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Political Science Independent Research Showcase Archive

The Political Science Independent Research Showcase Archive features an online gallery of the research, scholarship and creative activity of TCNJ Political Science students. The Showcase highlights significant work that results from deep engagement in the scholarly or creative process. Students present work that they have already prepared or presented for another purpose such as Independent Research, a Capstone course, a conference presentation, or some other outstanding scholarly/creative experience. In many cases, this will be work done in collaboration with a faculty mentor, but the student is the primary author and presenter of the work at the Showcase.

December 2022 Showcase

The Department of Political Science hosted the 2022 Political Science Independent Research Showcase (PIRS) on December 7 2022. Congratulations to all the talented students. some of whom are shown here, who participated and presented their projects & research, showcasing a semester of hard work. 

Students with poster

student with poster

student with poster

students with poster

2022 Political Science Independent Research Showcase Schedule

Title Presenter Faculty Sponsor
12:00pm - 1:00pm
SSB 227
Global Perspectives on Political Regimes and Social Movements
How Regime Type affects State Perceptions Christopher Rosati Dr. Hyun-Binn Cho
Term Limits and Autocratic States Tre Scott Dr. Hyun-Binn Cho
Contested Languages: Intersection of Linguistic Social Movements and Secession in Catalonia and The Basque Country Nancy Bowne Dr. Nicholas Toloudis
Colonized Culture: A Study of Anti-Colonial Movements Courtney Strauch Dr. Nicholas Toloudis
1:15pm - 2:15pm
SSB 227
Consequences of U.S. Federalism
Republican Reactions to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Extensions Alexander Xenakis Dr. Adam McMahon
The Children That Were Left Behind: Understanding Federalism’s Role in the Passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act Jenny Marcinkowski Dr. Adam McMahon
How Federalism Hurt the Judiciary: Barriers in Desegregation Zaniah Anderson Dr. Adam McMahon
1:15pm - 2:15pm
SSB 228
War and National Security
Ideology & War Aamoré Richards Dr. Hyun-Binn Cho
How have the challenges of intelligence acquisition improved since 9/11? Tyler Boyd Dr. Hyun-Binn Cho
Escalation: What's the Cause? Tyler Swartz Dr. Hyun-Binn Cho
Bureaucratic Politics and Sprinting Strategies: United States and Nuclear Proliferation Kelly Capraun Dr. Hyun-Binn Cho
2:30 - 3:30pm
SSB 227
Identity, Culture, and Politics in the U.S.
African American and US History According to K-12 Textbooks Jenna Azeez Dr. Max Burkey
Respectability as Cultural Racism: Hip-Hop and White Reaction in the 1990s Anushka Vishahan Dr. Max Burkey
Policy Recommendations for Island Beach as a Coastal Gateway Community David Roberts Dr. Dan Bowen
Performance Artists in the Queer Rights Movements of US and UK Henry Nolan Dr. Nicholas Toloudis
2:30 - 3:30pm
SSB 228 or SSB second floor hallway
Poster Session
Measuring Legislative Session Length Dylan Chidick, Frank Davis and Tre Scott Dr. Dan Bowen
Disruption or Facilitation: The Effects of Administrative Decentralization on Social Movement Repertoires Christopher Sotiro Dr. Nicholas Toloudis
Chemical Industrial Air Pollution in Philadelphia Lex Steigelman Dr. Brian Potter
Legislative Professionalism and Descriptive Representation Yuliia Sul, Yarden Mach, Aamore Richards Dr. Dan Bowen
Why Do Americans Dislike Professional Legislators? Amanda Bilek and Justin Drayton Dr. Dan Bowen


May 6, 2020 Showcase

POL 498: Social Movements & the Politics of Protest with Dr. Chartock

Emily Caporoso

Brexit: A Case Study between the UK and France

Daytwan Coates-Hall

How did the Brexit vote come to be and why hasn’t a similar vote occurred in other EU member states?



Patricia Kou

Political Opportunity and Grievances: Differing Outcomes of Apartheid’s Sharpeville Massacre and Soweto Youth Uprising

Catriona Leary

Sanctuary Cities: Why Do They Exist? Exploring the Root Cause of the Declaration of Sanctuary Cities



Sean R. Wehner

Vaccination and Failed Legislation: Non-Medical Vaccination Exemptions in New Jersey & California



POL 390-01: Political Parties & Party Systems with Dr. Toloudis

Isabel Anthony

The United States and Hungary: How Populist Leaders are Elected

The United States and Hungary: How Populist Leaders are Elected infograph.

Alanna Namit

Populism in Competitive Authoritarian Regimes



Alexandra Shapiro

Election Turnout in Switzerland

Jada Grisson

How Racial Regimes Complicate Strategies of Political Management within Mono-Party Systems



POL 390-02: American State Politics with Dr. Bowen

Alexandra Fountaine

Understanding Welfare Policy and Incarceration: An Intersectional Approach

Casey Lishko

Disasters and Climate: Do Natural Hazards Inform Enduring Beliefs About Global Warming?




Jayson Morelli

The Effects of Mayoral Salaries on the Performance of Municipalities

Sean Simmers

Descriptive Representation and State Legislative Professionalism




Kiana Stockwell

Causes & Consequences of Polling Place Closures post-Shelby v. Holder

Michael Trerotola

LGBT Representation: Descriptive Representation in State Legislatures



POL 395: Supervised Group Research in Data Science and State Politics with Dr. Garlick

State Legislative Rules Shape Bill Advancement and Passage Rates infograph.

Catriona Leary, Kiana Stockwell and Alex Garlick

State Legislative Rules Shape Bill Advancement and Passage Rates

The Effect of Partisan Alignment on Interest Group Agenda Setting infograph.

Emma Becker, Juan Carlos Belmonte, Anthony Cortazzo, Anthony Saginario, James Wright and Alex Garlick

The Effect of Partisan Alignment on Interest Group Agenda Setting


December 2020 Showcase

POL 498: Senior Seminar in Political Communication with Prof. Garlick

Watch the PIRS Showcase Panel, presented on December 2, 2020, as well as additional student presentations, below.

Professor Alex Garlick

Introduction and Overview: Professor Alex Garlick discusses the capstone projects from POL 498: Senior Seminar in Political Communication to be presented at PIRS and that are still in progress. This course was remote-only, but the students still pursued interesting research questions on contemporary issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 presidential election, climate change, mass shootings, Russian disinformation campaigns and more. We hope you enjoy this innovative and rigorous work.

PIRS Showcase Panel

Madeline Davies
: “The Widening of Partisan Polarization: A Catalyzer of Diverging Climate Change Media”
Alanna Namit:  “Athletes and Politics: A Study of Black Lives Matter and Athletic Activism”
Dylan Teixiera: “The Effectiveness of Social Media in Social Distance Messaging”


Kelsey Ballard

Gender, Ideology and Electability: Newspaper Coverage of the 2020 Democratic Primary

Jayson Morelli

News Consumption Trends in Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak


Joshua Oh

Social Media’s Impact on Political Opinion of Presidential Policy

Vincenzo Spanola

Young Americans Political Involvement: Evidence from Mass Shootings

Deisha Inniss

Mobilization of Black Movements through Interest Groups and the Media

Emily Evers

The 2016 Russian Internet Research Agency Twitter Disinformation Campaign and its Impact on American Newspapers