Political Science Department News

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April 2021: Prof. Culbert Interviewed in Los Angeles Times

Political Science Prof. Gar Culbert is the featured expert in a front-page Los Angeles Times story discussing Gov. Gavin Newsom's political situation during the pandemic and recall. 

February 2021: MA Student Receives APSA Diversity Fellowship

Student photo

Elena Ramirez graduated from California State University, Los Angeles in 2018 with a master’s in political science. She received honors and special recognition in graduate studies for outstanding academic performance. Additionally, Ramirez was selected as a Galbraith Fellow by CSULA's Pat Brown Institute for her enthusiasm in studying environmental politics. Coming from a lineage of Latino migrant farmworkers, Ramirez's research interests center on social and environmental equity for minority communities.

For her undergraduate thesis, Ramirez conducted original research about the disproportionate placement of toxic waste sites in communities of a low socioeconomic status. Her thesis was published in Cal Poly Pomona’s Political Science Undergraduate Journal and was awarded with a departmental scholarship for best paper in environmental studies. Her aspirations of becoming a researcher and an educator are anchored in contributing to the salience of environmental justice within our domestic political economy, in addition to increasing Latinx representation in the field of political science.

The DFP, formerly the Minority Fellowship Program, was established in 1969 to increase the number of under-represented scholars in the political science discipline. Since 1969, the APSA Diversity Fellowship Program has designated more than 500 Fellows, both funded and unfunded, and contributed to the completion of doctoral political science programs for over 100 individuals. Fall fellows are college or university seniors, graduates, or Master's students who plan on applying to a PhD program in political science. Spring fellows are first and second year PhD students in political science. APSA Diversity Fellows are very active in the discipline as faculty members, researchers, and mentors. Visit www.apsanet.org/mfp to learn more about the APSA DFP program and recent fellows.

November 2019: Cal State LA Model UN Awarded Outstanding Delegation

Model UNThe Cal State LA delegation participated in the NMUN-DC conference representing two countries  - Mexico and Venezuela.  Cal State LA was awarded Outstanding Delegation for its representation of Mexico, and Distinguished Delegation for its representation of Venezuela.  Additionally, three students were awarded Outstanding Position Paper (Marc Anthony Garcia, Ana Alfaro, and Alexander Morales).  Finally, Marc Anthony Garcia was recognized by his peers and awarded Outstanding Delegate in Committee.  

March 2018: Cal State LA Model United Nations Club Honored  

Cal State LA was awarded Distinguished Delegation in its representation of Peru at the Model United Nations conference in New York City, March 2018. Additionally, two students, Neyda Umana and Henry Matute, were each awarded Outstanding Position Papers for their research on the Commission on the Status of Women and the Commission on Narcotics Drugs, respectively. The Model UN Club is advised by Prof. Emily Acevedo of the Political Science Department. 

August 2016: POLS MA Student Visits Joins Taiwan-American Student Conference 

TaiwanArthur Hovannessian, a second-year MA student in the Political Science program, participated this past July 27 through August 16, 2016 in the Taiwan-American Student Conference (TASC) in Taiwan.  TASC is an intensive 3-week leadership conference that brings together 42 college students from the United States and Taiwan.  Here are a few words from Arthur on the experience.  "During the first week of the conference, we attended lectures given by the former Chief of the American Institute of Taiwan, as well as officials from both the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) and KMT (Kuomitang) parties. Additionally, we visited and toured the cities of Taipei, Tainan, Taichung, Taitung, and Jinshan. Aside from exchanging culture, American and Taiwanese delegates were grouped together to work on various projects, which each group presented at the end of the conference in the manner of formal presentations to corresponding panels. The panelists included top Engineering and Economics professors in Taiwan and various entrepreneurs. My particular group specifically was reviewed by the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. It was an intensive, rigorous educational and cultural exchange experience."

April 2016: Cal State LA Receives top honors at the 2016 National Model United Nations Conference

Model United Nations 2016 studentsThe CSULA Political Science Department's Model United Nations chapter was once again successful at the annual MUN conference in New York City.  Professor Acevedo, faculty advisor, is pictured at left with the CSULA delegation in New York. See full article.




June 2015: Political Science Association Visits Washington DC

Political Science Association Visits Washington DC

Thirteen student members of the CSULA Political Science Association, as well as eight other participants, visited Washington, D.C. together from June 16-20, 2015. The group, led by Prof. Taylor Dark, toured the US Capitol, Supreme Court, and National Archives, and had meetings with Reps. Adam Schiff and Lucille Roybal-Allard.  Members also had a brief visit with Rep. Tony Cardenas.  In addition, members of the club were able to observe the legislative process firsthand from both the House and Senate Galleries. One highlight of the trip was a meeting with Brett Morrow, a recent CSULA POLS graduate, and currently a staffer for Rep. Mark Takano.  Brett described his earlier work as a staffer for Rep. Schiff, and his current job for Rep. Takano, and gave the students advice for finding jobs on Capitol Hill. The club also met with two other CSULA Alumni, Laura Pintar and Marty Stadtner, both of whom are now in graduate school at American University.  

July 2014: POLS Student Elected to Serve on LA-32 Neighborhood Council

POLS major Sasha Perez

POLS major Sasha Perez ran for and won a seat on the LA-32 Neighborhood Council of El Sereno in July 2014. As director of the LA-32 south region, which encompasses the Cal State L.A. area, Sasha Perez hopes to one day transform El Sereno into a college town. For now, she is focused on beautifying the city by incorporating art and environmental awareness into the community. “We plan to pick up all the trash, wash the sidewalks, repaint business buildings, design murals, promote healthy living and sustainability programs, and also bring more organic vegetable gardens into the surrounding neighborhood,” she said. Perez was encouraged to pursue this leadership role while working as an intern at the Office of Councilmember Jose Huizar (D-14). There, she handled marketing and outreach for such projects as the Huntington-Eastern Business Improvement District, focusing on improving local businesses in El Sereno.

March 2014: POLS Alumnus Accepts Position at Trinity College, Dublin

Constantine BoussalisConstantine Boussalis (CSULA POLS BA, 2005) has recently accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Political Science (International Relations) at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland's oldest and most prestigious university. Constantine is currently an Empirical Research Fellow at Harvard Law School and received his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in 2011. His research interests are international political economy, environmental politics, and political behavior. For more information, visit Constantine's website at www.boussalis.com

March 2014: Master of Public Administration Student Honored

MPA student Luis Rivera recently was honored by the Los Angeles-based non-profit People for Community Improvement for his outstanding community service. At the early childhood organization First 5 LA, Luis is a Best Start Communities program officer who works in engaging and partnering with the Watts-Willowbrook community. More information about Luis' work

November 2013: CSULA POLS Students Visit Los Angeles City Hall

Political Science AssociationMembers of the CSULA Political Science Association toured City Hall on a field trip on Nov. 22, 2013, and met with Rick Cole, Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation, and City Councilman Tom LaBonge (CSULA Class of 1975). At right is a photo of group members and Prof. Taylor Dark with Councilman LaBonge.



March 2013: CSULA Model UN Delegation Visits New York, and Comes Back with Honors

The CSULA Model United Nations delegation particpated in the national MUN conference in New York in March, and returned with several honors: 1) The entire delegation, representing El Salvador, was awarded "Outstanding Delegation" -- an award that only 20 chapters received out of over 2500 universities; 2) Four of the CSULA MUN committees were awarded for "Outstanding Position Papers" [General Assembly First (Fernando Trejo), General Assembly Fourth (Andrew Morales and Salvador Melendez), Commission on the Status of Women (Elizabeth Lopez and Jasmine Clipper) and United Conference on Trade and Development (Christopher Clark and Sasha Perez]; 3) Two students were selected by their peers as "Outstanding Delegates in Committee" (Sasha Perez and Christopher Clark) for the United Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

February 2013: CSULA Political Science Graduate Receives California State Assembly Fellowship 

BA graduate Samantha Contreras was selected to receive a California State Assembly Fellowship for the 2012/13 year. As a Capital Fellow, Contreras is assigned to work as an intern full-time for 11 months, from Oct. 2012 to Sept. 2013, in the Office of Assemblyman Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara). The State Assembly program is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious legislative fellowship programs. This opportunity provides individuals of all ages and backgrounds to directly participate in the legislative process. She follows 2009 CSULA Political Science Graduate Henry Castillo, who served as a fellow in 2010-11.

February 2013: Professor Emeritus Jaime Regalado Honored

Professor Emeritus and former Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute, Dr. Jaime Regalado, received the Hank Lacayo Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute.

October 2012: MPA Students Participate in International Studies Association Conference

Public Administration Graduate Students

Graduate students from Spring 2012's POLS 595: Governing Sustainable Cities course presented their research at the International Studies Association West Conference, held in Pasadena. Pictured at left are Mark Granado (MPA), Jeniffer Aleman-Someta (Environmental Science), Angelina Romero (MPA) and Dr. Atsuko Sato. Mark presented a case study of Santa Rosa, Jenny, Los Angeles, and Angelina, Huntington Park. They were also awarded a graduate student travel grant from the office of Graduate Studies and Research.

August 2012: Professor Ellen Shiau receives PBI Mini-Grant

The Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs (PBI) at Cal State L.A. recently awarded mini-grants for unique research in Boyle Heights to three CSULA faculty members, including the Political Science Department's Ellen Shiau. Prof. Shiau will will explore the possible connections between the built environment, crime and fear, while also providing knowledge to the Boyle Heights community about spatial and temporal patterns of crime. “My research project plans to map reported incidences of crime in Boyle Heights from 2005 to 2010 using GIS (geographic information system) methods in order to identify spatial and temporal patterns of crime in the community,” explained Shiau. “The project builds on a collaboration with two USC researchers who are researching the experiences of male youth in East Los Angeles neighborhoods. As one piece of their research, male youth living in East Los Angeles were surveyed regarding places in their neighborhood where they felt afraid. The crime maps I will create hopefully will serve as a useful policy tool for Boyle Heights residents and advocates with an interest in public safety issues.” More information about this project.

April 2012: Cal State LA Model United Nations Delegation Recognized

Model United Nation 2012 studentsCal State LA’s Model United Nations represented the Kingdom of Belgium in New York, April 1-6, 2012. The Model United Nations team was awarded Honorable Mention. Only 28 universities were awarded in this category, out of 201 delegations ranging from 5 to 32 participants per country. Cal State LA students managed to engage and collaborate with incredibly large delegations of 192 states while only having two students per committee. Five out of the eleven committees CSULA represented were awarded Outstanding Position Paper. This is a high honor as less than .02% of delegates for each committee were honored with this award. The respective committees (and students) were recognized for their outstanding position papers: General Assembly, First – Andrew Morales; General Assembly, Third – collective effort of three students: Karla Garzon, Alejandro Hurtado and Vanessa Reed; Human Rights Council – Alejandro Hurtado; Economic and Social Council Plenary – Jeronimo Garcia; Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty – Fernando Trejo. 

March 2012: Political Science Association Visits Washington DC

Political Science Association

Nine members of CSULA's Political Science Association, a club for political science majors, visited Washington D.C. over spring break 2012. They were accompanied by Prof. Taylor Dark and his son. The group of 11 met with Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CSULA class of ’65) for about 30 minutes, and had photo ops with Rep. Judy Chu and Senator Feinstein. They also were able to spend about five minutes inside the Supreme Court chambers during the health care arguments. They toured the National Archives and saw the original parchment versions of the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution, visited the various monuments (Jefferson, Lincoln, WWII, Vietnam, FDR, MLK, etc.), and watched the House and Senate chambers in action as they voted on various pieces of legislation. They also watched a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee and had a tour of the Library of Congress. 

September 2011: CSULA’s Outstanding Lecturer Award Presented to Atsuko Sato, Political Science Lecturer

This year’s Outstanding Lecturer is Atsuko Sato, an internationally recognized political analyst who has conducted field research in Japan every summer since 2007, with an emphasis on the tri-level (international, national, and local) policy analysis of global environmental problems. She is also conducting research on women’s political representation comparing Japan and South Korea. She has been teaching at Cal State L.A. since 2000 in the Department of Political Science. She has taught a variety of courses based on her expertise in comparative politics/public policy, and her extensive training and experiences in research design and methods. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2002. Full coverage of Sept. 2011 Outstanding Lecturer Award in CSULA press release

April 2011: Model United Nations Delegation Awarded for Third Year

Model United Nations 2011Researching current issues and formulating resolutions to global concerns, a group of Cal State L.A. students in the Political Science 420 course spent two quarters in 11 committees preparing to become “diplomats” representing the Kingdom of Spain at the 2011 National Model United Nations (MUN) in New York. The National MUN—sponsored by the National Collegiate Conference Association—is an annual conference that challenges students to engage in a simulation with other colleges and universities as a delegate of a nation. As a result of the critical-thinking and diplomatic skills of CSULA’s 17-member delegation, they garnered two top awards at this year’s conference: “Outstanding Position Papers” and “Distinguished Delegation.” This is the third year in a row that CSULA has earned national accolades. 

May 2010: Double Honors for Cal State L.A.’s MUN Delegation

Model United Nations 2010

Representing the Republic of Turkey, Cal State L.A.’s student delegation brought home two major awards from this year’s National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference in New York. Full coverage of Cal State LA's 2010 MUN Delegation in CSULA Press Release.



April 2010: Cal State LA's Model United Nations Wins Again!

Model United Nations april

At the 2010 Model United Nations conference in New York City in early April, CSULA was awarded Outstanding Position Papers and Distinguished Delegation. Over 300 universities attended the 2010 NMUN, including several international delegations from Germany, Italy, Spain, China, and Canada.  Only 32 schools were awarded Outstanding Position Papers, and 24 schools awarded Distinguished Delegation.


November 2008: Cal State LA Election Coverage

KNBC coverage of Prof. Dark's class on the 2008 presidential primaries.​









May 2008: Political Science Major featured in LA Times

Political Science major Matthew Tiffany, featured in an LA Times article on alternative fuels.

April 2007: Former State Assemblywoman Carol Liu Speaks to the CSULA Pi Sigma Alpha Chapter

Former Assemblywoman Carol Liu (44th District)Former Assemblywoman Carol Liu (44th District) spoke to the Pi Sigma Alpha chapter on April 3, 2007. Liu was formerly chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, and will be running for the California State Senate in 2008. In 2003, the California State Student Association and the University of California Alumni Associations recognized Liu’s commitment to higher education, each naming her “Legislator of the Year.”

A fifth-generation Californian and the child of an immigrant, Liu was born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland. She attended public schools and graduated from San Jose State College in 1963. She earned a lifetime teaching credential and an administrative credential from the University of California, Berkeley School of Education. Liu taught public school for seven years before becoming a school administrator. She also served as Executive Director of the Richmond Federation of Teachers.

March 2006: Former Mass. Gov. Michael Dukakis Visits the Department

Former Massachusetts Governor and 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis visited the department in March 2006. Dukakis was a three-term governor of Massachusetts (1975-79; 1983-91) and in 1986 his colleagues in the National Governors' Association voted him the most effective governor in the nation. Since June 1991, Dukakis has been a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University and a visiting professor at the School of Public Policy at UCLA. His research has focused on national health care policy reform and the lessons that national policymakers can learn from state reform efforts. Recently, he and former U.S. Senator Paul Simon authored a new book entitled How to Get Into Politics -- and Why, which is designed to encourage young people to think seriously about politics and public service as a career.