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Political Science

Department News

January 23, 2023

One of our faculty, Dr. Ram, received a Fulbright Schuman European Union Affairs US Scholar research grant and recently returned from her trip to Europe. You can read a story she wrote about her experience. You can also read her Fulbright blog post on "The Language of Communication and Cooperation."

Dr. Ram at Zagreb University

August 22, 2022

Fresno State's Pi Sigma Alpha chapter honored! Read the letter from the national office:

Dear President Jiménez-Sandoval and Dr. Bryant,
It gives me great pleasure to inform you that California State University, Fresno's Alpha Delta Beta chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honors Society, has been awarded a Best Chapter Award for 2021-2022. This is the second consecutive year the chapter has earned this award, which is quite an achievement! These awards are intended to recognize local chapters that are particularly active in their institutions and communities and embody our society’s mission to stimulate scholarship and intellectual interest in political science. Dr. Everett Vieiera III serves as faculty advisor to the chapter and should be recognized for his extraordinary leadership and dedication to the students who are members of the chapter. We'd also like to recognize Ann Kreuscher (chapter president), Jenna Perez (chapter vice president), Alex Walker (chapter treasurer), and Jesse Castellanos for their student leadership.

The Alpha Delta Beta chapter will be awarded along with four other chapters from institutions similar in size, out of over 800 Pi Sigma Alpha chapters. We were impressed with the chapter’s achievements in developing activities supporting student research, especially given the significant challenges faculty and students around the world continue to face due to the COVID pandemic.

The award includes a cash prize of $500 for the chapter, as well as an additional $200 to the advisor for their service. In addition, winners will be announced across our digital platforms and will be featured in the American Political Science Association’s magazine, Political Science Today.

We hope that you will highlight this important achievement across your campus platforms, and welcome any questions you may have.

Tanya B. Schwarz, PhDExecutive Director | Pi Sigma Alpha
1527 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036-1206 


May 19, 2022

Steven Hensley

Stephen Hensley - 2022 President's Undergraduate Medalist 
Stephen Hensley, a double major in Political Science and Philosophy (Pre-Law), was selected as the President’s Undergraduate Medalist, which is the University’s top honor for an undergraduate student. Stephen is also graduating with COSS Honors and his senior honors thesis was titled, "Carceral Mechanisms of Political Repression in Post-Soviet Russia and Georgia." Incarcerated at age 17, Stephen earned college credit while in prison and upon release, entered Fresno State’s Project Rebound, a program to help formerly incarcerated individuals earn their degrees. Once at Fresno State, he became a student coordinator for Bulldogs for Recovery; co-founded Youngsters for a Change, a nonprofit to help at-risk and formerly incarcerated youth; and serves as co-chair of the Fresno County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Stephen will be attending the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in the Fall. 

May 16, 2022

Congratulations to our outstanding graduates and to all of our graduating students!!
 Ann Kreauscher

Ann Kreuscher - 2022 Outstanding Political Science Student
Ann is our department's Outstanding Student for 2022. She is Smittcamp Honors College Presidential Scholar and is graduating with COSS Honors. Her honors thesis, "Pay to Play: Gender and Partisan Differences in the Net Worth between Congressional Candidates and Incumbents", was presented at the Midwest Political Science Association's Annual meeting in 2021. Ann served our majors as the President of Pi Sigma Alpha, and under her leadership, the chapter won the Best Chapter Award from the national organization. Ann also represented the department and Fresno State in the prestigious Panetta Fellowship, spending a semester working in Congressional Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy's D.C. office for the Fall 2021 semester. In her four years at Fresno State, she interned for four other members of the U.S. House of Representatives from the Central Valley. She also interned with the Fresno County District Attorney's office and the U.S. Federal Prosecutor's office. Additionally, Ann worked as a student assistant in the Department of Political Science and held a part-time job outside of school. After graduation, Ann will be attending the University of Virginia School of Law. 

Laura Clark

Laura Clark - 2022 Outstanding Graduate Student, MPA & College of Social Science Outstanding Thesis Award
Laura was selected as our Outstanding Graduate Student (Masters of Public Administration)and the COSS Outstanding Thesis recipient for 2022! Laura's thesis, "The Administration/ Educator Influence on the Transition of Students, with Idea Services, from K-12 to Postsecondary/ College During the COVID-19 Pandemic," examined how administrators play a role in guiding students into either a 2 or 4-year institution for their higher educational path. The results are now being presented to local school districts and community colleges. The study has opened discussions between community colleges and the Fresno Unified School District on how to serve students with differing abilities better. In the future, Clark is interested in leveraging any opportunities and connections to assist local educators in helping K-12 students with IEPs transition to a positive postsecondary experience.

Alex Walker

Alex C. Walker, 2022 Svenson Award Recipient
Alex Walker is the inaugural recipient of the Karl Svenson Award. This award, named for former Fresno State Political Science Professor, Dr. Karl Svenson, honors a student who has shown "outstanding academic prowess" in Political Science. Alex, a transfer student from West Hills Community College, entered Fresno State during the pandemic and has demonstrated both outstanding academic and outstanding campus leadership from the beginning. He participated in the COSS Honors Program and in addition to his BA in Political Science will graduate with certificates in legal studies and in social justice and social change. In 2022, Alex was the President of the College of Social Sciences Student Leadership Council. He also served as Vice President of Central Americans For Empowerment, a Peer Mentor for the COSS Linked Peer Mentor Program, was the ASI Election Commissioner, Vice-Chair of the ASI Legal Committee, the campus student representative for the President's Enrollment Management Advisory Group, and the student representative for the Academic Subcommittee on Grading. He has applied to the Capital Fellows Program and plans on studying for the LSAT and applying to law school next year. 

March 30, 2022

The Department is thrilled to announce that Dr. Melanie Ram, professor and former department chair, has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Schuman European Union fellowship for the fall semester of 2022. As a Fulbright scholar, Dr. Ram will be traveling to Italy, Croatia, and Romania to study sub-regional organizations, interorganizational collaboration, and regional cooperation in Southeastern Europe. She will also take time to meet and interact with faculty and students at universities in these countries to share her research. Congratulations, Dr. Ram!

Dr. Ram Headshot