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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Department of Political Science

Distinction Program

  • Majors

    Katherine Barymow

    Class of 2017

    Katherine Barymow 160

    Katherine is very excited to be working on a Political Science Distinction thesis that examines how the Eisenhower Doctrine and Russian-American relations have influenced the rise of Islamist movements in Syria and have contributed to civil strife in the greater Middle East today. Katherine has found the political science major to be both flexible and meaningful. As she puts it, the political science major is both a “resume-builder” and “personally fulfilling.” 

The department’s distinction program offers a valuable opportunity for highly qualified PSC majors to work on a senior research project under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

Students participate in a seminar during fall and spring semesters to ensure the successful completion of their projects. Professor Dan McDowell teaches the seminar and will guide students through the program. For more information, please contact Prof. McDowell (334 Eggers Hall; dmcdowel@maxwell.syr.edu; 315.443.9804) and read about the program here.

In the spring, students present their findings during a poster session at the Maxwell School Celebration of Undergraduate Scholarship and may submit their paper for the Outstanding Student Research paper award. We are proud of the fact that three Political Science students have won this award since it was established in 2013, and two have received honorable mentions.

In 2015-2016, Political Science distinction students completed the following projects:
•  “A Tale of Two States: Explaining the Difference Behind Hate Speech Regulation in the United States and Canada”
•  “Understanding the European Union’s Relationships with Israel and the Palestinians”
•  “Racial Categorization in Modern America: Exploring the Need for Ambiguity”
•  “Welcoming the Stranger: African Refugees and Israel’s Asylum Regime”
•  “The Israeli Vagabond: An Analysis of Israel's Hilltop Youth Movement”