|SARASOTA, Fla. (May 12, 2021) – USF Associate Professor Marie Byrd has won a USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Award for her research involving the social and emotional learning of Black girls.
Byrd, the interim Sarasota-Manatee campus director for the College of Education, has focused her scholarship on the intersection of race and gender for school-aged Black girls and the resulting complexity of their social, emotional and academic development.
The WLP award, announced two weeks ago, stems from Byrd’s work involving an after-school program for K-6 children in an apartment complex in Sarasota. The program, developed by Byrd in October 2019 through a grant from United Way Suncoast, provides homework and reading support, social and emotional skills training and character building for the children.
“I’m honored to receive this award, but this is not about me,” Byrd said. “This is about the necessary research of the social and emotional learning of Black girls and the facilitation of needed support in schools and in out-of-school programs. I’m honored that this work is being recognized.”
The award comes as attention is shifting toward rising disciplinary rates of Black girls in comparison to boys and girls of other races and ethnicities. Nationally, Black girls experience discipline rates six times higher than White girls and suspension rates that are higher than 67 percent of boys, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.
Byrd said she intends to use the $5,000 WLP grant award to expand her research of social-emotional learning and examine the results of in-school and out-of-school programs nationwide.
“This work has not been given the attention it fully deserves, and this grant will help to further this research and lay the foundation for future grants to provide more change in this critical area,” Byrd said.
|About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, placing it in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher income students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at www.usf.edu.