Research: USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus | Volume 3 | Fall 2020

Page 1

Freedom from



Crime, Safety & Justice

The Future of Education

Aging & Healthy Living

9 23



In this








Researchers delve into the music that drives hate groups to violent crime.

6 PREVENTING PRISON RECIDIVISM THROUGH 19 ENTREPRENEURSHIP 20 Faculty lead prisoners through entrepreneurial coursework.


Researcher defends his work on racial injustices.



A national anti-sex trafficking organization looks to faculty members for action research evaluation.



Distinct emotions inform Americans' public concern for terrorism.



A mapping method provides a data-informed look at street light placement.




A conversation with Regional Chancellor Karen A. Holbrook about the changing landscape of education.



The Florida Center for Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching expands its reach through workshops.



High school students benefit through an experiment in arts-integrated curricula.



Computer access opens up a new world for Tanzanian children.


Crime, Safety & Justice

CAMPUS BOARD Byron E. Shinn, Chair Lisa Carlton Dr. Anila Jain Bill Mariotti Diana Michel Rick Piccolo Ernie Withers REGIONAL CHANCELLOR Karen A. Holbrook, PhD




Campus Director, Communications and Marketing

Eddie Beauchamp

Regional Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance

Sandy Justice, CRA

Associate Director, USF Research and Innovation

Brett Kemker, PhD

Regional Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Student Success



The movement for age-friendly communities is spreading worldwide.



Theatre provides a unique look into perceptions of aging.



Researcher investigates hearing aid usage among Hispanic/Latino individuals.



Visualizing physical improvement helps dysphagia sufferers.



Pets may not always improve well-being.



Researcher examines the psychology of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.



Greg Smogard, PhD

Assistant Vice President, Innovation and Business Development

Casey Welch

Assistant Vice President, External Affairs and Government Relations

Lee Williams, CFRE

Regional Vice Chancellor, Advancement

EDITOR John Dudley ART DIRECTION Krista Lee CONTRIBUTING WRITERS John Dudley Rich Shopes The University of South Florida, comprised of campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and SarasotaManatee, is a high-impact Preeminent State Research University as designated by the Florida Board of Governors. This publication reflects the research work from the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus. SARASOTAMANATEE.USF.EDU/RESEARCH


From the

Regional Chancellor


niversities conduct research as a benefit to society, whether it is in the STEM fields, social sciences, business, medicine, law or the arts and humanities. Research that is being carried out at this time has never been more critical, and there is a pressing need to produce results at lightning speed. While research in the biomedical fields has been accelerated to understand the COVID-19 virus and its effects on the human body—and to obtain answers about how to diagnose, control and prevent it through technology, therapies and treatment and ultimately provide immunity to it— the ramifications of this virus affect all other aspects of our livelihood, and thus, research is essential in virtually every other field as well. It is not only the pandemic that necessitates urgent research and solutions. In response to the George Floyd tragedy, the university developed the University of South Florida Research Task Force on Understanding and Addressing Blackness and Anti-Black Racism in our Local, National and International Communities. USF committed $500,000 for the first round of a yearlong research grant program to support faculty research projects centered on issues of systemic racism. Just as we have been saying throughout the pandemic, we will



get better when each and every one of us makes it our personal responsibility to promote justice and safety for all. Our university is united in our commitment to end racism and foster a truly inclusive culture. All of the articles in this issue of Research: USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus were selected before these crises and as such, focus on other topics. However, the thrust of all of these articles can be considered within a current frame of reference as they demonstrate the connection between faculty research and societal issues, including quality of life financially, emotionally and as it pertains to age; personal safety and security; the rise of telemedicine; animals to counter loneliness; arts for human interaction; and instilling hope and self-respect among sex-trafficked and incarcerated individuals. Along with the research they conduct, the investigators provide significant community service—a feature that characterizes our campus. We hope you enjoy this issue and appreciate the value of community-based research and support.

Karen A. Holbrook, PhD Regional Chancellor, USF Sarasota-Manatee campus

Crime, Safety & Justice

Letters from



Regional Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Student Success


he role of research is to question and create a proving ground for innovation. In my academic career, I have experienced institutions of higher education withstand and defeat attacks on value, massive budget cuts, hurricanes and now COVID-19. As a researcher, I understand the impact and toll this has on our mental health and well-being. I would submit that the research mission is extremely important in fortifying the academic community in which we all rely for cultural stability and well-being. We have seized this opportunity for some meaningful professional development and personal growth. We are proud of how professionally unassuming we were as we launched into remote course delivery this past spring. Nothing bonds people together better than a shared mission. It is amazing how our lens has changed so abruptly to see the world in such an altruistic way. As researchers, we see this as such a galvanizing time to shape the academic culture on our campuses to the new normal: to maintain the health of our academic community, take advantage of this momentum to maintain a sense of community and help students stay the course in their academic endeavors. Scientists and scholars around the world have realigned their research aims to address COVID-19 – not just in surveillance and prevention and vaccine, but also in the areas of improving education delivery and learning outcomes for students from K-12 to higher ed. Now is the time to develop ourselves with new technologies and new skillsets for research, knowledge dissemination and the empowerment of expanded communication modalities. As academic leaders, we must embody the changes we encourage in those we serve. As researchers, we do not exaggerate the size of our problems. Rather, we believe in our ability to think critically to solve the issues at hand. With this powerful realization, be at peace. In this ever-changing world, you are in control of your passion for discovery, your attitude and your effort.



Associate Director, USF Research and Innovation


ven before USF consolidation paved the way for increased collaboration across campuses, the Office of Research was established on the Sarasota-Manatee campus to extend the reach of the USF Office of Research and Innovation. Together, we work to strengthen and grow the USF research enterprise while providing experience and expertise dedicated to the campus. We connect collaborators to enhance productivity and competitiveness. This includes working with community partners, university leaders and interdisciplinary teams to provide lynchpin support that is critically important for multi-year, multi-million dollar projects and infrastructure. The Summer Grant Writing Workshops program is a cornerstone of our efforts which resulted in more than 200 participants earning their USF Certificate in Grant Writing. This eight-week professional development program hosted at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus provides grantsmanship training for faculty and student researchers at USF and our partners at Moffitt Cancer Center, the VA, BayCare and the Cross College Alliance. University reputation is key in the current, highly competitive funding climate. This research magazine is a valued communication tool designed to raise the visibility of faculty expertise and support the vision, strategic direction and culture of creative scholarly research. As you will see in the pages that follow, research is the response and catalyst for change. To learn more and stay connected, I invite you to visit the research magazine online and connect with us at



Section One

Crime, Safety & Justice

The rate of violent crime in the United States has fallen dramatically in the past two decades. From 1991 through 2018, the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people nearly halved, dropping to 381 incidents from 758, according to data from the FBI’s 2018 Uniform Crime Reporting Program. And yet, due in part to police body cams, witness video and the ubiquitous nature of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, safety and justice concerns continue to dominate headlines and drive academic investigation. University of South Florida researchers from the Sarasota-Manatee campus are addressing safety and justice issues on many fronts by performing active research evaluation of programs and services provided by a Sarasota-based national anti-sex trafficking organization, studying our fear and worry about terrorism, teaching entrepreneurship skills to inmates, examining best practices for making neighborhoods safer through the location of street lighting, assessing the need for a black criminology and exploring the relationship between music and hate crimes.

UNI Award Spotlight: ENTREPRENEURIAL RESILIENCE University of South Florida Nexus Initiative (UNI) awards offer faculty the opportunity to advance current human understanding and address pressing societal needs through collaboration with global partners in research and scholarly and innovative efforts. In 2019, six USF faculty members from the Sarasota-Manatee campus were awarded UNI grants totaling $39,100, including:


Kabongo, Sarasota-Manatee campus dean and professor in the Muma College of Business, and Becker, professor in the Muma College of Business, are studying entrepreneurial resilience in developing African economies. In fall 2019, the first survey was completed from Ghana, South Africa and Uganda. Earlier this year, they met their African collaborators at a conference in Nigeria and visited Ghana and South Africa. Data entry is completed, and the second survey will take place later this year. 5




hen officials at the Sarasota County Correctional Facility approached Jessica Grosholz and Jean Kabongo about adapting their successful prison entrepreneurship program to a jail population, the USF researchers immediately saw value in the opportunity. Grosholz and Kabongo, who teach at the Sarasota-Manatee campus, had previously implemented a series of 10week classes for inmates at the Hardee Correctional Institution in Bowling Green, Florida. The inmates learned about how to start and run businesses upon their release. For the researchers, the opportunity to establish a pilot program for a jail environment came with some built-in advantages. Chief among them was the ability to better track the program’s success among inmates who were likely to be released soon and tended to return to their local communities to start businesses. “We’re not necessarily looking at how many businesses they create, but in knowing that they’re not coming back to prison,” said Kabongo, Sarasota-Manatee campus dean and professor for the Muma College of Business. “For us, that is an indication that the training is having some sort of impact on their transformation.” Grosholz and Kabongo held the first four-day workshop in August for jail inmates, an adaption owing to the jail population’s more transient nature. They have returned one more time, enabling them to develop theories about how the program resonates with disparate cohorts of inmates. “Those in prison have in many cases been in for an extensive period of time so they’re a little unrealistic about the kind of businesses they want to start,” said Grosholz, an associate professor of

criminology. “But they all have a socially conscious element to them. They want to make it easier for the client than for themselves. It’s almost as if they’re trying to make amends for what they have done.” Inmates at the jail tend to be younger and, in many cases, have been involved in businesses in the past but lacked the skills to make them successful, she said. One aim of the program is to help individuals who tend to be risk-takers learn to take more calculated risks when it comes to establishing businesses. “The jail population is significantly more realistic,” Grosholz said, noting that jail inmates are interested in businesses such as mobile detailing, barbershops, food trucks, lawn services, pressure washing or pool maintenance. “Those are definitely things they could start relatively quickly and with little capital.”

PHOTO: Jean Kabongo gives a lecture on entrepreneurship at the Hardee Correctional Institution. Sarasota HeraldTribune Staff Photo 2019. Reprinted by express permission of the Herald-Tribune Media group.



By the Numbers


Ultimately, Grosholz and Kabongo hope their research will result in the creation of a database to track the success of prison entrepreneurial education. Their work has led to multiple national conference presentations and the development of several academic papers. “We have collected a lot of data that I think can become a framework for programming in prisons, really allowing individuals to think about, ‘What are the struggles when people get out and how can we improve their chances of handling those struggles?’” Grosholz said. “Employment is one of the most difficult challenges.” - John Dudley



f James Unnever’s academic career ever came down to a defining moment, it might have happened in November during the 75th annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology in San Francisco.



Unnever, a professor of criminology at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, came to the conference to debate the central premise of his research during a session entitled “The Author Meets Critics: Building a Black Criminology: Race, Theory, and Crime.” The event, billed as a critique of the book Unnever co-authored, “Building a Black Criminology: Race, Theory, and Crime,” turned out to be much more. It also served as an examination of Unnever’s research and conclusions of the past four decades that racism is endemic in American society and contributes to disproportionate numbers of African Americans being incarcerated, justifying the need for a separate line of academic inquiry, a “black criminology.” Joining him on the dais was one of his coauthors, Cecilia Chouhy. Opposite them were Ojmarrh Mitchell of Arizona State University (formerly of USF); Robert D. Crutchfield of the University of Washington and Robert J. Sampson of Harvard University. The session was chaired by Francis Cullen from the University of Cincinnati. Sampson and Unnever had written about race and crime in academic journals for years, each from

Crime, Safety & Justice different theoretical perspectives. “It was probably one of the most diverse and well-attended sessions at the conference,” Unnever recalled. Among the issues was Unnever’s contention that most criminological research doesn’t consider what it means to be black in a racially stratified society like the United States, and that America is not “color-blind” despite civil rights advances. The debate concluded with a general acknowledgment by Sampson that, even though the two maintained different interpretations about the effects of racial stratification, they weren’t far apart in their conclusions. For Unnever, the debate and conference left him with a sense of validation, that his work and arguments calling for a black criminology had withstood scrutiny and now merited greater respect within America’s criminological community. The debate’s timing was appropriate, coming toward the end of the Unnever’s career and as the Black Lives Matter movement spotlights racism in America’s criminal justice system.

Even before the tragedies of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, George Floyd and other victims, Unnever and a few other researchers highlighted injustices, sifting through arrest and incarceration statistics and asking to what extent race contributed to the high numbers of blacks reflected in the data. Unnever notes that race has largely remained on the periphery of theoretical criminology, so that when racial disparities are discussed the standard response is to argue that the statistical differences are due to mostly African Americans being exposed to the same risk factors as whites, just more of them. However, as he points out, that approach doesn’t take into account the unique, racially specific conditions that only blacks experience. “These conditions are rooted in historical racial oppression from segregated communities and racial socialization by parents to experience with racial discrimination and disproportionate involvement with the criminal justice system,” he says.

PHOTO: James Unnever, PhD

- Rich Shopes





Human Trafficking


n its 2019 Trafficking in Persons report, the U.S. Department of State estimated that 24.9 million people worldwide — roughly three times the population of New York City — were victims of human trafficking. A large percentage of those victims were trapped in sex trafficking activities, many of them in Florida, which annually reports one of the highest incidences of sex trafficking crimes in the United States. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH), Florida reported 332 cases of sex trafficking in 2019, representing 10.2 percent of the 3,266 sex trafficking cases reported in the U.S. in 2019. NHTH statistics are based on the contacts-phone calls, texts, online chats, emails and webforms-received by the NHTH that reference Florida. “This is a problem that is not going to improve without active work being done to combat the issue,” said Jessica Grosholz, an associate professor of criminology at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus. Grosholz is part of the USF team of researchers who are performing action research evaluation on programs and services provided by Sarasota-based Selah Freedom, a national anti-sex trafficking organization. The researchers’ work with Selah Freedom began in 2018. In 2019, Selah Freedom was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) expanding the scope of their outreach to include all forms of human trafficking, including sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Grosholz and her team conduct in-depth interviews and focus groups with task force members and organizations, including members of law enforcement agencies and direct service organizations such as One More Child, the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking and Lutheran



Services Florida. The action research evaluation utilizes a research design following the National Institute of Justice (2008) logic model adapted from McEwen (2003). The action research performed by Grosholz and colleagues Fawn Ngo and Sandra Stone provides vital feedback about Selah Freedom’s training programs for awareness, prevention, residential and outreach services, Ngo said. The three have interviewed staff, volunteers and the women in the residential and outreach programs to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the organization and the services they provide. They have also analyzed some of their prevention surveys – given to adults and youth who take part in prevention programming and helped them redesign those surveys to identify strengths and gaps in knowledge about human trafficking and sex trafficking among participants in the prevention programs. These data are analyzed on a quarterly basis to ensure that project activities are producing the desired outcomes. By analyzing and reporting data quarterly, the task force can implement actionable solutions grounded in the evidence. “We found that their initial surveys returned very favorable results, and we questioned whether that enabled them to see areas where improvement was needed,” said Ngo, an associate professor of criminology. “We helped them redesign their surveys to ask other questions that will help them determine areas where they can become more effective.” By its definition, action research evaluation enables Grosholz, Ngo and Stone to provide Selah Freedom staff with input and feedback while the evaluations are ongoing, rather than waiting until their work ends. It began with an examination of Selah Freedom’s residential program in Sarasota and has broadened to include the organization’s work in Chicago.

Crime, Safety & Justice



prevention services aimed at helping school-aged children and their parents learn how to protect FLORIDA CASES MADE UP CASES OF SEX themselves from potential TRAFFICKING WERE traffickers. REPORTED IN OF ALL 2019 Selah U.S. CASES Freedom staff FLORIDA IN 2019 members also accompany regional law enforcement on patrols STATISTICS FROM The OVC grant, a portion of which funds the and jail visits as part of their outreach efforts. National Human work being performed by the Sarasota-Manatee Through this project, Selah Freedom will provide Trafficking Hotline campus researchers, will also establish a network an array of direct services for victims of all forms of services as part of a task force within an eightof human trafficking, either in-house or through PHOTOS, P. 12 L-R: county area coordinated by Selah Freedom and community partnerships and develop referral plans Jessica Grosholz, headed by the St. Petersburg Police Department for comprehensive services that are not provided inPhD; Fawn Ngo, PhD; with the singular goal of helping victims of human house but through other community organizations. Sandra Stone, PhD trafficking. The OVC project is critically important, Through the funding, Grosholz, Ngo and providing the resources needed to support Selah Stone will continue their evaluations through Freedom’s mission to end human trafficking. The October 2022. “This will allow us to build on the work we have already done interviewing clients and organization’s credibility was essential to securing the funding that will enable the action research conducting focus groups for staff and volunteers,” evaluation to expand to look at all victims of human said Stone, Sarasota-Manatee campus professor and assistant dean of graduate studies. “We have an trafficking, including men and victims of labor opportunity to figure out what’s really going on and trafficking, Grosholz said. to assist with improving services for these victims.” “Selah’s reputation as an anti-sex trafficking organization is really important,” Grosholz said. Women who arrive at Selah Freedom as “They have the connections with federal, state sex trafficking victims enter the first stage of its and local law enforcement as well as local service residential program, an assessment house. They providers. They have the respect of the community. progress through the main residential facility and, They are really good at their residential program, eventually, reach the independent living phase. In and having survivor success is a really big deal.” both of those phases, they receive counseling to The researchers have spent more than 100 address their trauma and to provide support with hours embedded with Selah Freedom staff during communications skills, relationship building and therapy sessions, meal preparations and trainings job-search training. In addition, they participate in with law enforcement and health care providers. a range of therapeutic activities, such as cooking, So far, their evaluations have resulted in one book exercise, group discussions and equine therapy. All chapter and several technical reports and conference of this is designed to enable them to resume their presentations. lives outside Selah Freedom’s care. “We hope to show other agencies around While the residential program is a focal Florida and nationally how this kind of point, Selah Freedom also provides awareness and




Crime, Safety & Justice

collaboration among law enforcement and direct service providers can work to benefit survivors and victims,” Grosholz said. According to Ngo, collaborations between academic researchers and practitioners promote the implementation of evidence-based practice which entails the objective and sensible use of the best available empirical data to guide programmatic and practice decisions, rather than through anecdotal or professional experience alone. From Selah Freedom’s standpoint, the researchers’ work has been instrumental, according to Misty LaPerriere, Selah Freedom’s National Law Enforcement liaison and trainer, who has conducted training sessions on awareness, prevention, residential and outreach services with the researchers in attendance. “It’s absolutely invaluable to have someone from the outside come in and look at your operations and say, ‘Have you thought about doing it this way?’” LaPerriere said. “Their input can help us determine whether we are truly operating from a traumainformed lens. We can see the real impact of our work when things are going right and it’s effective; and if things are going wrong, it helps us see that sooner rather than later.”


The University of South Florida Nexus Initiative (UNI) has supported 81 unique collaborations spanning 32 countries and 12 U.S. states, cultivating an invaluable and growing network of opportunity and impact. In 2019, six USF faculty members from the Sarasota-Manatee campus were awarded UNI grants totaling $39,100, including:


Ngo, an associate professor of criminology, and Jose Agustina, a professor of law at the University International of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, are conducting a crossnational, comparative study of stalking between the United States and Spain. They seek to determine how sociopolitical differences impact victims’ experiences with the criminal justice system, behavioral and coping strategies and the effectiveness of formal and informal response to stalking. Her planned return to Spain in March to resume work was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Terrorism: Fear vs.Worry



Crime, Safety & Justice

urat Haner and Melissa Sloan recognized that the body of research into issues related to terrorism was vast when they launched a study of their own. Their work, however, considers a largely overlooked factor-the extent to which emotion influences public concern about terrorism and the policy measures surrounding it. Haner, an instructor II of criminology at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, and Sloan, a professor of sociology, are among the first to distinguish between fear and worry in an examination of how each contributes to the way Americans perceive the threat of potential terrorist attacks. The researchers developed a national survey of 1,000 Americans measuring the levels of fear of a terrorist attack and worry about terrorism relative to other potential harms. The results have appeared in three peer-reviewed articles, including “Public Concern about Terrorism: Fear, Worry and Support for AntiMuslim Policies,” published in June 2019 in Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, an official journal of the American Sociological Association. “We conducted one of the first studies to separate fear and worry and look at the effects separately,” Sloan said. “In a large body of literature on fear of crime, these two emotions are often conflated. They are separate concepts. Fear is an emotion that is reactive and not based on sustained deliberation, while worry involves ruminating about concerns.” Their research showed a terrorist attack is the second greatest fear among Americans, behind only widespread civil unrest. Yet, worry about being the victim of a terrorist attack ranked below a number of other concerns, including a personal health crisis, a mass shooting, violent crime, a serious car accident or the threat of a home invasion. The study showed that women, Christians, political conservatives and persons reporting greater overall levels of psychological distress tend to be more fearful of terrorism and

to worry more about a terrorist attack. Fear and worry dropped among respondents with higher levels of education and those who pay greater attention to political news reports. The survey also revealed the effects of emotion on attitudes about anti-Muslim policies such as surveilling Muslim neighborhoods and ceasing all immigration from Muslim countries, finding that individuals who are politically conservative and those who exhibit the greatest levels of fear and worry about terrorism were more likely to support such policies. “Politicians are intentionally generating fear about terrorism and linking the issue of terrorism to Muslims and other minority groups to produce a tangible impact on the way voters cast their ballots. They exploit the fears and anxieties — Murat Haner of voters to gain support for their own political agendas,” Haner said. “Research in the area indicates that negative attitudes toward some groups have been shown to influence political behaviors.” In a follow-up publication, Haner and Sloan built on this research to more closely examine the threats and individuals’ responses to their perceived risk. “We show that the threat of terrorism is a stressor that influences the lives of Americans,” Sloan said. “Its consequences have implications for community engagement, the economy and psychological well-being on an individual level. The fear-related behaviors can lead to feelings of social isolation, psychological symptoms and a lowered quality of life.”

“In many other countries, people don’t go to movies, they don’t go to shopping centers, they don’t fly or attend public events. It’s not at that level in the United States, but it can easily get there.”

- John Dudley










STATISTICS FROM The Chapman University Survey of American Fears, 2017









hile plenty of quantitative research exists to establish the relationship between crime rates and poorly lit areas, few studies have offered the promise of helping direct precisely where streetlights should be located to curb criminal activity. Rustu Deryol, an instructor II who teaches at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, and colleague Troy C. Payne of the University of Alaska Anchorage helped fill existing gaps in the literature with a study published in 2017 in Crime Prevention and Community Safety. Their work focused on Cincinnati, Ohio, using data from the Cincinnati Police Department over a four-year span. To test their method, they selected a neighborhood in which police had chosen to install street lights in 2014. Using 2010-2013 crime data provided by the police department, they sought to determine whether their findings would substantiate the choice to install lights along the selected streets. They began by creating a 100-foot by 100-foot grid of cells over the study area. From there, they merged daily sunrise and sunset data with the date of each crime-related incident to enable them to assign each incident a daytime or dark-time value.


Next, they aggregated crime counts within the cells, generating five variables for each cell: • • • • •

Total number of crimes The number of daytime crimes (sunrise to sunset) The number of dark-time crimes (sunset to sunrise) Spatial lag for crimes (the average of neighboring cells within 500 feet of one another) Proportion of nighttime crime (the number of dark-time crimes divided by total crimes)

The researchers then identified hot spot crime areas across the four-year period and used a data mining tool-a Self-Organizing Map (SOM)-to pinpoint grid cells that were similar to one another in total violent crime count, the proportion of violent crime that occurs at night and the average of adjacent cells’ violent crime count. Their findings revealed temporal patterns of violent crime within spatial hot spots. For example, many of the areas that the police chose to light in 2014 showed mostly “dark” cells indicating 100 percent of crime there from 2010 through 2013 had occurred at night. The selection of these areas for lighting was well justified on the basis of the

Crime, Safety & Justice proportion of nighttime crimes, the researchers concluded. However, those cells were not the source of the highest frequency of total violent crimes. “Using this data, we implemented a data mining method for selecting street segments to be lighted to aid in nighttime violent crime prevention,” said Deryol, a criminology instructor and a former member of the Turkish National Police. “The study also will help perform a pre-installation analysis for property owners, homeowner associations and urban planners who plan to choose street segments to be lighted. “Deciding about the selection of streets or street segments obviously has economic impact on

taxpayers,” he continued. “Lights have installation costs, plus ongoing energy costs and routine maintenance costs. Choosing the right locations for lighting purposes is very important for the effective use of public funds.” Deryol said the findings confirmed the previous decision by police officials in Cincinnati to add lighting (see graphic below) in areas exhibiting an elevated frequency of dark-time crimes within the neighborhood the study examined. He believes the analysis can be replicated in other cities to assist with decisions about selecting streets for lighting and crime prevention purposes. - John Dudley


When the Cincinnati Police Department sought to light streets in Cincinnati’s CUF neighborhood in 2014, Deryol used the self-organizing map (SOM) method to grid, identify and cluster areas similar in criminal activity based on 20102013 crime data. The darkest cells show areas in which 100 percent of crimes were committed in the dark. Since most of the area’s crimes occurred at night, the data shows that installing street lights along the perimeter of the neighborhood (indicated by teal lines) was an appropriate step toward reducing future crime. Using the SOM method can help officials identify patterns of dark-time crime and make data-driven decisions to prevent crime. PERCENTAGE OF AREA CRIMES COMMITTED IN THE DARK, 2010-2013

100% 74% 61% 57% 56% 55% STREETS SELECTED FOR LIGHTING IN 2014

Data used in this graphic illustration was adapted from "A method of identifying dark-time crime locations for street lighting purposes" (Deryol and Payne, 2017).


Music of Hate Crime T

he gunman drove to the front door of the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, entered the building and fired indiscriminately for about five minutes during afternoon prayers, killing 41 people. When he had finished, he drove three miles east to the Linwood Islamic Centre, where another seven people were shot dead. Between the shootings, as the gunman drove off, the song “Fire” by English rock band The Crazy World of Arthur Brown could be heard blasting from the speakers. The singer shouts, “I am the god of hellfire!” The March 15, 2019, massacre was described as the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history. The gunman, a 28-year-old Australian, was quickly identified as a white supremacist. Minutes before the attacks, he emailed a 74-page manifesto expressing anti-immigrant sentiments and hate speech against migrants and calling for the removal of non-European immigrants from Europe. 17 RESEARCH: USF SARASOTA-MANATEE CAMPUS

What triggered his deep-seated hatred? Why was he compelled to resort to such extreme violence? And what warning signs, if any, were evident prior to his murderous rampage? USF researchers Jessica Grosholz, an associate professor of criminology, and Zacharias Pieri, an assistant professor of international relations and security studies, both teach on the Sarasota-Manatee campus. They are undertaking a study to explore early indicators and drivers of violent extremism connected to white nationalism. Specifically, the two are examining music associated with the white power movement and how it reflects and influences the movement. “We want to look at the extent to which these kinds of ideas are present in and shaping the world outlook within this culture,” said Pieri, who previously examined the jihadist movement Boko Haram in “Boko Haram and the Drivers of Islamist Violence.” He says that like other extremist movements, white supremacy indoctrinates and binds adherents

Crime, Safety & Justice

WORD CLOUD (ABOVE) through rhetoric and symbols that frequently appear in speeches, videos, music and other media. Much of the music associated with white power falls under the category of heavy metal rock and is replete with hatefilled lyrics and violent, extremist ideology. Grosholz and Pieri are examining key themes and narratives within the songs. “This music allows us to get into that mindset and see what is important to these people,” Grosholz said. “It’s interesting: music can be seen as a recruitment tool to pull people in, and it can also be used to provoke action, in this case extreme violence.” The researchers began collaborating about a year ago after noting a sharp uptick in ethnicand religious-affiliated violence, including the Christchurch mosque attacks; the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on Oct. 27, 2018, that claimed 11 lives and the Charleston church shooting that killed nine black church members on June 17, 2015. They began by looking at Justice Department and FBI files and combing through white supremacist music online. Once available on mainstream

Grosholz and Pieri identified the 100 most common words used in the 337 white supremacy songs they analyzed (obscenities censored).

platforms like Facebook and YouTube, much of it in recent years has been pushed to alt-right sites on the “dark web.” So far, they’ve compiled a database of more than 700 songs from 65 bands. Grosholz and Pieri are seeking grant funding that would enable them to hire interns to begin the second stage of their research-interviewing white supremacists about their music choices. Many of the songs are disturbing odes to violence and racism, in some cases calling for the removal of blacks from society and the brutal assault and killing of minorities. The work isn’t easy. Repeatedly listening to and analyzing the songs exacts an emotional toll, Grosholz said. “Many of these songs are exceptionally disturbing and vulgar,” she said. “We’ve learned to limit ourselves to no more than three or four hours at a time.” - Rich Shopes


Section Two

The Future of Education The spring of 2020 brought sudden and dramatic change to the way we deliver learning experiences at every level of education. Teaching and testing went fully remote, with video conferencing becoming the norm among educators and students alike. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated our understanding of the challenges created by an evolving educational landscape that could emerge permanently changed in many ways, with a focus on nimble curriculum development, creative teaching methods and a gradual departure from the traditional classroom setting. The work of USF researchers from the Sarasota-Manatee campus examines some of the ways in which education will be transformed, from the introduction of computers and Internet access to students in remote areas of developing nations, to the value of arts integration as a method of improving engagement and comprehension, to a future in which schools incorporate artificial intelligence and augmented reality into nearly every facet of the learning process.

UNI Award Spotlight: SMART CITIES

University of South Florida Nexus Initiative (UNI) grants that are awarded as part of the USF Faculty Global Collaboration Initiative support faculty members’ travel to engage in research and scholarly activities in collaboration with colleagues at higher education institutions outside the United States. In 2019, six USF faculty members from the Sarasota-Manatee campus were awarded UNI grants totaling $39,100, including:


Javidi, a professor of information technology and cybersecurity, and Sheybani, an associate professor of information systems and decision sciences, visited Greece to collaborate with telecommunication researchers learning about how 5G (5th generation) mobile and wireless systems are being implemented. They also are studying how the next generation of these systems-6G technology-should be planned to accommodate emerging technologies such as smart cities, wearable computers, virtual and augmented reality and autonomous driving. 19 RESEARCH: USF SARASOTA-MANATEE CAMPUS

The Future of Education

Emerging Technologies in Education

A Conversation

with Karen A. Holbrook, PhD


SF Sarasota-Manatee campus Regional Chancellor Karen A. Holbrook has been on the front line of change at many institutions and is always interested in learning more about emerging trends that impact education. Recently, artificial intelligence sparked her interest and how it is impacting virtually every field, but in particular, how it is being employed in education. The emerging technologies-artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), speech recognition, robotics, the internet of things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality and even blockchain-are so infused into all domains of society that we rarely recognize them as anything unusual. AI is often how we order food, call for a car (Uber), play our choice of music, get answers to questions, check into an airport or hotel and provide surveillance for our homes. Collectively, these “tools” are designed to accelerate and increase the accuracy of decision-making through analysis of massive amounts of data. In education, these technologies ease administrative processes, increase efficiencies and prepare students for a new world order of work.

Q: How are AI and other emerging technologies being adopted in education? A: First of all, adopting emerging technologies in education is not new, but only recently has become more commonplace in K-12 education, and in higher education, an array of new technologies has grown beyond “novelty” to becoming mainstream. What is amazing is how AI has been adopted in the elementary grades. Several companies have designed minicourses and projects for K-4 students to use teachable machines, pattern radio and even

semi-conductors to learn through AI. Squirrel AI Learning® was the first company to create adaptive learning allowing a student to focus only on new material, advance at a customized rate and add tutoring as needed. AI4K12, an open learning platform, has developed a full set of guidelines for teaching AI in kindergarten through high school, and AI-in-a-Box uses project-based learning and team-based problem solving to use AI to explore real-world challenges. The learning analytics from these large educational projects can model student misconceptions, identify students at risk of failure and provide real-time feedback. SARASOTAMANATEE.USF.EDU/RESEARCH 20

AI benefits higher education in both administrative and academic areas. Georgia State University, for example, uses Pounce, a chatbot, to personalize support for each student from initial request through graduation. Many other universities, including USF, automate messages to students, provide targeted instruction, intelligent tutoring and career services. AI is also driving innovation in the classroom through new programs. The University of Utah, for example, has developed an AI concentration on entertainment arts, engineering and games, and UCLA Law has received funding to study potentially disruptive societal and legal changes. AI is a component of new media training in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. The University of Florida (UF) has just announced a $70M partnership with NVIDIA to provide the fastest artificial intelligence supercomputer in higher education. Every UF student will have a class that exposes them to AI concepts. All 40 of the top AI programs have created research groups, programs, centers and institutes that involve student researchers. Examples of such programs are robotics and cyber-physical systems, robots learning to cook by watching YouTube, intelligent transportation systems and machine learning for Alzheimer’s predictions. An intelligent system at UGA rapidly determines which cancer drugs are likely to work best on patients who express specific genetic markers. Many of the AI programs collaborate with industry. Stanford AI, for example, has partnerships with Google, Panasonic and Samsung. MIT has been on the cutting edge of AI research since the 1950s. In 2017, the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab was developed as a partnership to promote the evolution and universal adoption of AI, and in 2019 opened the Schwarzman College of Computing with a focus on computing and AI, policy, economics, and the ethical dilemmas of technology. Adopting AI and other emerging technologies is also high on the agendas of other counties. The United Arab Emirates adopted a National Artificial Intelligence Strategy to position the Emirates to become a global leader in AI by integrating it into


business, education, community and governmental services. This month the Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the world’s first research-based graduate AI university, will open. It has established partnerships with some of the world’s top-ranked universities as well as with many local businesses and government. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in the UK has developed a nationwide program at 200 universities to offer master’s degrees and 16 universities to offer PhDs in AI to as many as 1,000 researchers, business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Q: Blockchain is an emerging technology that is recognized for its role in powering cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin. Are there benefits in education? A: Blockchain is typically associated with cryptocurrencies, but it is also being applied to virtually every field and industry. In higher education it is both a useful tool as well as a component of the curriculum. Blockchain is a transparent, peer-to-peer distributed network of computers, a decentralized shared platform and a democratized global ledger of transactions organized in the cloud. It is immutable and cryptographically secured. No single entity can enact changes or is in charge. An attempt to remove or add a false document to a blockchain will break the chain and immediately render it invalid. Blockchain is being used to help students consolidate information about educational and training programs into a single, universal, secure, permanent and unified record. The student has access to an identifier that can be provided to a future employer, for example, to validate credentials. Georgia Tech’s Blockchain Credential Project coalesces student academic information into an immutable transcript, and MIT Media Lab has registered a system of digital credentials on the bitcoin blockchain. Universities are also promoting courses on blockchain technology. Berkeley has an open-access online blockchain certification course. Columbia University has launched the Columbia-IBM Center

The Future of Education










for Blockchain and Data Transparency and created an incubator for startup businesses. Columbia also offers several interdisciplinary courses that focus on the technical, legal, social and regulatory aspects of blockchain. Job postings requiring blockchain skills increased 500 percent year-over-year. The state of Wyoming is an international leader in blockchain technology because of its progressive laws around blockchain and cryptocurrency. A Blockchain Task Force works to enhance blockchain business and recruit blockchain companies to the state. IOHK, an international technology company, has funded the University of Wyoming to establish an Advanced Blockchain R&D Laboratory that will focus on the role of blockchain in solving world problems. A few universities have accepted cryptocurrencies as philanthropic gifts. Harvard was the first university to invest endowment funds in cryptocurrency tokens,


Florida Gulf Coast University accepted a single bitcoin donation in 2014 and New College of Florida pioneered a bitcoin donation system.

Q: What are your observations about the pace of acceptance of emerging technologies in higher education?” A: Every day new programs and applications are designed where emerging technologies help academics take a leap forward to increase communications, efficiencies, predictions and data analysis and to prepare students for a new workforce. With the many opportunities for students to learn with and about these technologies, universities, such as ours, do not need to ask whether students are ready for college, but rather are our colleges ready for the students? SARASOTAMANATEE.USF.EDU/RESEARCH 22

The Art of



The Future of Education


enise Davis-Cotton has a long history campus. Davis-Cotton was appointed director the of arts-based collaboration. Before following year. founding the Detroit School of Arts in “Serving as the first state center director for 1992, she was the first teaching artist in arts-integrated teaching is both humbling and residence for the state of Alabama. She is also the rewarding,” she said. “The educators and teaching author of Losing My Mind over Education (Finding artists are the embodiment of the PAInT Center’s My Way Back to Me) and is a Milken Foundation operational definition of arts integration. Arts internationally recognized educator. integration is a diversity of knowledge, programs, As director of the Florida Center for experiences and aspirations that bring meaning Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT) to ideas and content through the arts and human based at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, Davis- interaction.” Cotton visits public and charter schools across The PAInT Center’s mission is rooted in Florida and organizes arts-integrated teaching providing opportunities for education, training and conferences. research. The PAInT Scholars program has enabled Regardless of education the audience, her students at the message is the same: USF SarasotaThe arts serve not Manatee campus only to inspire but to engage in to educate, and academic artsthat by combining integrated the arts with research and academic material, participate students will better in internship understand and experiences retain the material. with PAInT “The arts community connect students arts partners. to instruction and As part of a sustain learning grant from the after they leave Andrew Mellon — Denise Davis-Cotton their classrooms,” Foundation and said Davis-Cotton, in partnership past president and with New current board member of Arts Schools Network, a College of Florida, PAInT co-sponsored a sixnonprofit that supports arts educators nationwide. part workshop series, The Business of Creativity, “Arts integration transmits a powerful message: designed to present technology and creative partner, collaborate, plan, support, guide and teach learning to classroom instruction to engage to build students — not through their deficits, but students. through their strengths.” Throughout her career, Davis-Cotton has Arts-integrated instruction was pioneered touted the benefits of the arts as part of the “wellat the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus as an rounded” concept, which teaches that students who instructional method for education students are accomplished in math, science and other core training to become elementary school teachers. subjects such as art, music, drama and literature Recognizing the benefit of this application for turn out better prepared for college and beyond. wider usage, the Florida Legislature in 2016 voted Arts-integrated instruction takes this concept to expand the program and establish the state’s first a step further by bringing the arts directly into Center for PAInT at the USF Sarasota-Manatee academic material. For example, a history lesson

“The arts connect students to instruction and sustain learning after they leave their classrooms. Arts integration transmits a powerful message: partner, collaborate, plan, support, guide and teach to build students — not through their deficits, but through their strengths.”


PHOTOS: 1-3. Children engage with circus arts lessons in force and motion at the Circus Arts Conservatory. 4-5. Middle school students learn about robotics through origami lessons. 6. USF SarasotaManatee campus professor Edie Banner leads children in an artsintegrated science summer workshop.







about the Emancipation Proclamation might include a visual arts lesson about the photograph or painting of Abraham Lincoln from that period. Students could note the shadows, lines, technique and organizational structure of Lincoln’s posture, pose and careworn eyes, observe his clothing and objects in the background or foreground, and then discuss what was happening when the photo or painting was created. The discussion may potentially turn to specifics about the historical and global connections of art and history related to the Emancipation Proclamation and Civil War. “Teachers create a deeper understanding of a wide range of subjects because they involve students directly in the process of learning,” Davis-Cotton said. “When a student is connected to what he or she is learning, self-confidence, self-understanding and retention of information are increased.” Arts-integrated instruction may involve theatre, music, visual arts, media arts, dance or any other


art form. In one unique program, the Circus Arts Conservatory works with Davis-Cotton to create arts-integrated lessons on scientific principles. Students create juggling balls to determine mass and develop motor skills. They discuss inertia, force and acceleration, or they participate in a tightrope activity as a prelude to a discussion about gravity and weight displacement. In addition to the Sarasota-based Circus Arts Conservatory, Davis-Cotton partners regularly with numerous other regional and statewide arts groups, including the Florida Studio Theatre, Manatee Arts Education Council, Embracing Our Differences, Realize Bradenton, Sarasota County Arts Education Partnership, Crayola-creatED, Booker Middle School, the Florida Council for History Education, The School District of Manatee County, the Origami Air Art Studio, the Florida Alliance for Arts Education and the Duval County Public School District.

Crime, Safety & Justice


8. In one recent teaching experience, she traveled to several elementary schools in West and Southwest Florida to teach playwriting, including the use of language, narration, conflict and character development. Based on the lessons, the children created their own plays and acted out the works. In another teaching experience, students partnered with actors from the Florida Studio Theatre to develop playwriting techniques and make cultural connections in “Tomas and the Library Lady.” The students learned about the importance of books, how they spark imagination and creativity as well as the range of services libraries offer. Davis-Cotton has logged countless miles to deliver learning opportunities in Florida schools since beginning her job in 2017. When she is not writing grants to further the reach of the PAInT Center, Davis-Cotton is on the road visiting schools and giving seminars to teachers about arts

9. integration and how to incorporate the arts into lesson plans. Before entering the classroom and deciding which teaching artist to bring, she and the teacher discuss how best to integrate high-quality lessons. “We talk about the concepts, objectives and skills required to teach the lesson. Then we discuss ways to introduce these concepts and objectives academically and artistically so that the students will benefit from the lesson,” she said. “When partnering with a teaching artist, the teaching artist and the educator each bring specific skills to the table. Together, they work to create a lesson that is impactful and memorable for students,” she said. “Retention definitely is a key benefit to arts-integrated instruction. Another is developing an appreciation for the learning process and the value of learning.”

PHOTOS: 7-8. Local teachers make and share discoveries at a Crayola-creatED workshop held at the USF SarasotaManatee campus. 9. Denise DavisCotton facilitates the Crayola-creatED workshop.

- Rich Shopes


Creativity and Curricula


tarting in 2012, a group of 114 high school freshmen in New York City participated in a study designed to measure how effectively they could use the arts to learn about seemingly unrelated subjects, such as math. Their public school was intentionally selected for its diversity. Ninety percent of the students there were classified as non-white. Another 22 percent had a disability, and 61 percent received free or reduced lunches. The 114 students were part of a larger group of 231 freshmen included in the study, and they represented the treatment group. They would take all of their subject classes, including math, using an arts-integrated learning approach. The other students comprised the control group. Arts-integrated learning swaps lecture for activities like dance, music or painting as vehicles for delivering lessons. It is the primary focus of researcher Helene Robinson, an instructor II on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus and the arts integration coordinator for the USF College of Education. Robinson’s study, “Voices from Diverse Freshman Students: How Arts Integration Impacted Their Learning,” was published in 2017 in the UC Irvine Journal for Learning Through the Arts. As part of their role, small teams of students within the arts integration treatment group


produced videos to explain algebra concepts and skills. Teachers encouraged them to be inventive and take chances. One team made a rap music video. Another opted for a poetry slam video. Results showed that teachers in the treatment group increased levels of instructional support and differentiated learning formats in their classroom when compared with teachers in the control group. Students in the treatment group outperformed control group students in each of the three subject areas in which arts-integrated teaching occurred – algebra, social studies and English. A post-study survey found that 82 percent of students were emotionally engaged with the projects. “I learned by the video that math is all about remembering,” one student said. “Also, in social studies, I learned that writing a song about history is actually beneficial. Even the play (in) English brought out my teamwork skills. … I learned that I can be very creative when I put my all into something. Also, I learned that even a boring topic can become very interesting to me.” Arts-integrated teaching has proven to be particularly effective among culturally diverse learners, who are more likely to represent underserved populations and vulnerable to low levels of self-efficacy, resilience and engagement. Robinson’s research supports the Kennedy Center Turnaround Arts public/private initiative, which was founded in 2011 by the President’s

The Future of Education Committee on the Arts and Humanities. This those, Robinson says, by “cultivating environments program works in 70 high-poverty schools across where the emphasis is on the process and not the country. In these “failing” schools, the majority the perfection of the product.” Students are of students would be classified as diverse learners encouraged to share their art and overcome feelings due to socio-economic status, race, disability or of vulnerability in explaining their choices to their English language learner status. peers. Her work has led to the development of the Robinson’s research also shows that students Arts Integration Engagement Model, which who experienced failure as part of the creative explains how arts-integrated learning has even learning process were able to reframe their greater outcomes on diverse learners, and SMART perceptions of failure into a growth mindset that I AM, an approach for implementing arts encourages creative growth and exploration. “As they integration in inclusive classrooms that enables take more risks,” Robinson writes, “students develop students of varying abilities to learn together. resiliency.” SMART I AM uses tools that increase skills such She adds in the chapter’s conclusion, “It’s as self-instruction, self-monitoring and selftime to rethink the past school reform efforts and evaluation. envision new possibilities where art education and “These skills are often difficult for diverse arts integration are deemed vital to reframing school students who have different learning needs,” failure and the success of culturally diverse students.” Robinson said. “The method of - John Dudley arts integration that our teacher candidates are trained in allows them to effectively include STUDENT SURVEY RESULTS children with a wide range of When Robinson surveyed the students in the treatment group, they abilities in the same lesson.” indicated the following ways that arts-integrated methods helped them: The resulting experience emphasizes curiosity, risk-taking and collaboration. It helps GAINS IN COLLABORATIVE remove the stigma of failure TEAM SKILLS for at-risk students who might typically struggle in a more INCREASED MOTIVATION traditional setting. In a chapter appearing in a 2019 book, “Artistic Thinking INCREASED SELF-EFFICACY in the Schools,” Robinson cites research indicating that 85 INCREASED CREATIVITY percent of adults could point to a school-related incident CHANGED VIEWPOINT from childhood that was “so shaming … it changed the way GAINS IN SELF-REGULATION they thought of themselves as learners.” She adds that in BEHAVIORS half of such cases, students GAINS IN ART KNOWLEDGE/ were made to feel as though SKILLS they were inadequate writers, artists, musicians or dancers or GAINS IN LEARNING otherwise lacked creativity. Arts-integrated learning 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% disrupts negative experiences like


New Pathways



PHOTO: A group of students who participated in the computer literacy programs.


n a sparse classroom in the mountainous city of Iringa in central Tanzania, Sunita Lodwig met with a group of high school students and teachers for three months in 2016. Her visit, to provide basic computer and Internet instruction, was conducted through a program organized by Global Research, a Sarasota-based nonprofit dedicated to improving computer literacy in Tanzania. Lodwig teaches information technology at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus, where faculty are encouraged to engage in service that enables them to think globally and act locally to serve the community. Such work aligns with the mission of USF World, which provides resources that empower the university community to function as global leaders and stewards and creates opportunities for the exchange of people and ideas that promote intercultural competence and appreciation. Lodwig learned about the program in 2008 after meeting Global Outreach founder and retired IBM executive Stan Muessle, who said a lack of


computers and Internet access was hampering development in the East African nation. Global Outreach responded by donating computers and creating a digital library of educational materials to support schools lacking broadband access. One year later, Lodwig led a three-person team to Iringa to teach computer literacy to teachers and principals. She has since helped create a serverbased platform to provide content from TED talks, Wikipedia, the Khan Academy and other educational resources. In 2016, she returned during a sabbatical as part of a new initiative by Global Outreach to provide computer and Internet training to teenage girls. On each visit, she works with approximately 100 students. Girls in Tanzania often are discouraged from advancing in education because of long-held social and cultural norms. Many fail to graduate or progress beyond high school. Young women seldom attend college. With support from local government and education officials, Global Outreach administers several programs promoting computer literacy, including “Windows to Knowledge” (for high school students), “We Are the Hope of Iringa” (for middle school students) and a “Train the Trainer” program, in which Lodwig participated in 2009. Global Outreach has a memorandum of agreement with Tanzanian education officials at the regional and district levels, including the district commissioner for Iringa, the equivalent of a state governor in the United States, who has a vision of making Iringa a major knowledge and technology center. Along with increasing computer literacy, students access two databases of donated educational materials designed to help them explore math, history, science and other subjects. While entrance to Tanzanian universities is based on entrance exam scores, the “Windows to Knowledge” program provides a self-paced learning environment to prepare them for the exams. Government and education

Crime, Safety & Justice

officials have approved the program’s expansion to include more than 10,000 students from 20 secondary schools. “We Are the Hope of Iringa” operates weekdays and on weekends in two multipurpose rooms donated by the Catholic diocese. A bank of computers linked to servers provides access to the donated educational materials, while another bank of Internet-ready computers provides a glimpse into the outside world, enabling students to access news about politics and current events. Although the program is coeducational, there is a strong focus on girls. Students are encouraged to research historical events and people, and they prepare and lead classroom presentations to strengthen communication, critical thinking and diplomacy skills and encourage group discussion. “This program exposes the girls to so many different women leaders, women in science, women in the arts, women entrepreneurs,” Lodwig said. “Many of them become role models to the girls.” Beyond advancing their education, Lodwig

hopes the program inspires students to become self-reliant and independent thinkers. “I can see that the girls are more self-assured and growing in confidence,” Lodwig said. “They’re overcoming their shyness and, more importantly, they’re learning to help each other and to learn from each other. They’re natural learners.” In 2019, Lodwig received a grant from USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy that will be used to purchase learning materials and food for the students and to compensate two interns from the University of Iringa who provide instructional support. She hopes to return soon to resume her work, and she believes Global Outreach’s programs have the growth potential to serve students from across Tanzania if they are introduced at the national level. “The children are so grateful,” she said. “You should see how excited they become and the curiosity they have for computers. It’s just amazing.”

PHOTO: Tanzanian girls complete their computer lessons in one of the spaces donated by the Catholic diocese.


Section Three

Aging & Healthy Living With the number of residents 65 and older expected to represent more than 26 percent of its population by 2025, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida has more older adults than any other state. It also leads the way in aging research, with much of that work focusing on improving quality of life among older residents. New research from USF’s Sarasota-Manatee campus focuses on innovative methods for treating swallowing disorders among aging populations, studying how language barriers and gaps in insurance coverage impede hearing aid use among Hispanic and Latino patients, identifying the things that matter most to us as we age, examining the often overlooked prevalence of ageism in theater, as well as insight into how picking the right pet and managing conflict can assuage feelings of anxiety and depression and lead to healthier lifestyles for people of any age.



hat matters most as we age? It’s a simple question, but one likely to elicit deeply personal and ever-changing responses as we grow older. For Kathy Black, a professor of aging studies at the University South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus, this is one of the most important questions a gerontologist can ask, because it speaks to wellbeing, a key factor in healthy living. She began asking it in a meaningful way 10 years ago. In 2010, Black and fellow gerontologist Debra Dobbs of the USF School of Aging began exploring issues around aging with dignity and


independence as part of a study involving more than 500 Sarasota County residents 65 and older. Their findings were published in the journal Activities, Adaptation & Aging, “CommunityDwelling Older Adults’ Perspective on What Matters Most: Findings from an Exploratory Inquiry.” More than a decade ago, participants were asked what really matters as we age. Their replies aggregated around five overarching themes: • • •

Preserving and promoting health and wellbeing Continuing living arrangements and lifestyle Maintaining autonomy and independence

Aging & Healthy Living • •

Engaging in meaningful social opportunities Accommodating community assets

Informing the future of her work, Black said the study changed how she viewed aging and impacted her subsequent research. Up to that point, she said, she studied planning in advance for care through the end of life, which represents the nation’s prevailing understanding of aging as a period of disease and decline. Previously trained as a nurse and social worker, Black said she agrees with the importance of planning for future care needs, as most older adults do face multiple chronic conditions with age. “However, when we conducted our community-based research study, asking what mattered most, we learned firsthand that people weren’t worried about care needs,” she said. “What mattered to them was staying independent and being able to get around and live their lives. What mattered was living fully, engaging with others and participating in life. “This study changed me. I now incorporate the voice of older adults into my research to ensure that what is referred to as the ‘authentic-lived experience’ is included,” she said. Fast forward to the age-friendly community report that Black conducted among nearly 1,200 Sarasota County residents and the resultant action plan that was created in 2017. Overwhelmingly, the community blueprint is based on quality of life measures such as the connectedness of community to health through urban planning, housing, transportation and more. Now a leading scholar and proponent of the global “age-friendly” movement, Black is often called to advise city, county and state officials on methods for helping people live more fully as they age. This can lead to a host of changes, big and small, from easy-access doors and buses to agefriendly building codes for “senior housing” and public spaces. “Becoming age-friendly means recognizing that we change as we grow older and allowing for accommodations during this change,” she said. “Not every accommodation needs to be sudden and sweeping. Some can be simple, common-sense things that nevertheless improve people’s lives.”

Black’s work has resulted in invitations to several prominent organizations, including the American Association for Retired People (AARP), where she serves as an Age-Friendly Communities liaison, consulting with communities statewide striving to become age-friendly under the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines. As a researcher who is dedicated herself to community engagement and outreach, Black has served as an advocate for age-friendly community practices across the state. To date, 36 Florida communities, including Sarasota County, have joined the global “Age-Friendly Community” network. In April 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Florida was designated as the fourth state in the nation to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States. In addition, Black is one of six people worldwide selected by the WHO to train leaders on creating healthy-aging practices, policies and programs to their host nations. “This is a growing movement that continues to align traditional players in aging with newer players,” Black said. “In 2015, when Sarasota joined, there were 60 age-friendly communities in the U.S. Now, it’s nearly 500 and growing.” - Rich Shopes

PHOTO: Kathy Black (center) at the World Health Organization training in Switzerland with her five international colleagues and agefriendly advocates.


Acting Your Age

PHOTO: Valerie Barnes Lipscomb on stage at the Asolo Repertory Theatre, where she served as a resident expert during the 2019-2020 season.



Aging & Healthy Living

-alerie Barnes Lipscomb’s “Age is the only category where, in the typical groundbreaking research into ageism in course of life, you move from one end of the modern drama and theatre is rooted in spectrum to the other,” she said. “Because we start the premise that age is performative— out at the young end, where we are privileged, that we really do “act our age”—and that nowhere and we end up at the other end, where we are not is that more clearly evident than on the stage. privileged, we internalize ageism. We tend to see “I argue that our culture’s understanding of aging only as decline, but drama shows us other what it means to grow older is revealed in the possibilities, other ways to conceive of the aging theatre,” said Lipscomb, a professor of English at self. Theatre can fight ageism.” the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus whose 2016 Lipscomb’s current projects include co-editing book, “Performing Age a book on age in Modern Drama,” and literature, is the first to explore featuring the concept in depth. research from “This is manifested 30 authors not only in portrayals in what is of older characters, expected but also in plays that to become feature characters who a major change ages on stage.” contribution — Valerie Barnes Lipscomb One such character to age studies is Willy Loman in the and literature, iconic memory play she said, as “Death of a Salesman.” Loman appears onstage well as writing the drama chapter for an upcoming as both a 63-year-old man and, in flashbacks, a companion to aging in literature. much younger version of himself. “He simply -John Dudley turns around and is younger,” she said. “That assumes that Willy is essentially the same in his 40s as he is in his 60s. It shows us a lot about how we conceive the self, or whether we consider BOOK SPOTLIGHT ourselves to be the same person, no matter how Performing Age in Modern Drama is the old we are.” first book to examine age across the Lipscomb has challenged the ageism that still is broadly accepted in society. One example contemporary dramatic canon. Valerie in theatre is casting, she said, when directors Barnes Lipscomb make the decision to use a much younger actor interprets the to portray an iconic role such as Loman. “Why performance of all do we trust that someone who is 37 can perfectly originate the role of Willy Loman? What does ages across the life that show us? Age and ageism affect absolutely course both on page everyone and ought to matter to everyone.” and on stage, not When Lipscomb began examining only in professional conventions of age in theatre, scholars had productions but also focused on commonly recognized binaries within categories of identity – such as black versus white, in Sarasota-Manatee male versus female, gay versus straight – but had senior-theatre groups. overlooked aging. That omission itself reflects unconscious ageism.

“We tend to see aging only as decline, but drama shows us other possibilities, other ways to conceive of the aging self. Theatre can fight ageism.”



Barriers to Hearing


Aging & Healthy Living

efore her academic career, when Michelle Arnold was an audiologist at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, she had a hunch many older Americans went without hearing aids because they believed, often mistakenly, they did not qualify for the devices under their health insurance or simply didn’t know how to access the coverage. “Many of them said they knew a parent, grandparent or uncle who never got tested because they just thought they weren’t covered and couldn’t afford to get hearing aids on their own,” said Arnold. “It was nothing more than anecdotal at the time, but it made me wonder about how many more people were in that same boat and how many could benefit from these programs if they just knew how to access them,” she said. Fast-forward 10 years and Arnold is now an assistant professor in the Language-SpeechHearing program at the University of South Florida SarasotaManatee campus. She is steadily chipping away at those questions, and others, as she explores issues around hearing loss, access to — Michelle Arnold health insurance, the impact of language barriers in attaining coverage and how hearing loss relates to cognitive decline in older adults. Her research has been tied to several prominent research grants, including a five-year grant in 2014 examining help-seeking behaviors related to hearing loss and a 2017 grant exploring the impact of hearing aids and related therapies in slowing the onset of dementia in older adults. At the same time, her work has enabled her to produce several articles for prestigious academic journals. Among them is a recent report in the American Medical Association’s “JAMA

Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery” that found hearing loss was more likely to be untreated among older U.S. adults of Hispanic/Latino backgrounds because of language barriers and access to insurance. Her article, “Hearing Aid Prevalence and Factors Related to Use among Older Adults from the Hispanic Community Study/Study of Latinos,” raises questions about the roles of government and the health care industry in bridging language barriers within this growing subset. Analyzing results of a 2008-2011 crosssectional study of 1,898 adults with mild hearing loss of varied Hispanic/Latino backgrounds, Arnold found hearing aid usage among the study’s participants at only 4.6 percent. That is less than a third of the national average for individuals with similar hearing levels. Why so low? Arnold points to limited access to health insurance as the primary culprit, but she also cites another contributor, what researchers call “low acculturation,” or the preference to maintain one’s native language and customs over that of the prevailing culture. “Whether or not the person has current insurance, that was the main barrier,” she said, “but historically, Spanish-speakers in the U.S. face huge problems navigating the insurance system when unable to speak or read a sufficient level of English.” That’s only natural, she said. Sifting through reams of insurance forms, brochures, policy sections and subsections, websites and other materials to uncover relevant information can be difficult enough. Combine those challenges with language barriers and the task can seem impenetrable, leaving many to relent and go untreated.

“Learning about hearing healthcare utilization patterns can help pinpoint barriers to use and help us generate ideas on how to reduce those barriers to increase access to proper hearing healthcare.”


By the Numbers

Michelle Arnold examined data from 1,898 individuals of Hispanic/Latino background who had at least mild hearing loss. The participants represented the following cultures:

Cuban Mexican Puerto Rican South American Mixed/other Dominican Central American


Cuban Mexican - 4.9% (24 of 488) Mexican Puerto RicanRican - 5.5% (23 of 417) Puerto South American - 4% (4 of 94) South American Mixed/other - 8% (4 of 52) Mixed/other Dominican - 6.1% (9 of 147) Dominican Central American - 0.8% (1 of 117) Central American

Now Arnold, who also serves as a principal investigator in the Auditory Rehabilitation and Clinical Trials Laboratory at USF in Tampa, is expanding her research interests to include several additional areas of study. Among them:

Cuban - 3.8% (22 of 583)



4.6% (87 of 1,898)



of the national average for individuals with similar hearing levels

• She is co-investigator of a study examining the connection between hearing loss and decreased cognitive ability, including whether hearing aids and other interventions can slow impairment and ultimately prevent Alzheimer’s disease in adults 70 and older. This work builds on previous research Arnold has produced in the field. • In a collaboration with Troy Quast of the USF College of Public Health in Tampa, Arnold is requesting Medicaid claims from states that recently expanded coverage to include hearing loss. Using a $10,000 USF New

Aging & Healthy Living Researcher Grant, the two professors are seeking to examine the impact of Medicaid expansion in states that include hearing aid benefits for adults. •

Arnold is the principal investigator of a recently funded $450,000 grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) of the National Institutes of Health, to enable her to research how culturally and linguistically attuned patient-education programs impact Spanish speakers with hearing loss.

Arnold is co-investigator of a recently submitted five-year grant to the NIDCD to examine hearing aid use and patient satisfaction in older adults who receive followup services through telehealth.

Her research team is currently seeking grant funding from the NIH to explore hearingrelated services delivered through telehealth, the video-chat service that enables health clinicians to communicate with patients and other doctors. Arnold’s goal is to evaluate patient outcomes and overall satisfaction with the technology.

A growing trend, telehealth connects physicians to patients in rural areas or with limited mobility and transportation options, including many seniors. The technology has also helped trauma doctors connect with neurologists and other specialty providers after hurricanes, bridging the gap between patients and doctors across vast distances. But questions remain about telehealth’s effectiveness for wider use, including how far to take the technology as a day-to-day diagnostic tool and whether it will ever measure up to face-to-face doctor visits. Arnold said telehealth likely won’t replace in-person medical assessments altogether, but its growing usage signals the technology’s place as a cost-effective assessment option. Yet as the professor points out, most research regarding telehealth originates from the practitioner’s point of view with little conducted to consider patients’

opinions, including whether they are satisfied with the technology and feel they’re receiving adequate treatment. Arnold intends to explore hearing-related patient outcomes involving telehealth, overall patient satisfaction and patients’ responses to listening quality. “Learning about hearing healthcare utilization patterns can help pinpoint barriers to use and help us generate ideas on how to reduce those barriers to increase access to proper hearing healthcare,” she said. “Removing these barriers could bring help to thousands of hearing-deficient Americans.”

PHOTO, P.37: Michelle Arnold, PhD and AuD

- Rich Shopes

THE RISE OF TELEHEALTH From 2005 to 2014, the number of telehealth visits soared at an average compound annual growth rate of 52%1 and is expected to increase at a 16.8% compound annual growth rate between 2017 and 2023.2 While many studies have focused on the industry's undeniable growth, one of Michelle Arnold’s upcoming research questions will investigate the telehealth industry from a TELEHEALTH IS different point PROJECTED TO of view-the GROW AT A patients' perspective on the ease and COMPOUND effectiveness ANNUAL of teleheath GROWTH technology in RATE FROM hearing health 2017-2023. treatment.



2017 JAMA, 2018 American Telemedicine Association 1 2


Repeat Repeat Repeat



hen speech-language pathologist Sarah Szynkiewicz and a group of colleagues launched a study aimed at helping aging adults perform exercises to improve their ability to swallow through increased tongue strength, one aspect of their research clearly stood out. The study’s participants thought about the exercises without actually performing them physically. The technique is known in clinical research circles as mental practice using motor imagery and, in simple terms, it involved asking participants to visualize using their tongues to complete the exercise protocol. Szynkiewicz, an assistant professor of languagespeech-hearing at 39 RESEARCH: USF SARASOTA-MANATEE CAMPUS

the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus, led a team of researchers whose goal was to help reverse a common condition in older adults, reduced tongue strength, which can lead to dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. They hope to eventually show that the technique can be widely implemented as a therapeutic treatment for individuals suffering from dysphagia, which typically emerges as a symptom of a primary cause such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease that damages the part of the brain that controls the swallowing mechanism. The results of the six-week feasibility study, funded by a USF Sarasota-Manatee campus pilot research grant, were encouraging. Six healthy, typically aging female participants between 53 years old and 78 years old all “significantly increased their tongue strength compared to baseline,” the researchers wrote in an article appearing in the June 2019 issue of the “Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research.”

Aging & Healthy Living men and women that confirms these results. The next step we’re planning is a grant proposal to look at this in Parkinson’s disease patients who have swallowing issues and decreased tongue strength. From there, that will help us get a better idea of how this works in the disordered population.”

PHOTO, P. 39: Sarah Szynkiewicz tests a student’s tongue strength using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument.

- John Dudley



To test whether mental practice would increase tongue strength, Szynkiewicz instructed patients to imagine pressing their tongue against food items. Each week, the patient would choose a harder food item that would require more pressure. Below are example foods and the peak tongue pressures measured in the study. By the sixth week, tongue strength improved by a mean of 13 kPa* from visualization alone. AS






The aspect of the study that made it unique— their hypothesis that mental practice of a physical exercise can produce measurable results—is rooted in sports exercise science, Szynkiewicz said. For example, golf teachers sometimes instruct novice players to visualize hitting a golf ball at a target before actually stepping up to the tee and making a swing. Similar approaches to transforming a mental image into an executable action can be found in other sports, but the concept is the same: Mental practice has been shown to activate and train similar areas of the brain as actual movement without actually moving anything. “Motor imagery is creating a representation of a motor task in your mind and mental practice refers to repetitive practice of the motor imagery task,” Szynkiewicz said. “Historically, in the physical and occupational therapy worlds, research has found that physical exercise plus mental practice leads to better motor outcomes than just strength training alone. It approaches rehabilitation in a more holistic way, because you’re not just focusing on the physical part, you’re also focusing on the cognitive part. In both cases, you’re activating similar neural pathways, so the combination of physical and mental therapy allows the patient to achieve more repetitions with less fatigue.” For the tongue strengthening research, Szynkiewicz used a specially designed device, the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument, to measure maximum tongue strength. Measurements were taken at the beginning and end of the study and at two other increments during the six-week period. The research protocol involved participants practicing only using mental practice of the motor imagery, simulating the act of exerting tongue pressure against food items of varying hardness such as a Jell-O cube, a grape or a piece of licorice or marshmallow. They performed the mental practice three times a day three days each week at home. With the study’s findings supporting the initial viability of mental practice to reverse loss of tongue strength, the researchers already have begun to expand their work. “The first study tells us more about how mental practice might contribute to increased tongue strength in a healthy, aging adult,” Szynkiewicz said. “We’ve since completed a larger pilot study in both

E EK 2

55 kPa




60 kPa



E EK 6

62 kPa


*kilopascal, unit of pressure





s an avid animal enthusiast with two dogs, Anthony Coy had personally experienced the benefits of pet ownership – feeling comforted during difficult times and sharing in life’s positive moments. However, even before he set out to do his own research on the relationship between pets and their human companions’ well-being, Coy was well aware of previous studies that often produced contradictory results. Some show pets-especially dogs-improve psychological health and could alleviate symptoms in individuals suffering from depression and anxiety. Others weren’t as enthusiastic. Coy knew previous research had found that people with extroverted personalities trended toward dogs, while introverts preferred cats. Coy, a USF associate professor of psychology based at the Sarasota-Manatee campus, wanted to take 41 RESEARCH: USF SARASOTA-MANATEE CAMPUS

those findings a step further. In collaboration with Sarasota-Manatee campus honors student Jasmine Puskey, he explored whether one’s personality might determine whether they saw benefits from spending time with pets. Specifically, they sought to investigate whether matching the right owner with the right species of pet made a difference when it comes to mental-health-related issues. Their findings are based on anonymous online surveys of 142 individuals who responded to pet-related questions and completed a personality inventory and a depression scale. They suggest a relationship between pairing people with their preferred pet and a general sense of well-being. They found a less convincing connection between mental health and the mere presence of a pet in the home, regardless of preference. Coy cautions that the studies’ results examining the interaction between pet preference

Aging & Healthy Living and presence weren’t entirely consistent. But he believes they provided enough evidence to suggest pet preference and presence is important for understanding how pets benefit mental health. “In both studies, we found some evidence that if you prefer a pet, then yes, it’s going to help you and make you feel better,” Coy said. “If you’re a cat person and you’ve got a dog around, you’re probably not going to be happy, and that could drive you deeper into depression.” On the other hand, a cat could be beneficial to a cat person, but prior findings on that are far more limited. “This has been exacerbated by the fact that a lot of the human-animal interventions that are out there only use dogs, so people are really selfselecting into these studies,” Coy said. “They might like dogs and think the study will enable them to be around dogs if they participate, and that might make them happy. Cat people wouldn’t do that. Their response would be, ‘Why on earth would I want to participate in that study?’” The study provides some evidence that a person who prefers dogs might become more depressed by the presence of a cat in the house. Similarly, individuals who preferred only dogs or only cats were more likely to be depressed if both dogs and cats were in the home. However, he said, “That’s really the next step. We want to follow people for a number of years, before and after they adopt a pet, to see both short-term and long-term effects.” The research holds some promise of real-world application. “One is, don’t have a nonpreferred type of pet in your house, because it might actually be harmful to you,” Coy said. “At a research level, I think we need to do more interventions where we’re giving people the options of different pets and maybe even putting people in uncomfortable positions — ‘You like dogs? Well, you’re going to interact with this cat’ — to gain a better understanding of how these

interventions actually work.” Coy noted such studies would require ethical considerations to remove participants with phobias of specific species. He believes further research and findings from human-pet interventions could help animal shelters train employees to better guide people in selecting pets to match their personalities. “Often shelters try to pair on traits like activity level of the animal and person, but don’t consider deeper psychological factors,” Coy said. This kind of informed alignment potentially is more valuable than assuming that any pet can help improve its human companion’s emotional state. “Particularly for people that have some sort of mental health concern, there is the danger of, ‘We’ll give you a dog, and then you’ll be fine,’” Coy said. “I think that probably is not always the case.” Coy’s work was recently published in the leading international journal on human-animal interactions, “Anthrozoös.” He currently is conducting a funded national study that further explores the mechanisms that underlie the psychological and physical benefits of owning pets. - John Dudley

PHOTO: Anthony Coy poses with his dog, Maggie. SARASOTAMANATEE.USF.EDU/RESEARCH 42

The Psychology of




hether arguing about politics around the kitchen table or navigating rush-hour traffic, there’s no getting around the fact that conflict comes with the human condition. But how do we respond to and manage conflict? How do we adjust our thinking to resolve conflicts, and why do some seem to run on with no end in sight? Fascinated by these questions, research psychologist Jay Michaels explores why people experiencing stress make the decisions they do. His research examines conflicts on several levels, from those that occur within personal relationships to workplace disputes to large-scale regional cases, such as the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Conflict operates as a dynamic system,” said Michaels, an assistant professor at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus. “Most conflicts on a daily basis are minor. You’re driving. Someone cuts you off. You honk your horn. But it’s not likely to escalate into a major conflict.” According to Peter Coleman, a conflict negotiation expert and psychologist at Columbia University, an estimated 95 percent of all conflicts fall within this seemingly benign category. And yet, five percent of conflicts evolve into large-scale hostilities with the capacity for enveloping nations and destabilizing societies, Coleman said. “When this happens, the conflict can become larger than life and take over people’s thoughts and emotions and decision making and actions,” Michaels said. “Conflict starts to permeate the totality of their lived experience.” This is the case with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which Michaels explores using a “dynamic systems” approach in his article “Social forces sustaining the Israeli-Palestinian tensions: a dynamical psychology perspective,” published in the International Journal of Conflict and Violence. “Typically, when people look at the IsraeliPalestinian conflict they look at land rights, the history of violence in the region, extremism and religious differences,” he said. “A dynamic-systems approach allows us to look deeper and understand that there are more subtle day-to-day life experiences that also exert an influence and allow the conflict to remain frozen in place.” In Gaza and the West Bank, one example of the lingering effects of the conflict is the lack

Aging & Healthy Living of economic opportunities for young Palestinians. The lack of jobs and economic prosperity serve as a constant source of frustration that fuels hostility within this subset, which frequently boils over and contributes to the cycle of violence. Limited social services contribute to the problems as well. “Because the government in Gaza and the West Bank is weak, people turn to charitable organizations for many of their social services, but these organizations are traditionally seen as hostile toward Israel, which creates even more tension,” he said. On top of this, bigger issues such as land rights, religious differences and security concerns produce a trickle-down effect that serves as “an attractor to conflict,” Michaels said. The challenge is to break the cycle of conflict. “All of these factors keep emotions running high and make it more likely that people will feel a greater sense of conflict in their daily lives,” he said. “In the end, the way forward to peace can become obscured.” Michaels continues to explore human conflict, currently collaborating with Rae Tan of the University of Baltimore and Urszula Strawinska Zanko of Nova Southeastern University to study conflict dynamics within work teams. “We may never be able to fully prevent conflict,” he said, “but by understanding the psychology of conflict, we might be able to identify viable paths toward a more cooperative society and sustainable peace.” - Rich Shopes

PHOTOS: Jay Michaels uses and analyzes the results from the Functional NearInfrared Optical Imaging System in his classroom.


Jay Michaels acquired a neuro-imaging scanner through an equipment grant in late 2019. The Functional NearInfrared Optical Imaging System uses sensors to measure the brain’s oxygen levels as subjects take tests, perform tasks or receive stimulation. SARASOTAMANATEE.USF.EDU/RESEARCH 44


Zacharias Pieri, PhD: "Boko Haram and the Drivers of Islamist Violence"


acharias Pieri examines violent jihadists, Boko Haram and factors that spurred its rise in Nigeria and neighboring countries in “Boko Haram and the Drivers of Islamist Violence” (Routledge Focus). An expert in extremist movements, Pieri has advised the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence and U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Poring over hundreds of interviews, statements and sermons by Boko Haram leaders, archival records and original source material, Pieri, an assistant professor at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, constructs a meticulous assessment of the group’s assent and turn toward violent extremism. “The main thing I found is that despite what some have said about Boko Haram being disorganized or even unhinged, in reality its leadership has been very good at manipulating Islamic beliefs in the region to legitimize its activities,” he said. Affiliated with Islamic State, Boko Haram’s aim is to dismantle the Nigerian government and institute a radical form of Islamic rule. Its emergence is intertwined with pivotal moments throughout Nigerian history, including the execution of founding leader Mohammed Yusuf in 2009, which propelled the current spate of jihadist violence. “In its early stages, Boko Haram was very good at winning the war on propaganda,” Pieri said. “Once they started becoming violent and attacking people indiscriminately, their message wasn’t as well-received, and it led to a fracturing of support.” 45 RESEARCH: USF SARASOTA-MANATEE CAMPUS

Bhuvan Unhelkar, PhD: "Crafting and Shaping Knowledge Worker Services in the Information Economy"


SF information technology Professor Bhuvan Unhelkar helps businesses navigate technological changes in his new book “Crafting and Shaping Knowledge Worker Services in the Information Economy” (Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan). Co-written by Australia-based technology consultant Keith Sherringham, the book examines how cloud-based technologies, “knowledge workers” and other changes are transforming two basic business paradigms: what companies can understand about their customers and how workers equipped with this knowledge can interact with them. “Businesses now have access to massive amounts of data about their customers, and they’re able to use this data to promote items and services that they think they’ll enjoy,” Unhelkar said. Demographic characteristics, website visits and purchase histories all leave traces that can enable companies to develop promotional strategies. Knowledge workers equipped with information can use it to guide personalized customer interactions. Unhelkar’s book helps companies navigate these changes, adapt their business models and manage their knowledge workers.

New Publications

Faizan Ali, PhD, and Cihan Cobanoglu, PhD: "Applying Partial Least Squares in Tourism and Hospitality Research"

Cihan Cobanoglu, PhD, and Muhittin Cavusoglu, PhD: INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE COLLECTIONS



SF Sarasota-Manatee campus hospitality professors Faizan Ali and Cihan Cobanoglu break new ground in “Applying Partial Least Squares in Tourism and Hospitality Research” (Emerald), which examines a methodology popular in social science and business research. Partial-Least Squares-based Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) has long been applied to marketing and accounting studies, but Ali and Cobanoglu explore its use in hospitality and tourism research, a relatively new application. Published last spring, the book is edited by Ali, Cobanoglu and S. Mostafa Rasoolimanesh of Taylor’s University in Malaysia. It explores a range of uses for PLS-SEM, from wideranging issues like employee retention to site-specific matters, such as how museums’ websites can drive attendance. The professors collaborated for a year, sifting through 45 submissions to narrow the field to 10 chapters. Contributors include 28 researchers from 18 universities worldwide. Ali developed the book after guest editing a special issue of the “Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology,” which explored the same topic and garnered widespread attention in 2018. “This book covers a comprehensive application of the current, original and most advanced research in the domain of PLS-SEM methodology with specific reference to tourism and hospitality research,” Ali said.

o-edited by University of South Florida faculty members Cihan Cobanoglu of the SarasotaManatee campus and Waynne B. James of the Tampa campus, “GLOCER-19: Advances in Global Education and Research, Volume 3” is a collection of 29 scholarly research papers covering 11 themes including research methods, curriculum and instructional development, educational technology, inclusive education and educational leadership. The researchers included in this collection of papers represent universities and educational institutions from across regions of the United States, Vietnam, Taiwan, Italy and Canada. Of the 29 papers, 10 were authored by faculty from the University of South Florida. “GLOBE 2019: Global Conference on Business and Economics Conference Proceedings,” co-edited by USF Sarasota-Manatee campus faculty members Cihan Cobanoglu and Muhittin Cavusoglu with Abdulkadir Corbaci of Adiyaman University (Turkey), is a compendium of abstracts submitted for the conference held in Istanbul, Turkey. Their co-edited accompanying “GLOBE 2019, Volume 2: Advances in Global Business and Economics” is comprised of 40 selected scholarly papers submitted by researchers from around the world on topics related to business and global economy such as accounting, management, e-commerce, hospitality and tourism, food and beverage management and others.


USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus 8350 N. Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34243



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