The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Political Science Professor John Brigham gave an invited lecture at Union College as part of that college's Constitution Day celebration on September 17. 

Brigham's lecture, "The Pritchett Synthesis: Recovering the Law and the Politics of Judging," explored C. Herman Pritchett's view of politics and law and argued that Pritchett's scholarship should be reconsidered in light of today's approaches to constitutionalism. The research was based on Brigham's recent article in Studies in Law, Politics and Society.

PhD student Alper Yagci has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to explore the Regulation of Genetically Modified Seeds in Developing Countries.

PhD alum Kemi George '11 has just received the 2012 Virginia M. Walsh Dissertation Award from the American Political Science Association's Science, Technology and Environmental Politics section. The award recognizes the best dissertation in science, technology, and environmental politics finished within the past two years. 

The Department of Political Science has launched a new scholarship campaign in honor of newly-named Distinguished Professor Sheldon Goldman. The scholarship recognizes Professor Goldman's nearly fifty years of teaching and service to the University, as well as his long-standing personal committment to help undergraduate students. 

The most critical skill developed abroad is the ability to adapt, says Brent Ramsey ’13, a political science major who spent his Spring 2012 semester at the University of Torino in Italy. Indeed, being flexible with new cultures, learning environments, political settings, and languages opens doors to new experiences; living away from family and friends in an unfamiliar environment forces students to act, to become problem-solvers, and to appreciate the differences and similarities between the US and the new culture in which they find themselves. “After immersing myself in an entirely new environment for a semester, I now feel like I can live and work anywhere and for however long as I want or need to,” Ramsey says.

The Department of Political Science is defined by first-rate research, exceptional teaching, and steadfast service to our local, regional, national, and international communities. With 36 full-time faculty, 459 undergraduate legal studies majors, 772 undergraduate political science majors, 70 Ph.D. students, and more than 11,000 alumni, our reach is vast and our accomplishments many. 

Lauren McCarthy, Assistant Professor of Legal Studies, has received the Edwin S. Corwin Award for the best dissertation in the field of public law.

Her dissertation, "Trafficking (In)justice: Law Enforcement's Response to Human Trafficking in Russia" looks at the implementation of laws against human trafficking in Russia by law enforcement officials. It finds that "Russian law enforcement agents are prosecuting human traffickers, but not human trafficking."

“I never intended to major in political science when I accepted my spot at UMass,” says Morris Singer ’06. “I went from taking one political science class to the next before discovering my passion for the subject matter and for the opportunities that exist to carry my education beyond the classroom.”

Professor Jesse Rhodes was a featured guest on 22 News inFocus. The episode explored the three ballot questions Massachusetts voters will face in the upcoming November 2012 election: the legalization of medical marijuana, allowing terminally ill adults to obtain drugs to end their lives, and the Right to Repair auto repair bill. 

Political science and public policy professor Jane Fountain was at the World Economic Forum Summit on the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasis in Istanbul to lead a private session on the future of government bringing together heads of state and government, senior ministers, business leaders and key academic experts for productive debate and discussion on how governments can build capacity to more effectively meet the increasing challenges of global and national macroeconomic inequalities and transnational political conflicts in an increasingly inter-connected world.