Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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Social Science Scholars Program

Training Scholars, Building Leaders!

The Social Science Scholars Program was created in 2011 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 internships as well as for research and service projects that are undertaken during the following summer semester.

Social Science Scholars receive funding up to $5,000 for approved travel and other expenses related to their internships or projects. The latter may be conducted in the U.S. or abroad. During their senior year, the scholars report on their leadership projects, attend seminars and symposia, and work with mentors to prepare for graduate school as well as other postgraduate opportunities.

Here are some recent Scholars talking about the program and their projects:

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

The Social Science Scholars Program builds upon the college’s long history of graduating men and women who have gone on to distinguished careers in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Among them are:

  • Reuben Askew (Public Administration, 1951), governor of Florida (1971-79)
  • Lynda Keever (Political Science, 1969), publisher of Florida Trend Magazine (retired)
  • Tomas Culligan (Political Science, 1973, Public Administration, 1977), CEO of Raytheon International, Inc. (retired)
  • Joyce Godwin (Political Science, 1965), leader of multiple non-profit organizations
  • Eric Reading (International Affairs, 1993), VP for International Affairs, Abt Associates
  • James Kassaga Arinaitwe, (Public Health, 2011), CEO & Co-founder, Teach for Uganda

More recent graduates of the college have been recognized for their outstanding academic achievement and leadership. They include:

  • Cara Castellana (Economics, 2006), Truman Scholar at the University of Chicago
  • Garrett Johnson (Political Science and English, 2006), Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University
  • Joe O’Shea (Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and Philosophy, 2009), Rhodes Scholars at Oxford University

Their example, and a desire to offer more opportunities for students to achieve at such high levels, inspired the creation of the Social Science Scholars Program.

Since its creation 2011, the Social Science Scholars Program, has continued to produce students recognized for their scholarship and service. Among them are:

  • Rosalia Contreras (International Affairs & Women’s Studies, 2013), received a Fulbright Assistantship to teach English in Spain
  • Caitlin Strawder (Political Science, 2013) received a Fulbright Assistantship to teach English in Colombia
  • Tara Catanach (International Affairs, 2014), Jacqueline Rojas (Political Science & International Affairs, 2014) and Paige Dabney (International Affairs, 2014) received Boren Scholarships for intensive language study in Tanzania, Mozambique and the Republic of Georgia, respectively
  • Mackenzie Teek (Sociology, 2017) and Sebastian Mejia (Latin American Studies & International Affairs, 2019) received Fulbright Fellowships for research in Brazil

Application Process and Selection Criteria

Applicants for the 2021 Social Science Scholars Program must have completed their liberal studies requirements and been accepted as a major in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. They must also have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher. Engagement in service, research and work activities, both on or off campus, is weighted heavily in the selection process.

Online applications for the 2021 cohort are available  here.

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