Research Innovation and Scholarly Excellence (RISE) funds provide financial support for professional development projects that clearly contribute to faculty members’ excellence as scholars, and therefore, more informed teachers. This competitive grant program is available to full-time faculty, and projects must result in scholarly output appropriate for the faculty member’s field. This grant program is made possible by contributions from three funding sources: (1) University of Tampa money allocated for funding in recognition of David Delo, who served as President of The University of Tampa from 1958 to 1971; (2) the Dana Foundation; and (3) the University of Tampa Alumni Association.

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) promote the intellectual growth of full-time faculty. This competitive program supports a one-course offload per award for faculty members so they may pursue the advancement of their professional intellectual development.

2020-2021 Research Innovation and Scholarly Excellence (RISE) Awards

I Think I Know What You Know: Examining Theory of Mind Submitter: Jennifer Blessing, Co-Investigator: Stephen Blessing more » close »

Over the last 40 years, developmental psychologists have had a particular focus on human understanding of knowledge and mental states. This work, known as “theory of mind,” began with non-human primates and was quickly adapted to study young children as a means of understanding their lack of perspective taking skills. Research demonstrates a clear developmental improvement across the preschool years where children establish an ability to infer distinctions between what is in their mind and what is in the minds of others; hence they have a theory of mind. Surprisingly, extended work on the usefulness of such a cognitive skill beyond childhood has been limited. Developing a perspective taking competence implies that such an expertise will have practical uses beyond childhood. This project is designed to extend the understanding of how adults implicitly employ a theory of mind during specific cognitive interactions with others. Understanding the mental states of another person can be crucial for many successful everyday interactions such as tutoring or giving directions. The study designed for this project involves examining how young adults use theory of mind skills when engaged in playing a game with a virtual person. Our goal is to examine how adults extract knowledge about the game player’s state of mind in order to best win a game. Using the context of games, we believe that such research can extend current understanding of theory of mind across broad contexts and ages while lining up with well-established understanding of theory of mind.

Investigations Into the Growth of Ultra-Long Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) Submitter: Michael Bronikowski more » close »

This research will continue my ongoing investigations into growth of Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) to lengths longer than currently achievable, and ultimately to lengths sufficient for use in materials applications. CNTs are tubes of pure carbon with diameters on the order of one billionth of a meter (1 nanometer), consisting of "rolled-up" sheets of one-atom-layer-thick carbon. CNTs have been shown to have outstanding materials properties such as very high strength, stiffness and hardness. Bulk cables made of CNTs are predicted to have strength-to-weight ratio 100 times greater than steel. Because of these outstanding properties, CNTs are of great interest for use in construction and manufacturing materials such as cables, wires and composites. However, to take full advantage of CNTs’ material properties, it appears necessary to produce large-scale quantities of CNTs with lengths comparable to the macroscopic sizes (centimeters-to-meters) of the envisioned applications. Currently, CNTs can be grown to lengths of only a few millimeters or less. My research will investigate methods to grow CNTs to much longer lengths, many centimeters to meters, enabling the full materials potential of CNTs to be achieved. This goal will be accomplished by investigating and understanding the chemical mechanisms by which CNT growth starts, continues and eventually stops, and on finding ways to extend the growth time, and hence the ultimate length, achieved by the CNTs.

Developing a Visual Content Analysis Approach for Social Media Submitter: Jennifer Burton, Co-Investigator: Pranjal Gupta more » close »

This research seeks to develop and validate a coding scheme to help managers content analyze the image-based, as opposed to text-based, aspects of a company’s social media posts. Content analysis, as performed today, is very text-dependent with software running word counts of the specific words and word types (e.g. words that convey positive versus negative emotion) that appear most frequently on a company’s social media posts. These word counts then provide managers information about what is being talked about and how consumers evaluate the content of their posts. While text analysis can reveal many insights regarding social media strategies, a limitation is that so much content and context is revealed through imagery on social media. In fact, two of the most popular social media sites with more than 3 billion active users combined, Instagram and YouTube, are primarily visual media with posts containing much more imagery than text content. Research is needed to better understand what aspects of social media imagery are important in generating user engagement. The present research addresses this gap and identifies 27 different dimensions of social media imagery that are predicted to drive user engagement defined in prior research as the number of likes, comments and shares on social media. This project analyzes 450 Instagram posts on the identified dimensions and hopes to demonstrate inter-rater reliability between coders to validate the coding scheme and seeks to demonstrate a link with important user engagement behaviors to demonstrate the usefulness of this coding scheme to social media managers.

Analysis and Manipulation of Various Fluorescent Proteins as a Guided-Inquiry Classroom Laboratory Project Submitter: Michael Carastro, Co-Investigator: Scott Witherow more » close »

Certain jellyfish in the ocean naturally glow a bright green color due to their genomes encoding for a protein called green fluorescent protein (GFP). Over the years, scientists have studied this protein and made use of it in several biochemical applications. Its relevance across multiple disciplines and profound impact on science was made evident by the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry being awarded to scientists who discovered and revolutionized GFP technologies. In our pedagogical research, we propose to design and develop a curriculum for an advanced biochemistry course that is focused around the study of fluorescent proteins. The premise is simple and based on a standard understanding of how the genetic material is transmitted. DNA is transcribed into RNA, which is then translated into protein. Proteins are the functional molecules in cells; for instance, in jellyfish, it is the protein that actually glows green. We propose to develop a guide-inquiry laboratory curriculum (to be used at UT and to publish and disseminated for use at other institutions) where students analyze variants and create their own changes (mutations) in the green fluorescence protein as a way to study the correlation between protein structure and function.

Water Chemistry in Our Backyard: Trace Metal Distributions in the Hillsborough and the Alafia Rivers Submitter: Kelly Deister more » close »

Estuaries are bodies of water where fresh water from the rivers mixes with saltwater from the ocean. These transition zones between the land and the sea create dynamic regions that are economically and scientifically important. Predominantly known for their biological diversity, estuaries also display considerable chemical fluctuations. Tampa Bay, the largest estuary in Florida, is designated as an estuary of national significance. The two primary rivers feeding into Tampa Bay, the Hillsborough and the Alafia, have been extensively studied from a biological perspective but very few studies have examined their water chemistry. The goal of this project is to survey the spatial and temporal distributions of trace metals and other elements in the estuarine mixing zone of both rivers. Previous studies have shown that the discharge from Sulphur Springs has a strong influence on the chemistry of the Hillsborough River. The proposed study will explore if the chemistry of the Alafia River is influenced by the discharge from Lithia and Buckhorn Springs. Water samples will be collected monthly at eight sites along each river for one year in order to determine the effect of spring discharge as well as to characterize the seasonal variations in elemental concentrations. The river water will be analyzed for a suite of elements, including sodium, calcium, iron and lead, using the inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometer located at The University of Tampa. This project will lead to a better understanding of the metals being released from the Hillsborough and the Alafia rivers into Tampa Bay.

A Frontal Lobe Account of False Alarm Rates Submitter: Sara Festini more » close »

Have you ever mistakenly responded, when you should have withheld your response? This is an example of a common type of error known as a false alarm. Extensive prior research has demonstrated that the frontal lobes of the brain (named because of their proximity toward the front of the head) play a critical role in the regulation of behavior, and damage to the frontal lobes impairs performance on tasks that require executive functioning. Examples of executive functions include inhibiting (i.e., stopping a behavior or mental function), planning and sequencing (i.e., ordering thoughts or behaviors). In a review article, we plan to explore the potential link between deficient frontal lobe function and increased false alarm rates across a large array of experimental tasks. For example, we plan to review evidence for heightened false alarm rates following frontal deficits in: (a) recognition memory tests, (b) working memory tasks (i.e., what is currently being held in mind), (c) attentional tasks, and (d) interference control tasks (i.e., tasks that require heightened executive control). We will examine this relationship via neuroimaging studies, brain damage studies, and across age groups and pathologies that impact the frontal areas of the brain. We have received an invitation from the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, a peer-reviewed journal, to submit a review article for publication on this topic.

Subversion of RNA Processing Enzymes by Theiler’s Murine Encephalomyelitis Virus Submitter: Eric Freundt more » close »

Viruses often take advantage of host-cell components in order to replicate and spread. When viruses hijack host-cell enzymes, cellular dysfunction occurs and can lead to disease. Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) is a virus that infects mice and causes a chronic disease that is very similar to multiple sclerosis in humans. TMEV is related to many important human viruses, including poliovirus, hepatitis A virus, common cold viruses, and a group of viruses that have recently been determined to cause paralysis and respiratory failure in children. Understanding how TMEV disrupts cellular components may also inform our understanding of how other viruses in this family cause disease. In this study, I have proposed to investigate whether the virus may be using cellular components in order to replicate its genome. In doing so, the virus likely hijacks enzymes that are essential for the host to regulate expression of its own genes, and may therefore lead to certain genes not being expressed or others being made to excess. I will seek to identify which host-cell proteins are found within sites of virus genome replication. These findings will ultimately be published in a peer-reviewed journal, such as the Journal of Virology or Viruses, and will be presented at a virology conference.

Motivations of Israeli Entrepreneurs Submitter: Bella Galperin more » close »

The purpose of this study is to examine the motivations of Israeli entrepreneurs. While Israel is a small country with approximately 0.1% of the world’s population, the country has more start-ups per capital compared to any other country in the world (Coleman, 2018). The popular press often refers to Israel as the “Start-up Nation.” This study seeks to: (1) understand what motivates Israeli entrepreneurs to start their businesses and, (2) delve into the challenges that Israeli entrepreneurs have personally faced as they began their start-ups. Using the Self-Determination Theory of Motivation (SDT) (Gagne & Deci, 2005), this research seeks to answer the following research questions: (1) What motivates Israeli entrepreneurs to start their business? [e.g. individual differences variables (e.g. personality and needs) (2) What are some challenges that they have personally faced as they began their start up? A qualitative inductive research methodology will be used to conduct the research. There are no hypotheses as the study is exploratory. The interviews will last 15 to 30 minutes and will be open-ended. The findings can contribute to the broad discussion in better understanding the needs and motivations of Israeli entrepreneurs, as well as the factors that differentiate Israeli entrepreneurs.

Building Teaching Capacity in an Under-Resourced African University Submitter: Arthur Hollist, Co-Investigator: Adrianne G. Wilson more » close »

This project contributes to the improvement of teaching and teacher-training at the University of Sierra Leone (USL), an under-resourced West African tertiary educational institution. Its faculty lacks access to information and training on contemporary, innovative pedagogies. Consequently, the university is unable to align the contents of its courses to meet the needs of the country or the aspirations of its growing and diverse student population. The project will focus on enhancing the ability of instructors at the University of Sierra Leone to foster an active learning environment and promote success in the classroom by conducting workshops on ethnic and gender-responsive pedagogies for student-centered learning, objectives-driven pedagogy and mechanisms for supporting productive internships. The interactive workshops will provide an enabling environment in which the project’s PIs and USL faculty adapt western-based best practices to fit local realities. In this effort, this project’s PIs borrow from the delivery of rural healthcare, in which modern-trained nurses and doctors work in respectful alliance with traditional midwives, the embodiment of childbirth knowledge and authority in rural settings. The outcomes of the project include, for PIs, descriptive and theoretical essays for peer-reviewed publications and the establishment of a framework that will create cooperative engagements between faculty and students at The University of Tampa and their counterparts at the University of Sierra Leone. For USL faculty, the goal will be to generate a campus-specific manual as a step toward setting up a center for teaching and learning.

On Vermin: Six Virtues for the New Climate Submitter: Caroline Hovanec more » close »

On Vermin is a book project which examines the aesthetics and ethics of vermin in 19th- through 21st-century literature. During this historical period, political actors used vermin metaphors to dehumanize and exclude unwanted human others. For example, Nazi propaganda equated Jews with rats; Tutsis were labeled “cockroaches” during the Rwandan genocide; today, extremist right-wing media compare asylum seekers to swarming, unclean insects. At the same time, however, other writers have made vermin vehicles for other, more inclusive and humane meanings. In their literary texts, these apparently vile creatures come to embody virtues such as hospitality, cosmopolitanism, resilience, humor, solidarity, and salvaging. These virtues, my book argues, are more important than ever in our current moment of climate crisis, a crisis that endangers many species, ecosystem functions, and the most vulnerable human beings. In its six chapters on worms, pigeons, rats, cockroaches, mosquitoes, and vultures, On Vermin surveys a wide range of literary works, including Charles Darwin’s Worms, Ahmed Ali’s Twilight in Delhi, the pigeon poems of Marianne Moore and Mina Loy, China Miéville’s King Rat, Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Rawi Hage’s Cockroach, D.H. Lawrence’s “Mosquito,” Namwali Serpell’s The Old Drift, and Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. These works combat the dehumanizing political rhetoric of vermin not by turning to a version of humanism built on human exceptionalism, but by reclaiming vermin. Pigeons, rats, and other purportedly vile creatures offer these writers ways to think about justice as an ecological project that includes many species, not just the human.

Classical Vocal Album Project, Songs of Rachmaninov (Compact Disc and Digital Recording) Submitter: Hein Jung, Co-Investigator: Grigorios Zamparas more » close »

This submitted proposal is for the recording project to release the CD and digital album of the songs of Rachmaninov, Russian virtuoso classical composer. This project aims to research, revive and record the obscure songs written by Rachmaninov. The recording will feature various vocal masterpieces including Dreams, How Fair It Is, Lilac and some treasured chamber songs between voice, piano and cello such as Vocalise, Do Not Sing for Me and Harvest of Sorrow. Rachmaninov’s songs are written in Russian, and his music requires artistic and technical maturities; due to the difficulties of the language and music, his songs are rarely recorded despite their beauty and artistic value. Therefore, publishing the album of Rachmaninov’s songs is a significant project with scholarly value which will draw attention from singers and vocal scholars. The songs will be sung by Hein Jung, soprano, associate professor of voice; and accompanied by Grigorios Zamparas, professor of piano at UT; and Scott Kluksdahl, professor of violincello at USF, for the chamber piece for voice, piano and cello. Currently, two internationally recognized classical recording labels are interested in publishing this recording project. Centaur Records, one of the oldest and largest independent classical labels based in United States, has already offered a contract. The European distinguished classical recording label, KNS Classical, has been showing great interest in publishing this recording. The publisher will be determined after comparing the merits of distribution network.

What Is A Family? Sociality and the Ethics of Familial Relationships Submitter: Laura Kane more » close »

My book manuscript, What Is A Family? Sociality and the Ethics of Familial Relationships, is currently in revise and resubmit at Oxford University Press (OUP). The book project contributes to the literature on family relationships and rights that has recently flourished in academic philosophy. Many contemporary views on the family are guided by liberal political principles, which emphasize the development of autonomy and the protection of individual rights within families. By contrast, my account is guided by a feminist ethic of care, which emphasizes the interdependency within relationships and the corresponding role obligations that arise out of such interdependency. I extend this ethic further by arguing that the relationship between the family and the state is similarly interdependent, obligating the state to provide resources for families. My manuscript sets out to answer the question of what a family is by presenting a distinctive metaphysical account of the family as a social group (not a biological group) that provides a basis for determining how various social benefits should be provided to families. In doing so, I offer a new ethical framework that can make policy proposals aimed at supporting caring relationships for persons in the United States at the institutional level, with the hopes of creating a model that could be adopted internationally.

Self-Portraits of the Broadcasting House: Literary Culture at the BBC, 1922-55 Submitter: Jeremy Lakoff more » close »

Jeremy Lakoff’s monograph, Self-Portraits of the Broadcasting House: Literary Culture at the BBC, 1922-55, explores how radio practitioners in the early 20th century conceived of their labor as being akin to that of the adjacent literary field. Early broadcasting in Britain was partly shaped by authors who worked part-time at the BBC and who imported modernist techniques and sensibilities to radio. Using unpublished archival materials at the BBC Written Archives Centre, this project uncovers how author-broadcasters crafted a culture of literary broadcasting, as well as their own professional identities as radio artists. Through the corporation’s memos, personnel files, scripts and publications, one can trace an emerging awareness of the crosscurrents between the literary arts and broadcasting. This book argues that the radio studio—a live, polyvocal workshop—was a site where these writers imagined and promoted a new vision of collaborative artistic creation, helping to shift attitudes away from the traditional valorization of individual genius. In novels, radio dramas, talks, articles, memoirs and handbooks for both insiders and wider publics, author-broadcasters depicted the studio’s technologies and professional hierarchies in order to argue for, and illustrate, the medium’s possible future. In other words, self-referential depictions of broadcasting itself helped solidify its position as a new, technically complex, and interdisciplinary art form. By returning to this early era of radio, Self-Portraits of the Broadcasting House not only illuminates how different fields of artistic production were intertwined, but also how burgeoning institutions of mass mediation were key sites for conceptualizing modern artistic professionalism.

Monumental: Alternative Commemorations of Slave Resistance Submitter: Sarah Lauro more » close »

There has been a lot of discussion of late about historical monuments and who gets to decide which histories are honored. Much of this was sparked by the tragic outcome of the Unite the Right rally, in which white supremacists and neo-Nazis descended on Charlottesville, VA— ostensibly to protect the heritage of the Confederacy in the form of a monument to Robert E. Lee. This two-day rally in the name of preserving history ended in the death of a counter-protestor. This was an extreme version of a type of protest that has been occurring across the country as city councils debate the removal of memorials to confederate soldiers, as universities weigh the pros and cons of renaming buildings that celebrate slave owners, and as communities consider whether or not the men who fought to perpetuate Southern slavery should continue to be honored in our country. If the concern of those resisting the removal of such markers is truly that all of our history needs to be commemorated, a rhetorical trope often invoked, then one wonders at the scarcity of monuments to rebel enslaved persons in our nation. My book project, Monumental: Alternative Commemorations of Slave Resistance, lays out the cultural history of commemoration of slave resistance in the US. Given a dearth of physical monuments celebrating slave resistance in our country as compared to other nations in our hemisphere, it proposes that we read diverse kinds of artistic productions (literary, cinematic, performative) as monuments, presenting and analyzing various examples.

Negotiation and Dissent in Congressional Committee Reports Submitter: Jonathan Lewallen more » close »

My project collects and analyzes data on legislative negotiation and disagreement through views attached to U.S. congressional committee reports. Committees deliberate and negotiate over legislative solutions before the broader membership weighs in. Should a committee decide to advance a bill to the next stage of the process, it issues an accompanying report that states why the committee thinks the chamber should take up the attached legislation and whether and how the committee amended the bill. Members can add additional, dissenting or minority “views” to these reports that indicate a lack of agreement over the negotiated solution. Committee report views thus provide a window into legislative negotiation during earlier stages of the policymaking process. The RISE grant would facilitate three research activities: first, updating the dataset with committee reports issued in 2019 and 2020; second, coding these data according to the Policy Agendas Project issue topic scheme; and third, collecting the text of the nearly 4,000 committee report views issued from 1995 to 2020 including the word length, tone (measured with the proportions of positive, negative and neutral words from the Lexicoder program developed by political scientists Lori Young and Stuart Soroka), and the nature of the underlying disagreement such as opposition to the entire bill or hope that the view author would be able to offer an amendment later in the process. These data could then be compared to text and other outputs that occur later in the legislative process to better understand when and why breakdowns in negotiation occur.

Intersectional Health Communication: Examining the Effectiveness of Health Advertisements Targeting the General African Americans and Black LGBTQ Members Submitter: Minjie Li more » close »

People of color, especially Black LGBTQ members, are disproportionately burdened by health disparity, which reflects not only in the structural unequal distribution of medical resources but also in the design of health communication messages. Most health advertising campaigns construct their messages with a prototype of White cisgender (non-transgender) heterosexual audience in mind. Creating health messaging strategies that effectively communicate to the structurally disadvantaged social groups is a challenging and overlooked task. To fill this gap, this research aims at examining the strategies targeting these communities. Health advertising campaigns targeting racial and sexual minorities have increasingly blended sex-positive messages with the endorsement of racial or/and LGBTQ social movements, aiming at promoting effective health communications among LGBTQ people of color through social advocacy/activism. For example, several campaigns for the HIV-preventative regimen—Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)—targeting African Americans and Black LGBTQ members have embedded sex-positive messages and support of #BlackLivesMatter or #LoveIsLove in their advertisements. The present project proposes to examine how the depicted sex-positivity interacts with the endorsement of racial or LGBTQ social movements in health campaigns to psychologically influence the general and LGBTQ-identified African Americans’ adaption of the PrEP regimen, retention of the health literacy, advertising perception and prosocial tendency. The proposed project will make significant interdisciplinary contributions to the fields of public interest communication, health communication, advertising, media psychology, and race and LGBTQ studies. More importantly, it is a timely research endeavor intersectionally examining the effects of the public interest communications targeting LGBTQ people of color.

Investigating the Use of Carbazoles as Photocatalysts for Two Reactions Submitter: Ashley Longstreet more » close »

Human-made organic molecules are major components in essential industries. Building organic molecules requires organic reactions that are efficient by utilizing inexpensive, non-toxic reagents and producing minimal waste. Radical reactions are useful to organic chemists due to their ability to construct important bonds, such as carbon-carbon bonds. In a radical reaction, a reagent is required to produce a radical, any atom with an unpaired electron. The radical generated can then form new bonds to enable chemists to piece together large molecules from smaller fragments. Traditional reagents used to produce radicals are highly toxic and generate significant amounts of waste due to requiring large quantities of the reagent material. Recently, the field of photoredox catalysis has emerged to replace the traditional radical forming reagents with photocatalysts. Photocatalysts are less toxic with the ability to produce radicals in small quantities to minimize waste production. The most common photocatalysts used are commercially available metal complexes. These are typically expensive and using metal complexes could lead to undesirable metal contamination. Rather than rely on metal photocatalysts, our research aims to demonstrate how organic molecules called carbazoles, which are inexpensive and contain no metals, could be used as a better alternative. Undergraduate students who work on this project will focus on two questions: could carbazoles be used to 1) convert bromine atoms into hydrogen atoms on a diverse mix of small organic molecules and 2) form new carbon-carbon bonds? The overall success of this project will provide organic chemists a new tool for building organic molecules.

Spatial Variation in Physical and Biological Parameters of a Saltwater Lake: How Do Water Column Dynamics, Benthic Cover and Animal Distribution Vary with Depth? Submitter: Heather Masonjones, Co-Investigator: Bridgette Froeschke more » close »

To best protect species we must know both where they are in space and where their essential habitat components are located. This is especially true for animals that have limited ranges (endemics) where their options are limited for moving away from areas that have been impacted by humans. In this study, we will investigate the relationship between the spatial distribution of three charismatic species within a marine lake (lined seahorses, Caribbean reef octopus, and nudibranchs (genus Dondice)), and the physical, chemical and biological components of the ecosystem, to make management recommendations for the proposed Seahorse National Park in The Bahamas. To achieve this goal, we will sample environmental variables in the water column, on the lake bottom, and then correlate those data with the distribution of these three species. This work is novel because it focuses on the previously unexplored area in the center of the lake, with the potential to uncover additional distinct habitats and provide a more synthetic understanding of the habitat needs of these three species. This work is motivated by the expectation that the park will be approved by the Bahamian government in February 2020, and will provide critical recommendations for its’ developing management plan. In addition, this experience will provide 2 undergraduate researchers the opportunity to be on the front lines of conservation practice, engaging in both on site fieldwork training and developing their scientific communication skills by participating in community outreach meetings to develop the management plan for the proposed national park.

Reconstructing the Diet of the Photosynthetic Sea Slug, Elysia crispata, via DNA Barcoding Submitter: Michael Middlebrooks, Co-Investigator: Sarah Cuccinello more » close »

I primarily study photosynthesis and symbiosis in the lettuce sea sea slug Elysia crispata. This slug has the unusual ability to create its own food energy by stealing chloroplasts, the organelles that plants use to photosynthesize, from its food algae. The slug can then maintain these chloroplasts inside of its own cells for several months without needing to feed. Of particular interest is the fact that this slug can do this using chloroplasts taken from many different species of algae. Over the past year, I have been conducting quarterly surveys of a population of these slugs in the Florida Keys and the algal community growing on a coral reef. Here we propose to expand this study using DNA barcoding, a molecular technique, to identify the algal diet of the sea slug in the Florida Keys to learn how their diet changes with season. We will be able to compare these results with field surveys to determine how well the diet of these animals match the algae available during a given season. Currently there is no information available on how slug diet changes over the season or how that might affect the algae and reef community where the slugs are found. This will be the first study to document the seasonal diet of a sea slug in the Florida Keys or Caribbean and will be a valuable contribution in building our understanding of this unique symbiosis and its ecological implications.

Predictors of College Success in Students with ADHD Submitter: Sarah Orban, Co-Investigator: Sara Festini more » close »

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by clinically impairing symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. While ADHD is often considered to affect children primarily, many individuals with childhood ADHD continue to experience clinically impairing symptoms well into adulthood. College students with ADHD are at particular risk for adverse outcomes, including low GPA and increased rates of college drop out. Few studies have examined why students with ADHD experience academic difficulty in college and what factors may lead to academic success. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to examine executive functions (i.e., higher order mental control processes), ADHD symptoms, personality characteristics, and factors related to college adjustment as predictors of college success (e.g., graduate rates, GPA) among college students with and without ADHD. To examine this research question, college students with and without ADHD will complete a comprehensive array of tests and surveys to establish a baseline assessment of their current functioning. The tests include standardized measures of intellectual and academic functioning, a clinical interview of psychological symptoms, and computerized executive function testing. Self-report surveys will assess personality characteristics, psychological symptoms, and factors related to college adjustment (e.g., parental support, student engagement). The researchers will also collect information on academics (e.g., GPA, enrollment status) during participants’ enrollment at the university. This research would help to elucidate ADHD-related difficulties in college that lead to academic problems and inform prevention programs targeted at students with ADHD. The findings from this research will be submitted to a peer-reviewed psychology journal.

Comparative International Entrepreneurship: Analyzing the Entrepreneurial Ecosystems of India and the United States Submitter: Thomas Pittz more » close »

Scholars have outlined the importance of multi-country studies of entrepreneurial activity to generate meaningful scholarship that can contribute to practice and policy. Entrepreneurship is a heterogeneous activity across national boundaries and the role of the entrepreneurial ecosystem can explain performance variances at the firm level (financial, exportation, etc.), individual level (intentionality, risk propensity, etc.) and national level (cultural, artifactual, etc.). This research is intended to compare the Indian and U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystems in order to evaluate differences, illuminate patterns, and explore develop new theoretical frameworks for comparing entrepreneurial ecosystems that are designed to spur business creation and growth. Plainly stated, this study attempts to gather information about how financial, structural and social context influence opportunities and entrepreneurs in both the U.S. and India. The project will involve conducting secondary research (including reviewing archival documents, visiting entrepreneurial support organizations and analyzing venture capital deal flow) for a comparative study of international entrepreneurial ecosystems between India and the U.S. Given the relatively a-theoretical nature of comparative international entrepreneurship research, the goal of this research is to provide specific direction to extending dominant theoretical perspectives to the field (e.g., institutional theory, transaction cost economics, effectuation, etc.), integrate new theory from adjacent fields such as international business or management, and provide ideas for integrating or testing multiple theories.

Colossus of the North?: Latin American-U.S. Relations, 1776 to 1826 Submitter: Edward Pompeian more » close »

My project will be the completion of a peer-reviewed chapter to be published in an edited volume. At the invitation of the book’s editor, Tyson Reeder (assistant editor/affiliated assistant professor with the Papers of James Madison at the University of Virginia), I have agreed to write a chapter for The Routledge History of U.S. Foreign Relations on the period of the early United States Republic. My chapter, tentatively titled, “Colossus of the North?: Latin American-U.S. Relations, 1776-1826,” will be one of 32 chapters in the edited volume. My scholarly contribution will be a historiographical survey or literature review of the scholarship on the cross-cultural relations between the peoples of North and South America from the American Revolution through the Latin American Independence struggles. I will use the summer stipend provided by the RISE grant to support my reading and review of secondary source materials (new articles, essays and manuscripts) and to complete the chapter manuscript, which I will submit on Oct. 1, 2020.

Samaritan Submitter: Yuly Restrepo more » close »

Samaritan is a novel set in Colombia at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st, during one of the bloodiest periods of the country’s civil war. Each chapter is divided into three parts, each from a different character’s point of view. In the first part, Renato, a soldier in the government’s army, finds a child on the street after a couple of days of violent combat at the town where he is stationed. He becomes convinced that this child is the daughter of his long-lost sister, and he goes on a quest to try to find her. Then we hear from Leticia, a farmer whose family and livelihood are ruined by the guerrillas and paramilitary in her town. When she has nothing left, she is offered the chance to care for the baby of a girl who is fighting with the guerrillas, and she agrees. This child is the same Renato encounters. In the third part, Valentina, Renato’s sister and the mother of the child Leticia cares for, narrates her entry into guerrilla life, her pregnancy, and the circumstances under which she must give up the child. My aim with the novel is to offer an intimate look at a deeply complicated war from the point of view of those who participate in it on the ground and suffer its day-to-day consequences. To do this I want to use family as an anchor, since it has been my predominant interest in everything I write.

Reconstructing Cuban Immigrant Revolutionary Life through the Recovered Newspapers of Key West, Tampa, and New York, 1868-1900 Submitter: Denis Rey, Co-Investigator: James Lopez more » close »

Our research proposes to recover, digitize and make searchable a collection of Cuban immigrant newspapers from Florida and New York with the aim of producing scholarship that seeks to flesh out daily life in these revolutionary communities. This summer, during an NEH summer institute that we directed, we were successful in identifying over 75 newspapers published in Key West, West Tampa, Ybor City and New York City representing a wide array of vantage points that embodies the social, political and economic interests of these diverse communities. Through prior collaborations, we have recovered a number of these newspapers in Spanish archives; however, we also know that a substantial number of newspapers (and official consular correspondence) remain. Through our preliminary research, we have also learned that the Archivo General de Administración, in Alacalá de Henares, Spain, contains the archive of the Spanish embassy in Washington, DC, as well as the US consular offices of three other cities. This includes correspondence on anti-Spanish and revolutionary activities of Cubans and counter-measures by the Spanish government. Archivo Histórico Nacional de España in Madrid, Spain, also contains archives related to the Governor’s Office in Cuba as related to exile activities, diplomatic materials and the entire archive of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Relations. This also includes diplomatic correspondence and Spanish language newspapers published in the United States. This proposal represents the first stage of a multi-year project that requires several stages to complete. The proposed research seeks to initiate the recovery of these valued resources.

Facilitating Lexical Acquisition, Motivation, and Intercultural Competence Through Tele Collaboration Submitter: Vanessa Rukholm more » close »

This mixed methods classroom-based research project seeks to verify whether telecollaboration (i.e. language exchange between remote participants by means of telecommunication or computer networks) can facilitate three essential components of foreign language learning: vocabulary development, learner motivation and intercultural competence (i.e. the ability to communicate and act effectively and appropriately across cultural differences). The study will require that participants utilize TalkAbroad, a telecollaboration program that provides foreign language learners with the opportunity to converse in real time to native speakers of the target language they are studying. TalkAbroad also records all conversations between students and their cultural partners, thus facilitating the provision of detailed feedback on language usage and the evaluation of vocabulary growth. Participants will also complete the VKS (Vocabulary Knowledge Scale) measuring vocabulary development, the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), which measures intercultural competence, as well as the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS), which measures both intrinsic motivation (i.e. driven by rewards internal to the individual) and extrinsic motivation (i.e. driven by rewards external to the individual) in learners. There are no extant studies examining these three components of language learning in concert and none to my knowledge that use quantitative research methodologies to examine the use of telecollaboration as a means of fostering learner motivation and intercultural competence more specifically. This study would, therefore, fill a lacuna in the extant research on the subject of telecollaboration and its impacts on language learners and lead to a significant contribution to current foreign language pedagogical practices.

Identifying Moving Group Stars in the Gaia Catalog Submitter: Simon Schuler more » close »

A main goal of astronomical research is to understand our origins, from the origin of life on Earth to the origin of the Universe itself. A major aspect of these studies is the origin and evolution of our Milky Way Galaxy. While stars only make up about 5% of the total mass of the Galaxy, understanding how and where stars form, and their subsequent kinematics (motions), is a critical component to recovering its evolutionary history. Collaborating with colleagues at institutions in the U.S. and abroad, I am working to identify stars with similar Galactic kinematics, known as moving groups, and analyzing their compositions in order to put constraints on their formation and kinematic histories. We are using the Gaia catalog - a database of positions and three-dimensional motions of about one billion stars in the Galaxy - to identify stars with similar kinematics, which may indicate that the stars share a common origin. We then are using spectroscopic data obtained with large professional astronomical telescopes to determine the compositions of the stars; stars that formed together are expected to have similar compositions. Combining the kinematic and compositional data of potential moving group stars can place potentially strong constraints on the formation history of the stars and the Galaxy. The requested funds will support my efforts on this project over the summer, as well as cover a collaboration trip to Northwestern University. One UT student is currently contributing to this research, which will be the basis for his capstone project.

(Re-Revised) Indexing the Book, Empire and Catastrophe: Decolonization and Environmental Disaster in North Africa and Mediterranean France since 1954 Submitter: Spencer Segalla more » close »

This project consists of the creation of an index, by a professional indexer, for my book Empire and Catastrophe: Decolonization and Environmental Disaster in North Africa and Mediterranean France since 1954. The book has already been accepted via peer review and contracted for publication by the University of Nebraska Press. It will be published digitally in March 2020, in hardcover March 2021 and in paperback two years later. The University of Nebraska Press requires an index for the hardcover and paperback editions, and strongly encourages authors to use a professional indexer. The book examines natural and man-made disasters during the years of decolonization (the ending of European rule) in Algeria, Morocco and France, and explores the ways in which catastrophes both shaped and were shaped by struggles over the dissolution of France’s empire in North Africa. Four disasters make up the core of the book: the 1954 earthquake in Algeria, just weeks before the onset of the Algerian Revolution; a mass poisoning in Morocco in 1959 caused by toxic substances from an American military base; the 1959 Malpasset dam collapse in Fréjus, France, which devastated the Algerian immigrant community in the town but which was blamed on Algerian sabotage; and the 1960 earthquake in Agadir, Morocco, a pivotal event in relations between the United States, France and newly independent Morocco. The book uses archival documents, published memoirs and literary representations by disaster survivors to argue for the integration of environmental events into our understanding of political and cultural history.

Health Assessment of Students in Living Learning Communities Submitter: Ronda Sturgill more » close »

Living Learning Communities (LLC) across the country have become intentionally designed environments for both social and academic interactions. The experience should be both experiential and reflective in nature. Student learning, occurring both inside and outside of the classroom, is intended to be a continuous process. The LLC at The University of Tampa are designed living-learning environments intentionally focused on fostering student-learning and a stronger connection with the campus community. Each community has a unique experience for first-year residential students to engage with dedicated faculty and staff early in their academic career. The purpose of this study is to determine if living in an LLC has an impact on student attitudes and behaviors of health and wellness. The study will include a pre-test/post-test during Fall 2019. The same post-test will be administered during Spring 2020. The questionnaire is the Test Well Wellness Inventory College Edition. Implications from this study will be used to inform future Living Learning Community development at The University of Tampa. Additionally, information can be important to share with other similar Universities who are developing and implementing Living Learning Communities on campus. The end result of the project will be submission to a scholarly peer reviewed journal and a peer reviewed academic conference.

Large-Scale Culturing of Marine Bacteria to Isolate Biologically Active Natural Products Submitter: Christine Theodore more » close »

Natural products, substances produced by living organisms, are a vital part of the modern drug discovery pipeline. In particular, natural products isolated from marine organisms have had recent success in moving from the laboratory and into clinical trials. Currently, my work focuses on isolating and identifying natural products obtained from macroorganisms (such as invertebrate animals) and microorganisms (bacteria) collected from Florida waters. Funding from the University of Tampa and external sources has yielded promising results and provided students from the Biology and Chemistry departments the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary scientific research. This proposal seeks funding to accomplish two main goals: 1) To continue work on the large library of collected organisms and extracts that have been generated by student researchers in my research laboratory. 2) To improve our current workflow and implement a laboratory-scale culturing system. This culturing system allows for the culturing of up to 20 L of bacteria per vessel, greatly improving the yield of natural products collected from each microorganism. This bioreactor was designed through work done in my previous laboratory and here at UT and was recently published in Engineering Reports. Student researchers in my laboratory have recently completed proof-of-concept pilot studies and are prepared to begin implementing this bioreactor in their work. This project will provide new opportunities for University of Tampa students. This “learning by doing” is an essential part of the experiential learning process and a key part of the University of Tampa’s mission and QEP.

The Liberty of Loyalty: Black Loyalism in the Book of Negroes Submitter: Kacy Tillman more » close »

For Black loyalists during the American Revolution, loyalty meant liberty. Responding to British Proclamations that promised freedom in exchange for fealty to the Crown, 3,000 Black loyalists left New York in 1783 to start new lives elsewhere at the end of the American Revolution. Their long-overlooked stories are preserved in a little-known text called the Book of Negroes. The few historians who have discussed this book have treated it as little more than a ledger, but I argue that it is one of the earliest and largest collections of circumatlantic Black authorship, if we just know how to interpret it. During the period funded by this grant, I plan to research the Book of Negroes by traveling to Kew, England, to the National Archives, to read the manuscript version of the text and its ancillary documents, namely the archive's letters, petitions and journals that concern the book's creation and circulation. Upon completing this research, I plan to write an article titled “The Liberty of Loyalty: Black Loyalism in the Book of Negroes,” to be published in a peer-reviewed journal such as Early American Literature, American Literature or American Literary History.

Producing Immersive Video Essays Submitter: Stephanie Tripp, Co-Investigator: Christopher Boulton more » close »

This collaborative project will produce two immersive video essays – hybrid forms of scholarly presentation that combine critical insight with creative expression within a 360-degree virtual reality experience. Stephanie Tripp and Christopher Boulton share a passion for melding scholarship with audiovisual media, and each has a project that lends itself to development as a critical/scholarly immersive media experience. Tripp is a digital media scholar/theorist/artist with experience in immersive media, interactive programming and 3D modeling and rendering, and Boulton is a documentary filmmaker with expertise in storytelling and producing. Jointly, they will develop Tripp’s work in progress, Un-Staging Home, a four-minute 360-degree immersive video essay, into a work of about 10 minutes with a surround-sound mix and a more tightly organized narrative structure. They also will work together to produce an immersive version of Power Trip, Boulton’s short video essay, in order to create a matrix of smaller screens that “explode” into a 360-degree media panorama that the user can explore while guided by a richly layered, spatialized sound environment. This collaboration would thus yield: 1) two finished immersive essays which would be submitted to peer-reviewed scholarly venues along with juried festivals and exhibitions; 2) new technical expertise in planning, recording and editing immersive video and 360-degree audio; and 3) a set of theories and best practices that will serve as a foundation for producing and teaching 360-degree media production and immersive essays in the Department of Communication.

Staff and the Power of U.S. State Legislatures Submitter: Kathryn VanderMolen more » close »

Historical analysis and empirical scholarship suggest that legislative staff help elected officials manage the often unwieldy and highly complex process of policymaking. While many scholars have explored Congress’s ability to fulfill its legislative functions, there is seldom any consideration of the role state legislative staff play in their legislature's effective performance of these duties. State legislative capacity is important to understand as the states have become primary policymakers while Congress strains under the weight of partisan polarization. In this research project, I plan to distribute original surveys to state legislative reference bureau (LRB) staff as well as gather additional LRB data to develop a theoretical account of how these staff help state legislators perform their core policymaking duties. Paired with systematic empirical analysis, this research will provide insight into the capacity and effectiveness of state legislatures in the United States.

"Wash Me," a short comedic film Submitter: Aaron Walker more » close »

Wash Me is a short comedic narrative film production about Dave, a morose divorcee whose unrecognized feelings of inadequacy threaten to break him on his 40th birthday. Dave tries to keep it together for his 10-year-old son Colin, but can’t get over how his ex Shannon’s perfect “Brooks Brothers” replacement for him, Preston, is aggressively “perfect” in every way. Dave believes Preston is bullying him, but Dave can’t see the truth. When Dave accuses Preston of writing “Wash me” on his dirty mess of a hi-mileage car, he learns his flaring temper can’t fix what he’s misunderstood about the world. The 20-minute film, which comedically explores and deflates the “crisis of masculinity,” will be produced in Tampa Bay using regional professional comic actors and crew, and will be submitted to national and international film festivals.

Examination of Millennial Golf Consumer Behavior Submitter: James Weiner more » close »

As the sport industry is ever-changing and with the introduction of millennial consumers, the landscape of recreational sport is beginning to change their marketing efforts and business operations. Millennials have been shown to consume sport products differently, and alternatives to traditional sport participation are creating difficulties for many businesses. Specifically, golf courses have seen a decline in participation and revenues. The purpose of this study will be to examine the motivational factors of golf participation among millennial consumers and test the tolerance to certain price points using an experimental design. This study will have two parts. First, the researchers will engage golfers who are not currently members of a club or course, and ask open-ended questions regarding their motivations and price preferences. A focus study may be required if responses are not substantial enough. Following the qualitative stage of the study, several pieces of promotional material will be designed by the researchers. Each promotional advertisement will feature different motivations based on the results of stage 1, as well as different price points the researchers will then use to examine group differences. Group variances will be analyzed and reported. Results may be important to industry professionals who can tailor their marketing efforts to better maximize revenues.

Measuring Human Rights Institution Strength Submitter: Ryan Welch more » close »

Social scientists recognize the potential that institutions possess for incentivizing public official behavior. With respect to human rights, institutions can restrain government officials from abusing citizens by changing their political calculations. Past work has focused on constitutions, electoral rules, and domestic courts. However, none of these institutions’ sole purview is the protection of human rights. Recently scholars have begun exploring a domestic institution whose raison d’être is the promotion and protection of human rights – National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs). The majority of the nascent quantitative research on NHRIs treat them as absent or present, but this misses extremely important variation in institutional design. A relatively recent data collection project gathered information on 14 design dimensions of NHRIs. Unfortunately, the data end at 2012. This project seeks to update that data and use it to estimate NHRI strength across space and time. To do so, I will estimate a statistical measurement model using the updated NHRI data. Doing so will allow myself and others to answer several questions about institutions, more generally. For example: Which design dimensions contribute the most to institutional strength? Which countries create strong/weak institutions? How does institutional strength vary over time? Are stronger institutions more effective at curbing human rights abuses? This project opens the door for answering those questions by first collecting the data and measuring institutional strength.

2020-2021 Professional Development Awards Below shows the awards... more » close »

Proposed 2021 National Endowment for the Humanities Institute "José Martí and the Immigrant Communities of Florida in Cuban Independence and the Dawn of the American Century"

Submitter: James Lopez, Co-Investigator: Denis Rey

Denis Rey and I were awarded a 2019 National Endowment of the Humanities grant in the amount of $200,000 to establish a Summer Institute for college professors on the importance of role played by the immigrant communities of Ybor City and Key West in the fight for Cuban Independence and U.S. intervention in the Spanish-American War. The Institute was a resounding success, and we are currently applying for a new NEH grant to organize a second Summer Institute in 2021 on the same general theme with some important modifications. I was awarded a Professional Development Award (PDA) in the AY 2017-2018 cycle contingent upon being awarded the NEH grant in order to afford me the time needed to organize a successful institute. That PDA turned out to be vital in spring 2019 for the successful promotion of the institute, the selection of the 30 participants, the myriad logistical challenges of arranging for their stay on campus during four weeks, the travel arrangements for the 13 visiting faculty who participated, etc. This current application for a PDA is essentially identical to the previous one, and should also be contingent on being awarded a second NEH grant (announcements will be made in August 2020). I am therefore applying for a PDA to be used in spring 2021 to prepare a second NEH Summer Institute at UT if we are fortunate enough to again be awarded the grant.

Business Statistics and Analytics (Book)

Submitter: Raymond Papp

Statistics is the collection, organization and analysis of data to solve business problems and make inferences about the data collected. Analytics is a corollary concept that seeks to discover specific patterns in very large data sets and communicate their importance through the use of statistical methods and tools. Firms use analytics to describe, predict and/or improve their performance. For example, customers' purchases done with a credit card can be collected, organized and assessed to determine common use patterns. Deviations from these patterns can be used to detect unusual events and fraudulent transactions. Analytics (aka “big data”) is a growing field in which firms mine and analyze the data about their customers for marketing and tracking purposes. During my last sabbatical I proposed to write a 75-page workbook/study guide to accompany the mainstream course textbook for QMB 210. The final project ended up being more than 150 pages. I would like to continue expanding this workbook/study guide into a mainstream textbook. To do this adequately requires a significant time commitment, hence I am applying for a Professional Development Award (PDA). I plan to double the size of my current work and include more examples of both statistics and analytics as well as end of chapter problems (complete with answers) which would allow students to practice the concepts covered in the book by working actual problems to facilitate their learning. Positive student feedback has inspired me to enhance my existing workbook at this time to make it more robust and complete.

Transparency and Police Misconduct

Submitter: Ryan Welch

We explore how the public release of police misconduct records impacts the rate by which misconduct allegations are levied against officers and the subsequent outcomes of misconduct investigations. To do so, we exploit data made available by the Kalven v. Chicago ruling, where the Illinois Appellate court ordered that the Chicago Police Department make past and future misconduct records publicly available. Given that the ruling applied retroactively, the available data allows us to evaluate how allegation rates and investigation outcomes were impacted as a result of the ruling. We use a statistical method to leverage the fact that the ruling made records available retroactively to see what effect the forced transparency has on i) allegations of police misconduct and ii) the way in which the police department handles those complaints.