Honors & Awards
Below: Amry and Mary Belle Vandenbosch Award Winner, Rosa Ramsey Groves
In order to graduate with honors in political science, a student must obtain at least a 3.5 GPA in the major and at least a 3.25 overall GPA. Additionally, honor students must complete during their senior year PS 490, Honors in Political Science. In this course, students will be expected to carry out a major research project. Normally this course is offered during the spring semester, however it can be completed by special arrangement if it is not offered during the spring.
Vandenbosh Outstanding Senior Political Science Maior Award
Each year the Political Science Department gives the Vandenbosch Award to the Outstanding Senior Political Science major. The Award is given in honor of Professor Amry Vandenbosch, who was chairman of the department from 1935 to 1958 and who retired from active service in 1965. Dr. Vandenbosch passed away in 1990. The award consists of a gold medal and a cash prize. In addition, two or three runners-up receive certificates and a cash prize. The winners are those majors whose overall performance at the University of Kentucky best exemplifies the qualities associated with Dr. Vandenbosch's long service on campus. Nominees for the award must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better, and they must exhibit good moral character and service to the University or to the larger community. They must have graduated or plan to graduate no later than August of the application year.
In order to be considered as a candidate for this award, the Department of Political Science requires a brief statement or resume from each student. Topics which a statement or resume might cover are:
- Basic biographical and educational data
- Career goals and plans for the future
- Activity in student organizations; offices held; service to the University of Kentucky or the university community
- Academic, service or other honors won as an undergraduate
- Activities or service in the community (Lexington or your hometown) during the period while an undergraduate
- Employment while an undergraduate
- Other achievements or activities of interest while an undergraduate, e.g., internships, special courses, papers or creative works, athletic accomplishments, religious activity, or other special circumstances in your life
Students willing to be considered for this award must submit their resume or statement to the department Chair, Professor Ernest Yanarella (1621 POT). Following the receipt of resumes, a departmental committee will select the nominees to be interviewed by the full professors in the department. The interviews last from 15 to 20 minutes and will take place the week before Spring break of the application year. On the basis of the interviews, the Award winner and runners-up will be selected. The winners will be honored at the department's annual Vandenbosch Award Dinner, which will be held in the Spring of the application year.
If there are any questions, please feel free to contact the department Chair, Professor Ernest Yanarella at 1621 POT, 257-8581.
Pi Sigma Alpha
Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science Undergraduate Honorary Fraternity, is always on the lookout for students interested in becoming members of its nationally-recognized organization. The Delta chapter was the third chapter instituted by Pi Sigma Alpha and has a long and time-honored tradition at the University of Kentucky going back to the early1920's.
For more information regarding how to join, please click here.
Political Science Undergraduate Research Paper Competition
The Political Science Department has two paper competitions: The Crum Award and the Amry and Mary Belle Vandenbosch Award. Listed below are the requirements for each competition, respectively.
Crum Award Entry Criteria:
1) You must be (or have been when the paper was written) an undergraduate student at UK. You do not need to be a political science major.
2) The paper must be the original or revised version of a paper you submitted for a course, seminar or independent study in the calendar year in which you apply. It must have been written only by you.
3) An electronic copy must be submitted to via email to Justin Wedeking. There should be no reference to you or other indication of who the author is except on the title page.
4) All papers must be typed, double-spaced with footnotes and bibliography.
5) Acceptable subjects include: political issues, political structures (including courts) and process, political norms, beliefs and thoughts, political philosophy, politics in other nations, international politics, and other matters taught in UK political science courses over the last three semesters.
The Crum Award entries will be judged by the Undergraduate Program Committee of the Political Science Department. The monetary award will be presented at the Political Science Department's annual dinner. In addition to substance, criteria for evaluation are clarity and style of expository prose, analytical sophistication, conceptual innovativeness, logical structure of argumentation, and use of available evidence.
Amry and Mary Belle Vandenbosch Award Criteria:
1) You must be (or have been during the calendar year in which you apply) an undergraduate political science major or minor at UK.
2) The paper must be an original piece of work written entirely by you. It can be a paper submitted for a political science course (or HIS 572 or 573) or a revision of such a paper. However, the paper can be written expressly for the award competition.
3) An electronic copy must be submitted to Justin Wedeking via email. They should contain no reference to you or other indication of who the author is except on the title page.
4) All papers must be typed, double spaced, with footnotes and bibliography.
5) Acceptable subjects include: constitutional law decisions, constitutional doctrines, the historical development of constitutional law, philosophies of constitutional interpretation, Supreme Court decision-making, the impact of constitutional decisions, the nature of civil liberties, modern civil liberties issues, civil liberties and police, lower court or lawyers, the enforcement of civil liberties guarantees, philosophical issues in civil liberties.
The Amry and Mary Belle Vandenbosch Award entries will be judged by a committee of professors in the areas of constitutional law and civil liberties. The monetary award will be presented at the Political Science Department annual dinner. In addition to substance, the criteria for judgment include clarity and style of expository prose, analytical sophistication, conceptual innovativeness, logical structure of argumentation, and use of available evidence.
When appropriate, the same paper may be submitted for both The Crum Award and The Amry and Mary Belle Vandenbosch Award.
Please send all submissions by electronic copy to Justin Wedeking.
Political Science majors may also be eligible for college, university and nationally competitive awards.
Click here for more award options.