As the result of a summer’s worth of work, six Emmanuel students participated on a panel of their own design entitled “Syria: Peace or in Pieces” at the Northeast Political Science Association (NPSA) meeting in Philadelphia on November 8th.
Last spring, members of Professor of Political Science Lenore Martin’s “Strategies of War and Peace” class had the opportunity to further their research on Syria by writing papers to submit to the conference for fall 2019. Alyssa Abele ’20, Lama Jaber Azzam ’20, Caroline Ferguson ’21, Christina Heiler ’20, Theordore Miele ’20 and Emily Ryan ’20 served as the only panel completely comprised of undergraduate students at the conference. Their papers addressed topics such as political development, economics, foreign influence, identity and human rights in Syria.
The NPSA is one of the leading regional professional organizations in the United States for the study of politics. At its annual conference, the NPSA brings together hundreds of political scientists from all fields of study and from around the world to enhance and expand their knowledge of politics.
Beyond having the opportunity to present their own work to other members of the field, participating in the conference challenged students to push themselves out of their comfort zones in order to prepare. As for Abele, rising to this challenge has provided her insight for the future.
“My involvement throughout the writing and presentation process for the conference pushed me to adapt and navigate through new challenges within a setting that encouraged me to grow and develop new skills,” said Abele. “Overall, I will use the skills I have learned through my experiences at the Northeastern Political Science Association conference throughout my education and career path to come.”
The content of the panel was created in addition to the work the students had done in their class one semester prior and was completely student-driven. Dr. Martin emphasized the fact that the work of this group of students is exemplary of Emmanuel students as a whole.
“The students worked so hard and they were really into it,” said Dr. Martin. “It showed in their performance at the conference. I think it says a lot about the student body and their willingness to work, be disciplined, and deliver.