USFSP Professor, Students Receive WLP Awards and Scholarships

Dr. Jill McCracken, associate professor of Rhetoric & Writing Studies, was named the 2016 Faculty Research Award Recipient for USF St. Petersburg. The award will be used to help support two of her participatory action research projects in which the participants directly inform and co-create the research questions and design.

A photo of USFSP Associate Professor of Rhetoric & Writing Studies Jill McCracken

Dr. Jill McCracken

McCracken, a certified sexuality educator, focuses much of her work on the relationships between sexuality, race, and gender — particularly with regard to women who work as sex workers. The award will support her work with women who participate in the Red Tent Women’s Initiative, a group that works to improve the lives of women residing in Pinellas County Jail and upon their release. The funds will provide monthly bus passes and gift cards to the participants in exchange for their research participation.

“Many of these women have needs,” McCracken said, “and this award allows us to show that we value their voices in the conversation.”

The second project the award will help fund will measure the effects of sexuality education on marginalized young women ages 13-18. The long-term goal of the project is to examine how the sexuality education impacts or decreases future incidents of violence in their lives.

“Providing sexuality education gives them more control over themselves, their actions, and their bodies as whole beings,” McCracken said. “By working with the young women, we can create research that better meets their needs, centers them in the knowledge creation, and works to prevent violence.”

A photo of USFSP students Melody Ucros and Grace Bauer

From left: Melody Ucros and Grace Bauer

Other 2016 Faculty Research Award recipients include Dr. Kyoung Cho from USF; Dr. Melissa Sloan from USF Sarasota-Manatee; Dr. Alicia Rossiter, USF System-Wide Junior Faculty Award Recipient; and Dr. Jessie Turner as the inaugural USF System-Wide Instructor Award recipient. Watch a video segment that features the award recipients.

Last year’s USFSP Faculty Research Award recipient was Dr. Tiffany Chenneville, associate professor of Psychology. That same year, two USFSP students received Women in Leadership & Philanthropy student scholarships. The 2015-16 WLP Endowed Scholarship was awarded Melody Ucros, a sophomore majoring in Entrepreneurship and minoring in International Business and Economics. Grace Bauer, a senior majoring in Biology, was named the recipient of the inaugural regional campus WLP/USF St. Petersburg Scholarship.