Students present politics research at national conference

Three Ripon College seniors — Andrew Carballo ’15, Samantha Kay ’15, and Abigail Quackenboss ’15 — presented their senior research theses at the Pi Sigma Alpha National Student Research Conference for politics and government students held mid-February in Washington, D.C.

The Ripon students received feedback on their papers, currently under revisions in the politics and government senior seminar, from other conference attendees.

“It was great to hear other presentations and to get feedback on how to continue revisions on my paper,” said Kay, who presented her paper titled “All Those Opposed are Anti-Semitic: the Story of America’s Attitudes toward Israel.”

Carballo, who is planning to attend law school in fall 2015, added that it was great to be encouraged by faculty and College leadership to attend the conference. Carballo’s paper, “Foreign Policy Under President Barack Obama: The Attempted Pivot to Asia,” has allowed him to combine interests in foreign policy and current events.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for the three of us,” said Quackenboss, president of Alpha Iota Pi, Ripon’s chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha. “I was so pleased to hear that there were three of us [seniors] attending.” Quackenboss’ research is on social media use in politics, especially as it relates to gubernatorial and state legislative use.

Professor Henrik Schatzinger, the chapter’s advisor, was thrilled to learn of the students’ initiative to participate. He hopes that future members will attend the conference in years to come.

In order to be eligible for induction to Pi Sigma Alpha, a student must have completed at least half of their credits towards graduation, including at least 10 politics and government credits, earning at least a B average in those courses and be in the top third of their graduating class.