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Congratulations to Megan Cichocki for first place at the Undergraduate Research Exhibition

Congratulations to Megan for wining first place at the Undergraduate Research Exhibition in social and behavioral sciences with her theses research poster: Territorial Control and Group Goals: Why Violent Non-State Actors are Lethal.

Professors Berkman and Plutzer on McCourtney Institute Mood of the Nation poll in Washington Post.

Eric Plutzer and Michael Berkman's analysis of the most recent McCourtney Institute Mood of the Nation Poll was featured in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog.  The poll shows that virtually no Trump voters would vote differently as a consequence of President Trump's tumultuous first weeks in office.  The poll's invitation to voters to speak in their own words helps to explain why.  See their article here.

Professor John Christman will be the Inaugural Director of the Humanities Institute.

John started at Penn State in 1998 as an Associate Professor and was promoted to Professor in 2010. John served as acting or interim head of Philosophy in 2005, 2008, 2012, and again in 2014.  John is a specialist in Social and Political Philosophy, including ethics, and his interdisciplinary breadth will be a real asset to the HI.  His most recent book, The Politics of Persons:  Individual Automony and Socio-historical Selves, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009. John won the Penn State Graduate Faculty Teaching Award in 2013, and the College's Advisor of the Year award in 2011.

Scott Bennett, Distinguished Professor to become the Associate Dean for research and graduate studies.

Scott, who earned his Ph.D. from Michigan in 1993, joined Penn State in 1994 as an assistant professor.  A specialist in international conflict, Scott was promoted to associate professor in 1999 and professor in 2003. On the basis of his excellence in research and teaching, he was named Liberal Arts Research Professor in 2004 and Distinguished Professor in 2008.  Scott served as department head from 2009-14 and before that was the department's graduate program director. He recently has been a leader in the university's reconfiguration of the infrastructure and governance of research computing, serving on the Executive Committee for Research Computing and CyberInfrastructure governance, and serving as its chair for a semester. NSF has supported his work regularly over the years.

Angela Hill recognized for years of service

Angela Hill was recognized for 10 years of service to the College of the Liberal Arts and to the Department of Political Science at the College’s Staff Awards Reception on February 21st. Angela has served as an invaluable resource to the department as our Undergraduate Program Staff Assistant, helping students with all of their scheduling and graduation needs, and assisting faculty with their course scheduling, exams, etc. Thank you, Angela, for helping the department run smoothly and increasing overall morale!

Sona N. Golder's Work Featured in the Democratic Audit Blog

Recent work on electoral rules and voting for women, by Sona N. Golder and co-authors, was feature in the London School of Economics' Democratic Audit blog, found here.

Zaryab Iqbal has been elected as Vice-President of the International Studies Association for the term of 2018-2019.

The International Studies Association (ISA) has been the premier organization forconnecting scholars and practitioners in fields of international studies since 1959. ISA was founded in 1959 to promote research and education in international affairs. With well over six thousand members in North America and around the world, ISA is the most respected and widely known scholarly association in this field. ISA cooperates with 57 international studies organizations in over 30 countries, is a member of the International Social Science Council, and enjoys nongovernmental consultative status with the United Nations. (

Alyssa Gill, 2015 Political Science BA, wins Venture for America Fellowship

Alyssa Gill, a 2015 political science alumna, was the first Penn Stater to join the Venture for America (VFA) Fellowship program. VFA is an organization that seeks to revitalize American cities and communities by developing the next generation of socially responsible entrepreneurs. Gill knew the VFA Fellowship was the perfect fit for her because of her coursework and internship experiences while a student in the College of the Liberal Arts and the interdisciplinary Humanitarian Engineering & Social Entrepreneurship program.  Full story

Congratulations to Michael Nelson, recently awarded the Early Career Professor...

Michael J. Nelson was recently awarded the Jeffrey L. Hyde and Sharon D. Hyde and Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professorship of Political Science.  Early Career Professorships are awarded by the College of the Liberal Arts to untenured and recently tenured faculty who distinguish themselves through outstanding scholarship, teaching and service.

Two Penn State Political Science faculty members recognized by British Academy.

Matt Golder and Sona N. Golder, both Associate professors of Political Science at Penn State, along with William Roberts Clark of Texas A&M University, received the Brian Barry Prize in Political Science from the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences for their study, "An Exit, Voice, and Loyalty Model of Politics."   Click here for full story.

Joseph Wright, appointed co-director of the undergraduate major in Global and International Studies (GLIS)

Joseph Wright, Associate Professor of Political Science has been appointed as co-director to the undergraduate major in Global and International Studies. (GLIS).

Bahry named interim director of Paterno Fellows Program

Donna Bahry, professor of political science, has been appointed interim director of the Paterno Fellows Program in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State for the 2016-17 academic year. Cathy Wanner, professor of history, anthropology, and religious studies, will resume the Rick and Sue Barry Directorship when she returns from a one-year sabbatical.

The Paterno Fellows Program is an innovative program offered jointly by the College of the Liberal Arts and the Schreyer Honors College that encourages students to challenge themselves academically. The Paterno Fellows experience offers "an education for leadership" in the best tradition of the liberal arts. It molds well-rounded students who are ready for the world and prepares them for citizenship, for lifetime learning, and for the satisfaction derived from an exemplary education. The program now has 412 graduates, and this fall there will be nearly 800 undergraduate students pursuing Paterno Fellows recognition.

Bahry has served on the Paterno Fellows Program Advisory Board since 2013. Her research focuses on politics in newly democratic countries, and on political attitudes and behavior, ethnicity and federalism in post-Soviet states. She is the author of "Outside Moscow: Power, Politics and Budgetary Policy in the Soviet Republics" and of articles in a number of journals. Her teaching includes courses on comparative democratization and its impacts, on post-Soviet politics, and on the politics of transition in Central and Eastern Europe. Before coming to Penn State in 2003, she was a faculty member at Vanderbilt University, the University of California at Davis, and New York University.

The Barry Directorship was established by a leadership gift from Rick and Sue Barry, who are leading benefactors of the University. Rick is a 1980 graduate with a bachelor of arts in political science and has had a successful career in the financial industry. He retired as the managing director of Eastbourne Capital Management, a California-based hedge fund investment firm he founded in 1999. He is on the board and part owner of the San Diego Padres baseball team.

Zaryab Iqbal serving as 2016-2017 Administrative Fellow with Provost Jones

Zaryab Iqbal will be serving this academic year as a Penn State Administrative Fellow working with mentor Nicholas Jones, Executive Vice President and Provost.

The Administrative Fellows Program offers Penn State faculty and staff the opportunity to work with senior University officers to gain knowledge and experiences pertaining to the challenges of leadership in the academic community.

Shan-Jan Sarah Liu, Patricia Posey and Kevin Reuning Article Featured in the Monkey Cage

Since working with their research team, lead by Lee Ann Banaszak, at the RNC last week, graduate students Shan-Jan Sarah Liu, Patricia Posey and Kevin Reuning now have an article featured in the Monkey Cage, Three surprising facts about the protesters at the Republican National Convention.

Dr. Banaszak and Research Team in the News.

Lee Ann Banaszak and her team are conducting research at the Republican National Convention this week, and will be at the Democratic National Convention next week. They were mentioned in a USA Today article that you can find by clicking here, and then again in an article here by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

A graduate student Michael Kenwick Featured in the Monkey Cage

Recent work by Michael Kenwick was featured in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog. The recent attack by the Turkish military...."Why the Turkish military still attempts coups". See the full story here.

Thane Fake, First Recipient of Public Service Award

Political Science alumnus, Thane Fake, is the first recipient of the Public Service Award.
Thane Fake, First Recipient of Public Service Award

Lee Ann Banaszak, Thane Fake, Conrad Bessemer

The Public Service Award is presented to Political Science alumni whose contributions have served to enhance the quality of life at the local, state, national, or international level. The presentation of the award was held on Friday, June 17, at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. in the Attorney General’s Office. This award was presented to Thane for his commitment to the College’s students and his effort to demonstrate how a liberal arts education can lead to an important and thriving career. In addition, the enthusiasm and Penn State passion that he has shared with countless high school students from the Washington, D.C. area is greatly appreciated.

Thane received a B.S. in Public Service and a minor in Economics from Penn State in 1998. While Thane was a student he worked with the US Presidential Inaugural Committee in 93 and 97. In 96, Thane worked for the Democratic National Convention. Thane was also a Political Affairs Intern as well as a Presidential Correspondence Intern in the White House.

After graduating, Thane received a Presidential Appointment as Staff Assistant to Attorney General, Janet Reno in 99. After that Thane served as a budget analyst in the Justice Management Division for the U.S. Department of Justice from January 22, 2001 to May 9th 2011. Currently, he is an Emergency Management Specialist in the Justice Management Division’s Security and Emergency Planning Staff, Continuity Assurance Section for the U.S. Department of Justice. Thane wrote the Emergency Management plan for the DOJ when it became apparent they needed one in the wake of 9/11.

Thane has been an active mentor for both the College and for the Political Science department. During the Fall semester, Thane takes the Thursday and Friday of every Penn State Football home game off from work to help our students. While Thane’s on campus he’ll order in pizza and set up his own private conference room to meet with current Political Science students to talk to them about working in government and helping them apply for internships and jobs through USAJOBS.GOV. Amy Linch said of Thane, “He is very effective in helping students to see the value of a liberal arts education by using his own path as an example of what you can do when you are willing to work hard and know how to learn.” Thane is also a dedicated participant of the department’s Spring Career Workshop and awards banquet

In addition to his volunteer work with the College and the department, Thane is active with Penn State admissions. Every Spring, Thane will travel on buses from DC with high school students who are coming to tour campus so that he can excite them through his personal passion about Penn State. Since becoming an alumnus, the number of students Thane has helped get employment opportunities, internships, or convinced to attend Penn State is countless.

Edward Keynes, former Penn State professor, passes away

Edward Keynes, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Penn State, passed away on April 9, 2016 at the age of 75.

At the time of his death, Keynes was honorary professor of political science at Christian-Albrechts University (CAU) in Kiel, Germany, where he had been since 2003. He was a member of the Penn State faculty from 1976 until 2003 and had been a visiting professor at CAU from 1973 until his appointment as honorary professor in 2003. A noted scholar on politics and American constitutional law, particularly in relation to the War Powers Act, Keynes authored or co-authored six books and several book chapters and articles related to his research.

Phi Beta Kappa Lambda awards INTPL and PL SC students for Thesis award

Phi Beta Kappa Lambda awards INTPL and PL SC students for Thesis award...Congratulations ladies!!

Eryn Krivansky, INTPL, winning the Phi Betta Kappa Lambda Chapter Sukhi and Delania Jolly Honors Thesis Prize
"The Reality of Reservations: A Quantitative Analysis of the Influence of Cedaw on Women's Holistic Rights"

The honorable mention, Jule Walsh did her thesis in history, but is a triple major in History, Anthropology, and Political Science
"Non-English Loyalists in the American Revolution: Reasons and Motivations for Loyalty"

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