Key Dates for PPA Seniors and Juniors

Fall 2023

September 15Welcome back PPA reception CarnegieFoyer
September 20Seniors submit signed internship contract and internship travel budget
December 19Seniors must submit all approved internship hours, signed thesis abstract, and final reimbursement requests to the Associate Director by 5:00 p.m.

Spring 2024

Beginning of FebruarySenior Exit Interviews with PPA Coordinator and Associate Director
 PPA 191 Class meetings Carnegie 109; time TBD
March 20Senior Thesis draft due to readers and Associate Director by midnight
April 17 Senior Thesis final version due to readers and to Associate Director
April 19Richard K. Worthington Senior Thesis Conference
Hart Room Smith Campus Center

2024 PPA Senior Thesis Conference
April 19, 2024

9:20 a.m. Welcome and Overview

David Menefee-Libey,
Program Coordinator and Professor of Politics

9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Flawed Representation: An Investigation into Local Democratic Engagement Strategies

This panel examines local democratic mechanisms intended to empower under-represented groups in decision-making. From electoral representation to local school funding, systems face capacity and resource accessibility issues that limit the participation of marginalized groups. In each of our case studies, we found public institutions have fallen short in this effort.

Madison Lewis

Lauren Ziment

Andrea Mac

Olivia Marble*

10:35 - 11:35 a.m. Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks: Private Sector Disruptions and Public Sector Responses

In a rapidly evolving world, how do governments react to private sector innovations? Do they adapt? Do they flounder? Do they even react at all? We answer these questions from the global to the local scale, from past to present, from politics to economics.

Jon Burkart*

Jake Winkler

Sofia Guimares

Min Ah (AJ) Joo

11:40 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Lunch On Your Own

12:45 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. The Path to Failure

This panel analyzes policy outcomes impacting foster youth, domestic violence survivors, legal aid service seekers, and low-income workers. By examining the systematic failures barring these groups from accessible services—or lack thereof— we uncover the institutional failures that continue to inhibit and dictate their everyday lives.

Simone Bogedal

Brandolyn Thomas*

Brandon Karagozian

Ella Gardener

1:50 - 2:50 p.m. Building a Healthier and Safer CA Society

Each of our investigations examine policies that are intended to address different public health and environmental challenges and the way in which institutions have fallen short in supporting them. Focusing on California, we delve into the rights to clean water, air, and quality dental care, advocating for long-term plans that ensure sustainable resource management and equitable access. Our work highlights the urgent need to re-evaluate these high-stakes issues, often overlooked, to educate and mobilize for change.

Ben Baraga

Manu Prabandham

Alicia Carmona Cornejo*

Yena Jang

2:55 – 3:55 p.m. Red Hot Issues in the Classroom: Illuminating Modern Education Problems in Conservative America

In this panel, we will discuss policies addressing contemporary challenges in K-12 education, focusing on resource distribution and curriculum in conservative states. At a time of increasing polarization across America, we investigate poverty indicators in Georgia, school resource officers in Texas, and racially and socially inclusive curriculum materials in Florida through case studies and applications of key theories in our respective concentrations.

Sabrina Gleitz*

Julianna Portillo- Del Valle

Hannah Williams

4:00 p.m. Closing Remarks

Professor of Economics Fernando Lozano

*Denotes panel chair