Resources & Opportunities
The Political Science Department supplements its regular course offerings with a number of other opportunities designed to help students gain practical experience to complement their theoretical proficiency. These opportunities include the following:
Honors Thesis Program. The Political Science Department offers one of the most rigorous undergraduate Honors Thesis Programs in the region. Particularly well-qualified seniors apply for admission into this highly selective program.
Opportunities for Study Abroad. The opportunity to study abroad is an integral component of the political science program, enabling students to study any specialization, particularly international law and international relations, literally anywhere in the world, including China, India, France, England, the Middle East and Europe.
Annual Moot Court Competition.Every year, the department sponsors a moot court competition. Students argue cases before real federal and state judges. Winners of the E&H competition have gone on to win major law school contests.
Studying politics gives students the skills necessary to succeed in an increasingly global, complex, and dynamic environment. A major in politics is good preparation for graduate work in the fields of law, business, journalism, politics, public administration, education, social service, and diplomatic and international affairs.
Meet Our Alumni
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/712-kaitlyn-mcnabney" title="Kaitlyn McNabney" aria-label="Kaitlyn McNabney"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,300,200/362_KaitlynMcNabney.rev.1500389806.jpg" alt="Kaitlyn McNabney" title="Kaitlyn McNabney" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="300" data-max-h="200"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/712-kaitlyn-mcnabney"><p> Using a Love of Language and Culture to Drive Her Future </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Her love for languages and culture has taken her to France, Belgium, Scotland, Ireland, and Brazil. Now, she hopes to use her new found language skills as she works towards earning her Master’s Degree.</p><p> Kaitlyn graduated a semester early with a Bachelor of Arts in both Political Science and French. She wants to pursue a career with an NGO to promote the humanitarian cause. In January 2015, she traveled to Brazil to obtain an internship, learn Portuguese, make connections for possible future job opportunities, and teach English. She has served as Summer Scholars Counselor for the <a href="/summer-programs-camps/summer-scholars-institute-leadership-program/">Emory & Henry Summer Scholars Program</a>, Global Ambassador, Orientation Leader, Peer Mentor, and Peer Tutor. In addition, she was involved in Habitat for Humanity, Rotaract, Pi Sigma Kappa Sorority, and Pi Delta Phi National French Honors Society. One of her favorite experiences at Emory & Henry is being one of the Global Ambassadors. She said, “I love getting to know other people and incorporating those cultures and diversities into our campus life.” </p></div><a href="/live/profiles/712-kaitlyn-mcnabney" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1433-" title="Toni Atkins" aria-label="Toni Atkins"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,56,800,857/2267_Toni_Atkins.rev.1516131104.jpg" alt="Toni Atkins" title="Toni Atkins" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,56,800,857/2267_Toni_Atkins.rev.1516131104.jpg 2x" data-max-w="800" data-max-h="1054"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1433-"><p> Toni Atkins is the leader of the California Senate – and is the first woman to hold this position.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Toni Atkins, E&H ’84, recently made history by becoming the first woman to serve as president pro Tempore of the California Senate. She has served as interim Mayor of San Diego, and was Governor of California for nine hours in 2014 – making her California’s first openly gay governor, and it also landed her a spot on the Jimmy Kimmel talk show.</p><p> </p><p> Below is an article by Lisa Renner written for Capitol Weekly in 2017:</p><p> State Sen. Toni Atkins has come a long way since she was a girl growing up poor without running water in rural Virginia.</p><p> This month, the San Diego lawmaker is set to replace Kevin de León as leader of the California Senate. She will be the first woman and first open lesbian to hold the position. She also will be the first person since the 19<sup>th</sup> century to hold both of the Legislature’s top jobs – Assembly speaker and Senate leader.</p><blockquote><p> “She came with a sense of wanting to make a difference but didn’t think she could make a difference because of her background.” — Stephen Fisher </p></blockquote><p> Atkins, 55, is a real coal miner’s daughter who grew up in a house without indoor plumbing or running water, and her mother cooked on a wood stove, according to her college professor and close friend Stephen Fisher. When Atkins and her family moved to the city of Roanoke, she was teased for her hillbilly accent.</p><div id="div-gpt-ad-1395717372217-22_container" class="idm_ad_unit"/><p> </p><p> Only two others have served as both Assembly speaker and Senate leader — Ransom Burnell (Assembly Speaker in 1861 and Senate pro Tem in 1864) and James T. Farley (Assembly speaker in 1856 and Senate pro Tem in 1871-1872), said Alex Vassar, author of <em>California Lawmaker: The Men and Women of the California State Legislature.</em></p><p> Fisher recalls that when she arrived at Emory & Henry College, where she ultimately majored in political science, she had a lot of “anger and shame” about her upbringing. “She came with a sense of wanting to make a difference but didn’t think she could make a difference because of her background,” he said.</p><p> But as she grew more comfortable, she became more confident in her skin. She was part of a group of students who asked Fisher to teach a course on feminism. He agreed if the students would help him create the course, including decided what texts do use and how the class would be structured. “It was a transformative experience for all of us,” he said, adding that Atkins wasn’t the only participant who went on to have great success in professional life.</p><p> Atkins also showed courage by helping arrange for a visit to campus by lesbian folk singer Holly Near in the early 1980s when the college “was not a safe place to come out in,” Fisher said.</p><blockquote><p> Atkins was elected to the state Assembly in 2010. becoming Speaker of the Assembly in 2014. </p></blockquote><p> But Fisher said he had no idea back then that Atkins would end up where she is now. “I knew that she was going to do well but I had no notion that she was going into public work.”</p><p> Atkins ended up continuing her education at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University before relocating to San Diego in 1985.</p><p> She initially served as director of clinic services of Womancare Health Center but soon began working for then San Diego City Councilmember Christine Kehoe, the city’s first openly gay elected official. Atkins’ first jump into elected office came on the San Diego City Council in 2000, when she replaced Kehoe after Kehoe moved on to the state Legislature.</p><p> Atkins was herself elected to the state Assembly in 2010. becoming Speaker of the Assembly in 2014. She set her priorities as access to health care, affordable housing and educational opportunities.</p><p> Among her achievements was getting the bipartisan support for a $7.5 billion water bond approved by voters in 2014. “That was a clear example of her leadership because folks believed it could not be done,” said Assemblymember Shirley Weber of San Diego.</p><blockquote><p> “She has that coal miner’s daughter perspective that comes out of that environment.” — Shirley Weber </p></blockquote><p> Weber also credits Atkins with getting her to run for office. Weber was recently retired after a long career as a professor of Africana studies at San Diego State University when Atkins asked her to consider running for the Assembly.</p><p> When Weber won the election and joined the Assembly in 2012, it was Atkins who opened doors for her and helped her make the transition. “She said I will help you do this and she did,” Weber said. “Other people say I’ll help you and you can’t find them. They don’t do anything for you.”</p><p> Weber said she is impressed that Atkins has been able to rise so far while keeping her dignity and maintaining her integrity.</p><p> “She has that coal miner’s daughter perspective that comes out of that environment,” she said. “You don’t get out of that environment if you don’t take what you have, make it better, learn from strengths and minimize your weaknesses.”</p><p> Atkins was elected to the state Senate in 2016 and was able to get all 12 bills she sent to the governor, signed and approved. In her December newsletter, she said she is especially proud of Senate Bill 2, which creates a permanent funding source for affordable housing and Senate Bill 179, which requires the state to legally recognize “nonbinary” as a gender for people who do not identify as male or female.</p><p> Rick Zbur, executive director for Equality California, said Atkins is one of the best advocates for the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. He applauded her upcoming advance to leadership of the senate.</p><p> “It’s important that she has shattered yet another glass ceiling,” he said. “These kinds of achievements are important for LBGTQ people because we have been historically underrepresented in government.”</p><p> Through it all, she remembers her Virginia roots. She invited Cameron Chase, a 20-year-old Emory & Henry student, to Sacramento for a three-week internship with her earlier this year. “Sen. Atkins is literally so down to earth and so kind and generous,” he said.</p><p> In a 2014 statement to the Washington Post, Atkins reflected on her rise from poverty to high office in California. “What that says about our opportunities as Americans and our democracy is profound.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1433-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/3-taequan-kates" title="Taequan Kates" aria-label="Taequan Kates"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/8_alumni-kates-taekuan.rev.1490105709.jpg" alt="Taequan Kates" title="Taequan Kates" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/8_alumni-kates-taekuan.rev.1490105709.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="666"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/3-taequan-kates"><p> Taequan Kates (’16) Learns Legal Lessons While Interning With Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Summer breaks are meant to be exactly that: a break from the stress and hard work of the academic year. However, rising Emory & Henry College senior Taequan Kates has a tough time slowing down.</p><p> Kates who grew up in Dewitt, Va. spent much of the summer in Richmond completing an internship at the Office of Attorney General Mark Herring.</p><p> Kates was tasked with editing <em>Virginia Rules</em>, a book containing state laws to ensure it lined up with the current code statutes. His daily responsibilities found him working closely with attorneys in the office reviewing laws relevant to current cases.</p><h2> Work on Campus</h2><p> When not in the courtroom, Kates was making plans for his next big job – student body president. Kates along with fellow rising senior and student body vice-president Katie Beth Bordwine (who was also in Richmond, Va. for an internship) has been focused on a list of goals for the academic year.</p><p> Their first consideration: the feasibility of building an outdoor basketball court on campus.</p><p> “I’ve spoken with several colleges asking them about their program and trying to figure out a way to incorporate an outdoor court into our campus, and I hope this is something we can bring to Emory & Henry,” Kates said.</p><p> In his remaining free time, Kates spent time working as a counselor for at-risk children in his community. It’s a cause close to his heart, and he said he wants these children to become better citizens so they can grow up with the opportunities to chase their dreams.</p><p> “I’ve done a lot this summer, but I know all the hard work was worth it.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/3-taequan-kates" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/694-amanda-chaplin" title="Amanda Chaplin" aria-label="Amanda Chaplin"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/344_b14d61caf209471ca7ca9686b2e5bc67_f6462.rev.1500313353.jpg" alt="Amanda Chaplin" title="Amanda Chaplin" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/344_b14d61caf209471ca7ca9686b2e5bc67_f6462.rev.1500313353.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="666"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/694-amanda-chaplin"><p> Amanda Chaplin (E&H ’08): Assistant District Attorney</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Amanda Chaplin (E&H ’08) earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History before heading to Ohio Northern University Claude W. Pettit College of Law. She received her Juris Doctorate degree in 2012 and passed the Pennsylvania bar exam in July of that same year. She began her career in the oil and gas industry. </p><p> In 2014, she became the Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Daniel P. Wallace of the Mercer County Court of Common Pleas. As a Judicial Law Clerk, she conducted research and wrote opinions for Judge Wallace in both the criminal and civil fields of law, as well as acted as a hearing master for protection from abuse petitions. </p><p> Amanda has just recently been hired as an Assistant District Attorney with the Centre County District Attorney’s Office. “As an Assistant District Attorney, I will represent the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in many criminal matters such as arraignments, preliminary hearings, criminal trials, sentencing and arguing cases before the Pennsylvania Superior Court located in Harrisburg, PA.”</p><p> In her spare time she likes to “paint using Bob Ross’ style of painting. I have created 12 paintings and am working on a 13th painting.” So we suspect she makes happy trees…and unhappy criminals.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/694-amanda-chaplin" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/705-john-honeycutt" title="John Honeycutt" aria-label="John Honeycutt"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/355_cb05c7c2dda509f77c32d255409bb14f_f3246.rev.1500387149.jpg" alt="John Honeycutt" title="John Honeycutt" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/355_cb05c7c2dda509f77c32d255409bb14f_f3246.rev.1500387149.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="666"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/705-john-honeycutt"><p> John Honeycutt: Successful Attorney </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> John Honeycutt said his experiences as a student at Emory & Henry reached far beyond the four walls and whiteboard, making a positive impact in his life a decade later.</p><p> As an attorney in Abingdon, Va., Honeycutt believes his college experience opened the door for his eventual profession.</p><p> “Becoming an attorney was not a driving force for me during college, but I enjoyed the legal classes I took through the political science department and eventually decided the study of law was more than a passing interest for me,” he said.</p><p> Honeycutt credits many members of the College community, including political science professor <a class="soft-link" title="View Dr. Joe Lane's profile page" href="http://www.ehc.edu/profile/view/822/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Dr. Joe Lane</a>, for building his confidence.</p><blockquote><a class="soft-link" title="View Dr. Joe Lane's profile page" href="http://www.ehc.edu/profile/view/822/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Dr. Lane</a> helped me become a big fish in a small pond, but at the same time, he made sure I knew there were lakes and oceans out there. When I got to the ‘lakes’ and ‘oceans,’ I wasn’t shocked by the fact that smart, capable people are everywhere. Instead, I knew I was one of them and found my own place.<a title="Learn more about this outstanding Emory and Henry College alum" href="http://www.pennstuart.com/attorneys/jhoneycutt.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">John Honeycutt</a><br/> Attorney</blockquote><h2> A Successful Struggle</h2><p> As is typical for many college students, Honeycutt struggled early on to find the right academic path. “I come from a family of ministers, and I initially took a lot of religion courses with <a class="soft-link" title="View Dr. Joseph Reiff's profile page" href="http://www.ehc.edu/profile/view/888/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Dr. Reiff</a> and Dr. Kellogg,” he said. “I was close to going down the path of religion for my major and profession, but I was never quite as comfortable and confident with religion as I am with the law. It’s funny how things work out. I really appreciate what Joe Reiff and Fred Kellogg taught me. What I learned from them was a vital part of my E&H experience.”</p><p> Following graduation from E&H, Honeycutt earned a Masters of Public Administration at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before attending the College of Law at University of Tennessee. For the past four years, he has practiced employment law at Penn, Stuart & Eskridge in Abingdon, primarily representing employers in workers’ compensation claims filed by their employees. He also represents employers in federal employment discrimination law suits.</p><p> “E&H challenged and grew my capacity to work hard,” said Honeycutt. “When I was in graduate school and law school, I drew on the experience of classes I took from Dr. Lane, Dr. Kathleen Chamberlain, and Dr. Joe Reiff to get me through. The papers, tests, and presentations for these classes made me realize I had to be better to be successful. Those challenges pushed my limits, and when I got to graduate school and law school, I was able to handle the difficulty when other students from less strenuous undergraduate institutions could not.”</p><p> Honeycutt said E&H helped him learn about work ethic and self-awareness. “Most any institution of higher education can teach students facts and figures, but E&H does better than most,” he said. “What sets E&H apart, however, is the unique environment in which it teaches students those facts and figures. To those students who engage the entire college community, E&H provides context better than any other institution of higher education I’ve seen.”</p><p> He added, “I also appreciate my experience at the College because it’s where I met some wonderful friends with whom I’m still close more than 10 years later. I also met my wife, Jenna, while we were students at E&H. We have a precious little girl, Anna Claire. We love her, and we’re so proud of her.”</p><div id="social-sharing-links" class="right clearfix"/></div><a href="/live/profiles/705-john-honeycutt" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/670-micah-morris" title="Micah Morris" aria-label="Micah Morris"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,250,250/6034_Micah_Morris.rev.1551713188.jpg" alt="Micah Morris" title="Micah Morris" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="250" data-max-h="250"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/670-micah-morris"><p> Micah Morris (’09) Fighting Apathy</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Micah Morris is a political and nonprofit professional with over 10 years experience raising money, coaching teams, and running programs to create a tangible difference in people’s lives.</p><p> A native of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, region Micah focused on social change work and community organizing while attending college at Emory & Henry.</p><p> After three transformational years at Planned Parenthood Federation of America on their Political & Advocacy teams, Micah struck out on the campaign trail and has worked in fundraising, operations, and field under Democratic standard bearers such as Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Hillary for America campaign manager Robby Mook, and California US Senator Kamala Harris.</p><p> Micah was recently selected to be in the 2019 Virginia Cohort chosen by the <a href="https://www.newleaderscouncil.org/about" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">New Leaders Council (NLC)</a>. She is one of only 20 chosen for the honor in the Commonwealth.</p><p> Micah currently works remotely in Richmond, Virginia as an Account Executive for NGP VAN / EveryAction, a software platform for progressive nonprofits and Democratic campaigns. When not working, you can find her drinking IPAs, boxing, or hiking in the Shenandoahs with her husband and dog.</p><p> Micah says one of the best lessons she has learned in life is that “Everyone can get together and make a difference – you don’t have to be an elected official.”</p><p> She says at Emory & Henry she learned the value of social capital. “Everyone has the right AND the responsibility to make our communities better. You don’t have to be mayor; everyone can do this.”</p><p> Her career started at the Bristol Crisis Center, where she quickly began to see that progress was dependent upon finding civic leaders and elected representatives who share your values for the community. So she reluctantly dipped her toe into the waters of politics by joining a phone bank for Creigh Deeds. </p><p> Micah’s success as a sales executive is anchored in a belief of a stronger world through good leadership. “When it comes to politics, so much is about how we see the world. I learned early on that it doesn’t work to try to tell people their point of view is wrong – or that other people needed to convert to my way of thinking. The best way to move forward is to talk about the kind of world we all wish to live in. Once we start talking about values, we’ll find common ground.”</p><p> Interestingly, one of Micah’s first glimpses of the power of a strong community came through the campus health center at Emory & Henry. “When I was growing up in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, my family didn’t have consistent access to health care – and we used to joke, ‘Don’t get sick this month!’ At Emory & Henry I had the opportunity for preventative health care and that was a new experience. Once I saw that I could take control of my health, I understood that I could control other parts of my life, as well.” This became part of her motivation for helping get leaders elected who could shepherd good legislation and block laws that didn’t promote a strong community.</p><p> Micah was a first generation college student and says her family was thrilled to see her get a college education. Micah has taken her opportunity for an education and created opportunities for others through stronger communities. She likes to tell people that if they’re not happy with how things are in government to get busy. “I find that the hardest thing to fight is apathy. If you’re unhappy with things, don’t mourn: organize!”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/670-micah-morris" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>