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. 


Michael ConteHe was nominated by Political Science Assistant Professor Marty Jordan who worked with Conte on coding nearly 5,000 lines of Republican and Democratic party platforms, nomination speeches, presidential debates and State of the Union addresses from the 1940s to the present day. 


“Michael also made an exceptional contribution to my research on asymmetric political rhetoric,” Jordan said.  “The number of lines he coded surpassed all other research assistants involved in the project. Beyond the sheer quantity, it was his quality that stood out. He utilized great attention to detail and relied on the codebook to resolve coding discrepancies. In fact, I often asked Michael to review other research assistants' coding." 


Conte’s contributions “will help us better understand how political elites shape public discourse over time. This research has implications for understanding elite rhetoric today, as well as our democratic institutions and norms,” Jordan said. 


In addition to his support with this research, Conte also helped compile an updated list of political science faculty in the state of Michigan. Conte actively engaged in biweekly discussions, displaying a keen understanding of political science research and its real-world applications, which will undoubtedly serve him well in his future professional endeavors, Jordan said.  

The Political Science Pre-Law student is graduating this month and plans to attend law school afterward to focus on business/enterprise and intellectual property law.  


I'm a very conscientious and active student, and my academics are at the top of my priority list for getting into the best law school that I can, but I also really enjoy travelling, playing sports, reading, lifting, and seeing my friends,” Conte said.  


 During his time at Michigan State, Conte was involved in student clubs and Greek life, on the Student University Hearing and Student Appeals Boards, and was an Undergraduate Research Assistant and a PAL (Peer Assisted Learner).  


“The opportunities available, the community around me, and things to do for fun were truly one of a kind and something I will always cherish and remember,” Conte said. “I'm proud to know and feel confident going forward after graduation that my education in Political Science at Michigan State imbued me with the practical skills, critical thinking abilities, and expansive understanding of the world around me necessary for excelling in my career path. The professors and supporting faculty who I learned from sparked an intellectual curiosity in me, and a greater appreciation for the cruciality of a diversity of perspectives and viewpoints in education."