UT Honors is proud to present the inaugural Spaulding Speaker Series featuring Dr. Robert Agnew, creator of the general strain theory of delinquency in the field of Criminology.

Date and time: Thu, April 7, 2022, 6pm to 7pm

Location: 9th Floor Vaughn in the Crescent Club

Tickets (free/open to public):

The creator of this series is David B. Spaulding, the younger of the two sons of the University of Tampa’s founder and first president, Frederic H. Spaulding.

This series emerged from summer conversations held between David and his nephew Frederick C. and Frederick’s wife Victoria. David is deeply concerned with understanding human nature. He is interested in what causes people to act in socially destructive ways. It is his hope that by promoting a greater awareness of the factors that lead to those behaviors, that we may find better ways to manage them. The Spauldings will always have a special place in their hearts for the University of Tampa and hope that this lecture will enrich the instructional program in a small but significant way. 

About Dr. Agnew: Robert Agnew is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Emory University. His research focuses on the causes of crime, particularly his general strain theory of delinquency. He has published over 150 articles/chapters and seven books, including Toward A Unified Criminology: Integrating Assumptions about Crime, People, and Society (NYU Press, 2011); Pressured into Crime: An Overview of General Strain Theory (Oxford, 2006); and Why Do Criminals Offend: A General Theory of Crime and Delinquency (Oxford, 2005). He served as President of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), is an ASC Fellow, received the ASC’s Edwin H. Sutherland Award, and was elected to the Southern Sociological Society Roll of Honor. 

For more information on the event, contact

Hon 102 Kickball Game

Dr. Stephen Kromka’s Hon 102 class recently got together to play a kickball game. Hon 101/102 is a class that prepares students for Honors and academic research/media literacy, but it’s also all about team-building and building community with other Honors students. Getting outside to enjoy the Florida sunshine together is a great way to do both.

Honors Thesis Symposium 3/18/2022

Five graduating Honors students presented their Honors Theses Friday March 18 as an Honors symposium. Margaret Baker discussed her research analyzing the relationship between zooplankton and marine contamination. Alexandra M. Rodriguez discussed her research focusing on facial recognition and mask wear. Jana De Kock used her Honors thesis to analyze psychological and physiological effects of stress on the human epigenetic profile and the brain. Jarred Miller was involved in research analyzing the cancer cells and cancer treatment. Sarah Manno created a thesis considering the ideal pre-med curriculum for preparation for medical school. All five of the students have put in long hours to bring these theses to fruition.

Honors Thesis: Hannah Lammon

I first started my honors thesis journey during freshman year when I initially was introduced to research outside of my high school science classes. Throughout my life, I have always found that I have been a naturally curious person and I initially approached my first-year accounting professor, Rachel Gambol, about the possibility of conducting research. She introduced me to Dr. Robert Marley who has been my thesis committee chair throughout my entire thesis process. Before applying to the Oxford Abroad program, my thesis had begun evolving as my interests changed and research process was unfolding. Initially, I wanted to research the country of Myanmar’s reliance on cryptocurrency, but, due to the inaccessibility of reliable information on either the Myanmar’s finance and accounting records and cryptocurrency transaction volume in that region, we quickly reformed my thesis.

After arriving at Oxford and Christ Church College, we had the opportunity to solely focus on our research and my thesis advisor while being there, Nikita Aggarwal, was a fierce critic of what I had written so far. She helped me understand the nature of trust in the digital world and honed my thesis to its current state. Rather than looking specifically at cryptocurrency, I found that I was interested in the inherent promises of blockchain technology and to connect it to my career path interest of accounting, we decided that the audit route would be most relevant to me. My research at Oxford greatly impacted the way I think about education, research, and curiosity.

My biggest recommendation for anyone in the Honors Program is to apply for the Oxford Abroad Program. Throughout my four years at UT and the involvement that I have participated and led at UT, I would put my Oxford abroad experience as my favorite thing I’ve ever done in undergrad. No matter what your major is, you can connect a personal passion or interest to your major and that is the simple power of conducting research. You have total control over what you want to research and what you want your result to be.

Although I could talk forever about my Oxford experience, I think the most beneficial learning moment I had was just regaining perspective on the purpose of learning. Some classes that you may take at UT can be draining and it is difficult to find a balance with school and social life as a new college student. Although it may seem like a problem you are facing alone, every undergrad goes through the same struggle at some point in their time in college. Something that I found surprising at Oxford was that many students practice incredible balance with commitment to their education and social life. By committing all their energy into what they’re doing in the present, they also respect their personal life with friends and loved ones. Although this is one lesson that I didn’t realize I would learn when I started my honors thesis journey, I am forever grateful for it.

When I returned to campus in Fall 2020, the world had changed dramatically since I had left, and my future had as well. Rather than wanting to publish and continue my education, I decided over the initial quarantine that getting into the auditing field was a priority for me. After talking to my honors thesis committee, we decided to change the formatting of my thesis to be a review paper of available literature on the impact of blockchain on auditing. Although it includes all the information I would have included in a publishable paper, it lacks original data gathering, hypothesis, and other elements that many students consider to be in a typical scientific research paper.

As you think about your own research, be comfortable with change and don’t stress yourself out with keeping the same topic throughout your whole process. Research is meant for you to ask more questions which may coincidently change the entire direction of your thesis. Welcoming those changes will make your experience more interesting and allow you to grow as an individual. If you are interested in research and haven’t found a topic yet, I recommend having conversations with professors that you admire and if they conduct research, ask them about their experiences. Talking to passionate individuals can only aid in your process of opening your brain to asking questions you are personally interested in and inspire you. If I had not been involved in the Honors Program, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do an honors thesis or research in Oxford with the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. Reflecting today, it would have been detrimental to my experience at UT and individual growth. I want to send my biggest thanks and appreciation to Dr. Tillman, Dr. Cragun, Dr. Marley, Rachel Gambol, and Dr. Faifman for their support throughout my research journey.

Oxford Abroad: Lauren Marolf

Oxford has been everything I dreamed it would be and more. The weeks have flown by so the best advice I can give to students attending Oxford in the future is don’t hold back! Try to experience something new every day. Between the museums, parks, libraries, cafes and college events, there is so much to see – even just in Oxford. Most of my days contain essay work, meeting up with friends at cafes and attending evening formals, concerts, and balls. To any future student of Oxford: schedule time to breathe. Go on walks and take it all in. Oxford is the oldest English-speaking university in the world – there is so much rich history you get to share with brilliant minds that came before you and with ones that will come after you. 

Another note I would make for students attending Oxford in the future is, ask faculty members and students to coffee; learn what you can from those around you. I’ve attended quite a few networking events while I’ve been here that I have never regretted attending. Because of technology, it is easy to meet someone once and stay in touch with them forever.

Highlights of my trip have included studying in Duke Humfrey’s Library, playing on an Oxford Blues Sports team (go Futsal!), walking along the River Thames by Christ Church Meadow, going to formal dinners in college, and meeting other OSAP students from around the world.

I am excited to be back in Tampa and to share more of what I’ve experienced in Oxford. It’s been an incredible journey that has made a lasting effect on my future – one that I will never forget.

See you soon Tampa,


Oxford Abroad: Michelle Joos

Our time at Oxford is coming to an end, and its flooooown by. I’ve experienced so much here, and although it was an academic challenge, it’s crazy how much I learned in just 8 weeks.  My two tutorials have both developed into studies that I didn’t see coming, where the tutors really accommodated my subjects every week into topics that we both found interesting and relevant. Honestly, I was so worried about the direction of my primary and it being so broad that I wouldn’t know enough for it, but my tutor has managed to transform our time together into a big project where I was able to interview 6 different non-profit organizations and write a publishable paper — something I never imagined being possible in such a short time. 

I could go on and on about all the wonderful things we all have been able to experience, but it was also more challenging in ways I wasn’t expecting. So much freedom really forced me to learn how to manage my time smartly, and no two days looked alike in the past 8 weeks (which can also be overwhelming). It’s hard to get to know the local students here since we are doing independent studies and don’t live in the dorms at our respective colleges, but joining clubs and attending college events has helped! I joined the women’s varsity Futsal team, and even traveled to Nottingham for a tournament against other university teams. Getting to know other OSAP students during travel days organized by the program gave us a really nice support system, too. We are all planning trips together around the UK and Europe for when the term finishes (another perk that comes with short terms)! 

It saddens me to say we are days away from finishing, and to any UT student who is thinking about applying, do it. If you are scared about the application process, interviews, and the competition that comes with trying out for this program, you never know until you give it a shot. You can always re-apply! I have gotten so many wonderful experiences and connections from being here, and am excited to bring it all back to my UT studies and community. 

Cheers from Oxford! xx


Symposium: The Story Under the Story featuring Professor Shane Hinton

On February 28, 2022, Professor Shane Hinton gave a talk titled “The Story under the Story,” which featured insight into his own creative writing process. He talked about how material in his own life has inspired his fiction, providing “emotional circumstances” from which he might draw to create characters and experiences. Then, he read from his story, “Pelt.”

Professor Hinton is an assistant teaching professor in the department of English and Writing. He specializes in fiction, and his work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Clackamas Literary Review, The Nervous Breakdown, The Rumpus, Fiction Advocate, storySouth, The Butter and others.

Coffee Conversation: Why Learn to Write Well When an AI Can Do it for You

On February 15, Dr. Dan Dooghan Associate Professor of English and Writing facilitated the coffee conversation, “why learn to write well when AI can do it for you.” Dr. Dooghan led the Honors students in a conversation considering the complex process of finding our voices to communicate our intervention of change in the world. Students discussed how important the writing process is to understanding that thought and voice matter that the actually product created.

Symposium: Art History as an Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

On Feb 3, Dr. Rose Trentinella gave a symposium called “Art History as an Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.” Her interactive discussion featured images from photography and fine art that have sparked meaningful dialogue in a variety of disciplines. She suggested that art history provides a sound basis for epistemology (or how we know what we know/the theory of knowledge).

Dr. Trentinella is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Art and Design at UT. As an art historian, Dr. Trentinella’s academic interests include Greco-Roman and Italian Renaissance art, especially their convergence during the “rediscovery of antiquity” in the 15th and 16th centuries. As a scholar, Dr. Trentinella’s research centers on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, with a particular focus on how pedagogies of interdisciplinary fields such as art history can be most effective for student learning.

Oxford Abroad: Catie Valentino

Hello from Oxford! I cannot believe it’s been almost three weeks since arriving here. I cannot possibly express how unbelievable it’s been, and how much I’ve grown in just the first few weeks. From the food to the language differences to the architecture, Oxford surprises me every single day. 

Seeing that it’s my first time leaving the US, I was nervous about studying abroad. Thankfully, OSAP and everyone in Oxford was more than welcoming. The greatest piece I could offer is this: ask questions. Not once have I asked for help from a tutor, the OSAP office, a neighbor, or a stranger on the street and not received it. 

I think the best thing about studying here is, of course, the academics. The University has 101 libraries in total, and the resources are endless. Working closely with a tutor has pushed me intellectually and has proved to me the value of academic research for personal development and knowledge. 

I can’t recommend this experience enough!


Catie Valentino