In POSC News

Ange-Marie Hancock on Melissa Harris-Perry

November 2015 — Prof. Ange-Marie Hancock was a featured guest on a special West Coast edition of Melissa Harris-Perry's MSNBC show. Along with former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez, Prof. Hancock discussed California's tendency toward progressive legislative policies, specifically mentioning how the Integrative Voter Engagement program has influenced issues such as prison reform and education.  View the discussion here.

Alison Dundes Renteln presents talks in Europe

November 2015 — Prof. Alison Dundes Renteln presented several talks across Europe this fall. They included:

Video of her talk at the Frankfort Reaserch Center can be seen here.

Register for Spring 2016 POSC classes!

November 2015 — It's that time in the semester (already!) when we send strong hints about registering for your Spring 2016 POSC classes. A few that we think might strike your fancy include:

POSC 360: Comparative Political Institutions

POSC 422: Political Attitudes and Behaviors

POSC 439: Critical Issues in American Politics

  • Section 52105: Environmental Participation
  • Section 52107: Campaign Strategies and Elections

POSC 469: Critical Issues in Comparative Politics

  • Section 52145: Social Policy in the European Union
  • Section 52150: Political Leaders in Turbulent Times
  • Section 52155: Arab Uprising - Authoritarian Breakdown and Democratic Transitions

POSC 479: African American Political Thought (Critical Issues in Political Thought)

POSC 499: Women in Politics (Special Topics)

Click here to register now before classes fill up!

Political Conversations + Republican Debate Viewing Party

October 2015 POSC, the Unruh Institute, and the PSA hosted a joint event combining a Political Conversations featuring political analyst Doug Schoen and a lively public viewing of the third Republican Presidential Debate. During commercial breaks, Prof. Dan Schnur moderated a student panel featuring Daily Trojan news editor Anshu Siripurapu and USC College Republicans Vice President Leesa Danzek.  And pizza was had by all – good times!  The Daily Trojan reported the event here.

Dornsife News profiles POSC students' trip to Harvard IOP

October 2015 Dornsife News took an in-depth look into POSC students Sarah Dhanaphatana (POSC 2017) and David Moreno's (POSC 2016) recent conference participation at the Harvard Institute of Politics (IOP) National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement.  Click here for the article on Dhanaphatana and Moreno's efforts to increase voter participation among young people.

Christian Grose interviewed about presidential debate

October 2015 Prof. Christian Grose was interviewed by CBS News Burlington, VT affiliate WCAX-TV about the first Democratic presidential debate and how it affected the candidates’ campaigns. Prof. Grose said that "the debate presents a real opportunity for Hillary Clinton to start fresh, to kind of get past the scandals."  Watch the interview here.

Ange-Marie Hancock quoted in Al Jazeera America

September 2015 Prof. Ange-Marie Hancock was quoted in Al Jazeera America about the California Fair Pay Act, which would help address the gender income gap.  Prof. Hancock contributed that the proposed law will make employers have "to demonstrate and report that they are in fact paying people equally.”  Read her insights here.

Dan Schnur's Wall Street Journal Op-ed

September 2015 Prof. Dan Schnur wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal's "Think Tank" series about the resignation of Speaker of the House John Boehner.  Prof. Schnur questions the ability of Congress to work together and accomplish things across party lines, and speculates on how Boehner's presumed successor, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, will deal with such a politically fractured Congress.  The entire read can be found here.

Sarah Dhanaphatana and David Moreno attend Harvard Institute of Politics Conference

September 2015 POSC students Sarah Dhanaphatana (POSC 2017) and David Moreno (POSC 2016) recently represented USC at a Harvard Institute of Politics conference, “Campus Activation: Increasing Student Voting and Political Engagement”. Joining students from across the country, Dhanaphatana and Moreno attended lectures by political practitioners, expert organizers and noteworthy journalists on voter registration and campus political engagement. Read details of their experience here.

Welcome Back! Undergraduate Luncheon

September 2015 — Students, faculty and student groups mingled over a generous buffet lunch, and several students walked away with great prizes from our raffle! Check out pictures from the event here.

Bob Shrum welcomes Jon Favreau to Political Conversations

September 2015  The first Political Conversations of 2015-2016 got off to an enthusiastic start as Prof. Bob Shrum engaged Jon Favreau of Fenway Strategies about his time as former Director of Speechwriting for President Obama. Check out the Daily Trojan's coverage of the event here.

Welcome, and welcome back!

August 2015 Exciting things are in store for this new school year in Political Science! We've got new speakers lined up for our Political Conversations series, a Welcome Back Luncheon featuring a special raffle of great gifts for all of our majors and minors, information sessions for the Trial Advocacy Program (Mock Trial), and so much more!  And don't forget to register for POSC classes: more info can be found here.

Bookmark our homepage and check back often for news updates and announcements.  Welcome to Fall 2015 and Fight On!

Jeb Barnes' How Policy Shapes Politics Q & A in Dornsife News

July 2015 Dornsife News liked our article on Prof. Jeb Barnes' new book, How Policy Shapes Politics, so much they decided to feature it in their news section!

POSC's Maymester class is a success in Washington, D.C.

July 2015 Prof. Bob Shrum's Maymester course, "How Washington Works - and Doesn't" brought POSC students right into the thick of practical politics in Washington, D.C. Click here for an in-depth read on the how the Maymester program gave a select group of POSC students first-hand interactions with major political players in Washington.  Thanks to Dornsife News for their coverage on the program to POIR student Ben Cohn for documenting the experience. 

Bailee Ahern and Trevor Kehrer selected for 2015-2016 Lesher Family Scholarship

June 2015 Bailee Ahern and Trevor Kehrer (both POSC 2018) have been awarded the 2015-2016 Lesher Family Scholarship. Bailee and Trevor both show exemplary academic and personal achievements as POSC majors interested in issues of human rights, political freedom, law, and public policy. Congratulations Bailee and Trevor!

Nathaniel Haas, POSC 2015, pens article for Politico

May 2015 As an intern at Politico through Prof. Bob Shrum's Maymester course in Washington, D.C., Nathaniel Haas, POSC 2015, recently wrote an article for the go-to political blog about John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight's" take on how mega-poultry processors treat their chicken farmers and how D.C. lawmakers may get involved. Click here for the full article.

Several POSC students take home major USC awards

May 2015 During Commencement 2015, several POSC students were recognized with prestigious USC awards:

Order of Troy

Jennifer Glaeser
Katherine Grabar
Maddie Lees
Patrick Mazuca

Order of the Laurel and the Palm

Catherine Brackett
Oscar De Los Santos
Roxana Ontiveros
James White

Renaissance Scholar

Rachel Jones

Harry S. Truman Scholarship

Oscar De Los Santos

Andrew Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships

Rachel Jones
Roxana Ontiveros

Congratulations on these wonderful achievements, and Fight On!

Congratulations Class of 2015!

May 2015 — The Department of Political Science wishes all the best to all of our graduates! Here are pictures of a great Commencement weekend. Please keep us posted of your accomplishments as you go forward in your careers by e-mailing us at  

Richard Dekmejian wins Carnegie Corporation research grant

May 2015 Prof. Richard Dekemejian has been awarded a research grant by Carnegie Corporation of New York for his project “Dialectics and Dynamics of Islamist Radicalism.” His research project involves multidisciplinary analysis of the causal factors and progressive radicalization of Islamist ideologies and social movements, culminating in revolutionary jihadism in recent decades. Specific research objectives include reaching a deeper understanding of the upsurge of extremism and deriving policy responses to counter the social-spiritual mass appeal and advance of revolutionary jihadism.

Kyra Schoonover and Steven Weier selected for 2015-2016 Michael B. Preston Scholarship

April 2015 Kyra Schoonover, POSC 2017, and Steven Weier, POSC 2016, are the recipients of the inaugural Michael B. Preston Scholarship in Urban Politics and Civil Rights. Both Kyra and Steven exemplify outstanding intellectual drive and passion for positive social change, and their work thoroughly embodies the spirit of Dr. Preston's great legacy of scholarship and service. Congratulations Kyra and Steven!

Sara Worth, POSC/ENGL 2015, wins Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Award

April 2015 Sara Worth, a POSC/ENGL double major, was honored at the 2015 Academic Honors Convocation with the Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Award for her stellar work in both English Literature and Political Science. Sara described her experience at the Convocation as "humbling", and she was grateful to be able to personally thank Dr. Jerry Walker, founder of the Honors Convocation, and Associate Provost Robin Romans, Director of USC's Epsilon Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. "It meant a great deal to be honored by an organization whose ideals I so admire -- a commitment to the liberal arts, to intellectual inquiry, and to the pursuit of collective knowledge," said Sara. She was also especially grateful to share the proud moment with her loving and supportive parents.

Next up for Sara: finishing her English Honors Thesis on Thomas Pynchon's California novels. After graduation, she hopes to combine her passions for storytelling and politics by working in political communication. Sara says "As a proud native daughter, I want to help make Los Angeles a more prosperous, progressive, creative, and environmentally sustainable city of the 21st century."

Congratulations, Sara!

Bob Shrum receives Lifetime Achievement Award

March 2015 The American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) honored Prof. Bob Shrum with its Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted him into AAPC Hall of Fame.  This is the highest honor that working members of the profession can bestow upon a colleague. Shrum received the honor at a ceremony held on March 18 at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, during the 2015 AAPC Pollie Awards and Conference.

Ann Crigler's POSC 420 class helps USC Penny Harvest Spring Leadership Academy

March 2015 The USC Penny Harvest program is the result of a growing partnership among elementary schools in the neighborhoods surrounding the USC University Park and Health Sciences campuses. During the Penny Harvest Spring Leadership Academy on March 10, students from Prof. Ann Crigler’s POSC 420 class helped youngsters prepare to advocate for a social issue they had selected.

Olu Orange Wins California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award

February 2015 California Lawyer magazine has announced that Dornsife Trial Advocacy Program Director Olu Orange has been selected as a 2015 recipient of its coveted California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) award, to be presented in March by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

Prof. Orange was announced as an honoree in the Civil Rights category for his Ninth Circuit victory in Chaudhry v. Los Angeles. The Chaudhry case established the precedent that pre-death pain and suffering damages can be recovered by the survivors of victims of federal civil rights violations which cause death – effectively ending “the perverse effect of making it more economically advantageous for a defendant to kill rather than injure his victim,” as written by presiding Judge William A. Fletcher.

The CLAY awards recognize those attorneys in California whose work has a profound, far-reaching impact, according to the magazine. Prof. Orange has also been selected as a 2015 Southern California Super Lawyer and is a 2014 member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100.

Jeb Barnes' article in the Washington Post's "The Monkey Cage" Blog

February 2015 In line with their new book, How Policy Shapes Politics, Prof. Jeb Barnes and co-author Thomas Burke breakdown the challenges of attempting to reform the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.

Nancy Pelosi at the latest Political Conversations

February 2015 U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke to nearly 200 USC students, faculty and guests at a special edition of POSC's Political Conversations series, discussing her rise to political office and the feasibility of bipartisanship in a Republican-dominated Congress.  Read more about this special event from the Daily Trojan here, and from USC Dornsife here.

Stanley Rosen's take on Hollywood and China

February 2015 — For the U.S. movie industry, China is a critical market to crack. Domestic box office numbers have been floundering in recent years and engaging Chinese audiences may be the key to keeping the U.S. market afloat. Prof. Stanley Rosen, Undergraduate Student Chair  and expert in Chinese politics, explains how Hollywood can break into the Chinese film market.

Bob Shrum a featured guest in Unruh Institute's 'Students Talk Back' series

February 2015 Prof. Bob Shrum will be participating in an exclusive series of "Students Talk Back: A Politics and Public Policy Forum" events.  The series will be centered on national politics and will feature a Republican strategist alongside Prof. Shrum.  Prof. Dan Schnur, Executive Director of the Unruh Institute, and a USC student will moderate each event. 

The dates of the series are:

  • February 18 in the Forum, RTCC 450
  • March 4 in the Rosen Room, RTCC 227
  • March 25 in the Forum, RTCC 450
  • April 15 in the Rosen Room, RTCC 227

"Students Talk Back" happens every Wednesday, 12-1pm. Lunch is included (free food!) and space is limited to those who arrive early.

2015-2016 Lesher Family scholarship in Political Science

January 2015 The Lesher Family Scholarship, established in honor of Professor Alison Dundes Renteln, provides assistance for promising undergraduate students majoring in Political Science.

Recipients of the awards must be:

  • full-time undergraduate students in 2015-2016
  • majoring in Political Science, focusing on Human Rights, Politicalreedom, International Law, Leadership, or Public Policy
  • have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • be in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress toward the completion of their academic program
  • Students graduating in Spring or Summer 2015 are not eligible to apply.

Application deadline = Friday, March 13, 2015; 5pm

Click here to download the 2015-2016 application.

Jonathan Martin and Bob Shrum talk post-Obama landscape during Political Conversations

January 2015 — Prof. Bob Shrum and New York Times National Correspondent Jonathan Martin discussed the future of both the Democratic and Republican parties, specifically candidates who may be strong contenders for their respective party's presidential tickets.  They spoke on how a very wide-open field of potential Republican candidates have to navigate appealing to their conservative base on national issues, while the Democrats need to define and attack the next major national challenge in a post-Obamacare era. As Martin put it, "That's what makes politics fun: you never know what's going to happen."

2015-2016 Michael B. Preston scholarship in Urban Politics and Civil Rights for POSC majors

December 2014 Dr. Preston was a valued professor and administrator who left behind a great legacy of teaching, scholarship and service.  This new fund will benefit undergraduate students in Political Science studying urban politics or civil rights, and will serve as a testament to Dr. Preston’s many contributions to USC Dornsife, throughout the university and the community.  For the 2015-16 academic year, two scholarship awards of $5,000 will be available.

  • Recipients of the award must be full-time undergraduate students in the 2015-16 academic year with a major in Political Science who are studying urban politics or civil rights.
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
  • Students graduating in Fall 2015 are eligible to apply.

Application deadline: Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Click here to download the 2015-16 Application.

Bob Shrum Breaks Down Midterm Elections with Adam Nagourney

November 2014 At the latest Political Conversations, Prof. Bob Shrum hosted Adam Nagourney of The New York Times to dissect the results of the 2014 Midterm Elections.  Prof. Shrum and Mr. Nagourney especially analyzed the campaign strategies of both Republicans and Democrats, and questioned if the Democrats' strategy of keeping their distance from President Obama ended up working against them.  The Daily Trojan covered the event in depth.


Additional POSC news items can be found at POSC's News Archives.

  • Department of Political Science