Spring 2018 Newsletter

Letter from the Department Head


Thank you for reading the inaugural issue of our new-and-improved newsletter.  We have had a remarkable year, with three national awards for career achievement in research, two college teaching awards, and an undergraduate named both a Lincoln Laureate and a Rhodes Scholar.  In addition, Professor Tracy Sulkin was named the Richard and Margaret Romano Professorial Scholar, recognizing her research achievements and her leadership role on campus. Professor Avital Livny was awarded the 2017 Juan Linz Best Dissertation Award from APSA's Comparative Democratization Section for her Stanford dissertation.

Students like Rhodes Scholar Thomas Dowling not only benefit from our award-winning faculty on campus but also from our off-campus programs. These include the Illinois-in-Washington internship program, which served a record number of students last year, as well as programs in Argentina, Austria, and US national parks.

The department's research mission continues to gain external support through grants, contracts, and external fellowships. Professor Jake Bowers has support from the federal government, the Arnold Foundation, and other sources for projects on evidence-based policy making using field experiments in the United States and west Africa.  With Bowers and graduate students Nuole Chen and Chris Grady, Professor Matt Winters has support from EGAP Metaketa to examine collective action in Malawi. With support from Equal Access International, Professor Winters along with graduate students Chris Grady and Alice Iannantuoni are examining the effectiveness of USAID-funded radio programming to counter violent extremism in Niger. Professor Samantha Frost leads the Biohumanities initiative on campus as IPRH-Mellon Faculty Fellow.

Political Science Department Head, Dr. Robert PahreWe are fortunate to have active alumni on our Board of Visitors, which organized a panel on careers last fall and runs a mentoring program for our students. With the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Board also organized a successful alumni event featuring Chicago lawyer and media personality Joel Weisman. Follow #MyPSStory for more alumni stories.

--Dr. Robert Pahre, Department Head