Alumni Stay in Touch

Chair's Message

POLS Department Chair

Welcome back to Political Science!

It’s impossible to believe that it’s been about 18 months since I had the opportunity to update you all on the department. We’ve shifted our newsletter to a summer schedule so that we can make sure we can talk about all the awesome things happening in the department during the year.

Since our last newsletter, the students, faculty and staff in the department have done some amazing things!

  • Six faculty have achieved the rank of full professor: Ron Den Otter, Chris Den Hartog, Anika Leithner, Elizabeth Lowham, Matthew Moore, and Ning Zhang.

  • The Academic Senate awarded Ron Den Otter the 2016 Distinguished Scholarship Award and me the 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award.

  • The College of Liberal Arts awarded Matt Moore the 2017 Richard K. Simon Award for Outstanding Career Achievement in Institutional/Professional Service, Jean Williams the 2016 Richard K. Simon Award for Outstanding Career Achievement in Scholarship and me the 2017 Early Career Award for Achievement in Teaching.

  • The Department awarded 32 awards to two cohorts of deserving seniors and graduate students.

  • The campus recognized Nicole Angelini as the University Outstanding Graduate Student.

  • Mock Trial competed for the first time as one of the top 48 teams in the National Championship Tournament.

And this is on top of all the other things we have done — supporting student travel to conferences, competing for Model UN, publishing two editions of Paideia, completing program review, onboarding two awesome new staff members (Denise Curtis and Sara Wilkinson), presenting research at conferences, providing commentary and analysis on the elections, hosting debates and speakers — and the list goes on. Importantly, our students and faculty continue to push the boundaries of political, policy and legal thinking, increasing the reach and value of the Cal Poly Political Science and Public Policy degrees.

I continue to count myself among the incredibly lucky who get to work with fabulous people, passionately committed to their work and teaching a group of high-achieving students, dedicated to learning and improving the world. Your commitment to providing, as our university president says, “your time, talent or treasure” to support our students makes everything in this newsletter possible. Thank you for everything you do.

If you’d like to get more involved and reconnect with the Political Science Department or Cal Poly, we’d love to hear from you!

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