Elon’s Political Science Department to host Pi Sigma Alpha journal through 2023

Elon undergraduates and faculty advisors will collaborate to edit and publish the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics beginning Fall 2020. Pi Sigma Alpha is the national political science honor society, comprised of more than 800 chapters at universities across America.

Elon University’s Department of Political Science and Policy Studies will host the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics for three years beginning Fall 2020, reflecting the department’s growing standing in the field of political science.

Pi Sigma Alpha is the National Political Science Honor Society. Hosting the bi-annual journal is an achievement in the field and indicates the high esteem of Elon’s faculty and scholarship in the discipline. The journal’s presence on Elon’s campus will connect it more than 800 Pi Sigma Alpha chapters at universities nationwide.

This week’s announcement brought celebration from Elon’s leadership.

“We applaud the selection of Elon’s Department of Political Science and Policy Studies to host the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics,” said Elon University President Connie Book. “This great honor underscores Elon’s commitment to undergraduate research. I’m confident Elon faculty and students will be dedicated stewards of the journal and will advance its mission of showcasing the best in undergraduate research in this field.”

Professor of Political Science and Policy Studies Laura Roselle (front), Assistant Professors Baris Kesgin and Aaron Sparks (right), Mary Ellen Kempf ’19 and her Elon supporters.

Undergraduates will compile and edit the peer-reviewed journal for biannual online publication under the rotating advisement of Professor of Political Science and Policy Studies Laura Roselle and Assistant Professors Aaron Sparks and Baris Kesgin.

Elon was selected to host the journal for its faculty’s established commitment to undergraduate research and teaching, the breadth of expertise among faculty in the Political Science and Policy Studies Department, and faculty members’ standing within their areas of study.

“Pi Sigma Alpha is excited to have the outstanding students and faculty of Elon University take on the Undergraduate Journal of Political Science,” said Sean Twombly, Pi Sigma Alpha’s executive director. “For nearly 20 years the journal has provided an outlet for quality undergraduate student research but equally important has provided a means for students from the host institution serving on the editorial board to strengthen their own writing and editing skills, think critically about other’s writing, and work collectively through the decision making of the peer review process.”

Elon’s chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, Sigma Upsilon, was established in 1992 and has inducted more than 800 members since.

“It’s an incredible honor for this department to be chosen to house Pi Sigma Alpha’s Undergraduate Research Journal for the next several years,” said Gabie Smith, dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences. “I’m delighted that faculty who are such exceptional mentors to students and the department have received this honor and can advance high-quality undergraduate research in their discipline in this way.”

Elon’s founding student editorial team has been preparing for the journal’s summer arrival through POL 271: Analyzing Political Inquiry.

“The Department of Political Science and Policy Studies at Elon University is honored and excited to host this prestigious journal and deepen its relationship with Pi Sigma Alpha. We are confident that this will be a wonderful fit and beneficial to both PSA and Elon, given our departmental commitments to research, writing, and undergraduate political science education,” said Department Chair and Associate Professor of Political Science and Policy Studies Sean Giovanello.

Professor Laura Roselle, left, Mark Berlin ‘13, and Assistant Professor Baris Kesgin at a Pi Sigma Alpha function in 2019.

Kesgin led the effort to secure the journal for Elon students. He sees potential for Elon’s political science majors to hone their skills while collaborating with a number of cross-disciplinary majors in the publishing process.

“Hosting the journal is a significant opportunity for our students in the coming years,” Kesgin said. “Beyond our major, it certainly has the potential involve any majors in the process: The editorial tasks will include much more than disciplinary expertise. I am thrilled for our students’ applying their disciplinary knowledge, learning management skills, developing teamwork, and understanding research ethics.”

The journal was founded in 2001 as the American Undergraduate Journal of Politics and Government at Purdue University. Pi Sigma Alpha has sponsored the journal since 2004. Other schools to host the journal previously include Union College in New York, the College of William & Mary in Virginia, and Oakland University in Michigan.

“Being selected to host the journal is a recognition of the standing that our faculty members enjoy within their fields and the caliber of their ongoing research. Hosting the Pi Sigma Alpha journal offers the unique opportunity to increase the Department of Political Science and Policy Studies’ standing and expand its reach in the years to come,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Aswani Volety.

Pi Sigma Alpha inducts more than 8,000 members a year and over its 100-year history has inducted more than 300,000 individuals including one U.S. president, three Supreme Court justices, and dozens of members of Congress.

While at Elon, the journal will be on Twitter at @PSAJournal.