Elon University Selected to host Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics

Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, is excited to announce that the Sigma Upsilon chapter and the department of political science and policy studies at Elon University have been selected to host the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics for a term running 2020-2023.  The chapter takes over from the Nu Omega chapter at Oakland University, where the journal has been housed since 2013. 


“We are delighted to have the Sigma Upsilon chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha host the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics.  Elon University has a dedicated group of students and faculty who will take the journal to new heights,” said Pi Sigma Alpha National President Rosalee Clawson of Purdue University.  


The Elon chapter was selected based on a strong proposal and knowledge that the department offers an exceptionally talented student population who will staff the journal’s editorial and production functions.  All operational components for the biannual online publication are managed by the student editorial board. The Elon proposal includes a unique rotation system for the faculty editor position with Professor of Political Science and Policy Studies Laura Roselle and Assistant Professors Aaron Sparks and Baris Kesgin each taking on the role for one year. 


The faculty editorial team of Roselle, Sparks, and Kesgin commented that they “aim to advance the journal’s standing and its reach in collaboration with the Pi Sigma Alpha National Headquarters, and with as much collaboration as possible with other Political Science departments in North America. We will pursue ways to internationalize the journal’s authorship,”

The Pi Sigma Alpha journal is a central component in the organization’s mission to advance undergraduate research. “For nearly 20 years the journal has provided an outlet for quality undergraduate student research but equally important has provided a means for students from the host institution serving on the editorial board to strengthen their own writing and editing skills, think critically about other’s writing, and work collectively through the decision making of the peer review process,” said Pi Sigma Alpha Executive Director Sean Twombly. “We are thrilled to have the Sigma Upsilon chapter and the students of Elon continue this great tradition of student-driven leadership.” Proposals for hosting the journal were reviewed by a selection committee made of Zoe Oxley (chair), Union College; Daniel O’Neill, University of the Pacific; and Terri Towner, Oakland University. The Pi Sigma Alpha Executive Committee accepted their final recommendation unanimously.


The Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics was founded in the spring of 2001 by the Delta Omega Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha at Purdue University, under the name The American Undergraduate Journal of Politics and Government. With the sponsorship of the national office, the name of the journal was changed to the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics with the fall 2004 edition. Chapters at Union College, the College of William & Mary, and Oakland University have hosted the journal.


Since its development, the journal has published nearly 200 articles across all subfields of political science. Publication in the journal has been a launching pad for acceptance into top law and political science programs. Today, there are ten faculty in political science who published in the journal during their undergraduate days.

Over the past seven years the journal has been led by Professor Terri Towner and students of the Nu Omega chapter at Oakland University. Under Professor Towner’s leadership the journal has creatively expanded its outreach to students and departments across the country and globe.  Oakland student editorial board leaders have traveled to regional political science conferences to inform faculty and students about publishing opportunities and seen an immense growth in the number and quality of submissions. “We greatly appreciate the outstanding work done by Dr. Terri Towner and her team of students at Oakland. The journal serves as the top outlet for undergraduate political science scholars seeking to publish their research thanks to Oakland’s efforts,” said Clawson.

The Elon team will publish the Fall 2020 edition. For more information on the journal and submission guidelines visit psajournal.org and follow the new Twitter handle at @PSAjournal.