Graduate Student News

It has been an exciting year for the department’s graduate program.

More good news on the placement front. Cole Taratoot has defended his doctoral dissertation on “Admisnistrative Law Judge Decision Making in a Political Environment, 1991-2007”. He will graduate this summer and take up a tenure track position as assistant professor at the University of Western Kentucky.  Jeff Davis (GSU 2002) has been promoted to associate professor with tenure at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. His book, Seeking Justice from Beyond the State will be published with Cambridge in September 2009.  Chenaz Seelarbokus (GSU 2005) has returned from Mauritius, where she worked for several years after earning her doctoral degree from GSU. She has accepted a tenure track position as assistant professor in the political science department at Kennesaw State University.  She joins Jeff DeWitt (GSU 2004), who also accepted a tenure track position there a few years ago.  Eleanor Morris, a (GSU 2004), recently took a tenure track assistant professor position at Agnes Scott College.

Three more doctoral students will soon be on the job market. Xinsong (Pine) Wang is completing his dissertation, titled, "Making Sense of Village Politics in China: Institutions, Participation, and Governance.” Pine will graduate this summer. Amir Azarvan is working to complete his dissertation, titled “Investing in Repression Multinational Corporations and Human Rights in Periphery”.  Eric Hurst also expects to complete his dissertation this summer on “Assessing Stability and Dimensionality of FCC Voting: Opening the Black Box of IRC Behavior”.

Recent MA gradsClaire Gowen was hired as an associate by RTI (Research Triangle International).  She’ll be working on strategic programming for RTI’s post-conflict state programs. Amanda Moll parlayed her MA internship into a permanent position with CARE, where she is currently working in the Basic and Girls’ Education Unit. Her work there as an intern provided the foundation for her MA thesis on the role of international NGOs in promoting transnational norms.

Grants and Awards
Doctoral students received a number of important grants and honors this spring.
Vanja Petricevic has been awarded two prestigious grants to fund her dissertation field research: a European Union Fulbright grant, and Belgian American Educational Foundation Fellowship. Cyndi Michota  was awarded a $15,000 graduate fellowship with the Democracy Program of the Carter Center this spring to work on electoral observation issues. Xinsong (Pine) Wang was awarded two dissertation grants: a GSU Dissertation Grant of $1,000, and GSU’s William M. Suttles Graduate Research Fellowship of $2,000. The Suttles Fellowship is annually awarded to the best research project across all disciplines. His project was one of the only two projects awarded this year.  With the funds, from these grants, Wang was able to make the third trip to China in March to collect data for his dissertation. In total, Pine traveled for about four months in rural China, visited 12 villages, and interviewed about 150 peasants.  He is using the case data he collected in 2007 and 2008, and the data from a national survey sponsored by the Carter Center in 2005 (Pine was one of the survey project coordinators) for his dissertation on village politics in China.  Josephine Dawuni was awarded a $3000 travel grant to support dissertation field research from the West Africa Research Center. 

Shauna Reilly won this year’s Bascom Quillian award for best paper presented by a graduate student at a conference or professional meeting. Her paper, “The Public and the Court – The Impact of Supreme Court Confirmations on Public Confidence: 1971-2007,” was presented at the Fall 2007 APSA meeting. Two students in Deborah Cotton’s Global Issues classes have won college or university-wide awards for papers written in her classes. One was awarded best undergraduate research paper in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Shamara Boines was runner up in the University Library Undergraduate Research competition for her paper “Should the U.S. Adopt British Policies in Fighting the War on Drugs?”

Publications and Conference Presentations
GSU graduate students were active in presenting their work to professional colleagues. With modest financial support from the department, students presented a total of 21 papers at conferences this year, including APSA, Midwest, Southwest, Southern, and Western Political Science Associations, the International Studies Association, and the Georgia Political Science Association.

Josephine Dawuni had her work on globalization and African women published as, "Globalizing Voices: Ghanaian Women Respond to Globalization", in Ayandiji D.Aina (2007), Corruption and the Challenge of Human Development, Ilishan-Remo: Babcock University Press pp.475-489.

Deborah Cotton published her MA thesis as a monograph under the title Africa Rising: A Response to U.S. Article 98 and the International Criminal Court (Verlag Dr Muller, 2008).

Xinsong (Pine) Wang wrote a policy paper assessing the development of grassroots democracy in rural China for the Carter Center's China Program. The paper is included in the China Program's writing project evaluating the prospectives of Chinese democracy, to be published this year.

Daniel Kuthy published several articles this year including “The Down Side of Free Choice? Islamist Parties, Democratization, and US Interests” published in International Topics.

MA student Kari Mackey has worked at the Carter Center's Access to Information Project of the America's Program as an intern this year, and Sean Ding will join her there as a Carter Center intern this summer before entering the doctoral program in Political Science at the University of Maryland.  Eli Davis is working as an intern at CARE and will graduate this semester.