In the News


Phi Beta Kappa 2012- 2013
The following students were elected to the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa:  Kristin Battaglini, Justin Cradit, Meenu Krishnan, Ken Meyers, Jim O’Connell, Carlos Siso, Dan Stefany, Brittany Sykes, Katherine Wycisk.


Political Science Major Ethan Groce

Old Gold and Black Newspaper Editors Meenu Krishnan and Renee Slawsky


US Naval Academy 2012

Brittany Sykes

In April I had the opportunity to represent Wake Forest at the 2012 Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference in Annapolis, Maryland.  This year’s delegation was the largest in the conference’s history, with about 130 participants from 30 countries.  In accordance with the theme “The Eclipse of the West?”, we explored global power relations through debates, round tables, and guest speakers.  I participated in the “Soft Power” round table with delegates from the United States, Germany, Pakistan, Japan, Portugal, and Jamaica, discussing non-military methods for exerting international influence.  Throughout the week, I also heard from prominent figures such as Hillary Clinton, Jon Huntsman, and Paul Wolfowitz.  I recognize that the knowledge and experiences I gained while in Annapolis will be invaluable to my future as a student and global citizen.

West Point Academy 2012

Meenu Krishnan

In November 2011, I had the pleasure of attending the 63rd Annual Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA), held annually at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. This year’s conference dealt with the theme of “Thinking Beyond Boundaries: Contemporary Challenges to U.S. Foreign Policy,” and students were split into fourteen roundtables to discuss thematic topics, including cyberterrorism, regional conflicts, and the role of international organizations in formulating foreign policy. I was assigned to “The Americas at a Crossroads: Drugs, Crime, and State Fracture,” which examined the particular challenges faced by Latin America in today’s policy arena. During the conference, each round table had to tackle a policy issue (ours was the legalization of drugs), craft a policy proposal, and present it along with a skit to the entire conference on the last day. The conference offered a valuable opportunity to debate and develop foreign policy with bright college students. Moreover, the conference gave me a valuable glimpse into the complexities of life at West Point, a far different academic culture from that of Wake Forest.

Phi Beta Kappa

In the academic year 2011-12, the following undergraduates were elected to the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa:
Donald Davidson, Sophia Goren, William McClure, Meenakshi Krishnan, Kenneth Meyer, Christopher Riccio, Daniel Stephany, Kellsi Wallace, Talley Wood, Katherine Wycisk.

Conference Participation

Two students presented research papers at the Undergraduate Research Symposium organized by the University of Pittsburgh in March 2012. Sara Olson presented “Transitional Justice and the Rule of Law: Lustration and Criminal Persecution in Post-Communist States;“ Thomas Walker presented  “A Balancing Act: Russia and the Arctic.”

Ken Meyer presented a paper at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Salt Lake City.  His paper was titled: Tearing Apart the Online Electorate: How the Social Media of the Political Parties Polarizes the American Public.”

Two students co-authored research papers or posters presented at political science association meetings:  Blakeney Brown was a co-author with Professor Wilkinson on a poster presented at the American Political Science Association conference in Seattle in September 2011.  The title of the paper was ““From stranger to brother? Exploring the relationship between racial context and interracial contact for Blacks and Latinos.”

Emily Earle was a co-author with Professor Wilkinson on a paper presented at the Southern Political Science Association conference in New Orleans in January 2012.  The title of the paper was “Taking a New Perspective to Latino Attitudes: Examining the Effects of Skin Color and Contact on Latino Perceptions of Commonality and Competition with Whites and Blacks.”

Fulbright Scholarships

Caitlin Garrigan-Nass, a political science major from Kennett Square, Pa., has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2011. She will teach in France.

Three students were recommended by the U.S. Fulbright committee to the host committees in other countries and listed as alternates for English teaching assistantships (ETA) abroad. Devon Cain, a political science major from Alexandria, Va., ETA for Indonesia. Dan Capone, a political science major from Pittsburg, Pa., ETA for Germany. Kaitlyn Hennessy, a political science major from Bradenton, Fla., ETA for Indonesia.

Senior Honoree

The Z. Smith Reynolds Library inaugurated a Senior Showcase program recognizing exemplary senior research theses and projects completed by Wake Forest undergraduates in their final year. Among the three students selected was Mallory Durr who won the competition in Division IV (Social Sciences). Mallory and the two other honorees presented their research on April 20, 2010, in the Allen Mandelbaum Reading Room, ZSR Library. The title of her thesis was “Divided Societies: Power Sharing in Multilingual Democracies.” See also Window on Wake Forest.

Caitlin Garrigan-Nass: Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress’s Presidential Fellowship 2010

This past year I had the opportunity to represent Wake Forest as a Presidential Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. Through this fellowship I was able to join eighty other students from around the country for two conferences in Washington, DC. These conferences included presentations and panel discussions on both domestic issues and foreign affairs – everything from the midterm elections and the deficit to the war in Afghanistan. Speakers included Dr. Anne Marie Slaughter, the Director of Policy Planning for the US State Department, Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon papers, and Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Hearing such accomplished speakers offer their insight into some of the most pressing issues of our time was an incredibly enriching experience and one I will not soon forget. As part of this program, Fellows also wrote and presented papers on issues related to the presidency and congress. The topic of my paper was political polarization and its effect on presidential ability to govern.  Writing this paper was an excellent opportunity for me to explore my personal research interests outside of the classroom, and helped make my experience with the Center for the Study of the Presidency even more rewarding.

NB: Caitlin’s paper “Divided Public, Divided Roles: Presidential Role Performance in a Polarized Political Climate” was published in The Fellows Review. Selected Papers of the 2010-2011 Presidential Fellows. Eds. Parry K. VanLandingham and Wuleta Endale. Washington, DC: Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, 2011, 259-78. The anthology includes the twenty best papers written by the 2010-2011 Presidential Fellows.

Donald Davidson, Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference 2011.

In 2011 I had the privilege of attending the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference as the delegate for Wake Forest University. Both military and civilian representatives from across the globe discussed the topic “People, Power, and Politics in the Internet Age.” Each delegate was assigned to a particular roundtable with about ten other delegates. I was a part of the “Homeland Cyber Security and Civil-Military Relations” roundtable, and I wrote a paper exploring the United States’ cyber security structure. For the next three days, our roundtable met and discussed subjects such as the cyber-threats the United States faces and the potential solutions which could be implemented. Among the many notable speakers were Ethan Zuckerman from Harvard, Sheryl Sandburg – the COO of Facebook, and Admiral Dennis Blair. The speakers were provided valuable insight into subjects including leadership and the impact of technology on foreign affairs today. The Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference was one of the most wonderful experiences I have had during my years as a student at Wake Forest University, and I will always remember the people I met and the time that I spent in Annapolis.