November 2017
In This Issue

Dean's Note

Students Get Their Day in Moot Court

Is the Trump/Russia Investigation the New Watergate?

Criminology Students Breakout of Bunker

UT Welcomes Geoffrey Canada

Sociology Faculty & Students at AACS Conference in Cleveland

Education Students Present Study at 
Kappa Delta Pi Convocation

Alumni Spotlight

Faculty & Student News

Upcoming Events
Dean's Note

Dear Friends:
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I want personally to express my thanks to our faculty and students for all of their hard work and efforts. While the semester got off to an unusual start with the closure of the campus due to Hurricane Irma, as you will read below, our students and faculty did not let this slow them down one bit. In fact their activities and accomplishments clearly suggests that they never lost a step.

And while I am giving thanks, a big thank you to:

• Our Criminology and Criminal Justice faculty for their efforts to earn program certification from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). On October 5, they hosted a site visit from ACJS as they seek to earn this important external validation for their program.

• The UT Board of Fellows for their recent financial support to our Pre-law program and our Education students’ efforts to travel to Atlanta to participate in the Ron Clark Academy.

• The TD Bank Charitable Foundation for their financial support for our efforts to bring Geoffrey Canada from the Harlem Children’s Zone to Tampa in February 2018.

• The over 2 dozen local attorneys and law students who contributed their Saturday morning on October 14 to serve as volunteer judges for our UT Moot Court Scrimmage.

So let me say in this season of giving thanks, I wish all of our CSSME faculty, staff, students, families and friends a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Be safe.

Jack Geller Signature
Jack M. Geller, Ph.D., Dean
Students Get Their Day in Moot Court
Does the Functional Brain Mapping Exam violate a person's right against self-incrimination protected by the Fifth Amendment?

Does the sentence of solitary confinement violate the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Eighth Amendment?

Students in Assistant Professor Kristen Foltz's Appellate Advocacy class have spent their semester researching, writing and practicing their oral arguments for these questions in preparation for competition in intercollegiate moot court tournaments sponsored by the American Moot Court Association. In these tournaments, teams of law students from colleges and universities across the nation compete in presenting their oral arguments before a simulated Supreme Court.
Moot Court team at Florida A&M College of Law
Moot Court team at Texas Tech University School of Law.
On November 4 and 5, the students competed at the South Atlantic Regional held at Florida A&M College of Law in Orlando. On the first day of the tournament, the UT team placed 4th behind the reigning champions from Patrick Henry College and the University of Central Florida and automatically advanced to the "sweet sixteen" round. Aislinn Sroczynski, senior political science major and student body president, took 4th overall orator out of 76 participants and Melissa Micceri, senior history major, took home 14th. Rebecca Grossber, senior sports management major, and Vanessa Gungor, junior criminology major, advanced and placed in the final top 4, which is the highest placing by UT students at a regional tournament. Therefore, they received an automatic bid for the national tournament.
Three teams travelled to Lubbock, Texas to compete in the South Central Regional Moot Court Tournament at Texas Tech University School of Law on November 10 and 11. Rahal Wijewardene, junior philosophy major; Nina Carella senior criminology major; and Taylor Bollt, junior political science major, took home top orator awards. Nina Carella and her partner Olivia Senia made it all the way to the sweet 16 round.  

The UT team hopes to get an at large bid to compete in the national tournament, which will be held on January 19 and 20, 2018 at the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law. 
Is the Trump/Russia Investigation
the New Watergate?
On October 3, Professor of History Terry Parssinen spoke to an audience of students and faculty members on a comparison of the current Russia/Trump investigation to the historic Watergate scandal of 1972-74. Bill Myers, assistant professor of political science and international studies, followed-up with commentary from a political scientist's viewpoint.

From the discovery of 5 burglars in the office of the Democratic National Committee on the night of June 17, 1972 to the resignation of President Richard Nixon on August 9, 1974, Parssinen chronicled the historical Watergate scandal. Next, he compared the Watergate scandal to the current investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team into the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to meddle in and undermine the 2016 presidential election. 

Following the historical comparison of events, Myers discussed the current investigations of collusion and obstruction of justice in regard to constitutional law. He explained how the investigation is separated between candidate Trump and President Trump. Myers pointed out that as President, Trump will likely rely on executive privilege and immunity from the judicial process to shield himself from prosecution. He also discussed about how decisions by the Supreme Court in the United States v. Nixon (1974) and Clinton v. Jones (1997) could affect claims of executive privilege and prosecution of formal criminal charges.

Parssinen also led a free-form discussion on November 1 with approximately 15 honors students on the topic "What is the Likely Outcome of the Trump/Russia Investigation?" This discussion was part of Honors Program's series "Coffee and Conversation."
Criminology Students Breakout of Bunker
In a unique Halloween experience, Dr. Tony LaRose, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, took his CRM 101 classes to an “Escape Room” adventure in downtown Tampa. “It was a great opportunity to get together outside of the classroom and do something fun and develop skills,” he said. Samantha Sestito (’19’; front, second from right) agreed, “The escape room was so much fun! It’s a great team building activity!” While only one of three groups “won” by completing the mission by finding clues, solving riddles and unlocking the escape door, everyone enjoyed the experience including ROTC cadet Erika Roy (’19; not pictured) who said, “I feel it was a good environment to test both our observational and critical thinking skills which are important for Criminology majors as well as other majors looking to go into Law Enforcement and C.S.I..”
UT Welcomes Geoffrey Canada
Educator, author and social activist Geoffrey Canada will present "Leadership is Only as Great as Those Around You" on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 in UT's Falk Theater. Throughout his career, Canada has served children and families to break the cycle of generational poverty and lead young people on their journey to a college education. Canada received a master's degree in education from Harvard University. In 1983, he became education director at the Rheedlen Institute in Harlem. In 1990, Canada assumed the position of president and renamed the school the Harlem Children's Zone. Under his leadership, the Harlem Children's Zone expanded from serving one block to almost 100 blocks. The New York Times Magazine article "The Harlem Project" described The Harlem Children's Zone as “one of the most ambitious social-policy experiments of our time.” Canada's TED Talk " Our Failing Schools. Enough is Enough ." has been viewed over 1.8 million times.
Home - Harlem Children's Zone

Learn more about the Harlem Children's Zone, a pioneering nonprofit organization committed to ending generational poverty in Central Harlem.

Read more
Sociology Faculty & Students at AACS Conference in Cleveland
Sociology faculty and students traveled to Cleveland, OH to participate in the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology's (AACS) annual conference that was held on October 5 - 7. Associate Professor Bruce Friesen co-presented the session entitled "Accrediting Undergraduate Applied Sociology Programs With CAPACS: Experiences." Assistant Professors J. Sumerau and Maggie Cobb presented "Using Music to Teach Applied Sociological Practice." Sumerau also presented "Storytelling and Applied Sociology." Professor Norma Winston co-presented "Getting Your Sociology or Interdisciplinary Program Accredited by CAPACS."

Sociology students Matthew Bryduck, Julia Katerina Fleming, Ashley Jensen and Lexi Petzold, under the guidance of Assistant Professor Brittany Harder, participated in The Client Problem Solving Competition (CPSC) at the AACS conference. Each year, participating teams of students are presented with a problem from a local agency or organization. The teams of students attend conference sessions, consult with conference attendees and work together to solve the problem. At the end of the conference, teams present their solutions to the AACS adjudicating panel, the organization representative and conference attendees and answer questions. The AACS panel selects the team with the best solution for the CPSC award and the organization representative selects the team with the best solution for the "Client's Choice" award. Although the UT team was not selected for an award, they had the opportunity to exercise their sociological skills, network with professionals and gain experience to include on their resumes.
Education Students Present Study at
Kappa Delta Pi Convocation
Undergraduate students Kali Zeglen , Kristian Givens , Kaitlin Horch and Daryl Last from the education leadership group BELIEVE and Clinical Education Director/Lecturer of Education Merrie Tankersley presented their study entitled "The Impact of Character Education on Children in After School Programs" at the Kappa Delta Pi Convocation, which was held in Pittsburgh, PA on October 26 - 28. The purpose of their study was to explore methods in which after school programs can positively impact social, emotional and character development of children. Their study implemented targeted strategies to determine if such strategies enhanced gratitude, self-control and optimism in elementary students. A compilation of lesson plans were shared with future and current teachers attending the convocation.
Left to Right: Kali Zeglen, Kristian Givens, Merrie Tankersley, Kaitlin Horch, Daryl Last
Alumni Spotlight
Thomas Vacca, B.A., Psychology, 2014
What attracted you to UT?
What attracted me to The University was the small class size which in turn led to much more face time with professors in and out of the classroom to discuss topics in and beyond the scope of the classes.
What experiences or people at UT influenced you the most?
My statistics Professor, Dr. Eric Odgaard, had the largest influence in that not only did he teach me the methods and practicality of using statistics in my career, but taught in a way that prepared me for life always going the extra mile when I sought help to give insight to me and guide my decision making. 
What advice would you give to an incoming student at UT?
My advice to any student entering is to network and study. These are the two things that students do not do enough. Not networking in the sense of Greek life and social activities, but networking with the Board of Counselors and attending events to introduce yourself to business partners for future jobs in Tampa after graduation.
Describe your current position.   
My current role is in data analytics at Florida Blue and consists of compiling, managing and analyzing our health care claims data in order to draw conclusions on our population's health and guide them to lower cost, high quality facilities. I also do some financial modeling to calculate internal savings for clinics that Florida Blue owns.
What are your current goals?
My current goals are to further my career in healthcare with the eventual transition to politics in the Bay area. Politics is a passion of mine, and while our politics are in disarray right now, I do not find it prudent to sit on the sidelines.
Government and World Affairs alumnus Marcus Bright, Ph.D. ('06) married Dominique Sharpton, daughter of civil rights activist and Baptist minister Rev. Al Sharpton, on October 15 at at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Jamaica, Queens. An article published on October 27 in the New York Times provides details of and pictures from the wedding.
Faculty & Student News
History, Sociology, Geography & Legal Studies
Assistant Professor of Sociology Brittany Harder co-authored "When the Game is No Longer Fun: Mediasport's Constructions of Race and Gender and the Enduring Consequences on its Audiences." with Julia Katerina Fleming, a senior Applied Sociology major, and Kaitlin Anne Pericak, a graduate student from the Sociology department at the University of Miami. Their article has been accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of Pop Culture Universe.
Assistant Professor of Sociology, J. Sumerau authored "Homecoming Queens," which was published by Sense Publishers and co-edited "Negotiating the Emotional Challenges of Conducting Deeply Personal Research in Health," which was published by Routledge.

Sumerau presented "Gendered and Sexual Fluidity in Religious Contexts" at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion's 2017 annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on October 14. The presentation was part of a session entitled "Beyond Binaries: New Research on Religion and Sexuality."
On November 30 and December 5 senior math majors in MAT 490 Senior Seminar will give oral presentations on their selected topic of study. Students in this course consulted with a math faculty member and conducted personal research.
Following is a list of students and their topics:
  • Gertrude Sercus: "The Schöder-Bernstein Theorem"
  • Madison Whitney: "How to Model Infectious Diseases"
  • Mara O’Neill: "A Differential Equation Model for Amazon Stock Pricing"
  • Patrick Schroeder: "Abstract Algebra in Quantum Mechanics"
  • Zachary Gregg: "Molecular Applications of Knot Theory"
Join the UT Math Club!
Contact Professor Angela Angeleska
Criminology & Criminal Justice
Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice Cedric Michel 's paper "Cognitive Dissonance Resolution Strategies After Exposure to Corporate Violence Scenarios" has been accepted for publication in Critical Criminology. This study uses cognitive dissonance as a theoretical avenue to identify factors that might hinder the public’s acceptance of incontrovertible facts about corporate violence (i.e., the calculated endangerment of civilians, workers, and customers). 
Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice Anthony LaRose served as chair of a panel discussion entitled "Media Effects on Perceptions of Crime and Privacy" and co-presented "C.S.I. World Wide: A Three Nation Study of the ‘C.S.I. Effect’" at the Southern Criminal Justice Association's annual conference in New Orleans, LA on September 28.
Assistant Professor of Education Enilda Romero-Hall traveled to Jacksonville to participate in several events at The Association for Educational Communications & Technology International Convention on November 6 - 11. She participated in the "Instructional Design Research Women’s Caucus" and "Faculty Job Search Strategies for International Students that Work" panel discussions. She also presented "An Experiential Role-Playing Aging Simulation," which she co-authored with Assistant Professor of Psychology Renee Patrick, and "Posting, Sharing, Networking, and Connecting: Instructional Design Graduate Students Use of Social Media."
Patty O’Grady , Ph.D. presented her work, the Positive Psychology of Restorative Justice, at the 2017 Progressive Education Network (PEN) national conference in Boston, MA, October 5-8, 2017. The conference theme was Continuous Lines: Amplify Student Voices, Agency, Conscience, and Intellect to Create a More Equitable, Just, and Sustainable World. Dr. O’Grady joined such important voices in progressive education including Deborah Meier, Jonathan Kozol, and Sam Chaltain. The conference is affiliated with the University of Chicago. 
Political Science and International Studies
Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies co-authored "Party Animals: Asymmetric Ideological Constraint among Democratic and Republican Party Activists" that was published in Political Research Quarterly and "Republicans are the party of ideological inconsistency" that appeared in The Washington Post's MonkeyCage on October 2.
Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies Mary Anderson conducted a workshop entitled "Community Identity and Political Behavior" at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec on September 22. In her workshop, Anderson took participants through her interdisciplinary approach to studying communities and political behavior, blending the fields of community psychology, sociology, and political science and focusing specifically on how community comes to influence political behavior.
Associate Professor of Psychology Erin Koterba , along with students Kaitlyn Ligman , and Faith Ponti presented "'Get out of my selfie!' Exploring links between narcissism, gender, and self-photography among emerging adults" at the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood conference in Washington, D.C. on November 4. The primary goal of their research was to investigate motives for emerging adults to take and post selfies to social media and to further explore how gender and narcissism predict selfie-taking behavior.
Assistant Professor of Psychology Laura Buchholz co-presented "Disordered eating and related correlates among women veterans in VA primary care" with Paul R. King, Ph.D and Laura O. Wray, Ph.D. in a poster session at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies annual convention in San Diego on November 17. This study was funded by the VA Center for Integrated Healthcare pilot grant program. In this study, the researchers sought to build on prior research by using well-validated measures to evaluate disordered eating symptoms and better characterize their relationships to current mental health symptoms among women veterans. 
Upcoming Events
Mark your calendars for the following upcoming events at UT:

  • November 27: Civic Education Workshop, "Improving Civil Dialogue Through Caffeine," Jenkins, COM2, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Pizza and drinks will be served.

  • November 30: History Poster Expo, Plant Hall, Fletcher Lounge, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

  • December 1: Erin Gruwell will talk about her book "Freedom Writers Diary." Plant Hall, Music Room, 1:00 p.m. A book signing will follow at 2:30 p.m.

  • February 20: Geoffrey Canada will present "Leadership is Only as Great as Those Around You" in the Falk Theater at 6:30 p.m.