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Angelica Bernal, Assistant Professor of Political Science, has been awarded a Lilly Teaching Fellowship for 2011-2012.  

Ray La Raja and John Hird are 2011 receipients of a Residential First Year Experience (RFYE) Student Choice Award. The student choice award recognizes faculty who have made a significant impact on the lives of students during their first year of college. Only first year students may nominate faculty for this important award.

La Raja is Associate Professor of Political Science. His research interests include political parties, interest groups, elections, campaign finance, political participation, American state politics, public policy and political reform.

Jillian Schwedler, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Department honors program, is a recipient of one of this year's Distinguished Teaching Awards (DTA).

For over thirty years, the DTA has recognized and honored individual teaching ability and interest in student learning. Only current students or alumni may nominate faculty for this highly competitive and prestigious award. DTA recipients receive a monetary prize and are recognized at both the Undergraduate and Graduate Commencements.

“There is nothing quite like sitting in the courtroom before trial,” reports Joseph Mendes ’11 (legal studies), president and co-captain of the UMass Amherst Mock Trial team. “Your heart races and fingers twitch right up until the moment you make the first objection or deliver that powerful closing argument. It’s the competetiveness, the team bonding, the thrill of a trial and the accomplishments we’ve earned as team that have changed my UMass experience for the better.”

Read the full story.


MJ Peterson chaired a roundtable session on "Bridgebuilding in International Relations Scholarship" on Friday March, 18, 2011 at the 2011 International Studies Association meeting in Montreal. The session attracted more than 300 people.

Brenda Bushouse, Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, and Dean Robinson, Associate Professor of Political Science, have been selected as two of the inaugural 2011-2012 Provost’s Team-Based Learning (TBL) Fellows.

“My career has been in business, press, and politics,” says Joe Donovan ’92 (political science), who recently joined the UMass Political Science Advisory Board. “It’s been about building relationships, making friends, taking risks, seizing opportunities and benefiting from the help of many generous people. That is what UMass taught me.”

Joe Donovan '92, a lobbyist in the Boston office of Nelson Mullins and a recent addition to the Political Science advisory board, reflects on his time at UMass in a new College of Social and Behavioral Sciences alumni news story.

The Department of Political Science is pleased to annouce that two of our alumni are recipients of the 2011 UMass Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Peter Trovato '05 (political science and journalism) is founder of the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund, a non-profit organization that offers educational assistance grants to the children of fallen soldiers from Massachusetts.

Larry Kocot '82 (legal studies) is deputy director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform and a visiting fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution.

John Brigham gave an invited presentation at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Oñati, Spain on Monday, March 14. His presentation -- co-presented with Susan Ball, Director of Programs at the New York Foundation for the Arts -- linked the "Chaos and Classicism" exhibition currently at the Guggenheim in Bilbao with the strongly neo-classical US Supreme Court building, thereby raising issues about how architecture reflects and reinforces social and cultural trends.