Monthly Archives: May 2015

Women in Politics: 2015 Senior Spotlight Nite


Political science student Rachel Stone looks on at another presenter during BYU’s Women in Politic’s “Senior Spotlight Nite.” Photo by Joshua Chappell.

Audience cheers for presenters at Senior Spotlight Nite. Photo by Joshua Chappell.

Audience cheers for presenters at Senior Spotlight Nite. Photo by Joshua Chappell.

BYU’s Women in Politics BYUPAS chapter hosted a “Senior Spotlight Nite” last month, celebrating and honoring graduating female political science students.

Friends and peers were able to cheer on these accomplished women, network, and eat together at the end of the 2015 winter semester.

The event allowed the unique opportunity for women from all the political science emphasis to network with each other.

“The Senior Spotlight night unified women whose academic interests within the major hadn’t allowed them to meet and bond with each other since those introductory classes,” said Rachel Stone, a senior in political science.

The women were able to share various helpful tips about doing well in school, research, getting a job in their field of interest, etc. for those still in school.

“I loved hearing the same sage advice from multiple graduating women, because I knew exactly which tricks worked the best!” Stone said. “We had such a diversity of women, from the multilingual, world-traveling go-getters to the women who simply did their homework and enjoyed every minute of class.”

Although many of these accomplished seniors will be gone from BYU soon, this event only marked continued friendship and a stronger network of women in politics.

“We learned the value of any and every political science experience, because they all emerged with a unique readiness to triumph in whatever comes next,” Stone commented. “I can’t wait to keep in touch with these ladies and see where they lead.”

Mary L. Fulton Conference awards student research

Political science student Michael Sean T. Covey presenting his research "JD, Businessman, Doctor? The Influence of Educational and Occupational Backgrounds on Legislative Effectiveness."

Political science student Michael Sean T. Covey presenting his research “JD, Businessman, Doctor? The Influence of Educational and Occupational Backgrounds on Legislative Effectiveness.” Photo credit: Austin Elliott

Morgan Williams presenting her research "Political Messaging on Social Media: Facebook campaigning and political silos"

Political Science student Morgan Williams presenting her research “Political Messaging on Social Media: Facebook campaigning and political silos” to Professor Kelly Patterson. Photo credit: Austin Elliott

Students walk around the Mary L. Fulton Conference. Research is separated by topic. Photo credit: Austin Elliott

Students walk around the Mary L. Fulton Conference. Research is separated by topic. Photo credit: Austin Elliott


Last month, students from BYU’s College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences participated in a mentored student research conference. Spotlighting student research since 2004, the conference is sponsored by the Mary Lou Fulton chair and is held in BYU’s Wilkinson Center Ballroom.

Students summarize and present their results on posters which they present to the various visitors who come to the conference. There were over 250 posters in this years conference, and winners who are selected from the various topics are given some monetary award.

Two political science students, Matthew Beck and Tyler Simms, won awards from BYU’s Charles Redd Center.

Congratulations to the winners and presenters!

Winners from Political Science (undergraduate):

1st place: Alejandra Gimenez, Joshua Cooper (David Magleby), The Effect of Information in Supporting an Increase in the Federal Minimum Wage

2nd place: Eliza Campbell, Emily Tanner, Daehyeon Kim (Darren Hawkins), Neighbors Across Borders: Improving Support for Muslim Refugees in the United States

3rd place: Alex Miller (Celeste Beesley), Tweeting Terrorism: An Analysis of Female ISIS Twitter Postings and Current ISIS Recruitment Theories

Honorable Mention: John Griffith (Chris Karpowitz), Who Deserves Coverage?: Determining Utahns’ Ideal Medicaid Recipient

Redd Center winners:

1st place: Matthew Beck (Adam Brown), WRESTLING ELEPHANTS, TANGLING TUSKS: Understanding the Rift among Utah Republicans

3rd place: Tyler Simms (David Magleby), War Wary? Not in Utah

Political science student presenters:

Alejandra Gimenez: The Effect of Information in Supporting an Increase in the Federal Minimum Wage and Who Ran Where?: The Effects of a Recruitment and Mobilization Experiment on Caucus Meeting Dynamics with Professor Quin Monson

Blaine Hansen: How To Win A Donor with Prof. Jay Goodliffe

Eliza Campbell: Neighbors Across Borders: Improving Support for Muslim Refugees in the United States with Prof. Darren Hawkins

Geoffrey Edwards Cannon:  Controversial Political Figures, Party Affiliation, and Religion with Dr. David Magleby

Hayden Galloway: Ideological Movement in House Party Leadership: A Difference in Differences Model with Prof. Michael Barber

James Martherus: Can Positive Images of an Outgroup Induce Attitude Change? with Prof. Quin Monson

John Griffith: Who Deserves Coverage?: Determining Utahns’ Ideal Medicaid Recipient with Prof. Chris Karpowitz

Jordyn Enos: When Should the FBI Trust a Prisoner? with Prof. Jay Goodliffe

Katherine Westmoreland: Reducing the Costs of Voting: A Voter Turnout Experiment with Prof. Chris Karpowitz

Matthew Beck: WRESTLING ELEPHANTS, TANGLING TUSKS: Understanding the Rift among Utah Republicans with Prof. Adam Brown

McKenna Westra: Voting Preferences of Baby Boomers in the 2014 Utah Midterm Election with Dr. David Magleby

Megan Conrad Tingey: Days for Girls: Establishing Linkages Between Menstrual Management and Confidence and Participation  with Prof. Dan Nielson

Michael Sean T. Covey: JD, Businessman, Doctor? The Influence of Educational and Occupational Backgrounds on Legislative Effectiveness with Prof. Michael Barber

Morgan Williams: Political Messaging on Social Media: Facebook campaigning and political silos with Prof. Jeremy Pope and The Future of Ballot Casting: Utah voters openness to casting their ballot online with Dr. David Magleby

Sean Stephenson: Legislator Responsiveness, Age, and Internet Proficiency with Prof. Michael Barber and Incumbent-Challenger Game with Jay Goodliffe

Sierra Davis: Clinton and Obama: From Combatants to Colleagues: Signaling Strategies in the 2008 Post-Primary Cabinet Appointments with Jay Goodliffe

Soren J. Schmidt: Simple Information in India: How Much Can It Impact Opinions and Behavior? with Prof. Darren Hawkins

Tai Gray: Counterterrorism in Autocratic and Democratic Governments with Prof. Celeste Beesley

Tyler Simms: Do Donors Become More Partisan and Ideological? with Prof. Jay Goodliffe and War Wary? Not in Utah with Dr. David Magleby

Click here to see full list of winners.

Recap of Dr. David B. Magleby’s Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecture Forum

Dr. David B. Magleby

Dr. David B. Magleby

On Tuesday, Dr. David B. Magleby, an accomplished author and professor in BYU’s political science department, delivered the Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecture Forum to students of all majors about the necessity of political parties.

The Maeser Distinguished Faculty award is the highest honor given to faculty at BYU.

His message to students was that with next year’s presidential election becoming a larger conversation on TV and social media, the need to understand the purpose of political parties and the importance of voting is crucial.

In the filled-up de Jong Concert Hall, Dr. Magleby shared a surprising result of research about political parties. Those people who call themselves “pure independents” tend to be the least informed about government, while those who are “strong supporters” of the Republican or Democratic parties tended to be the most informed and most active in voting and political participation.

Dr. Magleby noted from observing the south’s shifting political history, that if there is only one political party dominating an area, there is significant lower levels of voting participation and the area (or even country) ends up relying on strong, individual leaders only rather than moderating parties.

“A government with two parties moderates the outcomes and reduces corruption,” Magleby said.

Dr. Magleby also discussed the importance of compromise in politics. He noted the historic struggle between federal power and state power which resulted in “The Great Compromise” of 1787. Neither side got everything they wanted, and some had to give up some things in order to achieve others, including postponing the question of slavery until later.

He also reminded students that the Constitution itself, along with all the Amendments, used language that allowed for compromise and moderation.

“The Founding Fathers set out to build a ‘more perfect’ union, not a ‘perfect’ union,” Magleby said. “They provided the means for amendments and compromise.”

Along with stressing the importance of balancing political parties and being involved in the democratic process, Dr. Magleby urged students to not only be informed, but also to be respectful.

“Mutual respect is essential for democracy to function,” he said.


Magleby is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University. He is nationally recognized for his expertise on direct democracy, voting behavior and campaign finance. He is the principle investigator on CSED’s projects monitoring soft money and issue advocacy in competitive federal elections.

His publications include Direct Legislation; The Money Chase: Congressional Campaign Finance Reform; The Myth of the Independent Voter; Soft Money and Issue Advocacy in the 1998 Congressional Elections; The Other Campaign: Soft Money and Issue Advocacy in the 2000 Congressional Elections; Financing the 2000 Election; The Last Hurrah? Soft Money and Issue Advocacy in the 2002 Congressional Elections; Electing Congress: New Rules for an Old Game; Dancing without Partners: How Candidates, Parties and Interest Groups Interact in the Presidential Campaign; Financing the 2004 Election;The Battle for Congress: Iraq, Scandal, and Campaign Finance in the 2006 Election; and several editions of the American government textbook Government by the People.

He is a former Dean of the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences and former president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. Additionally, he was a Fulbright Scholar at Nuffield College, Oxford University.

Political Science Students study at MOAB

Trip to Moab

Professor Adam Brown’s political science class examining a vandalized (and restored) panel of 2000 to 4000-year-old pictographs.

Moab trip

The class in front of Balanced Rock (in Arches National Park)

How did students in one political science class learn about public land management policies? Not by reading textbooks or looking at slides. Last month, Professor Adam Brown, assistant professor in BYU’s political science department, took his class for a hands-on learning experience to Utah’s famous national park, Moab.

“This was an opportunity to examine the impact of national park management policies on the ground, and to see how the national park service balances its two competing missions that Congress has given it: To preserve the parks for the future, but also to develop them such that the public can easily enjoy them,” Brown said.

The class visited paleontological and archeological sites on federal lands in the Moab area after learning about environmental politics and public lands. The last site visit was spending a few hours in Arches National Park, famous for its towering red rock landscapes.

Studying different management policies in a hands-on learning environment gave students the opportunity to think about which lands the community chooses to preserve and which lands they choose to leave alone to the elements.

“Viewing fascinating sites that are just sitting there unprotected outside of a national park on public land – such as a site full of exposed dinosaur bones – definitely gave them the opportunity to consider what sorts of lands we value enough to protect – as a national park – and which ones we’re going to leave sitting there,” Brown said.

What do you think about land preservation – what lands are most important?