Lee University celebrates the achievements of four students from its political science program who were offered admission to competitive PhD programs across the country. These students are Olivia Carroll, Zachary German, John Griffis and Kacey Mobley.
The students were four of 12 who graduated Saturday from Lee’s political science program, housed in the Department of History, Political Science, and Humanities.
“I have been extremely impressed with the quality of our graduating class, and the caliber of their scholarship is outstanding,” said Dr. Thomas Pope, assistant professor of political science. “These students have been excellent examples to their peers and have been mentors to younger generations of political science students.”
Ms. Carroll, from Ringgold, will attend Baylor University this fall to pursue a PhD in political science with an emphasis in political theory. Ms. Carroll was honored with the departmental award for history, political science, and humanities, which is presented to one outstanding senior from the department.
While at Lee, Ms. Carroll worked as a teaching assistant, resident and office assistant for Residential Life, and student worker in the William G. Squires Library. This year, she served as president of Lee’s chapter of the Alpha Chi Honors Society. Ms. Carroll was a recipient of Tennessee’s Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship and Lee’s Roberson Memorial Leadership Scholarship, and is a member of honors societies Alpha Chi, Kairos Scholars, Lambda Pi Eta, Phi Eta Sigma, and Pi Sigma Alpha.
Mr. German, a native of Brooks, Ky., plans to attend the University of Notre Dame this fall to pursue a PhD in political science. With his acceptance, he received a full tuition remission from the university valued at $200,000 for five years. Additionally, he was awarded a stipend from the Earhart Foundation and the journal American Political Thought. In his PhD program, he plans to emphasize in constitutional studies and political theory.
Earlier this year Mr. German was awarded the Robert W. Sledge Fellowship, a competitive fellowship presented by the Alpha Chi National Honors Society. He was also honored with Lee’s political science and philosophy awards given to one graduating senior from each program. While at Lee, German was involved with Students for Life and College Republicans, serving as chairman of the latter during his junior year. He is a member of national honors societies Alpha Chi and Pi Sigma Alpha.
Mr. Griffis, from Pigeon Forge, has been accepted into political science PhD programs at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the University of Georgia, and Florida State University, and plans to attend one of these universities in the fall. His research interests include geography and its effects on politics.
This year, Mr. Griffis served as president of Lee’s chapter of the political science honors society, Pi Alpha Sigma. In 2009 he was named the political science program’s Hicks Scholar, awarded annually to one outstanding freshman from each major. While at Lee, Mr. Griffis was also a member of the Shenanigans improv team and was cast in the Lee Theatre production of You Can’t Take It With You in fall 2009. He is a member of honor societies Kairos Scholars, Phi Eta Sigma, Pi Delta Phi, and Pi Sigma Alpha.
Ms. Mobley, a native of George Town, Cayman Islands, will attend Florida State University this fall to pursue a PhD in sociology. Her research interests include social stratification, crime and deviance, and demography with a focus on the Caribbean region. While at Florida State, Ms. Mobley will complete a graduate assistantship for the 2012-13 academic year.
Ms. Mobley was presented with the sociology award given to one graduating senior from the program. She was also nominated for the departmental award for behavioral and social sciences. Over the past four years, Ms. Mobley has received a Cayman Islands government scholarship and Lee’s honors scholarship, and in 2011, she received the Pitirim Sorokin Social Theory Award. During her time at Lee, Ms. Mobley served as president of the sociology club and worked as a teaching assistant. She is a member of honors societies Alpha Kappa Delta, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Sigma Delta Pi.
Dr. Nicole Velasco, assistant professor of political science, said, “These achievements speak to the rigorous coursework and excellent training students can receive at Lee. Here we are producing students who are accepted and funded at top PhD programs, which is rare and exceptional for undergraduate students. I am very proud of the students in our program and their accomplishments.”