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Dean's Report - Fall 2015

Dear Friends

Fall is the time for new beginnings in the college. This year FSU welcomed its initial cohort of Presidential Scholars, the premier undergraduate merit scholarship for high school seniors admitted into the honors program. Nine of the 26 students in this first class of scholars have declared a major in our college. And our recent graduates are garnering awards from the Alumni Association: eight of this year’s Thirty Under 30 honorees for high achievement are social science graduates. The College of Social Sciences attracts many of the best students, and they are highly successful after graduation.

As freshmen and transfers made new beginnings upon their arrival at FSU this fall, our student organizations renewed their efforts to provide these new students a wealth of opportunities to expand and enhance their education beyond the classroom under our Get More Than a Degree initiative (http://coss.fsu.edu/get-more-degree).

In October, our Student Leadership Council (SLC) organized their Get More Than a Degree dinner where the 200 attendees heard Craig Filar, director of the Office of National Fellowships, talk about the importance of experiential learning outside the classroom. About 25 programs and organizations were there to explain how they could contribute to the goal of getting more than a degree. The SLC also undertook projects this fall to help community organizations that serve populations in need.

Our student chapter of the National Association of Business Economics began making plans to attend national meetings of the parent organization this year, where they will meet and interact with prominent economists.

In early November, 36 junior finalists were interviewed by faculty and alumni donors for one of the coveted positions in the Social Science Scholars program. The 18 students selected will enroll in a special seminar next semester that will focus on leadership and the development of a summer project supported by a scholarship.

Students in the World Affairs Program (WAP) competed in the Boston Area Regional Model United Nations Conference and came away with an Outstanding Delegation Award while competing against the likes of North Carolina, New York University, Boston College, Georgetown, Harvard, and Pennsylvania. WAP is celebrating its 30th anniversary in April. This program provides a wonderful opportunity for students to Get More than a Degree, and the continued active participation of its alumni provides a strong statement about its capacity to shape life after graduation.

The Global Peace Exchange began meetings this fall to encourage student participation in their summer projects in Nepal, Rwanda, Cambodia, and Ghana.
We are very proud of our Get More Than a Degree initiative and the students who take advantage of these opportunities to make the most of their experience at Florida State. These efforts are sustained and can only be expanded with gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the college. Please consider a year-end gift by going to the Giving page of our web site (http://coss.fsu.edu/giving/make-a-gift) or by contacting our Development Director Jesse Colvin (850-644-1920, jcolvin@foundation.fsu.edu).

Finally, I am pleased to announce the creation of the L. Charles Hilton Jr. Center for the Study of Economic Prosperity and Individual Opportunity. Dr. Shawn Kantor, the Hilton Distinguished Professor of Economics, will serve as the center’s first director. The principal goal of the center is to be recognized as a major state and national source for scholarship on the effect of institutions on economic prosperity and individual opportunity. Through collaboration among faculty and by engaging graduate and undergraduate students in course work and research in the area of markets and institutions, the center will enhance the reputation of the economics department and embellish the standing of the college and university.

Best Wishes for a Wonderful Holiday Season,
David