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Central banks face threats to their independence − and that isn’t good news for sound economic stewardship (or battling inflation)

Central banks face threats to their independence − and that isn’t good news for sound economic stewardship (or battling inflation)

June 14, 2024 - Cristina Bodea and Ana Carolina Garriga

Nearly every country in the world has a central bank – a public institution that manages a country’s currency and its monetary policy. And these banks have an extraordinary amount of power. By controlling the flow of money and credit in a country, they can affect economic growth, inflation, employment and financial stability – all things that can, if played right, provide politicians with economic boosts around election time, only to saddle the economy with problems further down the line.

PLS Academic Advisor wins College Student Impact Award

PLS Academic Advisor wins College Student Impact Award

May 29, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Krista Zeig was chosen by the College of Social Science Dean's Student Advisory Council as the recipient of the 2024 Student Impact Award. This award recognizes an advisor for the positive impact they have on students in the college.

Dr. Melinda Gann Hall receives Lifetime Achievement Award, emerita status

Dr. Melinda Gann Hall receives Lifetime Achievement Award, emerita status

May 21, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Political Science Professor Melinda Gann Hall is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association this fall, on the heels of attaining Professor Emerita status at Michigan State University.

PLS PhD students win Diversity Fellowships

PLS PhD students win Diversity Fellowships

May 20, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Three PLS PhD students have been named as 2024-2025 American Political Science Association Diversity Fellowship Program recipients during the spring 2024 application cycle. These fellows are currently in the first or second year of PhD programs in Political Science.

Diversity Torch: Megan Smejkal

Diversity Torch: Megan Smejkal

May 16, 2024 - Emily Jodway

Megan Smejkal is a senior majoring in political science, economics and history. She is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the MSU Residence Halls Association, Cultural Vogue Chair for the Asian Pacific American Student Organization, President of the Professional Asian Student Organization, and a member of the Women’s Leadership Institute. Originally an adoptee from Korea, Megan grew up in Mount Prospect, Illinois.

MSU PLS class launches Lansing Citizens Manual to inspire and inform young people to get involved in policy and government

MSU PLS class launches Lansing Citizens Manual to inspire and inform young people to get involved in policy and government

May 6, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Dr. Sarah Reckhow’s Civic Education and Local Democracy class this spring was a hybrid of undergraduates and students in the department’s Master of Public Policy graduate program. The group of 18 students used a blueprint from Detroit to create the website Lansing Citizens Manual (lansingcitizen.com). It is targeted at teens and young people who are interested in becoming more knowledgeable and active in their community.

MSU PLS welcomes new Dean's Research Associate

MSU PLS welcomes new Dean's Research Associate

May 1, 2024 - Emily Jodway

Angie Torres-Beltran is currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of Government at Cornell University and a Predoctoral Fellow with the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego; Research Fellow in the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School; and a United States Institute of Peace Scholar. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a Research Affiliate with the Gender and Security Sector Lab and the Eliminating Violence Against Women Lab. Torres Beltran’s research examines the political causes and consequences of gender-based violence, with an emphasis on political behavior and institutions in conflict-affected countries. She also studies the role of domestic and international actors on violence and the intersection of gender, public opinion, and civic engagement. 

PLS Outstanding Senior 2024 is Malcom Charles

PLS Outstanding Senior 2024 is Malcom Charles

April 18, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Graduating PLS senior Malcom Charles has been “an ambassador for the department” in his four years at Michigan State University, and it is for that reason – among many others – that Dr. Eric Gonzalez Juenke nominated him as the Political Science Outstanding Senior.

Two PLS students win first place for their research at UURAF

Two PLS students win first place for their research at UURAF

April 17, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Political Science students Lola Browne and Jerome Hamilton Jr both brought home first place awards in this year’s University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF).

Political Science Pre-Law senior Michael Conte wins Undergraduate Research Award

Political Science Pre-Law senior Michael Conte wins Undergraduate Research Award

April 16, 2024 - Karessa Weir

For his research on foreign direct investment, asymmetric political rhetoric and several other areas, Michael Conte has been named the recipient 2024 Political Science Undergraduate Research Award.

PLS alums inspire and advise undergrads: “The world is a huge place. You will find your path.”

PLS alums inspire and advise undergrads: “The world is a huge place. You will find your path.”

April 16, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Christine Mason Soneral, senior vice president and general counsel for ITC Holdings, joined together with fellow PLS alum Steve Faulkner, Managing Director and head of Private Business Advisory in J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s Advice Lab, for a networking event in Political Science’s Careers in PLS Series.

PLS Undergraduate Assistance Award goes to Paige Strawska

PLS Undergraduate Assistance Award goes to Paige Strawska

April 15, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Political Science Pre-law senior Paige Strawska has been awarded the 2024 Political Science Undergraduate Assistance Award for her research into Chinese politics.

Diversity Champion: Dr. Nura Sediqe

Diversity Champion: Dr. Nura Sediqe

April 10, 2024 - Emily Jodway

Dr. Nura Sedique is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and a core faculty member in the Muslim Studies program. Her research focuses on the intersections of race, religion and gender with political behavior and preferences.

PLS Public Service Award goes to senior Megan Smejkal

PLS Public Service Award goes to senior Megan Smejkal

April 4, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Graduating Political Science senior Megan Smejkal has been awarded the department’s Public Service Award, announced department chair Dr. Jeff Conroy-Krutz.

MSU PLS student nominated for the prestigious Beinecke Scholarship

MSU PLS student nominated for the prestigious Beinecke Scholarship

April 1, 2024

Michigan State University has nominated third-year student Abigail Rodriguez for the nationally competitive Beinecke Scholarship. Results of the scholarship competition will be announced in April.

MSU PLS Alumnus working to help victims of domestic violence

MSU PLS Alumnus working to help victims of domestic violence

March 26, 2024 - Patti McDonald

Jacob Novak, a recent Michigan State University graduate who earned a double Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History in three years, is already making a positive impact in the lives of others. Novak is now working as the domestic violence court administrative and pretrial compliance coordinator under the honorable Judge Cynthia Ward at the 54A District Court in Lansing.

Alumni Spotlight: Mikaylah Heffernan

Alumni Spotlight: Mikaylah Heffernan

March 24, 2024 - Karessa Weir

MSU PLS graduate Mikaylah Heffernan is the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s legislative liaison. Heffernan previously worked as a House Democratic Policy Advisor for the Michigan House of Representatives, focusing on agriculture and natural resources.

PLS student creates "Las Alas Invisibles" exhibition recognizing migrant farmworkers

PLS student creates "Las Alas Invisibles" exhibition recognizing migrant farmworkers

March 20, 2024 - Brigita Felkers and Luz Vazquez

Luz Vazquez currently studies political science and public policy in the College of Social Science and brings a dedication to advocating for migrant farmworker awareness, as she grew up in the community. She identified an opportunity to honor farmworkers and took it upon herself to explore how to share these important stories in an exhibition.

MSU PLS scholar nominated for the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship

MSU PLS scholar nominated for the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship

March 12, 2024

Jerome Hamilton Jr., a third year Political Science Pre-Law student, is one of three Michigan State University students nominated for the prestigious Udall Undergraduate Scholarship.

PLS Scholar Jerome Hamilton Jr. named finalist for prestigious Truman Scholarship

PLS Scholar Jerome Hamilton Jr. named finalist for prestigious Truman Scholarship

March 5, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Jerome Hamilton Jr., third-year Political Science Pre-Law student, has been named a finalist for the Truman Scholarship.

Party or race: which matters more when voters cast their ballots?

Party or race: which matters more when voters cast their ballots?

March 1, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Racial identity may play a huge role in political discourse but when it comes to the ballot box, MSU PLS research has found that racial minority candidates have the same chance of succeeding as majority candidates. They may even have a slight advantage.

PLS Scholars explore politics, government and policy life at a Day at the Capitol

PLS Scholars explore politics, government and policy life at a Day at the Capitol

February 29, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Political Science Scholars got the chance to explore the halls of the state Capitol in Lansing and meet with high-level elected officials and policy makers at a renewed tradition - a Day at the Capitol.

Ask the expert: What a 2nd Trump term could mean for democracy and advancing policy

Ask the expert: What a 2nd Trump term could mean for democracy and advancing policy

February 28, 2024 - Erica Frantz

The 2024 presidential election is squaring up to be a rematch of the 2020 presidential election between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. This comes as Trump continues his primary winning streak. He defeated his only remaining Republican challenger, Nikki Haley, in both South Carolina and Michigan, the most recent primaries ahead of Super Tuesday. As questions arise about how Trump would govern in a second term, some have called attention to what a Trump Administration could mean for American democracy.

Inaugural Lynch Scholarship awarded to Political Science senior Liz Armstrong

Inaugural Lynch Scholarship awarded to Political Science senior Liz Armstrong

February 14, 2024 - Karessa Weir

MSU PLS senior Liz Armstrong is the first recipient of the Lynch Family Scholarship. She is studying Political Science and minoring in Law, Justice, and Public Policy, and also in her first year of the Linked Master of Public Policy program.

MGSP 2024 Spotlight: Alexis Ramirez

MGSP 2024 Spotlight: Alexis Ramirez

February 12, 2024

ALEXIS RAMIREZ is a first-generation college senior studying Political Science at Michigan State University with a minor in Business and Law, Justice, and Public Policy. He is from southwest Detroit and is a proud Latino. Alexis is passionate about giving back to the community, having volunteered at Cadillac Urban Gardens and Gleaners Food Bank in the past. He has previously interned with State Representative Tsernoglou and is now interning with US Congresswoman Slotkin. Alexis plans to have a public service career in government. He enjoys reading about current affairs, gaming, watching films, and sports. Alexis was a recipient of the Michigan Government Semester Program Scholarship for 2024.

Two PLS Scholars nominated for prestigious Truman Scholarship

Two PLS Scholars nominated for prestigious Truman Scholarship

February 7, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Josie Danielkiewicz and Jerome Hamilton Jr., both third-year Political Science Pre-Law students, have been nominated for the Truman Scholarship.

MGSP 2024 Spotlight: Kendall Jones

MGSP 2024 Spotlight: Kendall Jones

February 7, 2024

Kendall Jones is a senior studying Political Science - Prelaw with a minor in Law, Justice, and Public Policy. She plans to attend law school in the Fall 2024. Kendall is from Muskegon, Michigan. She transferred to MSU from Muskegon Community College, where she spent two years playing college soccer. Kendall enjoys giving back to her community by volunteering at the Kids' Food Basket in Muskegon and the Greater Lansing Food Bank. She enjoys working out and spending time with friends and family in her free time. She is beyond excited to be a part of the MGSP this semester and to intern with Judge Rosemarie Aquilina. Kendall was a recipient of the Michigan Government Semester Program Scholarship for 2024.

MGSP 2024 Spotlight: Souad Bazzi

MGSP 2024 Spotlight: Souad Bazzi

February 5, 2024

SOUAD BAZZI is a rising junior at Michigan State University, studying Pre-law and Political Science with a minor in law, justice, and public policy. Growing up as a first-generation Lebanese American from her hometown, Dearborn, Michigan, Souad is deeply committed to inciting change in areas such as immigration rights, reproductive freedom, and bottom-up political advocacy. With a background in a grassroots political campaign, she gained experience in networking with a diverse range of people, directing community engagement, and navigating the complexities of local-level policy processes. Her ultimate goal is to pursue a career as a public defender and, someday, the House of Representatives to be an unwavering advocate for marginalized groups and the voice for the underrepresented. Outside of her academic endeavors, she enjoys yoga, reading, and playing with her two goldendoodles. Souad was a recipient of the Michigan Government Semester Program Scholarship for 2024.

Alumni Spotlight: Malik Washington

Alumni Spotlight: Malik Washington

February 2, 2024

Malik Washington currently serves as City Council Liaison for the City of Detroit Mayor’s Office. Prior to his current role, he worked for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to support a variety of tasks related to statewide transit policy, travel trend analysis, and project development. Malik earned a Master of Public Policy degree from MSU in 2020. He also has a bachelor’s degree in public policy at MSU.

Why Trump’s control of the Republican Party is bad for democracy

Why Trump’s control of the Republican Party is bad for democracy

January 30, 2024 - Dr. Erica Frantz

MSU PLS Associate Professor Erica Frantz wrote for The Conversation about former president Donald Trump and democracy.

PLS students shined in this year’s Diversity Research Showcase

PLS students shined in this year’s Diversity Research Showcase

January 25, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Students from MSU Political Science in the College of Social Scientists brought home awards at this year’s Diversity Research Showcase hosted by MSU Honors College. This annual university-wide showcase features MSU undergraduate student work or work in progress on issues of diversity that advance inclusion.

MSU PLS expands methods teaching with new assistant professor hire

MSU PLS expands methods teaching with new assistant professor hire

January 24, 2024 - Karessa Weir

Dr. Marco Morucci has accepted an offer for a new position in computational social science with the MSU Department of Political Science.

Ask the expert: What an earlier primary means for Michigan and the 2024 election

Ask the expert: What an earlier primary means for Michigan and the 2024 election

January 24, 2024 - Jack Harrison

Matt Grossmann is the director of Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, as well as a professor in the Department of Political Science in the College of Social Science. Grossmann is an expert in both state and national politics. He answers questions about how to understand different systems and the role Michigan will play in 2024.

MSU PLS sophomore is one of three award winners of a national social justice scholarship

MSU PLS sophomore is one of three award winners of a national social justice scholarship

November 28, 2023

Michigan State University sophomore Elaina Rankin’s interest in becoming a public defender bloomed when she was just a freshman at Avondale High School in Auburn Hills.

MSU PLS senior honored for his leadership skills as a first generation college student

MSU PLS senior honored for his leadership skills as a first generation college student

November 22, 2023 - Karessa Weir

MSU Political Science Scholar Malcom Charles was recently awarded a First Generation Leadership Award.

Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, to speak at Michigan State University’s Governor Jim Blanchard Public Service Forum

Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, to speak at Michigan State University’s Governor Jim Blanchard Public Service Forum

October 31, 2023 - Becky Jensen

Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation will be former Governor Jim Blanchard’s special guest at his upcoming MSU Public Service Forum on November 29, 2023 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing.

Voting Guides to East Lansing and Lansing elections created by Urban Politics students

Voting Guides to East Lansing and Lansing elections created by Urban Politics students

October 29, 2023

Dr. Sarah Reckhow's Urban Politics class puts together the latest editions of their local voting guide.

MPP alumna to lead Michigan’s State Budget Office

MPP alumna to lead Michigan’s State Budget Office

October 25, 2023 - Karessa Weir

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Jen Flood, who earned her Master of Public Policy in the MSU Department of Political Science in the College of Social Science, will lead the State Budget Office as its new director beginning in mid-November after Chris Harkins accepted a new position outside of state government.

Deadline approaching for Washington D.C. internship program application

Deadline approaching for Washington D.C. internship program application

October 24, 2023

MSU has partnered with The Washington Center (TWC) to provide students with hands-on experience in politics, policy, and governance during a semester-long internship spent in Washington D.C. This is a perfect way to apply your knowledge outside of the classroom and to make connections for your future career. Final application deadline is Nov. 1!

Advertising rental housing in Spanish puts off many potential renters

Advertising rental housing in Spanish puts off many potential renters

October 15, 2023 - Sophia Vento

Publishing an ad for an apartment or rental home in Spanish may seem like it would broaden the pool of potential renters, but new research by PLS assistant professor Dr. John Kuk shows it can harm rental-seekers’ perception of the property and its neighborhood.

MPP grad wins University Alumni Service Award

MPP grad wins University Alumni Service Award

October 4, 2023 - Emily Jodway

Sarah Cantwell, along with her husband Matthew, received the Alumni Service Award, given to alumni who have demonstrated service to MSU and/or meritorious public service on a local, state, national or international level. Sarah earned her master’s in public administration from the Department of Political Science in 2005, while Matthew is a 2004 graduate of the Eli Broad College of Business. They are known as dedicated community leaders, philanthropists and Spartans.

MSU PLS student nominated for the Marshall Scholarship

MSU PLS student nominated for the Marshall Scholarship

September 26, 2023 - Emily Jodway

Political Science Scholar Megan Smejkal is one of 10 MSU students nominated for the prestigious Marshall Scholarship. Megan is majoring in Political Science, Economics and History in the College of Social Science. She is a graduate of Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois.

College of Social Science Young Alumni Award presented to Chayse Hurley and Elias Kokaly

College of Social Science Young Alumni Award presented to Chayse Hurley and Elias Kokaly

September 21, 2023

Detroit InnovateGov Program Coordinator Chayse Hurley and Elias Kokaly, an Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, are this year's Young Alumni Awards from the College of Social Science.

College of Social Science alumni use scholarship to promote civility in public discourse

College of Social Science alumni use scholarship to promote civility in public discourse

September 20, 2023 - Karessa Weir

When Tina and Jon Lynch were dating as undergraduate students at Michigan State University, they used to wander along the banks of the Red Cedar River and talk about their future and how they would give back to the university where they met. “Back then we would take walks in the neighborhood across the street from Rather Hall and along the Red Cedar, dreaming about what life had in store for us. Even then we hoped to one day give back to the place that had given so much to us,” Tina said. “For our family, Michigan State is more than a school - it’s our home.” More than 30 years later, the Lynchs, both College of Social Science alumni and residents of Midland, have have fulfilled that dream when they endowed the Jon & Tina Lynch Family Promoting Civility Scholarship fund.

MSU PLS well represented on Homecoming Court

September 19, 2023

Alyssa Konesky, Political Science major, and Devin Woodruff, Public Policy major, have been selected as members of the MSU Homecoming Court for 2023.

MPP students awarded Ira Polley Memorial Scholarships

August 31, 2023

Three MSU Political Science Master of Public Policy students have been awarded Ira Polley Memorial Scholarships for their exceptional work both inside and outside the classroom.

Intern Spotlight: Matt Sigers

Intern Spotlight: Matt Sigers

August 17, 2023

As part of the Flint Study Away program, Matt Sigers has been working out of Flint City Hall since June 1. Among his favorite parts of the program has been the chance to get out into the community of Flint. He worked the City of Flint booth at this summer’s Harmony Festival, passing out information about different city programs and items like water filters.

Intern Spotlight: Jacob Pickett

Intern Spotlight: Jacob Pickett

August 10, 2023

"Political science student Jacob Pickett has been interning in the Office of Genesee County Clerk/Register of Deeds and is gaining firsthand knowledge of county government at work. Through his internship he is helping to revitalize the office of County Clerk/Register and put new practices in place to make residents experiences easier and more user friendly.”

Intern Spotlight: David Luc

Intern Spotlight: David Luc

August 3, 2023

Senior David Luc is interning with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation as part of the Flint Study Away program.

Rate hikes may have slowed inflation in the US – but they have also heightened the risk of financial crises for lower-income nations

Rate hikes may have slowed inflation in the US – but they have also heightened the risk of financial crises for lower-income nations

August 1, 2023 - Dr. Cristina Bodea

Dr. Cristina Bodea has written an article on the negative effects of the Federal Reserve's most recent hike has on developing countries.

PLS students share their research at Mid-SURE

PLS students share their research at Mid-SURE

July 31, 2023

The 2023 Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Experiences was held July 26 in the STEAM Teaching and Learning Facility with more than 330 students presenting their research including several from the MSU Political Science department.

Research shows knowing personal details of politicians may reduce partisanship

Research shows knowing personal details of politicians may reduce partisanship

July 9, 2023 - Karessa Weir

Will sharing a hobby or favorite movie make you like a politician more? The chances are pretty good, and it might even lead to a decrease in partisanship and division between political parties, found MSU Political Science Professor Jennifer Wolak.

PLS Professor and co-founder of LeFrak Forum, Dr. Arthur Melzer retires

PLS Professor and co-founder of LeFrak Forum, Dr. Arthur Melzer retires

June 20, 2023 - Dr. Dustin Sebell and Dick Zinman

Eminent political philosopher Dr. Arthur M. Melzer has retired from his positions of Political Science Professor and co-director of the LeFrak Forum Symposium on Science, Reason, and Modern Democracy.

PLS Faculty Earn Promotions

June 19, 2023

MSU Department of Political Science is pleased to share that two PSL professors earned promotions that were approved by the MSU Board of Trustees at their June meeting.

Student view: Summer, Juneteenth and family

Student view: Summer, Juneteenth and family

June 13, 2023 - Angela Solomon

Angela Solomon is an undergraduate student pursuing dual degrees in broadcast journalism and political science pre-law. Currently serving as the chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for the Associated Students of Michigan State University, she actively works toward creating an inclusive campus environment. Solomon also designed the 2023 artwork, “A Summer of Freedom,” for the third annual MSU Juneteenth Celebration.

PLS Spring Grad Reception 2023

PLS Spring Grad Reception 2023

May 30, 2023

The MSU Political Science Department honored students at their Spring Graduation Reception at the Broad Museum on May 5, 2023.

MGSP Spring Reception 2023 honors interns and celebrates supporters

MGSP Spring Reception 2023 honors interns and celebrates supporters

May 25, 2023

MSU’s Department of Political Science and Michigan Government Semester Program celebrated the 22 students participating in the intensive internship program this Spring semester and thanked supporters of the program. We were delighted to have Senate Majority Leader, Winnie Brinks, join us as our Keynote Speaker.

PLS senior awarded College of Social Science Humanitarian Award

PLS senior awarded College of Social Science Humanitarian Award

May 16, 2023

World Politics senior Zachary Zahrt has been awarded the College of Social Science Humanitarian Award for "providing support, aid and action designed to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of crises."