ATLANTA–The Georgia Board of Regents has approved Professor Toby Bolsen to hold the new Zoukis Endowed Professorship in Politics and Justice in the College of Arts & Sciences at Georgia State University.

Portrait of Toby Bolsen

Toby Bolsen

The endowed professorship, which sits in the Department of Political Science, was established with a generous gift from the Steve and Susann Zoukis family. The professorship was established to support the Zoukis Research Collaborative, which has the mission to increase understanding and awareness of crime policy with a focus on mandatory sentencing laws and rates of recidivism.

Bolsen’s research focuses on the study of political communication, public opinion, political behavior, and U.S. energy and climate policy. He has co-authored two books focused on the effects that political ideology and other forces have on the response to climate change in Florida as well as a book that examines the politicization of molecular biology and clinical medicine.

He has co-authored more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles.  Professor Bolsen received the Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award from Georgia State University in 2015 and the inaugural Teaching for Social Justice and Democracy Award from the university in 2020. He serves on the Editorial Board for Science Communication and is an Associate Principal Investigator for Time Sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences (TESS).

Bolsen has also led the Zoukis Institute on prison reform, effects of incarceration, and recidivism.

“I am extremely grateful for the Zoukis family’s generous support that will allow us to continue to host an annual Summer Institute for Georgia State students to learn more about the pressing need for criminal justice reform,” Bolsen said. “The gift will also provide opportunities for our students to conduct funded collaborative research on issues broadly related to the effects of tough-on-crime approaches to legal punishment.”

Michael Herb, the chair of the Department of Political Science, said the department nominated Bolsen as the inaugural Zoukis Endowed Professor in Politics and Justice in recognition of his excellent scholarly record and his outstanding work with students.

“I am delighted that the generous gift from the Zoukis family will enable him to continue his work on issues of incarceration and the prison system,” Herb said.



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