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Although Thanksgiving may seem far away, the UMass Amherst Mock Trial Team is already busy planning its annual Thanksgiving Classic Tournament -- And they need your help!

Political Science and Legal Studies alumni are invited to participate in the tournament as judges. Judges will assess the competitor's overall performance--including argument skills, presentation, and articulation--and help to determine winners for each round. Alums with all types of law backgrounds are encouraged to participate.

The UMass Political Science Department is pleased to announce the recipients of this year's honors thesis awards: Dan Schulke, for his thesis, "The Socialist Government is Coming for Grandma (AKA The Federal Government Mandates that Private Insurers Provide Reimbursement for End-of-Life Discussions)" and Peter Toy, for his thesis, "Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula: A Threat to Saudi Arabian Oil and the United States' Economy." 

The Athletic Department announced that Samantha Schnoerr (’11 Legal Studies) of the women's rowing team was named the Spring Scholar-Athlete.She was honored at the annual Sports Luncheon in May. 

Schnoerr  was named the Atlantic 10 Rowing Student-Athlete of the Year on as well as the UMass Female Scholar Athlete. The 2011 A-10 All-Conference First Team member holds a 3.945 grade point average as a Legal Studies major, and was the recipient of the Shep Shepard Award, which recognizes academic excellence in Legal Studies as well as contributions to the community.

Ethan Katsh, professor emeritus of legal studies and a Founder of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, gave an invited presentation at the Haifa Center for Law and Technology, Sagy Center for Internet Research at the University of Haifa in collaboration with the National Library of Israel on May 18-19, 2011. Professor Katsh has a sustained interest in law and online conflict resolution, while the discussion at this conference was "eBooks:  A New Era of Law, Business and Society."

On May 7th, 2011, three Political Science undergraduates recieved Alan L. and Carol S. LeBovidge Undergraduate Research Scholarships. This scholarship allows students to conduct semester-long research with a faculty member. The three students are: 

Marisa Baglaneas ’12, Political Science, for "Health Equity in the US, New Zealand and Australia: Symbol or Substance?"  with Professor Dean E. Robinson (Department of Political Science)

Danny LaChance is the recipient of the University of Minnesota Graduate School's "Best Dissertation Award" in the Humanities & Fine Arts for 2011.

Jane Fountain, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, and Director of the National Center for Digital Government and the Science, Technology and Society Initiative, gave the keynote address at the United Nations Conference on e-Government in Asia and the Pacific held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on May 11-13, 2011.

Amel Ahmed has received a $15,000 Faculty Research Grant/Healy Endowment Grant for her research project "The Devil is in the Democratic Details: The Politics of Institutional Choice in the Egyptian Transition."

Ray La Raja and Jesse Rhodes have received a 2011 Microsoft IMPACT Grant for Blended Learning. The $10,000 grant will allow La Raja and Rhodes to integrate new and innovative uses technology into PoliSci101, American Politics.

Elva Orozco-Mendoza has received a Skellig Foundation fellowship to attend the Clinton Institute at the University College Dublin. She will spend her summer at the Institute's intensive seminar program in Dublin where she will be able to conduct pre-dissertation research and share her work with scholars and graduate students from around the world.

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