Pi Sigma Alpha – Iowa Caucus 2016 

The Delta Omega Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha embarked on an election field research program in Iowa. This program is a unique opportunity for members to experience and study a major presidential campaign event in the United States. It evolved from an idea proposed by Shawn Carr, Chapter President and Political Science Senior. The Iowa presidential caucus is a significant and the first major campaign event of the 2016 presidential election.

From January 29-February 2, a group of 10 students, five from Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society) and five from Lambda Pi Eta (National Communication Honor Society) accompanied by Prof. Joshua Scacco, Department of Political Science Courtesy Faculty and Brian Lamb School of Communication Assistant Professor traveled to Des Moines and Ames, Iowa. The field experience will be research intensive as members will collect data on the peoples’ attitudes towards the candidates, engage with prospective voters, observe campaign operations, and evaluate the media coverage of the candidates in the build up towards the caucus on February 1.

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Upon return

Students will present their findings and analyses to the larger Pi Sigma Alpha membership and faculty and students in the Department of Political Science. 

This experience allows members to:

(a) gain first-hand experience on the inner workings of campaigns;
(b) widen their perspectives on the political process;
(c) develop /hone skills (communication, research, and critical thinking) to meet their future career and/or educational goals;
(d) have a tangible and meaningful research experience as being part of Pi Sigma Alpha; and
(e) be ambassadors for Pi Sigma Alpha, thus raising the profile of the organization in the field and on campus.

This program is supported by Natasha Duncan, Pi Sigma Alpha chapter’s advisor and Visiting Assistant Professor, Rosalee Clawson, Department of Political Science Department Head and Professor, and Joshua Scacco, Political Science Courtesy Faculty Brian Lamb School of Communication. Sponsorship of students participating in this experience comes from the Pi Sigma Alpha Activity Grant, the Department of Political Science, Brian Lamb School of Communication and the College of Liberal Arts.

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