WelcomeEvan Head

From the Office of the Department Head…

Hello and welcome back to our Political Science students, faculty and staff!

In spite of budget delays and budget cuts, our Political Science student enrollment has grown by 10% over Fall of 2015.  Political Science undergraduate and graduate students have more than forty courses to choose from this fall as they pursue degrees for the major or minor.  The study of Political Science is exciting and relevant to the lives of our students, and our courses this semester are especially interesting because they are informed by major events that we read about in the media every day. In domestic politics, the 2016 presidential campaign is heating up as the general election draws close. If you look to the left of this page, you will see a "Register to Vote Here" button that will take you directly to the Illinois State Board of Elections Online Voter Registration site. If you are not registered yet, this is your opportunity!

In addition to course work, our students make time for student organizations, internships, study abroad, student employment and much more.  Our alumni choose careers that include employment with government agencies; working for interest groups and research organizations; joining the corporate world in marketing, public relations, journalism, and other specialties; and taking positions on the staffs of elected and appointed political officials.  Many of our students go on to law school and have successful careers practicing law. 

 Our department is a national leader in teaching civic engagement and connecting our students with the real world of politics and government.  We have several major events planned, either on our own or co-sponsored with other organizations:  

· September 19: National Constitution Day, a national event that commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. We will have a speaker who will address an important topic of constitutional law.  

· September 27: Rock the Vote Day, which will feature a voter registration drive. We will also have early voting events and election day voting on campus.  

· September 22-24:  A conference entitled, “Fortress Europe or E Pluribus Unum? Multilivel governance, migration and asylum policy in the European Union,” co-sponsored by UIC and Rutgers University and held here on the UIC campus.

· October 7: The National Student Issues Convention, in which students meet in groups to discuss the issues that matter to them and discuss their perspectives with candidates public policy makers

· Presidential and Vice-Presidential debate watch parties, co-sponsored with student organizations

·  The Political Science Department Lecture Series, featuring speakers on a variety of topics, including:

  •  September 21: Deirdre McCloskey, UIC, “Why Inequality Does Not Matter”
  •  October 5: Bruce Cumings, University of Chicago, “Provincialism and Internationalism in American Foreign Relations”
  •  October 19: Dianne Pinderhughes, University of Notre Dame, “Race in American Politics”
  •  November 2: Janet Smith, UIC, “Neighborhoods and Urban Change”
  •  November 16: Deniel Galvin, Northwestern University, “ US elections 2016”

As faculty, it is our goal to enhance the student experience inside and outside the classroom.  All of us are active scholars who publish books and articles in our specialties, and we also love to teach and spend time with our students.  We make opportunities for our graduate and undergraduate students to engage side-by-side in faculty research, using a variety of methods and new technologies.

Wishing you a successful school year,

Professor Evan C. McKenzie


Cook County Commissioner: Jesus "Chuy" Garcia

IMG_1036Cook County Commissioner and UIC alum, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, returned to speak to  Political Science students in Professor Dick Simpson’s POLS 211 Chicago’s Future class. Commissioner Garcia talked about the importance of government reform and gave a historical overview of Chicago Mayors dating back to Richard J. Daley.  He also explained the responsibilities of county government in terms of county health services and attempts to reform prisons.

To see more pictures from the event please go to past events


National Student Issues COnvention 

2016_NationalStudentConvention-2The National Student Issues Convention (NSIC) took place at UIC, Friday, October 7, 2016.  The National Student Issues Convention, hosted yearly for over a decade by the Political Science Department, offered students across disciplines the chance to lend their voice to the democratic process.  More than 300 students took part in the half-day event to talk with local, state, and federal candidates and incumbents running for office, about issues important to them.   In the early hours of this Convention students meet in small breakout sessions to have discussion among themselves and prioritize which issues they would most like addressed.  Candidates and government officials are invited to attend the plenary session of this event, and take part on a panel with other candidates who have agreed to come. The elected officials were Democratic Illinois State Representative William Davis (30
th District), Chicago Alderman Ricardo Munoz (22nd Ward).  They were joined by Republican candidate for Congress in the 7thDistrict, Dr. Jeffrey Leef.  The three spoke individually to the issues the students raised and shared their personal opinions and policymaking experiences at various levels of government.  This was NOT a candidate debate2016_NationalStudentConvention-22

This year the most popular issues presented by the students included:

- gun controls reform 
- tuition reduction/college cost debt/free tuition
- immigration, the Dream Act, and scholarships for undocumented students
- police accountability
- K-12 education funding gap

To see more pictures from the event please go to past events


College Debate 2016 meeting in California and Bring It to the Table event. 


National Constitution Day 2016

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An early morning email announcement from the Office of the Chancellor, kicked off the UIC Votes campaign by welcoming Attorney G. Flint Taylor to UIC as our National Constitution Day speaker.  Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, J. Rex Tolliver was there to greet and welcome our students, and encouraged them to  participate in the civic engagement programs hosted on our campus this Fall.  The Office of Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services helped interested students register to vote on-site!

Flint Taylor, a civil rights attorney, spoke to a silent, crowded room of students who shook their heads as he cited one incident after another of police violence, and make shift prisons in Chicago.   He spoke further about constitutional violations, corruption, and cover ups.  Afterwards, students asked lots of questions and talked one-on-one with Attorney Taylor.

Other vendor information tables were set up to let students know about volunteer and internship opportunities!

National Constitution Day 2016  Co-Sponsors

Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement
UIC Department of Political Science
Office of Public and Government Affairs
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Office of Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services
UIC Undergraduate Student Government
Political Science Student Union
UIAA Illinois Connection



Political Science celebrates Pi Sigma Alpha new members and student awards!


New members of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science National Honor Society were inducted into the UIC Mu Alpha Chapter on Thursday afternoon, April 28, 2016.

Department Head Evan McKenzie, Director of Undergraduate Studies Professor Kevin Lyles, Director of Graduate Studies Professor Alexandra Filindra, and Faculty Advisor of the Chapter Professor Robert Bruhl, were all on hand for the induction ceremony to hand out awards and honor cords.  The new inductees into the Class of 2016 Mu Alpha Chapter include. 

Alberto Alejandro Barraza*
Brian Geiger*
Michael P. Halpin*
Maria Hartas*
Eden Nissani (not shown)
Justyna Pietryk*
Humaa Siddiqi*
Shameka Thompson

graduating seniors




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  • Student Highlight: Allyson Nolde

    by Stephanie Whitaker | Oct 20, 2016

    Allyson Nolde
    Expected graduation:  May, 2017


    Allyson Nolde restates the issues, for the candidate panel, at the 2016 National Student Issues Convention at UIC.  Photo credit-Elizabeth Monge.

    Allyson is a graduating senior at UIC pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a concentration in Urban Politics. Allyson came to UIC in January 2015 as a transfer student with her Associate of Arts degree from Truman College.  She intended to pursue a Communications degree, but discovered her passion for politics during her POLS 101 American Government course.  She instead, decided to pursue a degree in Political Science.  Since then, Allyson has interned with grassroots organizations such as Illinois PIRG, a nonpartisan student advocacy organization, and Chicago Votes, a nonpartisan civic engagement organization that works to empower youth from under-represented communities in Chicago. She is an active member of the Political Science Student Union on campus, and the Student Advocacy group, a collaboration of the Graduate Student Council, Illinois Connection, Political Science Student Union, University Ambassadors, and Undergraduate Student Government.

    Allyson is also a student delegate from College Debate 2016 (CD16), which is a nationwide nonpartisan movement to engage and represent millennials in our current political system. CD16 held a recent town hall at Dominican University in San Rafael, California, in order to appeal to the presidential debate monitors to include questions formulated by this group. Through a social media blitz #collegedebate16, the students continue to push forward their agenda items.  (See linked YouTube videos.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QgR86vRVLU)

    During the UIC Spring 2016 semester Allyson helped to organize and led a discussion panel with local legislators on Automatic Voter Registration.  She’s also actively encouraging other students to become more involved in civics.  This past month Allyson organized and led the Bring It To The Table event, here at UIC.  This event created an opportunity for students to engage in open, productive dialogue across party lines on difficult political issues. Bring It To The Table is a project that Allyson was introduced to at CD16 that challenges the current climate of hyper-partisanship in the American Electorate.

    During this hyper-election season, Allyson continues to look for ways to inform others through social media.  She is currently staging a contest (complete with prizes) on Facebook Live called, “My Reason Why” that will continue through Friday October 28th.  Students can participate by going live on Facebook (GO LIVE) to talk about “Why they plan to Get Out and Vote!”  More information can be found on the UIC Student Leadership Development & Volunteer Services Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/SLDVS/?fref=ts

    Allyson expects to graduate in May 2017, and has been considering grad school, possibly for a Master of Public Administration degree. If she does decide to pursue a graduate degree, she says one thing is for certain: she will be attending UIC.