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AGE-FRIENDLY

SARASOTA PAGE 7 // Using research and

relationships to help build a community for all ages in Sarasota

IN THIS

ISSUE

BIAS BY DESIGN I 11

Psychology researcher seeks to tease out how pre-trial publicity impacts jurors

INVESTING IN RELATIONSHIPS I 15 Research finds value of investments in the little things

ROLY POLY REVELATION I 17 Student discovery of sea creature yields new scientific opportunities


17 IN THIS

ISSUE

19

3

LETTER FROM THE REGIONAL CHANCELLOR

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INSTITUTIONAL SNAPSHOT

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RESEARCH 6

FACULTY PUBLICATION SNAPSHOT

7

COVER STORY: THE CONNECTOR

Kathy Black uses research and relationships to

help build a community for all ages in Sarasota

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BIAS BY DESIGN

Psychology researcher seeks to tease out how

pre-trial publicity impacts jurors

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UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH

15

INVESTING IN RELATIONSHIPS

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FINANCIAL INSIGHTS

Research finds value of investments in

The power of Wall Street at students’

the little things

fingertips

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ROLY POLY REVELATION

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HANDS-ON HOSPITALITY

Student discovery of sea creature yields

The Culinary Innovation Lab opens new

new scientific opportunities

doors for hospitality students

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VETERAN VOLUNTEERS

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STUDENT RESEARCH ROUNDUP

Research looks at role of community

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BEYOND TEXTBOOKS

engagement in helping returning vets

Centers and labs enhance educational

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UNDERSTANDING BOKO HARAM

experiences

Paper and video trail reveals changes in

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THE RiTE STUFF

extremist movement

Student teachers demonstrate classroom

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FACULTY RESEARCH ROUNDUP

effectiveness

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RESEARCH: USFSM

STUDENT SUCCESS


REGIONAL CHANCELLOR Karen Holbrook, PhD REGIONAL VICE CHANCELLOR FOR ADVANCEMENT Lee Williams, CFRE OFFICE OF RESEARCH Sandy Justice ART DIRECTION Krista Lee CHAIRS, EDITORIAL BOARD Melissa Sloan, PhD Murat Haner, PhD

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COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT 34

JOY OF GIVING

Featuring local philanthropists Harry Leopold &

Audrey Robbins

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ALUMNI Q&A

Featuring Kendra Simpkins ‘14 and

Ashley Metelus ‘15

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CROSS COLLEGE ALLIANCE

Leveraging the power of our “college

EDITORIAL BOARD Shawn Ahearn Richard Borghesi, PhD Wilma Davidson, EdD Michael Gillespie, PhD Jenni Menon Mariano, PhD CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Melanie Hanns Becky Ham, PhD Joseph Kays Judy Myers Ginger Pinholster Sophia Scott Rich Shopes

town” 38

PERLMAN PARTNERSHIP

Bringing talented musicians to the

Suncoast

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH

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From the

REGIONAL CHANCELLOR

Welcome to the inaugural issue of

findings. Problem-solving, critical thinking,

Research: USFSM, from the University of

collaboration, team work and analysis are

South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM).

among the most valuable skills students will

This publication explores USFSM’s expanding

employ in a career or profession as well as in

profile as a research-active institution where

their personal lives.

faculty and students across our four colleges

investigate problems and energize classwork

demonstrate a broad range of issues that

in the fields of STEM, education, business,

contemporary society is facing – from

IT and cybersecurity, the arts, social sciences

the discovery of new species, the role of

and hospitality and tourism.

commitment in romantic relationships, aging,

pre-trial publicity and jury bias to veteran

Our faculty arrive with diverse research

The articles in this first edition

backgrounds and often continue their work

reintegration and the benefits to society.

from a previous institution, develop research

activity with colleagues at other universities,

about USFSM research discoveries interesting

the private sector and, importantly, with our

and enjoyable, and we invite you to engage

graduate and undergraduate students.

with our incredible faculty and students.

We hope you will find these stories

Undergraduates can work closely with

a faculty member – as early as their freshman year – to pose a question or problem, develop PHOTO Karen Holbrook, PhD

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a hypothesis, design the strategies to find solutions, collect data and present their

RESEARCH: USFSM

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


INSTITUTIONAL

SNAPSHOT

INSTITUTIONAL

SNAPSHOT

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee is invested in the success of our students with a learning environment that spans far beyond the classroom. When world-class faculty instruction is paired with hands-on experience, student skills develop quickly, and abstract concepts become vivid and tangible. We believe in providing our students with many opportunities to gain hands-on experience, whether through internships, teaching labs or personalized faculty mentorship. Investing in our students’ success is investing in the future leaders and innovators of our community.

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UPPER-LEVEL UNDERGRADUATE

FRESHMAN-LEVEL

402

internships set up for our students in 2017-18

Our commitment to small class sizes helps our students connect with world-class

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faculty on a oneon-one level.

Average Class Sizes

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH

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RESEARCH: USFSM


RECENT FACULTY BOOKS Karen Holbrook, PhD, and Kiki Caruson, PhD Globalizing University Research This volume, the tenth and final report in the Global Education

right-wing women’s movement from

technologies and analytics.

Research Reports series, examines

1950 to 1975. She examines issues

Unhelkar takes a holistic view of

the ways universities can support

that stirred women to take action –

the organization to enable agility as

international research, equip

education, health, desegregation,

a key business value from Big Data

scholars with tools for success,

moral corruption, war, patriotism and

investments.

engage students, create institutional

the Equal Rights Amendment – and

partnerships and connect with the

explores how they attempted to

Murat Haner, PhD

community to facilitate research

shape the lives and outlooks of the

The Freedom Fighter: A Terrorist’s

that reflects our globalized world.

next generation.

Own Story Inspired by the ground-breaking

Recognizing challenges such as time, language and cultural differences,

Bhuvan Unhelkar, PhD

classic, “The Jack-Roller: A

the authors create a space for critical

Big Data Strategies for Agile

Delinquent Boy’s Own Story” by

reflection and action.

Business

Clifford R. Shaw, Haner explores the

This book serves as a

issue of radicalization into terrorist

comprehensive primer for

organizations through the life-history

June Melby Benowitz, PhD

Challenge and Change: Right-Wing businesses eager to capitalize

method, enabling a terrorist to tell

Women, Grassroots Activism, and

on Big Data to achieve strategic

his story. This riveting life history

the Baby Boom Generation

business agility. It makes a unique

provides unique insights into why

Drawing on a wide variety of

contribution to the Big Data

someone becomes a “terrorist” and

sources, Benowitz explores the

domain through a detailed adoption

what such a life entails.

development and growth of the

framework incorporating strategies,

USFSM RESIDENT FACULTY HAVE AUTHORED OVER:

as of 12/12/17

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH

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THE

CONNECTOR Kathy Black uses research and relationships to help build a community for all ages in Sarasota

PHOTO Kathy Black, PhD, Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar

G

erontologist Kathy Black, PhD, says

aging is being rewritten before our eyes.

“We are in the midst of a great

“Being here is a gerontologist’s dream,”

said Black, who considers Sarasota the right

demographic transition,” said Black, a professor

place at the right time in her 40-year career

of aging studies at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

that began in nursing. “It’s incredibly unique to

“The entire world is aging, but in Sarasota we

live and work in a community with such a high

have already been living with a large aging

percentage of older adults.”

population for many years.”

no time getting involved on campus and in

Nationally, about 13 percent of the

population is 65 or older. In Sarasota, that

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number is 33 percent, and the median age is 54.

RESEARCH: USFSM

After her arrival in 2002, Black wasted

the community. In fact, in local civic and


13%

of the U.S. population is 65 or older

33%

of Sarasota’s population is 65 or older

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educational initiatives to promote healthful

• Transportation

aging, Black is Sarasota’s common

• Housing

denominator.

• Social participation

• Respect and social inclusion

Black spearheaded Age-Friendly

is Sarasota’s median age

Sarasota, an initiative that propelled Sarasota

• Civic participation and employment

County to join the Age-Friendly Community

• Communication and information

network of the World Health Organization

• Community support services

(WHO). Sarasota is Florida’s first community

to join, due in large part to Black’s leadership

communities differ. In Sarasota, for example,

and support from The Patterson Foundation.

social programming is abundant.

This work was really about listening to people. We assessed what community features are most helpful to people as they age. For the first phase of the project,

Black said the WHO recognizes that

“We have so much programming –

Black engaged about 1,200 residents through

cognitive, social, physical, recreational. We

surveys and focus groups in every ZIP

are so rich,” Black said. “But in our study,

code in the county to ensure all areas were

we heard a lot about the built environment,

represented.

including transportation.”

“This work was really about listening

Black reached out to the Metropolitan

to people,” Black said. “We assessed what

Planning Organization, or MPO, a regional

community features are most helpful to

transportation planning group, about engaging

people as they age.”

USF students to carry out walkability studies

using a smartphone app. As the students

Based on the results of the surveys

and focus groups, Black helped to develop an

walk, they capture image and GIS data of

action plan that provides specific goals for the

potholes, gaps in sidewalks and other issues

community across eight domains:

that complicate life for pedestrians. Work with

• Outdoor spaces and public buildings

the MPO also includes policy efforts to ensure

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH

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the needs of older citizens are considered

when developing walking, cycling and driving

more from transportation. Black advised a

infrastructures.

group of USFSM MBA students who used

their capstone project to look at transportation

Alternatives to automobile travel are

But older residents said they want

important, considering that older adults outlive

for older residents from a different angle.

their ability to drive safely by seven to 10

years, Black said. Sarasota has an Independent

was, ‘How do we make transportation fun?’”

Transportation Network (ITN) offering door-to-

Black said. “Their model included a party

door service for people 60 or older, and that’s

bus and a calendar of events.” ITN has since

important for getting to medical appointments

implemented the students’ program, which is

and running errands.

being piloted for feasibility as a national model.

“The perspective of the students

When you make a community better for people who are older, you are making it better for people of all ages.

Sarasota’s civic groups rely on a

legion of volunteers – Black said some local organizations have hundreds of volunteers.

“Though Sarasota is a shining star

when it comes to volunteering, there is increasing interest in strengthening the relationships between the generations in Sarasota County, which has a disproportionately lower share of millennialaged adults.” Black said.

Black notes that promoting a

multigenerational workforce can, for example, encourage younger workers to mentor up to older workers, teaching them new tech skills PHOTO

needed in today’s workplace.

Kathy Black speaks with a group of students

With her sweeping view of aging,

from teaching college students to conducting research on aging, Black is uniquely positioned

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RESEARCH: USFSM


to discuss what being “age-friendly” really means. In her Physical Changes in Aging class she simulates sensory changes with aging such as vision and hearing loss. She said her students report back about better understanding older customers and clients in their work and with their families.

“The students recognize that eyesight

or hearing can interfere with communication,” she said. “That leads to age-friendly service for organizations in our community.”

Black is particularly enthusiastic about

the far-reaching policy implications of the age-friendly work in the region. For example, Sarasota County has adopted a voluntary resolution for builders to design homes with universal features such as wider doorways to accommodate wheelchairs or grab bars in bathrooms.

Black, who was recognized as a 2017

What questions should we ask of an agefriendly community? Outdoor spaces and public buildings: Are parks, parking lots, shopping venues and government centers safe, accessible and barrier-free? Transportation: Do residents have access to reliable, affordable transportation? Is the design of traffic-related infrastructure – signs, traffic lights, sidewalks – helpful to drivers and pedestrians of all ages? Housing: Is housing affordable, well-located and designed in a manner that allows for independent living? Are there options for shared or communal housing? Social participation: Does the community promote a variety of interactions that allow citizens of all abilities and financial means to participate in community activities? Respect and social inclusion: Does the community foster intergenerational understanding and respect for aging persons, as well as positive images of aging?

Next Avenue Top 50 National Influencer in Aging, has also partnered with AARP Florida and other age-friendly movements across the state and nation. Recently, she was invited to help draft policy about creating an age-friendly public health system for the American Public Health Association.

Ultimately, age-friendly communities

benefit everyone, she said.

“When you make a community better

for people who are older, you are making it better for people of all ages,” Black said. “Everybody is a stakeholder in an aging

Civic participation and employment: Are there ample opportunities for volunteering, voting, serving on committees, as well as opportunities for meaningful employment? Communication and information: Are all citizens connected to sources of communication about events and services? Community support services: Are support services available for mental and physical health across the lifespan, including services for those who serve as caregivers? More reading: agefriendlysarasota.org nextavenue.org/make-community-age-friendly usfsm.edu/faculty-members/dr-kathy-black/

society.”

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 10


BIAS BY DESIGN A psychology researcher seeks to tease out how pretrial publicity impacts jurors

By Joseph Kays

C

hristine Ruva, PhD, saw a lot of high-

of information – all the stuff that came before

profile criminal cases when she worked

trial – the pre-trial publicity, or PTP – and

as a probation and parole officer in

then you have the actual trial information,”

Pinellas County in the 1990s, and she always

Ruva said. “My question was, can jurors

wondered what effect media coverage of

differentiate between the two?”

those cases had on juries’ decisions.

jurors, Ruva and her team of mostly USFSM

Over the past few years, Ruva,

To determine the impact of PTP on

now associate professor and chair of the

undergraduates spent nearly two years

psychology department at USF Sarasota-

developing a scenario they could use to test

Manatee, has developed complex simulation

jury bias.

experiments to try to answer her long-held

questions about jury bias.

trial about a woman accused of murdering

her husband – she claimed the killing was self

11 RESEARCH: USFSM

“At trial you have two different sources

They took key moments from an actual


defense – and edited it down to a 25-minute

they saw on television or read in a newspaper

video. They also developed three types of pre-

or on Facebook.

trial publicity – anti-defendant, anti-victim and

neutral.

all the details,” she said, “they just have to be

biased by it, tainted by it, have a view of the

“We recruited 648 USF students to

“It’s not that they need to remember

come into the lab, read actual news stories

defendant that he probably did something,

about the crime, then come back a week later

that he’s not a good person, that he’s actually

and view a video of the trial,” Ruva said. “They

a scary person.”

provided individual verdicts, then they got into

juries and deliberated, and after they reached

different jurors’ biases will cancel out during

a verdict we asked them to provide individual

deliberation – “the tainted will become

verdicts again.”

untainted” – but by carefully correlating the

Once jurors have been exposed to [pre-trial publicity] they can’t unhear it. They come to court with a story and they’re going to try to fill it in with evidence. The result: “My suspicions were

Ruva said the legal system believes

jurors’ verdicts before and after deliberation,

confirmed. They had a very difficult time

she has been able to show the opposite is

discriminating between information presented

happening.

at trial versus that which came prior to trial.

They had strong confidence that pre-trial

from this study is that the untainted jurors,

publicity was, in fact, presented at trial.”

the ones who had read the irrelevant pre-trial

publicity but who deliberated with the jurors

Once a jury is chosen, the judge

“One of the most interesting things

typically tells the jurors not to read or watch

who had seen anti-defendant PTP, took on

anything about the case, but Ruva said, “by

the bias of those anti-defendant jurors. They

then it’s too late. They’ve already been tainted.

didn’t correct the bias, they took it on. The anti-

defendant jurors rubbed off on them.”

“Once jurors have been exposed to

this information they can’t unhear it. They

come to court with a story and they’re going

understand how jurors form their opinions

to try to fill it in with evidence that fits the

during deliberations. Her team is conducting

framework they have already developed.”

a comprehensive content analysis using a

random sample of videotapes from the 126

Ruva said jurors don’t have to

remember all of the details about a crime that

Ruva’s next project is to try to

jury deliberations in the original study.

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 12


continuance isn’t really a remedy either.”

deliberations, now we want to know what

happened during those deliberations to make

some success, but it is very seldom granted

them do that.”

because it is expensive.

She said change of venue has had

Unlike traditional media, you can say anything on social media. There’s no fact checking. Ruva said her research shows that

Christine Ruva, PhD

everything when it comes back up again, so

we know that their verdicts changed after

PHOTO

“We know what the data says,

Ruva said she only expects pre-trial

the bias created by pre-trial publicity cannot

publicity to worsen with the boom in social

be remedied by traditional approaches such

media.

as continuance, change of venue or voir dire,

where attorneys from both sides question

say anything on social media. There’s no fact

potential jurors.

checking,” she said. “And now, not only are

people who might be jurors taking in the

“This is not an intentional bias, so

“Unlike traditional media, you can

they may say during voir dire that they can

news, they’re actually producing the news.

disregard what they’ve seen or heard, but they

They’re commenting on it, they’re actively

can’t,” she said. “With a continuance, you’re

engaged in the conversation before they even

hoping they’ll forget, but our research shows

go to court.”

that in some cases the bias actually increases

over time. And besides, with these high-profile

year, usually for the defense, and often in

cases, you can count on the media to reinstate

capital cases, “because these are the most

Ruva testifies in several cases a

important, someone’s life is on the line.”

In high-profile criminal cases, citizens’

First Amendment rights to free speech and the press often conflict with a defendant’s right to a fair trial as guaranteed under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, Ruva said.

“I hope my work will be used to

educate judges and other legal professionals about the real threats that pre-trial publicity imposes on defendants’ right to a fair trial,” she said. “Although defense attorneys are the ones who typically contact me regarding

13 RESEARCH: USFSM


consultation and expert testimony, my most recent work demonstrates the prosecution

RESEARCH BY THE NUMBERS

should also be concerned about the impact

The following statistics are from a study conducted by Ruva

of PTP.”

and Guenther, 2015.

Ruva is particularly proud of the

fact that she has been able to conduct

BEFORE DELIBERATION

these complicated simulations using

JURORS EXPOSED TO

only undergraduate research assistants,

NEGATIVE PTP

UNEXPOSED JURORS

something she said always surprises her colleagues.

“I train them, I give them the skills

they need to do this stuff, then it’s pretty much run by these students,” she said. “This research took multiple years to complete and over these years many undergraduate students acted as either lab manager or colab manager and oversaw training, scheduling and day-to-day operations of the psychology and law lab.”

Ruva’s research is making an impact

AFTER DELIBERATION JURORS EXPOSED TO

UNEXPOSED JURORS

NEGATIVE PTP

in the legal psychology community, appearing in leading journals like Law and Human Behavior and garnering the attention of faculty at leading institutions in the field.

“Dr. Ruva has managed to

consistently generate research which is interesting from both an applied and a theoretical perspective,” said Steven Penrod,

These results show how deliberation affects jurors exposed

distinguished professor of psychology at John

and unexposed to PTP. Exposed jurors were relatively

Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

unaffected by deliberation, but unexposed jurors greatly

“She is currently the leading researcher in

shifted their stance due to reasonable doubt during

this area. Her name and high-quality research

deliberation.

are recognized by everyone in the jury research community.”

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 14


INVESTING IN

RELATIONSHIPS: Research finds value of investments in the little things

By Sofia Scott

E

ven before joining the faculty at the

findings of previous research that indicate

University of South Florida Sarasota-

commitment is essential to the maintenance

Manatee, Anthony Coy, PhD, focused

and strength of relationships, and furthermore,

his attention on the dyadic perspectives

examined what no empirical work had

of romantic relationships, taking particular

directly tested before – the sway a partner’s

interest in exploring how one partner’s

investments can have on commitment. For

behavior may influence the other. His most

the purpose of the study, investments were

recent research sheds light on the power

divided into two categories: tangible and

and limits of behavior within romantic

intangible. Tangible investments were defined

relationships. “I think a lot of people view

as any shared belongings such as cars,

themselves as an individual and very self-

housing, even children and pets. Intangible

contained. We look at how the outside world

investments are harder to measure and

affects you.”

include self-disclosure, sacrifice, effort and

emotional bond, as well as time contributed

15 RESEARCH: USFSM

Coy’s work expands upon the


towards the relationship.

Going forward, research is going to look at

what people prefer.” What began as a measure

Multiple studies have comprised

Coy’s work on partner investments. His basic

for the influence of partner investments on

partner investment finding was presented

commitment could possibly provide new

at the annual meeting of the Society of

tools to relationship counselors and empower

Southeastern Social Psychologists, and his

individuals to improve their own relationships.

most recent couples study, focused on the

differences between tangible and intangible

undergraduate researchers suggest that

partner investments, was presented at the

commitment may not be found in the

annual meeting of the Society for Personality

extraordinary depths of fairy-tale love stories

and Social Psychology.

but rather in the interdependent actions of

partners. Coy explains, “Partners matter.

Partners matter. . .they have tangible effects with how you interact with the world. The data revealed commitment could

The findings of Coy and his eight

be significantly predicted using indicators of

Animal companions, or a spouse; they have

partner investments, particularly intangible

tangible effects with how you interact with

partner investments. Coy reveals, “The main

the world, your level of happiness and your

idea is that partners directly influence each

commitment to relationships.”

other’s commitment, above and beyond our own level of satisfaction. That theoretically, the partner’s actions matter to a greater extent than just making the partner happy.” Coy’s discoveries about relationships unearth more questions about the hows and whys of commitment and the implications moving forward.

“Relationship science is relatively

new,” said Coy, who views the research as a stepping stone to dive further into desired types of investments. Referencing the writings of Gary Chapman in the popular book ‘The Five Love Languages,’”That kind of model

PHOTO

is being tested within psychology.

Anthony Coy, PhD

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 16


ROLY POLY REVELATION Student discovery of sea creature yields new scientific opportunities

By Ginger Pinholster PHOTOS Carlos Santamaria searches for Ligia isopods along a Hawaiian coast Opposite page: Left, Ligia isopod Right, Carlos Santamaria, PhD

B

iologist Carlos Santamaria, PhD, is glad

had never been found so far north.

his team of student researchers didn’t

Ligia isopods are seaside-dwelling

follow directions when he sent them out

cousins of the land-based “roly poly” bugs

to collect specimens from the mangrove forests

that curl into a ball when you touch them. The

of Sarasota and Manatee counties.

particular species of Ligia isopod the students

collected – L. baudiniana – was some 200

“I have to give them credit for not

listening,” said Santamaria, describing how

miles north of its previously documented

the specimens of Ligia isopods that former

territory. The team’s research was published

students Edgar T. Bischoff, Moe Aye, Keith W.

in November 2017 in the online, open-access

Phillips and Victoria Overmeyer brought back

journal F1000 Research.

17 RESEARCH: USFSM


A crustacean and a prey item for birds,

their susceptibility to pollution, their ability to

crabs and other creatures, Ligia isopods never

survive in saltier waters and even the bacteria

venture far from their rocky intertidal habitats.

in their gut.”

Eggs emerge as fully formed juveniles that

don’t disperse into the ocean. Ligia isopods

among mangroves and not on artificial

also dry out quickly, and they can’t swim far.

structures such as piers and boat docks, the

All of this tends to keep them in one spot

finding also has important implications for the

and results in subtle evolutionary changes.

conservation of mangroves.

The process, called “cryptic speciation,”

causes different species of Ligia isopods

indicator of ecosystem health,” Santamaria

to have identical forms, or morphological

said.

characteristics, but unique genetic signatures.

The trick, however, is in telling the more than

as a doctoral student at Texas A&M University,

40 different species of Ligia isopods apart – an

working with advisors Luis A. Hurtado and

area in which Santamaria has deep expertise.

Mariana Mateos. So far, he has studied Ligia

Santamaria recognized male L. baudiniana

species found in Florida, Mexico, Hawaii,

specimens based on their telltale reproductive

South Africa and the Pacific Ocean.

features, which he describes as “like a

drumstick and sickle.” Genetic tests confirmed

every population is a replicate of a natural

the discovery.

evolutionary experiment,” he said. “They’re

a perfect living laboratory and a wonderful

Because the creature is found only

Understanding how

different species evolve can

[Ligia isopods] are a perfect living laboratory and a wonderful teaching tool.

“It might serve an important bio-

Santamaria “fell in love with isopods”

“Because their dispersal is so limited,

teaching tool.”

reveal fundamental insights into their evolution and behavior. Santamaria said the students’ discovery “opened up whole new avenues of research.

“Now, we can do

physiological comparisons across species,” he said. “We can study

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 18


E

ric Hodges, PhD, is searching for an effective way to integrate returning veterans into civilian society. Combining

preliminary research findings with his own experiences as a Marine, he’s proposing that civic engagement — everything from mentoring at-risk youth to volunteering at disaster sites — could benefit returning vets and American society at large.

Hodges, an assistant professor of

interdisciplinary social sciences and political

VETERAN

science at USF Sarasota-Manatee, began his research while working on his doctorate at Virginia Tech, where he encountered the

VOLUNTEERS

groundbreaking work of sociologist Robert

Research looks at the role of community engagement in helping returning vets

interacting with friends and neighbors, joining

By Judy Myers

democracy itself.

Putnam. Putnam observed that Americans were spending time by themselves instead of clubs or participating in civic organizations — a phenomenon that has led to the disintegration of our communities, social fabric, even

By contrast, Hodges noted that vets

returning from Iraq and Afghanistan were volunteering for community service in record numbers.

“Vets were actively trying to seek

out and rebuild the community and sense of purpose they lost when they got out [of the military],” he said. “That led me to examine the role that civic engagement can play in helping them reintegrate when they come home.”

19 RESEARCH: USFSM

Building on his idea, Hodges


formulated what became a long-range project

engagement helps veterans reintegrate, then

titled “Soldier to Citizen: How Military Culture

maybe there are changes that can be made at

Encourages Civic Engagement Among

the local, state or federal level,” he explained.

Veterans.” Hodges designed interviews that

“I’m not directly trying to influence policy,

would gauge the level of civic engagement

but once I find accurate information, I think it

among Marine Corps recruits and drill

should be shared with policymakers to inform

instructors. He’s still in the initial phase of

their process.”

research, but preliminary findings show that

sponsored organizations that match vets with volunteer opportunities. By connecting with policymakers, perhaps Hodges can stimulate

If my research finds that community engagement helps veterans reintegrate, then maybe there are changes that can be made.

There are already a number of veteran-

the creation of public-private partnerships to further invigorate community engagement among vets to the benefit of service people, civilians and American democracy.

Marine Corps training develops leadership skills and community-oriented values. Later phases will involve the development of a survey instrument and quantitative analysis of that data using statistical coding techniques, refinement of the hypothesis and major data collection. Hodges also is doing a needs assessment of veterans and their families who reside in Manatee County and investigating the civic engagement of “military brats.”

According to prevailing social science

literature, a person needs three things to become civically engaged: skills, desire and opportunity. Hodges’ research indicates that Marine Corps training provides the skills and desire. He’s hoping that his research can provide the opportunity.

PHOTO

Eric Hodges, PhD

“If my research finds that community

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 20


UNDERSTANDING

BOKO HARAM

Paper and video trail reveals changes in extremist movement By Becky Ham

W

hen it comes to researching

movement fighting government corruption and

Boko Haram, the violent jihadist

poverty to a group known for its indiscriminate

movement that has terrorized

slaughter and the abduction and sexual slavery

northern Nigeria since 2009, the challenges

of women and girls.

are plain.

Boko Haram, he said, is a technique called

The “field site” is a no-man’s land

One of Pieri’s favorite ways to study

of weekly brutal attacks, with two million

discourse analysis, where he examines the

displaced persons and five million suffering

language and narratives contained in Boko

from food insecurity, and the group’s

Haram statements.

members are “almost impossible to

interview,” said Zacharias Pieri, PhD. “How

of Boko Haram materials that I know of, and

do you do research in the absence of research

in it you can see some major shifts in the

participants from that region?”

discourse that are reflected in the operations

and strategy of the movement,” he said.

Pieri, an instructor of Interdisciplinary

“I have the largest discourse database

Social Sciences at USF Sarasota-Manatee

and an expert on extremist movements, has

trace the history of Boko Haram’s decision

instead turned to an innovative and diverse

to become an affiliate of the extremist

mix of materials — from interviews and videos

group Islamic State in 2014, and Pieri and

to pamphlets and sermons — to understand

his colleagues show how shifts in the idea

how Boko Haram evolved from a social justice

of takfirism — or judging fellow Muslims as

21 RESEARCH: USFSM

For instance, discourse changes


unbelievers or apostates — led to a splintering

the context in which they operate and have a

of the group in 2016, with some factions

phenomenal understanding of their own

expanding their attacks to a broader population

history.”

in Nigeria.

extremist movements, Pieri has given advice

The analyses have also uncovered the

As an expert on Boko Haram and

deep roots of Boko Haram in Nigerian history,

to the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office and

back to an 1804 jihad and caliphate in northern

Ministry of Defence, as well as the U.S.

Nigeria that Boko Haram members hold up as

Office of National Intelligence. His research

an alternative to Nigeria’s corruption-riddled

helps these agencies develop strategies for

government.

countering jihadist extremism.

“I will agree that these movements

These movements actually are very conscious, able to root themselves within the context in which they operate.

“If we’re able to understand the

are exceptionally brutal and not really justified

discourse of a group and the narrative, we can

in what they are doing, but I think my

then allow policymakers and influential people

students are surprised to find out that these

to develop counternarratives,” Pieri said.

movements actually are very conscious,” Pieri said, “able to root themselves within

PHOTO Zacharias Pieri, PhD

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 22


RESEARCH

A Snapshot of Faculty Research

ROUNDUPS RICK BORGHESI, PHD

When Associate Professor

JAMES UNNEVER, PHD the disparity between the financial

of Finance Rick Borghesi, PhD,

windfall reaped by universities and

and insisting on change when

fused two of his passions – sports

the NCAA and the often poor and

it comes to racism and crime in

and finance – as research topics, he

overburdened student-athletes.

America is something criminology

tapped into a national debate about

professor James Unnever, PhD,

collegiate athletes and whether they

athletes fair wages is an inevitability,”

admits can be challenging, but

should be paid like their professional

said Borghesi. “As broadcast rights

necessary.

counterparts.

contracts continue to increase in

value there will be mounting societal

advocate for social justice,” said the

agreement between the National

pressure to share the wealth with

USF Sarasota-Manatee criminology

Collegiate Athletic Association

those responsible for generating it –

professor. “Racism is like a surgeon’s

(NCAA) affiliated universities and

primarily the student-athletes.”

scalpel for exposing the fundamental

student-athletes in which players

nature of our country’s society.”

exchange limited athletic services for

year for Borghesi’s earlier research

scholarships in lieu of cash wages,”

projects exploring the existence of

interviews, secondary and

Borghesi wrote in the introduction to

profitable sports betting strategies,

longitudinal data, public records and

“Pay for Play: The Financial Value of

as more than a dozen states are

40 years of criminology and race

NCAA Football Players,” published in

expected to introduce bills legalizing

relations research, Unnever’s latest

Applied Economics earlier this year.

sports gambling.

work has culminated in his third

“To many this seems unfair since

book, “Building a Black Criminology:

universities earn billions of dollars

finance roots for his next project – a

Race, Theory, and Crime,” scheduled

from football operations.”

joint study with Finance Associate

to be published this year.

Professor Kiyoung Chang exploring

for this and another study, “The

the benefits that corporations obtain

“A Theory of African American

Financial and Competitive Value of

by engaging in socially responsible

Offending: Race, Racism, and

NCAA Basketball Recruits,” (Journal

activities such as environmental and

Crime,” the new book advances

of Sports Economics, 2017) was

human rights initiatives.

the thesis that the field needs to

“There is a long-standing

Borghesi said the impetus

23 RESEARCH: USFSM

“I think paying student

This could also be a big

Borghesi is returning to his

Asking the tough questions

“I’ve always been an

Utilizing case studies,

A follow-up to his 2011 book,


JOY D’ANDREA, PHD incorporate the experiences of

what it means to be black living in

mathematics and statistics instructor

region, along with hurricane data for

a racist society into its analyses of

Joy D’Andrea, PhD, it would be

the years 1992 through 2014 from

crime.

expected that her research résumé

Unisys Weather, she analyzed the

would include topics such as applied

probability of storms. She used a

to fully understand why blacks

statistics, extreme value theory and

process called exploratory factor

commit crimes and to generate

mathematical crystallography.

analysis (EFA) to determine storm

race-specific policies that will

factors that explain variance and to

mitigate the likelihood that a

who has lived in the Sunshine

measure correlations between storm

black person will commit crimes,”

State for more than 25 years,

indicators such as month, location,

Unnever said.

most recently applied her numbers

wind speed and barometric pressure.

expertise to explore something

has essentially assumed the

closer to home – hurricanes.

Florida Department of Environmental

causes for black and white crime

Protection, she conducted statistical

are the same, but it’s not true,”

the Florida Keys, and I have been

analysis on the four types of

he said. “Research shows that

through many hurricanes, including

sinkholes in Florida – collapse,

chronic exposure to white racism –

Hurricane Andrew,” said D’Andrea.

solution, alluvial and raveling – to

feeling disrespected, stereotyped

“This inspired me to investigate and

determine time to event between

negatively, encountering

help forecast hurricanes.”

occurrences of sinkholes.

discrimination in schools, stores,

jobs – increases the likelihood

Statistical Analysis of Hurricanes

conclusion to this project, D’Andrea

that blacks will become hostile

in the Atlantic Basin and Sinkholes

continues to incorporate personal

and angry. They have experienced

in Florida,” D’Andrea seeks to

and professional expertise with

racism at a level unparalleled to

understand and more accurately

proposals for future research on

other minority groups in American

predict the formation of a storm and

instructional design, sea turtles and

history.”

how that is connected to sinkhole

coral reefs.

“This is the only way

“The field of criminology

For USF Sarasota-Manatee

But the Philadelphia native,

“Part of my family is from

In her current work, “A

Armed with buoy data in the

With information from the

As she works toward a

creation. USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 24


25 RESEARCH: USFSM


STUDENT SUCCESS IS COMMUNITY SUCCESS An important role of public higher education is to train critical thinkers. Those who become knowledgeable, involved citizens contribute meaningfully to the region’s economic and social success.

UNDERGRADUATE HONORS PROGRAM

USFSM’s undergraduate honors

“Not many universities have the ability

program, now open to first-year students, is

to enable undergraduate students to work

a research-intensive track culminating with

with faculty mentors one-on-one on a student-

the development of an honors thesis. The

initiated project,” said Melissa Sloan, PhD,

thesis, akin to graduate-level work with a

honors program coordinator. “Given our small

faculty mentor, involves student and mentor

size and dedicated faculty, we are able to do

collaboration on data collection, extensive

that, and many who complete the program say

research and writing and a jury of faculty to

it’s the best experience of their undergraduate

evaluate the students’ papers.

years.”

The Honors Program at USFSM provided me with a clarity and purpose that I did not possess with my initial enrollment. -William Kittinger, USFSM ‘15

STUDENT SHOWCASE FOR PROJECTS, RESEARCH & INNOVATION

One of the ways USFSM celebrates

said Jane Rose, PhD, dean of the College of

and encourages undergraduate achievement

Liberal Arts & Social Sciences. “Providing

is through the Student Showcase for

access for our students to share

Projects, Research & Innovation, an annual

their work with scholars

campus-wide symposium organized by Kim

and professionals

Badanich, PhD, in which students formally

who will assess it

present their research to faculty, students

on its own merit

and the community. Research is evaluated

prepares them for

in discipline-specific categories, and winners

the real world. And

travel to national academic conventions, free

presenting their work

of cost, to further present their work.

alongside others from

around the country can be

“We are giving the students a larger

arena in which to have their work evaluated,”

more instructive than the classroom.”

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 26


FINANCIAL

INSIGHTS The power of Wall Street at students’ fingertips

I

t was an auspicious occasion and

advisors and Wall Street traders.

represented a milestone for USFSM’s

College of Business: As business leaders

Advisors, USFSM students can now

Thanks to a gift from Cumberland

and others gathered last spring on the second

access information about financial markets,

floor of the campus, Dean James Curran, PhD,

economics, pricing data and descriptions,

and David Kotok, chief investment officer at

as well as data about stocks, bonds, mutual

Cumberland Advisors, unveiled a laboratory

funds and information concerning Gross

equipped with 12 new Bloomberg computer

Domestic Product, the inflation rate and

terminals.

employment statistics.

“This is going to give our students

“This contribution was made in order

access to the same information that financial

to help students learn about the ever-changing

experts around the world use to make major

world of finance and investments via the most

financial decisions,” Curran said.

cutting-edge technology available,” Kotok

said. “We are always looking for ways to

A celebratory moment, the terminals

represented a step forward in the education

help maintain and improve the lifestyle that

of USFSM business students. Few business

attracted us to Sarasota. We look at that as a

colleges can boast they possess Bloomberg

responsibility.

terminals.

PHOTO

Sarasota-Manatee and the community is a

A student logs into a terminal at USFSM’s Bloomberg Lab

gold standard in technology, the terminals

way we can do that,” he said. “Perhaps they

provide real-time market data from around

will attract students to the area and potentially

the world and typically are used by financial

keep students in the greater Sarasota area.”

27 RESEARCH: USFSM

Representing the financial industry’s

“Donating these terminals to USF


HANDS-ON

HOSPITALITY

The Culinary Innovation Lab opens new doors for hospitality students

U

SF Sarasota-Manatee needed space

techniques, food service, event planning and

for its growing hospitality program four

more.

years ago when a unique opportunity

The space also became home to

arose: a 4,000-square-foot state-of-the art

another program, one aimed at helping a

kitchen space had become available for lease

vulnerable segment of our society: homeless

on Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street, a retail

veterans. Called Vets2Chefs, this special

development east of Interstate 75 in Manatee

program was instituted in 2014 by USFSM

County.

alum Bryan Jacobs, a veteran himself who lost

a brother to veteran suicide.

The campus’ College of Hospitality &

Tourism Leadership immediately seized the

opportunity and signed a four-year lease. Soon

chef to the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch

after, staff and faculty got to work repurposing

fame, Jacobs teaches the classes himself. For

the space, formerly the Viking Culinary Center,

12 weeks, his students receive a “boot-camp”

into the Culinary Innovation Lab.

style indoctrination to life in a professional

kitchen. By the program’s end, the students

PHOTO

a breakthrough instructional venue. It enabled

have employable skills and many, in fact,

hospitality students to learn about “front and

work in restaurants throughout Sarasota and

back of the house” operations in a facility

Manatee counties.

outfitted with the latest in professional-grade

equipment, classroom space and preparation

for help,” Jacobs said. “People need to

Top left: Students and faculty work together at a Bulls Bistro event at the Culinary Innovation Lab

and demonstration areas. The students

understand that this program is not a hand

learn about kitchen management, cooking

out, but a hand up.”

The CIL, as it’s known, quickly became

Formerly trained and once a personal

“There’s nothing wrong with asking

Top right: Bryan Jacobs teaches a Vets2Chefs session

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 28


RESEARCH

A Snapshot of Student Research

ROUNDUPS

ASHLEY WICHERN & RISSA FLEENOR

JESSICA SKINNER

Biology undergraduate

The short-term goal of this

What makes someone leave

Jessica Skinner’s research could

research is to survey microbiota

his or her homeland to become part

one day result in new and innovative

within major tissues of Cuq and

of an extremist group in another

ways to control one of Florida’s most

develop an understanding of which,

country? In their research project,

problematic pests.

if any, have potential to serve as

“The Phenomenon of Foreign

mutualists or symbionts. The project

Fighting Revisited: How Motivations

Inside the Bug: Uncovering Potential

is being reviewed by The Journal of

for Foreign Fighting Changed,” USF

Symbionts of Mosquitos” – Skinner

Medical Entomology.

Sarasota-Manatee undergraduate

noted that while mosquitos are

Ashley Wichern and graduate student

intensely studied as vectors of

between blood-feeding arthropods,

Rissa Fleenor analyzed the words

disease-causing pathogens, less is

like mosquitos, and the health of

of actual terrorists to try to find the

known about the microbes inside

both domestic animals and wildlife,”

answer.

them. Those bacteria could be

Skinner said.

exploited as an effective strategy

curiosity of what drives people

to control mosquito populations,

limited to insects, Skinner said,

to participate in foreign fighting,”

Skinner said.

who works part-time at a veterinary

said Wichern, a senior majoring in

hospital and said her passion

criminology. “It also is a very relevant

Manatee junior, spent two years

is working with a pitbull rescue

topic in today’s climate, with the

working with biology Assistant

organization.

ongoing issues pertaining to ISIS.”

Professor Aparna Telang, fellow

students Alexander McClure and

that breed in particular, as they often

analyzed 89 interviews with foreign

Susie Bennet and graduate Robert

get a bad rap,” she said. “Changing

fighters captured at the border

Nemitz comparing the microbial

people’s minds is always

of Turkey and Syria, conducted

diversity between lab-raised and wild

rewarding.”

in part by their academic advisor

In her project “The Bugs

Skinner, a USF Sarasota-

“There is an undeniable link

That love of animals isn’t

“It is rewarding to work with

“We were driven by the

Beginning in 2016, the pair

southern house mosquitoes, Culex

Murat Haner during his time as

quinquefasciatus (Cuq), to identify

an undercover counterterrorism

bacterial mutualists.

officer in 2015. Haner is a research

29 RESEARCH: USFSM


DANIEL SLABAUGH administration faculty fellow and

instructor in criminology.

Disease Control and Prevention

testing will be required, Slabaugh is

declared antibiotic resistance “one

optimistic his research could be an

the decision to engage in foreign

of the world’s most pressing public

important first step.

fighting was influenced by five

health problems.” That same year,

key elements: peer pressure from

USF Sarasota-Manatee senior

see a new antibiotic come on the

religious networks, socialization with

Daniel Slabaugh turned to plants

market as a result of this study,”

existing fighters, low levels of risk

and animals found in Floridians’

Slabaugh said. “A more realistic

associated with travel, favorable life

backyards to identity potentially life-

outcome would be that researchers

conditions compared to previous

saving solutions.

will know what plants hold promise

jihad locations and the opportunity

and which should be ignored.”

to exact revenge.

thesis, “Native Florida Medicinal

Plants,” Slabaugh spent three

to embark on this topic by two

findings was that motivations

months measuring how much

undergraduate courses taught by

vary by their country of origin,”

different common plants inhibited

his mentor on this project, organic

said Fleenor, who is pursuing her

bacterial growth. Those tested were

chemistry instructor Edie Banner.

masters in criminal justice.

Rosa damascena (Damask rose),

Spinacia oleracea (common spinach),

the mechanism behind antibiotics

Fleenor and Wichern were the

Vigna luteola (hairy cowpea) petal,

and antibiotic resistance, natural

first undergraduate researchers in

Vigna luteola (hairy cowpea) leaf,

compounds, how they become

USFSM’s history to present at the

Cuscuta pentagona (dodder vine),

pharmaceuticals and how

American Society of Criminology’s

Cladonia rangiferina (reindeer lichen),

researchers are currently isolating

conference last fall in Philadelphia.

Koelreuteria paniculata (golden

new antibiotic compounds,”

raintree seeds) and Oncopeltus

Slabaugh said. “Writing a thesis

for publication in a top-tier research

fasciatus (milkweed bug).

was the perfect excuse to not only

journal in the U.K., Terrorism &

research those topics but also

Political Violence.

and milkweek bugs showed positive

Months of research revealed

“One of the most important

As a result of their project,

The study has been accepted

In 2017, the Centers for

For his Honors Program

Only the reindeer lichen plant

results in killing bacteria. While more

“Ultimately, I would love to

Slabaugh was inspired

“I was fascinated learning

partake in it.”

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 30


BEYOND TEXTBOOKS

Centers and labs enhance educational experiences

U

PHOTO Students and professors access the powerful M3 hospitality software

SF Sarasota-Manatee made headlines

laboratories. The anatomy and physiology lab,

in 2016 as home to the Florida Center

which debuted last fall, uses 3D software

for Partnerships for Arts-Integrated

to explore the human body. “Students can

Teaching (PAInT), a statewide resource

perform virtual dissections of any region,” said

where teachers learn to infuse the arts with

Instructor Aron Owen.

academics to help public school students.

sciences lab. Fully equipped, the lab will

But that’s just one research-centric

Still in development is the social

success story at USFSM. Others include

include six research stations with computers

the M3 Center for Hospitality Technology

and other technology where students and

and Innovation, a new anatomy lab and the

faculty can conduct surveys and qualitative

upcoming social sciences lab.

and quantitative research projects. One station

is equipped so far, and USFSM is seeking

The M3 center grew out of a

partnership with M3 Accounting Services

funds for the remaining stations.

five years ago. The center was funded by

Tampa businessman John McKibbon III’s

faculty projects, offer students an opportunity

JB McKibbon Foundation. It functions as a

to get hands-on research experience and

repository for research and home to three

expand our ability to engage with community

academic journals. It also helped develop

partners by helping them with needed

educational programs that integrate real-world

research,” said Sandra Stone, PhD, professor

hotel software into the hospitality curriculum.

and interim chair of the department of social

sciences.

Now, USFSM is planting seeds for

additional research centers and academic

31 RESEARCH: USFSM

“This lab will allow us to support


RiTE STUFF

Student teachers demonstrate classroom effectiveness

By Melanie Hanns

E

ach semester, as many as 30 USF

student learning data, as well as other student

Sarasota-Manatee teaching candidates

demographics.

completing final internships at

Program graduate Nicole Marcinko

elementary schools throughout Sarasota and

chose multiplication facts as her focus skill

Manatee County are able to demonstrate their

because her observations and data from her

effectiveness as educators thanks to a unique

Problem of the Day (POD) activities indicated

program launched in 2015 celebrating the

that students struggled in this area, with an

positive, hands-on impact they have had on

average pre-test result of only 64 percent.

student learning in their K-5 classrooms.

After implementing a series of lessons, which

included educational games, student-created

Led by Coordinator of Clinical

Education Heather Duncan, PhD, and with

songs and collaborative learning, the class

support from USFSM School of Education

average on the post-test soared to 84 percent.

faculty, the Research in Teacher Excellence

Program (RiTE) Celebration features posters

opportunity for our candidates to showcase

that detail the achievements of their

the value they have added to their students’

elementary-aged students. Examples include

learning experience,” Duncan said. “It is a

lesson plans, sample student work, evidence

powerful indication of their effectiveness as

of arts-integration and evidence of student

teachers.”

“The RiTE celebration provides the

growth from pre-test to post-test.

Candidates are required to create and

implement lesson plans utilizing previous

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 32


33 RESEARCH: USFSM


THE JOY OF

GIVING

Featuring local philanthropists Harry Leopold & Audrey Robbins

L

ong before making their first charitable

them to the Sarasota-Manatee region. “We

gift as a married couple, local

have to find a way to bring those activities

philanthropists Harry Leopold and Audrey

here to excite others to get involved. I want

Robbins were learning about the joy of giving

to provide the leadership to help other people

from their parents. “My parents always made

discover their passion and feel the joy received

sure that I knew the importance of doing for

from giving.”

others,” Audrey said.

philanthropists from the sidelines and into

I want. . .to help other people discover their passion and feel the joy received from giving. While Audrey grew up in Denver,

Audrey wants to bring potential

Colorado, Harry immigrated to the U.S. from

the action. “I would tell the next generation

Holland in 1951 with his family. “In my 20s, I

‘It’s your turn, and it’s good for your life!’”

was earning a decent income and was able to

she said. “I also want more people involved.

help my parents. It was their joy and gratitude

Those in their 30s and 40s, it’s not too early. I

that touched me. So many years later, I gain

want people to know that giving to others will

tremendous pleasure from giving.”

create happiness in their lives.”

Harry and Audrey are a philanthropy

team. “Audrey’s the reconnaissance person, out in the community searching for the next impactful project,” Harry said. “She’ll find an exciting project and we’ll discuss its potential impact. We give serious thought to what we will support. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the arts, human services or education. If the project will have long-lasting impact, we will support it.”

A big-picture thinker, Harry longs to

discover other non-profit activities and bring

PHOTO Harry Leopold and Audrey Robbins

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 34


ALUMNI Q&A WITH KENDRA SIMPKINS USFSM ‘14, PSYCHOLOGY

to the field of direct clinical practice, I saw individuals suffering from mental health issues without appropriate resources. This was the beginning of my advocacy to improve access to veteran benefits and provide effective services. Programs and treatments, especially What are you doing now? I am a clinical social worker and own a private practice in Sarasota, providing Rapid

research. Do you feel that the skills you gained at

solution-focused approach to clear trauma. I

USFSM benefited you in graduate school?

also am a co-trainer for the Institute of Rapid

Most definitely! The opportunities and

Resolution Therapy, traveling nationwide to

research experiences provided at USFSM

train other mental health professionals; clinical

not only gave me invaluable experience, but

director of the Brian Bill Foundation, which

I also felt I was much more knowledgeable

holds Warrior Healing retreats for Special

and prepared going into graduate school at

Forces veterans; and founder of Operation

Columbia University than my peers.

Warrior Resolution, a nonprofit providing RRT

to military and veterans.

Do you have any advice for students?

in research as an undergraduate student?

Kendra Simpkins as an undergraduate student outside of the Office of Veteran Affairs

a new initiative, so I began to see the value of

Resolution Therapy (RRT), which is a brief

What motivated you to become involved

PHOTO

government-run ones, require data to support

Research interested me because after I transitioned from the military and had to go through “the system,” I knew there had to be a better way to care for returning service members. As I narrowed my focus

35 RESEARCH: USFSM

Take advantage of every opportunity you can. You don’t have to know exactly what your main interest is-jump into something that you think you may have an interest in. Even if it ends up being something you won’t continue to do, you’ll definitely learn something; it will lead you on a path and narrow your direction of focus. Also, have fun!


ALUMNI Q&A WITH

ASHLEY METELUS USFSM ‘15, INTERDISCIPLINARY SOCIAL SCIENCES

What are you doing now? Currently I am a research and evaluation assistant at Horizons for Homeless Children, where I am responsible for all the internal data and statistics. It is a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of young homeless children in Massachusetts and help their families succeed by providing high-quality early education, opportunities for play and comprehensive family support services. What types of research did you conduct as an undergraduate student at USFSM? Besides research coursework, there were three main research experiences that I had. In the summer of 2013, I was able to travel to Africa with Jody McBrien, PhD, to conduct a research project on the educational challenges that students faced during and after the war in Lira, Uganda. From 2014 to 2015, I participated in the USFSM Honors Program, in which I

on the association between youth adult relationships and youths’ future aspirations. Do you feel that the skills you gained at USFSM benefited you in graduate school? Currently, I am a graduate student at Boston College obtaining a master’s in Educational Research Methodology. I felt that I was ahead of my classmates because of the prior research skills and experiences from my undergraduate degree at USFSM. When beginning graduate school, I had prior knowledge of the content that was being taught in my courses.

wrote an undergraduate thesis about Haitian-

Do you have any advice for students?

American college students’ motivations

I would tell them to take advantage of and

for pursuing post-secondary education. In

participate in all the research opportunities that

the summer of 2014, I participated in the

are being offered to them! They may not see

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

the benefits while they are participating, but it

at the University of Virginia, in which I utilized

will be beneficial once they start their career

PHOTO

existing data to create a research project

and/or graduate school.

Ashley Metelus

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 36


THE CROSS-COLLEGE ALLIANCE

W

ith its museums, theatres, even an

Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation and

opera house, Southwest Florida

the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

often lays claim to the title “the

Together, the CCA institutions had

Cultural Coast,” but the region might also be

an economic impact of $657.9 million and

called “a college town.”

created 11,966 jobs last year. They collaborate

on programs and complement each other

Concentrated along seven miles of

Sarasota and Manatee counties are 23,000

while maintaining their unique qualities: USF

students on five campuses – the University of

Sarasota-Manatee is a research institution,

South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, New College

New College is an honors college, Ringling is a

of Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design,

premiere art and design school, State College

State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota and

of Florida Manatee-Sarasota is the largest local

The Ringling/FSU.

public college and The Ringling/FSU features

programs and facilities to train students in the

Campus leaders decided to unify

PHOTO

this collective force in 2013 by forming the

performing arts.

Students of the Cross College Alliance institutions pose for a photo (Andie Chupp and Yolanda Woody of State College of Florida, William Vinopal and Megan Ruiz of Ringling College of Art & Design and Tim Thomas and Gustavo Delgado of USF SarasotaManatee)

Cross College Alliance (CCA), recognizing that

while each member institution is distinct, the

cross-registration in which students within the

members share a common vision: “to build

CCA can register for classes at other member

a network among the region’s educational

institutions, job and internship assistance from

organizations that amplifies and expands

career counselors, joint-research opportunities

learning opportunities for our students and the

among faculty from CCA campuses and

communities that surround us.”

shared student life events open to all CCA

students.

It didn’t take long for the community

to rally behind the CCA, garnering support from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota, the

37 RESEARCH: USFSM

The alliance offers, among other things,


PERLMAN

PARTNERSHIP Bringing talented musicians to the Suncoast

S

ince 2004, The Perlman Music Program/ Suncoast (PMP) has partnered with USF Sarasota-Manatee to host the

Perlman Music Program Sarasota Winter Residency, a 17-day music training program led by PMP founder Toby Perlman and her husband, world renowned violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman. This program offers students of exceptional talent, ages 12 to 20+ from around the world, life-changing musical training through an intensive program for

residency culminates with the Celebration

violin, viola, cello and bass players.

Concert at the Sarasota Opera House, with

Itzhak Perlman conducting the PMP String

More than 6,000 residents from

Sarasota, Manatee and surrounding counties

Orchestra and Patrick Romano leading the

enjoy more than 20 free and low-cost musical

PMP Chorus. The residency is an amazing

experiences in the performance tent on

classical music experience that PMP/Suncoast

USFSM’s campus and enjoy hearing Perlman

would not be able to do without the support of

work directly with the PMP String Orchestra.

the university. We are thrilled and honored to

call USFSM ‘home.’”

PMP/Suncoast Board of Trustees Chair

Fran Lambert noted, “The PMP Sarasota

Winter Residency offers a unique learning and

lucky to serve as ‘home’ to the Perlman

musical experience for students and residents

Music Program/Suncoast,” said Regional

alike. Audience members get a behind-the-

Chancellor Karen Holbrook, PhD. “Anyone who

scenes look at what goes into the training

appreciates music will leave a PMP concert

of these world-class musicians, attending

enriched; I invite everyone to the USFSM

orchestra rehearsals, master classes, works-

campus to attend one of the amazing Perlman

in-progress student recitals and more. The

concerts during the Winter Residency.”

“USFSM considers itself incredibly

PHOTO Itzhak and Toby Perlman during a winter recital at USF SarasotaManatee (photo by Rod Millington)

USFSM.EDU/RESEARCH 38


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

Plan to attend our 25th Annual Brunch on the Bay.

Sunday, November 4, 2018 // 11:30 a.m. Enjoy delicious dishes from our area’s best restaurants and help raise scholarship funds for USF Sarasota-Manatee students. For more information, contact Pam Gleason at pjg@sar.usf.edu or 941-359-4603.

Profile for USFSarasota-Manatee

Research: USFSM - Volume 1  

The official research magazine of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee

Research: USFSM - Volume 1  

The official research magazine of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee

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