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Political Science Department at UW Oshkosh


A UWO Political Science degree prepares you for tomorrow’s careers by focusing on critical transferable skills, such as: writing, problem solving, critical thinking, decision making, analysis, and leadership. The Political Science department will get you there with engaging  courses, internships, study abroad/away and research opportunities.

Faculty Friday -- here we go again!

PROMPT: Which person from your subfield (alive or dead) would you most like to talk to or meet if you had the chance?

James Krueger: "Alexis de Tocqueville. I spend a fair bit of time thinking about how to make American politics feel exciting, exotic, and interesting. Perhaps being able to see our country in that moment from his perspective would help me make the case."

Tracy Hoffmann Slagter: "Jean Monnet (died in 1979) for a long discussion on European integration -- I'd love to know what he would think of the EU as it is now and where he sees it going in the future. I wonder if he'd see limits to integration? And definitely Marion Nestle from NYU because I think we would have a delightful time talking about the intersection of food and politics and hatching new projects. Her experience in the field of food politics is unparalleled. Someday I might just show up to her office hours..."

David Siemers: "Michael Walzer. Just a hugely smart man who writes things that change people's minds and elucidate and defend positions that we often take for granted. He is best known for two things: 1. reviving just war theory, a set of ideas that talks about the rules of war and what is ethically permissible and what is ethically prohibited. 2. defending the modern state with its variety of programs and introducing the idea of 'blocked exchanges,' a list of things that cannot or should not be bought, like political offices and love."

Jerry Thomas: "Larry Kramer. His writings inspire me. His work as an AIDS activist inspires me. When the country turned its back on men dying of AIDS, Larry Kramer forced people to listen and respond. I am told that despite his 'angry' activism, he is a gentle, gentle person. I am currently working on a paper about the 'softening' of the body politic. I want to interview him."
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We typically use this space on Thursdays to reconnect with an alum. Today, however, we're turning it over to one of our spectacular first-year students!

Meet Abbie Merrill, a first-year major and successful entrepreneur.

Abbie started to become politically engaged in 2016, especially in the run up to the presidential election. She saw that more and more Americans were "tuned in, making me believe that people truly cared about their government." But she realized that even as people were paying more attention, there was a lot that they were missing.

Her response? The "In Our Hands" app, now available for Android and Apple.

The app provides Wisconsinites with a massive amount of relevant information about state politics. It connects you directly to your representatives, allows you to track the progress of bills that are important to you, provides a sort of "cheat sheet" about the legislative process, and keeps you informed about the legislature's schedule of votes and hearings.

"In Our Hands is for everyone because legislation does affect every single person and their families," Abbie notes. "That being said, our main focus is on constituents who are actively engaged in the political world and want to help make a difference in their states and communities."

Abbie didn't take on this massive project alone. "I have had an insane amount of help that I will forever be grateful for. My mom, who is also my business mentor, has been my number one supporter. I wouldn't be were I am today without her," she says (of mom Colleen Bakri Merrill). Plus Candeo Creative and other companies who have lent their time and resources to help further develop either logos, development, or just counseling. And of course everyone who has believed in me and supported me by downloading the app."

What's next for this innovative first-year? Her wheels are already turning: "Once we have a sound foundation in Wisconsin we will be pushing out to neighboring states until each state has a customized version of In Our Hands."

Head to your app store and download In Our Hands to see it for yourself, and know that you're supporting a fellow political scientist! Abbie, we're eager to hear about what you think up next...!
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PSL #2 starts at 12:15pm today. Today is all about WRITING, which you're going to be doing a LOT of in the near future, if you aren't already. Let's talk about it. ... See MoreSee Less

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