Politics and International Relations

All Majors & Minors

Politics & IR graduates complete honors theses and win awards

Our 2019 graduates conducted impressive independent research projects and earn recognition for their work

Each year, the Department of Politics and International Relations honors particularly accomplished graduates majoring in Politics or International Relations with several awards. This year, the Department announced the following awards at our end-of-year celebration on May 9:

  • The Heller Prize was established by Flloyd E. Heller, Jr., 1933, in his will as a memorial to his father, Flloyd E. Heller, Sr., his wife, Mary Francis Heller and himself. The prize is awarded to a student in his/her senior years to the student who has achieved outstanding grades and accomplishment. This year, the Heller Prize was awarded to Cori Cichowicz. In addition to outstanding coursework, Cori also conducted Summer Fellows research, leading to her Honors thesis, Oral Argument Tactics on the Supreme Court Bench: A Comparative Analysis of Verbal Tools Used by Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Gorsuch.

  • The Joseph Melrose, Jr. Prize was established in 2016 in memory of of the late U.S. Ambassador Joseph H. Melrose Jr. ’66 and is awarded to the graduating senior or seniors who, in the judgment of the faculty, have demonstrated a strong intellectual curiosity, concern for overlooked and underdeveloped areas, a global perspective and a sense of adventure. This year, the Melrose Prize was awarded jointly to Chelsey Thomas and Anika Backelin-Harrison.

    • Chelsey Thomas led the Ursinus College delegation to the 2019 National Model United Nations conference as a head delegate. Chelsey also served as one of the inaugural Melrose Fellows. During her semester in Washington, Chelsey interned with the National Immigration Forum. In 2018, Chelsey also was selected as a Summer Fellow to complete her project “A Mile in My Shoes: A Resource Website for First Generation Immigrants”.
    • Anika Backelin-Harrison, a double major in International Relations and Gender & Women’s Studies, spent her junior year in India and Great Britain. Combining her time abroad with her academic interests, Anika conducted Summer Fellows research that continued as an Honors thesis entitled Politics, Protest and Patience: Gendered Rights and Human Security in India and South Korea.
  • The Eugene Miller Prize was endowed by the Honorable Hermann Frederick Eilts ’43 for the best essay written in the fields of Politics and International Relations. It was awarded jointly to Roumaissaa Tailassane and Greg Stryker.

    • Roumaissaa Tailassane received the Miller prize for her distinguished Honor’s thesis Women’s Rights and Representation in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey: The Patriarchal Domination of Religious Interpretations.
    • Greg Stryker received the Miller prize for his honors thesis on The Far Right in Europe: The Effects of the Migrant Crisis on European Enlargement.
  • The Mary Onopchenko Prize was created in memory of Mary Onopchenko ’85 for an outstanding senior who plans a career in law. This year, the Onopchenko Prize was awarded to Cori Cichowicz, who will be attending William & Mary Law School after graduating from Ursinus.

  • The Robert Trucksess Prize was established by Robert Trucksess ’19 for a student in the senior class who plans to study law and has shown unusual promise. This year, the Trucksess Prize was awarded to Megan McTaggart.

  • Charlotte Rohrer continued her Summer Fellows research and earned Honors in Politics for her thesis on The Effect of Foreign Aid on Political Violence: Learning From Case Studies of Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

  • John Solomon graduated with Honors in International Relations, completing his thesis on Liberation in Southern Africa: Comparing Democratic Consolidation in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

In addition to departmental awards and honors theses, three students majoring in Politics and International Relations graduated as members of Phi Beta Kappa, the prestigious national honor society: Cori Cichowicz, John Solomon, and Greg Stryker.

Congratulations to our award recipients and honorees!