Georgetown’s first undergraduate political science summer institute aims to improve diversity in the discipline

19 students from area colleges participated in Georgetown’s first Undergraduate Political Science Summer Institute.

Nineteen juniors and seniors from area colleges and universities participated in the week-long training program, which aims increase the diversity of PhD candidates in political science. programs, increase the acceptance rate of underrepresented students, and improve inclusion and equity in the study of politics.

The program’s curriculum included sessions with faculty and graduate students who discussed the opportunities and challenges of pursuing a doctorate, seminars on the study and methodology of political science, and opportunities to hone skills. Participants research skills and workshop their applications.

The program was led by Diana Kapiszewski, associate professor in the Department of Government; Lahra Smith, associate professor at the Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) and the Department of Government; and five doctoral students and applicants to the Department of Government who have served as “Ph.D. Ambassadors” and who will continue to mentor students throughout the next academic year. The Institute also included a range of faculty and staff from Georgetown, including Provost Robert M. Groves, and other area universities.

“Georgetown Department of Government faculty developed the program as part of our efforts to diversify the department’s student and faculty community and rethink the kinds of questions the discipline asks and tthe methodologies it uses,” says Anthony Clark Arend, Chairman of the Government Department.

We hope that the Institute will play a small role in addressing the deep pipeline issues that lead to the lack of diversity among PhD students. students, and therefore faculty, in political science,” says Kapiszewski.

Many speakers during the week discussed the opportunities political scientists have to address pressing topics such as climate change, inequality and political divisions.

“We were thrilled to see the students work together as a cohort and also engage deeply with the various faculty and staff colleagues who presented throughout the week,” Smith said.

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