Elizabethtown College School of Public Service seniors Andrea Guscott ‘21, Madison Meiser ‘21, Monica Rodriguez ‘21, and Benjamin Stokes ’21 presented their research at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Political Science Association (PPSA), held virtually on April 23.

PPSA draws its membership principally from the political science and public administration faculties of Pennsylvania’s public and private colleges and universities but also includes government professionals and faculty members from surrounding states. PPSA’s annual conference includes dozens of panelists covering a wide variety of subject areas.

The students began working on their research last fall in Professor of Political Science Fletcher McClellan’s Senior Seminar in Political Science and Legal Studies course, and they have continued to work on their projects this semester. Professor of Political Science and College Professor of International Studies Oya Dursun-Özkanca worked with Guscott and Stokes, and McClellan worked with Meiser and Rodriguez to further develop their research.

Guscott, Meiser, and Stokes will be defending their papers as part of the requirements for their Honors in the Discipline projects. After graduation, all four students plan to attend graduate school.

Meiser, whose paper was entitled Unnecessarily Cruel: Death Penalty Sentencing and Mentally Ill Offenders, will be attending Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law.

“Presenting at the Pennsylvania Political Science Association was a great opportunity!” said Meiser. “It was great to get feedback on my research from scholars within the field of Political Science.”

Guscott, whose paper – The Age of Climate Change – looked at what effect political, economic, and constitutional factors have on the progress of signatories to the Paris Climate Accord, had a similar positive experience presenting at the PPSA.

“One thing I got out of this experience was that it is always a good idea to get as much feedback on your research as possible,” Guscott said. “Having people from outside of your normal “bubble” can allow in new perspectives and ideas and will ultimately help your research become better.”