and over summer breaks. Josh recalls sitting in the recording booth and “helping” record pre-roll ad spots and going on TV shoots. As a teenager, he wrote direct mail pieces and designed websites for political campaigns.“Ican’tthink of a time when I haven’t gone into the of fice with my dad,” Josh said. “It never felt like work when I saw him doing it or when I was doing it with him. It was fun. It’s something that I really treasure.”


Bob Grossfeld has had a remarkable career that’s ranged from broadcast, print, and radio journalism to po litical strategy and media consulting. He’s advised mem bers of Congress, was the communications director at the Arizona Department of Education, and founded The Media Guys, providing award-winning strategic communications for progressive political and public affairs campaigns. Bob currently lives in Phoenix and is president of Politicare and The Media his dad’s passion, foundational to every thing else he’s done in his career, Josh said. “That journal istic instinct is always a part of him.”

Students in the “Arizona Cat’s Eye” course visit the Arizona Public Media studio. Photo by Madison Beal.


PA system. During college, he had a part-time job work ing for WKAR, the public media station for Michigan State University.Aftergraduating with a B.A and M.A. in communication, Bob had various jobs in journalism. He did radio news in Jackson, Michigan, and on-air TV news in East Lansing; he was a feature writer for the New Mexico Sun; and led radio newsrooms for several stations in the Southwest. He then served as communication strategist for a number of issue-based political campaigns as well as senior advisor to the Arizona legislative leadership until 2008, when he launched and published the groundbreaking online daily publication The Arizona Guardian for three years. “I could never have made my way through life without that journalism background,” Bob said. “It taught me how to write and to be as objective as I could.”

Josh, who lives in Maryland, remains close to his dad, whom he calls his best friend. Over the pandemic, they got a wifi-connected Square Off chess board, so they could play chess in real time.

“Philanthropy in this way is, frankly, pretty new to us,” Josh said. “I am really grateful that we have gotten to the point in our lives where we can do something like this.”

Josh credits his UArizona education – along with the hands-on experience he gained with his dad growing up – with helping him succeed in his career. Josh is partner and co-owner of Wildfire, a political campaigns commu nications firm, and founder and partner of Goodstock & Co., which helps campaigns sell merchandise to help withJoshfundraising.said.“I hope the long-term effect is that we create broadcast journalists who have an eye for truth and for presenting facts to help people make their own informed decisions.”WhenJosh first told his dad he was establishing the scholarship, Bob thought he was “messing with him.” “I was really touched. Still am,” Bob said. “The schol arship is going to be really good for some kids. And it’s a niceBoblegacy.”waspleased to learn they could help students from a single-parent home. His dad died suddenly when he was a sophomore in college, which made finishing his degreeJoshchallenging.said,“Myfather had a lot of help through college as the child of a single mom. I wanted to replicate that and pay it forward.”

The couple recognize the importance of higher ed ucation for opening opportunities, and they are already talking to their kids about where they want to go to col lege.“My wife went to the University of Maryland so we have competing proposals about where that should be,” Josh said. “I’m currently winning – there are only Universi ty of Arizona t-shirts in the house right now.”

“We are so grateful to Josh for establishing the Robert J. Grossfeld Endowment to honor his dad’s career and to benefit students studying broadcast journalism. With our new Severson Family Broadcasting/ Podcasting Studio and Lab on the horizon, I anticipate more students will want to train in that field. Being able to offer financial support to students is one way we can promote excellence and diversity in journalism.”

Jessica Retis, director of the School of Journalism

WILDCAT FOR LIFE Josh, who majored in communication and Spanish at the University of Arizona, decided to establish the endowment at the University of Arizona because he had a great expe rience as a student.

Bob added, “He would always beat me because he is much smarter than I am.”

“Because we have similar work backgrounds, conver sations can quickly evolve to work convos, which is lovely and fine, but it’s still your pops, and you want to talk about other things,” Josh said about the shared hobby.

Josh and his wife, Angela – also a journalism major and an accomplished marketing and communications profes sional – try to instill the importance of giving back into their three kids, ages 11, 9, and 3.

“For being such a large school, it’s a really tight-knit community,” Josh said. “I met some of my absolute best friends there and really enjoyed the access to various types of classes.”

Bob and Josh Grossfeld


How to Give

Written by: Lori Harwood Designed by: Mackenzie Meitner

The series will explore the complex ways that gender and sexuality shape our lives, from the intimate to the institutional. Speakers will address the cultural impacts of drag performance, sex scandals and sex crimes in 19th-century California, reproductive justice, and how gen der and sexuality are taught (or not taught) in schools.

College of SBS is making an investment in the future! You can donate online at

Launched in 2013, the Downtown Lecture Series was created to bring the university and Tucson communities together in downtown Tucson to learn about topics that relate to our everyday lives. SBS faculty – along with university and community colleagues – have shared their expertise, adding both clarity and complexity to important and fascinating social topics, such as happiness, food, privacy, music, woman power, and compassion. Thank you to this year’s sponsor – the Stonewall Fund at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. For details about the series, go to

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We are excited to bring the 10th annual Downtown Lecture Series to the historic Fox Tucson Theatre this fall. The free series, titled “Sexualities,” will be held live on Oct. 12, 19, 26, and Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. The talks will also be recorded for those who can’t join us in person.

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