Past Events By Date

Past Events

AidData Map-Off GIS Training

AidData will be having a series of trainings on various GIS tools and data sources for all who are interested. These trainings are meant to help students with any level of GIS skills (including no experience at all!) learn the basics of how to start creating maps and doing some spatial analysis.
The signup sheet for trainings is HERE. Space is limited to 20 students per training.
Signups for the first two weeks of training (March 17 – 27) are open now! Later dates will be announced soon. Here’s what’s coming:
Tuesday, March 17 // 5:30-7:30: ArcGIS Online
Friday, March 20 // 5:30-7:30: ArcGIS Online
Tuesday, March 24 // 5:30-7:30: Esri Storymaps
Friday, March 27 // 5:30-7:30: Intro to QGIS
Later trainings (March 30 – April 10) will cover the use of specific datasets including AidData’s geocoded data, IPUMS microcensus data, and more!

On Saturday, April 11, AidData will hold the Map-Off Competition – a hackathon-style event where you will work in teams to use GIS skills to solve problems and answer questions.

Important Logistics for Training Sessions:
  •  Read this before attending any training. These geography basics will not be covered in trainings due to time constraints.
  •  Install QGIS on your computer before coming to the QGIS training.
  •  Bring a laptop to all training sessions.
  •  Want to get ahead? No Spring Break plans? Tutorials (including screenshots + data!) are linked in the Resources tab of the signup spreadsheet. Computers in Swem and Morton have ArcGIS desktop installed, and QGIS is open source ( = FREE and anyone can download and use it!)
Need help installing QGIS? Have more GIS questions? Kyle Demaria ( will be available Monday morning at the AidData office from 10:00-1:00 and can be available Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:00-6:00 in the Swem Read & Relax area if needed!


SSRMC hosts Psychophysiological Methods in Political Science Workshop

Date: July, 2015

Place: Social Science Research Methods Center

In mid-July, the SSRMC hosted the first ever Psychophysiological Methods in Political Science Workshop. As one of only four active political psychophysiology labs in the country, government professor Jaime Settle’s Social Networks and Political Psychology Lab is breaking new ground in political science research. William & Mary student researchers John Stuart, Zarine Kharazian, and Edward Hernandez welcomed graduate students from Temple University, UN Lincoln, and UC Merced and W&M alumna Taylor Feenstra (currently a grad student at UC San Diego) to the three-day event to share their experiences conducting psychophysiological research and discuss strategies for moving the field forward. Read more here.


Prof. Paul Manna to Speak on “Education Policy, Performance, and Democratic Accountability: State and Local Voting Behavior in Elections for State Education Chief”

Date: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Time: 5:00pm

Place: Social Science Research Methods Center

Please join us at the SSRMC to hear Prof. Paul Manna, Associate Professor of Government at the College discuss his work “Education Policy, Performance, and Democratic Accountability: State and Local Voting Behavior in Elections for State Education Chief,” detailed in the abstract below. Food and drinks will be provided! Abstract: Chief state school officers lead state education agencies (SEAs) and are responsible for overseeing implementation of state and federal education policy.  Although every state has an SEA, chiefs assume their offices through various means, including by popular elections in around a dozen states.  By studying these elections from 1986 to 2010, this paper addresses the following research question:  Is voting behavior in elections for state education chief, in particular voter turnout in those races, associated with the content of policy and with student outcomes?  Although the literature on voter turnout shows that turnout declines in down-ballot elections, the heightened attention to schooling via expanded testing and publication of accountability report cards has provided voters with much information to judge state education performance.  By considering whether turnout in chief elections is sensitive to policy and outcomes, the analysis brings evidence to the debate about whether voters are capable of holding accountable their leaders who occupy relatively low-profile elected offices.


SNaPP Lab Career Center Event

Date: Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Time: 4:00pm

Place: The Career Center

Please join us at the Cohen Career Center presentation room on April 1st at 4 p.m. to learn about the best ways to sell your social science research experience to potential employers. We will be covering elevator pitches, resumes, interview techniques, and more!  SNaPP Lab Alumni Gabe Manion and Meg Schwenzfeier will be Skyping in as well to answer questions about their experience using research skills in their respective positions as a federal consultant for Deloitte and as a data analyst for the Analyst Institute.
Email: for any questions.


Making a Living Making a Difference: Non-Profit, Government, Environmental, and International Careers

Date: Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Time: 10:00am-2:45pm

Place: Morton 37

March 28th 10 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Sadler Center 3rd Floor

For more information, please visit:


Political Scientist Don Green Visits William and Mary

Date: Friday, February 27th, 2015

Don -- picture2 8-16-11

Government Department Colloquium, 12:00 p.m., Morton 37

Field Experiments Workshop, 3:30-5:00 p.m., Morton 37

Acclaimed Political Scientist Don Green, famous for his work in field experiments, will be visiting the College this Friday (2/27).
He will be presenting at a Government Department Colloquium at 12 p.m., in Morton 37. Additionally, Dr. Green will be leading a Field Experiments Workshop also on Friday, from 3:30 – 5:00 in Morton.
These events promise to be highly informative and thought provoking for anyone interested in learning about or conducting their own political science experiments.


“The Accidental Diplomat: 35 Years In The Foreign Service” with Ambassador Katherine Canavan

Date: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Time: 12:30-3:00pm


Katherine Hubay Canavan (formerly Peterson) was a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State for more than 35 years.  She retired after a distinguished career in November 2011, with the rank of Career Minister, the second highest in the Foreign Service.  Since retiring, she has supported a number of military exercises as a subject matter expert, particularly those which emphasize comprehensive,
non-combat approaches incorporating various U.S. Government agencies, international and non-governmental organizations.

In her last posting (August 2008 to August 2011), she served as the Civilian Deputy and Foreign Policy Advisor to ADM James G. Stavridis, the Commander of the United States European Command (USEUCOM) in Stuttgart, Germany.  As the senior civilian and third most senior officer at USEUCOM (Lieutenant General equivalent), Ms. Canavan worked with the United States Ambassadors to European countries and within the Command to maximize the effectiveness of the U.S. military training and assistance programs in the region as well as promoting interagency coordination and cooperation.


R Workshops

Wednesday, October 29th, 4:30-6:00 p.m., Morton Hall 244 Learning R: The Basics

(Advanced Registration Required)

Wednesday, November 5th, 4:30-6:00 p.m., Morton Hall 244 Learning R: Basic Data Analysis

(Advanced Registration Required)

Wednesday, November 12th, 4:30-6:00 p.m., Morton Hall 244 Learning R: Data Visualization

(Advanced Registration Required)

The goal of these workshops is to provide sufficient foundation for students in the basics of using R to equip them to explore and learn more on their own. More information can be found here.


Powerful feelings: Efficacy Beliefs and Political Action on Climate Change

Date: Monday, October 27th, 2014

Time: 12:30pm

Place: Social Science Research Methods Center

Neil Stenhouse, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University Along with other psychological motivations like shared identity and perceptions of injustice, feelings of efficacy have been found to be one of the major factors associated with participation in collective action. There are specific subtypes of efficacy belief, which can be more or less important in explaining different types of behavior. For climate change, which type of efficacy has the most powerful effect on behavior? For those who wish to encourage action, is it more important to convince people that they as individuals are capable of making a meaningful contribution to collective efforts? To convince them that collective efforts will convince politicians to act? Or that the actions politicians take will be effective in stopping climate change? The work Neil is presenting uses confirmatory factor analyses of cross-sectional survey data to test whether conceptual distinctions between different types of efficacy belief for climate change have a psychological reality – whether they each exist as distinct, measurable psychological entities, or whether response items can be better explained as caused by more general latent variables. Using structural equation modeling, he tests how strongly efficacy beliefs are related to self-reported measures of participation in collective action. This work provides an important first step in determining which efficacy beliefs are psychologically distinguishable and potentially influential for complex social problems like climate.


Workshop on Social Network Theory

Date: Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Time: 12:30pm

Place: Morton 37

Bob Huckfeldt, University of California—Davis Professor Huckfeldt is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at University of California-Davis and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He is one of the leading scholars of public opinion, particularly social context and social networks. He will talk with students about the important concepts and ideas that underpin the study of social networks in politics.