The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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The Department of Political Science has recognized Helena Taye '12 (political science) and Lilian Chukwurah '12 (legal studies) for their outstanding, original research this semester by awarding them the Department's annual Best Thesis Awards. Taye and Chukwurah, whose theses were unanimously chosen for this honor, each received a cash award in recognition of their work. 

Associate Professor Brenda Bushouse (political science and public policy) will co-direct a new Five College project that will help bridge liberal arts and professional education across the five campuses. The Five College Public Policy Initiative has received $194,667 from Five Colleges, Inc., for the project, which will develop curricular connections between the schools’ undergraduate and graduate programs.

Matthew Brady

How did you find this internship?
I was informed of the internship from a personal reference and followed up my inquiry with my own research of what exactly it would entail.

Why did you decide to pursue an internship?
I want to attend law school after i graduate from UMass and my goal is to become a prosecutor right out of law school.

Professor Jesse Rhodes is one of eight faculty selected campus-wide by the Center for Teaching and Faculty Development to be a 2012-2013 Lilly Teaching Fellow.

The Department of Political Science offers heartfelt congratulations to the Class of 2012! Our undergraduate political science and legal studies majors are moving on to a host of exciting opportunities and adventures, and we are proud of all that they have accomplished at UMass.

We also extend congratulations to Dr. Guliz Dinc Belcher, our newest PhD, as well as Keri McNair, Eloi Saint-Bris and Amy Fleig, who received their terminal Master's Degrees this year, and Sarah Tanzi, who earned her MA as part of her work towards her PhD.

John Brigham, Professor of Political Science, has been named Vice President of the New England Political Science Association (NEPSA). NEPSA "seeks to facilitate the exchange of knowledge among persons interested in political science; to encourage research on political matters; to improve the teaching of political science; and to advance generally the practices and art of politics and governance."

Professor Brigham will serve a year's term as Vice President, followed by a year as President-elect, and will be president at the Association's 2015 meeting.

Melinda R. Tarsi, a PhD student in Political Science, has received the 2012 Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies.

The fellowship, which was created to support scholarly work in Presidential studies and to recognize the contributions of presidential speechwriter Harry Middleton to the Presidential library system, will allow Tarsi to continue her dissertation research on veteran politics and American social policy.

Jane Fountain, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, has been appointed to the Governor's Innovation Council. The newly established Council includes a group of approximately 15 experts from business and academia. Its purpose is to help the State of Massachusetts modernize its government through more effective use of the Internet, web, social media, and other digital tools. 


Five students were recognized yesterday at the annual Junior Senior Legal Studies Luncheon. The students received awards for a combination of academic excellence and commitment to community service. Award winners include:

Josue Lopez '13 (Legal Studies), took first place at the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA) National Championships on April 7, 2012 in Colorado Springs, CO.

Lopez is president and founder of the intercollegiate Boxing Team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has trained with local coach and former Western Massachusetts Golden Glove champion Rocky Snow since 2010. “We’re very proud of Josh,” Coach Snow said in a telephone interview. “He has worked hard for this.”