News and Newsletters

Pearl Dowe and Brinck Kerr Receive 2017 Rodney Higgins Faculty Paper Award

Dr. Dowe and Dr. Kerr recieved the award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.  Their paper, co-authored with Grace Kerr and Will Miller, entitled "What are the Determinants of Interethnic Competition for Principal Positions in Multiethnic U.S. School Districts?" was presented at the 2016 NCOBPS Annual Meeting.


PLSC Honors Student Named Harry S. Truman Scholarship Finalist

Alonso Truman AwardHonors Political Science undergraduate, Ryann Alonso, was recently named as a finalist for the 2016 Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Alonso is double majoring in political science and communications and plans to study for a Juris Doctor degree with a concentration in constitutional law when she graduates. She is a Silas Hunt Distinguished Scholar and was named a National Forensics League All-American Debater. She is a member of the U of A Associated Student Government, the Razorback Action Group, is the chapter president of University of Arkansas Young Democrats and chief of staff for Young Democrats of Arkansas. In 2015, she spearheaded a student-led initiative to create a voting center on campus that was voted down by the Washington County Election Commission but was able to register hundreds of students to vote. 

While in law school, Alonso plans to work for the Equal Justice Initiative, and when she has completed her studies hopes to push for reform in the criminal justice system, and eventually run for office in the Arkansas House of Representatives. 

The University of Arkansas has produced 21 Truman scholars and, in 2002, was named a Truman Scholarship Honor Institution for student commitment to service and its record with the Truman Scholarship Program. 


Two Political Science Faculty Members Chosen for Arkansas Civil Rights Committee

xaviermedinavidalvhuntPolitical Science faculty members Dr. Valerie Hunt and Dr. Xavier Medina Vidal were selected along with three other university faculty members by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to serve on its Arkansas Advisory Committee.

The purpose of the committee is to improve the enforcement of federal civil rights laws and advise the development of national civil rights policy through widespread investigation, research and analysis of issues that concern the federal government and the public. The committee will also conduct reviews and make recommendations concerning local civil rights issues including voting, discrimination, education and many others. 

Dr. Medina Vidal is a Diane D. Blair Professor of Latino Studies and Assistant Professor of Political Science.

Dr. Hunt is an Associate Professor in the PLSC department and also serves as the Associate Director of the Public Policy doctoral program in the Graduate School and International Education. 



M.P.A Student Creates Guide for the Reduction of Food Waste in Cafeterias

TerryFoodWasteProjectMaster of Public Administration and Nonprofit Studies student, Melissa Terry, has been working with the USDA and the EPA for the last two years to create a guide aimed at reducing food waste in school cafeterias. Terry began creating the guide after approaching the agencies looking for set protocols for her study of food waste in a local elementary school cafeteria and finding that they didn't exist. She teamed up with the agency representatives from both groups and created the user-friendly guide which features simple language that leads organizers and volunteers through the steps of conducting a post-consumer food waste audit in their school cafeterias. The guide helps participating schools identify which types of foods are being wasted and why, and then implements strategies to reduce that waste. 

Terry worked with Washington County elementary schools throughout 2016 to implement some of her new solutions. Her solutions include reducing milk waste through substituting reusable cups for water for those students who do not want milk and designating a "share table" where children can return unopened, unwanted food. The pilot program has been so successful in the test schools that many other elementary schools in Fayetteville are employing her solutions as well. 

Terry continues to work with the EPA and the USDA on several of their sustainable materials, nutrition, and food waste teams to study the affects her work will have on the reduction of food waste nationally. 

Undergraduate Student Selected for Prestigious Summer Program

Dara GainesThis past spring, the American Political Science Association selected selected Dara Gaines, a junior with a combined political science and African and African American studies major, to attend the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina from May 29 to June 30, 2016.

Celebrating its 30th year, the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute is named in honor of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize winner and former APSA president, Ralph J. Bunche. The institute is a five-week academically intensive summer program designed to simulate the graduate school experience, provide mentoring and training in research methods, expand academic opportunities and to address under-representation in the discipline of political science. The institute is co-sponsored by APSA and Duke University.

Gaines is a junior, with a combined political science and African and African American studies major. The Ogden, Arkansas, native is also a member of the Honors College, is a Silas Hunt Scholar, and her academic achievements have earned her recognition on the Fulbright College Dean's List. After completing her undergraduate education in 2017, Gaines plans to work towards her master's degree in political science with a focus in public policy.

 Political Science Majors Chosen as Razorback Classics

Grant AddisonMargaret WatermannPolitical Science majors Grant Addison and Margaret Watermann were chosen as Razorback Classics for 2016!

This prestigious award recognizes the top 11 male or female graduating students at the University of Arkansas, and is the pinnacle of the Arkansas Alumni Association awards program that started with over 500 nominations in the fall. The selection committee of almost 100 alumni and administrators, who were previous winners or members of the Arkansas Alumni Board of Directors, read through each application. The students are judged on academic excellence, leadership and campus or community involvement. This award looks at the entire student experience, said Ryan Miller, associate director for student & young alumni outreach. Seventy-one graduating seniors were selected as the 2016 Class of Seniors of Significance and then 22 students rose to the top as this year's Class of Razorback Classics.

 Dowe Selected As Scholar-In-Residence

Dr. Pearl DoweThe Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center at Howard University has selected Dr. Pearl Dowe as its first scholar-in-residence, whose tenure will run from the spring semester 2016 through the summer of 2016. As a scholar-in-residence, Dr. Dowe will conduct research for her book on black women in politics, with a special emphasis on the black women serving in the U.S. Congress. She will also conduct guest lectures and participate in activities sponsored by the Walters Center and the Department of Political Science.

“I am excited to have Dr. Dowe join us as our first scholar-in-residence,” said the Howard University center’s director, Dr. Elsie L. Scott.  “She brings with her a rich background of research on a number of issues related to American politics, and she will be a good resource for Howard students during this election year.”

 Maxwell Appointed to New Press Advisory Board

UA Press Advisory BoardDr. Angie Maxwell, associate professor of political science and director of the Diane Blair Center of Southern Politics, is one of seven faculty experts appointed by The University of Arkansas Press to its new Press Advisory Board. The board will advise the press in its mission to publish the highest quality scholarship that serves the broader academic community and Arkansas and the region.

“I’m pleased to announce the formation of the Press Advisory Board,” said Mike Bieker, press director. “These scholars will play a crucial role in ensuring that the Press is publishing excellent books. Also, the members’ wide variety of perspectives will connect us more strongly to the larger campus and enrich our understanding of University goals and visions.”