by Caleb Lubbers–After taking a couple of years off because of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Morningside Civic Union once again returned to Chicago to present at the biggest political science conference in the midwest.
Seven students and two faculty members traveled to Chicago to present at the 2022 Midwest Political Science Association Conference. This year’s conference was held from Thursday, April 7 through Sunday, April 10 in a hybrid format, which gave presenters the option to attend in person or virtually.
A portion of the trip’s expenses was paid for by the Morningside Student Government, with the remaining amount being covered by the group.
Garrett Arbuckle, a junior political science major, presented research on generational and partisan divides.
“It was really awesome to see the hard work that the group of us put together and it was great to cheer each other on during all of our presentations,” Arbuckle said. “It was really eye opening to see other research and see how what is learned in the classroom is applied in the real world.”
Not only did Arbuckle enjoy attending and presenting at the conference, but he also enjoyed sightseeing around the city of Chicago and being able to spend time with his peers.
“We also got to see the city and spend time together as a group, which was nice to bond and spend time together outside of class. All around a great and immersive experience.”
A senior political science major, Hannah Capps, enjoyed showing off her work.
“My favorite part of the trip was having the experience of presenting my research at a conference with so many political scientists and researchers and all levels in their careers.”
Capps was also able to find time to tour the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, where she will be attending to earn her master’s degree after graduating from Morningside.
Alex Freeman, a junior political science and business double major, was very appreciative of the opportunities that Morningside offers.
“This enhances my ability to put classroom skills to use in the real world,” Freeman said. “Any opportunity Morningside provides to improve my learning in a non-typical environment is beneficial to me.”
Dr. Valerie Hennings, Associate Professor of Political Science, traveled with the group. She was very impressed with the quality of work the students brought to the conference.
“Our students are engaging in valuable research projects of the highest caliber. This experience demonstrated to our students that they are not only a part of the larger political science community, but also have something meaningful to contribute as undergraduate researchers.”
Dr. Patrick McKinlay, Professor of Political Science, the other faculty sponsor traveling with the group, had one big takeaway from the conference.
“My biggest takeaway from this last MPSA was how well prepared our students are to compete. Our Morningside students were prepared, poised, and professional in their presentations. We are extremely fortunate to work with such outstanding students and to watch them exceed their own expectations.”