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The University of Tampa
SSME Bulletin March 2014  
  Dean's Note  
  • Dean's Note
  • Bringing Together Descendants of Nazis and Holocaust Victims to Discover Healing
  • Graduate Students in the Instructional Design & Technology program participate in Professional Internships
  • Faculty Spotlight
  • Student Spotlight
  • Kagan Cooperative Learning Workshop
  • Mastering Math
  • SSME Faculty Awards and Accolades
  • SSME Faculty and Students on the Move

Welcome to our March issue of the SSME Bulletin.  For college students all across the country, March means one thing … Spring Break.  This year our spring break here at UT runs from March 10-14.  And while  UT students don’t have to  actively seek a  warmer climate  for their spring break; they  certainly cherish their break nonetheless.

Seldom however do we think about how our college faculty members utilize this important time.  For many faculty members spring break serves as an important half-time marker in the semester; but more importantly when the students return from their break, there always seems to be a steady rush toward the end of the academic year.  So in many ways faculty members utilize this down time to reassess the pace of their classes and make whatever adjustments they may need to ensure a smooth march to the finish line.

And speaking of the finish line, let’s not forget that we will all shortly be wishing our graduating seniors a fond farewell as we assemble in the Tampa Bay Times Forum on May 10 for The University of Tampa’s 136th Commencement.  This year an estimated 900 students will be participating, with close to 200 of them receiving a degree conferred by our College of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Education.  Many faculty, students and university administrators throughout higher education agree that spring commencement is the best day of the year; and I certainly can’t argue with that!

So with that said, I hope you find the articles and activities described below informative and of interest.  These activities simply confirm what I already knew and profess as I near the completion of my first year as Dean; that our college is comprised of extraordinary students from all across the country and across the globe, being mentored by a well-credentialed and engaged faculty.  They are a faculty closely engaged with their students; engaged in their disciplinary scholarship; and engaged in our Tampa Bay community.  Needless to say, it has been a great first year for me here at the University of Tampa.


Jack Geller, Dean

Bringing Together Descendants of Nazis and  Holocaust Victims to Discover Healing

On January 23, 2014, students in Dr. Susan Brinkley’s Death Penalty and Comparative Criminal Justice Systems courses learned firsthand about the difficulties of being German after World War II from Dr. Martina Emme, founder of One-by-One.  One-by-One is an organization that brings descendants of Nazis together with descendants of Holocaust victims and the German resistance in an effort to address the guilt, shame, revenge and hatred of the participants while working toward forgiveness.

Because of her own family’s reluctance to answer questions regarding the pre-war and war years, Dr. Emme began investigating her family’s role in the war.  Her investigation discovered that her family was complicit in some key events and the revelation that her grandfather worked for the Gestapo led her to help found One-by-One.

Dr. Emme opened up the floor for questions after her presentation.  One question in particular that piqued much interest related to the bronze Stolperstein or Stumble Stones that are placed in the sidewalks of many German cities.  Each Stolperstein lists the name, date of birth and death (if available) of a Holocaust victim and is placed as close to the original home of the victim as possible.  These stones provide a public memorial for a loved one where no grave exists.

Dr. Brinkley and several Criminology and Criminal Justice students will have the opportunity to meet again with Dr. Emme during the 2015 education abroad course to Western and Central Europe.  This course will provide students the opportunity to study not only the criminal justice systems of each country visited, but also to introduce the human rights issues that have haunted that area of the world.

Dr. Brinkley would like to thank all the sponsoring colleges and offices of Dr. Emme’s visit, with special thanks to Deans Geller and Mardirosian for helping arrange for Dr. Emme’s visit to her class.

Graduate Students in the Instructional Design & Technology Program Participate in Professional Internships!

During the Fall 2014 semester, Instructional Design & Technology students Michelle Schumacher and Diane Olsen secured professional instructional design internships at Artisan E-Learning. The opportunity to participate in this internship was the results of their involvement with the local chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). During one of the events hosted by the local chapter of ASTD Michelle and Diane met Nick Elkins, ASTD’s Webinar Chair and a member of Artisan E-Learning’s management team who encouraged the two students to interview for a paid internship.  Both Michelle and Diane were asked to start their internships at the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester working on average 20 hours per week.

“The entire internship was conducted digitally at a distance.  Artisan has an existing client for whom they are building online lessons from existing instructor led training materials (Michelle).”  As part of their internship, Michelle and Diane were responsible for producing one of these lessons from beginning to end.  The process involved familiarizing themselves with “the client’s instructor led materials; being prepared to pose any questions to our client during a weekly conference call; utilizing our project manager as a resource for additional questions throughout the design and development process; pulling all of the information together in order to write a cohesive storyboard; selecting graphics; and learning and building the lesson in Articulate Storyline.”  Overall, the experience has been very positive for the students. According to Michelle, “It’s by far the most-hands on, real- world experience I’ve received thus far during my time in the program.  I’m learning this whole process from beginning to end, including the use of the Storyline software, and best of all, I’m get paid for it!  It’s been an awesome opportunity for which I am very grateful. I’m only half way through my graduate studies, yet I can legitimately call myself an instructional designer because I am working on an actual deliverable online lesson that will be used by paying customers.”

Faculty Spotlight

New to the University of Tampa this year is Dr. Renee Patrick, assistant professor of psychology. Dr. Patrick is a developmental psychologist who enjoys teaching Child Psychology, Adulthood & Aging, and Statistics & Experimental Research Methods. Her research agenda focuses on the factors that contribute to children’s social and antisocial behavior. “I am especially interested in the relation of parenting, peers, moral reasoning/identity, emotion (empathy), and culture-related variables to the social development in children.” Dr. Patrick’s most current project concerns children’s moral identity and judgment as it relates to active defending in bullying situations. In 2014, she will be presenting the findings from her study at the Association for Psychological Science 26th Annual Conference in San Francisco, California. If you would like to contact Dr. Patrick, email her at

Student Spotlight

For her Senior Seminar during the Fall 2013 semester mathematics major Betsie Last, combined her love of sports with her love of mathematics.  As a high school student in Maryland Betsie enjoyed playing soccer and softball.   As a result she decided to study “Sabermetrics” for her Senior Seminar in mathematics.  In “Sabermetrics”, the number of runs allowed and runs scored are applied to the Pythagorean Theorem of Baseball in order to predict a team’s winning percentage.  Under the guidance of Dr. Leslie Jones, Betsie studied past models of the Pythagorean Theorem of Baseball used in Sabermetrics and analyzed her collected data.   She discovered the second-order Taylor expansion of the Pythagorean Theorem of Baseball was a statistically significant improvement to the results of the first-order approximation of M. Jones and L. Tappin.

After graduating from the University of Tampa, Betsie plans to attend graduate school at either the Georgia Institute of Technology or Tulane University in pursuit of a Master’s degree in mathematics.

Kagan Cooperative Learning Workshop

Thanks to a partnership with the Herff Jones Corporation, all of the second semester junior and senior education students, along with our faculty participated in a full day Kagan Cooperative Learning workshop in the Fletcher Lounge on January 21st.

Dr. Kagan, a clinical psychologist and researcher started training teachers in cooperative learning back in 1969.  He developed his cooperative learning strategies because students who wanted to move and talk during class were typically viewed as discipline problems.  He found that when students were having fun and interacting there were far fewer discipline issues.  Spencer Kagan’s materials have now been translated into six languages.  Win-Win Discipline and cooperative learning techniques are used widely throughout Singapore and Netherlands.

Below is the framework of a Kagan Cooperative Learning Workshop:

  • Structures for Success™
  • Improve Your Class Climate  
  • Manage Your Class for Success
  • Build Your Students' Social Skills
  • Form Successful Learning Teams
  • Supercharge Learning
  • Make Projects Cooperative

For more information, go to

Mastering Math

Dr. Leslie Jones, assistant professor of mathematics, Colleen Beaudoin, Instructor of mathematics, and Dr. Dan Huber, associate professor of biology comprise the University of Tampa's Science Math Master Geometry team.  Science Math Master provides skill-building workshops for Biology and Geometry teachers throughout the State of Florida.  Following are the topics presented during each of the Geometry workshops:


  • Updated information on the transition to the Common Core State Standards and the upcoming EOC.
  • Bones, Muscles, & Math!  A co-curricular lesson activity designed to engage students.
  • How Are We Really Going to Implement CCSS and Do Things Differently?  A concrete example of a conic section activity comparing how we do things now and how we are going to do them as we transition from NGSSS to CCSS.

On-line resources, including modules, videos, coursework examples, demonstration ideas and curriculum tools, are also available to teachers through the program.  The program endeavors to enhance high school students' performance in science and mathematics in order to prepare them for future education and career challenges.  To find out more about this innovating program, please visit

SSME Faculty Awards and Accolades 

Promotion and Tenure

On Tuesday, January 23rd, the University of Tampa Board of Trustees approved the following CSSME faculty for tenure and/or promotion:

Promoted to Rank of Associate Professor with Tenure
Dr. Patricia Johnston, Assistant Professor, Education
Dr. Patricia O'Grady, Assistant Professor, Education
Dr. Denis Rey, Assistant Professor, Government and World Affairs
Dr. Tammy Schimmel, Assistant Professor, Education

Promoted to Rank of Professor
Dr. Alisa Smith, Associate Professor, Law and Justice

A reception will be held on Thursday, March 20th, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Plant Hall’s Grand Salon to honor these faculty members.  Congratulations to our newly tenured and promoted faculty!

Sharing Her Expertise in the Teaching Community

Patty O'Grady, associate professor of education, is a featured expert whose interview will be included as part of an online neuroscience primer targeting practicing teachers who want to incorporate neuro-anatomy, learning, science, and teacher practice.  The Phoenix Rising School, the Olympia Waldorf School, and the University of Washington's College of Education are developing and launching this educator resource as a project of the Northwest Association of Independent schools Fellowship for Collaborative Innovation.  The free online course will include readings, a narrated PowerPoint lecture presentation, related videos, and expert interviews.

Featured Faculty

National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth recently featured a study coauthored by Kathryn Branch, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, “Examining Parental and Peer Social Support as a Buffer Between Dating Violence Victimization and Negative Outcomes Among Female Adolescents” in the research summary, “Research Roundup: Friends and Caregivers Help Young People Avoid, Recover From Violence”.  The research summary can be viewed at the following link:

Associate professor of sociology, Ryan Cragun's article "The Oprah-Nyad Affair" was  published in the January/February 2014 issue of The Humanist magazine and can be viewed at:

Erin Koterba, assistant professor of psychology, co-authored "Object exploration at 6 and 9 months in infants with and without risk for autism," which was published in the February 2014 issue of Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice.  The article can be viewed at

A recent Florida Bar Association article highlighted the Florida State Senate testimony and recent law review article of Alisa Smith, Associate Professor of Law and Justice regarding a bill that would increase the number of jurors on life-felony cases from 6 to 12. As a follow-up, after Dr. Smith’s testimony the bill easily passed through the Senate Committee.


SSME Faculty and Students on the Move 

Criminology Faculty Give Presentations at ACJS Annual Meeting

Kathryn Branch, Susan Brinkley, and Sean Maddan of the Criminology department gave academic presentations at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences 51st Annual Meeting:  "Perceptions of Crime and Justice" in Philadelphia February 18 - 22, 2014.

Susan Brinkley presented her paper, "Human Rights Issues in European Prisons".  Dr. Brinkley explored some of the human rights violations that have been reported in European prisons and their outcomes.  These reports were also compared with prisoner rights cases in the United States.  A comparison was offered on the resolution of complaints.


Sean Maddan with Richard Hartley of the University of Texas discussed the focal concerns perspective, which is the dominant theoretical framework used to explain sentencing disparities, during their presentation titled "Federal Sentencing Practices and the Focal Concerns Perspective". Usage of the focal concerns perspective can explain the differences in sentences meted out to females, non-whites, and Hispanics.  Drs. Hartley and Maddan discussed how utilization of federal sentencing data could help in more effectively modeling the concepts associated with the focal concerns perspective and also the associated policy implications.

Kathryn Branch along with colleagues from the University of Baltimore and the University of Delaware presented "Faculty Perceptions and Utilization of the Clery Act During Student Disclosures of Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization".  The presentation examined whether the Clery Act's mandate has changed university faculty's crime reporting behavior and also faculty's perceptions regarding the impact of the act on student victims.

Dr. Branch also presented "An Examination of Rape Myths in Comic Books" along with colleagues from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.  This presentation examined the prevalence of rape in comic books and the myths used to create such portrayals and discussed the negative impact the perpetuation of rape culture has on society.

UT Students Visit Cuba

UT students enrolled in GWAH 265, Revolutionary Cuba, visited Cuba during winter break after learning about the political, economic and cultural aspects over the fall semester.  Students spent 12 days traversing the island, from Baracoa to Havana, visiting cultural and historic sites, engaging in conversations with citizens, and interacting with representatives of governmental and nongovernmental organizations.  The students also had the rare opportunity of attending a baseball game between the University of Tampa and Artemisa Hunters.  A few of the students were able to share their impressions of Cuban society at a recent Honors Symposium held on January 28th.  During the symposium Jacob Loken, Kimberly Gordon, Maritza Jamarillo, and Anna Lee Haragan reflected on the natural beauty, receptiveness of the people, and economic hardships endured by all Cubans.  Drs. Lopez and Rey plan to offer a new May Term travel course this year, Cuba and the US: Then and Now, that will be taught at the Centro de Estudious Martianos in Havana.  Students will receive instruction from both UT and Cuban professors during the two-week session.

Additional  Faculty Scholarship

Mary Anderson and Kevin Fridy, associate professors of government and world affairs presented "A Study of The Sense of Community Index in Ghana" at the Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting in January 2014.

William Myers, assistant professor of government and world affairs, will be attending the Florida Political Science Association Conference in St. Augustine March 7th - 9th.  Dr. Myers will present "Making the Electoral Connection to Judicial Review" as part of a section on Comparative Politics: The Role of Institutions.

Patty O'Grady, associate professor of education, will present the "Language of Positive Psychology" at the Young Child Expo in New York in April 2014 at the New Yorker Hotel.  This international conference on early childhood education is a joint project of Fordham University and Los Ninos Services.  Sponsors include NLPA, NAC, NYASP, NYU Langone Medical Center Child Study Center, Rutgers Graduate School of Applied Psychology, Teach for America, and others.

Spencer Segalla, associate professor of history, recently attended the American Historical Association's 128th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Segalla presented his paper, "The Decolonization of the Dead:  Exhumation and Repatriation after the 1960 Agadir Earthquake".

Michael Stasio, associate professor of psychology, will be attending the Southeastern Psychological Association's 60th Annual Meeting on March 5th - 8th.  Dr. Stasio along with University of Tampa psychology major, Victoria Lopez, will be presenting "Perfectionism Related to Body Image Concerns and Social Judgments".


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More Information: The University of Tampa | College of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Education

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