Political science gets students active

Jennifer Shore

Pi Sigma Alpha and Political Science Club promote interest

The Political Science Club and the Political Science National Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha, formed this semester to promote political interest and scholarship among students at Kent State.

Julie Mazzei, assistant professor of political science, is the adviser for both organizations. She said for anybody interested, the groups facilitate being involved with political issues or just having well-rounded, informed discussions.

“Professors teach in a classroom environment and we give you information, but the empowerment comes from being able to apply that, and that’s what student organizations do,” Mazzei said.

The activities are somewhat intertwined but have defined differences that benefit students in various ways.

Political Science Club

Kevin Hogan, senior political science and economics major, is the president of the club. As a student representative for the political science department, he said one of the biggest obstacles was trying to figure out a way to recruit and retain political science majors.

“It’s designed to be beneficial for the students,” Hogan said. “To help them network, to help them understand what different things you have to do to get a job and also how to prepare for grad school.”

Although it is geared toward political science, economics and international relations majors, Hogan said all students can join and benefit from seeing the speakers and attending meetings to learn more about politics and the career field.

The club and honor society are co-sponsoring an event on April 8 to bring a speaker from Washington, D.C., to talk about getting a job, working in the government and how your degree helps you to do so, Hogan said.

Pi Sigma Alpha

Pi Sigma Alpha has a national chapter that Katie Norton-Smith, senior political science and sociology major, joined last year. Once political science majors have junior standing, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a political science GPA of at least 3.2, they are invited to apply for the national chapter. Many students have been involved with the honor society nationally, but this is the first time Pi Sigma Alpha has had a chapter at Kent State, Smith said.

“It really opens up a different kind of leadership opportunity for political science students,” Smith said. “It focuses on academic achievements and increases scholarship within the political science field.”

Andrew Marvin, senior political science major, joined as a junior without knowing anything about it. He said because of that, he wants to raise awareness before the credit hour requirement arrives.

Smith and Marvin hope to give students who have taken at least one political science course the chance to become associate members, which would be a non-voting position with a different GPA requirement.

“This is a chance to really take our interests and expand them more and become more intellectually driven,” Smith said. “It’s a way to springboard you off of your undergraduate degree.”

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reporter Jennifer Shore at

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