HomepagePolitics and International RelationsPolitics & IR Graduates Conduct Independent Research, Earn Commencement Awards and Honors

Politics & IR Graduates Conduct Independent Research, Earn Commencement Awards and Honors

During a challenging 2020-21 academic year, Politics & IR students complete independent research projects and earn high academic honors

Our 2021 graduates conducted impressive independent research projects, served as campus leaders throughout their years at Ursinus, and earned recognition for their work.

  • Jacob Kang began his research on asylum policy in France as a Summer Fellow and completed this work with an interdisciplinary Honors thesis in International Relations and French. The department recognized Jacob’s work with the Eugene Miller Prize for this year’s best research paper, and Jacob was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the prestigious national honor society.

  • Mary Margaret Baldy examined the political economy of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on labor market policies, such as unemployment benefits. Her timely Honors thesis was also honored with the Eugene Miller Prize for this year’s best research paper. Mary Margaret graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

  • Shayna Kushner’s Honors thesis researched how survivors of sexual violence in armed conflict have engaged in global efforts to bring justice and accountability after severe human rights abuses. Shayna’s research and her global experience during her Ursinus career (including studying abroad in Morocco, interning with a women’s rights NGO, and winning an award at the National Model United Nations conference) were honored with the Joseph Melrose, Jr. Prize. Shayna graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

  • Carver Wolfe wrote her Honors thesis in Politics and French on the evolution of policies and laws covering sex work in France, a project that began while Carver studied and interned in Strasbourg. Her commitment to eradicating sexual violence also manifested itself in her work with the Peer Advocates on campus. Carver’s academic work, concern for others, and global outlook were honored with the Joseph Melrose, Jr. Prize. Carver graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

  • Emily Harris capped off her senior year with organizing the first TEDx event on the Ursinus campus. As a Bonner Leader, Melrose Fellow, and campus leader in many other capacities, Emily studied abroad in Sevilla and was part of an award-winning delegation to the National Model United Nations conference. Her achievements were recognized with the Heller Prize for outstanding grades and accomplishment in the field of politics. Emily graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

  • Gillianne Lux conducted her Honors research on the role of pop culture exports for global political soft power, comparing the cases of Japan and South Korea. Gillianne’s research benefited from studying abroad in Japan. Recognizing her research and other high academic achievements, the department awarded Gillianne with the Heller Prize. Gillianne graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

  • Maggie Frymoyer, vice president of the Ursinus College Student Government and a double major in Politics and Anthropology & Sociology, was honored with the Award for Student Leadership in Politics. During her career at Ursinus, Maggie served in student government and other campus organizations in various capacities, and led Ursinus students as a head delegate to winning a delegation award at the 2021 National Model United Nations conference.

  • Liam Close conducted an independent research project examining whether political leaders’ gender influenced the design and effectiveness of state-level responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. Collecting new data, Liam found that in the context of the United States, partisanship was a much stronger influence on policy responses than gender, unlike findings in other parts of the world.

The Department of Politics & International Relations is proud of all of its graduating members of the class of 2021!

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