Take Lessons of Empathy beyond Pandemic, into the Classroom

This piece first appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat. COVID-19 has thrown higher education into an unprecedented period of uncertainty. Funding sources, school openings, grades — each facet of the system is under a microscope. As another crop of seniors make way for a new crop of freshmen in the fall, the lesson to learn and…

Research Spotlight: Citizen Engagement and Municipal Marketing in the Sunshine State

Florida cities have yet to fully realize the usefulness of marketing as a strategic tool for achieving municipal goals, but the future is promising. Cities realize the necessity of marketing and branding efforts. In the near future we may be bombarded with more branded images as cities continue to experiment with marketing activities. Strategically, cities should use these marketing efforts to keep us engaged as citizens and connected with our local government in order to achieve their own goals.

COSSPP Faculty Impact on Scholarship: Influence at a Glance

As the spring semester comes to an end, we want to take a moment to celebrate the accomplishments and influence of faculty in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. This series of graphs produced by Dr. Jim Elsner offers a glimpse of the amazing work taking place in the College of Social Science…

Five Principles to Improve Your Virtual Work Space after Coronavirus

This piece first appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to massive, overnight shifts in higher education and in the broader workforce. Millions of students and workers in Florida and throughout the U.S. are now forced into online learning and virtual work.  Unfortunately, remote work and learning carries its own burdens….

Policy Pub: Beyond Redevelopment – Urban Planning for Racial Equity

On any given day, you can drive around Tallahassee and see new construction everywhere. Development is often an indication of a city’s success and growth. But who gets left behind in this progress, and how can urban planners work toward social and economic justice for every citizen? Continuing Policy Pub’s focus on how national, even…

Policy Pub: Generosity in Hurricane Michael’s Wake

Hurricane Michael hit Florida’s Gulf Coast in October of 2018 as a category five hurricane. The storm leveled communities to the West of Tallahassee, damaging homes, displacing residents, crippling some industries, and leaving piles of debris behind. In its wake, I set off to study how civil society – nonprofits, religious organizations, and less organized…

From the Dean’s Desk: What a Remarkable 2019!

It’s important to note just how fundamental COSSPP is to FSU’s success. As the third largest college on campus (by number of students), displaying the demographic and intellectual diversity that is a signature of the FSU experience, the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy is a key element of this rise up the rankings. Over the course of the calendar year, COSSPP will graduate another 1,700+ students, producing 1 in every 6 degrees granted by FSU. Unlike many programs that cap their enrollments or limit their majors, COSSPP’s programs serve all students, and we are a key part of the parity in university graduation rates regardless of race, gender, and background.

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.