Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

For the latest information related to COVID-19, visit fsu.edu/coronavirus

Find out how our faculty, students and alumni are doing their part in the health crisis.

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold throughout the world, the scholars and practitioners of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy – faculty, students and alumni – have met the challenge with service to the wider community beyond campus, offering experience and expertise to help understand, prepare for and combat the spread of the virus and respond to its impact on the world.

Here is a look at some of the contributions our social scientists are making in the midst of this unprecedented crisis. Scroll down to see the latest related stories posted on our news page, the college’s social media posts and news articles published externally featuring faculty, students and alumni.

COSSPP Research

September 8, 2020Amanda Driscoll (Political Science) published an article in the London School of Economics Covid-19 blog describing findings of a study she and colleagues did as part of their NSF grant to examine rule of law in times of crisis. In a survey of German citizens pre- and post-lockdown, the research shows “how the experience of lower wage workers has the potential to differ significantly from that of wealthier Germans,” in terms of returning to work and risking exposure to the virus. Driscoll and her co-investigators also developed teaching modules that provide an engaging way for undergraduate students to investigate questions relating to the public compliance with and response to state actions meant to quell the viral spread, while honing their skills using the tools of social science.

August 25, 2020Anne Barrett (Pepper Institute), Irene Padavic (Sociology) and sociology grad student Cherish Michael published a study, “Calculated Ageism: Generational Sacrifice as a Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” in the Journals of Gerontology, Series B. The researchers analyzed tweets responding to a Texas politician’s statement suggesting the sacrifice of older generations if it will mitigate the economic damage of the pandemic and found overwhelming rejection of this sentiment. 

August 7, 2020Alum Alexandra Nowakowski (Ph.D. ’13 Sociology) published an article about viral lung damage in older people in a special issue of the Journal of Gerontology Series B (Social Sciences).

August 5, 2020Patricia Homan (Sociology, Public Health) paper in the Journals of Gerontology, “The Color of COVID-19: Structural Racism and the Pandemic’s Disproportionate Impact on Older Racial and Ethnic Minorities,” looking at how and why the COVID-19 outbreak is particularly detrimental for the health of older Black and Latinx adults

July 30, 2020A team of students in the applied economics master’s program presented a report on the pandemic’s impact on Florida’s ALICE population.

July 27, 2020Kimberly Grassett, a master’s student in Geographic Information Science, as part of her internship at the Florida Resources and Environmental Analysis Center, looked at why and how COVID-19 is spreading the way it is within Florida. The report on her project appeared in the Tampa Bay Times.

July 22, 2020Ph.D. student Luciana Polischuk and Assistant Professor Daniel Fay (Askew School) on government administrative responses in Argentina to address gender-based violence during the COVID-19 crisis.

June 8, 2020Tingting Zhao (Geography) and Tian Tang (Askew School) are collaborating with principle investigator Yanshuo Sun, (FAMU-FSU College of Engineering) on a project funded by the university to understand people’s hurricane decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 30, 2020James E. Wright II (Askew School) and a colleague published “Social Equity and COVID ‐19: The Case of African Americans” in the journal Public Administration Review on the disproportionate effect of the virus on Black communities.

COSSPP News Stories and Blog Pieces

August 13, 2020Gendered Consequences of COVID-19 Emergency Measures by Luciana Polischuk, Ph.D. student and Daniel Fay, associate professor, both in the Askew School

July 27, 2020Social Equity: The Predictable Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Minority Communities by Askew School doctoral student Kenneth Dukes

July 23, 2020DeSantis’ Coronavirus Leadership Reflects the Prudence Florida Needs Overall by Devoe Moore Center Director Sam Staley

June 29, 2020Suffering in Silence: How COVID-19 School Closures Inhibit the Reporting of Child Maltreatment by Ezra G. Goldstein, economics Ph.D. candidate and L. Charles Hilton Jr Center Fellow

June 10, 2020The Covid-19 Pandemic Shows the Power and Limits of American Federalism by Professor of Political Science Robert Crew and Alexandra Cockerham, assistant teaching faculty in political science

April 6, 2020STUDENT SERVING DURING PANDEMIC WINS PUBLIC HEALTH AWARD (completing a master’s while working full time in training and staffing during crisis)

April 3, 2020COSSPP FACULTY CITED AS EXPERTS ON PANDEMIC IMPACT (affect on electoral politics and isolation among older Americans)

March 31, 2020FSU STUDENTS PROVIDE VIRTUAL SUPPORT DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC (Emergency Management and Homeland Security students, faculty and staff identifying trends and reliable data)

March 30, 2020POLITICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH WILL EXAMINE RULE OF LAW IN TIME OF CRISIS (studying the challenges for long-standing norms that buttress democracy)

March 25, 2020ECON PROFESSOR KICKS OFF ERA OF REMOTE LEARNING (resourcefulness and innovation during a time of social isolation)

March 24, 2020PROFESSOR, STUDENTS ASSIST WITH STATEWIDE COVID TRACKING EFFORT (Public Health students tracking disease spread and collecting vital information)

January 30, 2020COSSPP FACULTY ARE EXPERTS ON CURRENT ISSUES (including corona virus and the economy)

Social Media Posts

July 30, 2020Applied economics master’s students’ report on economic impact of pandemic

April 10, 2020Planning student deployed as emergency responder and epidemiologist

April 8, 2020Alan Rowan (Public Health) volunteering at rural health departments

April 7, 2020Public Health alum Mathew DiFede cited as #HealthCareHero

March 26, 2020Career Center Liaison hosting virtual advising sessions

March 25, 2020OLLI@FSU holding holding continuing education classes online

COSSPP in the News

September 4, 2020Patricia Homan (Sociology, Pepper Institute) on older minorities at greater risk of infection; also here

August 19, 2020Master of Public Health student Eli Barrera-Nitz quoted in FSU article about contact tracing on campus

August 12, 2020Larry Polivka (Pepper Center on nursing home crisis; also here and here

July 24, 2020Hans Hassell (Political Science) on early voting during pandemic

July 20, 2020Larry Polivka (Pepper Center) op-ed on fixing nursing home crisis, during and after pandemic

June 24, 2020Shantel Buggs (Sociology, African American Studies) on social media and dating in the time of COVID

June 24, 2020Alum Amanda Koontz (M.S. 09, Ph.D. 11 Sociology) on COVID exhaustion and risky behaviors

May 31, 2020Larry Polivka (Pepper Center) on state reopening and rise in nursing home deaths

May 28, 2020Katrinell Davis (Sociology, African American Studies, Demography) on rising unemployment and stimulus payments

May 27, 2020Alum Tre’ Evers (B.S. ’87 Political Science) commentary on how telemedicine during the pandemic saved his life

May 22, 2020Jay Baker (Geography emeritus professor) on hurricane evacuation decisions during pandemic

May 19, 2020Randall Holcombe (Economics) on pandemic and civil liberties

May 17, 20202019-2020 doctoral fellows E. Jason Baron, Ezra Goldstein and Cullen Wallace (Hilton Center) study on child maltreatment cases unreported during school shutdowns

May 17, 2020Amber Hedquist (Devoe Moore Center) on taking empathy for students from pandemic into classroom

May 10, 2020Larry Polivka (Pepper Center) on how Florida’s oversight of elder care homes undermines its COVID-19 response

May 8, 2020Chris Uejio (Geography) on flu vs. COVID-19 transmission in Florida

April 30, 2020Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (B.A. ’78 Political Science) profile on how he is taking charge of reopening the state

April 30, 2020Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (B.A. ’78 Political Science) protecting the state’s supply of testing kits

April 28, 2020Alum Hadley Peterson (M.S.P. ’18 Urban & Regional Planning) and co-authors research on community engagement during a time of social distancing

April 23, 2020Larry Polivka (Pepper Center) on nursing homes

April 23, 2020Alan Rowan (Public Health), alum Shamarial Roberson (M.P.H. ’09 Public Health) featured in article about public health students helping in crisis

April 22, 2020Justin Adams (Research Fellow, Center for Disaster Risk Policy), et al. on robots on the front line of battle against COVID-19

April 20, 2020Alum Kent Shoemaker (B.S. ’84 Economics), CEO of Lipman Family Farms, on challenges faced by farmers in pandemic

April 16, 2020David Merrick (Emergency Management & Homeland Security) on actions governments can take

April 16, 2020Larry Polivka (Pepper Center) on proposed limit to nursing home negligence suits

April 15, 2020Report on a company co-founded by alum Bobby Pittman (B.S. ’97 Economics) that is sharing free data on vulnerable populations in Africa to governments and organizations focused on the global COVID-19 response

April 15, 2020Blog by Dawn Carr (Sociology, Pepper Institute) on importance of pets during social isolation

April 14, 2020Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (B.A. ’78 Political Science) on governors making best decisions about reopening economy

April 12, 2020Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (B.A. ’78 Political Science) on disproportionate coronavirus deaths among African Americans

April 12, 2020Dawn Carr (Sociology, Pepper Institute) on seniors and students as pen pals during isolation

April 10, 2020OLLI@FSU provides online continuing education

April 4, 2020Sam Staley (Director, Devoe Moore Center) on best practices for working remotely

April 1, 2020Dawn Carr (Sociology, Pepper Institute) on isolated seniors updating tech skills

March 30, 2020Alan Rowan (Public Health) on epidemiology

March 25, 2020Deana Rohlinger (Sociology, Associate Dean) on surging gun sales

March 24, 2020Dawn Carr (Sociology, Pepper Institute) on effect of social isolation on older adults

March 22, 2020Tom Taylor (Urban & Regional Planning) on helping each other

March 19, 2020Hans Hassell (Political Science) on effect on voter turnout

Resources from Our Departments, Centers and Institutes

May 21, 2020International Affairs graduate students Amanda Panchery, Samuel McLane, and Kathryn Vigrass video chat with about their academic experiences during the pandemic and the need to stay connected during social isolation

Claude Pepper Center

Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy