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Political Science

From Interim Dean Andrew Giacomazzi

Political Science at Boise State

These are certainly interesting times in American political life. Recent events have revealed deep fractures in and challenges to our democracy. It often seems like our ability to understand each other and to communicate with civility about important and difficult subjects has gone by the wayside.

I understand these concerns. But I also see many reasons to be hopeful.

In this issue of Public Interest, we’ll introduce you to faculty and students from our Political Science program. You’ll meet faculty working diligently to educate a new generation of leaders, even in the midst of a pandemic. You’ll also meet students who have overcome obstacles to achieve their goals and who are working to make our community better for everyone. And, we’ll show you how YOU can contribute to the success of these hard-working students.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading about our students and faculty who don’t simply study political science, but who also make a positive difference in our political discussion and in our public life. Working, as always, in the public interest.

Thanks for reading,

Andrew Giacomazzi
Interim Dean, School of Public Service
Boise State University

Stephanie Witt Scholarship

Eye on Student Success

The Stephanie Witt Political Science Scholarship was established in 2007 by Dr. Stephanie Witt to provide assistance to students enrolled full time as Political Science majors. The scholarship has been awarded to more than a dozen students since its inception. Professor Witt has been teaching at Boise State since 1989 and is currently a professor of Political Science and Public Policy & Administration.

With additional support from like-minded constituents, even more public policy graduate students will be able to receive advanced degrees and acquire sought-after leadership positions within their chosen fields. Please consider supporting our students by contributing to any of our political sciences scholarships.

Support Student Success Today!
Student Spotlight

Political Science Student Kimberly Van Maren

Political Science Honors student Kimberly Van Maren tells us:

  1. Why she chose Boise State
  2. What makes Boise State a great place to study political science
  3. How her internship helps prepare her for her future career
  4. Her favorite Political Science course
  5. How receiving a scholarship has helped with her college experience
  6. How she is planning on using her Political Science degree after graduation

Watch the full interview with Kimberly Van Maren

Why Boise State

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Why study Political Science in Boise?

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Favorite Political Science Courses

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Future Plans

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Academics Talking Academics in Elevators

In another exciting edition of Academics Talking Academics in Elevators, School of Public Service Interim Dean Andy Giacomazzi and Political Science Program Lead Lori Hausegger discuss:

  • What makes Boise State an exciting place to study Political Science?
  • What can students do with a degree in Political Science?
  • What are our Political Science faculty working on?
  • What kind of hands-on learning opportunities exist for Political Science students?
  • What can alumni and friends do to help students be successful?
Hamud will graduate with Boise State Political Science Degree in May 2022 and is Boise State's fifth Truman scholar

Halima Hamud awarded Truman Scholarship

Halima Hamud has been awarded the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship for her tremendous academic success and leadership accomplishments. She is one of 62 scholars selected this year out of a record number of 845 candidates who were nominated by 328 colleges and universities.

The scholarship will fund her graduate studies in international relations with a focus in East African studies.

“My family has made sacrifices for my education, and I will make them proud,” she said. “I will advance to higher education and bring my dreams into fruition. I have embodied my mother’s courageousness, discipline, perseverance and passion for women’s advancement. I am ready to do the work.” After she completes her graduate studies, Hamud wants to work with agencies to develop workshops on skill building and job training for women who were refugees. She’s determined to remove the economic barriers that currently exist for refugees by providing women with the opportunity to grow and strengthen their skills through educational initiatives and community outreach.

“Halima is a model of wisdom, intelligence, generosity, thoughtfulness and care for her community,” said Boise State University president Marlene Tromp. “An extraordinary person, she is committed to using her education to make the world a better place. We are so proud of her accomplishments and this exceptional honor.”

Read more in Boise State News
Internship Spotlight - Cooper Conway

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

In February of 2020, I had a plan in my head of how the rest of the year would go. In the summer, I would head to Taiwan as a fellow in the College of Business and Economics Asia Biztech program. After a successful and rewarding experience there, I would head to Washington DC, where I would intern during the day and take classes at night on the University of California system’s Washington DC campus. What a great plan, right? What could go wrong? Well, COVID-19 touched down in America soon after, and my plans shifted.

Read more about Cooper Conway's internship in DC
(left to right) Abby Woods, Liz Fuller, Carmen Bulovsky

Boise State Students Take Home National Honor for Using Social Media to Combat Hate and Extremism

A team of Boise State students placed third in a national social media competition hosted by the McCain Institute at Arizona State University. The Institute’s Peer to Peer (P2P): Protective Project competition sought unique and creative solutions to counter targeted hate and violence.

Liz Fuller, Carmen Bulovsky, and Abby Woods presented on the Boise S.E.E.D. (Students for Equity, Equality, and Diversity) project, a student-run endeavor that aims to combat hate and violent extremism in our community.

Read more about this award-winning project on our website

Honors and Recognition

Karla Magana

Political Science student Karla Magaña selected for fellowship

Congratulations to Karla Magaña, an honors college senior and Boise State Top 10 Scholar studying political science. Karla, a first-generation college student, has been chosen by the American Political Science Association as one of 18 Diversity Fellowship Program Fellows in the U.S. for 2021-2022.

A McNair Scholar, Magaña is currently conducting independent research regarding local government transparency, Latinx farmworkers, and COIVD-19 infection rates. She hopes to attain her PhD, become a professor of political science, and to inspire other first-generation students of color to pursue careers as scholars.

Read more about the American Political Science Association Diversity Fellowship

Jaci Kettler receives Advisor of the Year Award from Fraternity and Sorority Life

Dr. Jaci Kettler, Assistant Professor of Political Science, has been honored with the 2020 Fraternity and Sorority Life Advisor of the Year Award. Jaci serves as the advisor for Boise State’s chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha, providing academic resources and programming to members of the chapter.

Pi sigma alpha logo

Boise State Student Presents at National Honors Conference
Robert Herold, a Political Science student pursuing an accelerated Master’s Degree, recently represented Boise State in the 8th Annual Pi Sigma Alpha National Student Research Conference. Pi Sigma Alpha is the national honor society for Political Science students.

Herold presented to a theory panel which included students from Heidelberg University, Florida International University, Columbia University, and the University of Vermont. Presenting to his second Pi Sigma Alpha conference, Herold continued a strong tradition of Boise State representation. Six chapter members from Boise State have taken part in previous conferences, two of whom are now working toward doctorates in Political Science.