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Political Science

Alumni Profiles

Walker Davis, Class of 2015 — Research Associate at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

“I am a Research Associate at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington where I find and analyze information about lobbying and campaign financing at the federal level. If I see something fishy, then I consult with our legal department and with the Research Director to see whether we should either report that a candidate or officeholder has violated the law or write about the issue for publication on our site. It is a great job, and I am lucky to have it. I was a successful applicant because I had experience researching campaign finance law as a POLS student. After my sophomore year, I co-authored research on campaign finance law enforcement in the states with two political science professors and one other student. The topic interested me, so I then wrote my senior thesis on federal campaign finance law enforcement. Besides making me a more competitive applicant, my experience in the political science department helped me develop skills that I employ every day at work: summarizing complex information and analyzing text for example. I would recommend the major to students interested in having a rigorous and rewarding academic life.”

Katie Kowal, Class of 2017 — Science Policy Fellow at the Science and Technology Policy Institute

I am a Science Policy Fellow at the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) in Washington, DC. STPI is a federally funded research and development center that supports the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and a variety of federal agencies (e.g., NASA, NOAA, DoD, DHS). Projects can take many different shapes, and on any given day I may have to conduct interviews with subject matter experts, complete a technical literature review, or help an agency coordinate a subcommittee. What I love about this job is the variety and challenge of each task. I also get to interact with individuals across the federal government and dive into the inner workings of policy at the federal level.

Lewis & Clark helped me become a competitive applicant for this job by supporting my double major in Physics and Political Science and enabling me to pursue research in a variety of areas. After my sophomore year, the Physics department helped me apply for a research experience for undergraduates at Duke University, where I studied experimental nuclear astrophysics. After my junior year, I co-authored research in campaign finance law enforcement with the Political Science department. I completed my senior honors thesis in Political Science and studied whether  information can be an effective tool to increase participation in local politics. 

What I appreciate most about majoring in Political Science is that this department goes beyond cultivating writing and analytic skills. I really had to think about what kind of human I aim to be in the world. Each professor also creates space to meet with students outside of class, and I formed a close cohort of mentors and friends as I progressed through the major.


Political Science

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