Society, Culture, and Language

Society, Culture, and Language
College of Arts & Sciences
USF St. Petersburg Dav 100
140 Seventh Avenue South,
St. Petersburg Florida 33701
(727) 873-4156

Last updated 9/6/13




Dr. Susan Allen's primary research interest is in increasing the effectiveness of home and school-based prevention programs for children ages 0 to 10 and their families. Her current projects include evaluating school-based violence prevention programs for preschool and elementary school age children. She has implemented mixed methods research to explore the effectiveness of these programs. She is also involved in exploratory research with Head Start to develop an instrument to assess family needs and evaluate family outcomes. Dr. Allen received the Ph.D. in Social Welfare from Case Western Reserve University, and the master's of social work from Smith College.

Recent publications include the following:

Allen, S. F. & Miller, J. (2010). A community initiative to support family financial well-being. Community, Work, and Family,13(1), 89-100.

Allen, S. F. & Tracy, E. M. (Eds.). (2009). Delivering home-based services: A social work perspective. New York: Columbia University Press.

Allen, S. F. (2009). A study of a violence prevention program in pre-kindergarten classrooms. Children and Schools, 31(3), 177-188.

Allen, S. F. and Tracy, E. M. (2008). Developing student knowledge and skills for home based social work practice. Journal of Social Work Education, 44(1), 125-143.

Dr. Ella Schmidt, Associate Professor –  Dr. Schmidt is a cultural anthropologist who has done research on Mexican farm workers in West Central Florida and changes in their construction of identity.  Currently her research focuses on transnational indigenous Mexican migrants in Clearwater and Valle del Mezquital, Hidalgo, Mexico and the creation of new social formations in both home and host communities.  She recently co-edited a special issue of Globalizations on “Cultures of Globalization. Coherence, Hybridity, and Contestation.” 4(1)2007.  Her co-edited book (with Ward Stavig) The Tupac Amaru and Catarista Rebellions: an Anthology of Sources, was published in late March 2008 by  Hackett Publishing Co., Mass.  Her recent book  The Dream Fields of Florida;  Mexican Farmworkers and the Myth of Belonging was published in November 2009 by Lexington Books.  She is currently on sabbatical, supported by a Fulbright Research Grant, doing research among indigenous Hñähñu in the Mezquital Valley and their centuries-old notions of communal citizenship that inform their interactions with their U.S. communities of destination.

Recent publications include the following:

Schmidt, Ella.  “Citizenship from below: Hñahñu heritage in a transnational world.” Forthcoming Latino Studies.

Schmidt, Ella.  “Marginales o Ciudadanos? El Caso de los ÑähÑus en Clearwater, Florida.  In Homenaje a Yolanda Lastra. X Coloquio Internacional de Otopames. Ana María Salazar & Verónica Kugel, eds.  Mexico D.F.: Universidad Autónoma de México and Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas. 2010.

Schmidt, Ella.  The Dream Fields of Florida:  Mexican Farmworkers and the Myth of Belonging.  Lanham:  Lexington Books. 2009

Schmidt, Ella. Localismo, Globalismo y la Expansión de Tradiciones Culturales: el Caso de los Hñahñu (Otomí) de Hidalgo, Mexico y Clearwater, Florida.  Estudios de Cultura Otopame.  Vol. VI.  UNAM: Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas.  2008

Stavig, Ward & Ella Schmidt.  The Tupac Amaru and Catarista Rebellions:  An Anthology of Sources.  Edited and translated by Ward Stavig and Ella Schmidt with an introduction by Charles Walker. Mass.: Hackett Publishing Co. 2008.

Archer, Kevin, M. Martin Bosman, M. Mark Amen & Ella Schmidt.  Cultures of Globalization. Coherence, Hybridity, Contestation.  London and New York: Routledge. 2008

Schmidt, Ella.  “Whose Culture?  Globalism, Localism, and the Expansion of Tradition; the Case of the Hñähñu of Hidalgo, Mexico and Clearwater, Florida.”  Special Issue of Globalizations Cultures of Globalization:  Coherence, Hybridity, and Contestation  4(1)2007: 101-114. 

Archer, K, M. Bosman, M. Amen & E. Schmidt.  “Locating Globalizations and Cultures.” Special Issue of Globalizations “Cultures of Globalization: Coherence, Hybridity, and Contestation.” 4(1)2007: 1-14.

Dr. Rebecca Johns received the  Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Stanford University;  the Master of Science degree in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Ph.D. in Geography from Rutgers University in 1994.

Her research interests include human perceptions of nature; nature-society relationships; and the commodification of nature through neoliberalism. Current work focuses on the implementation of ecologically friendly landscaping practices in Florida, including perceptions of landscapes, barriers to implementation of "Florida Friendly Landscaping" principles and community efforts to transform the landscape. Other current research focuses on the creation of “moral schizophrenia” in human attitudes toward animals, as manifest in various arenas including spatial variations in animal welfare laws such as prohibitions on dog-fighting and in the incidence of compassion fatigue among animal welfare workers. Older research focuses primarily on spatial characteristics of labor organizing and the globalization of class struggle.

Recent publications include the following:

Mustafa, D, Smucker, T A, Ginn, F, Johns, R, Connely, S, 2010, "Xeriscape people and the cultural politics of turfgrass transformation" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 28(4) 600–617.

Johns, Rebecca A., 2009. “Assessing The Social And Ecological Impact Of Voluntary Simplicity,” Papers of the Applied Geography Conferences, Vol. 32.

Johns, Rebecca A., 2008. “Ecologically Appropriate Residential Landscaping in Pinellas County, Florida: Barriers and Incentives.” Papers of the Applied Geography Conference, Vol. 31, pgs. 283-291.

Johns, Rebecca A., Connelly, Shanon, Dorsey Joseph ,Krest, Jim, Mustafa, Daanish, Smucker, Thomas.. “Xeriscaping as Coastal Amelioration: using “Florida Friendly Landscaping” to reduce pollutant runoff and water consumption in Pinellas County, Florida,” Interdisciplinary Environmental Review,Vol X, No. 2, 2007, pps. 113-141.


Dr. Vikki Gaskin-Butler, Psychology

Ph.D. Clinical & Health Psychology, University of Florida

M.Div., Emory University

Research Areas:  Adult Spiritual, Mental, and Physical Well-being; Women's Mental and Spiritual Health. Dr. Gaskin-Butler's current research interests include:  coparenting expectations of African American mothers and non-co-resident fathers, and the relationship between mindfulness and coping in adults.

Recent publications include the following: 

Gaskin-Butler, V., Engert, T., Markievitz, M., Swenson, C. & McHale, J. (in press, Fall 2012). Prenatal representations of coparenting in unmarried African American mothers. Family Process,Volume Number (51).



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