In POSC News

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.

Matthew Mendez and Christian Grose's research featured on NPR

October 2014  NPR's Shankar Verdantam questions if "subtle biases" can be applied to legislators' responses to their constituents. As part of his show Code Switch, Shankar interviewed Prof. Christian Grose about findings from his and Matthew Mendez's (POIR) study Revealing Discriminatory Intent: Legislator Preferences, Voter Identification, and Responsiveness Bias.

POSC Welcomes Undergraduates at Luncheon

September 2014 — What a wonderful way to kick off our Fall 2014 semester!  POSC students, faculty, and staff mingled, broke bread, and heard all about the new and exciting opportunities the department has to offer this school year.  Fun was had by all!  Don't believe us?  Here's proof.  Thanks to all those who came out to support!

Robert Shrum Installed as Inaugural Warschaw Chair

September 2014 — USC Dornsife honored POSC's Prof. Robert Shrum with a commemoration ceremony celebrating his installation as the inaugural Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics. The ceremony, held Sept. 17 at Town and Gown at the University Park campus, brought together Carmen and Louis’ daughter Hope Warschaw, senior university administrators, and Shrum’s family and friends. Also in attendance were L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Bobby Shriver, candidate for L.A. County Supervisor. The late USC Honorary Trustee Carmen Warschaw — a political activist, philanthropist and USC alumna — established the chair to help create civic-minded students.

Jane Junn receives 2014 Ralph Bunche Award

September 2014 — Prof. Jane Junn, and co-author Natalie Masuoka, received the 2014 Ralph Bunche Award for their book, The Politics of Belonging (University of Chicago Press). This prestigious prize is given annually by the American Political Science Association (APSA) for the best scholarly work in political science that explores the phenomenon of ethnic and cultural pluralism.  The work also received an honorable mention for APSA’s Migration and Citizenship Section book award. For more on Prof. Junn's thoughts on the book and the significance of her work, click here.

POSC Welcomes Morris Levy and Robert Shrum

August 2014 — POSC is pleased to welcome two new members to our distinguished faculty:

Morris Levy (UC Berkely) is our newest Associate Professor of Political Science, with expertise in American politics and voting.  Prof. Levy's current research on the effects of immigration in the U.S. on local support for spending on public goods addresses one of the most important issues in contemporary American politics. Look for his Fall semester class on Political Participation and American Diversity.

Robert Shrum is the inaugural holder of the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics. For the past four decades, Professor Shrum has been on the front lines of the democratic process in the United States as an advisor to candidates for the presidency, Congress, and state and local political offices. He is perhaps best known for serving as a consultant on the campaigns of Democratic presidential candidates, including George McGovern, Al Gore, and John Kerry.  This Fall Prof. Shrum is teaching "Great Races: From City Hall to the White House" as well as hosting our newest speaker series, Political Conversations.

A Warm Welcome to the Class of 2018!

Welcome back returning students! And welcome to our newest POSC students!  Hope you've had a great summer break and are ready for an exciting new school year!  Prof. Dennis Chong, Department Chair, shares some news with you here.

In Memoriam: Michael Preston

August 2014Dr. Michael Preston, USC Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives, Professor Emeritus and former Chair of Political Science in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, has died at the age of 80. Dr. Preston started USC’s first course on Black politics and produced landmark scholarship over a 40-year career, contributing to our understanding of racial and ethnic politics in the United States. As a specialist in American, urban, and Black politics, Preston authored the two-volume Racial and Ethnic Politics in California, and The New Black Politics: The Search for Political Power, among other seminal books. A memorial service was held on August 16 at the USC Caruso Catholic Center. Click here for more on Dr. Preston's life and legacy. 


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

  • Department of Political Science