UNI Award Spotlights

University of South Florida Nexus Initiative (UNI) awards offer faculty the opportunity to advance current human understanding and address pressing societal needs through collaboration with global partners in research and scholarly and innovative efforts. In 2019, five USF faculty members from the Sarasota-Manatee campus were awarded UNI grants, including:


Jean Kabongo, PhD, and Tom Becker, PhD

Kabongo, Sarasota-Manatee campus dean and professor in the Muma College of Business, and Becker, professor in the Muma College of Business, are studying entrepreneurial resilience in developing African economies. In fall 2019, the first survey was completed from Ghana, South Africa and Uganda. Earlier this year, they met their African collaborators at a conference in Nigeria and visited Ghana and South Africa. Data entry is completed, and the second survey will take place later this year.

Photo of Jean Kabongo, PhD
Photo of Tom Becker, PhD

The Crime of Stalking

Fawn Ngo, PhD

Ngo, an associate professor of criminology, and Jose Agustina, a professor of law at the University International of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, are conducting a cross-national, comparative study of stalking between the United States and Spain. They seek to determine how socio-political differences impact victims’ experiences with the criminal justice system, behavioral and coping strategies and the effectiveness of formal and informal response to stalking. Her planned return to Spain in March to resume work was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Fawn Ngo, PhD

Smart Cities

Giti Javidi, PhD, and Ehsan Sheybani, PhD

Javidi, a professor of information technology and cybersecurity, and Sheybani, an associate professor of information systems and decision sciences, visited Greece to collaborate with telecommunication researchers learning about how 5G (5th generation) mobile and wireless systems are being implemented. They also are studying how the next generation of these systems-6G technology-should be planned to accommodate emerging technologies such as smart cities, wearable computers, virtual and augmented reality and autonomous driving.

Photo of Giti Javidi, PhD
Photo of Ehsan Sheybani, PhD