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Dean's Report - Summer 2011

As I write this report from a cabin in Glacier Park, the view is spectacular. The Rocky Mountains are in front of me and the North Fork of the Flathead River is about 100 yards behind me. This is a welcome vacation away from the day-to day affairs of the college, but it also provides a time to reflect on the coming year.

Our "one book/one campus" program is a common reading program that begins the FSU educational experience for first year students. The selection for this year is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. This provocative book raises important issues about medical ethics, racism, and poverty in the context of incredible medical advances through research that was made possible by cells taken from Henrietta Lacks in 1951. On August 28 our new student convocation will feature Skloot as the guest speaker. Our students will have an exciting introduction to their FSU educational experience.

I am very excited about beginning the 2011-12 academic year. The college is placing a high priority on providing new leadership and professional development opportunities that will enable more of our students to take their rightful place among the best and brightest in the nation. During this past summer students started a new chapter of the Pi Gamma Mu, the national honorary society for the social sciences. This organization is planning programs that foster professional development experiences for students in the college, an interest that is shared by the College’s Student Leadership Council.

This year we inaugurate our Social Science Scholars program, a highly competitive program which will serve as the highest honor that the college can confer on one of its majors, In November 15 juniors will be selected as our first cohort of scholars. The honorees will take a leadership and professional development seminar in during the spring semester. Each of these students will receive a $5000 award to support selected extra curricular learning opportunities such as international study and internships in major cities of the world. In addition, these students will also enroll in a one-hour seminar course during their senior year.

The coming academic year looks very promising as the social science family, student leaders, faculty, alumni, and friends, join together in augmenting the basic Florida State education.

With bests regards,
David W. Rasmussen