Kansas State University


Political Science

Author: Krista Bohnenblust

A Note from the Department Head

Jeff PickeringK-State has set a lofty goal of becoming a top 50 public research university by 2025. This goal has multiple components, but two are perhaps central. The first is a positive, student-centered atmosphere with a concentration on excellent teaching. The second is outstanding scholarship and research, which informs and improves instruction while it simultaneously benefits society as a whole. As you know, K-State Political Science has been successful in both of these key endeavors for some time, and we continue to move from strength to strength.

We are going to highlight our commitment to students and to research success in a series of e-newsletters this fall (you probably noticed the change in format!).  The first e-newsletter will focus on the accomplishments of our outstanding undergraduate majors and our faculty’s commitment to undergraduate teaching. The second will share information on our recent research accomplishments, which continue to raise the department’s visibility in the US and across the globe. We will also highlight the generous charitable gifts provided by alumni and friends in this second fall e-newsletter installment. We could never do many of the positive, enriching things that we do without your support.

The third e-newsletter will concentrate on our graduate programs, which are in the process of undergoing substantial revision following feedback from students, the MPA program executive advisory council, and outside evaluators. We consistently work to improve our already strong graduate programs (as we do our undergraduate programs and all of our academic endeavors), and always welcome your ideas for further improvement.     

We would also appreciate feedback on our new e-newsletter format.  We are excited about it because it allows us to communicate with you more frequently and to provide a little more depth to the information that we share.  Don’t worry – we would certainly never overload your email in-box! We know that life is frequently busy in today’s world, and that there is such a thing as “too much information.”  We would be honored, however, to share highlights with you periodically.

As always, if you happen to be in Manhattan, please stop by and visit!  

Jeffrey Pickering
Department Head

A Note from the Department Head

Jeff PickeringAs promised last month, this is the second installment of KSU Political Science’s fall newsletter. This installment focuses on some of the research accomplishments of our faculty. As this brief glimpse should indicate, we are increasingly becoming an energetic hub of research activity in the profession. Major scholars visit our campus, our faculty are invited to give talks around the world, and we continue to publish in the most visible and elite outlets in the discipline. Such research activity not only helps our faculty members bring relevant, cutting edge knowledge into the classroom, it bolsters the reputation of our professors and helps to open doors for our students.

In fact, it would probably be hard to enumerate the many tangible and intangible benefits that our sustained research productivity has for both students and the department. Such benefits are definitely “felt” in the energy of an active department nonetheless, as are various positive outcomes for students, alumni and faculty.

As always, we welcome your feedback on this newsletter or on any other matter.

Jeffrey Pickering
Department Head



KSU Political Science Honor Roll of Giving July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013

Of course, generous gifts by alumni and friends are important to the success of our students (highlighted in last month’s newsletter) and our faculty (highlighted below). Such donations have helped us to support talented undergraduates, attract quality graduate students, enhance our instructional and research equipment, host outstanding scholars for interactive visits (see above), and send our students to conferences to present their research findings. We are extremely thankful to those who have contributed to the department, and are pleased to recognize many of them in our Honor Roll of Giving.

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Faculty Highlights

As you surely know from recent newsletters, the national and international visibility of KSU’s Department of Political Science continues to grow. As KSU advances toward the goal of becoming a top 50 public research university by 2025, political science faculty have been producing a steady stream of publications in the leading journals of the discipline and have accumulated a number of professional accolades. Given the volume of our recent activity, we can’t outline all of our faculty’s professional feats. We can, however, provide a few highlights from the past year.

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Senior a Finalist for the Truman Fellowship


Macy Warburton, senior in Political Science, was a finalist for the prestigious Truman Fellowship this past spring. The Truman Fellowship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study for those interested in careers in public service. Warburton has won numerous scholarships at KSU, including the National Society of Collegiate Scholars Merit Award, the Putnam Shcolarship, the McKelvie Scholarship, and the Political Science Department Award of Excellence.

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Fliter and Heidbreder Win Major Teaching Awards

KSU’s Department of Political Science has a long history of teaching excellence. Our professors have won the most prestigious teaching awards that Kansas State University bestows, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Commerce Bank Undergraduate Outstanding Teaching Award, and the William L. Stamey Award for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence. This year is no exception, as two of our faculty members have once again won prominent teaching honors.

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Senior Elected Student Body President

Schooley, Unruh Celebrate Election Results with Friends
Jacob Unruh (left) and Eli Schooley (right)

Eli Schooley, senior in Political Science and Pre-Law, was elected KSU Student Body President for the coming academic year. In this capacity, Schooley’s primary responsibility will be to represent the student body and voice student needs and wishes to the university administration, faculty, staff, and the K-State family. He will also serve on the KSU President’s Advisory Council, serve as a member of Faculty Senate and the Faculty Senate Committee on University Planning, and represent KSU students at the Kansas Board of Regents.

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A Note from the Department Head

Pickering (2)KSU’s Political Science department continues to move from strength to strength. As you know, our faculty and staff are committed to providing a world class educational experience to all K-Staters, and these efforts are increasingly being recognized. One of our students recently won a top mock trial attorney award and others have won notable K-State scholarships. Our graduate programs were recently ranked 13th in the country, ahead of the political science programs at Duke, Stanford and Yale. Needless to say, it is an exciting time at your alma mater and enthusiasm is evident among our faculty and staff.

For the fourth straight year, 100% of the employees in the department contributed to K-State’s All-University Campaign, giving back their own earnings to support not only our students, but the department and its future. Obviously, we believe in the Department of Political Science at Kansas State University and the experience it has provided for generation after generation of K-Staters, and we hope you do too!

Below you will find some highlights from the past year. If you are in Manhattan, please consider dropping by to say hello. Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday season.

Jeff Pickering
Department Head

Model UN Team Re-Launched

Model UN team at St. Louis competition

Kansas State University’s Model United Nations team has successfully returned to competition. The team won three awards at the 54th Midwest Model UN Conference in St. Louis in February and four awards at the American Model UN International in Chicago in November. These were the first Kansas State University teams to compete at Model UN competitions in over 30 years.

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Students Win Awards

Hope Faflick

Torrey Peterson (2014 B.S. Political Science) won the top attorney award at the American Mock Trial Association regional qualification tournament last spring. Even more impressive, she was the only student attorney to earn a perfect score in the competition! Peterson now attends Saint Louis University School of Law.

Hope Faflick, senior in political science, received a Mark Chapman scholarship from KSU which allowed her to pursue her interest in helping to develop civil society in Maynmar.

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