The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Fifteen students have been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest academic honor society. Inductees have demonstrated a comittment to freedom of inquiry and expression. Nationally, only one in one hundred college seniors are typically invited to join this prestigious institution. 

Congratulations to this year's Phi Beta Kappa graduates and inductees:

Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science honors society, formally inducted its newest class at a ceremony on April 24. Leadership of the chapter was also handed over to Allison Bettencourt, a rising senior Political Science major. 

Congratulations to the newest inductees:

Class of 2014

Pi Sigma Alpha, Delta Lambda Chapter, presented outstanding teaching awards to Tatishe Nteta and Michael Stein at the group's annual induction ceremony last night at the University Club. 

Congratulations to our Political Science and Legal Studies majors who have been chosen to receive scholarships and awards from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences! These students will be recognized at the annual SBS Scholarship Brunch on Sunday, April 27.

Political Science

In recent months, sophomore Garret Shetrawski (political science ’16) has become increasingly well known across both campus and the state. At just 19 years old, Shetrawski is running in the upcoming Massachusetts State Representative race for the Second Worcester District seat. Shetrawski, a Republican from Winchendon, is trying to unseat Democrat Jon Zlotnik, who has held the position since 2012.

Sean Higgins '16 has been awarded a Center for Research on Families Research Assistantship for academic year 2014-2015. The $3,000 award will allow Higgins to work closely with Professor Brenda Bushouse to research the effects of the economic recession on state budget appropriations for pre-kindergarten funding. As a research assistant, Higgins will analyze individual case studies by interviewing interest groups and state actors and collecting budget data in order to gain a concrete understanding of public policy surrounding pre-k funding. 

PhD student Alyssa Maraj Grahame has received a 2014-2015 Fulbright Scholarship to continue her dissertation research in Iceland.

Grahame, who has spent the spring semester in Iceland through the National Science Foundation-funded Culture and Heritage in European Societies and Spaces (CHESS) Program, will use the Fulbright funding to investigate Iceland’s Pots and Pans Revolution in light of the ongoing European economic crises.

Jane Fountain, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Director of the National Center for Digital Government was honored as one of the "Top Federal 100" at a gala in Washington DC in March.

Keith Lema ’14 will spend next academic year teaching English in Madrid through a prestigious English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Fulbright Scholarship. The grant is funded through a partnership between Comunidad de Madrid, the regional government of Madrid, and the Binational Fulbright Commission of Spain and the United States.

Securing a post-graduation international experience is something Lema has focused his energy on since returning from a study abroad trip his junior year.

First study of parents of public school students shows state-based standardized assessment policies increase negative views of government

AMHERST, Mass. – New research from a political scientist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has found that parents of public school students in states with more extensive and stringent student assessment systems express lower trust in government, less confidence in government efficacy, and more negative views of their children’s schools, thereby threatening civic engagement and the potential for future education reform.