October 2021

Dean Geller
Dear Friends of CSSME:

Now at mid-semester, I am particularly pleased to feel a greater sense of normalcy across the campus. Yes, we are still wearing masks indoors, but as our Covid Dashboard has documented, the numbers of Covid cases across campus have been steadily dropping since the second week of the semester, and now are in the single digits. So far, so good!

As you navigate the items in this issue of Community Connections, I hope you also will feel a sense of normalcy, as you read about the activities of our students, faculty, and alumni. And while there are far too many to highlight, allow me to just mention a few.

I was particularly impressed with the exhibit at the Plant Museum curated by Dr. Charles McGraw Groh documenting the 1912 visit to Tampa by Booker T. Washington. Such a speech addressing race relations at that time in the segregated south, is certainly worth preserving and highlighting. If you have not yet had a chance to view the exhibit, it will be on display through December 23.

Kudos to our Applied Sociology students, Leah Daniels, Juliet Winther and Lincoln Cutler, who finished in first place at the Client Problem Solving Competition at this year's Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology Conference. Well done!"

As always, I love hearing about the activities of our alums and learning of EDU Alumna Skyler Teagle Chapel’s nomination as “Teacher of the Year” is just the type of news that affirms what I have always known about our students and our programs. Well done!

And lastly, I was so pleased to learn that the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) recognized our Department of Education by honoring our program with the 2021 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement. Way to go!

Until our next issue, let’s hope our Covid trends on campus continue downward, and our steady return to normal operations continues.

Jack Geller Signature
Jack M. Geller, Ph.D., Dean
Faculty News
Student News
UT Applied Sociology Student Team Win Annual AACS Problem-Solving Competition
Congratulations to Applied Sociology majors, Leah Daniels, Juliet Winther, and Lincoln Cutler for winning first place in the Annual Client Problem Solving Competition at the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology Conference (AACS) on Friday, October 22, 2021. The team did an excellent job in applying Goffman' Framing Analysis to provide recommendations to the YMCA Centers of Louisville, KY for attracting and retaining new young employees. A special thanks of gratitude to Dr. Damien Contessa for his efforts as the team's UT Faculty Advisor. Many thanks to UT and the Dean's office of the College of Social Sciences, Mathematics, and Education, without their support, participation in the annual competition would not be possible. Well done on your first place finish!
Kappa Delta Pi Induction Ceremony 2021

Congratulations to the newest inductees of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education at the University of Tampa. The induction ceremony of 25 students took place on Sunday, September 26, 2021. In attendance were Chapter Advisors, Clinical Education Director/Professor Merrie Tankersley, Coordinator of Secondary Clinical Education/Professor Megan Civil, guest speaker, Alumna (B.A. '18), Bridget Ruggiero and Department Chair/Professor Colleen Beaudoin who was pleased to congratulate students and serve as resident photographer. Many thanks to our Chapter Advisors, guest speaker, President Nicole Delpidio, and Chapter officers for a wonderful job well done.

Kappa Delta Pi Inductees
Andrea Amador
Zoe Babcock
Stephanie Carrion
Brooke Cenname
Jillian Eaves
Lauren Fortier
Juliana Gaine
Christopher Gephart
Lorissa Gotsch
Caleb Holt
Casey Kelleher
Kathryn Lenz
Charis McNally
Connor McNally
Sara Michelson
Kendall Miller
Leanna Murawski
Marissa Newsome
Chloe Pilione
Victoria Richey
Amanda Rivera
Grace Rumbaut
Lydia Siberton
Emma Stallwood
Kali Wilbourn
SURF Symposium 2021
"Every summer, a group of driven UT students are awarded Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (OURI). Paired with faculty members, the students dive into issues across all disciplines, from politics to biology to psychology."
This summer's 2021 SURF recipient, Psychology Major, Ashley Myers with the assistance of her research mentor, Assistant Professor Benjamin Marsh, was a presenter at this year's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Symposium at the University of Tampa on Friday, September 3, 2021. Ashley's presentation titled, Protagonist race affects how a narrative is remembered, explores how culture affects memory by examining the ways a protagonist's race influences how a narrative is remembered.
Summer 2021 SURF recipient, Political Science major, Caitlin Murray was a presenter at this year's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at the University of Tampa. Caitlin with the assistance of her research mentor, Internship Coordinator/Assistant Professor, Kathryn Vandermolen presented her research titled, Undergraduate Involvement and Political Ambition. The research conducted explores the conditions under which female college students become politically involved with a focus on socialization and encouragement patterns.
Faculty News
Dr. Suzanne Ensmann collaborated with Drs. Lina Vasquez-Gomez, Ronda Sturgill, and Aimee Whiteside to study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on teaching and learning. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education journal invited Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) educators to journal experiences and observations of the teaching and learning experiences during the worldwide pandemic. The interdisciplinary UT Team responded to the call with "A Pandemic Case Journal of One Higher Education Institution". Essays reviewed, compiled, and summarized were published as a case study in this special issue to reflect lessons learned for instructional design improvements to accommodate future crises and considerations for further studies.
Dr. Enilda Romero-Hall edited a special issue on "Informal Learning in Online Social Communities" that was published in The Journal of Applied Instructional Design (JAID), sponsored by the Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT). As part of the special issue, Dr. Romero-Hall published a journal article titled "Undergraduate students in online social communities: An exploratory investigation of deliberate informal learning practices". The results of this investigation can be of benefit to instructors, regardless of the discipline of study, wishing to connect academic activities with informal learning endeavors that undergraduate students are already performing for personal enjoyment while participating in online social communities.
Associate Professor, Patricia O'Grady was an invited Keynote speaker at the 11th National Conference on Pharmacy & Healthcare (NATCONPH) 2021 hosted by the School of Health Sciences NSHM Knowledge Campus in Kolkata, India. Every year the conference hosts eminent personalities from diverse fields to interact, empower, and share their experiences with their students. The theme of this year's conference was Research Advancement Resilience in the Pandemic Era: A Drive for Innovative Transformation. Dr. O'Grady addressed the conference with her talk entitled, The Positive Psychology of Resilience: A Neuroscience Approach.
Director/Educator Preparation Programs' Professor, Gina M. Almerico and Professor of Education, Tony Erben, who were last year's recipients of the Frank Murray Award, have been invited by the The Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation to contribute a case in their upcoming book, "Clinically Based Teacher Education in Action: Cases Demonstrating Excellence in Accreditation". The purpose of this book is to support the design and implementation of excellent educator preparation programs (EPPs) by providing those seeking national accreditation with illustrations from accreditation award winners.
Part-Time Professor, David Persky co-authored, "Wisdom From Five Cancer Travelers: Lessons Learned". The narrative depicts the cancer journeys of five cancer travelers who give us an in-depth look into their thoughts of the biggest fight of their lives. The writers share their most intimate experiences from diagnosis through treatment to ultimately saying goodbye to all they have known and loved. It is the authors' hope that our reflections on battling this insidious disease will inform and empower the readers. It is currently being published by Curry Brothers Publishing, LLC.

Part-time Professor, Sheryl Pelletier and colleagues published a chapter entitled, Recidivism and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies: The Efficacy of Correctional Programming which is included in the publication, Global Perspective in Reforming the Criminal Justice System. The chapter explores an evidence-based approach in reducing recidivism that involves cognitive behavioral therapies.
Associate Professor of History, Charles McGraw Groh curated the latest exhibit at the Henry B. Plant Museum, "When the train comes along" which pays homage to educator and activist, Booker T. Washington's speech on race relations given in 1912. With the help of the museum’s Executive Director, Cynthia Gandee Zinober, Curator, Susan Carter, and a great contribution from the Library of Congress and descendants of renowned black locals, Dr. McGraw Groh was able to capture a time of what Tampa was like during an era of segregation and discrimination. The exhibit, which will be on display until December 23rd, "uses the speech to examine segregation politics and Black community-building in Tampa, as well as encourages a vital public discussion about the roots of racial inequality".

Associate Professor of History, Elizabeth A. Littel-Lamb's "'Denounce!'-The Chinese YWCA and the 1951 Christian Renunciation Campaign in the People's Republic of China" was accepted for publication in the nationally recognized Florida Conference of Historians (FCH) Annals Volume 29. Dr. Littel-Lamb's paper also received the Thomas M. Campbell Award for the best professional paper in that issue.

Assistant Teaching Professor, Kelly Palmer's book review, "Denaturalized: How Thousands Lost their Citizenship and Lives in Vichy France" by Claire Zalc was published in "Central European History", Volume 53, Issue 3 from Cambridge University Press.
Political Science
Dr. Nicolè M Ford will be Chair and a discussant for the following panel "Gray Zones: Central Asians as Mediators of Projections of Racial and Gender Identity at the Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies Annual Conference (ASEES) in New Orleans taking place November 18-21. The panel will discuss the construction of racial and gender identity and how they are projected onto Central Asians. Furthermore, the discussants will show how Central Asians sought to construct their own identities while navigating the expectations and perceptions of the state and cultural outsiders.
On September 17th, Dr. William Myers was invited to give the Constitution Day talk at Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School, entitled, "A Federal Police Power? COVID-19, Vaccinations and the Constitution." He argued that the federal government does have the authority to mandate vaccines according to Supreme Court precedents.

Dr. Myers was also elected to Chair the Faculty Development Committee, which is charged with advancing faculty development by promoting funding through Research Innovation and Scholarly Excellence (RISE) awards and course releases through Professional Development Awards (PDA).

Associate Professor, Cynthia Gangi's manuscript, "On the Gravity of Mental Illness Stigma" was accepted for publication in Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology. Her paper "adopts a macrolevel, interdisciplinary approach to examine the reasons why the stigma surrounding mental illness remains a pervasive, incorrigible aspect of the human condition".

Director of Applied Sociology/Associate Professor J.E. Sumerau and Dr. Pina Holway's, Transgender Possibilities and the Cisgendering of Family among Cisgender Women, has been published in Symbolic Interaction. The article examined vocabularies of motive concerning the possibility of transgender partners and children. This article draws out the implications for understanding vocabularies of cisgendering family that create the conditions for transgender marginalization within families, and the consequences cisgendering family has for the reproduction of inequality.
New Faculty Spotlight
Rachel Severson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Her teaching and research focus on mental health and treatment in the criminal justice system, particularly in the correctional setting. Her recent research examines if using mental health treatment behind bars lessens certain in prison strains and if this relationship varies by gender. Her work has been published in several scholarly journals, including Criminal Justice & Behavior and Crime & Delinquency. Dr. Severson currently teaches Introduction to Criminal Justice and Research Methods, and is excited to also teach Abnormal Behavior and Criminality in the spring semester. 
Alumni News
Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to Alumna (B.S.'14), Sklyer Teagle Chapel, who was recently nominated as the 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year at Martinez Middle School after teaching for eight years in the Hillsborough County School District. Skyler is currently a 7th grade teacher, who serves as the Technology and Communications Team Leader and the School Advisory Council (SAC) chair at her school. Throughout her career, Skyler has always put an emphasis on fostering positive relationships with her students. To this day, she references her coursework from classes she had taken with Dr. Theoni Soublis and Dr. O'Hara to create a positive learning environment in her classroom. Skyler is grateful for the impact that the UT's Department of Education has made on her career. Despite the many challenges associated with teaching in public education, her experiences at UT remind her of the influence that transcendent student-teacher relationships have on the social , emotional, and academic success of students. Skyler received her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from the University of Tampa and her master's degree in Education Leadership and Administration from National Louis University in 2017.
Helping Little ones Learn
Alumna (B.A. '21), Emily Schurr, was selected to participate in an internship at the Henry B. Plant Museum this past spring semester for their exhibit, "When the train comes along". She learned of this opportunity through Assistant Professor and guest curator, Charles McGraw Groh, who was advising her on her senior research paper. Emily successfully designed the exhibit guides for children who attend the museum with their families! The internship featured both historical and musical elements and provided the opportunity to gain knowledge on the educational perspective that exists with the production of a museum. Emily's role in designing the exhibit guides provided her with experience "on how to make adult exhibits accessible to children". Emily received a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Tampa in May 2021.
Industry Advisory Board Meeting: Broadening The Student Experience
The Criminology and Criminal Justice Department held their first meeting of their newly created Industry Advisory Board on Wednesday, September 8th. The goal of the Advisory Board is to use our community partners to better align our student's experiences with the knowledge, skills, and abilities that today's employers value in college graduates. The Board includes representatives such as the Chief of the Tampa Police Department, the Special Agent in Charge of the Tampa FBI Field Office, the Chief of the St. Petersburg Police, the Chief Deputy of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the State Attorney of the 13th Judicial Court, the Chief Program Office of The Spring of Tampa Bay, the warden of Zephyrhills Correctional Institution, and leaders from other community agencies and organizations. In attendance were Associate Professor/Chair, Carly Hilinski-Rosick, Associate Professor,Tim Hart, Assistant Professor, Chivon Fitch, Assistant Professor Gabriel Paez, and Assistant Professor Nathan Connealy presented research on law enforcement agencies and crime reduction initiatives.
2021 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement
The Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has given recognition to 26 providers from 17 states and the United Arab Emirates for their leadership and commitment to continuous improvement. Recipients selected for this recognition "provided evidence and data trends to achieve accreditation with no stipulation or areas for improvement". We are proud to share that our very own, Department of Education at UT have been honored with the 2021 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement. Congratulations on this wonderful accomplishment!
Virtual Presentation: Applying Sociology in Real-World Settings
The University of Tampa's Applied Sociology Program, The Sociology Club, the Theta Chapter of
Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD),International Sociology Honor Society and Dr. Bruce Friesen's SOC 460 Applied Sociology Course, hosted a virtual presentation on September 16, 2021 with guest speaker,
Dr. Stanely Capela, an Applied Sociologist with over 43 years of experience in applying sociological skills in the program evaluation area, who discussed his experiences working within the field and offered tips for securing employment with an undergraduate degree in Applied Sociology.
Information Panel Event: Graduate School in Applied Sociology
The Sociology Club and the Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, hosted a virtual information panel on September 23, 2021 on the topic of graduate school for SOC 460 Applied Sociology. In attendance were panel participants, Dr. Timothy Hawthorne, Alumna (B.A. '18) Kellie Wilkerson, Dr. Pina Holway, and Dr. David Zeller, who discussed various topics pertaining to graduate programs, their experiences, pursing a Ph.D, and sharing tips in applying to graduate school.
Let's Talk: Queer Aging: Understanding Unique End-of-Life Planning Experiences among Older Sexual Minorities
UT Sociology and Alpha Kappa Delta will be hosting a talk, with guest speaker, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Lisa Miller of Eckerd College, who will be using originally collected life story interview data to discuss unique challenges that arise for older LGB people in late adulthood, including financial problems, homophobia in retirement settings, and the prioritization of quality of life.

Join us for this event on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 in the Brevard Community Room of UT from 11:30 AM until 12:30 PM.
2021 Annual FATE Conference
Assistant Professor, Yvonne Franco, the president elect for the Florida Association of Teacher Educators (FATE), and in collaboration with UT's Department of Education, will be hosting the 2021 Annual conference, Re-envisioning Teacher Education, at UT on December 4, 2021. This platform provides the opportunity to present at the leading professional development event for those who work in our schools, districts, and in our colleges and universities.
Providing our students with outstanding out-of-classroom experiences is a hallmark of the College of Social Sciences, Mathematics, and Education. This may include participating in an overseas travel course; being mentored on an undergraduate research project; or traveling with faculty mentors to present research findings at an academic conference. But of course, these important out-of-classroom activities take additional resources. The College of Social Sciences, Mathematics, and Education is committed to assisting all students to gain the benefits of these experiences. Help support these experiences for all students. Make a small contribution today.
Upcoming Events
If you have an upcoming event that you would like advertised in the newsletter, please send your event information to Sasha Cunillera at scunillera@ut.edu

  • Nov 1 – Registration begins for Spring and Winter
  • Nov 2 – Last day to withdraw from second 7 week classes
  • Nov 8 – Last day to withdraw from 14 week classes
  • Nov 10- Queer Aging: Understanding Unique End-of-Life Planning Experiences among Older Sexual Minorities/ Brevard Community/11:30 A.M.