Ian Hodgson - Data Reporter, Education

Data Reporter, Education

I’m a data reporter on the education team, covering both K-12 and the state’s colleges and universities. I worked as an economist for six years before joining the Tampa Bay Times. Now I use numbers to investigate trends, suss out stories and keep power in check. Originally from Vancouver, BC, I’ve lived in Seattle, Chicago and New York before settling in the Sunshine State. Lover of art museums, the orchestra and my paddleboard. Have a joy, frustration or concern you think people should know about? Let’s talk.

  1. St. Petersburg College student Tansheka Riggens, left, meets with her completion coach, Matt Smith, for the first time in person on Monday in Clearwater. Smith works for LEAP Tampa Bay. Riggens is a mother of three from St. Petersburg who has been trying to finish her associate degree for two decades and is one exam away from graduating.
  2. Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed five new members to the board of trustees at Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland.
  3. Protesters gather during an Emergency Rally for Gaza along Fowler Avenue near the USF campus in Tampa on Wednesday. The organizers included members of Students for Justice in Palestine, a group targeted by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who ordered it deactivated on the USF campus.
  4. The crowd of parents and students was sparse during a presentation on federal financial aid for college at Lakewood High on Thursday. Florida students leave $300 million in federal aid on the table every year, but a simplified application form and expanded eligibility could boost interest.
  5. Richard Corcoran speaks during a news conference held by Gov. Ron DeSantis at New College of Florida in May. Now the permanent president of New College, Corcoran has a new contract.
  6. Students at the University of South Florida rally in support of the Palestinian people.
  7. Trustees gave Richard Corcoran the job as president of New College permanently last week, and the position could come with an even larger paycheck.
  8. University of South Florida undergraduates prepare to be called to the commencement stage in December 2016, a year when the average student debt upon graduating was $24,461 for Florida students. Student loan repayments restart in October after a 42-month pause because of the pandemic, but many borrowers can access plans that reduce payments or keep interest from piling up.
  9. Gov. Ron DeSantis talks during a news conference on Monday, May 15, 2023, at New College of Florida before signing a bill that banned state funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at state universities. According to a new survey, the legislation is one of the reasons many faculty are planning to leave the state in the next year.
  10. A severely burned house in St. Petersburg's Shore Acres area caught fire during flooding from Hurricane Idalia, which struck Florida's west coast on Wednesday.
  11. Dave Durst, right, and his wife, Heather, survey what remained of their Hudson bungalow, which was destroyed by fire on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. After flood waters from Hurricane Idalia prevented firefighters from getting to the home in time, the family watched it burn.
  12. Ellen Feiler, 61, takes a cigarette break near a Pasco County Fire Rescue bus after a team rescued her from her mobile home in Hudson early Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023, in the wake of Hurricane Idalia.
  13. Tropical Storm Idalia has Tampa Bay area schools on alert.
  14. These books from the St. Petersburg Public Library were among the titles that received the most complaints around Florida over the last year. "Sold," by Patricia McCormick, topped the list with complaints in 11 counties. The others are “Tricks” and "Crank," both by Ellen Hopkins; "Push," by Sapphire; and “Damsel,” by Elana K. Arnold.
  15. In images taken from school district videos, parent Bruce Friedman, left, addresses the Clay County School Board on Aug. 4, 2022, and teacher Vicki Baggett, right, speaks to the Escambia County School Board on May 16, 2023. Together, the two advocates submitted more than 600 book complaints over the last year, accounting for more than half the statewide total.
  16. Christopher Rufo, one of the controversial new trustees for New College of Florida, center, is confronted by protesters moments after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation on Monday, May 15, 2023, banning state funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at Florida's public universities, in Sarasota.
  17. Aug. 2• The Education Gradebook
    Former New College trustee Mary Ruiz, right, listens as former President Patricia Okker, left, addresses faculty and students moments before her termination on Jan 31.
  18. Richard Corcoran, interim president at New College of Florida, is among those named as finalists for New College president.
  19. A sign outside the Supreme Court on Friday, June 30, 2023, refers to one of biggest issues the justices dealt with this year. A sharply divided court ruled 6-3 that the Biden administration overstepped its authority in trying to cancel or reduce student loan debts for millions of Americans.
  20. A New College banner is pictured on Jan. 10, 2023, at the Sarasota campus, days after Gov. DeSantis appointed six new members to the school's board of trustees. Since then, 36 faculty members have left, school officials say.
  21. The Pei residence halls at New College of Florida were designed in the 1960s by famed architect I.M. Pei. Today, according to a consultant, they suffer from serious problems, including mold, structural issues and failing air conditioning systems.
  22. At left, Christopher Rufo, one of six controversial new trustees at New College of Florida, speaks to protesters as they gather at the campus moments after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed higher education legislation on Monday, May 15, 2023. Rufo alleges that one of the protesters spat on him that day.
  23. While clear evidence of a "brain drain" is hard to come by, many in Florida's academic community contend the state's new laws are pushing talented faculty to other states.