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Thursday, May 09, 2013 - OU to host prestigious political science journal
By Katie Land, news editor


Oakland University’s political science honor society will play host to the prestigious Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics for the next three years.

The journal publishes outstanding undergraduate research from around the country on a bi-annual basis, and is operated entirely by undergraduate students from the host university, who review, edit, and produce the journal. Most recently, the journal was housed at Purdue University and the College of Williams and Mary.

“This is a major achievement for the Pi Sigma Alpha Nu Omega chapter,” said Terri Towner, assistant professor and faculty advisor for Pi Sigma Alpha. “As a result of working on the journal, OU students will increase their critical thinking, writing, and verbal communication skills. In addition, students will gain valuable leadership experience and cultivate teamwork skills.”

Oakland’s Nu Omega chapter was selected from programs nationwide to house the journal, and will take custody beginning in fall 2013. OU students and Pi Sigma Alpha members wrote the bulk of the proposal, which included a rationale, available resources, university description, evidence of the department’s commitment to the journal, and a summary of other qualifications.

Pi Sigma Alpha President Evan Jones was instrumental in bringing the journal to Oakland, and intends to personally oversee the process to ensure the utmost quality and excellence.


“I think the journal will afford myself and others the opportunity to gain an appreciation for the type of work many professors do as reviewers for professional journals,” Jones said. “I also think that in the process of reviewing and editing other undergraduates' work in my field of study, I will become a better writer and critical thinker. The journal will also offer valuable experiences on the nature of team-based projects.”

To participate in the journal, students can register for PS 306: Special Topics in Political Science this fall. In the course, students will learn to assess manuscripts by criteria such as the work’s contribution to Political Science scholarship, support for main conclusions, appropriateness of its methodology, and writing quality.

Editorial board members will edit the manuscripts, check citations and references, and format the articles to fit the layout. Once this work is complete, the journal edition will be published with the students’ names on the front cover.

“Not only does this reflect on Oakland's rising prestige, it offers a new way for students to be involved in their major,” said history and political science major Jane Dixon. “By allowing students the ability to join the editorial board, they will have an exclusive opportunity that only a select few will be able to enjoy across the country. It contributes to the wider goal of encouraging undergraduate research.”

This experience is especially valuable for Dixon, whose future plans include continuing her education and becoming a professor. In the world of academia, research for peer-reviewed journals will become an important part of her career, Dixon said.

Both Jones and Dixon are members of Pi Sigma Alpha and will serve on the journal's editorial board in the next academic year.

For more information about the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics, visit the website.  

For more information about OU’s Nu Omega chapter or participating in the journal at Oakland, view the group's Facebook page or contact Dr. Towner at towner@oakland.edu

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at oakland.edu/newsatou and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.   
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