News

11/11/2016

By Gail Hairston

Emily Boulieu's honors class observed Fayette County polling locations as part of a national research project.

For most of the University of Kentucky students observing Lexington’s polling places on Election Day, it was their first experience engaged in the nation’s electoral process. They were taking part in a nationwide review of the voting process, led by Associate Professor of Comparative Politics Emily Beaulieu.

Some students came away with indelible memories.

Eric Bingham noted a young immigrant, obviously voting for her first time with her eyes brimming with tears and pride. “To see the joy she had and the pride she took in voting, made me very proud of my country,” he said.

Those standing in line, waiting, also caught Bingham’s

11/7/2016

By Gail Hairston

One would have to be isolated to the point of sequestered to escape the tumultuous presidential campaign between Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump.   Tomorrow, finally, the nation chooses.   Before the results are recorded for posterity, three University of Kentucky political scientists and one historian agreed to comment upon the 2016 battle for the White House. Many Americans believe this campaign has been unlike any that has come before. Is this merely our limited perception of political history in America?   The experts agree. It is real.   As points of comparison, Associate Professor of Political Science Stephen Voss remembered the 1860 presidential election, which displayed “some of the same fictionalization” and the 1968 election “which had some
10/3/2016

By Jennifer T. Allen

Abby Córdova, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, is spending the fall semester as a Central America Visiting Scholar at Harvard University. Each year the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) selects 10-12 distinguished academics and professionals to spend one or two semesters at Harvard working on their own research and writing projects.

Cordova is focusing her work on “Living in a Hotspot: How Gang Activity in Central American Neighborhoods Impacts Political Participation.”

“This research projects explores the pathways through which gang activity in Central American neighborhoods is affecting the consolidation of democracy in the region. I find

9/26/2016

By Gail Hairston and Lydia Moore

Women Also Know Stuff with Emily Beaulieu, University of Kentucky associate professor of political science, as well as other initiators were awarded the 2016 Mansbridge Award. Dedicated to promoting the work of women political scientists, Women Also Know Stuff was honored for holding the public accountable for gender equality and inclusion in the political science profession and beyond.   This year’s theme of the Jane Mansbridge Awards Committee of the National Women’s Caucus for Political Science honors those who work for public accountability for gender equality and inclusion in the profession and beyond
9/16/2016

By Bryant Welbourne

Two University of Kentucky students are among 28 students from Southeastern Conference universities who will study abroad during the 2016-17 academic year, the result of a contribution to the league by Dr Pepper. In 2015, the SEC corporate sponsor allocated $100,000 to the conference to provide study abroad opportunities for SEC students who excel in the classroom, demonstrate financial need and represent nontraditional study abroad participants.   Shazia Olivares, a sophomore poltical science major from Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Jevincio Tooson, a dietetics major from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, are the UK recipients of the awards.  Olivares plans to study in Spain and Tooson will study in Italy.   “We are enthused to expand upon the SEC’s commitment to education by giving deserving students a chance to study abroad through the SECU academic initiative
8/25/2016
The Trunzo Scholars Program began this summer and allowed seven College of Arts & Sciences students to participate in education abroad or professional internship opportunities. Established by Robert N. (Political Science ’78) and Anne Trunzo of Brookfield, Wisconsin, the Trunzo Scholars Program was designed to help political science and pre-law students expand their academic and professional horizons through education abroad and internship opportunities. The first class of Trunzo Scholars includes students who spent the summer interning in areas of politics, government, law, or public policy and in education abroad programs based in South Africa, Morocco and Spain, England and Peru. The comments and photos below provide a flavor of the students’ adventures and the life-changing impact of these intensive, high-impact learning opportunities.   “The most rewarding aspect of my
6/22/2016
By Samantha Ponder   Recently, Comparative Political Studies (CPS), a highly recognized political science journal, published an article titled “Addressing the Gender Gap: The Effect of Compulsory Voting on Women's Electoral Engagement.”   The article was written by two University of Kentucky affiliates in the Department of Political Science of the College of Arts and Sciences, Assistant Professor Abby Córdova and co-author Gabriela Rangel, a UK fourth-year doctoral student and teaching assistant.   CPS is known for publishing the most up-to-date information on methodology, theory and research in
5/17/2016
Some stories require a little more — a little more discussion, more context, more depth and breadth.   That’s the idea behind “Behind the Blue” — a new weekly podcast created by UK Public Relations and Marketing. It is designed to explore — through probing, in-depth interviews — the stories that make UK the university for Kentucky and that have impact across the institution, the Commonwealth and, in some cases, the world.   The first podcast, appropriately enough, focuses on election-year politics and the presidential election. To provide insight and context on an extraordinary and historic election, UK political science professor and elections expert Stephen Voss discusses at length the forces shaping this year’s presidential race, his insights on both the Democratic and Republican parties, and an individual candidate or two, who may be making headlines.   Voss is quoted
4/25/2016

By Carl Nathe

(April 25, 2016) — Allison Connelly, the James and Mary T. Lassiter Clinical Professor in the College of Law and founding director of the University of Kentucky College of Law Legal Clinic, is the 2016 recipient of the William E. Lyons Award, co-sponsored by the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and the Department of Political Science, part of the College of Arts and Sciences. The annual honor is given to one person in recognition of a long record of outstanding service to UK, the community and the

4/12/2016

By Rebecca Stratton

(April 12, 2016) — Want to get to know the people behind some of the biggest student leadership positions on campus? We did, too! That's why we're excited to introduce "see blue." #selfie — a brand new series on UKNow that lets student leaders from across campus tell us a little bit more about themselves and their organizations. This week, the 2016 president of the Black Student Union, Jeremiah Pickett.

Jeremiah Pickett, a junior political science major from the south suburbs of Chicago, is this year's Black Student Union (BSU) president at the University of Kentucky. Pickett strives to take on the task of nurturing others during their time at UK. He's always open to helping out where he can, catching a good movie at his favorite theater in Lexington and building community by investing in his friends and peers. Learn more about Pickett in his "see

4/11/2016

By Dara Vance

The University of Kentucky’s Department of Political Science is serious about research collaboration. According to Associate Professor Clayton Thyne, “the department has invested heavily in promoting professor-student collaborations over the past several years, and we have seen this investment pay off with a number of co-authored working papers, conference presentations, and published articles.”  He adds, “a major goal of the program is to develop students who have excellent research skills and have solid foundation when they enter the job market.”

 An example of professor and student collaboration is a project recently published in International Studies Quarterly (2015). Dr. Thyne and UK Political Science Ph.D. candidate Anup Phayal both study civil war and peace building. Thyne helped guide Phayal and co-author Prabin Khadka in their research into DDR (

4/4/2016

By Gail Hairston

(April 4, 2016) — Students in Stephen Voss’ "PS 476: Legislative Process" course helped craft a watchdog class project to follow legislation through the Kentucky State Legislature.

Voss, University of Kentucky associate professor of political science and a frequent media analyst and commentator on state and national politics, proposed “Frankfort Focus” to engage his students in the day-in, day-out workings of a state government.

The "PS 476" course enrolls a mixture of students. About two-thirds of them major in either political science or related fields. The rest are part of the UK Department of Political Science Kentucky Legislative Internship Program (KLIP) and in Frankfort three days a

3/31/2016

By Ashely Cox

(March 31, 2016) — The tumultuous tone of the 2016 presidential race has focused renewed attention on the role of polling — and pollsters — in the political process. Traditionally, polls were internal documents used to shape campaign strategies, fundraising appeals and voter turnout. Today, however, polling has become a very public event — who's ahead, who's behind — supplanting issues, positions and personalities in driving campaign media coverage.

For many years, the standards of measurement used in polling became more accurate over time and usually had a high degree of accuracy. Lately, however, several recent polls, both nationally and in the last two Kentucky statewide elections, have differed considerably from actual election day results. So why are a growing number of poll results seemingly off the mark?

3/23/2016

Tiffany D. Barnes, assistant professor of political science at the University of Kentucky, Lexington was awarded the 2015 Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics.

Click here to view the article.

3/21/2016

By Rebecca Stratton

(March 16, 2016) — Want to get to know the people behind some of the biggest student leadership positions on campus? We did, too! That's why we're excited to introduce "see blue." #selfie - a brand new series on UKNow that lets student leaders from across campus tell us a little bit more about themselves and their organizations. This week, the 2015-16 Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow and TEAM WILDCAT co-chairs!

Kyle Richardson and Nick Ramos are this year's co-chairs of STAT and TEAM WILDCAT! As chair of Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow (STAT), Kyle, a senior from Williamsburg, Kentucky, works first hand with the University of Kentucky Alumni Association as well as 

3/8/2016

By Kathryn Macon

(March 8, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for Humanities has selected 12 exceptional undergraduates as new scholars for the university's Gaines Fellowship Program for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years. Gaines Fellowships are given in recognition of outstanding academic performance, demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities.

Gaines Fellowships are awarded for the tenure of a student's junior and senior years, or for the last two years of a five-year program; students in all disciplines and with any intended profession are given equal consideration.

UK's 12

2/22/2016

By Tasha Ramsey

When given the option, some students would jump at the chance to graduate early. But for Mason King, a senior double majoring in Spanish and political science at the University of Kentucky, the decision to forego an early graduation date in order to take part in an internship with the U.S. Department of State is one he doesn't regret.

In the spring of 2015, King learned that he could choose to participate in the December commencement rather than take another semester of classes to stay on his four-year track. Seeing this as an opportunity to extend his education rather than starting his career search an entire semester early, King set out in search of internships instead.

“I really didn’t care to rush my undergraduate experience and

2/1/2016

By Jenny Wells

(Jan. 29, 2016) — A group of University of Kentucky Honors students has been selected as a finalist for the second year in a row in the Knight Cities Challenge. Funded by the Knight Foundation, the challenge is a national call for new ideas to make 26 communities around the country more vibrant places to live and work.  

Clay Thornton, an economics and political science sophomore from Lexington, submitted the proposal on behalf of his UK Honors class, "Citizen Kentucky," taught by Associate Professor Buck Ryan. They are now one of 158 finalists out of more than 4,500 submissions from many public and government organizations, design experts, urban

12/18/2015

Greetings to former undergraduates, graduate students, and other alumni! I hope you will enjoy this Political Science Department newsletter. As I enter the fifth year of a six-year stint as chair, I will be leading a department that has experienced a lot of change since most of you were students here. Our 16 tenured and tenure-track faculty do include some seasoned professors, like Horace Bartilow, Mark Peffley, Ellen Riggle, Stephen Voss, and Rick Waterman. But they have been joined by talented newcomers, including Tiffany Barnes, Abby Cordova, Jill Haglund, Jesse Johnson, and Michael Zilis. In between are faculty member Emily Beaulieu, Clayton Thyne, Dan Morey, and Justin Wedeking, all of whom earned tenure and promotion over the last few years. Sadly, by the end of this academic year, we will lose to retirement two colleagues and former chairs, Don Gross and Karen Mingst.

12/7/2015

By Whitney Harder, Elizabeth Adams

(Dec. 7, 2015) — A student falling behind in math class at William Wells Brown Elementary counted figures on a color-coded worksheet aloud with help from a guest tutor on Oct. 23.

On her first day as a volunteer, Jenna Hatcher, a University of Kentucky College of Nursing associate professor, pulled a chair up to the young girl’s desk in the hallway of the school, providing individual attention as they solved problems as a pair. For Hatcher, who is more accustomed to teaching students at the doctoral level, working with a young mind was a refreshing reminder of the curiosity and enthusiasm at earliest stages of learning.

“The most special thing about reaching out to local children at a young age is the ability to work with them while they are still so open and innocent,”

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