News & Events

                 Recently in the Division of Social Sciences...



August 23, 2019: Matriculation

August 26, 2019: Start of Fall Semester

September 2, 2019:  No Classes - Labor Day

September 4, 2019: COAS Dean's List Recognition - Terry Concert Hall

September 12, 2019: Faculty and Staff Appreciation Event

September 18, 2019: Constitution Day-Gooding Auditorium, 11:00am to 12:55pm

October 18-19, 2019: JU Homecoming & Family Weekend

November 11, 2019: No Classes - Veterans Day

GIS DAY - November 13, 2019: GIS Day is November 13.  To be held at Jacksonville University in the Gooding Auditorium from 11:00am to 12:55pm

November 25-29, 2019: No Classes - Thanksgiving break

December 9-13, 2019: Final Examinations Week

December 14, 2019: End of Fall Semester




November 14, 2018:  GIS Day is November 14.  To be held at Jacksonville University in the Gooding Auditorium from 10:30am to 2:00pm.




November 15, 2017: GIS Day is November 15, located in the Gooding Auditorium from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Come hear GIS Professionals speak about applying GIS to a variety of careers. There is also a student map competition.



JU Sociology Grad Honored for Service to Community

April 27, 2016: Leadership Jacksonville honored JU Sociology graduate, Nina Waters, for her service to the community. JU Geography Professor Ray Oldakowski and retired JU professors Joan Carver (political science) and Betty Winstead (sociology) were also in attendance.

JU Sociology Professor Heather Downs Hosts Careers in Sociology Networking Night at JU River House

April 25, 2016: JU Sociology Professor Heather Downs hosted a Careers in Sociology networking night at the JU River House. Each student brought two guests who are mid-career to network with the other students and make connections for future internships and potential job opportunities.

JU Political Science Society Co-Hosts Event with Jacksonvile United Nations Association

April 23, 2016: On Saturday, April 23, the Jacksonville United Nations ASsociation hosted an event with guest speaker Ed Coyle on the "Globalization of Terrorism in the Middle East." Mr. Coyle was the Foreign Counterintelligence Representative to the Supreme Allied Command Atlantic (SACLANT/NATO) and an inaugural member of the Jacksonville Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force. The event took place at the Marine Science Research Institute on the JU campus.

JU Political Science Students Participate in Local Radio Show

April 18, 2016: Three students in Professor Rippere's Political Parties and Elections course spoke to Danielle Morgan on her radio show, Jax Journal, about the 2016 presidential election. The show aired on May 7.

Sociology Professor Nathan Rousseau Recognized at Celebration of Service Luncheon

April 17, 2016: JU Sociology Professor Nathan Rousseau was recognized at the Celebration of Service Luncheon. He received a President's Volunteer Service Award, Bronze Certification for his many hours of community service over the last year.

Three Social Sciences Faculty Honored for Teaching, Scholarship, and Service

April 16, 2016: Three Social Sciences faculty were honored at the 58th Annual Faculty Recognition Dinner for their exceptional teaching, scholarship, and service to the university and community:

  • Shelley Grant was honored for teaching
  • Sherri Jackson was honored for University Service
  • Ray Oldakowski was honored as a finalist for the JU Professor of the Year Award

JU Social Sciences Students Study Abroad in Cuba

April 5, 2016: Over Spring Break, JU professors Jesse Hingson and Ray Oldakowski led JU students on a Study Abroad trip to Cuba. The trip was party of a course that Hingson and Oldakowski team-teach on Cuba's history, politics, culture, and environment. The students were featured in a CNN broadcast.

JU Hosts Florida Geography Bee

April 4, 2016: On Friday, April 1 JU hosted the Florida Geography Bee. The Championship round lasted over 90 minutes, and Geography Professor Ray Oldakowski served as one of the moderators. Last year's Florida Champion, Rishi Nair, will be headed back to DC for the 2016 national championship.

JU Grad Accepted to Graduate Program at London School of Economics

March 31, 2016: Ben Leong, a double major in Sociology and Political Science, has been accepted tos everal prestigious graduate programs in International Relations. He will attend the London School of Economics and begin studying in Beijing, China in September.

JU Political Science Students Meet with FL House Candidate

March 17, 2016: JU Political Science students had lunch with Jason Fischer, current Duval County School Board member and candidate for FL House District 16 (Mandarin).

Political Science Students Interviewed on Jax Journal Radio Show

January 28, 2016: Dr. Paulina Rippere and two political science students sat down with Danielle Leigh from Jax Journal for a roundtable discussion about millennials and voting. The episode aired January 23, 2016.



JU Professor and Students Complete Election Poll

September 24, 2015: Dr. Ray Oldawkowski and students in his Public Opinion class conducted a poll of Republican primary voters. Dr. Oldakowski designed the questionnaire, and the students administered the poll over one week by calling Republican likely voters in Florida and asking their opinions about the candidate. The poll was sponsored by the JU Public Policy Institute.



Dr. Sherri Jackson named Interim Dean of Fine Arts

December 16, 2014: Sherri Jackson, Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Division of Social Sciences, has been named Interim Dean of the Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts. Dr. Jackson has served JU with distinction since September 1988. Among her many achievements, Dr. Jackson was named Professor of the Year in 2004 and University Woman of the Year in 2005.


Geography Professor Ray Oldakowski Selected as duPont Summer Seminar Visiting Scholar

May 20, 2014: Congratulations to Geography professor Ray Oldakowski! Dr. Oldakowski was selected as a visiting scholar in this year's duPont Summer Seminar Series at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The seminar's theme is "Globalization and the Varieties of Modern Capitalism."


JU Hosts Florida Geographic Bee

April 4, 2014: On Friday, April 4, JU hosted the Florida Geographic Bee. Young geography students came to JU from across Florida to compete for a spot in the national championship in Washington, D.C. The event was organized by JU Geography Professor Ray Oldakowski. JU has hosted the competition for 15 years.

Talk by Jesse Hingson on Depression Era Argentina

March 6, 2014: Associate Professor of History, Jesse Hingson, will present a paper titled "Child Murder and Society in Argentina during the Depression Era" at the Past to Present Seminar in the Department of History at the University of North Florida. The talk will be held on Thursday, March 6, 2014, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Dr. Paulina Cossette Awarded APSA Congressional Fellowship

February 28, 2014: Dr. Paulina Cossette, Assistant Professor of Political Science, was awarded the Congressional Fellowship by the American Political Science Association. Dr. Cossette will spend the 2014-2015 academic year working in Washington, D.C. as a legislative aide for a member of Congress.

"Truth: Have it Your Way"

February 27, 2014: Nathan Rousseau, Associate Professor of Sociology, will present a talk entitled, "Personal Truth: A Modern Oxymoron," at the fourth annual roundtable, "Truth: Have it Your Way." The event is free to the public and wil be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 27 in Terry Concert Hall. Attendees can also view student artwork inspired by the roundtable topics and attend a reception prior to the program at 5:30 p.m.

Human Trafficking Awareness Event

February 13, 2014: On Thursday, February 13 in the Gooding Auditorium from 7 to 10 p.m. there will be a guest speaker, dance performance, film, and discussion about human trafficking. The event has been organized by Sociology professor Nathan Rousseau.

"Love Your Government" Voter Registration Drive

February 10, 2014: On Monday, February 10 students in the Political Science Society will hold a voter registration drive outside the Kinne Center. Anyone who wants to register to vote, change their address or party affiliation, or ask a question about the registration process should stop by the table between noon and 4 p.m. The event is being held in conjunction with the Countywide Student Voter Registration Drive sponsored by the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Jacksonville's Identity

January 2, 2014: Ray Oldakowski, Professor of Geography, spoke with WJCT's Melissa Ross of First Coast Connect about the City of Jacksonville's unique identity.



Rousseau appointed to Human Rights Commission

December 31, 2013: Sociology professor Nathan Rousseau has been appointed by Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown (JU alum '85, '89) and the City Council to the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission. Dr. Rousseau will work with other members of the Commission, the City Council, and Jacksonville residents to promote fair treatment and equal opportunity on issues such as housing and employment.

Service Learning with Communities in Schools

During the Fall 2013 semester, the students in Shelley Grant's service learning course, Media and Crime (SOC 332), mentored students in Communities in Schools programs at Ft. Caroline Middle School, Arlington Middle School and Terry Parker High School on a weekly basis. At the end of the course, Prof. Grant's students came up with the idea to have their mentees take a field trip to J.U. On December 3, twenty-five middle and high school students had the opportunity to take a tour of our campus and enjoy a picnic on the science green with their mentors. Many of these young people have lived in Arlington all of their lives and have never visited our campus (or any college campus), and Prof. Grant's students were so excited to have the opportunity to show them around and spend time with them here. Additionally, several students from this course are participating in internships at Communities in Schools this Spring semester. They are each responsible for a case load of students that they are mentoring and leading in group activities.


November 20, 2013: On Wednesday, November 20, the Department of Geography hosted GIS Day in the Gooding Auditorium. The purpose of the event was to educate students and members of the community about the ways in which Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used in various disciplines and careers.

Talk by Dr. Oldakowski

November 6, 2013: Ray Oldakowski, Professor of Geography, spoke at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences on November 6 at the Hyatt Hotel Downtown.​ The title of his talk was "Jacksonville: A City in Search of an Identity."

Common Reading Committee

Heather Downs, Assistant Professor of Sociology, was named Chair of the Common Reading Committee. Prof. Downs is also continuing her appointment as a member of the Southern Sociological Society’s Committee on the Status of Women.

Publications & Presentations

  • Ray Oldakowski had two articles accepted for publication and gave one invited talk during the Fall 2013 semester:
    • "Florida's Tourism Industry." Association of American Geographers Newsletter 48 (Nov. 2013), 1, 6-7.
    • "Diffusion of Disc Golf Courses in the United States," (with John McEwen). The Geographical Review 103 (July 2013), 355-71.
    • "The St. Johns River Poll," EPB-UNF Environmental Symposium, Jacksonville, FL, August 2013
  • An article co-authored by Paulina Rippere, Assistant Professor of Political Science, has been accepted for publication in the journal Political Communication. The article, "Attack and Response in Political Campaigns: An Experimental Study in Two Parts," uses original data from two experiments to examine how political candidates respond when they are attacked in a negative ad. The piece is co-authored with Stephen Craig (Univ. of Florida) and Marissa Grayson (Samford Univ.).
  • Social Sciences Division Chair and Professor of Psychology, Sherri Jackson, has recently published a number of articles and books:
    • Jackson, S. L. (2015—available in Fall 2013). Research Methods: A Modular Approach, 3rd ed. Belmont, CA, Cengage Learning.
    • Griggs, R. A., & Jackson, S. L. (2013). "Brief introductory psychology textbooks: An objective analysis update." Teaching of Psychology, 40, 268-273.
    • Jackson, S. L., & Griggs, R. A. (2013). "Psych Lite: Great price, less filling." Teaching of Psychology, 40, 217-221.
    • Griggs, R. A., & Jackson, S. L. (2013). "Introductory psychology textbooks: An objective analysis update." Teaching of Psychology, 40, 163-168.