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Department of Political Science

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Political Science Department Congratulates Scholarship Winners & GTAs for 2021-2022


For the 2021-2022 academic year, the Political Science department awarded more than $25,000 in scholarship funds to its undergraduate and graduate winners. The department also awarded stipends for graduate assistantships to seven students across three graduate programs.

The following are 2021-2022 scholarship recipients:

  • Keirn Kinnan, junior in political science
    • Don and Marian Button Political Science Scholarship. 
  • Grace Lovett, junior in political science
    • Reba L. Cobb Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Women in Political Science.
  • Michael Braun, junior in political science
    • Sally Coberly Political Science Scholarship.
  • Reed Krewson, junior in political science
    • Louis H. Douglas Scholarship.
  • Marta Richenburg, sophomore in political science and history
    • Donald R. Hill Scholarship in Political Science
  • Scout Molder, junior in political science
    • Orma Linford Scholarship.
  • Korey Kneisley, junior in political science and history
    • Edward Allen McCoy, Jr. Memorial Scholarship in Political Science.
  • Jackson Willis, senior in political science and mass communications
    • Edward Allen McCoy Jr. Memorial Scholarship in Political Science.
  • MaKenna Eilert, senior in political science
    • Barbara Meyer Memorial Scholarship.
  • Dawson Maring, junior in political science and history
    • Richter Family "Beyond the Campus" Scholarship.
  • Duru Dogan, junior in political science and statistics
    • Rieger-McCrery Scholarship.
  • Steel Streeton, junior in political science
    • Rieger-McCrery Scholarship.
  • Sarah Spond, senior in political science and modern languages
    • Nicolas Salgo Political Science Scholarship.
  • Jada Marie Harris, freshman in political science
    • Dennis K. Tapsak Memorial Scholarship
  • Connor Balthazor, senior in political science
    • Jon David Wagner Scholarship
  • Sabrina DeSantis, Master's student in Public Administration
    • John W. and Lynn L. Carlin Public Administration Scholarship
  • Zach Barbieri, Master's student in Security Studies
    • Joseph Hajda Student Scholarship.
  • Lillie Schlitz, Master's student in Public Administration
    • Tummala's Master of Public Administration Fellowship
  • Leroy Bryant Butler, doctoral tudent in Security Studies
    • Jon Wefald International Security Scholarship

The following are 2021-2022 graduate teaching/research assistantship recipients:

  • Noëlie Frix, PhD in security studies.
  • Arcadio Luis Guerra Munoz, PhD in Security Studies
  • Joshua Haverkamp, Master's in Public Administration 
  • Danielle Preskitt, PhD in Security Studies
  • Frederick Schuler, Master's in Security Studies
  • Domenic Alexander Corrado, Master's in Public Administration

Congratulations to all the award recipients and thank you to all the donors who make these scholarships possible!

Associate Professor, John Fliter, appointed to Kansas Advisory Committee to US Commission on Civil Rights


John Fliter, associate professor in the political science department, has been appointed a member of the Kansas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Along with 11 other members, the committee's task is to advise the Commission on Civil Rights on matters in the state of Kansas.

FliterFliter will bring his expertise on prisoners' rights, criminal justice, free speech, religious freedom and fair labor standards to this role. His appointment to the commission is a recognition of his research and teaching contributions in these areas.

Advisory committees have recently examined education funding, school discipline disparities, policing practices, mental health and the criminal justice system, legal financial obligations, human trafficking, fair housing, hate crimes, voting rights, and collateral consequences of criminal convictions. In addition to advising the commission, advisory committee reports have contributed to policy changes at the national, state and local levels.

Fliter joined the political science department in 1994. His most recent book, "Child Labor in America: The Epic Legal Struggle to Protect Children," was published by the University Press of Kansas in 2018 and examines child labor laws. He is currently working on his fourth book, "U.S. v. Darby Lumber: The Triumph of Fair Labor Standards." Fliter received the 2010 K-State Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching and he was named the 2013-14 Coffman University Distinguished Teaching Scholar. He has taught courses on constitutional law, administrative law, the judicial process, and civil rights and liberties. His teaching and research areas keep him actively engaged in civil rights issues, both professionally and personally.

Assistant Professor, Angela Y.S. Park, receives national award by American Political Science Association


ParkAngela Y.S. Park, assistant professor of political science, has been awarded the prestigious 2020 Leonard D. White Award for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of public administration. The award is presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, a major professional society for individuals engaged in the study of politics and government.

"The dissertation makes contributions to research on public management and collaborative governance, and the findings also have the potential to inform the practice of public administration in local government," the award committee notes. "The committee was also impressed by the close fit between the research question that each chapter set out to investigate and the data used in the analyses, and by the clear writing style used throughout."

The quality of Park's work was recognized early on, when, in 2018, she won the Staats Emerging Scholar Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.

See full article on Political Science Now

 Political Science Congratulates Scholarship Winners & GTAs for 2020-2021


For the 2020-2021 academic year, the political science department awarded more than $20,000 in scholarship funds to its undergraduate and graduate winners. The department also awarded stipends for graduate assistantship to 11 students across three graduate programs.

2020-2021 scholarship recipients:

  • Emily Featherston, senior in political science
    • Received the Don and Marian Button Political Science Scholarship
  • Citlally Orozco Aldaz, junior in political science and American ethnic studies
    • Received the Reba L. Cobb Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Women in Political Science
  • Korey Chase Kneisley, sophomore in political science and history
    • Received the Sally Coberly Political Science Scholarship
  • Jarrod Kuckelman, senior in political science
    • Received the Louis H. Douglas Scholarship
  • Sarah Spond, sophomore in political science
    • Received the Donald R. Hill Scholarship in Political Science
  • Caitlin B. Riordan, junior in political science
    • Received the Orma Linford Scholarship
  • Carlo Dionicio Gonzalez, senior in political science
    • Received the Edward Allen McCoy, Jr. Memorial Scholarship in Political Science
  • Trey Kuhlmann, junior in political science
    • Received the Edward Allen McCoy Jr. Memorial Scholarship in Political Science
  • Isabella Villegas, senior in political science
    • Received the Barbara Meyer Memorial Scholarship
  • Isabelle Woodrum, sophomore in political science
    • Received the Richter Family "Beyond the Campus" Scholarship
  • Nathan David Bothwell, senior in political science and communication studies
    • Received the Rieger-McCrery Scholarship
  • Scout Molder, freshman in political science
    • Received the Rieger-McCrery Scholarship
  • Kristen Schau, senior in political science and sociology
    • Received the Dennis K. Tapsak Memorial Scholarship
  • Frederick Schuler, senior in political science
    • Received the Dennis K. Tapsak Memorial Scholarship
  • Michael J. Braun, sophomore in political science
    • Received the Jon David Wagner Scholarship
  • Joshua Kyle Willis, junior in political science
    • Received the Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani Scholarship
  • Christina M. Chadwick, doctoral student in security studies
    • Received the Evelyn M. Bieker Political Science Scholarship and the Jon Wefald International Security Scholarship.
  • Kristen Isch, Master of Public Administration student
    • Received the John W. and Lynn L. Carlin Public Administration Scholarship
  • Gwendolyn Mai English Camerlinck, master's student in security studies
    • Received the Joseph Hajda Student Scholarship
  • Kristin J. Little, Master of Public Administration student
    • Received the Tummala's Master of Public Administration Fellowship
  • Joshua Edgar, master's student in political science
    • Received the Raoul Wallenberg Scholarship

2020-2021 graduate assistantship recipients

  • Tyler Bowen, Master of Public Administration
  • Noëlie Frix, doctorate in Security Studies
  • Arcadio Luis Guerra Munoz, doctorate in security studies
  • Ghashia Kiyani, doctorate in security studies
  • Jahan Masjidi, master's in political science
  • Joshua Haverkamp, Master of Public Administration
  • Lincoln Rush, master's in political science 
  • Danielle Preskitt, doctorate in security studies
  • Michael White, Master of Public Administration
  • Zoya Penwell, master's in security studies
  • Swatishiri Debadarshini, doctorate in security studies

Congratulations to all our award recipients and thank you to all the donors that make these scholarships possible!

 Political Science department announces new Middle East Studies minor - coming Fall 2020


Middle East Studies has a lively presence at Kansas State University, with courses offered on various topics of the subject spread over numerous departments. In addition, faculty from various departments consistently share their expertise on this important region with the residents of Kansas and the nation through research, public lectures, invited talks, and media interviews. K-State also established the Michael W. Suleiman Chair in Arab and Arab-American Studies to advance the pursuit of Middle Eastern scholarship. Further, the Political Science department regularly invites prominent scholars on Middle Eastern affairs to campus as part of the Middle Eastern Speaker Series. As a result, a vibrant intellectual community interested in the region has developed – leading to the development of the Middle East Studies minor.

The Middle East Studies minor is a new interdisciplinary program that helps build a student’s knowledge of important geopolitical and cultural forces of the critical region, both on campus and beyond. Housed within the Political Science Department, the minor involves five departments across the university including; Political Science, History, Communication Studies, Philosophy and Modern Languages.  Offering courses ranging from intercultural exchanges, the history of Islamic thought, political Islam, religion and communication in the Middle East and more – this minor gives students a dynamic perspective of a subject that has great global interest.
The minor will be directed by Dr. Sabri Ciftci, Associate Professor of Political Science and Michael W. Suleiman Chair in Arab and Arab-American Studies. Supporting faculty members include Dr. Nadia Oweidat (Assistant Professor of History), Dr. Jon Mahoney (Professor of Philosophy), and Thuria Mosa (Instructor of Modern Languages).

For more information about the minor, please e-mail Dr. Sabri Ciftci (ciftci@ksu.edu) or the Political Science department (polsci@ksu.edu).

 Model United Nations Team Wins Awards at AMUN Conference in Chicago


Model UNK-State's Model United Nations team competed at the 30th American Model UN Conference in Chicago from Nov. 23-26. More than 1,200 students from 77 colleges and universities competed to win for their designated countries.

K-State’s Model UN team, who had chosen to represent Equatorial Guinea, won a Position Paper award for completing policy position papers for every simulated situation at the conference. Two team members, Claire Chaffin (Political Science junior and French minor) and Scout Molder (Political Science/Pre-Law freshman) also won a delegation award for exceptional representation of Equatorial Guinea on the Economic Commission of Africa. This is the first time in almost seven years that Kansas State has won this award.

This year, K-State’s Model UN team members included: Jennifer Acosta, Nathan Bothwell, Claire Chaffin, Ethan Chapman, Bayley Clark, Lily Colburn, Erick Echegaray, Ashley Fox, Natalie Jabben, Nicholas Kaechele, Nick McCreight, Scout Molder, Alexa Scheer, Bella Villegas, and Mason Witzke. Associate Professors John Fliter and Carla Martinez-Machain served as co-faculty advisors for the team.

Congratulations, K-State’s Model UN team!

 Political Science Professor along with Geography and Geospatial Professor Awarded $1 Million Dollar Grant from National Science Foundation


Two professors from Kansas State University were recently awarded a $1 million National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator Grant to create an open knowledge network with researchers from five other universities that stitches together data from states on public policy and economic, social and environmental outcomes.

Nathaniel Birkhead, associate professor of political science, and Audrey Joslin, assistant professor of geography and geospatial sciences, both in the College of Arts and Sciences, will collaborate with researchers at Rochester University, University of Notre Dame, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, Charlotte and North Carolina A&T State University. They will create a data hub so that policies from different states and areas will be conveniently accessible in one cohesive location. The network will include analytic tools to explore and visualize the data.

The researchers involved have varied academic backgrounds, including sociology, data ethics and computer science.

"We're not in the same department, but we all have different needs that this network would be useful in helping to solve, so this interdisciplinary approach makes sense," Joslin said.

The open knowledge network will also reduce the labor needed to look at special data since all information will be linked together.

"I'm excited to discover new ways that we can answer old questions," Birkhead said.

NSF Convergence Accelerator grants support team-based, multidisciplinary efforts that address challenges of national importance and show potential for deliverables soon.
Birkhead said that while the NSF typically gives researchers years to complete a project, this project is different in how quickly it is moving. The K-State team has already partnered with the Open States Project, Society for Public Health Educators and assorted municipal governments, as well as other nonprofit organizations and community partners.

Congratulations, Nate and Audrey!


Political Science Professor Receives 2019 William L. Stamey Award for Undergraduate Teaching


Ali Stoyan is the 2019 recipient of the William L. Stamey Award for Undergraduate Teaching.
William L. Stamey is a mathematician and served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for 17 years from 1970-1987. In recognition of Stamey's outstanding record in recruiting excellent faculty to Kansas State University and in recognition of the continuing need to foster excellence in teaching and advising, the College of Arts and Sciences established the Stamey Awards.

Dr. Stoyan earned her Ph.D and M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her B.A. from Union College in Schenectady, NY. Her research focuses on Comparative and Latin American politics, exploring topics such as political institutions, executive politics, democratization, public opinion, and gender. Her work has been published in Electoral Studies, Political Research QuarterlyGovernance, and the International Political Science Review. She is currently completing a book manuscript analyzing how presidents with ambitious reform agendas implement them through a Constituent Assembly in Latin America. For this project, she conducted in-depth fieldwork and elite interviews in Bolivia and Ecuador.

This award not only reflects her excellence as an educator, but also as a stalwart for both Political Science and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Congratulations, Ali!

Political Science Professor and Alum Win Conflict Management and Peace Science's Article of the Year Award


MachainCarla Martinez Machain and alum Leo Rosenberg (2015 MA in Political Science) have been selected as the recipients of the 2018 Glenn Palmer Prize for the best article in Conflict Management and Peace Science (CMPS). Martinez Machain and Rosenberg’s paper “Domestic diversion and strategic behavior by minority groups” and was published in 35(5) issue of CMPS.  Rosenberg
The article is summarized with the CMPS award committee as “address[ing] an under-appreciated facet of international relations and diversionary theory: minority groups' engagement in tactics of strategic avoidance when governments hold incentives to repress. Martinez Machain and Rosenberg revisit diversionary theory through the lens of often-neglected minority constituent groups and present persuasive evidence via a series of robust multivariate tests at the rather novel state-minority group dyad level.”
The full article is available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0738894216655461
Conflict Management and Peace Science is the flagship journal of the Peace Science Society, an international organization that advances social science theory as it relates to international relations.  The 53rd Peace Science Society International North American Meeting will be hosted by Kansas State University in November 2019. 


Political Science Professor Receives Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award 


Jeffrey Pickering

Jeff Pickering is the 2019 recipient of the Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award by the International Studies Association.
The award is given annually to a scholar who has significantly influenced the association's Midwest region. The recipient is recognized for having an exceptional record of scholarship in international studies, a distinguished record of service to the International Studies Association and other international affairs organizations, and a record of service within the region.

The International Studies Association is an interdisciplinary association of scholars that conduct research on international affairs. It has more than 7,000 members across the globe and is the primary academic association for scholars of international studies. It also is home to important and high impact journals that publish research in this area. Pickering serves as editor in chief for one such association journal, International Interactions.

This award is a reflection of Pickering's important place in the field, his research impact and service to the discipline. The award ceremony includes a roundtable in Pickering's honor at the 2019 International Studies Association — Midwest Conference. He also will give the keynote address at the Quincy Wright luncheon.

 Political Science Honors Students at Scholarship Reception


The department held its annual scholarship reception on Friday April 20, 2018.  Family, guests, donors, and faculty members joined our scholarship recipients to recognize the academic achievements of students within the political science, public administration, and security studies programs.  The department awarded $15,750 in scholarship funds to undergraduate students, $3,500 for graduate scholarships, and $139,000 for graduate assistantships for the 2018-2019 academic year.  Graduate assistantships also include over $86,963 in total tuition support.


-          Nathan  Bothwell, sophomore in political science, received the Don and Marian Button
              Political Science Scholarship. 
-          Faith Tuttle, junior in political science and international studies, received the
              Reba L. Cobb Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Women in Political Science.
-          Natalie Jabben, sophomore in political science and philosophy received the
              Louis H. Douglas Scholarship.
-          Matthew Van, junior in political science, received the Joseph Hajda Student Scholarship.
-          Alice Davidson, junior in political science, received the Donald R. Hill Scholarship 
              in Political Science.
-          Miranda Moore, senior in political science and communication studies, received the
              Orma Linford Scholarship. 
-          Lizzy McEntire, senior in political science, received the Edward Allen McCoy, Jr. Memorial 
              Scholarship in Political Science. 
-          Mallory Williams, senior in political science and philosophy, received the Edward Allen McCoy, Jr.
              Memorial Scholarship in Political Science. 
-          Caroline Fuss, senior in political science, received the Barbara Meyer Memorial Scholarship.
-          Jarrod Kuckelman, sophomore in political science, received the Richter Family “Beyond the Campus”
-          Andrew Le, senior in political science and international studies, received the Rieger-McCrery
-          Kaleb Schumaker, junior in political science, received the Dennis K. Tapsak Memorial Scholarship.
-          Caleb Snider, senior in political science, received the Jon David Wagner Scholarship.
-          Adam Wilkerson, junior in political science, received the Samarrai Middle East Fellowship.
-          Marissa Jones-Flaget, master of public administration student, received the
              Tummala’s Master of Public Administration Fellowship.
-          Gabrielle Hull, master of public administration student, received the Nicolas Salgo 
              Political Science Scholarship. 
-          Dustin Weiszbrod, master of public administration student, received the Nicolas Salgo
              Political Science Scholarship. 
-          Michele Benevento, master of public administration student, received the Jon Wefald 
              International Security Scholarship.

-          Catherine Caffera, master of arts in political science
-          Wesley Duncan, master of public administration
-          Mohri Exline, master of public administration
-          Noelie Frix, doctorate in security studies
-          Jill Haake, master of public administration
-          Ghashia Kiyani, doctorate in security studies
-          Daphne Park, master of public administration
-          Harris Sheikh, doctorate in security studies
-          Kaitlin Stanley, master in security studies
-          Jessica Wilkus, master of public administration
Congratulations to all our award recipients!

Political Science Researchers Receive 1.2 Million Grant to Study Effects of Military's Overseas Presence


The United States has maintained a large overseas military presence since World War II. The strategic advantages of such installations may be clear, but how troop deployments affect host nations is not.

Carla and MichaelTwo Kansas State University political science researchers have been awarded $1.2 million by the U.S. Department of Defense Minerva Research Initiative to study the political, economic and social effects of the United States' overseas military presence. Carla Martinez Machain, associate professor, and Michael Flynn, assistant professor, will work with a team to engage in a large data collection effort to explore public attitudes and beliefs about American activities and installations abroad at the national, regional and local levels.

Both Martinez Machain and Flynn have longstanding interest in international conflict and security, with a specific interest in military deployments.

"As a country, we've been maintaining some of these deployments for more than 70 years now," Flynn said. "After such a long time, we've formed deep relationships with some of these countries through our military presence, but there's still a lot we don't know about those relationships and what kinds of effects these deployments have on the host country."

Martinez Machain said current data are inadequate.

"We were asking questions about effects of U.S. troops on the host states' foreign policies, human rights, development and so on — but all at the national level," Martinez Machain said.

Collecting detailed data through public opinion surveys, interviews and other methods will help researchers address several questions. One is how the United States' troop presence and overseas military expenditures affect local economies. Another is how many crimes are committed by or against U.S. military personnel, civilian employees and contractors, and how tensions affect attitudes toward the U.S.

Documenting protests against American forces is another part of the project. Martinez Machain said protest motives or objectives are not always as they seem, so she and Flynn will try to uncover "fine-grained causes and effects."

"We will look at protests to deployments, and geocode them — document the location of the protests, how many people are involved and the grievance," Martinez Machain said. "We might assume it's about the troops, but sometimes it's not. For instance, Italians would protest at U.S. installations in Italy, but the protests were really about domestic issues. They knew the media would cover it if the protest was outside the military installation."

The U.S. Department of Defense is keen to understand these issues, too, which is why it supports basic social science research through the Minerva Research Initiative. Minerva funds relevant research that speaks to current or near-term challenges the military is confronting. Flynn said the data will be available for public consumption when the three-year study is complete.

"The funding comes from the Office of Basic Research at the Department of Defense," he said. "The investment goes beyond K-State and what our team produces. We are hoping this is something other people will be using after this program window closes."

In addition to providing vital data to researchers interested in international security and U.S. military policy, Flynn said the grant will help involve students in research by supporting a graduate student and offering opportunities for undergraduates to participate.

"K-State is doing important work, and we are able to give students a research experience here they may not get at other institutions," Flynn said.

Jeff Pickering, head of the political science department, added that Martinez Machain and Flynn benefited from a trip to Washington, D.C., earlier this year for early career faculty. The trip, which was led by the K-State Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, provided the researchers an opportunity to meet with the Minerva program director at the Pentagon.

"K-State's trip to visit funding agencies was very beneficial for Drs. Flynn and Martinez Machain," Pickering said. "It helped them to fine-tune their project, and the resulting Minerva grant will provide data and research that will be important for scholars and policymakers alike." 

Co-investigators for the grant are Michael Allen, associate professor of political science at Boise State University, and Andrew Stravers, doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Texas, Austin.

Sierra Lekie Receives Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship


Sierra LekieKansas State University's Sierra Lekie, senior in economics and political science, is one of 20 students selected nationally for a 2017 Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship with the U.S. State Department.

The fellowship, administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, provides up to $37,500 annually for a two-year master's degree in foreign service-related fields.

"When I first met Sierra as a senior in high school, she indicated that she aspired to become a foreign service officer," said Jim Hohenbary, director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships. "Her receipt of the Pickering Fellowship is really a reflection of her determined pursuit of that goal over the last four years and it is exciting to know that the Pickering will help her toward a career in international diplomacy."

Fellows participate in one domestic internship at the U.S. State Department and one overseas internship at a U.S. embassy; receive mentoring from foreign service officers in the State Department; and after completing a master's degree, are expected to become foreign service officers.

"This fellowship will allow me to fulfill my dream of becoming a foreign service officer," Lekie said. "For more than six years, it has been my dream to work for the State Department by serving as a diplomat at embassies around the world."

Lekie said that the process of becoming a foreign service officer is difficult because candidates must pass several different stages, including a written exam and oral assessment. If they fail any section, they must wait one year before starting the entire process again. Lekie will start at the School of International Service at American University in fall 2017.

"The Pickering Fellowship will provide me with the graduate education, mentorship and professional experiences necessary to succeed in becoming a foreign service officer," Lekie said. "This dream is now a reality."

In addition to her double major, Lekie is working on a secondary major in international studies and minors in Spanish and statistics.

At Kansas State University, Lekie is active in the Student Alumni Board, Blue Key Senior Honor Society and the Economics Club. She also has been involved in the Student Governing Association, the College of Arts and Sciences Ambassadors, Model United Nations, Silver Key Sophomore Honorary and Quest Freshman Honorary. She was a 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholarship nominee and a 2014 Cargill Global Scholar. Lekie is a 2013 graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.

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