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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"

Graduate Student, Molly Ariotti was awarded a 2016 National Security Education Program David L. Boren Fellowship

Click here or Molly's webpage

Click here for fellowship information.

The fellowship will fund intensive language training in Wolof at the University of Florida during the summer of 2016 as well as research in Dakar, Senegal, from September 2016-April 2017.

Jaden Rankin-Wahlers, 2016 Stand Up Award

Jaden is a Penn State University Park Recipient of the 2016 Stand UP Award for her dedication to raising awareness of student poverty and her ethical leadership in combatting stigma associated with poverty and homelessness.

Jaden is majoring in Political Science and Criminology. She is a Paterno Fellow and a Schreyer Honors Scholar. Congratulations Jaden! For more on the story, please go to

2016 Undergraduate Thesis Prize, Megan Biek

One of our very own outstanding graduating seniors, Megan Biek, has been selected to receive the 2016 Center for Global Studies (CGS) Thesis Prize for her project, "Transparency, Accessibility and the Completeness of Amnesty International Human Rights Records." Megan was recognized a presentation hosted by CGS.

Her Thesis was supervised by Christopher Fariss, International Politics. She is graduating as a Shreyer Honors Scholar and as a Paterno Fellow. Congratulations Megan!

New Dual Degree in Social Data Analytics (SoDA)!!

What is Social Data? What is Social Data Analytics?

The Department of Political Science has a new dual degree program. Stay turned for more information coming on this new interdisciplinary training.

Climate change study by Eric Plutzer and PSU PhD Lee Hannah receives extensive media attention.

Eric Plutzer and Lee Hannah's research on how politics impacts the teaching of climate change continues to receive attention in the press, including The New York Times, NPR's All Things Considered, and US News and World Report. Lee Hannah is a recent PhD recipient now teaching at Wright State University.

The Difficulty of Forecasting "Winners" in Parliamentary Elections by Professor Sona Golder.

The Difficulty of Forecasting "Winners" in Parliamentary Elections by Professor Sona Golder.

Associate Professor, Sona Golder

Professor Golder's research on predicting governing coalitions is featured in the European political science blog, The Plot,  found here

Analysis of Presidential Primary media coverage by graduate students Kevin Reuning and Nick Dietrich featured in the Monkey Cage

Recent work by Kevin Reuning and Nick Dietrich was featured in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog. Their research examines the relationship between media coverage, polling, and popular support in the 2016 Presidential Primary Election. See the full article here.

Penn State offers new innovative interdisciplinary undergraduate major 'Big Data': Social Data Analytics

Developed by the political science department. A new innovative interdisciplinary undergraduate major in social data analytics is now offered through the Department of Political Science in the College of the Liberal Arts. Undergraduate majors will work with “big data” in the rapidly growing field of data science. Click here for the full story.

Announcing a new undergraduate major in Social Data Analytics (SoDA)!

The SoDA major is designed to prepare students for careers that make use of Big Data in order to tackle social and political problems. This interdisciplinary major provides a unique combination of data analytic skills and social science knowledge that can be applied to various contexts and questions

Learn more about the degree here:

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