Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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Lectures Bring the World to Your Doorstep

The college’s Get More Than a Degree initiative was established to give undergraduates opportunities for expansive and transformative educational experiences outside the traditional classroom. One of the key components of the initiative is bringing scholars and experts to campus for talks on a wide range of issues. But it’s more than undergrads who gain from these programs. Faculty, staff, graduate students, members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at FSU, and the wider local community frequently take advantage of these free public presentations.

These are not hard-to-grasp, dryly academic lectures but relevant, engaging talks on topics that affect us all on a daily basis: politics and public policy, the environment, healthcare, international relations, population growth and changes, the economy, city planning, and much more.

In addition to many programs sponsored by individual departments, centers, and institutes within the college, this semester has been particularly busy for our endowed lecture series with talks on Germany’s refugee situation, the political and cultural climate in Ukraine, U.S. challenges in the Middle East, foreign assistance and foreign policy, and rating presidential performance and legacies.

For years, our lectures have been recorded and broadcast on local cable channel 4FSU, a service of the PBS station WFSU-TV. Indeed, a bulk of programming on that station originates from the college. On many nights, you can tune in and see such past speakers as NPR’s Paris correspondent Eleanor Beardsley, former CNN anchor Frank Sesno, and Indian Minister of Economics Govind Mohan.

People outside of the immediate Tallahassee area can also enjoy these informative talks. Video of most of our endowed lectures is posted to our YouTube channel and Facebook page, a public site you can view without having your own Facebook profile. They are also posted at the bottom of each individual listing on our website’s lecture page.

Our very popular Policy Pub series is also recorded, although only on audio. In spring semester 2017, the series hosted presentations by Dean Tim Chapin on robot cars and the future of transportation, Urban and Regional Planning Associate Professor William Butler on sea level rise and what Florida communities are doing about it, and Assistant Professor of Sociology Miranda Waggoner on women’s and children’s health. These lively, informal sessions are available for listening on our web site at this link.