Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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College Awards Faculty For Teaching And Research

For the first time, the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy has recognized our exceptional faculty with internal awards for their vital work and important contributions.

This first annual awards program was organized largely through the efforts of Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Community Engagement Deana Rohlinger. The college plans to continue the tradition in the years to come.

The awards were announced April 29 by Dean Tim Chapin at the most recent of the virtual town hall meetings he has been hosting for faculty and staff since remote work orders were issued by the university to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“This has been something we’ve talked about since I became dean, the idea of the college becoming much more active and proud in recognizing our faculty for their exceptional work and contributions to education and knowledge, and I’m happy to see this get off the ground this year,” he said. “I hope this is a tradition that continues for many years to come.”

Departments and programs nominated many from among their ranks. Out of these, a committee selected the following for recognition:

Tenure Track Faculty Teaching Awards

Shantell Buggs (Sociology, African American Studies) joined the COSSPP faculty in 2017. In 2019, she received the Association of Black Sociologists A. Wade Smith Award for Teaching, Mentorship and Service, awarded to members of the organization who have been dedicated and innovative teachers and those who have nurtured future scholars in the field. She was recognized by the FSU Pride Student Union as its 2018-2019 Faculty of the Year.

“In my classroom, I am motivated to create a space where my students can make important and necessary demands of themselves and of me regarding how to critique and unpack the social world,” she says of her teaching philosophy and practice. “I aim for my classes to be able to ‘collectively imagine’ ways to break down social boundaries.”

Amanda Driscoll (Political Science) joined the faculty in 2012 and currently serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Political Science. Her research and teaching interests center on comparative democratic institutions of modern Latin America. Her widely published work considers the institutional architecture of all modern democracies, including elections, executives, legislatures and courts.

In March 2020, she and a team of colleagues received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study how the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent local responses impact public support for the rule of law.

Robert Jackson (Political Science) joined the faculty in 2002. He has been the director of the department’s Research Intensive Bachelor’s Certificate Program since 2014.

In 2011, the student organization Burning Spear awarded him the Guardian of the Flame Award, which “recognizes an outstanding faculty member from each college and school whose contributions have shown a dedication to our university, and through his/her work, has made a commitment to advancing Florida State University as a leading institution of higher education,” according to the organization.

Specialized Teaching Faculty Awards

Bradley Kile (Political Science) earned his Ph.D. at FSU in 2005 and began instructing in the political science department that same year. He is also a principal in the firm of Dumbarton Group, which provides government affairs, communication, policy analysis and association management services to a wide range of clients.

While a student, he was twice nominated for the FSU Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (2004, 2005). Today he is an instructor in the department’s Master of Applied American Politics and Policy (MAAPP) program and helped organized this year’s MAAPP at TheCap event, bringing students together with alumni and state government officials for a look at Florida politics and the COSSPP alums who are its key players.

Lisa Turner de Vera (Interdisciplinary Social Sciences) is the associate director and teaching faculty in the Interdisciplinary Social Science program. She is also affiliated faculty with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. In the 2018 issue of Engage, she published an article on teaching cultural and political tolerance through interdisciplinary research skills.

“The question of tolerance, flexibility, and the ability to use ethical consciousness in teaching is a salient point for introspection among scholars,” she wrote. “As teachers, we must take responsibility for helping our students learn to appreciate differences and to seek an integration of perspectives and worldviews. For many of us, it means putting our own positions aside long enough to allow a deeper study of perspectives we do not understand and, sometimes, perspectives we do not agree with.”

Gary VanLandingham (Askew School of Public Administration and Policy) has been the Reubin O’D. Askew Senior Practitioner in Residence and the master’s program director in the Askew School since 2016. Before that, he was adjunct faculty with the school from 2005-2010.

VanLandingham brings considerable real-world experience to the classroom, having served as the director of the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative for the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C. (2011 to 2016) and director of the Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (2003 to 2010). While studying for his Master of Public Administration degree at FSU, he was an intern in the governor’s executive office.

Early Career Research Awards

Kerry Fang (Urban & Regional Planning) came to the faculty in 2018 with a body of work that included numerous publications, research grants and awards.

“My work focuses on economic development and land use,” she says. “I ask questions like ‘Why are some regions are rich while others are poor?’ and ‘What policy tools can help create jobs and boost innovation?’ I also examine the consequences of economic development, such as the encroachment into agricultural areas, sprawling development patterns and pollution. My work is both interdisciplinary and international. I adopt methods from economics, statistics, geography, sociology and computer science.”

Carl Kitchens (Economics) is the Bernard Sliger Professor in the economics department, whose faculty he joined in 2014. He is an economic historian interested in applications to law and economics, health and development. He has been a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research since 2013 and on the board of editors of the Journal of Economic History since 2019.

“Economic historians are able to provide a longer time horizon over which to evaluate policy interventions,” he says. “They’re also able to provide perspective and remind people that certain events have occurred before, such as the Great Recession of 2008, which looks a lot like prior financial panics. Economic history is also valuable because historically there was a lot of experimentation with policy, which helps to inform policymakers today.”

Mid-Career Research Awards

Amy Burdette (Sociology) joined the faculty in 2010. She is also affiliated faculty with two units within the college: the Center for Demography and Population Health and the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy. In fall 2019 she began directing the new Bachelor of Science in Public Health program.

Her research focuses on issues related to religion and health and social inequality and health across the life course. She is a prolific scholar who has published more than 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts since 2004. According to Google Scholar, Burdette has been cited more than 2,500 times since 2006. Her work also centers on topics related to gun ownership, substance use, vaccinations and sexual health. She has done several studies relating to the health effects of religious involvement. In 2019 she took over the editorship of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Chris Uejio (Geography) came to FSU in 2011. He studies how the physical environment, broadly defined, influences human health and well-being. In 2019 he was part of a research team that was awarded more than $400,000 by the National Institutes of Health to study how Hurricane Michael affected birth outcomes in the Florida Panhandle.

In 2016 he received a $1.07 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help county health departments across Florida adapt to problems created by changing environmental factors such as climate change. Uejio subsequently co-authored the CDC’s Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework. He frequently works with health departments to understand and adapt to climate change. His work has also been funded by federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Late Career Research Awards

Anne Barrett (Sociology) has been with the faculty since 2013 and currently serves as the director of the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy, where she leads the institute’s research areas in pathways to later life, aging and health disparities, communities and transportation and aging and health policy. She regularly brings the fruit of her extensive research to the broader community through presentations at the college’s Policy Pub series, the FSU Faculty Luncheon series and her weekly Aging Today broadcasts on WFSU-FM.

In 2018 Barrett received a Fulbright grant to conduct research at the University of Trento in Italy, examining the impact of that country’s population trend on services to older adults and addressing questions of relevance to the world’s aging societies – how, and by whom, care should be provided for older adults. Her work on the Fulbright grant was a first step toward integrating cross-national frameworks of care provision and their implications for older adults’ well-being.

“Teaching abroad really turned my attention, as a scholar of aging, outside of the U.S.,” she said. “Of course, other countries are aging – and many are responding in ways that are different from the U.S. I see this as an opportunity to begin a new, more globally focused stage of my research career.”

Frances Berry (Askew School of Public Administration and Policy) has been one of the key faculty members in the Askew School since 1990 as teacher, researcher, director of its master’s program (1998-2003), the Frank Sherwood Professor of Public Administration (since 2005) and most recently as the Reubin O’D. Askew Eminent Scholar (2014-present). Her fields of specialization include public and strategic management, policy innovation and diffusion, state and local politics, intergovernmental relations and program evaluation.

Even in an academic unit noted for its high ranking in faculty research output (#3 worldwide), Berry stands out with numerous peer-reviewed articles, published books, Fulbright Scholar awards, national fellowships and grants. In 2014 she was presented with the Distinguished Research Award, a joint honor from the American Society for Public Administration and the National Association of Schools of Public Administration and Policy, awarded annually to one scholar whose work has made a significant impact on the field of public administration.