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Several political science and legal studies students are presenting their research at the 17th Annual Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference at UMass Amherst on April 22. Presentations will take place all day from 8am to 5pm, and all are open to the public. For more details about the conference, visit their website.

Here is a sampling of the research from our department: 


Mike Hannahan, visiting scholar and Director of the Donahue Institute, has been awarded a Fulbright to teach American Politics at the University of San Andres in Buenos Aires from August 2011 through December 2011. While in Buenos Aires, Mike will also work with the Argentine Fulbright Commission and the University of Massachusetts to design and implement a course on American Studies. He will additionally deliver a two week course on American Politics and Elections to mid-career Argentine government officials.

Alejandro book

Roberto Alejandro's new book, Nietzsche and the Drama of Historiobiography is now avaialble through the University of Notre Dame Press.

The book "offers an original and unifying interpretation of Nietzsche's entire oeuvre." According to the publisher:

Alper Yagci, a second year graduate student in the Department of Political Science, has been awarded a competitive Dissertation Prospectus Development Fellowship by the Social Science Research Council. 

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.

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

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.

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.

“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.”