Honors and Awards

Political Science Awards Reception

Each Spring the political science department hosts an awards reception to recognize the achievement of political science students. The event includes the Pi Sigma Alpha initiation, recognition of political science honor roll students, recognition of scholarship winners and the presentation of Best Paper Awards. All political science students are invited to attend and refreshments are provided.

Award Recipients 2019

HSS Scholars for the Department of Political Science

Departmental Honors

The minimum eligibility to be considered for Departmental Honors in political science includes a grade point average in the major of at least 3.5 and completion of a minimum of 12 hours of exceptionally fine independent work. The 12 hours must include the completion of a 6 hour bachelor's essay in addition to any combination of POLI 400, 401, and/or 402. The Capstone Seminar (POLI 405) may not be included in the required 12 hours of independent work.

2020: Jesse Keeffe and Olivia Rothstein

2019: Alexandra Helfgott

Outstanding Student Award

A recognition normally awarded to the top two graduating seniors in the major. Recognition is based on grade point average in the major and overall grades earned at the College of Charleston as well as extra-curricular activities that distinguish the award recipient.

2020: Katya Caleca, Jesse Keeffe, William Meis, Christopher Pavlinec and Sarah Shtessel

2019: Alexandra Helfgott, Catie Hutchison, Kevin O'Dell and Stephanie Selker

Political Science Honor Roll

The honor roll recognizes political science majors each semester who carry a minimum of 12 credits and earn a 3.5 gpa or higher. Honor Roll students will be recognized at the annual Political Science Award reception and the honor list will be posted in the department and on the website following each semester.

Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society)

Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, is the only honor society for college and university students of government in the United States. At present, there are more than 700 Pi Sigma Alpha chapters on campuses across the country. Pi Sigma Alpha's purpose is to recognize and promote scholarship on and intelligent discussion of government and politics. Requirements to become a member include: a 3.25 GPA in political science courses; a 3.0 overall, and the completion of at least 18 hours in political science coursework. The Department of Political Science at the College of Charleston emails invitations to join Pi Sigma Alpha to eligible students early in the Spring semester each year. Students who choose to accept the invitation by completing the application and submitting the lifetime membership fee will be initiated at the Political Science Awards reception where they will receive a certificate to recognize their achievement and if they choose to purchase a medallion that they can wear at graduation.

Pi Sigma Alpha Best Paper Awards

Each year political science faculty select outstanding student papers that have been submitted by students in political science courses throughout the academic year. Best Paper Awards fall under 2 categories: Core courses and Upper Division courses. Authors of these selected papers receive a certificate, a small monetary award, and are recognized at the Political Science Awards Reception.

2020 Upper Division Course Papers

First Place: Patrick Wohlscheid

Second Place: James McHugh

Third Place: Cookie Desai

2020 Lower Division Course Papers

First Place: Daniel Thompson

2019 Upper Division Course Papers

First Place: Kaylee Roberts

Second Place: Stephanie Selker

2019 Lower Division Course Papers

First Place: Aligail Martuscello

Second Place: Alex Gorham