Professor’s Research Uncovers Key to Combatting Cyberbullying

It turns out that the key to combatting cyberbullying is… resilience. That was the major finding of a recent nationally-representative survey of 1,200 teens, conducted by Dr. Sameer Hinduja, cyberbullying expert and professor at the FAU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

“Everything hinges on the messages we tell ourselves and the beliefs we internalize about the adversity we face,” Hinduja said.

According to his research, victims of cyberbullying who lack resilience tend to act out in concerning ways.

“Whether it’s self-harm, interpersonal harm, violence, or deliquency,” Hinduja said.

On the other side of the coin, victims who possess resilience tend to find the courage to either block or report the cyberbully on their social media channels. The bullying also tends to not wound the victim as deeply when resilience is present.

“[The more resilient kids] didn’t really internalize the harm, and it didn’t really markedly affect their ability to learn and feel safe in school,” Hinduja said. “Parents, mentors, and other youth-serving adults must remember that we are ill-preparing adolescents for adulthood if we are always swooping in rescuing them from every social and relational struggle they face.”

“Hopefully, we can provide them a safe, supportive environment in which to learn, experiment, and develop a toolbox of skills to help them deal with haters, trolls, and anyone else who wants to tear them down – which is inevitable as they achieve success in their lives.”

Watch the full news report here.

2018 FAU Mentor and Mentee of the Year

Dr. Lincoln Sloas

Dr. Lincoln Sloas

Congratulations to Dr. Lincoln Sloas, Assistant Professor in the FAU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, for being named the 2018 FAU Faculty Mentor of the Year – a completely student-nominated and student-elected award through FAU’s Mentoring Project.

College often means new experiences, responsibilities, demands, and decisions. For many students, it’s not always easy to navigate their new world and balance challenging course loads. Mentorship can make all the difference in a student’s success.

“Having someone to talk about classes, but also life in general, is very important,” Sloas said. “Sometimes students don’t have that outlet, so having someone like me can help them progress in their college career and in their life. I find great value in taking stock in students’ lives at FAU and post-graduation, and then keeping track so I can watch their careers flourish.”

Ms. Hanna Cedillo, a second-semester freshman, was named Mentee of the Year. Cedillo and Sloas have been working together as mentor and mentee throughout the 2017-18 academic year.

“His mentees know he bends over backwards to provide them with information, opportunities, and resources,” said Dr. John Smykla, School Director and Professor. “He also encourages them to produce quality work, and he does it with humility. Dr. Sloas is open to learning from students, rather than always looking for opportunities to advance his own work, and his award is well-deserved.”