College of Social Sciences


Social Science Scholars Program


Training Scholars, Building Leaders!

The Social Science Scholars Program was created to recognize and challenge outstanding majors in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. Social Science Scholars are chosen through a highly competitive process. Those selected participate in a leadership seminar during the spring semester of their junior year. The seminar prepares students for research or service projects that are undertaken during the following summer and/or fall semesters.

Social Science Scholars receive grants of up to $5,000 for approved travel and other expenses related to their projects, either in the U.S. or overseas. During their senior year, the scholars report on their leadership projects, attend seminars and symposia, and work with mentors to prepare for graduate school or other postgraduate opportunities.

Students applying for the program must have completed all liberal studies requirements and have a GPA of 3.3 or higher. They also must submit an unofficial university transcript and complete the on-line application located on this website.



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The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy produces great leaders!

The Social Science Scholars Program builds upon the college’s history of graduating men and women who have had gone on to distinguished careers in both the private and public sectors, among them:

  • Reuben Askew (Public Administration, 1951), former Florida governor
  • Lynda Keever (Political Science, 1969), former publisher of Florida Trend Magazine
  • Tomas Culligan (Political Science, 1973, and Public Administration, 1977), former CEO of Raytheon International, Inc.
  • Joyce Godwin (Political Science, 1965), a board member of World Vision International as well as many other non-profit organizations
  • Eric Reading (International Affairs, 1993), executive vice president of Chemonics International.

More recent graduates of the college also have been recognized for their outstanding academic achievement and leadership. For example, Cara Castellana (Economics, 2006) was Truman Scholar at the University of Chicago. Garrett Johnson (Political Science and English, 2006) and Joe O’Shea (Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and Philosophy, 2009) were Rhodes Scholars at Oxford University. Their example, and a desire to offer more opportunities for students to achieve at such a high level, inspired the creation of the program in 2012.

Since then, the college, and especially the Social Science Scholars Program, has continued to produce students recognized for their scholarship and service:

  • Tara Catanach (International Affairs, 2014), Jacqueline Rojas (Political Science and International Affairs, 2014) and Paige Dabney (International Affairs, 2014) received NESP Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for intensive language study in Tanzania, Mozambique and the Republic of Georgia, respectively.
  • Caitlin Strawder (Political Science, 2013) was awarded a Fulbright Assistantship to teach English in Colombia.
  • Rosalia Contreras (International Affairs and Women's Studies, 2013), also received a Fulbright Assistantship to teach English in Spain. In 2013-2014 Rosalia served as FSU's student body president, a position that has been held through the years by numerous social science majors, including the current president, Stefano Cavallaro (Political Science and Accounting, 2015)

If you are a social science student, we invite you to apply to the program. If you are an alumnus of the college, we encourage you to support these valuable opportunities that build outstanding students today and the leaders of tomorrow.

For more information contact
John Mayo (jmayo@fsu.edu), 644-4321 or Tom Taylor (ttaylor@fsu.edu), 933-9444