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Political science department honors top students

Wed, 05/02/2018

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas Political Science Department recently honored its top students at an annual recognition ceremony with awards and induction into Pi Sigma Alpha.

Sixteen students were inducted April 20 into the Gamma chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. Criteria for induction include a 3.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale in all political science courses with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.4 for undergraduates. Additionally, inductees cannot have a grade lower than a B in any political science course.

The following students were inducted:

  • Catherine Bernard, Overland Park
  • Anna Buhlinger, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
  • Constanza Castro, Raytown, Missouri
  • Emily Depew, Neodesha
  • Rachel Finnell, Sedalia, Missouri
  • Shane Hofer, Lawrence
  • Kaitlyn Johnson, Lawrence
  • Eric Kros, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Monica Maurer, Lawrence
  • Brandon Mitchell from Wichita
  • Nicole Purcell from Fresno, California
  • Ashley Reece, Olathe
  • Rachel Yu-Ru Tan, Penang, Malaysia
  • Amilee Turner, Lawrence
  • Kelly Wood, Leawood
  • Fengxue Zhang, Hays

In addition, the political science department provides awards and scholarships for outstanding juniors and seniors in the major. For 2018 the following awards and scholarships were presented:

The Ethan P. Allen Pi Sigma Alpha Award  to an outstanding graduating senior majoring in political science:   

  • Rebekah Burgweger, De Soto.

The Emmett L. Bennett Scholarship to outstanding students majoring in political science:

  • Fengxue Zhang, Hays
  • Constanza Castro, Raytown, Missouri
  • Shane Hofer, Lawrence
  • Caleb Kampsen, Silver Lake
  • Shea O’Sullivan, Hutchinson
  • Corey Minkoff, Overland Park.

The Eldon Fields Pi Sigma Alpha Award  to outstanding graduating students majoring in political science:

  • Garrison Matthews, Overland Park
  • Ashley Reece, Olathe.


The Elizabeth and Carl Gustafson Scholarships was awarded to these outstanding political science undergraduates:

  • Anna Buhlinger, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
  • Ananda Bhatia, Olathe
  • Nicholas Khatri, Edina, Minnesota
  • Emily Depew, Neodesha
  • Vincent Munoz, Topeka
  • Emma Green, Villa Ridge, Missouri
  • Rachel Yu-Ru Tan, Penang, Malaysia
  • Harneet Sanghera, Olathe.

The Allan J. Cigler Academic Enrichment Award was presented to these students working with faculty on original research projects. This fund is made possible by former students of Professor Allan Cigler and the Cigler family to enhance student research opportunities. The 2017-2018 recipients:

  • Kevin Stump, St. Louis
  • Alexandra Middlewood, Lawrence
  • Amilee Turner, Lawrence
  • Anna Buhlinger, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
  • Saif Bajwa, Overland Park
  • Shiloh Bennett, Mandan, North Dakota.

The Political Science Future Military Leaders Scholarship is awarded to outstanding ROTC students that are also political science majors. This fund is possible by the generosity of Roberto Montoya.

  • Scott Gilmore, El Dorado, Arkansas.

The Political Science Faculty Award is given to those students that have nearly completed or have completed an honors thesis with a faculty member. Those students:

  • Jacob Janeiro, Medford, New Jersey
  • Kevin Stump, St. Louis
  • Kaitlyn Johnson, Lawrence
  • Chance Maginness, Westmoreland.

The Walter Thompson Scholarship in Political Science was awarded to these deserving Political Science Graduate students to work with faculty on collaborative original research projects:

  • Rachel Finnell, Sedalia, Missouri
  • Patrick Gauding, Independence, Ohio
  • William Hatungimana, Lawrence
  • Yeon Joo Kim, Seoul, South Korea
  • Alexandra Middlewood, Lawrence
  • Haruka Nagao, Hino, Japan
  • Amilee Turner, Lawrence
  • Abigail Vegter, Olathe
  • Sierra Watt, Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

The Joseph Harris Fellowship in Political Science is for students at the dissertation stage. This year’s recipient:

  • Yeon Joo Kim, Seoul, South Korea.

All of the scholarship funds are managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment is the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

Photos, from top: Beth Cigler and KU Professor Mark Joslyn; the Emmett Bennett Scholars; awards presentation at the annual Department of Political Science recognition ceremony.



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