2014-2015 Annual Report

The SSRIC is composed of representatives from each of the CSU campuses. Its overall objective is to support faculty, staff, and student research and teaching in all social science disciplines. It does this by:

  • working with the CSU Chancellor’s Office to ensure continued system-wide access to social science databases;
  • developing instructional materials and making them available on the Council’s website (www.ssric.org)
  • initiating and conducting workshops on how to access and use quantitative data from the aforementioned sources;
  • supporting faculty research by providing access to the ICPSR Summer Program and the Field Faculty Fellowship program;
  • providing a forum for sharing information about using data in research and teaching;
  • sponsoring an annual student research conference.



CSU SSRIC Social Science Student Symposium (S4)

The Symposium has been held annually since 1976. The name was changed for the 2015 year, both to avoid confusion with the similarly named "CSU Student Research Competition" and to indicate specifically that ours is a social science event. A special feature of the event for the past two years was the awarding of prizes from the "SSRIC Faculty Memorial Fund." The fund was created thanks to a generous contribution from Dr. Gene Geisler, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at San Francisco State, and a key founding member of the Council. There were three Best Paper Awards of $5,000 each, and 47 awards of $100 each for other paper presentations in 2014. In 2015, there were also three Best Paper Awards, and awards were given for paper presentations ($75 to 36 papers) and travel (an additional $75 to the 26 presentations made by students not based at the host campus, Sacramento State). In all, 72 presentations (50 based on formal papers, 22 on abstracts only) were made. Sixteen CSU campuses were represented.

Presentations by Campus:Northern Campuses (65%) Southern Campuses (35%)

6 San Francisco State
7 Dominguez Hills
5 Humboldt
3 Channel Islands
5 Monterey Bay
3 Los Angeles
4 Fresno
1 Northridge
3 Chico
1 Pomona
2 San Luis Obispo
1 San Bernardino
1 East Bay 
1 San Jose

Fifteen (16) campuses had student presentation registrations. We had seven (7) campuses without any student participation – Bakersfield, Fullerton, Maritime Academy, San Diego State, San Marcos, Sonoma, and Stanislaus.

We had 50 (69%) papers and 22 (31%) abstracts submitted. 

There were 66 (92%) single authors, 4 (5%) with two co-authors, and 2 (3%) with three or more co-authors.

Student Status included:

41 undergraduates (57%)
27 graduates (38%)
0 doctoral students (0%)
4 students had graduated within the academic year. (5%)

We had included an enrollment question as a check on eligibility.

67 students were enrolled during the Fall 2014 semester/quarter
12 students indicated enrollment during the Winter 2015 period
68 students checked that they were enrolled during the Spring 2015 semester/quarter timeframe.

Only presentations based on completed papers were eligible for awards. The following Best Paper Awards were presented:

  • Charles McCall Award for Best Undergraduate Paper: Mikaela Vournas, Anthropology and Geography, Cal Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo for “Mapping Motivations: Nutrition in Transition in Fiji”
  • Betty Nesvold Award for Best Graduate Paper: Aaron L. Jackson, History, CSU, Sacramento, “Why They Endured: Trench Journalism as a Reflection of the Soldierly Community in World War One”
  • Gloria Rummels Award for Best Paper Using Quantitative Data: Simone Radliff, Political Science, San Francisco State University for “Education for Political Empowerment: The Effect of Collective-Efficacy Developing Curriculum and Experiences in High School Civics Courses on Political Engagement”


The CSU subscribes to the following social science data bases:

  • The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan. Founded in 1962, the Consortium consists of about 740 member institutions, including, since 1972, the CSU. It houses data from over 8,000 studies;
  • The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut. Founded in 1947, the Center houses the world’s largest archive of survey data;
  • The Field Research Corporation in San Francisco. An independent, nonpartisan public opinion news service, it has operated since 1947, and has issued over 2,500 reports based on its polls of California residents.

The consolidation of membership in these organizations, facilitated by the SSRIC, represents a considerable savings (over $121,000 or 40%) to faculty and campuses that would otherwise have to subscribe individually. Students, faculty and staff are able to download data, codebooks, and other material directly to their computers as a result of this access. 

Instructional Materials and Workshops

The SSRIC makes available instructional material via its website. These include two online textbooks, instructional modules and exercises, and instructional handouts. Continuing this year, SSRIC representatives have been working with Andrew Roderick (SFSU Academic Computing) to continue to update the site, particularly by exploring new ways of delivering workshop content online.

The Council also offers free workshops at any campus where faculty have expressed an interest in learning how to access and analyze quantitative data from ICPSR, Roper, and Field, and using SDA. Workshops are also provided on the use of SPSS for data analysis.

Faculty Research

The Council provided limited support for faculty and graduate students to attend the ICPSR Summer Program until 2014. Greg Bohr (San Luis Obispo) serves as liaison with this program. In 2014, ICPSR notified the Council that support would be terminated, but did so late enough that we convinced them to sustain the support for 2014 only. Effective 2015, there is no support administered by SSRIC for faculty or graduate students to attend ICPSR. (ICPSR continues to offer a substantial discount on registration fees (half the fee rate) for current students, faculty, staff, and researchers at ICPSR member institutions.)

Each year the Field Poll provides SSRIC with the opportunity to award CSU faculty with a fellowship that includes credit for a limited number of items to be included on an upcoming Field poll. Applicants submit RFPs and, on the recommendation of a committee chaired by Ed Nelson (at large), the Council selects a nominee, pending final approval by the Field Research Corporation. The discussion of which nominee to forward for 2015-2016 was tabled until the Fall Council meeting, as the top proposal had a potential feasibility concern that Ed Nelson would discuss with the Field Research Corporation in the meantime.

Forums for Sharing Information

The Council met three times in the 2014-2015 academic year. The February 13, 2015 Winter meeting was conducted online using Blackboard/Collaborate. The Fall meeting (hosted at Cal State Long Beach on October 10, 2014) and the Spring meeting (at Sacramento State on May 8, 2015) were "hybrid" meetings. Those who could do so attended the meetings in person, while others participated online. Eight members were in attendance in person at the Fall meeting, while 10 attended via the Internet. 15 members participated at the Winter meeting. At the Spring meeting, eleven members were there in person, and another 4 attended virtually. (Note: these numbers include two non-voting at-large members, and some campuses had more than one campus representative in attendance.)

Council Governance

2014-15 Chair: Matt Jarvis (Fullerton)
2014-15 Chair-elect: Stafford Cox (Long Beach)
Executive Committee: Rhonda Dugan (Bakersfield), Ed Nelson (at large), John Korey (at large)
Field Fellowship: Ed Nelson (at large)
ICPSR Summer Program Coordinator: Greg Bohr (San Luis Obispo)
Web Liaison: John Korey (at large), Greg Bohr (San Luis Obispo)
Student Research Conference: Jennifer Murphy (Sacramento)

Submitted by Matt Jarvis, October 8, 2015.