News Archives

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.

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!

August 2014 — 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.

Congratulations 2014 Graduates!

July 2014 — Please stay in touch! Update us on your career accomplishments by e-mailing The Department of Political Science wishes you nothing but the best!

Ishan Shah elected to Ohlone College Board of Trustees

July 2014Ishan Shah (POSC '15) took a year off from his studies to be with his ailing mother.  Little did anyone know that within that year, Ishan would become Ohlone College's youngest member of its Board of Trustees as well as the first Indian American to serve.  Ishan returns to finish his POSC degree this Fall (and his mother is on the mend).  Read more about his fascinating story here. Welcome back Ishan, and congratulations!

Olu Orange and USC's Trial Advocacy Program set a civil rights precedent

June 2014 — The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the family of an autistic man, Mohammed Usman Chaudhry, who was killed by the LAPD is entitled to pre-death pain and suffering damages resulting from violation of his civil rights.  Prof. Olu Orange and students from the USC Dornsife Trial Advocacy Program worked for years for Chaudry's family, tracking down and interviewing witnesses, uncovering new evidence, and conducting mock cross-examinations during witness preparation.  The Court of Appeals also determined that the family introduced enough evidence to pursue their negligence claim against the Los Angeles County Coroner's office after it delayed informing Chaudhry’s family of his death for 21 days.

Matthew Mendez and Christian Grose's research featured in The Washington Post

June 2014 — A Washington Post report about discrimination and voter ID-law proponents is based on a research paper by Matthew Mendez (POIR) and Prof. Christian GroseRevealing Discriminatory Intent: Legislator Preferences, Voter Identification, and Responsiveness Bias.  Matthew and Prof. Grose's research indicates that politicians who support voter identification practices show preference for responding to voter-registration inquiries from constituents with Anglophone names over constituents with Hispanic ones.

Lucy Flores running for Lieutenant Governor of Nevada

May 2014 — Recently named one of The Fix's "40 Under 40" rising political stars, Nevada state assemblywoman Lucy Flores (POSC '07) is running for Nevada Lieutenant Governor.  Flores, a fierce advocate for her community, was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2010, becoming one of the first Hispanic women to serve in the Nevada legislature.  She has served as Assistant Majority Whip, Vice-Chair of the Legislative Operations and Elections committee, and Chair of the Ways and Means Government sub-committee.  She is actively involved in growing the Nevada Hispanic Legislative Caucus, serving as its Vice-Chair.

POSC on the Wall of Scholars

May 2014 — Many POSC undergraduates received major recognition from the University for their scholastic achievements at the 2014 USC Wall of Scholars ceremony. Winners included:

University Trustees Award: Patrick Atchison, Reid Lidow, Brandon Martinez

Truman Scholarship: Oscar De Los Santos

Gates Cambridge Scholarship: Reid Lidow

Steven and Kathryn Sample Renaissance Scholar Prize: Brandon Martinez

Order of Troy: Michael Kung, Kaya Masler, Christopher Roman, Jacqueline Rosen, Zoe Steinberg, Jerry Ting, and Shamoiya Washington

Order of Laurel & the Palm: Claire Baugher and Reid Lidow

Oscar De Los Santos selected as a 2014 Truman Scholar

April 2014 — Our very own Oscar De Los Santos (POSC '15) has been selected as one of 59 national Truman Scholars! Oscar, a North Hollywood native, is passionate about ensuring voting rights for all Americans, with emphasis on underrepresented communities. The prestigious federal scholarship provides up to $30,000 to students pursuing graduate degrees leading to careers in public service.  For more on Oscar's tremendous story click here. Congratulations, Oscar!

Matthew Mendez receives Phi Kappa Phi Award

April 2014 — Matthew Mendez, POIR Ph.D. candidate, received the Phi Kappa Phi student recognition award for his paper "Who Represents the Interest of Undocumented Latinos? A Field Experiment of State Legislators." In his paper, Mendez theorizes that some legislators have motivations to be responsive to constituents who not only cannot vote, but are also undocumented. Through a novel field experiment, Mendez also found that Latino legislators are more likely than other legislators to represent undocumented immigrants. Congratulations, Matthew!

POSC Students honored at Academic Honors Convocation

April 2014 — POSC students won several prestigious awards at the 33rd Academic Honors Convocation.  Patrick Atchison (POSC '13), Reid Lidow (IR/POSC '13), and Brandon Martinez (POSC '14) were honored with the University Trustee Award, which is awarded to  graduating students who have attained the highest scholarship average of all undergraduate men at the university.  Reid Lidow also won the Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Award for honor creativity, scholarship and leadership in faculty-student community relations. Congratulations!

The Penny Harvest Leadership Academy makes USC news

April 2014 — Prof. Ann Crigler's Applied Politics class facilitates The Penny Harvest Leadership Program for local Los Angeles elementary school students, teaching them lessons in philanthropy, civic engagement, decision-making, and leadership. The program also gives USC students the opportunity to apply their coursework in the real world by engaging them in the activities of surrounding communities. Read more about this exceptional program.

Ange-Marie Hancock and Melina Abdullah win at WPSA Annual Conference

April 2014 — Associate Professor Ange-Marie Hancock, Melina Abdullah, POSC '03, and Regina Free won the Best Black Politics Paper Award for the Western Political Science Association. Their paper, "Black Community Organizing in the Obama Era," examines the challenges faced by Black community organizers in Los Angeles.

POSC Student in the White House

April 2014 — Omeed Anvar, a POSC minor in American Politics, and fellow Trojan Simon Huang are finishing up internships at the White House. Check out their interview with the campus newspaper The Daily Trojan.

Lauren Fishelman presented with the Kilmarx Presidential Fellows Award

March 2014 — Lauren (POSC '14) traveled to Washington D.C. to accept the Robert A. Kilmarx Award for the Best Military, Intelligence, or National Security Strategic Analysis for her paper, "Privacy in a Post-9/11 Democracy: the Effects of the 'War on Terror' and the USA PATRIOT Act."  In addition to the prestigious honor, Lauren's paper will also be published as part of the Center's annual anthology, The Fellows Review. Lauren shares, "The Presidential Fellows program provides a very interesting and important opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience and direct insight into the workings of the Presidency and Congress of the United States. I am honored to have had the opportunity to represent USC!"

Reid Lidow wins Gates Cambridge Scholarship

February 2014 — Reid (IR/POSC '13), an international relations and political science double major, has been awarded a highly competitive Gates Cambridge Scholarship. This award grants him a full scholarship for graduate studies at the University of Cambridge, where he will pursue a master of philosophy in development studies this fall.  Congratulations, Reid!

Michael Genovese and Todd Belt honor the late William Lammers

January 2014 — Michael Genovese and Todd Belt have published a second edition of The Presidency and Domestic Policy: Comparing Leadership Styles, FDR to Obama, updating the original 2000 edition written by Genovese and the late William Lammers.  The new addition has been praised as "a 'must' for courses on the presidency and American politics."

Ange-Marie HancockAnge-Marie Hancock, Associate Professor of Political Science & Gender Studies, has been elected co-President of the APSA Race, Ethnicity and Politics Organized Section and named to the editorial boards of Perspectives on Politics and Politics and Gender journals.

Richard DekemjianProfessor Richard H. Dekmejian won a Dornsife 2020 Resisting the Path to Genocide Research grant, administered by Shoah Institute, to investigate comparatively case studies of the utility of precognition of preconditions/determinants as instruments to resist/prevent genocidal outcomes and assess the effectiveness of existing Global Risk/Early Warning systems in preventing genocidal atrocities.

Alison RentelnProfessor Alison Dundes Renteln was awarded a 2013-2014 fellowship to The Center for the Advanced Study of Behavioral Science (CASBS) at Stanford University. The group represents some of academia’s most innovative scholarship across these behavioral sciences: anthropology, communication, economics, education, history, law, linguistics, philosophy, political science, public health, psychiatry, psychology, science & technology, and sociology. During their CASBS year, Fellows address some of the most pressing problems of our day, seeking insight and innovation that will advance humanity at all levels – whether on the international stage, the workplace, or within the individual psyche.

  • Department of Political Science