Political Science Program

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Student Profiles

Meet Two of Our Students

Sara Drollette

Sara is a political science major from Plattsburgh, NY. She is President of the SUNY Plattsburgh Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society.

Political Science Obvious Choice for this Model UN Participant

"Starting in the 7th grade I participated in the Model United Nations program at my high school and continued to do so through my freshman year in college. This included Harvard Model United Nations my senior year of high school and I was selected to participate at the Model United Nations at the United Nations my freshman year of college. I learned so much through the Model UN program and I was automatically hooked during the first program in 7th grade! So I pursued it and decided then and there that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life!"

Valuable Contacts Here

"I actually transferred here from SUNY Oneonta during the second semester of my sophomore year. All of my family is located here in Plattsburgh and I wanted to be closer to them. Transferring from another college was tough. You have to make new friends, adjust to new teachers, figure out campus life, and basically restart your life. However, I've learned from being here that I am a stronger and more adaptable person than I thought I was. It was very easy for me to make new friends and get involved (especially within the political science department) as well as make valuable contacts that I can use in the future. I've come to love SUNY Plattsburgh and have met some incredible people over the past year and a half!"

Supportive, Approachable Faculty

"The professors have been fantastic! Working directly with the Political Science professors has been incredibly easy. Each professor is very welcoming, approachable, and supportive. At first I thought I would feel intimidated, especially as a transfer student, but I was welcomed very warmly by the department and have had the privilege to have a class with every Political Science professor.

"Dr. Lake of the Political Science department has had the most impact on me since coming to SUNY Plattsburgh. Although he is also new to the campus, he has taken a very active role not just in the department, but in student programs such as Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honor Society by being one of the advisors. As president of Pi Sigma Alpha, I have gotten the chance to work closely with Dr. Lake and his support has been great! He is also very valuable in the classroom, has a great sense of humor, and can discuss a wide range of topics, which makes class with him very enjoyable!"

Confident About the Future

"I have been more than satisfied with my political science experience, not just here at SUNY Plattsburgh, but throughout my high school and college career. However, the knowledge I have acquired here will surely be put to good use in my future. I will walk away from SUNY Plattsburgh knowing that I learned from some of the most knowledgeable Political Science professors that I have ever met which gives me the confidence to pursue my future endeavors."

Daniel DePetris

Daniel is a Political Science major from Sag Harbor, New York. He is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honors Society.

Dealing with Today’s Topics

Political science has always had a deep impact on my academic interests. It is extremely important for American citizens to engage in the political process and understand the vast and complex issues that are facing all nations in a post-September 11th world. Political science is one of the best majors for comprehending and dealing with today’s topics, such as terrorism, military strategy, the influence of political parties and interest groups, or American economic policy.

Fortunately (thanks to the current Presidential election campaign) more students nationwide are becoming active members of society, choosing political science as a field that will guide them in their future endeavors. This is certainly why I chose this major. A background in world affairs and public policy will serve as a support-beam for a future government career (a career that I desperately hope to achieve).

A Community-Oriented Campus

I transferred to SUNY Plattsburgh in the fall of my sophomore year from the University of Richmond in Virginia. While my mother being an alumnus from this university may have had something to do with my decision to enroll, the school’s profound community-oriented focus was also an important factor. Starting from my first week on this campus, I experienced a setting that I could only hope for during my freshman year in Virginia. SUNY Plattsburgh is a college that not only emphasizes academic achievement and student involvement, but also promotes an interactive web of relationships between student and student, as well as student and faculty. I have made a wide group of friends on this campus and in my classes, and have developed friendly rapport with the professors of the Political Science Department.

Outstanding Faculty Leave Lasting Impression

I believe that the professors in the Political Science Department are the best that SUNY Plattsburgh can provide. Dr. O’Donnell is perhaps the most active in her teaching method, which is one reason why her classes are so popular. Dr. Lubin is extremely knowledgeable about comparative political systems, as well as the dense theoretical aspect of the field. Dr. Shantz is not only an expert on American politics, but adds a great sense of humor to his teaching. Dr. Lake is expert in the complex areas of terrorism studies and international security, while Dr. Gottschall is the brightest law professor I have ever had the privilege of learning from. Dr. Konda has a teaching style that makes the usually unpopular experience of studying statistics clear and easy for the typical political science student.

Paving Way to Bright Future

So far in my college career, my political science experience has been a blessing. I can honestly say that I have not had any negative encounters to date.

Dr. Daniel Lake and Dr. Martin Lubin are the two professors that have had the strongest impact on my college career at SUNY Plattsburgh. Both have personally pushed me to become a better analytical thinker when it comes to current world events. Whether the issues concern terrorism, counterinsurgency, or the Canadian and European political systems, Dr. Lake and Dr. Lubin have both encouraged me to become a potential academic in political science. They have undoubtedly paved the way for any future doctorate program that I may wish to embark upon.

Aimee Lemay-Hammond

Aimee is a Political Science and Women’s Studies major. She is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honors Society.

Political Science a Good Introduction to Law and World Politics

“I chose political science as a major because I love politics. My parents and I fight about it at home, I debate about it whenever I get the chance, and it fascinates me. Also, I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer, and I figured political science would be a good introduction to law.

“While I’ve been at SUNY Plattsburgh I realized how fascinated by world politics, especially in regard to the Middle East, I am. Even though I still plan on law school it has given me more options, which is always a good thing.”

Appealing Location

“I didn’t originally go to SUNY Plattsburgh. I went to a private women’s college in Virginia but I transferred out. I chose SUNY Plattsburgh because I grew up in upstate New York, in Watertown, and missed it. Also, my mom went to SUNY Potsdam for her master’s and I knew SUNY Plattsburgh had a good reputation. SUNY Plattsburgh’s proximity to Burlington and Montreal also appealed to me.”

Helpful Advisement in a Pleasant Atmosphere

“Almost all of my professors have been very helpful, and having Dr.Gottschall as an advisor is great. He has been so helpful with working with my second major, Women’s Studies, and with working with my transfer credits. He has also helped me with an internship with the Rural Law Center for spring 2009.

“The professors in the Political Science department have been amazing. They are extremely knowledgeable and obviously enjoy what they do. Every class I have taken has been interesting, informative, and useful, about which I am very pleased. Also, most of the professors, but especially Dr. Konda, have great senses of humor, which I wasn’t expecting.

“I have definitely been satisfied with my political science experience. The only thing I wish is that I could take more classes, since there are more that I really want to take.”

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like more information about political science at SUNY Plattsburgh please contact

Harvey Schantz, Chairperson
Office: Hawkins Hall 149
Phone: (518) 564-5826
Fax: (518) 564-4124 or 564-3842
Email: schanthl@plattsburgh.edu