Political Science Students Present Papers At Regional Conference

Courtesy of
Media Services

Pictured from left are Leslie Beard, Sarah Phillips, Jessica Herrington, Dr. Carol Strong, Jimmy ‘Tyler’ Harrison, Sanpreet ‘Ruby’ Kaur and Ashley Lawrence.   (Photo Courtesy of Media Services)

Pictured from left are Leslie Beard, Sarah Phillips, Jessica Herrington, Dr. Carol Strong, Jimmy ‘Tyler’ Harrison, Sanpreet ‘Ruby’ Kaur and Ashley Lawrence.
(Photo Courtesy of Media Services)

MONTICELLO — Six political science students at the University of Arkansas at Monticello recently presented original research papers to the annual conference of the Louisiana Political Science Association hosted by the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Leslie Beard of Monticello, Jimmy ‘Tyler’ Harrison, Jessica Herrington and Sarah Phillips of Star City, Ashley Lawrence of Warren and Sanpreet ‘Ruby’ Kaur of Greenville, Miss., made up the six-person UAM delegation. Each student gave a 10-minute presentation of their political science research papers and fielded questions about their topics from their discussant, UL-Monroe Professor John Sutherlin.

Ashley Lawrence, a senior political science and criminal justice double major, and Leslie Beard, a junior psychology and political science double major, presented papers exploring different approaches to addressing the issue of poverty in the United States. Lawrence’s paper, entitled “Falling into Quicksand: Social Welfare Policy’s Fight against the Inequalities of Poverty,” addressed ways to re-conceptualize social welfare policy and poverty in order to better address the persistent economic inequality found in America.

Beard’s paper, entitled: “Welfare in America: Humanities Obligation to Help the Helpless,” comparatively analyzes the Republican and Democratic perspectives on how to address poverty in America. Both emphasize the need to revamp existing programs in order to address this ongoing issue more holistically and effectively.

Jimmy ‘Tyler’ Harrison, a junior political science and history double major, presented a paper considering the rising influence of social media in political campaigns. Harrison’s paper, entitled “Campaigns ‘Gone Viral’: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Social Media Advertising in Political Campaigns,” created a template of the different ways that social media can be used as a campaign tool. The conclusion drawn by Harrison is that social media is important for attracting younger voters, but it must be paired with a variety of different media tools to reach a wider-ranging audience.

Sarah Phillips, a junior political science and criminal justice double major, Jessica Herrington, a senior criminal justice and political science double major, and Sanpreet ‘Ruby’ Kaur, a sophomore psychology major, presented papers focusing on the process of creating effective legal code and/or public policy to address specific problems.

Phillip’s paper, entitled “Regulating Animal Welfare in Comparative Perspective,” compared U.S. policies related to using animals for product testing with those of England, New Zealand and Australia and found America’s codes outdated. Herrington’s paper, entitled “Legalism versus Social Discourse: Assessing the Impact of Legal Dictates on Social Change and Vice Versa,” considers how the creation and legitimation of laws is impacted both positively and negatively by social norms and discourses from a theoretical perspective. Kaur’s paper, entitled “A ‘Look Inside’ Global Surveillance: The Constitutionality of Monitoring Citizens on the Internet,” considers how current National Security Agency practices and policies interact with constitutional interpretations of privacy in America.

Each of these papers were researched and written under the direction and mentorship of Carol Strong, an associate professor in political science, and Nick Provencher, a visiting professor in political science at UAM.

“These students are a credit to UAM,” said Strong.

“Not only are they good students in class, but they have each taken time outside of class to conduct research, write independent researchpapers and present them at a regional conference. It always makes me proud to see how competitive UAM students are when compared against students from across the region. They have an exciting future.”

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