Pi Sigma Alpha Returns to the Department of Politics

Starting this semester, top students in the Department of Politics again will have the opportunity to join the Pi Sigma Alpha honor society. Membership in Pi Sigma Alpha is an acknowledgment of outstanding academic performance in the department within the Foreign Affairs and Government majors, and at the University more generally. The honor society connects students to a network of serious scholars in the field as well as political science alumni.

Professor James Todd, a member at UVA during the early 80s says "Pi Sigma Alpha, which was founded 98 years ago, is a national honorary for students who excel in political science courses. In addition to recognizing their academic achievements, it provides them with opportunities to interact with faculty outside the classroom."

Without a sponsor, the department's involvement with the society fell by the wayside during the 90s. Until now. Professor Allen Lynch is stepping up to provide direction and management. Professor Lynch says "the national network of scholars and alumni can be useful to students and give them access to APSA events and publishing opportunities. The benefits continue after graduation throughout their lives."

In addition to Pi Sigma Alpha, the department has advanced opportunities for scholarship through its Distinguished Majors Program, currently helmed by Professor Pete Furia, the Honors Program by Professor Sid Milkis, Political Philosophy, Policy and Law, by Professor Colin Bird, and the Political and Social Thought program, by Professor Michael J. Smith.

The department will hold its (re)inaugural ceremony at the end of April or early May.

Professor Stephen K. White’s Farewell

The faculty and staff of the Department of Politics celebrated Professor Stephen White's distinguished career on Friday, January 26. Speakers included John Owen—Chair, Paul Freedman—Associate Chair, and Professor White's peers in department's political theory subfield, Lawrie Balfour, Colin Bird, George Klosko, and Jennifer Rubenstein.

The department is pleased to announce that the Virginia Senate introduced a bill commending Professor White. The bill was drafted by a former student of Professor White's, graduate alum Ross Mittiga, now Assistant Professor at Instituto de Ciencia Política, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. The bill was introduced in the Virginia Senate by Senator Creigh Deeds and and in the Virginia House by Delegates Steven Landes and David Toscano. The  bill is Senate Joint Resolution No. 316.

The event was held in the Dome Room at the Rotunda.

We are honored to have worked with Professor White.

Read his students' remarks here.