Student Profiles


Meet our students!

I. Political Science Undergraduate Ambassadors
II. Current Students
III. Recent Graduates

2022-2023 Political Science Undergraduate Ambassadors



Current Students

Our students are actively involved in a wide variety of activities on campus, in Columbus, and around the globe. Meet a few of our current students and see how opportunities in the Department of Political Science have shaped their time at Ohio State!

Ryan Ackerman headshot

Ryan Ackerman

Majors: Political Science and Economics
Minor: Philosophy
Graduation Year: 2022
Hometown: West Chester, Ohio

I am involved in the Collegiate Council on World Affairs and Philosophy Club on campus. I was also a Senate Page at the Statehouse and a Research Assistant in the department. My main interest is Political Theory, but I do enjoy other areas of Political Science.



Analee Headshot

Major: Political Science 
Minor: Public Policy 
Graduation Year: 2024
Hometown: North Pole, Alaska

I’m currently interning at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and was accepted into the page program at the Ohio Senate.

Law school isn’t entirely off the table for me, but I’ll more likely be pursuing a graduate program in Public Administration.

Transferring to OSU was one of my best decisions. Campus always has activities for students to get involved and professors have passion for their fields and are interested in seeing their students be successful. There are also tons of student resources here and opportunities to network.

Ava Anderson

Ava Anderson Profile

Major: Political Science 
Graduation Year: 2023
Hometown: Canton, Ohio

I am involved inPhi Alpha Delta OSU Chapter - Pre-Law Fraternity, Students for a Democratic Society, and Hardcover Hotties Book club. I interned with Resident Resources Network in Columbus as a Marketing intern. I am currently applying for the Professional Writing Minor capstone Internship for the fall.

I plan on going to law school to become a civil rights attorney and hopefully work for the ACLU one day.I love the friendships and community I have formed here at OSU through clubs, classmates, and professors.

Oseremhen Arheghan

Oseremhen Arheghan

Majors: Political Science and Chinese Dual Degree
Graduation Year: May 2022
Hometown: Shaker Heights, Ohio

I am a member of the 115th class of Sphinx Senior Class Honorary. I also work as a Presidential Host. I co-founded the university’s Undergraduate Black Caucus and play flute in the Ohio State Athletic Band. 

I am currently involved with research for my senior thesis with the political science department. I also won first prize in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature’s undergraduate research festival. Additionally I was invited to present my research earlier this school year at UMD’s Political Science Rising Scholars conference.

I participated in the Canadian Parliamentary Internship program and also interned as a Policy Specialist Intern at Google during my time at Ohio State. After graduation I’ve accepted a position with Google working as a Policy Specialist in their legal department.

I was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar during my time at OSU and was also on the 2020 homecoming court and elected homecoming royalty.

Nathan Baldwin

Nathan Baldwin Headshot

Major: Business- Real Estate
Minor: Political Science
Graduation Year: May 2023
Hometown: Westerville, Ohio

I am involved with Phi Alpha Delta, the co-ed pre-law fraternity. I am also the vice president of OIP-u OSU, the Ohio State advocacy chapter for the Ohio Innocence Project which discusses issues related to criminal justice and wrongful convictions. 

As a student I have had numerous internships. In 2020 I worked with a congressional campaign in the run up to the primary election. In 2021 I was due to work as an intern with a congressman but ended up Interning at a medical malpractice litigation firm.

After I graduate I hope to attend law school to enter into corporate litigation. Once I have a few years under my belt I hope to branch into politics starting as a state level representative to be able to give back to the people and make meaningful change.

Coming to Ohio State has been the best choice in my life. I had never planned to study let alone pursue politics but Ohio State gave me an environment where I could learn about new opportunities and prepared me to follow where they lead.

Grace Beedles

Grace Beedles headshot

Majors: Political Science and Strategic Communication
Graduation Year: May 2023
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

I am involved in BuckeyeThon, Council on Minority Political Affairs, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, University Ambassadors, Undergraduate Research, Law and Society Scholars, and the Morrill Scholars Program.

Currently, I'm an intern for Justice Brunner's Chief Justice campaign and work as an undergraduate assistant for the Department of Political Science Political Theory workshop. This past fall, I was a social media intern for the Nidhi Satiani Board of Education Campaign. Last summer, I did the Washington Academic Internship program (WAIP) where I interned at Finsbury Glover Hering. I also interned as a field organizer trainee for the Rita Hart for Congress Campaign during the 2020 election.

I plan on attending law school after graduation and I'm not sure what type of lawyer I would like to be yet.

Andres Berrios

Andres Berrios headshot

Major: Political Science
Graduation Year: May 2024
Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico

I am a Morrill Scholar, and a Law and Society Scholar. I am working at the university as an innovation analyst, where I develop innovating ideas for companies working with the Fisher College of Business. I also work as a student engagement specialist where I cultivate relationships with donors, alumni, friends and family of the university, with the goal of them becoming donors or continuing to give to Ohio State.

I plan on attending law school after graduation, or work in the field of government.

I am incredibly grateful for the resources and faculty I have met in my time at Ohio State. The opportunities that I have had the privilege of taking part on have helped me become the student I am today. Proud to be a buckeye!

Isabel Biasella

Isabel Biasella Headshot

Major: World Politics
Minor: Civic Engagement
Graduation Year: May 2024
Hometown: Canton, Ohio

I am the secretary of the All Girl Cheerleading team, a member of the Executive Student Leader Council, a member of Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) pre-law fraternity, a member of The American Enterprise Institute OSU Chapter, a member of the Italian Club, a member of the Deaf-Hearing Club, and a member of STEP (Second Year Transformational Experience Program). 

Currently, I am the student assistant for Dr. Shivers, the Senior VP of student life. I plan on applying for an internship at the Statehouse next semester! Also, I plan on studying abroad in Rome, Italy for 6 weeks in May of 2023.

After graduation I plan on attending law school. In the future, I would love to work in government, specifically international affairs.

Hannah Blanchard

Hannah Blanchard headshot

Major: Political Science
Minor: Womens, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Graduation Year: May 2023
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

I work part time at a restaurant in the short north while taking a full course load here at OSU. I am currently applying for internships at multiple places for the summer and fall.


Ava Burnham 

Ava Burnham profile

Major: Political Science (Pre-Law)
Graduation Year: May 2025
Hometown: Powell, Ohio

I am involved in Swahili Club and scuba-diving. I am looking forward to finding jobs and internships while at Ohio State. I hope to work as a lawyer for the Innocence Project. I love it here at OSU!

Jacob Chang

Jacob Chang Headshot

Major: Political Science (B.S.) and Psychology (B.A.) Dual Degree
Minor: Philosophy
Graduation Year: May 2022
Hometown: Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Jacob Chang is a 4th-year undergraduate student on track for a dual degree in Psychology and Political Science specializing in Inequality and Justice with a minor in Philosophy. Since he first came to Ohio State and the United States three years ago, Jacob has paved his path by building community and celebrating his identity as an international, first-gen, and LGBTQ+ identifying student from Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.

Through his service in Undergraduate Student Government, Jacob tirelessly advocates for justice and equity for all undergraduates. He launched the #EmbraceTheDifference campaign, where students have the opportunity to celebrate differences by promoting mutual respect. In addition, he created initiatives for affordability, mental wellness, and student safety, tackling systemic issues undergraduate students face. His work did not go unnoticed, as he has made history by being elected as the first Chinese international student to serve as Student Body President at Ohio State and in the Big 10.

Jacob also chaired the International Student Council, where he works to center the voices of international students and guide international students in finding their homes on campus. In 2021, Jacob received Kaplan Humanitarian Award for his continuing effort of advocating for international students and other marginalized communities at Ohio State.

Jacob worked as an Orientation Leader, University Ambassador, a Citizenship Intern at the Community Refugee and Immigration Services, and a Research Assistant at the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center at Moritz College of Law.

After graduation, Jacob will be attending law school to pursue his career as a civil rights attorney.

Leonte Cooper

Leonte Cooper Headshot

Major: Political Science
Minor: History
Graduation Year: May 2023
Hometown: Akron, Ohio

Hi! My name is Leonte Cooper. I’m a political science major at the Ohio State University with a specialization in state and the economy. Here at OSU, I serve on Student Government and the Arts and Sciences Senate as a voting member.

I intend to go to law school after graduating to obtain a dual degree (MBA and JD). My dream is to be a partner at a corporate law firm in Washington D.C. I will graduate with a BA in 2023. Go Bucks!


Blaine Dearth

Blaine Dearth headshot

Major: Political Science
Graduation Year: May 2022
Hometown: Ada, Ohio

I work at the Engagement Center with the University and have had the opportunity to speak to alumni and other constituents who have experienced much in professional and academic life thanks to their education here. It has given me a new perspective on school and my career plans. 

I have worked on multiple city council campaigns in the Columbus metropolitan region, and now I am the communications director of a consulting firm based here in Columbus.

I intend to pursue a JD, and apply myself as a public defender.

Ohio State has offered me an opportunity to meet and share ideas with students of all different backgrounds. There has been much to offer outside of the classroom.

Gia Ditullio

Gia Ditullio headshot

Major: Political Science
Graduation Year: May 2024
Hometown: Youngstown, OH

I am involved in Big Buckeye, Little Buckeye, Buck-I-Serve. I am an assistant coach of a travel volleyball team. 

I work at Starbucks and as a student assistant in the resource room in the Keith B. Key Center for Student Leadership at the Ohio Union. Additionally, I am doing my own research on mobility in different countries and hope to continue working on that.

I hope to attend law school and become a licensed attorney, with the hope of having my own law firm one day. 

Being a buckeye is like no other and I am very blessed to be part of this community.

McKenna Dunn

McKenna Dunn headshot

Major: English, also on the Pre-Law Track
Minor: Political Science and Legal Foundations
Graduation Year: May 2024
Hometown: Westerville, OH

I am a member of Alpha Xi Delta Sorority and Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. I am also a Volleyball Coach.

I am an administrative assistant for Moritz College of Law. I am planning on getting a pre-law internship this summer! I want to go to law school and become a lawyer!

Make the most of every opportunity, as you never know where it can take you!

Olivia Edwards

Major: Political Science
Graduation Year: 2025
Hometown: Ironton, Ohio

I am in the collegiate band! I had an internship this semester with Aftab Pureval, who just won mayor of Cincinnati. I also work at Starbucks and have worked there for two years. I really want to go in policymaking one day. OH-

Howard Fei

Howard Fei headshot

Majors: World Politics and International Studies
Graduation Year: May 2022
Hometown: Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

On campus, I was a member of the Undergraduate Student Government’s Government Relations committee. I was also a Student Representative at the Arts and Sciences Senate.

Off campus, I am a part of the Nonprofit Immersion Program at Ohio State where I served as a non-voting member for Broad Street Food Pantry, a Columbus-based nonprofit food pantry.

While at Ohio State, I was a citizenship intern at Community Refugee & Immigration Services, a Columbus-based non-profit that serves the refugee and immigrant populations in Central Ohio. In addition, I was also a part of the Washington Academic Internship Program (WAIP) at Ohio State where I interned at US Senator Sherrod Brown’s Washington D.C. office. Currently, I am an intern at Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus while also being a full-time student at Ohio State.

For research, I was previously an undergraduate research assistant at the Communication and Cognitive Systems Lab at Ohio State. In addition, I am also involved in research by writing a senior thesis to apply for graduating with research distinction in International Studies; I am researching “How Did Rejecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership Impact America's Economic and Political Interests?” under the guidance of Dr. Alex Thompson and Dr. Ian Sheldon.

After my graduation, I would want to pursue a Capitol Hill career with the objective of becoming a Congressional Policy Advisor that focuses on issue areas such as trade, labor, and foreign policy. I would also like to go to graduate school and obtain a doctorate in International Relations in the future.

Ohio State had provided me with many valuable opportunities that prepared me for my future career; the Washington Academic Internship Program, the Nonprofit Immersion Program, and the Gluck-Asher State Government Internship program are just among many opportunities available at Ohio State for students interested in political science. In addition, the faculties at Ohio State are extremely encouraging and supportive; they have students’ best interests at heart and will do anything to prepare students for their future success.

Joseph Fisher

Joseph Fisher headshot

Major: Political Science
Graduation Year: 2025
Hometown: Canton, Ohio

I am involved in the Foreign Policy group Alexander Hamilton Society (AHS), where I help make the AHS - IR (International Relations) Simulation. 

I am currently working as an Intern for Assistant Minority Leader Rep. Thomas West of District 49. As well I am applying to become a Page at the State House plus I am planning on becoming involved in upcoming political campaigns in the the near future.

I plan on either staying at Ohio State to obtain my Masters while being a graduate student teacher, or I plan on working in Washington DC within a governmental agency.

Cayle Greer

Cayden Greer Headshot

Major: Political Science
Minor: Hospitality Management
Graduation Year: 2023
Hometown: Marion, Ohio

I am involved in the Ohio Republican Party and I have managed a political campaign in 2020.

I currently work at Moo Moo Express Car Wash and plan to also work at Tartan Fields Golf Club this summer.

My ultimate goal is to become President Of The United States. Though, working in government somewhere would be fine with me! I see myself owning a small business and or being a politician.

Hayley Griggs

Hayley Griggs headshot

Majors: Political Science
Minor: City and Regional Planning
Graduation Year: 2024
Hometown: Pickerington, Ohio

I am currently the President of College Democrats at OSU & the Communications Director for College Democrats of Ohio. I am also a member of Chi Omega sorority.

While at Ohio State, I've worked on several local campaigns, like Rep. Mary Lightbody for Ohio House. Through the Political Science Department, I found my past job clerking at the Franklin County Board of Elections and my current job as a Senate Page at the Ohio Statehouse. Over the summer, I hope to intern for MORPC and/or the Ohio Democrats.

After graduation, I plan to apply for the Legislative Service Commission to continue my work at the Ohio Statehouse. I hope to attend law school or graduate school. One day, I hope to run for office to advocate for the people in the great state of Ohio.

The Political Science Department at Ohio State has helped me obtain leadership opportunities, employment, and experiences I will forever be grateful for. My Political Science professors have been the best throughout my undergraduate career.

Josh Harder

Josh Harder headshot

Major: Political Science
Minors: Organizational Communication, International Relations, Nonprofit Management 
Graduation Year: 2022
Hometown: Toledo, Ohio

I'm a resident advisor in Nosker House, a part of the Student-Alumni Council, and an ambassador for the Department of Social Change at OSU.

I'm currently the Communication and Development intern for the Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinzianom, I'm also currently applying to public policy jobs in D.C.

I want to work in urban public policy, specifically in the area of Housing or Education. My goal is to work on the Hill and work for a Congressperson who advances legislation that serves marginalized communities and is passionate about supporting upward socioeconomic mobility for low-income populations.

Go Bucks!

Riley Hoover

Riley Hoover Headshot

Majors: Political Science and German
Minor: Economics
Graduation Year: 2024
Hometown: Dublin, Ohio

I am treasurer of the OSU Casual International and Domestic Debate Club, captain of the Buckeye Club Tennis Team, a member of Adopt-A-School, where I volunteer at a local elementary school weekly, and a member of the German Club. I am also an RA.

In the Fall of 2020, I interned on the Rita Hart for Congress Campaign and did work for the Iowa Democratic Party. As an intern, I trained and managed volunteers, and did lots of phone banking. This race turned out to be the closest US House race in the United States in almost 100 years. This summer I will be a WAIP fellow through the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and I am currently applying for internships.

While I am still unsure of plans after graduation, I am interested in working in foreign relations or protecting and expanding voting rights. I am especially interested in working for the State Department or in Congress.

Chelsea Kao

Chelsea Kao Headshot

Majors: Political Science and Chinese
Minors: French and Human Rights
Graduation Year: 2022
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

I am a member of OUAB (Ohio Union Activities Board), TEDxOhioStateUniversity, APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American), and The Ohio Senate. 

I’ve worked at the Ohio Senate, for Senator Sherrod Brown’s office, and for Representative Jessica Miranda’s campaign.

I’d like to attend law school and eventually serve as a government official to help the world be a better place.

As a student at Ohio State, these have been the best years of my life. Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye.

Amira Khoury

Amira Khoury headshot

Major: World Politics
Minors: Philosophy and Environmental Science 
Graduation Year: 2023
Hometown: Pickerington, Ohio

I am involved with the Arab Student Union, Students Demand Action, and the Organization of Arab Students.

I plan on doing research on felony disenfranchisement in various countries along with moral components and logical components of felony disenfranchisement.

I plan on getting my master’s in Philosophy or Environmental science, going to Law school, and then get my PhD in Political science. I plan on practicing International law and Environmental law. I also want to analyze policies and advocate for people in need.

I am a first generation college student and a transfer student. I graduated with my associates in Political Science last December from Columbus State Community College. My time at Ohio State has been eye opening and I have grown as a person in many areas such as academics and as an individual. My instructors at Ohio State have pushed me to succeed and supported me since I have started here.


Emily Kovacic

Emily Kovacic headshot

Major: Political Science
Minor: Philosophy
Graduation Year: 2023
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

I am a member of member of the OSU Mountaineers and a volunteer for FLOW (Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed).

I am currently a page at the Ohio Senate and was just accepted to the Tatoosh School in Alaska for the summer 2022.

I would like to become a folklorist and advocate for the protection of national forests across the U.S.

Don’t let the ghost stories of campus scare you, the only ghost on campus is Thomas and he’s a library enthusiast.

Riley Logan

Riley Logan Headshot 2

Major: Political Science
Graduation Year: 2025
Hometown: Worthington, Ohio

I do lots of fundraising for Special Olympics through an event called the Polar Plunge. Each year, my father and I host a fundraiser with live music and a silent auction with items donated by local community members. Along with this, I volunteer with dogs at Canine Collective, a no-kill dog shelter in Plain City, Ohio.

I currently work as an Office Assistant at the front desk of the Student Undergraduate Outreach and Recruitment office.

I plan on going to law school after my undergraduate years.

Jessica Manzon

Major: Political Science
Minors: Mandarin and International Business
Graduation Year: 2023
Hometown: Marlboro, New Jersey

I am a Politics, Society, and Law Scholars, a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, and a member of PenPALS. I currently work at Chodosh Law Office in Columbus.

I interned with the Crystal Lett for Ohio Senate campaign as a campaign fellow my freshman year. The Covid-19 pandemic first hit in March of my freshman year, unfortunately cutting this internship short. While internships were not looking likely for the summer of 2020, I was fortunate enough to be hired as a Tax Compliance Intern with Siemens Corporation. I continued to work for them this past summer as well. This past semester (AU 21), I interned in Representative Daniel Troy's Office in the Ohio House of Representatives. Much of this internship involved research in Ohio policy. While this opportunity was truly exciting, I accepted an offer from Chodosh Law Office for the spring semester to obtain greater legal experience for a future career in law.

After graduation, I plan to take a gap year traveling to China to use my Mandarin minor. I then plan to attend law school. My dream is to attend New York University School of Law and then work as an attorney in the entertainment or fashion industries.

Meredith Mast

Meredith Mast Headshot

Majors: Political Science and Criminology
Graduation Year: 2023
Hometown: Huron, Ohio

I am involved in my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, where I served as the outgoing VP of Intellectual Development. I am also involved in the United Nations Association and College Mentors for Kids.

I currently work as a circulation assistant at the Moritz College of Law Library. This summer, I will be an intern with the Wrongful Conviction Project at the Office of the Ohio Public Defender.

I plan to attend law school after I graduate and pursue a career as a public defense attorney.

Suzan Mchao

Suzan Mchao Headshot

Major: Political Science
Graduation Year: 2023
Hometown: Columbus, OH/ Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

I am an Undergraduate Student Government Senator, the Co-President of African Youth League, and an incoming participant of WAIP's Summer 2022 Cohort.

I work as a team member at Target on Hight Street and I intern at Innovation Ohio. 

I hope to go to law school and possibly do lobbying.

Some other fun facts about me: I was awarded one of Central Ohio’s 20 Under 20 youth at the age of 17. I was born in the OSU Wexner Medical Center. I spent my childhood in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

Lily Meienburg

Lily headshot

Majors: Political Science and Communications
Minors: Forensic Science and ASL
Graduation Year: 2025
Hometown: Findlay, Ohio

I am a member of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority and on the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Committee, BBOC (Big Buckeye on Campus) Committee, and the Environmental Committee. I am also a member of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, Morrill Scholars Program, and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. Off campus, I also run my organization, Type Kind, to end misconceptions about invisible disabilities and encourage inclusivity and bullying prevention.

I am planning an internship with the National Park Service this summer as a Media Accessibility Intern.

I plan to attend law school in order to become a lawyer, while I am still determining my specialty.

Over the past 18 months I have been lobbying within the Ohio Statehouse for House Bill 37, for emergency prescription refills. I testified in both the House of Representatives and the the Senate and was able to attend the Governor's signing of the bill into law on March 2.

Tristan Montieth

Majors: Public Affairs, Political Science, and French and Francophone Studies 
Graduation Year: 2023
Hometown: Canton, Ohio

I am a member of the Mount Leadership Society and the Undergraduate Student Government. I am also a grader in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

I have done an internship at the U.S. Department of State. I also had a year of service project with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Lastly, I interned for the re-election campaign of Jeff Crossman.

I will be attending law school this upcoming fall!

Victoria Nowak

Victoria Nowak Headshot

Major: Political Science with a specialization in American Democracy and Law 
Minor: American Sign Language Studies 
Graduation Year: 2022
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

Off campus, I volunteer at a nonprofit to mentor immigrants assimilating to America, I have a job at a Cameron Mitchell restaurant, and I am a part of a book club.

I have not had the opportunity to take part in any internships or research due to Covid but I am supposed to take a trip to Washington, DC to meet with legislators using my STEP scholarship funds from OSU.

I am moving back to my family in Cleveland and attending Cleveland-Marshall College of Law starting in August. I was accepted via early decision.

Ohio State has been my dream school since I was a child and I have absolutely loved going here. Many professors in the political science department have changed my life in the most positive way. I really love the political science program here.

Megan O'Connor

Megan O'Connor Headshot

Major: Political Science
Minor: Public Policy
Graduation Year: 2025
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

I am a member of the Ohio State Women’s Rowing Team and OSU’s Ohio Innocence Project chapter.

Currently I am an intern on Nan Whaley’s campaign for Governor of Ohio. My senior year of high school I volunteered for Kate Schroder’s campaign for Ohio’s first congressional district as a member of her field team. I also try to work the polls during elections. I worked as a poll worker during the 2020 election!

Following graduation, I hope to work on campaigns around the country to gain experience, meet new people, and support progressive politicians. Eventually I aspire to do work pertaining to legislation and policy, either for a politician, company, or lobbying organization.

Ohio State has given me the opportunities to challenge myself academically and personally as I have explored new avenues of learning and viewing the world around me.

Nicholas O'Dell

O'Dell headshot

Majors: Political Science
Intended Minor: Statistics 
Graduation Year: 2024
Hometown: Sagamore Hills, Ohio (between Cleveland and Akron)

I'm involved in fraternity life and several volunteering opportunities.

I have been writing draft evaluations for Pro Football Focus this past year as part of a trial for an internship.

I hope to do what I find interesting and allows me to apply my passion for learning.

I absolutely love campus and my years in Columbus are some that I will cherish forever.

Candance Offman

Candance Offman Headshot

Majors: Political Science and History
Graduation Year: 2023
Hometown: Newcomerstown, Ohio

I am involved in the Humanities Scholars, History Club, Campus Cleanup Club, and Guiding Eyes for the Blind. 

During the academic year, I work as a Resident Advisor. As for the summer, I am currently seeking a job relating to political science!

I wish to go into campaign strategy or policy advising!

Joshua Parker

Joshua Parker Headshot

Majors: Political Science (BS)
Minor: Sociology
Graduation Year: 2024
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

I am the Director of Campus Events and Organizations for USG, the Outreach Coordinator for TEDxOhioStateUniversity, an International Law & Diplomacy Intern for EXPLO at Sarah Lawrence College, a Social Media Marketing Intern for RacePenguin, a Sophomore Leadership Officer for the Media, Marketing, and Communications Scholars, and a member of the Marathon Team for the OSU Run Club.

I am currently doing research on political participation among racial/ethnic divides in college through the Sociology department.

I would like to explore more data analysis and to continue working on my public speaking/teaching skills for a future role in the political sphere!

Ohio State may seem like a big school, but you’ll find your niche! Opportunities are everywhere, you just have to take advantage of them!

Wyatt Pressick

Major: Political Science with focus on Comparative Politics and American Politics
Minor: History 
Graduation Year: 2022
Hometown: Lorain, Ohio

I’m a commuter! I commute from my hometown to school so I don’t have as much time for extra curricular activities on campus as I would like.

I have not done an internship yet though Ohio State, but this summer or coming fall I am interested in getting one. I also work for my local Board of Elections during Ohio’s two state election cycles and for any special or local elections.

I am just excited to learn while I’m here and to soak up all I can before I graduate!

Lizzy Roka

Lizzy Roka Headshot

Majors: Political Science (B.A.) and Geography (B.A.)
Minor: French
Graduation Year: 2022
Hometown: Toledo, Ohio

My name is Lizzy Roka and I'm a second-year studying Political Science with a specialization in International Relations on a pre-law track.I chose to major in Political Science because of its applicability to a future career in law and the renowned program that OSU offers.

Outside the classroom, I'm also involved in the Collegiate Council of World Affairs (CCWA), where I strive to promote inclusion, constructive dialogue, and awareness on issues surrounding international politics.

Kristen Romano

Kristen Romano Headshot

Majors: Dual Degrees in Political Science (Democracy & Law) and Anthropology
Minor: Spanish
Graduation Year: 5th Year Senior (2022)
Hometown: Lancaster, New York

I am a student athlete on the Varsity Swim team here at Ohio State. I am a two time individual and two time team Big Ten Champion.

I have had the opportunity to intern with the Kayne Law Group which works namely with real estate finance and commercial leasing.

I plan to swim professionally before attaining my masters in business administration and working in sports agency.

Being a Buckeye has been such a special experience for me. The academic resources are unbeatable and professors truly care about your success in and out of the classroom.

Ella Roxey 

Ella Roxey Headshot

Major: Political Science (BA), Pre-law
Minors: Business, Criminology and Criminal Justice 
Graduation Year: 2024
Hometown: Pickerington, Ohio

I am the Vice President of Period. OSU, a Morrill Distinction Scholar, and an OSU Votes Ambassador. I also am heavily involved in the Undergraduate Student Government through my roles as the Governmental Relations Legislative Coordinator and a Senator in the 54th General Assembly.

I work on campus as an office assistant and off-campus as a receptionist. I am hoping to continue my advocacy with internships throughout my upcoming years, especially focusing on government and law.

I want to go to law school to serve marginalized communities and advocate for positive change at the institutional level.

Go Bucks!

Christine Rutkowski

Christine Rutkowski Headshot

Major: Philosophy, Political Science & Economics (PPE) 
Minors: Business and Women's Gender & Sexuality Studies
Graduation Year: 2023
Hometown: Cleveland (Brecksville), Ohio

I am involved in Buckeye Stand-Up Comedy, Alpha Chi Omega (social sorority), and Undergraduate Student Government. 

I have interned at the Fund for Our Economic Future, an economic development foundation in Cleveland, Ohio and at a Manhattan Comedy School. This summer, I am planning to intern at another non-profit specializing in economic development.

I am currently planning on pursuing some form of graduate level education in the form of a Master’s in economic planning or public policy and hopefully working at a nonprofit thereafter.

In my free time, I enjoy doing stand-up and sketch comedy. When I’m not doing stand-up or school, I enjoy exploring the Columbus area and trying new foods.

Mackenzie Sapp

Sapp Headshot

Majors: Political Science and International Relations
Minor: French
Graduation Year: 2025
Hometown: Powell, Ohio

I am a Governmental Relations Committee Representative in the Undergraduate Student Government, as well as a member of the Guiding Eyes for the Blind club on campus. This semester, I am participating in Semester of Service, a volunteering project managed by the University Honors Program with a focus on LGBTQ+ legislative reform. I work as an Operations Assistant in the Ohio Union, and in my free time I like to attend the group fitness classes offered at the OSU gyms.

I am currently interning with Equality Ohio, a nonprofit organization based out of Columbus. I work in a coalition with other Columbus nonprofits to write testimony, plan events, and spread information in regard to honesty in education.

After undergrad, I plan to attend law school, earn my JD, and become a civil rights lawyer. Eventually, I might consider running for public office!

Ethan Sergio

Ethan Sergio Headshot

Major: Political Science (BA)
Graduation Year: 2025
Hometown: Granville, Ohio

On campus, I attend many after-class seminars. Off campus, I have an internship with a start-up political action committee.

I have an internship with the Licking County Democrats Club and with Voices for Juvenile Justice in Columbus, Ohio. We are currently working on proposing legislature for the Ohio General Assembly for juvenile justice reform.

I plan to work with a lobbyist organization to reform the prison system and provide more aid to those who struggle with addiction.

Being a student at Ohio State has given me something in my life to be proud of, and I hope everyone has the same experience in college that I have had. OSU has allowed me to see so many new perspectives and greatly broaden my horizons.

Anna Shulman

Anna Shulman Headshot

Majors: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Graduation Year: 2024
Hometown: Dublin, Ohio

I am Vice President of IGNITE women in politics, part of law and society scholars, USG shared governance, and Phi Alpha Delta pre-law Fraternity.

I have a job at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, despite having a double major in Arts and Sciences. I am a student assistant for the department of advancement and events. I am so grateful to be a small part of the Glenn family!

I would like to do research this summer, and if all goes well, get my Ph.D. in either WGSS or political science. In addition to doing research and teaching classes, I would love to get involved in community advocacy work related to reproductive justice and rights. However, I am also considering going to law school to possibly do work related to international and domestic human rights law.

Maddie Sisk

Maddie Sisk Headshot

Majors: Political Science and Public Policy Analysis
Minors: French and Russian
Graduation Year: May 2023
Hometown: McLean, Virginia

My name is Maddie Sisk and I'm from right outside Washington, DC, which has without a doubt influenced my love for politics! Outside of my late homework nights at Thompson, I am very involved with the Collegiate Council on World Affairs (CCWA), particularly with our Model United Nations team, which has inspired my specialization in international affairs. I also plan to be a part of Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and rushing Greek life in the spring. My ideal future career would be in foreign service, as political science at OSU has really allowed me to explore a lot of components involved in foreign service, such as the exhaustive list of languages offered here at OSU and the strong emphasis on diversity!

Lily Smith

Lily Smith Headshot

Major: Political Science
Minor: Environmental, Economic, Development, and Sustainability minor
Graduation Year: May 2025
Hometown: New Boston, New Hampshire

I am in LSS (law and society scholars) program and AWOW (Advocates for women of the world). I also volunteer back home over breaks at CareGivers of southern NH. 

I hope to become an Environmental Lawyer or work with Environmental Policy in a governmental position

I came to Ohio State not knowing anyone which I thought would be very hard for me, but it has been the greatest transition of my life.

Sanjana Srinivasan

Sanjana Srinivasan Headshot

Major: Political Science
Minor: Communication
Graduation Year: 2022
Hometown: San Jose, California

I have been involved in various volunteer efforts off campus including distributing resources to the unhoused back home and campaigning for a local congressional candidate. On campus, I was a member of the Politics, Society, and Law Scholars Program for my first 2 years. Now, I am currently an undergraduate research assistant in the School of Communication's Chronos Lab.

In the summer after my 2nd year, I was a Legal Journalism Intern at the Evan Guthrie Law Firm. I am currently a research assistant in the Chronos Lab where I am working on my senior honors thesis in the field of Communication. 

After graduation, I hope to pursue paralegal work as a learning experience and my first venture out into the professional world. After that, I hope to apply to law school and eventually go onto a career in the legal world.

Ohio State has given me opportunities and access that I never would have thought possible. I am extremely grateful and indebted to the faculty here for giving me the space and encouragement to grow and nurture my skills and passions. Go Bucks!

Haley Stav

Stav Headshot

Majors: Political Science
Minors: Society and Environmental Issues and Civic Engagement 
Graduation Year: 2024
Hometown: Parkland, Florida 

I am involved in Undergraduate Student Government, Greek Programming Board, Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, Morrill Scholar with Distinction, Hillel, and Green Buckeyes. I also have an Internship at Moritz College of Law.

I have Interned for the Office of Florida Representative Hunschofsky, District 96 and for the Public Service Law Center at the Moritz College of Law. I have also served as a Greek Engagement intern for Hillel and as a Florida Democrats Field and Digital Engagement Intern.

I am looking to go to law School (potentially at Moritz) and eventually become a criminal defense, civil rights, or environmental lawyer.

Morgan Taradash

Morgan Taradash Headshot

Majors: World Politics (Specialization in Foreign Policy and Security) and French & Francophone Studies 
Minor: History (Specialization in Civil Rights and African American History)
Graduation Year: 2022
Hometown: San Carlos, California

I am President of the College of Arts and Sciences Student Council, a member of the Black Student Association, the President of OSU Hillel's Black & Jewish Student Fellowship, a member of the Undergraduate Black Law Student, and an  Association Intern at a Governmental Relations Firm, The Success Group.

I have interned at the Ohio Democratic Party (2018-2020), worked as a Student Manager at Traditions at Kennedy Commons (2018-2021), worked as an Assistant Campaign Manager at Friends for Ajay, Dublin City Council (2019), served as a Campaign Intern at Alaina Shearer for Congress (2020), worked as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at OSU Dept. of Political Science (2020-2021), and worked as a Legislative Intern at Ohio House of Representatives (2021). Currently, I am an Intern at The Success Group (2021-present), a Pet Sitter at Rover (2021-present), and an Educator and Key Leader at Lululemon (2019-present).

This summer, I am going to intern with Lt. Gov. of CA and then either begin law school in Fall 2022 or take a gap year working for the Lt. Gov. of CA before starting law school. In general, I see myself working in international diplomacy and relations and working at entities like the US State Department or the US Agency for International Development. I am also interested in legislation and/or lobbying and would like to use this experience to eventually run for Congress.

More info about me: I am an experienced political organization intern, skilled in management, networking, business operations, elections, canvassing, and election analytics/research. During my time at Ohio State, I have been continually involved in leadership with various programs and groups, while choosing rigorous courses, and working 40 hours/week as a financially independent student.

Paul Topalov

Paul Headshot

Major: Political Science
Minor: Russian
Graduation Year: 2025
Hometown: Sidney, Ohio

I am involved in the United Macedonian Diaspora & Russian Student Association.

I am on the Pre-Law Track and have a goal of working in foreign policy between the United States and the countries within the Balkan Peninsula.

Luke Vander Vort

Luke Vander Vort Headshot

Major: Political Science (BA)
Minor: Russian
Graduation Year: 2025
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota

I am involved in Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Intramurals, Russian Student Organization, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

I am currently planning on working for the University Department of Public Safety, as well as possibly participating in an 8-week Russian summer immersion program.

I hope to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation or CIA before going to law school to pursue a J.D or LLM.

Alexandra Webb

Alexandra Webb Headshot

Major: Political Science and Journalism
Minor: Communications
Graduation Year: 2025
Hometown: Newark, Ohio

I am the chair of Community and Wellness along with Backburner Sketch Comedy. I am also interning at Millennial Action Project. I have also been the chair of sustainability along with being in 4 Paws for Ability freshmen year.

I plan on becoming a political journalist.

Madi Wojtowicz

Madi W Headshot

Major: Strategic Communication
Minor: Political Science
Graduation Year: 2023
Hometown: Toledo, Ohio

I am the Vice President of Programming for Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), the Account Manager for The PRactice (OSU’s student-run PR firm), and a team captain for BuckeyeThon.

Currently, I’m interning at the Ohio House of Representatives for Rep. Monique Smith. Previously, I worked as a media relations/social media intern for Bowers PR & Marketing. I also interned for a boutique clothing company and a fitness company running their social media platforms.

After graduation, I plan to spend a year completing various post-grad internships before pursuing a career in political PR/communications.

I highly recommend the political science minor. Through my minor classes, I learned how to think critically and understand the political world at a higher level. I now feel prepared as I pursue my career goals.

Andrew Ka Yiu Wong

Andrew Ka Yiu Wong Headshot

Majors: Political Science and Psychology, on Pre-Law track
Graduation Year: 2024 (Expected Graduation date: December 2023)
Hometown: Dayton, Ohio

I am a member of the Undergraduate Student Government (Community Relations Liaison and Senator for the 54th General Assembly), the University Senate, the Committee on Academic Misconduct Law and Society Scholars (Mentor), the Hong Kong Student Association (President), the St. Thomas More Newman Center Choir and Bible Study,  Alpha Lambda Delta (Initiation Chair), and Phi Alpha Delta Pre-law fraternity. 

I had a summer internship at Jane Timken for Ohio. I plan to intern for a congressman in Dayton in the summer of 2022 and in Washington D.C. in the summer of 2023.

I plan to go to a prestigious law school after graduation and become a criminal trial attorney. I would like to run for public office someday.

Fun Fact: I can speak Cantonese, English, Mandarin, and Spanish fluently and enjoy learning about different languages, cultures, and ideas.

Recent Graduates

ps ambassadors

Alana Prendergast

Majors: Political Science & Psychology
Minor: African American Studies
Graduation Year: May 2019

Alana served for two years as Her Campus OSU President. Alana assisted in the development of the Undergraduate Ambassadors Program because she wanted to help current students better connect with faculty, as well as incoming students. She believes the Ambassadors Program is a great path for students to become more involved with their major and to serve as a liaison between the current OSU Political Science community and prospective students.


Hyeji Kim

Photo of Hyeji Kim

Areas of study: Political science and economics, French minor
Specialization: International Relations
Graduation year: 2017
Hometown: Dayton, Ohio

Hyeji first got involved with the Collegiate Council on World Affairs (CCWA) at the beginning of her freshman year at Ohio State, when she sought out a club related to her major. Nearly three years later, she has built a close network of friends through CCWA and serves as an editor for Alger Magazine, CCWA’s student-run magazine that publishes articles on domestic and world affairs. “CCWA has been so great at promoting friendships within the department,” she says. “Every step that I have taken, from thinking that I should read this magazine or take this class or do this research, it has all been motivated by the people that I have met through CCWA.”

Outside of the Political Science department, Hyeji is involved in the North Korea Future Research Organization, a student group dedicated to researching and enhancing understanding of North Korea and its relevant issues. She also sings with BAAM, an Asian-American a cappella group on campus, and is a member of the Student Advisory Committee for Honors Collegium, an enrichment program within the University Honors Program that connects honors students with faculty and offers co-curricular activities on personal and professional development. 

During her sophomore year, Hyeji took advantage of the many opportunities for undergraduate research at Ohio State by working as a research assistant for Political Science assistant professor Inés Valdez Tappatá. This was a valuable opportunity that showed Hyeji how professors conduct their own research and allowed her to form a close relationship with Professor Valdez, who gave her advice and guidance on her future career plans. “Plus, it gave me more insight into my own research process – what sort of research I should be looking into,” she says. “So that was a great experience.”

In Autumn 2015, Hyeji was one of two political science students studying abroad at Sciences Po, a highly competitive French university in Paris, where she took courses in the areas of international relations and political science. Before departing, she said: “What I am most excited about is getting the opportunity to study political science and international studies from perspectives that are different than what I was previously exposed to. Critical thinking is important in all fields, but I think it is particularly relevant in the social science fields. I believe that learning about the French methodology and having the chance to learn about world affairs from a different point of view will be beneficial as I continue my study at Ohio State.”

Looking to the future, Hyeji is considering careers in foreign policy, diplomacy, or possibly international political risk analysis. To further explore these interests, Hyeji participated in the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program in Washington, D.C. during the summer of 2015. The Rangel Program, which is funded by the Department of State and hosted by Howard University, allows undergraduate students who are interested in international affairs to attend courses on relevant topics, meet professionals in the field, and participate in networking and informational programs at various institutions around Washington, D.C.

When asked about her favorite things about the Political Science department, Hyeji cited the engaged faculty, the opportunity to get involved in numerous student organizations (“students can get together based on shared interests”, which helps give the department and the university a small feeling) and the openness of the department to student opinions and ideas.

Her advice to other students? Go to your professors’ office hours. It took me over a semester and a half to even gather the courage to knock on the professor’s door during his office hours. Sending an email and setting up an appointment is even scarier. However, once the professors see how engaged you are with the course material or just invested in the field, they are willing to listen to questions and give you advice. It can also develop into something personal as the student and faculty discuss their family lives, vacation plans, and much more. I was so happy when I got my first ‘I’m so glad to see you’ hug from my research professor.

You can also see a video of Hyeji talking about her experience in the department on the Political Science major page.

Kaitlyn Willette

Photo of Kaitlyn Willette

Areas of study: Political Science and Communications
Specialization: International Relations
Graduation year: 2017
Hometown: Dublin, Ohio

What is your favorite thing about studying political science at Ohio State?

My favorite thing has been the support of the advisors and professors. I leave my advising appointments feeling completely reassured and pretty much awesome! In addition, the professors have always been very willing to work with me. I’ve never felt like a ‘number’ that you hear about so often within big universities like Ohio State. I’ve always felt the department has time for me and actually cares about whether I succeed or fail.

What are your favorite courses in the Department of Political Science?

Two come to mind: Political Science 4218 (Russian Politics), for how it connected me to the world, and Political Science 4781 (Techniques in Political Analysis) for how it challenged me. 4781 used R coding language in order to analyze and present large data sets. Not only did it show me how important it is to read into what you see in graphs and charts, as this class teaches you the art of data manipulation, but it introduced to me a world I had left previously untouched. Learning R was hard, but I loved every minute of the challenge and am happy to have learned the skill. I still use it just for fun today.

What other activities are you involved in beyond the Department of Political Science?

Here at Ohio State I am part of the Media, Marketing, and Communications Scholars program, the Tri-P mentoring and Scholars programs in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as Athletes in Action Student ministry. Each of these organizations has pushed me to new heights in academics, productive thinking and action, Faith, and hard work. In addition, I run Cross Country and Track for Ohio State.

What is your advice for future Political Science and World Politics students?

My advice to future students is to do something. Whether that is taking the first step into a research question that has always caught your interest, taking a moment to talk to your professor about something you’ve been pondering, or enrolling in a class that piques your curiosities but seems like a true challenge, do something. Maybe start an organization, or start looking into your dream of studying abroad. If there’s one thing the Political Science Department has shown me it’s the value of connections. These connections can be with people, or connections you make within your own studies, but regardless, they have never failed to surprise me with how much they can teach.

After graduation, Kaitlyn is considering attending law school to become a criminal prosecutor or combining her degrees in Communications and Political Science to become a political commentator or spokesperson.

Max Mauerman

Photo of Max Mauerman

Areas of study: Political Science and Economics
Specialization: Comparative Politics
Graduation year: 2016
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

One of the best things about Ohio State is its ability to be as big or as small as a student desires. Political science and world politics students benefit from the resources, connections and faculty excellence stemming from Ohio State’s stature as a world-class institution, but they are also able to forge personal relationships with faculty and fellow students, making a large university feel small. This has certainly been the case for Max Mauerman, a political science and economics double major who has taken advantage of the many opportunities Ohio State provides for research, professional development, and engagement outside the classroom.  

In addition to his academic studies, Max has been deeply involved in the Collegiate Council for World Affairs (CCWA) since his freshman year. Through CCWA, he has been able to travel to intercollegiate Model United Nations (UN) conferences around the country and help lead the Global Classroom International High School Model UN Conference (GCIMUN) in New York City in May 2015. He also serves as co-editor of Alger Magazine, CCWA's student-run magazine on foreign and domestic affairs. Thanks to his connections with CCWA, Max was invited to attend the 65th Annual United Nations DPI/NGO (Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organizations) conference in August 2014. Along with fellow OSU student and former CCWA president Erik Leiden, Max was part of a select group of students and journalists asked to cover the conference, which brings together nonprofits and social enterprises at the United Nations. In this role, Max had the opportunity to interview Hadiza Usman, the founder of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, and his article about the interview was published by the Huffington Post in April 2015.

Max has also found ways to apply his interest in political science, particularly civil rights and the politics of urban development, directly to his hometown of Columbus. Guided by professors Sara Watson and Vladimir Kogan, Max wrote his senior thesis about income mobility and the history of urban planning in Columbus. Part statistical survey, part case study, the paper traces back decades of history to show how political decisions have shaped the structure and income mobility of Columbus neighborhoods.

In Summer 2015, Max delved deeper into these local issues while conducting research for Policy Matters Ohio and interning with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), where he helped plan public housing projects. He also participated in the new month-long John Lewis Fellowship through Humanity in Action and the Center for Civil and Human Rights, which focuses on civil rights advocacy and political organizing in the United States.

And in Autumn 2015, Max took his studies overseas to complete an internship with Innovations for Poverty Action, a development economics research organization, in Accra, Ghana. He will be designing and evaluating public health and waste disposal projects in the city - specifically, doing statistical analysis and data collection for the organization. 

When asked about the impact the Political Science department has had on him, Max said: "The Poli Sci department has influenced just about every aspect of my undergraduate career. From hearing Dr. Herrmann speak at my convocation (which convinced me to add the major), to joining the Collegiate Council on World Affairs (which introduced me to the most engaging group of students I've ever met), to working on both guided and independent research projects (which have shaped my career path), and finally to participating in the international Humanity in Action fellowship this summer, the Poli Sci department has been a valuable resource along every step of the way. The faculty and staff are not only academically excellent but also always willing to be advocates for students."

Max completed his degrees in Spring 2016, and after graduation he plans to pursue a Master’s degree in public policy or economics.

Jayan Nair

Image of Jayan Nair

Areas of study: Political Science (Bachelor of Science program) and Chinese double major
Graduation year: 2016
Hometown: Huntington, West Virginia

The Ohio State University and the Department of Political Science provide numerous opportunities for undergraduates to gain research experience. For instance, students can assist with faculty research, develop independent thesis projects or even conduct research while studying abroad. What’s more, grants and scholarships available through the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Political Science, the Mershon Center and the Undergraduate Research Office help make these research and study abroad opportunities accessible to students from all backgrounds and interest areas. Jayan Nair, a fourth year political science and Chinese double major, has taken advantage of these many resources to get involved in research in Columbus and around the world.

Jayan first became involved in undergraduate research the summer after his freshman year, when he worked as a research assistant for Dr. Janet Box-Steffensmeier and helped code data for a project on interest groups in Congress. Since then, Jayan has worked as a research assistant for three other professors in the Department of Political Science, which has allowed him to diversify his research and gain experience in different areas of the field.

Jayan’s experience assisting professors with their research has prepared him to develop his own independent research projects. Jayan is currently writing a senior honors thesis, in which he plans to map out changes in strategic culture between regimes in the Chinese context. Jayan credits Dr. Jennifer Mitzen’s workshop-style thesis writing class with helping him develop and improve his thesis topic. “It was incredibly helpful,” he said. “I really learned a lot. Not just about my own project, but about how to approach other people’s research in a way that is respectful and engaged with the ideas but still critically helpful.”

As part of his thesis process, Jayan spent 10 weeks over the summer conducting research in China. This trip was funded in large part by generous grants from the Honors Program, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Jayan’s involvement with student groups in the Department of Political Science has also been instrumental in helping him grow as a researcher and scholar. As a member of the Collegiate Council on World Affairs (CCWA), Jayan started writing for Alger Magazine during his freshman year, and he now serves as the magazine’s editor in chief. In addition to making good friends through the organization, he says his work with the magazine has provided insight into how to make scholarship accessible to a non-academic audience.”

When asked why he chose Ohio State’s political science program, Jayan cited the combination of depth and breadth that is built into the political science curriculum, allowing students to gain a holistic education while also diving into their specific area of interest. In addition, Jayan said that the faculty expertise and accessibility sets the department apart from other programs. “I’ve made some great connections,” he said. “I think a lot of it comes down to the connections that you go out and make. If you put in the effort, the faculty here are more than willing to help you out. We have a stellar faculty. It’s a great environment.”

Jayan advises future political science students to take advantage of the department’s resources to create an educational plan that fully prepares them for their future careers. He said: “Talk to the advisors about your interests. They’re not just there to talk to you about courses and registration issues. They can help you figure out what faculty members would be good mentors for you, or your research interests or professional interests. And really work with them to develop a cohesive degree that trains you in the ideas that are going to be relevant to what your interests are. Put that extra work in to create a degree that really prepares you for something.”

After graduation, Jayan plans to pursue a PhD in political science (with a focus in international relations) and hopes to one day become a tenure-track professor.

Photo of Tatyana Sinetskaya

Tatyana Sinetskaya 

Areas of study: World Politics, French minor
Graduation year: Autumn 2015
Hometown: Voronezh, Russia

For Tatyana Sinetskaya, a returning student who transferred to Ohio State in January 2014, the creation of the World Politics major helped her better explore her interest in global affairs. “My passion to know about world issues goes back to when I was about 16,” Tatyana said. “Living in Russia, I was always interested in what’s behind the ‘Iron Curtain'. When I decided to go back to school, the choice was simple: international relations.” She found Ohio State’s political science department while researching schools and was impressed by its national ranking and the caliber of students, but initially thought that the courses exclusively focused on domestic politics. However, when a friend told her about the creation of the new world politics major, she immediately contacted Jill Klimpel, an advisor in the department, to talk about switching her major. “From the moment I stepped foot in Poli Sci, the main source of information and support has been my academic advisor,” Tatyana said. “Jill has been very supportive – she is like a harbor where any student can anchor if he or she feels lost for a moment.”

As a world politics student, Tatyana has also benefited from the department’s faculty expertise and support. “I feel that the faculty members really want their students to succeed,” she said. “I feel like they are there to help, empower and share their tools.” Her favorite course in the department has been Political Science 4331: The United Nations System, taught by associate professor Alexander Thompson. Dr. Thompson is an expert in international relations as well as an accomplished teacher who was awarded the department’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 2011 and was a finalist for the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award in 2005. Tatyana agreed: “Professor Thompson is very knowledgeable as a faculty member. However, I think his greatest strength is his clarity and humanity. He can explain the material so that anyone can digest it.”

Through her courses in World Politics, Tatyana has been able to explore her interest in global affairs and hone in on one specific aspect: humanitarian aid delivery. In 2014, she began reading about the humanitarian crisis taking place in Syria. And soon after, war broke out in Ukraine. Both crises deeply moved Tatyana to get involved in relief efforts and connect with local nonprofit groups who were providing monetary and material support to civilians in the region. With encouragement from Dr. Thompson, she decided to channel this interest into her studies. She is now working on a research paper that examines existing models of humanitarian aid delivery and reflects on the shortcomings of aid in Ukraine to improve these processes.

Beyond the classroom, Tatyana enjoys attending meetings of the Collegiate Council on World Affairs (a group that she calls “a hub for brilliant minds”) and lectures hosted by the Alexander Hamilton Society and the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. She also serves as the Outreach Chair for the Peace Studies Society at Ohio State, where she is developing a workshop on non-violent communication and inter-religious dialogue.  

Tatyana graduated in Autumn 2015 with a major in world politics and a minor in French. She plans to pursue a career in the field of humanitarian relief.

Ryan Lefler-Moore

Ryan Lefler-Moore

Areas of study: Political Science (with a focus on international relations) and Economics
Graduation year: May 2015
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

As one of the country’s premier research universities, Ohio State offers many resources and opportunities for undergraduates to conduct research, whether by designing their own project or by assisting a faculty member with their ongoing research. Political science and world politics students who are interested in research are able to pursue two different degree options – research distinction and honors research distinction – by writing a thesis or completing an independent research project.

For Ryan Lefler-Moore, a Political Science and Economics double major, the opportunity to conduct undergraduate research was one of the primary reasons why he chose to study political science at Ohio State. “I found the academic rigor and the focus on research to be much greater in this department than in other departments,” Ryan said. “We do a lot of research, and there are a lot of research opportunities here that I didn’t get in other departments. And the professors are genuine, very helpful people. I was blown away, honestly.”

During his senior year, Ryan chose to write an honors thesis and pursue a degree with honors research distinction. When searching for a thesis topic, Ryan drew on his two majors to study international political economy. The resulting thesis, entitled “Chinese Expansion and Global Economic Governance: Implications for the International Economic System,” examines the rise of China as a major economic player in the international system. Ryan’s advisor for his thesis was Dr. Randall Schweller, an expert in international relations who, incidentally, taught the first political science course Ryan took at Ohio State, back in his freshman year.

Another influential faculty member in Ryan’s research process was Dr. Jennifer Mitzen, whose thesis-writing course allows a small group of students to develop and discuss their research, and refine their papers through peer critiques. It was Dr. Mitzen who first told Ryan about the annual “All Politics is Local” conference hosted by Walsh University and encouraged him to apply. The “All Politics is Local” conference, which was held in April 2015, brought together students from seventeen colleges and universities in Ohio, New York and West Virginia, and offered undergraduate students the opportunity to present papers in the domestic, international or philosophical areas of political science and international relations. Ryan presented his research here, and at the end of the conference his thesis was awarded first place in the “Outstanding Paper” category. A few weeks later, his paper was also awarded the 2015 Henry R. Spencer Award for Outstanding Senior Honors Thesis by the Department of Political Science.

In addition to his research and academic interests, Ryan has been active in the Department of Political Science and on campus through several student organizations. A member of the Collegiate Council on World Affairs (CCWA), Ryan has written several articles for Alger Magazine, CCWA’s student-run magazine. He was also a member of The Alexander Hamilton Society, the Undergraduate Economics Society and the Mah Jong Club, and worked as an instructor for the Buckeye Pistol Club.

Ryan graduated in May 2015 with a dual degree in political science and economics. In the future, Ryan plans to apply for graduate school for further studies in international relations, and hopes to work on issues around international political economy.