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Political Science Graduate Student Association

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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 2019-2020 office holders are: Anna Nuzzolese - President, Christopher Tharp- Vice President, Kevin Dwyre - Secretary/Treasurer, Sumeyye Iltekin - First Year  Mentor Coordinator.  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:

For more information on the mentorship program, please contact:

Meet the Board

President Anna Nuzzolese

My name is Anna Nuzzolese. I'm a third year doctoral student from Pennsylvania. My research focuses on environmental politics, more specifically wildlife trafficking and how culture and gender play into the perpetuation of the trafficking system. 

Vice President Christopher Tharp

My name is Christopher Tharp.  I was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware.  I am a third-year PhD student studying disaster tourism, disaster capitalism, and nationalism. My areas of interest are: postcolonial studies, material culture studies, trauma studies, affect theory, and neoliberalism.

Secretary / Treasurer Kevin Dwyer


First Year  Mentor Coordinator Sumeyye Iltekin

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Political Science Graduate Student Association