University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Leila Kawar has only just made it to campus, but she already has two noteworthy accomplishments as a member of the Department of Political Science—the publication of her book and an award for her research.

Jane Fountain, Distinguished University Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, was an invited speaker on cybersecurity at Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, at the second annual Chatham House London Conference, held on June 1 and 2 in London. 


On Monday, June 8, 2015, the National Center for Digital Government hosted a research symposium—the Symposium on Institutional Perspectives in Digital Government Research--to examine institutional perspectives on digital government research.

UREP students spring 2015

Seven undergraduate students spent the spring semester working as research fellows with Professor Libby Sharrow, Assistant Professor of Political Science and History: Ariel Dickerman ‘17, Diego Fellows ’15, Chanel Glasper ’15, Nick Fernald ’15, Rebecca Kwakye ‘15, Tenzin Thargay ‘18, and Greta Wilt ‘17.

Students at NEPSA

Stephanie Chan ’17, Timothy Marple ’16, and Nelson Roland ’15 were invited to present an undergraduate paper, “Defining Democracy: A Public Perspective” at the 2015 New England Political Science Association (NEPSA) Annual Meeting on April 24-25 in New Haven, CT. 

John A. Hird has been appointed Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, effective April 1. He has been interim dean since April 2014.

Provost Katherine S. Newman, who made the announcement, said, “John Hird has served with distinction and uncommon creativity in the role of interim dean and we are very fortunate that he will continue to provide leadership and vision in the years ahead.”

Elizabeth Sharrow, Assistant Professor of Political Science and History, has received a $7,000 Research Grant from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences for her work on Title IX and the politics of public policy.

"My work focuses on Title IX, one element of U.S. civil rights policy aimed to end sex discrimination in educational institutions," she says. "Unlike policies targeting racial disparities, which research shows continue to prove difficult to successfully implement, Title IX is often framed as the crown-jewel among American civil rights policies."

Michael Nicholson

Michael Nicholson '16 has received two awards in support of his internship at Mayor Mark P. Hawke's Office in Gardner, Massachusetts, the Kathryn F. Furcolo Award for Outstanding Service and the Edwin Gere Jr. Scholarship for State and Local Politics.

Department Seal

The Department of Political Science is pleased to announce five new tenure-track faculty hires for the 2015-2016 academic year: