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words Monthly Archives: May 2014
By Nicole Krassas
On Monday, April 28, the political science program inducted 6 students into Eastern’s chapter of the National Honor Society for Political Science, Pi Sigma Alpha. Our chapter’s name is Alpha Beta Gamma. Pi Sigma Alpha was originally created before political science was an academic discipline to bring together students and faculty interested in studying government and politics from across a variety of academic areas. As the study of politics became more formalized into an academic discipline it became a venue to recognize and convene the most promising students in the discipline.
Our keynote speaker for the event was Bill Welz ’10 (Pi Sigma Alpha Member), who is currently the Executive Aide to the General Council in Governor Malloy’s Office. Bill spoke about his path from college student to political professional with great clarity and eloquence and we are most appreciative of his time.
In order to qualify for membership in the organization, students must be in at least their 3rd year of college and have junior class standing. In addition, they must have completed at least 20 credits at Eastern and maintained an overall grade point average of 3.4 with at least a 3.2 in the major. Very few students each year meet those qualifications. The students inducted on Monday were Kyle Donovan, Matthew Hicks, Kenneth Lord, William McLaughlin, Harrison McNair and Je’Quana Orr. Please congratulate them if you see them!
Also present were the political science faculty and two of our three student members who were inducted last year, Nels Frantzen and Erin Daly who helped to make the event quite special. Kate Schaen could not make it as she was at her internship in the state capitol and could not get to campus in time. All in all it was a great event and we were happy to meet the friends and family who were able to come to support their inductees.
By Nicole Krassas
On April 2nd, while waiting to board a plane to Chicago to attend the Annual Meetings of the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA), I ran into a former student, Bruce Desmarais ’05, now on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Bruce was also traveling to the APSA with two of his graduate students to present work on the communication patterns of local governments that has been funded by the National Science Foundation. On Thursday, the 3rd, my co-author from SUNY Brockport, Dena Levy, delivered our paper on spending and school performance to an enthusiastic audience ready to talk about the implications of school choice policies. This paper was also co-authored with Erin Daily ’14, who unfortunately could not attend the conference as she is completing student teaching this semester to begin her career as an elementary school teacher after graduation. The conference was well attended by more than 5000 people from the U.S. and around the world and had numerous excellent panels on pretty much every area of political science. The other Eastern connection at the conference was Brian DiSarro ’01 who is now a faculty member at California State University, Sacramento. Brian was at the conference presenting work on the implications of using the court case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, to teach key concepts in law and judicial process. It was great to see two such successful graduates, to recharge my creative juices and to catch up with recent advances in the fields I teach and do research in.