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Beyond the Classroom



Beyond the Classroom is a compilation of materials and sources gathered by professors and students in the Political Science department. This information is intended to aid the students in finding extracurricular activities, internships, conferences, and other department information easily. Previous and current students have also shared some of their personal experiences about their participation in numerous activities linked to the department. BTC is intended to complement the excellent classroom experience provided by Augustana's outstanding professors, and hopefully it will inspire students to seek out new adventures in a broader setting.

Study Abroad Student Opportunities What's Up With the Professors? F.Y.I.
Alumni Clubs Funds

Careers in Political Science

Study Abroad

Rebecca Brosch, Brazil 2014

I had the opportunity to study politics, art, and music for five weeks in Brazil's second and third largest cities: Rio de Janeiro and Salvador.  While we students got our fair share of Brazilian culture (including magnificent beaches, exotic wildlife, and undoubtedly the best juice in the world), the program allowed us experiences tourists would likely never have.

We were able to visit one of Rio's many favelas and witness the creative ways residents work together to build a community. We also met with non-governmental organizations and college students from one of the nation's best universities. We saw the effects that the 2014 FIFA World Cup left on the country, and went to a soccer game at the legendary Maracanã stadium.

For three weeks we lived with Brazilian families, many of whom spoke little to no English. Learning how to communicate with my family was challenging at first, but I'm still amazed at how well we connected despite the language barriers.

We were also fortunate enough to have been in Brazil during its presidential election, and became increasingly invested in the results. I even attended a rally with Dr. Magalhães and a few other political science students. 

In Brazil, we didn't just learn about the culture or politics — we were able to experience it firsthand. The trip was both educational and inspiring, and instilled a sense of adventure that will stay with me forever.

Aubrey at the Beijing Bird's Nest
Aubrey at the Beijing Bird's Nest

Aubrey Waddick, East Asia 2013

The Augustana Political Science department has afforded me many opportunities to further my education and personal growth, not the least of which being the opportunity to travel abroad. On East Asia Term I journeyed through Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China studying the culture, economy, and government of each. From the feet of Mount Fuji to the head of the Pearl River Delta I was captivated by Asia's natural beauty, and astounded by its economic vibrancy in the Shilin Night Market. In the Forbidden City I pondered the ingenuity and longevity of the Chinese civilization, and before the portrait of Mao its resilience. My time abroad inspired me to take risks and dream the impossible which I know, with the help and encouragement of the amazing Political Science department, can become a reality.

Sarah DuRocher, Ghana 2013

Sarah and her friend Michael
Laundry Day

I am a junior at Augustana double majoring in Political Science and Religion. In January of this year, I experienced the most remarkable weeks of my life while living in one of the most naturally beautiful places I have ever been. Accra, which is the capital of Ghana, served as our group's central location and primary home during our stay. We had the incredible opportunity to really immerse ourselves in Ghanaian culture by living with local families around the city and engaging with them. We each had internships, and I, along with one other Augie student, worked at a non-profit orphanage. We were given the opportunity to teach pre-school and got to see first hand the impact this amazing organization has on the lives of the children. We fell in love with the colors of not only the vibrant fabrics but the natural beauty of the country as well.  We were welcomed to Ghana by almost everyone we met and as we continued to explore, we found ourselves more and more excited about the friendships we were forming. In addition to in-depth courses in West African Music and History taught by Dr. Pfautz, who traveled to Ghana with us, and Dr. Cleveland, who had been teaching in the city for sometime before we arrived, we learned from everyone we met. Things from learning to say hello in the local languages to navigating the intense transportation system-it was the everyday things that made us so excited to explore. If that were not enough to make the trip incredible, we also went on long weekend excursions to Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana, the Volta Region and Cape Coast. We visited rural villages, made it across a seven-bridge canopy walk above a rain forest, dived into ocean waves and toured the slave castles of Elmina and Cape Coast. As we witnessed the impacts of colonization and exploitation on a country rich in natural resources and minerals, we were entranced by the kindness and authenticity of all the people we met. 

Rachel, Ellen, and Dr. Magalhaes with Federal Deputy Keiko Ota
Rachel, Ellen and Dr. Magalhaes
with Federal Deputy Keiko Ot

Rachel Lenke & Ellen Lose, Brazil 2012
This past summer Rachel Lenke and Ellen Lose spent two weeks abroad in Brasilia studying domestic violence and the Maria da Penha law, which the Brazilian Congress passed in 2006, to provide greater protection to women. We had both traveled to Brasilia earlier in the year for our study abroad term. While traveling through the country, we became fascinated with the culture of domestic violence and gender inequality that exists throughout Brazil. Upon returning to campus, we applied for and won a grant from the Augustana Freistat Center. Support from the Freistat   Center allowed us to return to Brasilia and make the study of domestic violence and gender inequality the focus of our Senior Inquiry projects.

Ellen and Rachel at NCCLA conference
Ellen and Rachel at NCCLA conference

While in Brasilia, we had the opportunity to interview deputies, senators, leaders of non-governmental organizations, scholars, and even conduct focus groups of women living in favelas (slums) outside the city. We gathered a wide variety of data, and heard firsthand diverse attitudes and opinions regarding domestic violence and the Maria da Penha law. The interviews andexperiences in Brasília came about through a network of contacts that developed as we traveled through the capital and through Dr. Magalhães, who mentored our research. The people we encountered were extremely interested in our project, and greatly helped furtheour research by providing us with unique opportunities that we could never have experienced on our own. We participated in everything from intensive hour long interviews in Portuguese, to sitting in on public trials of cases of domestic violence. Our research in Brazil was an incredible experience that has not only allowed us to create unique senior projects, but has left us with memories and friends that we will never forget.

Rachel and Ellen presented on their work in Brazil with Dr. Magalhães at the 2012 annual conference of the North Central Council of Latin Americanists. The conference was held on Sept 27-29, 2012 at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

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Student Opportunities

Employment Opportunity with the United States Attorney's Office in Davenport, Iowa
(apply by March 31, 2015
): Link to position listing

Harold Bell Endowed Internship

The Department of Political Science is pleased to announce that we are now accepting submissions for the 2014-2015 Harold Bell Endowed Internship Award. The Harold Bell Award will be used to fund intership experiences that help students develop and promote the attributes of good citizenship. These might include pursuing opportunities in community service or nonprofit organization, working with elected officals or seeking an international intership placement.  Students should submit the following in electronic format (as a Word document or PDF) to the Chair of the Political Science Department ( by Thursday, April 2, 2015:

  • A copy of the letter of notification from the intership director/site
  • A short (2-3 page) essay describing how the internship experience will augment the student's academic career and vocational plans (with a particular focus on the internship's potential for cultivating the attributes of citizenship or the practice of civic engagement)
  • A tentative budget and if you will be receiving funding from another source
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member or employer

Recipients of the Harold Bell Award will be required to submit a brief written report to the department about their internship experience.

Decisions will be announced by April 17, 2015.

DC Internships

Looking for an opportunity to gain valuable internship experience in Washington? DC Internships provides internship opportunities in fields such as International Affairs and Economics, Political Journalism and Communication, Public Policy and Economics, or Business and Government Affairs! Check out their website for more information and find out how to apply for one of these excellent experiences. 

Illinois State University Conference for Students of Political Science

All undergraduate and graduate students are invited to submit papers for the annual Conference for Students of Political Science sponsored by the Illinois State University Department of Politics and Government.  We welcome papers on any topic related to government and/or politics.  All subfields and political perspectives are welcome.   Panelists at the previous conferences included 750 students attending 100 colleges and universities.

Find out more here.

San Jose Group Internship

The San Jose Group is a Chicago based advertisement firm aiming to be an "independent provider of innovatie marketing solutions that transcends culture, boradres and language."  The chosen participants for their Junior Executive Intership Program will have the chance to work with many departments, including advertising, consulting, public relations and international business.  To find out more information click here.

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 What's up with the professors?

POLS Professors
Pictured Here: Dr. Whitt holding his Teacher of the Year Award

04/2015 Dr. Zhang and Dr. Dehnel attended the ASIANetwork conference in St. Louis with two students, Aubrey Waddick and Peter Siepiora. Aubrey and Peter presented their research on the politics of air pollution undertaken last summer in Beijing, China. Aubrey, a political science major, will also present her research at the Midwest Political Science Association meeting in Chicago.

04/2015 Dr. Mariano Magalhães
will Speak at the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council Lecture Luncheon.  His talk is titled "How Brazilian Worker's Party Will Shape the Nation's Future"

03/2015 Dr. Whitt traveled to Atlanta for the 2015 Annual meeting of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. He served as a Section Chair and presented on the application, tenure, and promotion process for new political science professors.

03/2015 Dr. Whitt was part of the development of a new public affairs television show on Local 4- WHBF. I will be one of the guest on the first episode. The show will air on Local 4 at 10:30am on Sundays.

02/2015 Dr. Jason Plume
accompanied students to the Illinoic City/County Management Association Winter Conference in Normal, Il.

11/2014 Dr. Xiaown Zhang  Attends the Model United Nations Conference as the Augustana Delegation faculty sponsor (The Augustana students recieved the Outstanding Delegation Award).

08/2014 Dr. Whitt received the 2014 Rock Island Citizen of the Year Award (professional category) and rode in the Rock Island Labor Day parade.

04/2014 Dr. Mariano Magalhães presented a paper at the 68th Annual conference of the New York State Political Science Association. The title of the paper was Channeling Women's Voices: The Role of the Secretaria de Políticas para as Mulheres in Brazil. 

04/2014 Dr. Mariano Magalhães and Margaret Farrar went to the University of Iowa to give a talk on "Getting Hired and Tenured at Liberal Arts Institutions". The discussion was enlightening for both grad students and faculty. 

03/2014 Dr. Mariano Magalhães attended a two-day conference on Human Rights and the Academy at the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights.  This conference explored the multidisciplinary nature of human rights and shared insights about how to incorporate them into teaching, scholarship, and service. 

01/2014 Dr. David Dehnel and Dr. Xiaowen Zhang won the 2014 ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows Award. With the Award, they will guide 6 students conducting collaborative research project  in Beijing, China for 3 weeks in summer 2014. The students will work in pairs on projects related to the common theme of urban air pollution and the  response of Chinese civil society, in particular communications media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). One pair will focus on traditional media versus social media, one on Chinese environmental NGOs, and one on international NGOs. While in Beijing the student research activity will include work at the National Library, participant observation at the offices of NGOs, and interviews with NGO activists and others. 

01/2014 Dr. Mariano Magalhães has been accepted to take part in the Women, Tradition and Revolution seminar in Jordan for Summer 2014. This international faculty development seminar is made possible by the Council on International Educational Exchange.   

10/2013 Dr. Christopher Whitt was in DC recruiting for the College at the 2014 Institute on Teaching and Mentoring.  He was able to use connections with the Democratic Party to get invited to the reception at the Liaison Hotel in DC honoring Corey Booker for his swearing in as Senator from New Jersey. 

04/2013 Dr. Christopher Whitt has been named as the 2013 Anna Julia cooper Teacher of the year by he National Conference of Black Political  Scientists Dr. Whitt was recognized as a teacher who "regularly went above and beyond" the normal requirements of the job, and who left an indelible impression on many students as a helpful and influential teacher, according to Dr. Ravi Perry of Mississippi State University, who chaired the selection committee.

03/2013    Dr. Mariano Magalhães will be a speaker at the 34th International Conference of Interamerican Society of Psychology.  He will be presenting a paper on domestic violence in Brasilia July 2013.  Click here for more information.

03/2013   Dr. Christopher Whitt has been invited to act as keynote speaker at the Multicultural Speaker Series. This event, which is hosted by the Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is focused on building a stronger metropolitan area through diversity and encouraging leaders in business, education, government, politics, faith-based and community organizing to fight against economic, political, and social inequalities. You can find out more information on the talks here.

 In 2012...

To see what the Political Science professors were up to in 2012 please click here.

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New Course for Winter 2014-15: "Hooked on High Times": Drug Politics, Policy, and Reform with Jason Plume

"To begin, we will be examining the socioeconomic and cultural forces that have led to drug regulation as well as marginalization (taboos, moral decay, demonizing of substances). Then the focus shifts to what we know of as the U.S. 'War on Drugs.' Therefore, a 'road map' of sorts is created by demonstrating how international disagreement led to American drug war tenets, including marijuana prohibition as well as many of the statutory and constitutional questions concerning drug trafficking, abuse, and use. By studying the Drug War we can also examine inequality within law and policy as well as how policies become entrenched and unchallenged. In the last section of the course we will study reform of illicit substance control policies/ laws (i.e. closing racial and socioeconomic divides within the language of law and legalization of substances)." - Jason Plume

Politics in Motion

On March 20th, several Augie students, accompanied by Mariano Magalhães and Kai Swanson, took a trip down to our state capital to catch a glimpse of politics in motion and to meet up with some alumni at the heart of Illinois politics.

While in the state capital, the visitors from Augie visited the Lincoln museum, toured the  state capital building, and had a photo-op on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives.  In addition, students had a nice conversation with Pat Verschoore,   the state representative from the Quad Cities. 

City of Rock Island City Manager Internship

Jon Pape
Jon Pape

Jon Pape, a junior this year, has been offered an internship with the City of Rock Island for Spring 2014. Here's what Jon has to say about this opportunity:

I am very excited to have been chosen for the internship with the City of Rock Island in the Office of the City Manager. Throughout Spring Term I will be working in experiential internship to learn more about the operation of cities and the position of City Manager. During my internship I will complete tasks such as serving as a staff assistant to the City Manager; assisting in the planning, development and administration of department and city-wide policies and procedures; and performing detailed analyses of departmental and city operations. In addition to this I will have a chance to interact with the public and shadow the City Manager in daily meetings and operations. Throughout my time majoring in Political Science I have gained an interest in city management and operations. By having this internship I hope to learn more about public administration and to gauge my interest in continuing in this field after my time at Augustana. 

2014 Liberty and Equality Program

Capital Building Group Picture Memorial
Sarah Meirose, a junior in the Political Science Department, earned a spot for the 2014 Liberty and Equality Program in Arlington, VA.  The participants for this program are a group of young alumni selected by invitation only and made up of between 15 and 20 top students from last year's program.  The goal of the program is to give participants  the opportunity to explore key philosophical questions that arise when states seek to establish or encourage certain viewpoints of material equality.

Here's what Sara had to say about her experience:

This past summer I chose to go to Washington through the Fund for American Studies to participate in their academic internship program.  I took classes at George Mason, had a full time governmental affairs internship at an NGO, and was able to attend briefings at the Federal Reserve, Capitol Hill, and the CIA.  I was informed at the beginning of October that I was selected to participate in a Curriculum of Liberty seminar as a TFAS Freedom Scholar.  They chose 15 to 20 of the top students from the past year to come back to DC for a weekend, all expenses paid. 

The Socratic style seminar will be made up of seven sessions, focusing on the conception of material equality.  The discussions will be led by doctors Alexei Marcoux of Loyola University Chicago and Richard Boyd of Georgetown University.

Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Program

Dr. Paula McClain professor and program director for the Ralph Bunche program with Jasmine Brooks
Dr. Paula McClain professor and program director for the Ralph Bunche program with Jasmine Brooks

Jasmine Brooks, a junior in the Political Science Department, earned a spot for the 2012 Ralph Bunche Summer Institute program at Duke University.  This program is named in honor of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize winner and former APSA President, Ralph J. Bunche, the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) program goal is to encourage students to pursue academic careers in political science.  The Institute gives students a look at the world of graduate study with a program of two transferable credit courses, one in quantitative analysis and one in race and American politics, to introduce the intellectual demands of graduate school and political science research methods.  Students prepare original, empirical research papers, and top students are given the opportunity to present their research at APSA's Annual Meeting, with all expenses paid by the association.  Find out more about the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Program here!

Here's what Jasmine had to say about her experience: 

Duke University
Duke University

This summer I attended the Ralph Bunche Political Science Summer Institute which was held on Duke's campus. The program was five weeks long and designed with the intent to increase the representation of minorities in graduate school. Prior to attending the program I never really considered obtaining a Ph.D. in law school however the program really broadened my horizons and increased my interest in political science academia. The Bunche Institute gave me the wonderful opportunity to learn from instructors specialized in political science as I gained the tools necessary to construct an empirically based research paper.

My research paper was an analysis of state policies on domestic abuse and how this affects women within the state. In writing my paper I created a data set in which I listed all fifty states and their policy towards offenders of domestic violence being one of three responses: mandatory arrest, preferred arrest, or officer's discretion. To complete my data set I included other variables like population of the state, income, and educational attainment just to name a few. I hypothesized that with all other variables constant states with mandatory arrest policies would have lower amounts of reported domestic violence. In addition to producing a data set and crafting a research paper, the Bunche program also gave me the chance to network with other students who are just as passionate about political science as I am.

Annual Political Science Banquet

Dr. Xiaowen Zhang discusses Rock Island politics with former mayor and Augustana alum Mark Schweibert.
Megan Kirik and Krysta Groeper pose with Dr. Magalhaes following the awards ceremony. Megan won the Departmental Service Leadership Award and Krysta won the Major with Distinction award.
Dr. Magalhaes introduces Mark Schweibert as the keynote speaker. 

The Political Science Department hosted its second annual End of the Year Banquet on April 15th to honor the contributions of the seniors in the Department. Amongst good food and amazing company, the department awarded some of the outstanding senior students for their hard work and dedication. Megan Kirik won the Departmental Service Leadership Award, Krysta Groeper won the Major with Distinction Award, and Whitney Cameron won Best Major. Congrats to all of the winners!

The awards ceremony was followed by a keynote address from former mayor of Rock Island and Augustana alum Mark Schweibert. Mayor Schweibert discussed some of Rock Island's history and gave guidance to graduating seniors as they prepare  to enter the workforce or head to graduate school. 

Dr. Chris Whitt and students discuss at the Poli Sci Banquet   

Harold Bell 2012-13 Award Recipients 

The Harold Bell Award was created to aid students who planned on doing internship work in the field of Political Science. This year there were three winners:

Sarah DuRocher (Junior) : internship at Council for a Parliament of World Religions (CPWR) in Chicago

Tyler Grace (Sophomore) : internship at Washington D.C. office of Congressional Representative Cheri Bustos (17th District in Illinois)

Sarah Meirose (Sophomore): internship at Safari Club International office in Washington D.C.

Spring Term Volleyball Extravaganza

Volleyball in Pepsico
          POLS plays volleyball
POLS volleyball
   Dr. Magalhaes goes in for the save

The Political Science Department continued its extracurricular competitions with a fun day of volleyball. There was very high attendance by both students and professors and all skill levels were represented. Everyone who came had an excellent time and it was a good chance for everyone to interact outside of a simple classroom setting. Professor Xiaowen Zhang has already discussed setting up a basketball game because that is her sport of choice and she is open to all challengers!

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Matt Peters, Class of 2011

I have been working at the Law Office of Michael R. Jarecki since last fall as an immigration legal assistant. The firm is fairly small - we have two legal assistants, an intern, and the attorney - and our office is right downtown Chicago in the Monadnock building a few blocks

Matt Peters Alumni
Matt Peters, Legal Assistant for Michael R. Jarecki Law Office

away from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

I started out drafting forms for adjustment of status applications (or green cards) for U.S. citizens who marry foreign nationals, which has been incredible! I get to meet with clients, learn about their lives (reading love letters, for example), and put together the application that will eventually help their husband or wife become a Legal Permanent Resident. One of the more interesting aspects of this job was seeing the post Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last year. After DOMA was shut down, our office received a number of cases involving same-sex couples looking to apply for green cards. Recently, my job duties have expanded to include applications for fiancé visas, citizenship (or naturalization), asylum, H-1B extension work visas, and change of status for international workers who want to travel the U.S. before leaving the country.     

Augustana has been a huge part of this job. The Political Science Department initially sparked my interest in law and allowed me to focus my research on immigration issues such as Polish migration in Chicago and abroad. Courses such as Constitutional Law I and II were extremely helpful when I decided to take a paralegal course at DePaul University last year. Although it has been a few years since I graduated, I still feel I can reach out to my professors. Dr. Mariano Magalhaes just recently recommended an expert witness for an asylum case our office has been working on and the research I did for my thesis under Dr. David Dehnel is still coming in handy when I speak with Polish clients.

Karalyn Internship
Interning at the Illinois State Capitol

Karalyn Jevaney, Class of 2012

After graduating from Augustana , I began the Illinois Legislative Studies Internship Program (ILSIP). This program places 5 interns in each of the four caucuses (House Republicans, House Democrats, Senate Republicans, and Senate Democrats) as well as 4 interns in the Legislative Research Unit (LRU).For my internship, I was placed with the House Republicans. When the legislature is in session, each intern assists on a committee. The committees that I assisted on were Financial Institutions,Environment, Veterans Affairs, Museums, Cultural Arts and Enhancement and Tourism and Conventions.We also help to analyze bills to provide the legislators with background information. I would be responsible for bills assigned to my committee and I would also attend hearings for those committees. We follow our bills through the entire process from being released from the Rules Committee to a committee and then eventually being debated on the floor of the House of Representatives.This experience has been a very positive one. Not only did I get to know more about the legislative process but, I also was able to meet a lot of different people both Republicans and Democrats. Springfield is the hub of political activity in Illinois and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it. Following the internship, I will attend law school at John Marshall in Chicago. The skills that I learned will be invaluable for my future career.

 Allison with horse   
Allison working with horses

Allison Schaley, Class of 2011.

I am currently working as a Legal Assistant for an agency of the federal government. I was always interested in law and the legal system. While at Augustana I focused my political science studies in the area of law and politics. I use knowledge and skills from the very basic to the more complex every day at my job. Classes such as The Legal System were an excellent start to understanding the structure of the legal system in the United States and the roles that the various players in it have, from government, to judges, to the parties in a case.Having an understanding of the system helps every day when dealing with different parties from different sides of a legal matter. Courses such as American Government that provided a study of all the duties and departments of the government were also helpful in understanding how the rest of the government works, and what role my agency plays in the big picture. Analytical writing skills, more specifically, also come into play at my job. I proofread legal briefs prepared by attorneys, so I need to be able to comprehend the basics of their legal arguments to help make sure that they make sense. Having previous experience with the application of existing case law to the facts of a case at hand is a tremendous help in making sure a brief flows and makes sense, even to a non-lawyer like myself. Our lawyers support their arguments with case law that has similar facts to the one they are working on.  From the basic knowledge of the system, to the in-depth exploration of case law and analytical reasoning, there is no doubt that my experience as a Political Science major at Augustana put me in a position to be successful.

Jason Schultz
Jason Schultz at historic Angkor Thom, Angkor City, Cambodia the largest religious site in the world.

Jason Schultz, class of 2011

After graduating Augustana I moved to China where I was an English teacher at a university. Once again my background in political science was vitally important to my comprehension of the actions taken by government officials, and the events which would unfold afterwards. During my time in China I saw a Chinese political dissident win the Nobel Peace Prize, the effects of the Arab Spring cause protests all over the country, and the rampant arrests of political dissidents in the aftermath of these protests. All of these events were incredibly important to the future of the Chinese political structure, and ultimately the political demographic of the world. My degree in Political Science allowed me to examine these events with a sharp eye on what their respective impact could be, along with how they may affect China in the future. Looking at the world around us with the perspective of a political scientist has allowed me to constantly assess different aspects of the American political system, government, and international world that I would have never noticed. It has made me a better citizen and has prompted me to become a teacher, where I hope to pass along this knowledge and express the importance of this discipline.

Amanda Seifert, class of 2011

Amanda Seifert
Amanda in Vietnam

I am currently studying at George Mason University, working towards my Masters of Public Policy. George Mason is one of the top schools in its field and is a stone's throw from D.C. The internships, travel abroad, and close faculty relationships I experienced with the Political Science department were incredibly valuable when it came time to apply for graduate school. My classes with the Political Science department have made my adjustment to graduate school a lot smoother than many of my colleagues. While graduate school is more challenging, the writing expectations and course loads from the department prepared me well.

I am also working for the local school district as an AVID Tutor. The goal of the program is to get students to take classes that are more challenging, improve their studying skills, and apply to and graduate from four-year colleges. They have an amazingly high success rate, and I play a part in that by helping students develop critical thinking. It was through my time in the Political Science department that I discovered the real key to success is critical thinking skills. You can memorize all the facts in the world but it is the ability to reason and to think critically, that gives you the ability to learn in any situation. It is this skill that I learned from the Political Science department which I hope to pass on to the students I

I know my experiences from Political Science helped me develop my skills and ignited my passion for policy. I really have the Political Science department to thank for helping get where I am today.

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Clubs and Organizations

Politics Club

The purpose of Politics Club is to provide an outlet for the Augustana community to become more involved in  politics and discuss public policy. Politics Club is a non-partisan organization where students can feel comfortable voicing their opinions in a non-threatening environment. 

Rebecca Brosch
Vice-President: Aubrey Waddick
Treasurer: Michael Partyka
Secretary: Joseph Aumuller              
Advisor: Dr. Mariano Magalhaes
Phone: (309) 794-7731

College Democrats

The purpose of this organization is to get Augustana students involved in the Rock Island County Democratic Party, as well as to inform students on democratic principles and ideals. We offer many networking opportunities with politicians and other elected officials in the area.

President: Tyler Grace
Vice-President: Vanessa Reyes
Treasurer: Megan Young
Secretary: Maggie Richardson
Social Media Chair: Suzie Geisler
Advisor: Dr. Christopher Whitt
Phone: (309) 794-7288

College Republicans

College Republicans are dedicated to promoting the ideals and candidates of their party to the Augustana Community. College Republicans is also for students interested in participating in local and national political activities as well as social events.

President: Eric Mozwecz           
Vice-President: Austin Schoeck             
Treasurer: Stephanie Pedersen
Advisor: Dr. Greg Tapis
Phone: (309) 794-7145

Pi Sigma Alpha

The Alpha Iota Kappa Chapter of Augustana College recognizes exceptional students who excel in political science and beyond. Each year, eligible juniors and seniors are asked to join the the ranks of this national political science honor society. For the 2013-14 school year, six students were inducted in the inaugural class: Kierra Smith, Krysta Groeper, Whitney Cameron, Tyler Grace, Vanessa Reyes, and Joe Wood. If you have any questions about this organization, feel free to contact our chapter president, Joe Wood, at or our chapter advisor, Dr. Xiaowen Zhang, at 

What are our clubs doing?

American Model United Nations - November 23-26, 2013

Augustana at AMUN
The Delegation gathers aftera day of conflicts and resolutions
Augustana at AMUN
Szymon Ligas & Alicia Lumberry hard at work combating malaria.

From November 23rd through the 26th, 14 Augustana students, accompanied by Dr. Mariano Magalhães, participated in the 24th Annual American Model United Nations International Conference in Chicago, IL. Led by Head Delegate Joe Wood, these committed students represented the Oriental Republic of Uruguay in fierce debates on a wide range of topics. Some of the topics included were the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Review, rights of the child, establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, and international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. Students took part in five General Assembly committees, as well as the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Justice. Additionally, Bonnie Thornton represented Uruguay in an International Court of Justice dispute against Argentina. After an excellent representation by Advocate Thornton and much deliberation, the Justices ruled almost unanimously in our favor! 

Participants: Gage Meyers, Scott Hale, Zach Ramos, Quinn Foley, Becky Brosch, Clair Wright, Mike Curtis, Bonnie Thornton, JD Englehardt, Patrick Ruddy, Alicia Lumberry, Szymon Ligas, Madison Rodgers and Joe Wood.   

College Democrats Fundraiser

 Professor Whitt talking Two College students College Democrats Function
On October 19th, the Augustana College Democrats held a fried chicken dinner fundraiser. Elected officials and supporters from throughout the community came to connect with the club. This fundraiser was an enormous success and raised well over $700 for the club's activities. These funds will allow the club to engage both the community and the campus more successfully. In the near and upcoming future, the club will be hosting a documentary that will be open both to Augustana and to the community, working closely with Democratic candidates, and co-hosting various events on campus with other groups in an effort to better connect the Augustana community.

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Augustana has many funding opportunities available to help finance special projects throughout a student's college career. The items listed below are only a starting point in finding ways to fund internships, research projects, and conference attendance.

Augie Choice

Augie Choice guarantees students the opportunity for the kinds of learning that will make them stand out when they start careers or go on to graduate school. All students receive $2,000 to support a qualifying hands-on learning experience of their choice, such as international study, a service-learning project, research or an internship. For more information please go to:

William F. Freistat Center Grant

Established in 1992, The Freistat Chair for Studies in World Peace was established by William F. Freistat,
of Piedmont, Calif., Augustana alumnus and retired Kaiser Industries executive. The Freistat Chair
supports multi-disciplinary involvement in peace studies and furthers the development of the Peace
Studies program at Augustana through research, seminars, lectures and forums. For more information please go to:

Hasselmo Prize for Academic Pursuit

Established by Dr. Nils Hasselmo, Class of 1957, in recognition of the ways in which his Augustana education both informed and transformed his life and vocational calling. Hasselmo funds are to be used to fund a yearly prize to enrich the experience of a student who has demonstrated academic excellence and who expresses intent to pursue higher education teaching and/or research as a vocation. This is not an endowed fund but the prize offers $5,000 to each recipient, which could help fund a student's research/conference travel needs. This new award has one winner per year. Students are nominated by department chairpersons for this award. For more information please go to:

Harold Bell Endowed Internship Award

The Harold Bell Endowed Internship Fund was established by the family and friends of Harold Bell, honoring his retirement and thirty-five years of service to Augustana's Political Science Department.  Its purpose is to help students defray expenses from their full-time, summer internships.  In keeping with the department's mission and values, the Harold Bell Award will be used to fund internship experiences that help students develop and promote the attributes of good citizenship, including global citizenship.  These might include pursuing opportunities in community service or nonprofit organizations, working with elected officials or on behalf of a political party, or seeking out international internship placements.  Application information will be made available in the spring of each year.

Evelyn E. Nicholson Academic Venture Fund

Established by Evelyn E. Nicholson, Class of 1950, in recognition of the importance of student and faculty
research, and the College's creative, innovative and dedicated faculty. The purpose of this fund is to provide support for and encourage faculty and student research, and innovative program development that further distinguish Augustana's academic program and standing. For more information please go to:

Augustana Student Research Committee

The Augustana Student Research/Inquiry Committee has established a program to encourage and underwrite the participation of students in professional conferences. A requirement for applying for funding is that the student be a formal presenter (for example a paper, report or poster) based on a research project conducted by the student under the supervision of an Augustana faculty member.

Monies granted to a student through this program may be used for conference registration, travel and housing at the conference. Reimbursements for food and incidental expenses are not included. It is expected that this request is made for funds needed in addition to any that are available through your department. For more information please click here.

Augustana Research Foundation—Student Research Assistantships

Annually provides funding for an outstanding student to work closely on a research project with a member of the Augustana College faculty. Click here for more information.

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Careers in Political Science

The following is not intended to be an exhaustive list of occupations associated with this major. Political Science Majors enter a variety of occupational fields. What is represented is intended as a starting point in the career decision making process.

Sample Occupations:

International Relations

Political Theory

American Politics and Institutions

Comparative Politics

Public Policy and Administration

United Nations College Professor, General Educator Law School— Masters/Law Degree Debate—Political Parties, Foreign Affairs, etc.

Elected Local, State, or Federal Official— Campaigns/Elections

U.S. Diplomat—Foreign Service Agency Education Administration Paralegal Government Positions

Federal—White House Advisor, Congressional Researcher

National Security, Defense Analyst Journalist Criminal/District Attorney National Security Consultant

Civilian Consultant to Department of Defense

Peace Corps Lobbyist Political Director Educator, University President

CIA, NSA Intelligence Specialist

Non-Profit Organizations Broadcasting, Reporter Judge, Chief of Staff Policy Analyst

Office of Personnel Management

Immigrant/Refugee Coordinator Policy Analyst, Political Consultant Corporate Legal Counsel Legislative Assistant

Public Affairs Officers— Urban/Regional Planner

Translator Pollster Judicial Clerk

Business—Foreign Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, Banking/Finance

Speech Writer Media-Radio, Television, Internet—Media Pundit
Agency of International Development Campaigns and Elections
Manager of Grassroots Organization

Examples of Employers:

City/County Government Newspaper/Magazines/TV/Radio
College & Universities Political Office Holders
Consulting Firms Political Organizations
Federal Agencies Publishing Firms
Field Research Firms Research Firms
Foreign Embassies in Wash, DC Social Security Administration
Law Enforcement Agencies State/Local Governments
Law Firms U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services
Lobbying Firms

Occupational and Professional Information:                                                                   

American Political Science Association

Political Science Internet Resources

Think Tanks & Public Interest Organizations 

American Society for Public Administration

Public Policy and International Affairs Program

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