Student Opportunities

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Model United Nations:

Join our award-winning and nationally competitive Model United Nations team, led by Dr. Carol Glen.

Study Abroad:

International experiences are an excellent way to strengthen resumes, and one way to gain such an opportunity is through study abroad programs. The Department of Political Science runs a very successful program to the Czech Republic, in partnership with Palacky University and under the leadership of Dr. Michael Baun

Internships

Our Political Science majors regularly work on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC for various members of Congress, providing them with unique professional experiences and long-term career benefits.

Georgia Legislative Internship Program (GLIP):

Each year the Georgia legislature hosts students from all Georgia universities and colleges to assist during the spring legislative session. Political Science majors have been participating in the GLIP for years. To learn more, contact Dr. Robbins. Deadline to apply: Fall 2019 application window closed. 

United Nations Internship Program:

An internship at the United Nations or at one of the UN Agencies (such as UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, etc.) could provide you with an ideal start in the world of public policy and international diplomacy. Here are the links: UN InternshipsUNDP InternshipsUNICEF InternshipsUNFPA Internships.

Representative Burchett of the Georgia State Legislature: 

Rep. Burchett is looking fall 2019 and spring 2020 interns for his offices in Waycross and possibly Atlanta (spring). To learn more, contact Dr. Robbins.

Lowndes County Solicitor General’s Office:

The Lowndes County Solicitor General’s Office has internships available for those with strong interest in seeking justice for victims by pursuing careers as prosecutors, victim advocates, mental health counselors, etc.  Contact Ashley Anderson (Victim Advocate and Volunteer Coordinator at the Solicitor General’s Office @ 229-671-2510) to learn more.

Alvarado Law Firm:

The Alvarado Law Firm specializes in Immigration Law and is currently looking to hire hard-working, passionate, and tech savvy interns as soon as possible. Those fluent in Spanish are particularly encouraged to apply.  If you are interested in interning with the firm, please contact Hannah at 229-244-5822 or via email at assistant@palvarado.com. You can email Hannah with your resume, school schedule, and a personal introduction as well.

Woodall Spring Internship 2020:

The office of Congressman Rob Woodall is looking for highly qualified candidates that are motivated, detail-oriented, personable, and have a zeal for constituent service for the upcoming Spring Semester. The ideal candidates for this full-time paid internship program will have excellent research and writing abilities and be able to multi-task and interact well with constituents visiting the office and on the phone. Interns will have the opportunity to experience working on Capitol Hill, learn about the legislative process, and attend briefings of interest. Interested candidates should email tommy.reynolds@mail.house.gov with the subject line “Woodall Spring Internship 2020” and include their resume, cover letter, and completed internship application which can be found here: https://woodall.house.gov/services/internships.

Conferences and Other Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research is a hallmark of the Political Science Department, as many of our students have received awards and distinctions for their outstanding conference papers and published work. As VSU’s Undergraduate Research Council (URC) explains “students who engage in research activities are able to build relationships resulting in enhanced learning with their faculty mentors, are more likely to be retained, are more likely to pursue advanced degrees, have an increased knowledge base of research methodology, and are more likely to promote an innovation-oriented culture.” The opportunities below provide more information for our students interested in extending their research projects to other areas.

Undergraduate Research Symposium:

VSU is committed to increasing the opportunities available for undergraduate students to participate in research through specialized courses, engagement in internships and service learning, and other opportunities. The Undergraduate Research Symposium is held each spring and the announcement to solicit proposals will be released soon. Contact Dr. Lavonna Lovern at (229) 333-7376 or llovern@valdosta.edu for more information.

Georgia Political Science Association (GPSA):

The state of Georgia maintains one of the largest, active political science associations in the country. Every November, the GPSA holds its annual academic conference where faculty and students deliver research presentations. There are several student awards given out for research excellence each year as well. The deadline to submit conference proposals is typically 1 July. For more information, contact Dr. Robbins.

Southern Political Science Association (SPSA):

The Southern Political Science Association is one of the oldest and largest political science organizations in the United States. The SPSA’s annual conference is held in January in cities such as New Orleans, San Juan, Austin, etc. The deadline to submit conference proposals is typically in early fall. To learn more about this conference and the SPSA itself, please visit the site linked in the title above or contact Dr. Robbins.

Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA):

Every March or April, thousands of political science faculty members and students attend and present research at one of our discipline’s largest conferences—the MPSA—in Chicago, Illinois. The deadline to submit conference proposals for the MPSA is typically in late September or early October. To learn more about this conference and the MPSA itself, please visit the site linked in the title above or contact Dr. Robbins.

*Funding is available for students presenting papers at conferences.

Posters on the Hill 2020:

Each spring, the Council on Undergraduate Research hosts an annual undergraduate poster session on Capitol Hill. At this event and its related activities, members of Congress and their staff members learn about the importance of undergraduate research through talking directly with the student researchers involved in these programs. Applications must be submitted by 5 November 2019 by 11:59pm EST. More information is available on their site: https://www.cur.org/what/events/students/posters_on_the_hill_2020/.

Posters at the Georgia State Capital:

Please see the post below for any student interested in presenting their research (as a poster) in Atlanta on 25 February 2020. Applications must be submitted at http://kb.gcsu.edu/posters/2020/ and are due by 25 October 2019. Decision notifications will be sent out by 15 November 2019. Contact Lavonna Lovern for more information.

Awards and Competitions

Truman Scholarship Program:

The Truman Scholarship is the premier graduate fellowship in the United States for those pursuing careers as public service leaders. It is open to any junior-level, full time undergraduate student pursuing graduate school and will provide generous financial support for pursuing graduate or professional education. Materials must be submitted to VSU’s Truman Scholar website by 5 December 2019. For more information, contact Dr. Robbins.

Donald J. Weidner Summer for Undergraduates Program:

This four-week summer law program provides students with an in-depth look at law school and the legal profession and will take place at the Florida State University College of Law in Talllahassee from June 1- June 26. The application deadline is April 1st. Additional information, including the online application, is available at www.law.fsu.edu/slp

Pizer Foundation Study Abroad Scholorship:

The deadline to apply for the $1,000 Pizer study abroad scholarships is 3 December 2019. Application materials should be submitted, either in paper or electronically, to Professor Michael Baun

The Winder Best Paper Award

The Pi Sigma Alpha Paper Award

ICPSR Research Paper Competition