FSU Student Makes ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll

Samuel Appel is one of 137 college students recognized for their nonpartisan democratic engagement work during the 2023 election cycle

Samuel Appel poses in front of the steps of the CapitolSamuel Appel has been named to the 2024 ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. The ALL IN Student Voting Honor Roll awards college students doing outstanding work to advance nonpartisan democratic engagement at participating campuses. Appel joins a group of 137 students recognized for their voter registration, education and turnout efforts during the 2023 elections, which featured critical ballot measures and local and state races.

Appel, a third-year senior from St. Petersburg, Florida, serves as the campaign coordinator for the New Voters Project for Florida PIRG Students at FSU and is an active member of the FSU Votes Coalition, the campus-wide nonpartisan voter education and registration initiative.

“Sam shows up,” said Liz Iaconis, civic engagement coordinator at the Center for Leadership & Service and convener of the FSU Votes Coalition. “He shows up when it’s critical and there’s a high-need situation like helping students navigate Election- Day logistics, but he’s also an advocate who thinks about how we can better institutionalize a culture of voting at FSU. His mind is on voter education year-round.”

A political science major with a minor in international affairs, Appel has also been active in other civic engagement initiatives, including serving on the board of directors for the FSU Student Government Association’s Office of Governmental Affairs, a spring legislative intern at the Capitol, and multiple policy-oriented internships in the nation’s capital.

Samuel Appel, along with FSU Votes Coalition organizers Liz Iaconis and Jesmel Moreno, engage with students during a civic engagement event hosted on Landis Green.

Samuel Appel, along with FSU Votes Coalition organizers Liz Iaconis and Jesmel Moreno, engage with students during a civic engagement event hosted on Landis Green.

“Whether it’s a presidential election year or one with critical state and local races on the ballot, students have a powerful role to play in fostering active and engaged campuses and getting their peers to participate in our democracy. Ahead of the 2024 presidential election, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is honored to celebrate 137 student leaders who model nonpartisan democratic engagement,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, Executive Director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “These honorees hosted candidate information sessions, created guides on polling location accessibility, registered their peers to vote and so much more. We know these students will continue to make a difference in our democracy.”

Appel said he is honored to receive national recognition for his work from ALL IN and expressed appreciation for Student PIRGs and the FSU Votes Coalition, among others, for empowering him to do the work he loves.

“Civic culture is at the heart of a healthy democracy,” Appel said, “and I am so proud to have spent my three years at Florida State working to improve and expand this culture on our campus and engage my generation at the ballot box. The work we have been able to accomplish thus far has fostered important conversations, helped thousands of students to vote, and ultimately started a pattern for life-long lovers of democracy.”


Studies show that voting and democratic participation are habits built and strengthened over time. A recent survey from CIRCLE showed that 86% of youth under 35 who voted in 2022 and 72% of those who voted in 2020 consider themselves extremely likely to vote in 2024. Colleges and universities have an important role to play in encouraging their students to become active and engaged citizens at the ballot box and beyond.

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge empowers colleges and universities to achieve excellence in nonpartisan student democratic engagement and engages more than 1,000 institutions enrolling over 10 million students in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. With the support of the ALL IN staff, campuses that join the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge complete a set of action items to institutionalize nonpartisan civic learning, political engagement and voter participation on their campus. Florida State University was deemed a “highly established” action plan campus for the 2022 election cycle and named an ALL IN Gold Campus for Student Voter Engagement in the 2018 and 2020 election cycles.