FLORENCE – Francis Marion University senior, Melissa Freeman of Mullins, made an overview presentation to the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce recently on the “Economic and Social Effects of State Lotteries.” The research she conducted to produce the report and presentation were part of her senior English internship at FMU. Freeman is majoring in English, in the Applied track, which is a professional writing program.
Lynn Hanson, Ph.D, assistant professor of English at FMU, served as Freeman's internship director. “Business Writing and Technical Communication”. The new writing major at FMU is two years old and seeks to provide students a solid background in literature and scholarly writing, while emphasizing communication skills for the work place, Hanson says.
The skills learned in the English major are transferable to any job. Whether a graduate of the program goes on to conduct legislative research, marketing research, business product research, or to write training manuals, the degree focuses on writing for the professions, and equips students to handle professional communications from memos and in-house newsletters to product guides and industry reports.
In addition to the "real-world" experience of producing a top-quality project, Freeman was also interested in her findings. Freeman is sending a copy of her timely report to the Senate Education Committee in the South Carolina Legislature.
According to her research, of the states with lotteries, crime rates are unlikely to be changed simply because of the addition of a state lottery. Also, Freeman says, it is unlikely money alone, even if it comes from a lottery, improves education. No state with a lottery, according to her research, can conclusively point to the lottery as improving education.
A fascinating fact for Freeman was discovering the history of lotteries, especially in the United States. Lotteries are neither evil or good, she says, adding that she doesn't believe them to be a moral issue. In fact, lotteries once were used to build churches and colleges in early American history.
One real issue she discovered in her research is that as money from lotteries goes toward education, invariably funding from state sources decreases. For more information about FMU's English, applied track, degree, contact Lynn Hanson at 843-661-1524.