Political Science Graduate Student Association

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About PSGSA

The Political Science Graduate Student Association (PSGSA) is an organization geared towards graduate student advocacy, news, and assistance for the Department of Political Science and International Relations. 

The Fall 2021-Spring 2022 office holders are:

President: Sümeyye Mine İltekin
Vice President: Amara Galileo
Secretary/Treasurer: Chibuzo Ikechukwu Achinivu
First Year Mentor Coordinator: Wania Yad

The director of graduate studies serves as the PSGSA's faculty advisor. PSGSA always welcomes any graduate student in the department who wishes to help out in organizing and undertaking its activities.

Our mission, as stated, is first and foremost graduate student advocacy in the department: giving a voice to student concerns, prerogatives, and achievements. In service of this mission, the PSGSA will hold a number of town hall-style meeting open to student discussion throughout the fall and spring semesters.

PSGSA places at the top of its agenda the construction of a mentorship program for first-year students and assistance in designing a graduate student professionalization seminar for first and second-year students.

The PSGSA mentorship program aims to better integrate first-year graduate students within their new environment, concentrating on the team of graduate students, the department, the University of Delaware and the city of Newark. The program intends to match each first-year student with a senior graduate student (in their 2nd, 3rd or 4th year) according to similar academic interests. The main role of the mentor is to answer the new students' questions and guide them throughout the first months of the program. Mentorship activities, once students have been admitted, will also serve as a further recruitment tool; new students are given an orientation in acclimating them to the department, the University and Newark. Incoming students are able to come on campus, visit the department and have lunch or contact their mentor if they have any questions regarding their future life in Newark.

By extension, the mentorship committee also ensures that former graduate students of the department continue to mentor current students, encouraging alumni to come home and share with us their professional experience and advice for our own career development.

The PSGSA will also provide advice to the department about designing a graduate student professionalization seminar. This course will be required for first year graduate students as a means of informing them of the many nuances to success in graduate school and the career of an academic. Furthermore, PSGSA will provide assistance to the department for any revisions to the graduate student handbook, curriculum, and/or clarifications of the requirements of the graduate program.

With these efforts, the members of the PSGSA hope that this organization will effectively advocate and express the needs and wishes of the department's graduate students. We hope these efforts will spark interest and greater involvement among the department's graduate students in crafting their experience at the University of Delaware.

For more information on PSGSA, please contact: sumeyye@udel.edu

For more information on the mentorship program, please contact: waniayad@udel.edu

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Meet the Board

President Sümeyye Mine İltekin
I am a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate from Turkey, specializing in comparative politics and political theory. My research interests include immigration politics, politics of race and ethnicity, intergroup attitudes and comparative political economy. My dissertation research focuses on the individual and contextual dynamics of anti-immigrant attitudes in liberal democracies. Prior to my doctoral studies at University of Delaware, I graduated from Bogazici University with a B.A. and an M.A. in Political Science and International Relations.

Vice President Amara Galileo
I am a third year Ph.D. student from Delaware. My fields are comparative politics and international relations with an emphasis on the politics of sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, my research interests include democratization and autocratization dynamics on the African continent, the role of South Africa and Nigeria as regional powers, and U.S.-Africa relations.

Secretary/Treasurer Chibuzo Ikechukwu Achinivu
I am a third-year Ph.D. student. My research interests are in the international political economy. Specifically, I assess the effects of foreign direct investment and international financial institution's development programs on economies. My most recent project assessed the effects of the International Monetary Fund's Structural Adjustment Programs on Inequality and Ethnic Conflict in the developing world.

First Year Mentor Coordinator Wania Yad
Upon receiving the U.S. Embassy scholarship for women, Wania Yad completed her undergraduate degree at the American University of Afghanistan, majoring in political science and public administration with a minor in law studies. After graduating in 2016, she worked for the following two years with the National Security Council in Kabul, Afghanistan. She began her master's degree in International Relations at New York University as a Fulbright scholar in 2018. She is currently a second-year Ph.D. student at University of Delaware studying Political Science and International Relations. Her research focuses on state-building, women's rights in Afghanistan, and U.S.​​ foreign policy in South Asia and the Middle East.​

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