USF Faculty Experts

USF Experts on Hot Topics

The University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla., is a global research university dedicated to student success. USF now ranks 50th in the nation for research expenditures among all U.S. universities, public or private, according to the National Science Foundation. Faculty experts are available to the media to discuss a host of issues, trends and emerging topics of interest. Contact an expert directly, or call USF Communications & Marketing, 813-974-4014, or email: ucm@usf.edu.

For a general list of USF experts, download this PDF.

For a list of USF experts on topics impacting Tampa during the Republican National Convention, download this PDF.

Economy/Jobs

Elizabeth Strom, Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning and Director, Office of Community Engagement. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Strom's expertise is in urban policy, politics and planning, and the role of universities in urban communities. Her recent research has been on the foreclosure crisis, focusing on its local impacts in West Central Florida, including the Tampa Bay area. She's also conducted research on downtown revitalization, and in particular on the role of arts and culture in the revival of city centers.
Email: estrom@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-3439

Philip Porter, Professor of Economics. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Porter is an expert in sports economics and public policy. His research interests include public choice — how public decisions are made; the U.S. economy — in particular the impacts of government policy on labor; and sports economics and voter referendums for sporting teams. He has studied the consequence of mandated benefits, including health care policies, on labor force participation and labor satisfaction, public sector unionization, and government and private partnerships.
Email: pporter@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-6539

Todd Shank, Associate Finance Professor. (USF St. Petersburg)
Shank's areas of expertise include banking, global investing, international finance, consumer finance, trade with China and corporate responsibility of global companies.
Email: tshank@usfsp.edu | Phone: 727-873-4894

María Clara Yepes, business analyst with the USF Small Business Development Center.
Yepes works in concentrations including marketing, international business, management and sustainability. She is a member of NASBITE International, a Certified Global Business Professional, and a member of the Tampa Bay Organization of Women in International Trade. She also belongs to the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, where she served as vice president of education and as treasurer for the Tampa Bay chapter.
Email: myepes@usf.edu | Phone: 813-905-5803

Stephen K. Aikins, Assistant Professor of Public Administration, Department of Government and International Affairs. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Aikins' expertise is in public financial management and economic policy. He has experience working in various capacities in the financial services industry, management, accounting and auditing. He joined USF from Bank of the West in Omaha, Neb., where he was an assistant vice president of internal audit. His teaching and research interests include political economy, public budgeting and financial management, government auditing, financial crisis and regulatory governance, and e-government.
Email: saikins@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-0114

Michael Loewy, Associate Professor, Department of Economics. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Loewy's areas of research include dynamic macroeconomics, monetary economics and growth theory. He teaches courses on these subjects as well as international macroeconomics, and money and banking. He is a member of the American Economic Association and the Society for Economic Dynamics.
Email: mloewy@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-6532

Veterans Issues

Lt. Gen. Martin Steele, USMC (Ret), Associate Vice President for Veterans Research and Executive Director, USF Military Partnerships
Steele coordinates the university's activities with the Department of Defense, including U.S. Central Command, Special Operations Command, and MacDill Air Force Base, as well as the Veterans Administration and members of Congress. Lt. Gen. Steele leads the university's efforts to create a comprehensive research center dedicated to the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of veterans. Lt. Gen. Steele served in the Marine Corps for 35 years, including combat during the Vietnam War and in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Email: martinsteele@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-4826

Health Care

Jodi Ray, Project Director and Principal Investigator for Florida Covering Kids and Families at USF's Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies.
Ray has spent the past 12 years focusing on issues related to access to health coverage for children. She previously worked as a research coordinator at the Chiles Center coordinating multi-media campaigns to inform women about the Family Planning Waiver and to make families aware of the Florida KidCare program.
Email: jray@health.usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-3143

Jay Wolfson, Distinguished Service Professor of Public Health and Medicine, Associate Vice President for Health Law, Policy and Safety, and Director of the Suncoast Center for Patient Safety at USF.
He also is a professor of health law at Stetson University College of Law. Wolfson conducts research and writes about health care law, ethics, policy, technology, safety and finance and regularly provides research-based policy analyses to legislative, judicial and executive branches of state and federal governments.
Email: jwolfson@health.usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-6643

Education

Gladis Kersaint, Professor of Mathematics Education. (College of Education)
Kersaint is an expert on STEM education and serves as the Interim Director of the David C. Anchin Center and Associate Dean for Research at USF. Her research interests include learning and teaching with technology and factors related to mathematics access and equity. A former mathematics teacher in the Miami-Dade public school system, she teaches undergraduate and graduate mathematics education courses and is the coordinator for the doctoral program in mathematics education.
Email: kersaint@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-5959

Sherman Dorn, Professor and Chair of Psychological and Social Foundations. (College of Education)
Dorn's expertise is in high-stakes testing and he is a historian of education who has written extensively on education policy debates of the past 60 years. He has written and coedited books on accountability, dropping out, the relationship between schools and communities, and Florida school reform. He writes in his blog about education news and historical perspectives on schooling.
Email: dorn@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-9482

Foreign Policy/International Relations/Middle East

Mohsen Milani, Professor in Department of Government and International Affairs. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Milani is an internationally-recognized expert on the Middle East. The Iranian-born scholar heads USF's Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies, a new effort to unite interdisciplinary research and expertise to help inform strategic domestic and international policy decisions. Milani has written extensively about the Persian Gulf, the Iranian revolution, and Iran's foreign and security policies. He is a frequent speaker at international and national conferences on Iran and the Persian Gulf.
Email: milani@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-0849

Environment

Steve A. Murawski, Professor and Downtown Progress-Peter Betzer Endowed Chair Biological Oceanography. (College of Marine Science)
Murawski is a fisheries biologist, marine ecologist, and researcher who was a key figure in the nation's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as the former chief science advisor for NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service. His research concentrates on understanding the impacts of human activities on the sustainability of ocean ecosystems and in fisheries health and management, including a high-profile project investigating diseases among key fish species in the aftermath of the BP oil spill.
Email: smurawski@usf.edu | Phone: 727-553-1512

Jason Rohr, Assistant Professor Ecology. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Rohr studies interactions between pollution, climate change, human and wildlife diseases, and biodiversity losses. His current research agenda emphasizes how anthropogenic change, mainly pollution and climate change, affects wildlife populations, species interactions, and disease spread. His research goals are to understand and develop solutions to environmental problems to enhance the likelihood of a sustainable existence for both humans and wildlife. Much of his research highlights freshwater ecosystems and water quality.
Email: rohr@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-0156

Bill Hogarth, Director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography.
Hogarth oversees the FIO, a consortium of Florida's public and private marine science colleges and research institutes. His expertise is in fisheries health and management, having served as director of the National Marine Fisheries Service from 2000 to 2007. Hogarth also has served as chairman of the International Whaling Commission, a presidential appointment. The 26-member FIO has been a leading research coordinator on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill since the disaster.
Email: billhogarth@usf.edu | Phone: 727-553-1100

Immigration

David Jacobson, Professor, Department of Sociology. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Jacobson is a political sociologist working in the areas of immigration and citizenship, human rights, and woman's status in global conflict. He is one of three senior investigators on a $5.9 million project researching Muslim communities and their responses to different challenges in Western Europe, West Africa and Southeast Asia. The South African-born scholar co-founded the Global Resolve Initiative, which draws on student teams to help villagers in developing countries develop alternative energy technologies, with a pilot project in Ghana.
Email: djacobson@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-5944

Elizabeth Aranda, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Aranda researches the ways in which immigrants are incorporated into society and the emotional facets of migration. She is interested in how race, ethnicity, social class and gender shape the process of immigrant adaptation. She teaches courses on immigration, Latinos in the U.S., race, and sociology of families. Aranda is currently working on a book about ethnic and race relations in Miami.
Email: earanda@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-2241

Social Issues/Gay Marriage

David K. Johnson, Associate Professor, Department of History. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Johnson teaches a variety of courses that explore politics and culture in the modern U.S. and has looked in-depth at the origins and evolution of debates over sexual politics. His research interests focus on the crucial role that notions of gender and sexuality have played in American politics in the late 20th century.
Email: davidjohnson@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-6245

Sara Crawley, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Crawley is interested in gender and sexualities theories, queer and feminist theory, qualitative methods, social psychology and sociology of sport. The central thread running through her research is a concern for how biological sex creates social barriers for people.
Email: scrawley@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-0982

Kim Golombisky, Associate Professor, Department of Women's and Gender Studies. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Golombisky is as a former advertising and public relations professional. Her feminist-focused scholarship looks at constructions of gender in public discourse, including education, mass media and popular culture. She has taught in the USF School of Mass Communications, and has served as visiting faculty for diversity at The Poynter Institute for Media Studies. Golombisky has chaired both the President's Title IX Advisory Committee at USF and the Women's Caucus of the National Communication Association.
Email: kgolombi@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-0986

Politics

Susan A. MacManus, Distinguished Professor, Department of Government and International Affairs. (College of Arts & Sciences)
The leading expert on politics in Florida, MacManus is nationally known for her expert and incisive commentary on public opinion and intergenerational politics. She routinely designs and analyzes surveys of public opinion on a wide range of issues for various local governments, think tanks, and the media. MacManus has authored and co-authored numerous political books, including co-authoring "Politics in States and Communities," the nation's leading textbook on state and local politics, with mentor Thomas R. Dye.
Email: macmanus@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-5351

Michael Gibbons, Associate Professor, Department of Government and International Affairs. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Gibbons is an expert on political theory and American political thought, including the evolution of the Tea Party. He teaches courses on political theory, international relations, political economy, American politics, contemporary political and social theory, classical political theory, philosophy of social science, politics and literature, and religion and politics. Gibbons is the editor-in-chief of the forthcoming eight-volume “Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of Political Thought.”
Email: gibbons@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-5470

 Harry Vanden, Professor of Political Science and International Studies, Department of Government and International Affairs. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Vanden's expertise is in voting rights and he is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. His current research interests focus on new social movements, especially the Landless Movement in Brazil and on Central American gangs. At USF, he was the founding director of the Latin American And Caribbean Studies Center. He was also an official observer for the 1990 Nicaraguan election and served as an international election observer with President Jimmy Carter for the 1998 Venezuelan presidential elections, the 2001 elections in Nicaragua, and the national elections in Mozambique in 2004.
Email: vanden@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-2683

Seth McKee, Associate Professor of Political Science and chair of the Department of History and Politics. (USF St. Petersburg)
McKee's expertise and research is in Southern politics, political parties, redistricting, political behavior in campaigns and elections, political participation and American institutions like the presidency and Congress. He teaches courses in American politics and empirical methods. He is the author of "Republican Ascendancy in Southern U.S. House Elections."
Email: scmckee@usfsp.edu | Phone: 727-873-4957

Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan, Assistant Professor of Government and International Affairs. (USF St. Petersburg)
McLauchlan's expertise is in American government, constitutional law, presidential campaigns and political conventions. She previously worked at the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the White House. A veteran of several presidential campaigns, she managed statewide campaigns across the U.S., from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon.
Email: jsm2@usfsp.edu | Phone: 727-873-4956

Ray Arsenault, the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History in the Florida Studies Program. (USF St. Petersburg)
Arsenault's expertise is in civil rights and racial issues and he can address the political, social, and environmental history of the American South, sports and American culture and the South since 1865. He is the author of "Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice."
Email: rarsenau@usfsp.edu | Phone: 727-873-4555

Gary Mormino, the Frank E. Duckwall Professor of History in the Florida Studies Program. (USF St. Petersburg)
Mormino's expertise is in historic Southern voting patterns, history of Tampa, the Florida and the American urban experience, immigration, and World War II. He is the author of "Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida" and "The Immigrant World of Ybor City: Italians and Their Latin Neighbors in Tampa."
Email: gmormino@usfsp.edu | Phone: 727-873-4855

J. Edwin Benton, Professor of Political Science and Public Administration. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Benton's current research focuses on changing revenue patterns of local governments, Florida local government budgeting during austere times and increasing state restrictions, the future of federal grants-in-aid, and campaign financing during the 2010 midterm congressional elections. He has written extensively about county governments, state and local government structure and finances, city/county consolidation, intergovernmental fiscal relations, education policy and state, local and congressional elections.
Email: jbenton@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-2358

Media Contacts

This publication includes a listing of University of South Florida experts available for comment on the issues.
Feel free to contact faculty members directly or contact USF media relations staff listed below.

Economy/Jobs
Lorie Briggs: Email: lbriggs@usf.edu | Office Phone: 813-974-974-7280 | Cell Phone: 813-974-7280
Hilary Lehman: Email: hilarylehman@usf.edu | Office Phone: 813-974-4281 | Cell Phone: 210-412-6216

Health Care
Anne DeLotto Baier: Email: abaier@health.usf.edu | Office Phone: 813-974-3303 | Cell Phone: 813-598-0643
Lisa Greene: Email: lgreene@health.usf.edu | Office Phone: 813-974-4312 | Cell Phone: 813-833-5333

Education
Kim Tucker: Email: tucker@usf.edu | Office Phone: 813-974-7440 | Cell Phone: 813-465-4905

Foreign Policy/International Relations/Middle East; Environment; Immigration; Social Issues/Gay Marriage
Barbara Melendez: Email: bmelendez@usf.edu | Office Phone: 813-974-4563 | Cell Phone: 813-220-5872

Politics, USF faculty/Veteran's Issues
Vickie Chachere: Email: vchachere@usf.edu | Office Phone: 813-974-6251 | Cell Phone: 813-787-2990
Lara Wade-Martinez: Email: larawade@usf.edu | Office Phone: 813-974-9060 | Cell Phone: 813-833-1498

Politics, USF St. Petersburg faculty
Tom Scherberger: Email: tschberger@mail.usf.edu | Office Phone: 727-873-4456 | Cell Phone: 813-394-2394

More Questions?
For general questions about the University of South Florida or additional assistance, please contact:
Lara Wade-Martinez: Email: larawade@usf.edu | Office Phone: 813-974-9060 | Cell Phone: 813-833-1498

University Communications & Marketing | University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave., CGS301 | Tampa, FL 33620-4301 | 813-974-4014 | www.usf.edu/ucm

University of South Florida experts available to discuss specific issues about Tampa and the hosting of the Republican National Convention.

Transportation

Jason Bittner, Director of USF's Center for Urban Transportation Research, or CUTR.
Bittner's research expertise is in transportation policy, infrastructure maintenance and preservation, freight transportation, and older persons' mobility concerns. CUTR performs transportation research, education, and training programs, and includes the nation's largest collection of public transportation-focused research programs.
Email: jjbittner@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-9797

Phil Winters, Director of the Transportation Demand Management Program at USF's Center for Urban Transportation Research, or CUTR.
He is CUTR's national program manager for Best Workplaces for Commuters. Winters, a civil engineer, is an expert on telecommuting, suburban mobility and transportation demand management.
Email: winters@mail.usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-9811

Weather and Tropical Storms

Jennifer M. Collins, Associate Professor of Geology. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Collins is a hurricane researcher currently studying environmental factors that influence the year-to-year variation of hurricane activity in the Northeast Pacific and the relationships between hurricane activity in the North Atlantic versus activity in part of the Northeast Pacific ocean basin. Collins is president of the West Central Florida Chapter of the American Meteorological Society.
Email: collinsjm@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-4242

Media

Kelli Burns, Associate Professor of Marketing in the School of Mass Communications. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Burns teaches courses in public relations and strategic communications and is an expert on social media and personal branding. In 2010 she published a book, "Celeb 2.0: How Social Media Foster Our Fascination with Popular Culture."
Email: kburns@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-6799

Wayne Garcia, Instructor in the School of Mass Communications. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Garcia is a frequent political commentator for national, state and local media on political topics. He is an award-winning political and investigative journalist who focused on campaign financing. He has been a reporter, editor and spent a decade as a political consultant in Tampa Bay.
Email: wgarcia@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-6788

Economic Impact

Philip Porter, Professor of Economics. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Porter is an expert in sports economics and public policy. His research interests include public choice — how public decisions are made; the U.S economy — in particular the impacts of government policy on labor; and sports economics and voter referendums for sporting teams. He has studied the consequence of mandated benefits, including health care policies, on labor force participation and labor satisfaction, public sector unionization, and government and private partnerships.
Email: pporter@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-6539

Protest and Civil Disturbance

Peter Funke, Assistant Professor, Department of Government and International Affairs. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Funke researches social movements, communications and globalizing capitalism. He is the founding coordinator of the USF Social Movement Study Group. He is working on a book-length study on the "World Social Forum and the Rhizomatic Left", as well as studying contemporary social-movement-based politics, class formation and the role of new media in neoliberal capitalism.
Email: pnfunke@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-6859

Harry Vanden, Professor of Political Science and International Studies, Department of Government and International Affairs. (College of Arts & Sciences)
Vanden's expertise is in voting rights and he is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. His current research interests focus on new social movements, especially the Landless Movement in Brazil and on Central American gangs. At USF, he was the founding director of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center. He was also an official observer for the 1990 Nicaraguan election and served as an international election observer with President Jimmy Carter for the 1998 Venezuelan presidential elections, the 2001 elections in Nicaragua, and the national elections in Mozambique in 2004.
Email: vanden@usf.edu | Phone: 813-974-2683

Media Contacts

This publication includes a listing of University of South Florida experts available for comment on the issues.
Feel free to contact faculty members directly or contact USF media relations staff listed below.

Transportation, Weather and Tropical Storms, Media
Renee Svec: Email: svec@usf.edu | Office Phone: 813-974-5383 | Cell Phone: 727-458-5043

Economic Impact
Lorie Briggs: Email: lbriggs@usf.edu | Office Phone: 813-974-7280 | Cell Phone: 813-732-6135

Protest and Civil Disturbance
Vickie Chachere: Email: vchachere@usf.edu | Office Phone: 813-974-6251 | Cell Phone: 813-787-2990

More Questions?
For general questions about the University of South Florida or additional assistance, please contact:
Lara Wade-Martinez: Email: larawade@usf.edu | Office Phone: 813-974-9060 | Cell Phone: 813-833-1498

University Communications & Marketing | University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave., CGS301 | Tampa, FL 33620-4301 | 813-974-4014 | www.usf.edu/ucm