Political Science Faculty and Recent Alum Present Research

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Political science professors John Williams, JD, and Dr. Brian Roberts (on the right) presented papers at the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) held in Chicago in April. One of the largest annual gatherings of political science scholars in the United States, MPSA represents a valuable opportunity for Principia faculty to share research with other education professionals.

Williams (C'76), chair of the Political Science Department, presented two papers: “What Does Campaign Advertising Tell Us: Multiple Measures of Its Effectiveness” and “Rejecting the Negative: Multiple Measures of Local Voter Response to Negative Campaigning.” The first paper came from research with his American government and elections classes in the study of the impact of over 80 direct mail campaign flyers. The second paper included data from Principia College students’ biennial election exit polling across Jersey County, where Principia College is located. Professor Williams also presented a poster entitled “Power of the Public Square: A Study in the Tibetan Autonomous Region,” based on research he conducted on location during the Tibet Abroad in summer 2013.

Roberts (C'88) presented the paper “Giving Scholarship Meaning and Application for Undergraduates: A Two-Tiered Project-Centered Approach.” In it, he documented how students integrate scholarship into the writing process, culminating in producing material for Principia’s biennial live, election-night broadcast. Roberts also represented private liberal arts colleges on the roundtable panel “Developing New Courses/Classes.”

In addition, both Roberts and Williams led discussions for poster sessions. Roberts reviewed posters for a session titled “Presidential Politics,” while Williams reviewed posters for “The Politics of Mass Media and the Internet.” Professor Williams also chaired a research panel titled “Analyzing Persuasion and Mobilization in Electoral Politics.”

Also speaking at the meeting was recent graduate and political science major Sarah Andrews (C’07), who is earning her doctorate in foreign affairs at the University of Virginia. Andrews presented her research, “Agricultural Policy as Political Tool Under Multiparty Elections: Evidence from Malawi,” on the panel “Promises, Promises: Patronage and Electoral Outcomes in Africa.”