Incumbents Beware the Disruptive Competitor

Greetings to political scientists in North Carolina! It's campaign season and applying a political lens is ubiquitous. Political commenters are on the news, in the boardroom, at the coffee station, and in the line at the grocery store. Your barber, your sister, and your father-in-law all want to know what you think of Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton.

As we begin a new calendar year, I hope you are all making plans to join us for the 45th annual conference on February 26, 2016. The conference will be held in Research Triangle Park.

An opportunity for NCPSA members to present new or on-going research, the annual conference is also more than that. Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students network with their peers from around the state. Conversations with our academic partners can lead to collaboration, creative insights, and new options to consider.

This year's conference also aims to create dialogue about roles we play as individuals and as a community with nonacademic partners. Research Triangle Park is known for innovation, education, and industry. How does the work of political scientists contribute to entrepreneurial conversations? The STEM fields have been in employers' limelight recently but how do institutions of higher education prepare students to manage projects, conduct meetings, write clearly, and lead teams?

Another highlight of the annual conference is the Awards Ceremony. The chairpersons of the NCPSA Best Conference Paper committees will recognize the following winners from 2015:

  • The Oral Parks Memorial Award for the best conference paper by faculty will go to Maggie Commins (Queens University) and Jay Wills (Queens University) for their paper titled "Explaining State by State Variation in Immigration Policy Outcomes: Threats or Interests?"
  • The Fidelity Investments Award for the best conference paper by a graduate student will go to Clyde Ray (UNC-Chapel Hill) for his paper titled "John Marshall, Marbury v. Madison, and the Construction of Constitutional Legitimacy."

Congratulations to all nominees from last year's conference! It is an honor to be serving as president of our organization; thank you to the Executive Council for their support. I encourage any NC political scientist who is interested to submit his/her name for consideration to serve on a NCPSA committee or as a member of the Executive Council. Please see the links to the left for our contact information.

Cordially yours,

Cordially yours,
Liz Fournier
Saint Augustine's University