Thursday, September 28, 2006

Michael Allen '06

Some days back I got an email from Michael Allen '06 who is currently in the PhD program in Political Science at SUNY Binghamton. He writes:

"My concentrations are in international relations and comparative politics, with one paper on hegemonic stability theory and another (co-authored with another member of my cohort) on rational choice decision making by groups in choosing tactics of violence against the state (in various contexts). The program here is heavily concentrated in quantitative studies and, consequently, my papers are focused on testing various theories using collected or available data.

Your prediction/experience with funding was accurate. I was able to secure a TA [teaching assistantship] position my first semester, received another TA position in the fall, worked as a RA during the summer, and now have a secure line of funding in the department. My grades here have continued to stay among the top of my cohort, and I am the President of the Political Science Graduate Student Organization for the year. It's somewhat amazing how focused one can be on academia when the snow covers the ground from October to late Spring.

Anyways, I wanted to communicate with you and let you know that I am attempting to maintain a decent name for UPS graduates of the politics and government department in academia."

By my count, we've got a good half-dozen gradutes in Political Science PhD programs right now. Either we should be proud of their following in our footsteps or ashamed that we so led them astray.