Washington, DC

On February 15-17, three Political Science students, Andrew Ehler, Jason Goldfarb, and Jessica NeJame, accompanied by Professor Bob Taylor, attended the 6th annual Pi Sigma Alpha student research conference held at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. There they presented scholarly research papers they had drafted in an honors seminar the previous semester. In addition to having the opportunity to take an evening tour of the grounds of Congress and a number of monuments on the National Mall, each student participated in a panel with three or four undergraduate students from other colleges and universities. Graduate students from local universities moderated these panels and provided participants with comments on their papers. Students also had time, at meals, between panels, and at the two mixers sponsored by PSA, to get to know their colleagues from around the country. This conference provided a first professional experience of presenting their scholarship to colleagues.

Many thanks to Sean Twombly, Director of PSA, and to George Washington University for making this exceptional event possible.

Jessica NeJame: It’s incredible how influential one weekend can be! Not only was I able to receive feedback on my own research, but hearing about what everyone else is working on set off a million lightbulbs for future projects. There were students at the Pi Sigma Alpha conference from all over the country, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to not only hear different perspectives, but also to build lasting relationships with students from places like Minnesota and Michigan.

Andrew Ehler: Attending the PSA student conference has been one of my most memorable opportunities as an undergraduate here at UVM. Beyond the excitement of presenting my research to fellow scholars and students of political science, I came away from this conference feeling inspired. It was so energizing to be able to meet and interact with fellow political science students, from all over the country, working on unique and insightful projects.

Jason Goldfarb: Attending the Pi Sigma Alpha research conference was an incredible opportunity afforded to me as an undergraduate student. It's amazing that one weekend can absolutely change the course of one's college career--presenting in front of a panel of my peers was an enlightening experience, and I have so many ideas on where I can take my research in the future. I was able to meet some of my colleagues from all over the country and get their perspectives on studying political science in the Trump Era.


A. Elizabeth Wilkins