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Brooks to study politics at Duke this summer

May  18, 2012

Jasmine Brooks

Rock Island native and Augustana junior Jasmine Brooks will spend five weeks this summer, June 3-July 4, at Duke University as a part of the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute.

Brooks is the first Augustana student to participate in this program, and she will join other undergraduates from across the United States who are interested in broadening participation in political science from underrepresented minority populations.

“I can’t wait to be in an atmosphere of 20 other people who are as passionate about political science as I am,” said Brooks, who always has been intrigued with the inner workings of government and has a profound interest in public policy and the process of law. She hopes to find a career in legislation after graduate school.

Each summer, the institute gives college students a look at the world of graduate study with a program of two transferable credit courses—one in quantitative analysis and one in race and American politics. The courses introduce the students to the intellectual demands of graduate school and political science research methods.

For the final project, students prepare original, empirical research papers, and top students are given the opportunity to present their research at American Political Science Associations (APSA) annual meeting.

“Jasmine is a great critical thinker who also thinks ahead in life,” said Dr. Christopher Whitt, assistant professor of political science at Augustana. “This is a big honor for Jasmine and a point of pride for Augustana’s political science department.”

Whitt added, “One of the main points of the program and one of the main reasons the APSA continues to sponsor the program is to work on placing more highly talented and motivated undergraduate students of color into the pipeline towards advanced degrees in political science and related fields.”

Through a program known as Augie Choice, Brooks received $2,000 in financial support from the college. Focused on advancing student learning in the liberal arts and in alignment with the college’s strategic plan, Augie Choice provides students in their junior year or beyond the opportunity to receive a one-time grant to offset the expenses of study abroad, an internship or research project. Augie Choice funding, which recently surpassed the $1.4-million milestone, is a visible symbol of the college’s commitment to experiential learning as a way of preparing students to stand out among their peers.

Named in honor of the 1950 Nobel Peace prize winner and former APSA President, Ralph J. Bunche, the summer institute encourages students to pursue academic careers in political science by introducing participants to leading political scientists, enhancing their research, writing and analytical skills, and informing the promising students about the career opportunities available to them.

Keri Rursch
Director of Public Relations
(309) 794-7721
kerirursch@augustana.edu