Forty North Central College students studying political science saw their area of study in action when they attended the annual Midwest Political Science Association national conference, which took place April 11-14 in Chicago. Senior Rima Gungor was among a select group of students to present.
Though the organization is regional, the conference draws visitors nationally and internationally and is the second-largest annual gathering of political scientists in the country. This year there were 5,000 attendees.
Suzanne Chod, North Central assistant professor of political science, says students were required to attend one session for courses in the department. “However, they took this experience in the spirit in which it was intended and not only attended multiple sessions, but multiple days as well. They went to panel presentations, poster presentations and browsed through the book room. We’re in a unique situation in that the conference is in Chicago each year and we can send students to an academic conference to reinforce what they learn in the classrooms.”
Also, political science major Rima Gungor ’12 gave a poster presentation during the conference and was one of only 65 undergraduate students invited to present. “It was a huge honor, and I was really happy to represent North Central at such a huge conference,” Gungor says.
The political science department faculty hosted a reception for current students, alumni and professional colleagues from other institutions at the Chicago residence of Professor of Political Science Stephen Maynard Caliendo. The reception was an opportunity for students to network and meet faculty from other institutions.
“Students tell me the whole experience was very worthwhile,” says Chod. “And a few who were thinking of graduate school decided academics was in fact the right path for them after they attended the conference.”