President’s Remarks from President Robin Kolodny, Temple University

Let me be the first to give a warm Pi Sigma Alpha welcome to Professor Jessica Lavariega Monforti of the University of Texas - Pan American, our incoming newsletter editor.  Professor Lavariega-Monforti has been a strong supporter of Pi Sigma Alpha on her campus and with the national office.  We look forward to her stewardship going forward.

Of course, welcomes usually accompany farewells, and in this case we owe our deepest thanks to outgoing newsletter editor John Kuzenski of North Carolina Central University.  Professor Kuzenski has been Pi Sigma Alpha’s newsletter editor over the past eleven years.  He oversaw the transformation of the publication from paper to all-electronic two years ago.  Professor Kuzenski cheerfully collected stories, photos, and suggestions from hundreds of Pi Sigma Alpha chapters.  We are all enriched for his efforts.  Luckily, we will see him around the conference table as Professor Kuzenski continues to serve as PSA’s General Counsel.

We are pleased to report that the College of William and Mary had a successful first year hosting the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics.  The student editorial board welcomes submissions of your best research papers on a rolling basis.  Please keep this in mind as you complete your fall classes.

I am also delighted to tell you that your Pi Sigma Alpha membership now has more benefits than ever.  In addition to lifetime membership for one time only dues, PSA members are eligible for a number of significant program discounts from the Princeton Review, Geico Insurance, and several Washington, D.C.-based internship programs.  Please be sure to visit periodically to see how to make your membership work for you.  If you use our links to access discounts from our corporate sponsors, Pi Sigma Alpha benefits, giving us more revenue to expand our most successful program – Chapter Activity Grants.

With the 2012 presidential nominating season upon us, now is a good time to make plans for Pi Sigma Alpha events on your campus.  And Occupy demonstrations should also stimulate lively discussions in your chapters.  Indeed, if any Pi Sigma Alpha members have protested with or against the Occupy camps, we would love to hear about it.  Whatever your political views, it is clear that today’s supercharged environment provides extensive opportunities for important discussions about our country’s future and your role in it.  Please be sure to tell us about what you are doing and what the national office can do to encourage discussion.

On the topic of encouraging discussion, I have created a Blue Ribbon Panel on the future of political science journal publishing.  Past-PSA President James E. Campbell of the University at Buffalo is convening a group of scholars to discuss a variety of issues including how technology will change how we receive and read journals, and whether journals should address specialized fields in the discipline or cover a general selection of the discipline’s best work.  The Panel’s report will be a service to scholars and consumers of political science research.

It is my honor to serve as your honor society’s president and I am always happy to have your comments or suggestions.  I wish you all a happy new year.

Robin Kolodny

Associate Professor of Political Science
Temple University