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Independent Scholarship

The department’s faculty members have been active in supporting Honors work and Albright Creative Research Experience (ACRE) projects at the College. Department members have been readers on many theses since the inception of the programs. Listed below are examples of the Honors and ACRE research conducted by Political Science faculty members with their respective students:

  • Michelle Reinhart, “Citizens United v. FEC: Corporate Personhood and the Distortion of Legal History,” ACRE project
  • Katherine Donaldson, “Redistricting, an Incumbent’s Best Friend? The Results of Redrawing District Lines in Massachusetts and Michigan”
  • Soe Jean Joh, “The Environment and Human Rights”
  • Christin Walter, “Roma Authoritative Structures”
  • Jennifer Conway, “French Nuclear Weapons Policy”
  • Catherine A. Buckius, “Religious Values in the Media: A Study of Family Guy,” ACRE project
  • Jessica A. Winski, “Why Become a Politician? A Study of Personality and Political Motivation in Philadelphia Political Elites,” ACRE project

Ms. Winski and Ms. Reinhart presented their research at academic conferences. Ms. Winski continued onto graduate school in political science at the University of Oklahoma, and Ms. Reinhart is currently applying to law school. Ms. Reinhart’s paper, which she co-authored with Dr. Bruce Auerbach, was published in 2012 in the Intergenerational Justice Review. Ms. Walter returned to Romania for a period after graduation. Ms. Joh was awarded a paid internship at the Think Tanks and Civil Society Program in the International Relations Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Donaldson joined Teach for America and is attending Fordham University. Ms. Conway joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Ms. Buckius is employed in the Philadelphia area.

In addition, the faculty members support students who are interested in a reading or research topic, but are not participants in the college’s Honors programs.  About three students each academic year are supported in in these independent study efforts.


Study Abroad

Students with interests in comparative politics and international relations are encouraged to study and travel in another country or culture for at least a semester. Over the last decade, students have attended academic institutions in Northern Ireland, Switzerland, Israel, France, Australia and Scotland. And within the last five years, students have studied in academic programs in Spain, Italy, England, Thailand, Russia and Bhutan.


Experiential Learning

Internship and service learning have a long and distinguished history in the Political Science Department. The department was one of the original supporters of the Washington Center in the 1970s and has used it successfully over the past decades as its placement agency in the national capital. Placements have included Congressional House and Senate offices, federal agencies, the federal and district court systems, NGOs and private lobbying groups, mass media organizations, and think tanks. Many past interns have returned to the District to work on the Hill, in the federal bureaucracy, and with lobbying groups.

Each student prepares a portfolio of work completed during the placement for evaluation by a member of the department. Included in the portfolio are work products, memos from lectures and interviews, and assessments by both a Washington Center agent and the instructor of a course selected by the student. The student receives Albright college credit for the internship. Recent Washington Center placements include:

  • North American Association for Environmental Education
  • Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University
  • Office of the Federal Environmental Executive
  • International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)

Local internships are also available to students in the department. Such internships, especially in Reading, are established by departmental faculty. Often students will intern in a home area placement, but must adhere to the same academic requirements as other placements. These requirements include four written assignments, a time log and a written evaluation by the site supervisor. Recent examples of such internships are presented below:

  • City Council Office, City of Reading, Reading, Pa.
  • Juvenile Justice Department, Schuylkill County Courthouse
  • Law Department, City of Reading, Reading, Pa.
  • Office of the Prosecutor, Camden County, Camden, N.J.
  • City Clerk’s Office, City of Reading, Reading, Pa.
  • Richmond County Supreme Court, Staten Island, N.Y.
  • Bucks County Clerk of the Courts, Doylestown, Pa.
  • City Solicitor Office, City of Reading, Reading, Pa.
  • Stevens and Lee/Griffin Financial Group