Dr. Kathleen Moore FACULTY Excellence AWARD 

Our Faculty Excellence Award Program recognizes faculty research excellence in six separate award categories, each receiving a $5,000 research grant

  • Three Campus-Based Faculty Excellence Awards
    • One award per USF campus — Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee
    • Faculty members who hold a regular tenure-track appointment at an institution within USF at the level of assistant, associate or full professor.
  • One USF Junior Faculty Excellence Award
    • Faculty members who hold a regular, tenure-track appointment at an institution within USF at the level of assistant professor.
  • One Instructor Award
    • Non-tenured teaching faculty within USF at the level of Instructor I, II or III.
  • One Valerie D Riddle, M.D., Award in Health
    • Faculty members who hold a regular tenure-track appointment within USF Health (Morsani College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Public Health, School of Physical Therapy, School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Pharmacy) at the level of assistant, associate or full professor pursuing research in any topic related to women’s health.

To be considered, all applicants must submit an electronic packet by Feb. 18, 2022 using this online form. A completed application packet includes the sections listed below, uploaded as a single file (please ensure responses are written in 12-point font and double spaced):

  • Section 1: Discuss the impact, importance and meaning of one's research and creative scholarship as it relates to women and women’s issues within the university and beyond.  (500 words or less)

  • Section 2: Share how you plan to use the $5,000 award. (500 words or less)

  • Section 3: List your contributions to women through teaching, scholarship, professional associations, volunteerism, leadership activities and institutional welfare.

  • Section 4: Demonstrate activity in scholarly presentations at professional conferences, associations and learned societies, and the dissemination of  knowledge to students.

  • Section 5: Provide a letter of nomination describing the nominee's overall achievement and its significance from a department chair or institute/center/program director with an endorsement by the dean.

  • Section 6: Include short vitae and any additional materials of support. (Maximum five pages)

The application packet must be submitted by Feb. 18, 2022, to be considered for the 2022 USF WLP Faculty Excellence Award Program. Please complete the submission process by completing the form and uploading  your PDF application packet by clicking here.

Application process:

  •  Application must be for a single individual, joint/team applications are not accepted.
  • Assistant professors may apply for the institutional-based award, the university-wide award, and the Valerie D Riddle, M.D. Award in Health. Applicants will be awarded in a single category.
  • The Dr. Kathleen Moore Faculty Excellence Award is an equal opportunity award, although preference will be given to female candidates.
  • Past applicants must reapply for consideration. 


Meera Nanjundan 2.jpg
Meera Nanjundan, PhD
USF Tampa Faculty Award

Meera Nanjundan received her doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario and then engaged in post-doctoral fellowships at the Scripps Research Institute and MD Anderson Cancer Center prior to joining the University of South Florida in 2007 as an assistant professor. She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology (CMMB) in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her major current research area focuses on mechanisms underlying the transformation of precursor lesions to various subtypes of ovarian tumors. In addition to research, she contributes to the CMMB teaching mission in which she mentors both graduate and undergraduate students. For the 2019-2020 academic year, she was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Core Scholar Grant to teach and engage in research with faculty at Tokushima University in addition to mentoring and instilling passion in science to underrepresented female STEM students in Japan.

Joan Reid 2.jpg
Joan Reid, PhD
St. Petersburg Faculty Award

Joan Reid, PhD, is the director of the USF Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Risk to Resilience Research Lab and associate professor of criminology located at the USF St. Petersburg campus. Reid and her collaborators are working to transform Tampa Bay from a region characterized by a high risk for human trafficking to a region of resilience by linking and leveraging the expertise of interdisciplinary researchers across three USF campuses and strong community partnerships to address the problem of human trafficking. Reid has authored more than 65 publications featured in prominent journals to include the American Journal of Public Health, Annals of Internal Medicine, Justice Quarterly and Sexual Abuse, with more than 50 chiefly focused on sex trafficking of girls and boys in the United States. The impact of her research is extensive, impacting practice on both a regional level and cited as guidance in human trafficking cases in various State Supreme Courts and in the U.S. Supreme Court case Jane Doe et al. vs. Backpage et al. As a licensed mental health counselor, Reid has experience providing trauma therapy to rape, sexual abuse and human trafficking survivors. Reid received her master's degree in rehabilitation and mental health counseling and doctorate in criminology from the University of South Florida.

Marie Byrd 2.jpg
Marie Byrd, PhD
Sarasota-Manatee Faculty Award

Marie Byrd, PhD, is an associate professor and director at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus. Byrd's scholarship centers on the extensive topic of research-based best practices that foster academic, social and emotional success in socioeconomically, racially/ethnically and culturally diverse schools. She focuses a particular lens on national, state and local attempts to narrow the divide between theory and practice when analyzing the continuous widening of the academic achievement gap. Other areas of research include analyzing effective instruction through an exploration of such concepts as culturally responsive teaching and cultural competence professional development training, documentation of the challenges of teaching in high poverty schools in a standards-based society, researching best practices of current master teachers, and proposing programs and professional development models to facilitate positive and productive school learning communities.
Byrd also directs attention to the need for a paradigm shift to engage teachers in continuous, long-term professional development centered on whole child and culturally responsive instruction to meet the needs of today's diverse student population while embracing the data-driven accountability, standards-based educational movement.

Ronee Wilson 2.jpg
Ronee Wilson, PhD
Valerie D. Riddle, M.D. Award in Health

Roneé Wilson, PhD, is an assistant professor in the College of Public Health in Tampa. As a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist, her research focuses on designing and evaluating community-engaged interventions to improve the health of women and their families. She is dedicated to addressing the persistent health disparities and inequities that impact Black/African American communities. Wilson is the evaluator of a federally funded home visiting program for pregnant women and families of children under 2 years of age. She is also the co-lead of a community-led doula-focused perinatal mental wellness project. Additionally, she serves as the chair of the Data and Evaluation Committee of the Black Infant and Maternal Mortality Task Force. Within the College of Public Health, Wilson incorporates the concepts of cultural competence/humility, social determinants of health, and health equity into her course lectures. She earned her doctorate from the University of South Florida and her master’s degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

Heather O'Leary 2.jpg
Heather O'Leary, PhD
USF Junior Faculty Award

Heather O'Leary, PhD, is an assistant professor of anthropology and interdisciplinary social sciences. O'Leary's research interests include transnational disparities related to women's rights, water politics, urbanization and the environment. She regularly presents on these topics at national and international anthropology conferences and works with governance institutions like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to find social-science solutions. O'Leary was a Wenner-Gren and a Fulbright Fellow in India, where she has traveled and performed ethnographic research in Hindi for more than a decade. She speaks Hindi and Urdu, having received a Foreign Language and Area Studies Award from the United States Department of Education. She researches how sustainable development plans in coastal cities can be more inclusive. She is an active leader member of many respected anthropology organizations, including presently serving on the executive committee for the International Union for Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences and the steering committee of the World Anthropological Union. O'Leary teaches undergraduate courses in anthropology and interdisciplinary social sciences, including courses on gender in the cross-cultural perspective, environmental movements methodologies and a senior capstone course. She directs the EcoFem Lab, where interdisciplinary colleagues join O'Leary's graduate and undergraduate students to analyze the changing representations of environmental justice in popular culture and rigorous scholarly works.

Geveryl Robinson.jpg
Geveryl Robinson, MFA
USF Instructor Award

Geveryl Robinson, MFA, is an Instructor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences in St. Petersburg. She is also a member of the USF Black Employee Steering Committee and co-chair of the Enlightenment Series, which presents courageous conversations via workshops that are designed to foster a culture of inclusive excellence at USF. The workshops focus on intersectional perspectives related to bias, cultural competence and systemic racism, with an emphasis on current trends facing Black communities across the African Diaspora. Her research in the form of a documentary, focuses on violent politeness and its effects on the relationship between Black and White women in academia, corporate America, entertainment and feminism. Robinson received her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Memphis.