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political science Accomplishments

Oct 31, 2017
The UNLV Debate Team (Communication Studies) of Matthew Gomez (Political Science) and Jeffrey Horn (Economics) won the Las Vegas Classic Debate Tournament, held at UNLV in October.  Gomez and Horn finished the preliminary debates with a perfect 7-0 record, defeating teams from Gonzaga, Arizona State University, the University of Wyoming, the University of Iowa, and the University of Texas. They qualified for the elimination rounds of the tournament as the top-seeded team, out of 52 different competitors. In the elimination rounds, they defeated the University of Wyoming and then a string of three different teams from the University of California, Berkeley in the Elite Eight, the Final Four, and then the championship round. This was the duo's third tournament and first tournament win of the year. At their first two tournaments earlier this year they advanced to the Elite Eight against fields of more than 100 teams. Jacob Thompson (Communication Studies) serves as the head debate coach.   

Oct 9, 2017
Rebecca Gill (Political Science and the Women's Research Institute of Nevada) and Michael  Kagan (Law), along with Fatma Marouf of Texas A&M University School of Law, recently published an article, "The Impact of Maleness on Judicial Decision Making: Masculinity, Chivalry, and Immigration Appeals," in the journal Politics, Groups, and Identities. In this article, the authors explore the effects of judge and litigant gender on decision making in immigration appeals before the U.S. Courts of Appeals. Substantively, the authors find that immigrant litigants fare differently in front of all-male versus mixed-gender panels, but these differences are contingent upon the gender of the litigant. Although most research on gender and judging focuses on the things that make female judges different, this article finds evidence that theories of masculinity explain part of this difference as well. This article is critical of the tendency to study traditionally underrepresented groups in terms of their differences from white males, who are generally the unexamined baseline group. Instead, the authors argue that cognitive biases derived from socialization and learned stereotypes can impact the behavior of men as well. For access to the full article, please contact Rebecca Gill at rebecca.gill@unlv.edu. 

Sep 18, 2017
Rebecca Gill (Political Science and the Women's Research Institute of Nevada) and her colleagues (PI Nuno Garoupa from Texas A&M and Co-PI Lydia Tiede from the University of Houston) have been awarded grant funding in the amount of $86,000 from the Law and Social Sciences Program of the National Science Foundation.  The award will support a workshop entitled "Facilitating Empirical Studies of Judicial Behavior on Constitutional Courts from a Comparative Perspective." For information about the workshop, please contact Gill at rebecca.gill@unlv.edu.

Aug 30, 2017
Nerses Kopalyan and Tiffiany Howard (both Political Science) co-authored the book Sex, Power, and Politics (Palgrave 2016). Additionally, Kopalyan is the author of World Political Systems After Polarity (Routledge 2017).

Jun 20, 2017
Forty undergraduates recently were awarded scholarships through the office of undergraduate research's summer undergraduate research funding (OUR SURF) program. These scholarships support undergraduate research, scholarship, entrepreneurial, performance, or visual art projects in the summer months. A total of $39,000 in funding was contributed by the following 11 colleges/programs: Allied Health Sciences Community Health Sciences CSUN Engineering Fine Arts Honors Liberal Arts Nursing OUR-UNLV Provost's office Sciences A full list of recipients is available online. To learn more about their projects, attend the Summer Undergraduate Research Forum on Aug. 9.  

Apr 7, 2017
David F. Damore, Robert E. Lang, Fatma Nasoz, William E. Brown, Jr., and Caitlin J. Saladino (The Lincy Institute) are the authors of a new policy brief, "Rethinking Cooperative Extension in Southern Nevada."  Abstract: This brief examines the definition and allocation of land-grant status to higher education institutions in Nevada. Drawing on best practices from similar states, the brief offers a structural and programmatic framework for a UNLV-administered cooperative extension in Southern Nevada. This report comes from a larger body of research by The Lincy Institute on the topic of cooperative extension in Nevada. An earlier report explores the administration of university cooperative extensions in the United States through case-study analysis. The Lincy Institute reports on cooperative extension stem from presentations made at a colloquium sponsored by The Lincy Institute and Brookings Mountain West titled, “Making Cooperative Extension Work for Southern Nevada: Fulfilling UNLV’s Urban Land Grant Mission,” held in September at UNLV. Materials from the colloquium can be found online.    

Jan 6, 2017
Robert Lang (Brookings Mountain West) and David Damore (Political Science) are the authors of an analysis of the the 2016 U.S. presidential election, "The End of the Democratic Blue Wall?," which recently was published by Brookings Mountain West. On Nov. 8, 2016, the Republicans breached a key portion of the Blue Wall as presidential candidate Donald Trump narrowly carried Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, while also cutting the margin in the once solid Democratic state of Minnesota. Had this section of the Blue Wall held, Hillary Clinton would have won the presidency with 278 Electoral College votes, despite losing swing states such as Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, and Ohio. Abstract Heading into the 2016 presidential election, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had multiple paths to secure the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency. In contrast, Republican nominee Donald Trump’s path to the White House necessitated winning a number of large swing states and securing victories in states that had been reliably Democratic. Building from a prior Brookings Mountain West brief (Damore and Lang 2016), we consider how the Trump campaign, despite being vastly outspent, was able to use targeted online messages to activate “white identify politics” — long a staple of Republican politics in the South— in the non-metro areas of the upper Midwest. This messaging, coupled with Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity among white working class and rural voters in the region, interacted with the winner-take-all allocation of Electoral College votes to deliver the presidency for Trump. In the brief’s conclusion, we consider the implications that the 2016 election has for Electoral College politics moving forward. A related work, "Beyond Density & Diversity: Understanding the Socio-Cultural Geography of Contemporary Presidential Elections" also is available.

Mar 30, 2016
Lizbeth Arias (International Programs) has been awarded a Diversity and Diplomacy Fellowship through Humanity in Action, a collaborative transatlantic program in international relations and global diversity. A graduate student in the political science department, she was one of 24 fellows chosen from a 10-nation applicant pool.The fellowship, which focuses on how American and European governments and societies are responding to a wide range of international issues, will take place over the summer in Washington D.C., Warsaw, Berlin, and Athens. She will complete her participation in the program with the contribution of research on contemporary issues in international relations, published by Humanity in Action.

Dec 1, 2014
UNLV Collegiate DECA Members recently received several awards at the Utah Collegiate DECA's annual Fall Leadership Conference (FLC). Collegiate DECA is a career and technical student organization formerly known as the Distributive Education Clubs of America. Among those receiving awards at the FLC were: Daniel Dinev (Accounting/Global Entrepreneurship), who took first place in the Adobe Digital Marketing category. Celine Endy (Hospitality/Global Entrepreneurship), who took first place in the Boostability category. Annie Bellorin (Accounting), who took second place in the Boostability category. Dara Tinoco (Entrepreneurship/Political Science), who took second place in the Adobe Digital Marketing category. The FLC is one of the most exciting, intensive, fun, and rewarding experiences for UNLV Collegiate DECA students who decide to attend. The conference always is filled with leadership development workshops, amazing speakers, opportunities to network, and competition. UNLV students who participated this year also include Dyan Baguio (Hospitality/Accounting), Bianca Cseke (Journalism), Blaze Lovell (Journalism), Rebecca Lychock (Philosophy), and Christian Perez (Accounting).

Oct 1, 2014
Rebecca Gill and Kenneth Retzl (both Political Science) had a full-length research article, "The JPE Commission," published in the July/August issue of Judicature.The article argues that performance evaluation commissions may be relying too heavily on attorney surveys when they allocate negative judicial retention recommendations. Gill was the guest co-editor of that issue, which was a special issue focusing on the problem of bias in judicial performance evaluations in the states.