Department News

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November 2023: POLS Students Participate in Model United Nations Conference in Washington, D.C.

Model UN Students

Cal State LA Political Science students represented the countries of Albania and Guatemala at a Model United Nations conference of more than 1,000 students in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 10-12, 2023. Nineteen POLS students collaborated with students from across the country and around the globe to seek innovative solutions to international problems that require collective action. They served on six different UN committees. Four students were recognized with awards for Outstanding Position Papers (Naziah Rahman, Darren Ong, Emily Raab, and Marcus Lopena). The efforts of additional Model UN students ( Kurt Castillo, Sean Erkin, Chelsea Evans, Robert Fuentes, Ainsley Huff, Harseerat Mann, Christian Miranda, Noah Perez, T.J Raikar, Derek Rivas, Yachi Rivas, Rose Rosales, Soledad Santana, Advik Sharma, and Paulyn Sreekhwan) were also recognized by conference organizers. Both the Albanian and Guatemalan delegations received Honorable Mentions for their collaborative efforts, public speaking, and engagement in the diplomatic processes of the conference.   

May 2023: POLS Student wins Judicial Council Fellowship

Judicial Affairs Fellows
Judicial Affairs Fellows, 2023-2024

A 2023 Political Science BA graduate, Caché Raine-Jones, has received a prestigious California Judicial Council Fellowship.  The program is described as follows: 

Judicial Fellows work in Superior Courts and Judicial Council offices throughout California and gain experience in the executive level management of California’s judicial branch and serve the branch mission of access to justice. Judicial Fellows are tasked with a variety of work assignments during the fellowship, such as legislative analysis and leading research projects related to court programs and public policy initiatives. Key components of the program are the cohort model of the fellowship class, the strength of the mentorship opportunities that exist for fellows in each of the placements, and the opportunity to visit different courts throughout California for monthly field and academic seminars. Ten Fellows are selected to participate in the 10-month-long program that starts in September of each year. 

The Judicial Fellowship Program is one of four fellowships that make up the Capital Fellows Programs. Voted one of the Top 10 internships nationwide in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014 by, the Capital Fellows Programs were ranked highly for their combination of meaningful work experience and career opportunities. Each year, Vault's editors evaluate the internship programs profiled in their annual guide and select from those the Top 50 internship programs they feel represent the best all-around opportunities.

More description here:
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March 2023: Students host visit by Alma Rosa Nieto 

Alma Rose Nieto

On March 7, 2023 students in the Cal State LA Political Science association hosted a visit by Alma Rosa Nieto, a prominent immigration attorney and legal analyst in Los Angeles and nationally. Ms. Nieto is a frequent contributor to Telemundo, Univision, Al Jazeera America, MSNBC, MSN Latino, NBC Latino, CNN, and NPR. She appears often on the popular Spanish radio show “El Show del Mandril” on Radio Centro 93.9 FM where she discusses the latest immigration news across the country and answers listeners’ immigration inquiries. Ms. Nieto was born in Los Angeles, California but raised in Mexico City, Mexico. Upon completing her education in Mexico City, Nieto returned to Los Angeles where she completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology at Cal State Los Angeles. She then earned her Juris Doctorate degree at the University of California Hastings College of Law in 1982. Over the course of 30 years, she has represented thousands of clients and educated millions through her frequent educational appearances on television, radio, and social media. She also currently serves on the College of Natural and Social Sciences (NSS) Dean’s Board of Advisors. Read more about Ms. Nieto and her experience at Cal State LA here: /nss/alumnus-alma-rosa-nieto.

January 2023: Prof. Clark receives NEH Fellowship

Prof. Gabrielle Clark has been awarded a full-time book-writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities under their Award for Faculty Program for the 2024-25 academic year. Her Project Title is "Lineages of the Deportable Labor State: Migrant Workers and the Law in American History." She will be researching and writing a book about the political and legal institutions that have governed migrant labor in the United States from the end of the nineteenth century until today. 

November 2022: Model UN Attends DC Conference

Model UN Students

June 2021: Prof. Parker Wins Major Grant from Wells Fargo

Prof. Marla Parker (Political Science), along with Dmitri Seals (Sociology) and Veena Prabhu (Management), secured a $1 million grant from Wells Fargo to support the launch of a new student entrepreneurship program, Leading for Equity in Entrepreneurship Accelerator and Fellowship, that aims to help communities recover following the pandemic. The award was part of $3.6 million in Open for Business Fund grants that Wells Fargo has given to organizations to provide multicultural and multilingual technical assistance, strategies and resources to help Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) women small business owners adapt and sustain economic recovery, including in the tech and entertainment industries.

The new program supports students who want to learn more about entrepreneurship and help communities recover following the COVID-19 pandemic. Cal State LA students will have the opportunity to serve as fellows while taking part in intensive training, working alongside entrepreneurs and positioning themselves and communities to innovate and thrive in a post-pandemic world.

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 to learn more about the APSA DFP program and recent fellows.

November 2019: Cal State LA Model UN Awarded Outstanding Delegation

Model UN

The 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.  

April 2019: Cal State LA Political Science Association visits Sacramento

Trip to Sacramento

2018: Prof. Lim Receives Korean Studies Grant

In 2018, Prof. Timothy Lim and his academic collaborators received a five-year grant supported by the Ministry of Education in South Korea (administered by the Academy of Korean Studies). The grant is designed to broaden the international horizon of Korean Studies by creating world-class research results. The total award amount is more than $1.3 million over a five-year period. The project title is “Local Agency and National Responses to Globalization: The South Korean Case in Comparative, Transnational, and Diasporic Perspective."

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 Joins Taiwan-American Student Conference 


Arthur 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 students

The 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 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 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

March 2014: Master of Public Administration Student Honored

MPA student Luis Rivera was recently 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 Association

Members 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.

April 2012: Cal State LA Model United Nations Delegation Recognized

Model United Nation 2012 students

Cal 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