Barnes and Ibonwa awarded Barth Summer Internships

Tara Barnes '15 has received funding so that she can serve as a Barth intern during summer 2013 at Year Up, a nonprofit organization in Providence, R.I., that provides urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Barnes will serve as an admissions intern and will be responsible for the many aspects of the admissions process including interviewing and assessing prospective students for the program; advertising the program through mailings, social media, and outreach visits; managing the admissions calendar and database; and attending weekly debriefing sessions with advisors and students from the program.

Deborah Ibonwa '14 will intern in Congresswoman Chellie Pingree’s Office, and work with constituents, elected officials, business and community leaders, and state and federal agencies to address and alleviate the problems of residents of the First District through managing constituent mail, emails, and phone calls. She will write letters ranging from notes of congratulations to well-researched responses to constituent concerns. Ibonwa will also be responsible for various tasks including processing tour and flag requests, performing general office duties, learning a complex Congressional data base, and working on projects as assigned by legislative and constituent staff specializing in specific topic areas.

Rian Watt '14 presents research at national conference

In April 2013, Rian Watt presented a poster at the 71st annual conference of the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA), held in Chicago.

Watt, a political science and economics double major, presented his paper, "Measuring Intensity in Senate Races: A Case Study of Massachusetts and Illinois, 2010," which examined the claim—widely presented in the media—that Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley lost her Senate race in 2010 due to poor campaigning.

Rian Watt with conference posterWatt's paper, which examined the literature on campaign intensity and developed two metrics to evaluate the campaign, revealed that Coakley's campaign performance likely did affect the eventual outcome. This was a very different finding than when compared to the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Illinois, where the media blamed the Democrat's loss on a national wave of election victories for Republicans.

Watt's paper was awarded the Irving '32 and Edith Wilner Prize, a cash prize given annually to a Clark student who has written the best research paper during the academic year for a course in the American politics subfield.

This was the second time Watt has presented a paper at a major academic conference. In 2012, Watt presented his paper, "Conceptions of Nationalism in Adjara and Abkhazia, 2004," at the National Association for Ethnic Studies.

Watt, who is currently studying abroad at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and maintaining his student diary on the Clark website, was able to travel from London to Chicago for the conference due to funds provided by the Political Science Department as part of the Harrington Public Affairs Fellowship.