Political Science Student to Participate in Ralph Bunche Summer Institute

Third-year undergraduate student Alexis Schramm has recently received the Ralph Bunche Fellowship to attend the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, RBSI, which will be held at Duke University. 

The five-week-long program is offered through the American Political Science Association, APSA. This program was named in honor of the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize winner and former APSA president Ralph J. Bunche

Every year, the RBSI offers scholarships to under-represented minority students so they can attend the Bunche Institute and be exposed to the possibilities of a higher degree in political science. Schramm is the second recipient of this fellowship in the last three years from McMicken’s Department of Political Sciences. 

“One of the great aspects of the Bunche Institute is the opportunity to be exposed to various university professors and prominent speakers who will discuss their research, as well as current issues and controversies in the field of political science,” Schramm said. 

Schramm initially chose a degree in political science because she believed it was the best major to assist her in becoming an attorney. Although she no longer wishes to pursue a career as a lawyer, Schramm continues to find classes within the political science department that interest her.

“I can honestly say that staying the course with political science has been wonderful, in part because of the department’s great staff of professors,” Schramm said.

Schramm learned about her eligibility to the RBSI through Professor Thomas Moore of the political science department. Through this program, Schramm will participate in two graduate level courses, one in quantitative analysis and one in race and American politics. The program also includes the creation of an original research paper that will allow for the application of knowledge gained from both of these courses.

“Several professors from McMicken's Political Science Department were absolutely instrumental in my successful acceptance into the program,” Schramm said. In addition to Moore, Richard Harknett, political science department head and professor, also encouraged Schramm to apply and assisted her in the process. Professors Matthew Arbuckle and David Niven also played a significant role in Schramm’s application process by providing letters of recommendation. 

“I’m really hoping to gain insight into what it is really like to work in the field of political science,” Schramm said. “I think what sets the Bunche Institute apart from other programs is that it will truly give me a glimpse into what it will actually be like if I decide to pursue political science in graduate school.” 

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