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?


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.


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


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


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


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

Political Science Research at UK

              One of the most important components in the evaluation of any university department is the research productivity of its faculty. The Political Science Department is pleased to announce that this past year its faculty has excelled in publishing research on a variety of topics. Not only has the department produced an impressive quantity of research but faculty members are publishing in some of the most highly ranked outlets for their research. In 2015, the faculty had over 30 publications that have appeared in print or are forthcoming. Some of their articles have appeared in such lauded outlets as the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, and Political Research Quarterly among others. These titles carry great weight in the discipline of political science and publication in them is considered a rare achievement.


Donald Grasse, a native of Flossmoor, Illinois, was enticed to come to the University of Kentucky by an academic scholarship and strong debate team.  While he planned originally to major in International Studies, he quickly added Political Science as a second major after taking Prof. Emily Beaulieu’s introduction to Comparative Politics.  Her course, and others that followed, taught him the importance of using systematic research procedures when trying to answer important questions – an insight that, he tells us, can be just as important as understanding the content of the subject matter.

               Donald has excelled since arriving at UK.  A Political Science major with minors concentrating in Islamic Studies and History, he carries a 3.9 GPA while also being a Chellgren Fellow. His biggest claim to fame, though, may be his successes as an active member of the UK



                Professors about to start their final semester customarily do not create new course offerings.  But before heading off for his well-earned retirement, Prof. Donald Gross still had something he wanted to say – and something new he wanted to teach.

                A veteran of the cultural and political battles of the Sixties, Gross had noticed a fascination among today’s students with the protests that rocked the era of his youth, but he’d also been struck by how little they knew about that tumultuous time.

                “For the last few years I’ve been surprised by the lack of understanding among students about the social movements of the Sixties and how those developed,” Gross says.  “For example, they heard the stories of the Arab Spring, but



              The Detroit neighborhood where Lexington defense attorney Rawl Kazee grew up no longer exists.  A treacherous environment of abandoned buildings and crack houses, it was more likely to send its children to prison – if not to a premature death – than it was to spring them into a legal career.  Kazee still remembers the sporadic sound of gunfire at night and the bullet holes that dotted his grandmother’s front door.

               So Kazee already had beaten the odds by the time he reached the University of Kentucky to start college in the late Nineties.  He brought with him “an edge, a hard edge,” he tells us today: a jaded view of human nature and a fighter’s determination.  Indeed, he literally was a fighter: Kazee reports that he was named an All-American welterweight boxer in his sophomore year.

               However well Kazee’s


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.


Nepal suffered a massive earthquake in April 2015 that killed more than 9,000 people, injured another 23 thousand, and left thousands homeless.  Already one of Asia’s poorest countries, Nepal’s devastation was compounded not only by extensive poverty but also by the impending monsoon season.  The need for support was dire.

             One of our best graduate students, Anup Phayal, was quick to answer the call for support.  A Nepalese native himself, Anup went back with a simple plan: to help where he could.  He soon found his social-science skills being put to good use.

             The San Francisco-based Asia Foundation, a non-profit NGO committed to improving lives across Asia, recruited Anup shortly after his arrival.  Drawing on his prior peacekeeping work in Sudan and East Timor coupled with his field research in South Sudan, Anup designed and conducted


By Whitney Harder

(Nov. 18, 2015) — A new collaboration between the University of Kentucky College of Law and College of Arts and Sciences will allow students seeking a law degree to save time and money by graduating in six years instead of seven.

The UK BLUE (Bachelor-to-Law Undergraduate Education) program is open to incoming freshmen who know early on they plan to pursue a law degree. The program reduces total tuition costs by one year and exposes students to the practice and study of law early on in their undergraduate career.

"For highly motivated, exceptional students, this is a targeted pathway to help them reach their career goals," said Sarah Ballard, an academic advisor in


By Jenny Wells, Whitney Harder

(Nov. 9, 2015) — It's a partnership unlike any other, relying on each other to complete pivotal projects and daily deeds, constantly working together to find solutions. Yes, the city of Lexington and the University of Kentucky are intertwined, but a recent discovery proves it's much more than a partnership — it's a new species of community.

Lexington, often referred to as a college town, has evolved into a "university city," according to new research by Lexington's own Scott Shapiro, senior advisor to Mayor Jim Gray, which was confirmed in an analysis by UK Department of Statistics Professor and Chair Arnold Stromberg. As a university city, Lexington boasts the positive characteristics of both


By Gail Hairston

(Nov. 3, 2015) — Stephen Voss is a frequently quoted analyst of Kentucky politics. In recent years, the University of Kentucky associate professor of political science has been interviewed by some of the most prestigious newspapers and broadcast news organizations in the nation, as well as publishing in equally prominent professional journals.

In recent weeks, as the anticipation of today's election has grown, Voss has been a very busy man, even if you don’t count his hours in the classroom. He describes himself as a quantitative analyst specializing in elections and voting behavior, with a focus on the U.S. South and the politics of race, ethnicity and culture. In a recent interview with UKNow, he shared some of his insight into Election Day 2015 and the nature and history of


By Blair Hoover, Bailey Klutts

(Oct. 23, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Debate team competed in the 44th Run for the Roses. The Run for the Roses is a small round robin format tournament where eight of the top teams in the country were invited to compete against the top Kentucky team.

The field represented the best of the best including Harvard, Michigan, Georgetown and Emory. The Kentucky team of Donald Grasse and Theo Noparstak — both political science majors at UK — finished as the tournament’s first and third speaker. This was the first time a Kentucky debater had won the top speaker since 1993 (Paul Skiermont).

A day later the entire Kentucky squad and almost 100 more teams joined the field for the 45th Henry Clay Invitational. Donald Grasse would again take the top speaker (out of 186 competitors) and he and his partner would make


Students studying the history of legislative reforms addressing violence against women benefited from a special guest in their Monday political science class taught by Professor Carol Jordan. Representative John Tilley (D, 8th House District) served as the primary sponsor for the most significant piece of legislation related to domestic violence and sexual assault passed by the 2015 General Assembly. He spoke to Professor Jordan’s PS 492 class about the need for what became known as House Bill 8; the provisions of the bill; and how it will expand protection to a broader group of assault, rape, and stalking victims.  Political Science and Gender & Women’s Studies majors in the class also posed questions to him about the political process that ultimately resulted in the bill’s passage.

"Having Representative Tilley speak to the students was an incredible opportunity for them


By Mariana Moreno

(Sept. 21, 2015) — Donald A. Ritchie will deliver the University of Kentucky Libraries 2015 Edward F. Prichard Lecture, sponsored by the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Center. He will deliver a talk titled "Where Is Henry Clay Now That We Really Need Him? Political Compromise in an Uncompromising Era." The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will begin 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, in the UK Athletics Auditorium of William T. Young Library.

Ritchie is the historian emeritus of the United States Senate. He earned his bachelor


(Sept. 9, 2015) — This Sunday, the University of Kentucky community will tune in to see one of its own compete for the title of Miss America. Vocal performance and political science sophomore Clark Janell Davis is currently competing in preliminary competitions for the coveted title in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The pageant finals will air live 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, on ABC.

In addition to watching Davis compete for the crown, Big Blue Nation can vote for Davis to be selected as America's Choice in the pageant. Individuals can vote daily for one contestant to be named America's Choice through Sept. 10 via social media. On Facebook, type both Kentucky and


By Carl Nathe

(Aug. 26, 2015) — "For a chapter which did not even exist six-and-a-half years ago, we're doing pretty well."

That quote about the University of Kentucky Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) Chapter from chapter President  Frank Ettensohn, professor of earth and environmental sciences and Jefferson Science Fellow, is best described as an understatement. Chartered in April 2009, the UK chapter of the nation's oldest, largest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines is doing more than 'pretty well.'

In its brief history, UK's PKP chapter has been selected as a 'Chapter of Excellence' by national headquarters in two separate years and


Enter your linkblue username.
Enter your linkblue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected