Human Trafficking in the Gulf Coast Region: It’s Closer than you think!

Dr. Melinda L. Lewis
Dr. Melinda L. Lewis

Faculty Fellow: Dr. Melinda L. Lewis

The learning experience will introduce a new high impact practice (HIP) student project as a key element to an existing undergraduate social work elective course entitled, Human Trafficking - (SOW 4990). This new collaborative student project will address current factors surrounding the scope and prevalence of human trafficking activities along the Florida Panhandle, northern Gulf Coast region and eastern I-10 corridor.

This HIP project builds on the 2014 Emerge HIP project entitled “From the Underground Railroad to Modern Day Human Trafficking” by addressing regional human trafficking concerns relevant to social work practice in our geographic area and aligns with the regional comprehensive mission and scope set forth by the University of West Florida (UWF).

Students enrolled in this course will work together to gather, interpret, analyze and disseminate regional data on the scope and prevalence of human trafficking. Students will build substantive relationships with peers and UWF professionals as they identify, classify, and articulate newly acquired knowledge on human trafficking in the Gulf Coast region.

The project will require group work wherein students will employ a multitude of data gathering skills and efforts to gather and compile information on common types of trafficking at local and regional levels, state and national policies affecting local victims, and available resources to assist victims and families. Students will then demonstrate the skills to convey newly acquired knowledge in novel situations as they collaborative to organize and deliver subject matter to UWF student peers, student organizations, faculty, and community professionals in oral, written, and web-based formats.

High Impact Practices (HIPs) Utilized

  • Collaborative Assignment and Projects

For more information, please contact Dr. Melinda L. Lewis at or (850) 474-2614.

Project Presentation