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Students Present at Georgia Political Science Association Conference


Updated: 12-12-2013

The annual Georgia Political Science Association conference was held in Savannah, Georgia in November and four students from Georgia College’s Department of Government and Sociology presented their research.  Two of the students are seniors in the Political Science program and two are pursuing Master of Public Administration (MPA) degrees. 

Jay Fickle, a Political Science senior co-presented with Min Kim, Ph.D., Assistant Professor as part of a panel entitled “Governance and Economy.” The title of their presentation was “Corruption, Income Inequality, and Economic Growth in the U.S.".  They analyzed the effects of corruption on income inequality and growth. The study used a corruption risk model comprised of the existence of public integrity mechanisms, the effectiveness of those mechanisms, and the access that citizens have to those mechanisms. 

“Governance and Development in the Third World” was the title of the paper presented by MPA student, Ashley McCready.  In her paper, Ms. McCready examined the complex relationship between governance and growth in developing nations.  Intricate arguments demonstrating the causal connections between governance, democracy and advancement in the Third World through an empirical analysis were included. 

Salma Henaidi, student in the MPA program presented, “Evaluation and Analysis for Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program".  Ms. Henaidi assessed whether the HOPE program has succeeded in meeting its objectives. Her study confirms that Georgia counties with more African-American residents have a higher percentage of students that enroll in college than other counties.  She concluded that there is a positive and statistically significant correlation between the percentage of students entering colleges and universities in each county and the percentage of students eligible for HOPE. 

Finally, Political Science undergraduate student, Bryan Barks worked closely with Jason Rich, Ph.D.,  Assistant Professor, and presented in a panel titled, “New Issues in the International Arena.”  Ms. Barks’ paper, “The United States’ Role in the Construction of International Small Arms Control,” used a constructivist framework to address the largely unsuccessful efforts of the international community to limit small arms proliferation and to make an argument for the United States’ role in the obstruction of this norm-building process.   She argued that international norms driven by the United States’ existing domestic gun control policies, culture, control over gun manufacturing, and position as the global hegemon have prevented the emergence of an international regime regulating small arms.  The paper was extremely well received by the panel discussant and audience members.  It has been nominated for the GPSA’s Roger N. Pajari Undergraduate Paper Award for the best undergraduate paper of the year. 

“Student involvement in research activities is very important and the Department of Government and Sociology faculty are working closely with our students to ensure that future graduates have an opportunity to collaborate and present their work in various academic settings.  I would like to congratulate our students for sharing their research at the GPSA conference and our faculty for their guidance and support.  The Department is excited by what its students are producing in scholarly research” said Costas Spirou, Ph.D. Department Chair.

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