The list provided below indicates some — but by no means all — of the national, state and campus-wide recognition our excellent political science and international affairs students have received in recent years. No other college or university in the country has won as many national student writing awards from Pi Sigma Alpha, the 600-chapter national political science honor society. These student accomplishments provide graphic testimony to the quality of our programs and of our majors.
As a department, we offer several scholarships for students. These are our departmental honors awards:
- Lewis Fickett award for outstanding graduating senior in International Affairs
- Ann Elizabeth Fitschen Memorial Award for outstanding graduating senior in Political Science
- International Affairs Alumni Award for outstanding rising junior/senior in International Affairs
- Political Science Alumni award for outstanding rising junior/senior in Political Science
To see the winners of these awards, click here.
UMW has a chapter of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honors Society which also awards scholarships and awards. Click here to learn more.
Beyond those awards, students may earn UMW scholarships, grants, writing awards, and more!
Fulbright Research Grants
- Destiny Williams (2018, Taiwan)
- Molly Bernhard (2014, Bulgaria)
- Charlotte Johnson (for studies in Germany, 2014)
- Justin Simeone (for studies in the European Union, 2007-8)
- Rola Abimourched (for studies in Jordan, 2004-5)
Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference
- Corey Bolyard, 2017 Winner of Essay Contest for Best Round Table Paper
- Christian Perkins, 2015 Winner of Essay Contest for Best Civilian Paper
- Callie Kyhl, 2012 First Runner-up, Essay Contest for Best Civilian Paper
- Julie Milam, 2009 Winner of Essay Contest for Best Civilian Paper
- Heidi Meredith, 2007 Winner of Essay Contest for Best Civilian Paper
- Cris Clap, 2005 Winner of Essay Contest for Best Civilian Paper
Writing Awards from Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society
- Dillon Schweers, 2021 National Winner, Best Undergraduate Paper Award. (“Violence Against Journalist in Mexico”).
- Kendall Parker, 2017 Runner-Up, Best Undergraduate Paper, (“A Comparison of Female Conscription: Israel v. U.S.”).
- Annie Morris, 2010-2011 Runner-up, Best Undergraduate Class Paper (“Persuasion and the Bully Pulpit: Expanded Evidence on Strategies of Presidential Leadership”).
- Nicholas Jacobs, 2009-2010 National Winner, Best Undergraduate Class Paper, (“Professional Reputation: Why the First Year of the Presidency is Overstated”).
- Justin Simeone, 2008 National Runner-Up, Best Undergraduate Honors Project, (“Crisis or Constitution? Rethinking Judicial Deference on Administrative Detention in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel,” an honors thesis project)
- Erik Johnston, 2003 National Runner-up, Best Undergraduate Course Paper.
(“The Non-Voter Puzzle Solved: Weak Partisanship Explains Demographics That Do Not Match Candidate Preference,” prepared in Political Science 291: Research and Writing in Political Science).
- Ryan Balis, 2002 National Winner, Best Undergraduate Honors Project.
(“Televised Presidential Debates and Exposure: Partisan, Ideological and Demographic Characteristics,” an independent study project).
- Sara Barokas , 2000 National Runner-up, Best Undergraduate Course Paper.
(“Political Women: Participation, Orientation and Party Identification,” prepared in Political Science 291: Research and Writing in Political Science).
- Edwin Egee V, 1999 National Runner-up, Best Undergraduate Course Paper.
(“Gaining Support Through Casework: A Quantitative Study of Contactors and the Support They Give Their Representative,” prepared in Political Science 291: Research and Writing in Political Science).
- Anne Daugherty, 1998 National Runner-up, Best Undergraduate Paper.
(“Feminists and Conservative Women: From the Time of ERA to the Present,” an independent study honors project).
- Luke Sbarra, 1997 National Winner, Best Undergraduate Paper.
(“Whither China: Marketization Without Democratization?” an independent study honors project).
Colgate Darden Award
PRESENTED TO The HIGHEST RANKING STUDENT IN the GRADUATING CLASS AT MARY WASHINGTON
- Kendall Parker, Class of 2018, Political Science major
- Justin Simeone, Class of 2008, a double major in political science and history.
- Erik Johnston, Class of 2003, a double major in political science and international affairs
Student Writing Awards from the MARY WASHINGTON Writing Center
- Mackenzie Poust, 2019,“Rearing the Lions of Tomorrow,” Dr. Ranjit Singh, PSCI 355: Politics in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Zachary Handlin, 2019, “Elite Agency within the Process of Democratization,” Dr. Robert Barr, PSCI 471DD: Democracy in Decline.
- Chloe Rippel, 2018, “Some Better Way for People to Live: The Politics of Law and Order in The Virginian (1929), The Ox-Bow Incident,and High Noon.” UMW Writing Center Award – Best Social Sciences Senior paper. Written in Fall 2017 for PSCI 450: S. Political Film supervised by Professor Stephen Farnsworth.
- Marina Castro-Meirelles, 2018, “A Conceptual Exploration of Clientelism.” UMW Writing Center Award – Best Social Sciences Senior paper. Paper written in Fall 2017 for PSCI 491: Individual Study supervised by Professor Rob Barr.
- Marina Castro-Meirelles, 2015, “The Role of Ideology in the Mozambican Revolution,” (Prepared in PSCI360: supervisor, Dr. Kramer).
- Patrick Sheehy, 2013, “NATO’s Persistence in a Post-Cold War Era,” (Prepared in PSCI 471: Alliance Politics: supervisor, Dr. Davidson).
- Nicholas Jacobs, 2009, “Professional Reputation: Why the First Year of the Presidency is Overstated,” (prepared in Political Science 312: The American Presidency: supervisor, Dr. Murphy).
- James E. Martin, 2009, “Case Study: Replacing the K-135,” (prepared in Political Science 351: International Political Economy: supervisor, Dr. Gupta).
- Kara McCulloch, 2004 Winner Student Writing Contest – Social Science Division
(“National Security Memorandum: U.S. Policy Towards North Korea,” prepared in Political Science 356: U.S. Foreign Policy) .