News, Events and Awards in 2010

Students to Present at National Conference on Undergraduate Research in March 2011

Five students from the department have been invited to present papers at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in March 2011 at Ithaca College in New York. Monica Campos (senior political science major) will present a paper entitled “Sub-Saharan Africa’s Pivotal State: A Closer Look at Infrastructural Development within South Africa.” Brandon Ernst (junior honors political science, international business double major with a minor in leadership studies) will present a paper entitled “Analysis of Macro vs. Micro Development Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Qualitative and Quantitative Exploration.” Vina Akbari-Gazvini (junior political science major) will present a paper entitled “Franco's Influence on Catalan Secession.” Nora Nicholl-Lewandowski (sophomore honors political science and international studies double major) will present a paper entitled “Conflict Resolution: The Role of Peacebuilding in Kenya and Cyprus.” Victoria Corrado (senior International Studies major) will present "Laying Down the Law:  A Comparison of Western Common and Islamic Law."


Brandon Ernst, a junior honors political science, international business double major with a minor in leadership studies has been invited to take part in the Clinton Global Initiative meeting at the University of California, San Diego April 1st-3rd, 2011. Brandon is a national fellow (in a cohort of 16) at the Institute for International Public Policy. Also, as the president of the leadership fellows on campus, he is organizing an Energy Forum to take place at Dominican University of California in 2011, which will be a host to 100 students from all around the Bay Area interested in addressing this important and timely issue.

Alpha Delta Omicron Chapter Welcomes New Pi Sigma Alpha Initiates

pisigmaalphainitiation2010.JPGOn October 19th 2010, Dominican University of California's Alpha Delta Omicron Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha (the National Political Science Honor Society) welcomed five new initiates.

Along with political science faculty and current Pi Sigma Alpha members, the Alpha Delta Omicron chapter welcomed the new initiates to the national honor society during a lunchtime ceremony.

We congratulate Vina Akbari-Gazvini, Victoria Corrado, Janelle Harris, Caitlin Vejby, and Jessica Winberg. Caitlin Vejby, who is in Washington, DC as a Panetta Institute Congressional intern this semester was honored in absentia.

All current and new Pi Sigma Alpha members have met the qualifications for membership which includes junior level standing, completion of minimum 10 semester-credits of coursework in political science, including at least one upper-division course, with a B average in those courses, and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 at the university.

Students participate in gubernatorial debate

Freshman Rachel Traina-Grandon and Senior Janelle Harris participated in a Debate Watch Focus Group after the October 12, 2010 Gubernatorial Debate between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman that was hosted by Dominican University. Both were interviewed for the "10:00 p.m." broadcast by the Fox LA station.

Hosting the debate was very exciting for the campus and the Political Science and International Studies Department in particular. Many students volunteered, participated in focus groups, and attended the debate.

Daniel Tapia-Jimenez Invited to Present at ISA-West Conference Two Years in a Row

Senior political science and international studies major, Daniel Tapia-Jimenez has been invited again to present a paper at this year’s International Studies Association West (ISA-W) Annual Meeting. Daniel will present a paper on "States, Insurgencies, and their Constituencies: The Complex Relationship Outside of Combat" at this year’s meeting, which will take place in Los Angeles on September, 24-25, 2010. This will be Daniel’s second year participating at the conference. At last year’s conference he presented a paper on "Typical Approaches to an Atypical Problem: an Evaluation of US Economic Aid to Pakistan." Daniel is an honors student with a minor in math. His research interests focus on Middle East Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Quantitative Methods. In this most recent paper Daniel investigates the social, security and economic benefits that insurgencies confer to locals and how states are constrained by these activities. This research is part of his senior honors thesis, which he plans to carry out using game theory. This summer Daniel studied Arabic at Monterey Institute of International Studies Summer Intensive Language Program. Daniel’s future goals include attending graduate school in political science.

Loretto Volunteers Summer Program at the United Nations

Farah Mohsen, (Political Science major) is spending the summer at the United Nations working for the Loretto Volunteers. She is working on girls' education issues. Learn more about Farah's experience. 

Panetta Institute Congressional Internship Program

Ms. Caitlin Vejby has been selected to participate in the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Congressional Internship Program. She will be in Washington, D.C. for the fall 2010 semester. Caitlin has already interned for Speaker Nancy Pelosi's district office in San Francisco. Caitlin will be greatly missed on campus next fall. We are extremely proud of her and thrilled that she will be representing the department and Dominican University in Washington,D.C..

Recent Graduate to Volunteer with Vincentian Service Corps

The department is proud to announce that Adrienne Formentos, recent graduate (2010), has been selected to serve as a member of the Vincentian Service Corps for the coming year. She will be leaving this August for an orientation in Southern California and will spend the rest of the year (until July 2011) working at St. Vincent's Medical Center in downtown Los Angeles. This opportunity will allow Adrienne to do both community outreach and patient advocacy.

Fatima Rios interns with U.S Representative district office in Napa

Fatima Rios, a junior Political Science major has secured an internship with U.S. Representative Mike Thompson's district office in Napa this summer.

Brandon Ernst Selected as Institute for International Public Policy Fellow

The department is proud to announce Brandon Ernst, sophomore political science and business double major, as a 2010 Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP) Fellow. The 2010 selection committee at UNCF Special Programs Corporation’s (UNCFSP) noted Brandon’s “commitment to international affairs and capacity for progressive professional achievement.” The IIPP aims to increase the number of minority professionals working in international service careers. Out of the 140 applicants who competed for this fellowship across the country this year, Brandon is among the 25 IIPP fellows for 2010. This multi-year fellowship will enable Brandon to pursue an internationally-focused career. Brandon is expected to complete the IIPP program within six years of entry. This commitment includes participation in summer institutes in Washington DC, a study abroad program, an internship, language study and graduate school.

Political Science Alumna Presents at WPSA 2010

Tina Ruggeiro, who graduated in May 2009 with a major in political science, was invited to present her senior thesis research for a panel on Groups, Context, and Voting, at this year's Western Political Science Association annual meeting held in San Francisco, April 1-3. Tina's research deals with the gender gap and its effect on presidential campaign and political ads. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in education here at Dominican. Her future plans include publishing the findings from her original research as an article in a peer-reviewed academic journal and teaching high school U.S. Government in the North Bay.

Students presenting at NCUR

The Department is pleased to announce that Janelle Harris (Junior), Sydney Lewis (Freshman), and Nora Nicholl-Lewandowski (Freshman) will present their papers at the annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Montana April 15-17, 2010.

If you are interested in learning more about their interesting and unique topics visit the NCUR website and search for their abstracts: Janelle Harris, "Battle of the Sexes: Power and Gender Roles According to Saadawi and Adnan,"
Sydney Lewis, "The Flood Story: Pure Myth or Semi-Factual" and Nora Nicholl-Lewandowski, "The Fight Against the War on Terror Consequences in a Post- 9/11 America"

Brandon Ernst Awarded 2010 World Affairs Council Schools Program Scholarship 

The Department is proud to announce that Brandon Ernst, a sophomore honors student majoring in political science and international business, has been awarded for a second year in a row the World Affairs Council Schools Program Scholarship. Brandon has been awarded this scholarship to attend the World Affairs 64th Annual conference on Innovative Leadership In The Face of Crisis to take place in San Francisco, California, March 11-12. Students who attend this conference are given the opportunity to gather with political leaders, policymakers, public intellectuals and diplomats to examine, engage and debate crucial global issues and participate in a student policy simulation. This year’s conference participants will explore the intersection of governments, NGOs, the private sector and citizenry on four key global issues:  environment, economy, development and security. Some of this year’s conference topics will include Post Copenhagen—Establishing a Global Climate Regime, Great Ideas: Local Solutions to Global Problems and Attacking Corruption in the Developing World. Brandon, who is also the president of the Leadership Fellows Program on campus, will be serving as a student discussion leader at this year’s World Affairs conference.

Senior Political Science Major to Present a Paper on Human Trafficking at the 2010 WPSA Conference

We are pleased to announce that senior political science and English double major, Adrienne Formentos will be presenting a paper entitled “The Insecurities of Sex Trafficking: Security Governance and Cooperation Among Multiple Actors” at the Western Political Science Association annual conference in April 2010. Adrienne first embarked on this topic in the department's research methods course offered during her junior year. In the summer of 2009 she spent a few weeks in Copenhagen, Denmark studying human trafficking through DIS (Danish Institute for Study Abroad). Her coursework included a study tour to Sweden to meet with social workers and police authorities and also a tour of the local red light district in Copenhagen. She writes about her experience in the student blog section at our department’s website (found under the menu to the left). Adrienne’s future career goals include graduate work in political science with a focus in international relations.

Internship in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco Office

We are pleased to announce that Caitlin Vejby (Class of 2011) has secured internship with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco Office. She will spend 2 days a week for the fall semester working in the district office doing a variety of different tasks.