On September 7, Florida House State Representative Betty Reed (D – 59th District) visited the College of Behavioral & Community Sciences to learn and engage in dialogue with faculty members and students regarding their research in the community. They shared information that aimed at improving the quality of life, health, and safety of diverse populations and promoting positive change in individuals, communities, organizations and systems.
Faculty members from Aging & Mental Health Disparities (AMHD), Child & Family Studies (CFS) and Mental Health Law & Policy (MLHP) shared how their research correlates with some of the issues Rep. Reed sees in her district.
Faculty members and students took pride in their relationships with the community and how they’ve been very willing to help in their research. Dr. Dinorah Martinez Tyson emphasized that the strength is the community.
Each faculty member and student took time to explain to Rep. Reed their specific area of research and how it relates to the community.
Dr. Richard Briscoe (CFS) stated “The community has solutions to their problems, but people are not aware of the services provided in their communities and how to better utilize them.”
He also explained how his research suggests how an issue should be addressed within a community. “It is important for the community to drive an issue, take ownership of it and build the capacity to sustain it,” said Briscoe.
Since the University of South Florida is located within her district, she understands the importance of collaboration to address issues in the community.
“I truly appreciate the work you all do. We get a lot of calls from people in the community, my constituents, asking for help, said Rep. Reed. “You are an important piece on how we handle and work with these issues.”
Rep. Reed is very influential in Tampa’s African American community and an advocate for community support organizations and social services. In the House, she sits on the State Universities & Private Colleges Appropriations Committee and the House Health Care Services Policy Committee. She also is involved in issues relating to healthcare and mental health. Rep. Reed was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2006.
(In photo, top row: Victor Molinari, PhD; Lawrence Schonfeld, PhD; Lisa Brown, PhD; Florida State Representative Betty Reed; Dinorah (Dina) Martinez Tyson, PhD; bottom row: Richard Briscoe, PhD; Doctoral Student Claudia Aguado Loi; Rochelle Lentini, M.Ed., and Amber Gum, PhD.)