In POSC News

Congratulations POSC 2016!

May 2016 — The Department of Political Science wishes the very best to all of our graduates! Check out pictures from our wonderful Commencement Reception. Please keep us posted of your accomplishments as you go forward in your careers by e-mailing us at

POSC Students rack up USC Scholar Awards!

May 2016 — During this Commencement season, POSC students nabbed all sorts of USC prizes and accolades.

Discovery Scholar (for exceptional scholarship or creative work): Jacqueline Vokoun
Global Scholar (for excellence in studies both at home and abroad): Brandon Cheung
Renaissance Scholar (major/minor or two majors that are in widely separated fields of study): Shelief Juarez (POSC and Biological Science)
Order of the Laurel and the Palm (the highest award for leadership in multiple facets of university life, awarded to less than 1% of graduating seniors): Austin Patrick Reagan.  Austin was selected for a Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Recognition Award.
Order of Troy (leadership award in at least one major facet of university life):
Ariana Aboulafia
Karla Barajas
Theodore Lee
Adrienne Liu
David Moreno

Congrats all, and Fight on!

POSC Profs take a Hike

April 2016 — Prof. Anthony Kammas recently hiked Echo Mountain with students as a part of USC's Peaks and Professors club. The club promotes bringing together professors and students from different disciplines to explore the outdoors. Our own Dan Schnur has also led a Peaks and Professors trip. Read more about the group here.

Unruh Institute hosts Civic Engagement Symposium

April 2016 — High school students, mentored by undergraduates participating in the Civic Engagement Internship, shared their findings about voter turnout to the surrounding community. Throughout the semester, six undergraduate students went to classrooms once a week at New Designs Charter School and Alliance Neuwirth Leadership Academy and taught students about civic engagement as part of a for-credit political science course or as a volunteer. Click here for a profile on the evening by the Daily Trojan.

Hannah Leibson wins Elizabeth Garrett award

April 2016Hannah Leibson (POSC 2018) is the first-ever recipient of the Elizabeth Garrett Award from the Unruh Institute of Politics. The award will help offset the costs of Leibson's summer 2016 internship in Washington, DC. Congrats Hannah!

Global Citizenship Commission releases Human Rights Report

April 2016 — Prof. Bob Shrum is a member of the Global Citizenship Commission that recently released findings from its 21st-century Human Rights Report. The Commission is re-evaluating the goals of the 1948 Universal Declaration for Human rights, setting out to determine a "common understanding of the meaning of global citizenship – one that arises from basic human rights and empowers every individual in the world." The Commission's report can be found here.

Tara Campbell is running for city council

April 2016 — Recent graduate Tara Campbell (POSC 2015) is running for city council in her hometown of Yorba Linda, CA. In a Daily Trojan article, Tara discusses why she decided to run for office, how her time in POSC has influenced her career thus far, and the support that she's received as she begins her career in politics. Best of luck, Tara!

Bob Shrum and Dan Schnur in New York Times article about Superdelegates

April 2016 — Prof.s Bob Shrum and Dan Schnur were both quoted by the New York Times in "The Not So Super Delegates". Both professors (who have worked on numerous political campaigns between the two) spoke to the history of superdelegates, the advantages/disadvantages of the system, and if the system has a sustainable future.

New Unruh scholarship to honor Elizabeth Garrett

April 2016 — The Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics will be awarding the first-ever Elizabeth Garrett Award, which will grant funding for an internship to an exemplary female student at USC who excels in academics, public service and leadership.  The Elizabeth Garrett scholarship is the newest award that has been established this year in memory of the late Elizabeth Garrett, former provost of USC and president of Cornell University who died in March from complications of colon cancer. Read more on Prof. Garrett's legacy and contributions to the Unruh Institute here.

The Daily Trojan profiles POSC White House Interns

April 2016 — Three POSC students, Alex Glazer (2015), Lucy Moore (2015), and Christina Wilkes (2017) are finishing up internships in the last year of the Obama Administration.  Alex and Lucy describe their time in the White House as a "once-in-a-lifetime experience" and a "huge privilege".  Read more about their time in D.C. here.

Extended Deadline: Lesher Family Scholarship Applications

March 2016 — Applications for the 2016-17 Lesher Family Scholarship will now be accepted until Friday, April 22!

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a full-time undergraduate student in the 2016-17 academic year (students graduating in Fall 2016 are eligible to apply)
  • Have a declared major in Political Science
  • Have a minimum cumulative USC GPA of 3.0

Previous Lesher award recipients are eligible to apply. Students graduating in Spring or Summer 2016 are not eligible to apply.

For more information, contact Fanny Cisneros,, or Paul Kovich, in the POSC Undergraduate Advising Office (VKC 214).

Click here to download the updated 2016-17 Lesher Family Scholarship Application

NEW 2016-17 Preston Scholarship Application Deadline: April 1

March 2016 — The application deadline for the 2016-17 Michael B. Preston Scholarship has been extended to Friday, April 1.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a full-time undergraduate student in the 2016-2017 school year
  • Be a Political Science major, focusing on urban politics or civil rights
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0

Students graduating in Fall 2016 and previous award recipients are eligible to apply.

For more information, contact Fanny Cisneros,, or Paul Kovich, in the POSC Undergraduate Advising Office (VKC 214).

Click here to download the updated 2016-17 Michael B. Preston Scholarship Application

Dornsife Trial Advocacy headed to National Championship Tournament!

March 2016 — Our Dornsife Trial Advocacy (Mock Trial) team is headed to the 2016 Bell Tower American Mock Trial Association National College Championships, securing a bid after blazing through their regional opening round championship (ORC) competition. Members Troy Rayder and Jo Ingram received special individual recognition: Rayder as the only competitor in the tournament to be recognized as both an Outstanding Attorney and Outstanding Witness, and Ingram as Outstanding Attorney and the tournament's highest scoring prosecutor. Though all members were supposed to be starting Spring Break, they remained in the local area to compete in several trials over the weekend in Santa Monica, CA. Fight on in Greenville in April!

Ange-Marie Hancock featured guest on KPCC's "Take Two"

February 2016Prof. Ange-Marie Hancock took part in a panel discussion on local KPCC 89.3 FM's "Take Two" which focused on the current Democratic presidential candidates seeking support from African Americans. The group analyzed why and how the Democratic Party is courting the African American community's votes in this particular election cycle, and how this narrative could affect the general election in November.

Dornsife News covers Political Conversations

February 2016 — Check out Dornsife News' in-depth take on our February 10 Political Conversations, featuring Bill Carrick, Fred Davis, and Todd Purdum.

Edwin Saucedo and Austin Dunn tapped as USG Pres and VP

February 2016 — Congratulations are in order for Edwin Saucedo (POSC 2017) and Austin Dunn (POSC 2017) who were voted in as the next Undergraduate Student Government (USG) President and Vice President, respectively.  It was an overwhelming victory for the pair who currently serve as USG Directors—Edwin as Program Board Finance Director and Austin as Director of University Affairs.  Leena Danpour (POSC 2018) was also elected as a USG Senator.  Congratulations to all and fight on!

Wallethub Features Jeb Barnes as a Political Expert

February 2016Wallethub, a leading outlet covering the personal finance industry, asked Prof. Jeb Barnes for his opinion on the value of the New Hampshire primaries. Check out Prof. Barnes' expert opinion here.

2016-2017 POSC Scholarships are Available!

February 2016 — POSC is currently accepting applications for the 2016-17 Michael B. Preston Scholarship and the 2016-17 Lesher Family Scholarship! The deadline for each scholarship's application is Friday, March 11 at 5pm. For more information, contact Fanny Cisneros,, or Paul Kovich, in the POSC Undergraduate Advising Office (VKC 214).

2016-17 Michael B. Preston Scholarship Application

2016-17 Lesher Family Scholarship Application

Monika Langarica on Univision's Noticias 14

January 2016 — POSC alum Monika Langarica recently was a guest on Univision's Noticias 14 "Inmigración al Día" segment to talk about the appropriate steps undocumented immigrants in California should take when they are facing deportation. Monika is an Equal Justice Works Emerson Fellow at Centro Legal de la Raza, a comprehensive legal services agency for immigrant, low-income, and Latino communities. Dust off your Spanish dictionaries and listen to Monika's legal expertise on immigration rights!

Stanley Rosen goes Hollywood (sort of)!

January 2016 — Our own Prof. Stanley Rosen, a leading expert in Chinese film and politics, was tapped by several major news outlets to discuss Dalian Wanda Group's recent acquisition of Legendary Entertainment, a film and television production company known for "The Dark Knight", "Pacific Rim", and "Jurassic World".  Prof. Rosen spoke to Variety, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, China Daily, and BBC World News (just to name a few) about the economic and political implications of the unprecedented merger.

In Memoriam: Mark E. Kann

January 2016 — Dr. Mark Kann, USC Professor Emeritus of Political Science and History, USC Associates Endowed Chair in Social Science, and former Chair of Political Science, all in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, has died at the age of 68. Dr. Kann taught at USC from 1975 to 2012, winning many of the university’s most prestigious awards for his teaching, and founding and directing for the first three years the Center for Excellence in Teaching. He is the author of seven single-authored and highly regarded academic books, including most recently Taming Passion for the Public Good: Sex, Liberalism, and the Persistence of Patriarchy in the Early Republic (2013). His books reflected his academic specialties, including but not limited to American Political Thought, Political Theory, Politics and the Internet, and Gender Studies. No mere armchair academic, Dr. Kann was drawn to the contentious issues of the day, serving as a monthly political columnist for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner for a number of years, in addition to writing a widely discussed and influential volume entitled Middle Class Radicalism in Santa Monica (1986), at a time when that city was drawing international attention by experimenting with new political forms. He was also the editor or co-editor of a number of important books. Read more about Dr. Kann at the Daily Trojan and at Dornsife News.

He asked that no memorial service be held for him.

Mercedes A. Cook named Pro Bono Attorney of the Year

January 2016 — 2009 Dornsife Trial Advocacy Program alumna, Mercedes A. Cook, Esq., has just been honored as Sheppard Mullin's 2015 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year. As a USC trial team member, Mercedes won several awards, served as a Team Captain, and her squads ranked nationally. She also worked on many public interest law projects with the Program, securing access to fairness for those who would not otherwise have it. She attended UCLA Law, where she won First Place in the Akin Gump Trial Advocacy Competition and established herself as the school's Best Advocate. Congrats Mercedes!

Environmental Politics and Art

December 2015 — Recently POSC 436: Environmental Politics explored the role of environmental art in shaping public discourse about the state of the environment. Professor Yael Nahmias and her students visited the Gyre: The Plastic Ocean exhibit at the Fisher Museum, and students were able to speak with sculptor Pamela Longobardi about parts of her “Drifters Project”, which were prominently featured in the exhibit. Students asked Longobardi about her goals and about the challenges of presenting such a serious problem in an artistically attractive way. Longobardi explained her desire to encourage public discussion about the consequences of disposing plastic in the oceans for nature and human society. She also talked about the expedition that led to the exhibit, which was recently featured by National Geographic.

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!


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

  • Department of Political Science