Social Science Scholar: The Effects of Amendment 4

The Social Science Scholars program has given me an opportunity as an undergraduate to release my own survey on a statewide level. As someone whose father recently was given the right to vote because of Amendment 4, having the opportunity to study its impact on the black community further is an enormous privilege. Helping him become more politically active has meant giving him his voice back, and being able to understand how Amendment 4 could empower larger groups of people is an extension of that. Because of the Social Science Scholars program, I have been given the tools to study a complex issue, and study it in a way that will empower my community. If a connection can be found between Amendment 4 and attitudes towards voting, a path for increasing black political participation as a whole can be found.

Disinformation about School Shootings on Twitter: Why Does It Happen? What Kind of Information is Shared? Does it Matter?

All of this has implications for democracy. While disinformation and polemics may stimulate a broader public conversation about social concerns such as gun violence, the relative incivility of these narratives which included polemics and insults are unlikely to increase users’ tolerance to individuals’ championing opposing perspectives—which is an important precursor to consensus-building . Conversely, fact-based narratives, particularly those discussing May’s mental health, could assist in consensus-building regarding health care in America. Even the personal narratives shared by students may help those holding opposing points of view regarding issues such as gun control better understand one another insofar as these stories can help individuals find areas of unanticipated agreement. Disinformation, in short, is bad for political conversation, political debate and deliberative processes.

Social Science Scholar: Florida Housing Coalition

I am truly grateful for the opportunities that the College’s Social Science Scholars Program has been able to provide me with. The Social Science Scholars Program gave me a supportive network of students, both in my own class and from past cohorts, who I could talk to on a range of issues from involvement on campus to pursuing an undergraduate honors thesis. Not only has this program provided me with the opportunity to further myself both personally and professionally through gaining real world experience in data analytics, but without the Social Science Scholars program, I would certainly not have found myself in an internship that allowed me to apply concepts I learned in the classroom at Florida State to a meaningful cause where I could help further affordable housing advocacy in my community.

Policy Pub: Get Ready for more Sweaty!

Dr. James Elsner participated in the Policy Pub in September 2019. To listen to his pub navigate here. Summer is here and it’s hot. I love it. I loved summer in Milwaukee as a kid but it was always way too short. Not here. Summer starts in May and runs through most of September. Perfect….

Entrepreneurship Programs Can Help Ex-offenders Stay out of Prison

This piece first appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat. Struggling to re-enter society with nothing but lost time and the additional burden of a criminal record, ex-offenders have a 76.6% chance of being rearrested within five years. This is dramatic evidence of the failure of the so-called “punishment” or “retributive” approach to criminal justice, which promises…

Are E-Scooter Services Good for Cities?

In short, we don’t have enough information to make a judgement on whether e-scooters make a net positive contribution to the Tallahassee community (or other similar places). Hopefully, the city of Tallahassee can use their current pilot program to carefully evaluate the safety and management issues and develop an understanding of who is using the scooter services and whether it is leading to a reduction in auto use.

Occupational Licensing Reform Could Help Keep Ex-Offenders Out of Prison

This piece originally appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat. The criminal justice system in the United States is often described as a revolving door –– with good cause. According to a report from the Florida Department of Corrections, more than 60 percent of prisoners released in Florida are re-arrested within three years of release. The offenses with…

When Exactly is Flu Season?

At the start of the school year, I ran into a colleague in the elevator. Sam told me he enjoyed his summer break in spite of the hot and humid weather.  His summer would have been perfect except for the severe flu he contracted a couple of weeks prior. This story might sound strange to…