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Welcome from Rick Herrmann

It has been an exciting and fun time to be chair of the department.  The students and faculty colleagues I get to work with make it a great job that I feel lucky to have.  The accomplishments of both the faculty and students are showcased in this newsletter.  They are impressive as you might expect from Ohio State, and are indicative of the role the department plays in advancing knowledge through its research and in providing valuable opportunities to its student that many seize to do great things.  The director of our gradate program, Bear Braumoeller, was named a Nobel Peace Fellow this year, a terrific honor. Four others published important books, while virtually everyone published articles in the discipline’s leading journals. Our PhD students found good jobs and one of them, Marina Duque, is on her way to a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard.  Dr. Eun Bin Chung’s dissertation was named by both the Political Psychology and the Political Experiments sections of the APSA as the best dissertation of the year.  At the same time, Dr. Matthew Hitt’s dissertation won this distinction from APSA’s Judicial Studies section.  Our undergraduate students also achieved great things, Ms. Ilhan Dahir, for example, was named a Rhodes Scholar — Ohio State’s sixth Rhodes Scholar in history.   Many other students participated in our Model UN and Mock Trials teams, studied abroad, and nearly 250 graduated and headed of into careers ranging from law school and private consulting firms to non-profits and numerous agencies involved in governance.  They join our remarkable alumni all over the world doing wonderful things.

I am proud of the department and hope you enjoy this recap of our year. The study of political science and the reach of politics shape all facets of our lives. Its continued relevance in today’s world is undeniable and we are honored to provide the scholarly work and research that drive the conversation and informs our understanding of what it means to be a citizen, of this country and of the world. We intend to follow up shortly with an special 2016 Election newsletter.

We also want to hear from you. Please take two minutes to complete our alumni survey.

Studying War to Achieve Peace: A Summer at the Nobel Peace Institute

Professor Bear Braumoeller spent May and June as a fellow at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway, where he worked on his manuscript on the decline of war thesis. During that time he delivered a public lecture at the institute entitled "The Spread of Peace and the Spread of War: Explaining an Apparent Paradox." In mid-June, along with other scholars from the United States and Europe, Braumoeller participated in a three-day Nobel symposium on the causes of peace. Read more about the inspiration for his research; the way in which his research could apply to policy and his biggest surprise about Norway here.

Canadian Parliament Internship Program

Buckeye Spirit with Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

Rollin Bresson (political science), Angel Guo (political science), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Julia Karajeh (international studies)

After visiting the Canadian Parliament Internship Program this summer, Department Chair Rick Herrmann came back exhilarated. "I knew that our students were well-prepared through our courses to contribute as interns to their MP's, but to see the level at which students were involved with their representatives and the day to day operations of the Parliament was truly amazing." A testament to how closely students get to work with the Canadian elected officials can be seen in the photo above. There aren't many study abroad programs that provide students with the chance to pose with a Prime Minster.

Ohio State students have been participating in the program — a collaboration between the Department of Political Science and James Baker  University Distinguished Professor, Western Kentucky University — directed by Randall Ripley for more than a decade. This summer Angel Guo, a third-year student and Political Science major from Milford, Ohio, worked in the offices of Hedy Fry, member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre.

She says of her experience, "I emailed constituents regarding their concern on how the MP should vote on certain bills; planned the MP’s schedule; and attended committee meetings. The most important aspect was learning to be on top of what was happening in the house at all time, so we could prepare for the day. Interning at Parliament Hill exposed me to all types of leadership skills, and I hope to use this experience to develop a personal leadership style that can help make me a better team player for any of my future goals." Read more about Guo’s experience.

Rollin Bresson (above, center), a third-year student from Canfield, Ohio, worked in the office of Borys Wrzesnewskyj (above, far right), an MP for the Liberal Party from the riding (district) of Etobicoke Centre, is the chair of the Committee and Subcommittee on Citizenship and Immigration. Bresson says of his internship, "The thing I found most surprising about my experience in Parliament was just how much access and meaningful exposure I was able to get to the legislative process as an intern. I was amazed at all the different places I was able to go and the things I could do. Getting to work with Parliamentary Counsel on the bill I drafted, getting to work with Borys both in his office and in the Member’s Lounge, and getting to meet a wide variety of influential people in Canadian government, including the PM, at various events came as a surprise to me."

Read more on how you can support students like Angel and Rollin to study abroad.

Political Science Major Honored with Prestigious Rhodes Scholarship

Ilhan Dahir (political science; English, 2015) has been named a 2016 Rhodes Scholar. One of the oldest and best-known academic awards, the Rhodes Scholarship covers all expenses associated with two or three years of study at the University of Oxford.

The daughter of Somali immigrants who fled that country's civil war, Dahir was selected for her commitment to the empowerment of refugee communities around the world and her potential as a leader and advocate for refugees and communities in turmoil.  Dahir says of her experience at Ohio State, “The decision to come here was one of the best I could have possibly made. Ohio State is exactly where I needed to be,” she says. “Four years is a very short amount of time, but I think you can push yourself to go deep here. There are so many small decisions I made and conversations that wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else.”

Read more about Ilhan's fascinating journey here.

Why Major in Political Science?

Our major provides the opportunity for focused study on ideas and techniques that put our students at the cutting edge of the workforce. We strive to give in depth analysis to timely issues facing our country, and our world.

To continue to grow and adapt to students needs, in autumn 2016, the Department of Political Science introduced a restructured Bachelor of Arts degree, with seven new specializations:

1) Democracy and law
2) Political identities and allegiances
3) Political economy and development
4) Cooperation, conflict and violence
5) Inequality and justice
6) Political leadership and reform
7) Political analysis

These new specializations focus on the most critical political questions facing us today, and allow students to better tailor their education to their interests while clearly communicating their skills and education to employers.

Read more about the BA specializations, the BS and World Politics degrees.

New Faculty Member: Brice Acree

Brice is a political methodologist who received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the direction of Jim Stimson. Originally from Kentucky, Brice graduated from Dartmouth College in 2009 and worked on several campaigns and two political polling firms before attending graduate school. His research centers on computational methods, automated text analysis, and deep learning artificial intelligence. He applies these methods to better understand ideological belief systems, and how political elites express their beliefs to the public.

New Faculty Member: Erin Lin

Erin Lin is comes to Ohio State from Princeton University, where she is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Politics.  Erin's research focuses on comparative politics, legacies of violence, the environment, and Southeast Asia.  Her dissertation examines how the politics of land shape patterns of economic development in the post-conflict, developing world. Her research has been funded by Fulbright, Luce and Foreign Language Area Studies grants.  She holds a BA with distinction in environmental studies and international studies from Yale University.  She has previously held positions at the World Bank and the Center for Khmer Studies.

Alumni Spotlight- Rory McGuiness

In June 2016, the City of Columbus was honored by the U.S. Department of Transportation as the Winner of the unprecedented $40 Million Smart City Grant Challenge. Political Science Alumnus, Rory McGuiness, (B.A., 1999) is the deputy director for administration for City of Columbus’ Department of Development and was closely involved with the process that brought this recognition to the city. Read more about why this grant was given to the city, his role in the process and how his time at Ohio State led him to where he is today.

On how his degree in Political Science helped his career:  "My degree provided me an excellent foundational knowledge base for a career in public service.  It also provided me valuable insight into how the interaction of governments, businesses, and non-governmental organizations shape how our world works.   A degree in arts and sciences provides you a more comprehensive education than any other major."

Summer Reading Inspiration

As you are creating your summer reading list, consider checking out some of the new book releases from our faculty this year. Professors Neblo, Rehm, Watson and Wendt have published books on a wide variety of fascinating topics in Political Science.

Michael Neblo, Deliberative Democracy between Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Philipp Rehm, Risk Inequality and Welfare States: Social Policy Preferences, Development, and Dynamics (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Sara Watson, The Left Divided: The Development and Transformation of Advanced Welfare States (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Alexander Wendt, Quantum Mind and Social Science: Unifying Physical and Social Ontology, (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Summaries of each book.

Political Science Majors, Spencer Dirrig and Kelly Harrop, Attend DNC Convention as Delegates

Want to know more about how the department is getting involved with the election? Visit The Ohio State University Election 2016 website feature and keep an eye out for our special edition newsletter in October!

Marina Duque to Harvard for Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Graduate Student Marina Duque has been awarded a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with the International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. During the fellowship, Duque will work on her manuscript about the foundations of international status. Duque is currently the Managing Editor of Security Studies and more information about her research can be found on her website.

Where our 2016 PhD graduates are heading next.

Faculty and Student Highlights

Faculty Awards

Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Vernal Riffe Professor of Political Science and divisional dean, social and behavioral sciences, will receive the Outstanding Professional Achievement award from the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) Women’s Caucus. As part of this award, the MPSA will host a round table honoring Box-Steffensmeier and celebrating her important contributions to the discipline and the profession. Box-Steffensmeier has been announced as the winner of the Society for Political Methodology's 2016 Excellence in Mentoring Award for her outstanding commitment to mentoring and advising graduate and/or undergraduate students---particularly those from underrepresented groups. Additionally this year Box-Steffesnmeier received the Jewell-Loewenberg Paper Award, from the Legislative Studies Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA), for the best article published in Legislative Studies Quarterly in 2015; "Examining Legislative Cue-Taking in the U.S. Senate.”

Skyler Cranmer won the best conference paper award (2015) from the Political Networks section of the APSA.

Rick Herrmann appointed as faculty representative to The Ohio State Board of Trustees.

Vladimir Kogan is the co-recipient of the $632,000 Lyle Spencer Research Award. Kogan received the $632,778 award from the Chicago-based Spencer Foundation to fund a research project on education governance and accountability. The purpose of the Education Governance and Accountability Project is to improve understanding of the political institutions governing U.S. public education, so that they may be designed to promote democratic accountability and the efficient provision of K-12 education.

Marcus Kurtz wins the Joan A. Huber Award.

Graduate Student Awards

Eun Bin Chung awarded the Best Dissertation Award from both the Political Psychology and the Political Experiments sections of the APSA, and honorable mention for this year’s ISPP dissertation award.

Margaret Hanson wins DDRIG NSF Fellowship.

Matthew Hitt selected as the winner of the American Political Science Association's 2015 Edward S. Corwin Award.

Lauren Ratliff is awarded an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant from the Decision, Risk and Management Sciences Division. 

Wei-Ting Yen wins Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation dissertation fellowship.

Undergraduate Student Awards

Alexander Hamilton Society wins chapter of the year award.

Three Political Science graduates awarded Fulbright grants.

Two political science majors, Max Mauerman and Ben Schumann, traveled to Berlin, Germany to present their research at the International Association of Political Science Students (IAPSS) World Conference.

Give to Political Science

Your donation, no matter how small, can help students like Max and Ben enrich their lives through experiences the department offers such as study abroad or conducting research.

The Department of Political Science has a number of funds to support the students and vision of the department. Giving to the following funds will aid the department in development, student travel, scholarships, research grants, publications and other areas so that we can remain strong and provide the same opportunities for future students that we have in the past.

We appreciate all donations to our department. Your generosity makes a tangible difference in the lives of ours students, faculty and staff.

Study Abroad Fund

One of the amazing opportunities our students have available to them is study abroad.  In order to help ensure this experience for students, this fund helps to provide support for travel and research in other countries around the world.

Political Science Development Fund

Funds teaching, research, faculty, travel, student aid, public service, publications, and other similar programs. 

Madison H. Scott Fund

The Madison Scott Fund is dedicated to promoting the education of minority students in the department. 


Want to stay up to date on awards and achievements in the department? Follow us on Twitter.  

Contact Us!

We love to hear from you! Please send your updates and news about where you are and what you are doing, including any changes in contact information, to Courtney Sanders.

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DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE  2140 Derby Hall   154 North Oval Mall  Columbus, OH 43210
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