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Political Science Department News: Events

Writing a Law School Personal Statement Workshop

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Aside from your LSAT score and grades, your personal statement is the most important part of your law school application. Nearly all law schools require that students submit a two-page personal statement along with their law school application. Admissions officials do read personal statements, and they matter . . . a lot. The personal statement is your one chance to set yourself apart from the hundreds of other applications being reviewed by an admissions committee.

Don’t know what to write or how to get started? Then sign up for the “Writing a Law School Personal Statement Workshop.”


Saturday, April 11


10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.



Taught by Gwen Torges of the Political Science Department.

In this workshop, you will learn:

  • the purpose of a personal statement
  • what admissions officials are looking for in a personal statement
  • what types of information you should—and shouldn’t—include
  • how to decide what to write about
  • how to banish writer’s block and get started writing!

Besides learning about the components of a personal statement and tips for writing one of your own, you will read and evaluate sample personal statements. The workshop also includes a brainstorming session and other exercises to help you come up with and develop a theme for your personal statement.

To Register: 

The workshop is free, but you need to register by sending an e-mail to Kyleen at by Thursday, April 9, 2015.

This workshop is sponsored by:

IUP’s Pre-Law Program
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences
The Political Science Department

Getting Into Law School Workshop, March 28

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How do I apply to law school? When should I start applying? What all do I need to apply to law school? How many law schools should I apply to? Which law schools should I apply to? How much is all this going to cost?

If these questions sound familiar, then the “Getting into Law School” workshop is for you.


Saturday, March 28


10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.



Taught by Prof. Gwen Torges of the Political Science Department.

You will learn:

  • about the application process and the important deadlines
  • what law school admissions officials are looking for
  • strategies for getting the best possible letters of recommendation
  • how to set yourself and your application apart from the crowd!

The workshop is free, but you must register by Thursday, March 26. After you register, you will be sent information about location and about a packet that you need to purchase.

To Register:

Send an e-mail to Kyleen at Deadline to register is Thursday, March 26, 2015.

This workshop is sponsored by:  

  • IUP’s Pre-Law Program
  • The College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • The Political Science Department

National Security Experts to Speak at IUP About Situation in Syria and Other Foreign Policy Issues

(Events) Permanent link

The IUP community can get the inside story on today’s most pressing national security issues directly from a group of national security experts when they come to IUP on Wednesday, February 18. After visiting selected classrooms throughout the day, members of the panel will mingle informally with the university community at a pizza get-together from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., followed by a public panel discussion at 6:30 p.m., all in the HUB Allegheny Room. Extra credit vouchers will be available to students attending the panel discussion.

The panelists are part of the Eisenhower National Security Series, which is the U.S. Army War College’s communication and outreach program designed to encourage dialogue on national security and other public policy issues between its students and the public. The program focuses its efforts on students and faculty at academic institutions, professional organizations, civic groups, business organizations, and local media.

The panelists are students at the U.S. Army War College. The U.S. Army War College, located in Carlisle Barracks, Pa., represents the highest level of education offered by the military services. It is designed to equip carefully selected senior officers and civilians with the competencies required of strategic leaders of the United States Armed Forces.

This year’s Eisenhower Fellows and their topics include:

  • Col. Chad Davis, U.S. Air Force:
    U.S. Space Power in the Future; Departure from the Citizen Soldier
  • Col. Si Martinez, U.S. Army:
    Pacific Rebalance; Women in Combat
  • Lt. Col. Bill Rice, U.S. Army:
    Federal Budget Impacts on National Security; Syria Update
  • Lt. Col. Gus Smith, U.S. Army:
    Army National Guard Role as a Dual Force; Diversity in the Army

Though the members will address government policies, the views they express are their own, based on personal experience, research, academic study, and reflection. Panel members are prepared to discuss national public policy and current social issues and their impact on the United States Armed Forces.

The presentation by the Eisenhower Fellows is sponsored by the Political Science Student Leadership Committee and by the Department of Political Science.

IUP Model European Union Team Gains Awards

(Events, People) Permanent link

IUP students participated in two Model European Union simulations in 2014, and won awards on both occasions.

In November, IUP students Vincent Campisano, Ellen Raum, Tyler Gongola, Tyler Larkin, Jayde Ferney, Lameera Pine, and Justin Gloor represented Belgium in the Mid-Atlantic Model EU in Washington, DC. After a briefing at the Belgian Embassy by Deputy Chief of Mission Thomas Lambert, the students represented a variety of Belgian political leaders, including the prime minister, foreign minister, economics minister, and members of the European Parliament.

Belgian Delegation 400px
Members of IUP’s Model EU team, from left: Tyler Larkin, Ellen Raum, Justin Gloor, Vincent Campisano, Jayde Ferney, Lameera Pine, and Tyler Gongola

Earlier last year, on February 14, IUP students Savannah Pailloz and Ellen Raum participated in another Model EU simulation at Washington and Jefferson College. This time, the students represented the Austrian chancellor in discussions and negotiations over issues of youth unemployment and EU relations with the Russian Federation. Pailloz and Raum’s articulation of Austrian policies and outstanding work in caucusing earned them an Outstanding Delegation award from the judges at the competition.

Much like Belgium in the “Real Life” EU, IUP’s delegation assumed influence disproportionate to its numbers: the MEP in the Foreign Affairs committee, Annemie Neyts (played by Tyler Larkin), was elected vice chair of the committee, and the minister of Employment, Economy, and Consumer Affairs, Kris Peteers (played by Tyler Gongola), won an award for Best Minister in his Council of Ministers. Both our Prime Minister Charles Michel (played by Vincent Campisano) and our Foreign Minister Didier Reynders (played by Ellen Raum) were nominated for best minister in their councils as well.

The simulation concluded successfully with a vote in favor of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a free-trade pact the United States is currently negotiating with the European Union.

Professor Steven Jackson, advisor for the group, said afterwards, “This year has been the best year so far for IUP Model EU. We have been participating in simulations since 2009, and this is the first year we have won awards both at Washington and Jefferson and at the Mid-Atlantic simulations. This is a tribute to the enthusiasm and hard work of the students.” 

Department of Political Science

IUP Students: Interact with Reps From 16 Law Schools At Law School Fair

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Admissions officials from 16 law schools are coming to chat with IUP students at the 28th annual Law School Fair on Tuesday, October 21, 2014, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Blue Room of Sutton Hall.

“This is a great mix of law schools,” said Political Science faculty member Gwen Torges. She said this is an ideal opportunity for anyone who is even casually interested in attending law school some day. “Schools from across the country and with different specializations will give students a good start at selecting what law schools they want to apply to.”

Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions is also sending a representative to speak with students about preparing for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), which prospective law school students must take. Kaplan is a company which offers a variety of services and materials to help students prepare for the LSAT.

The law schools registered to attend the Law School Fair are:

  • Capital University Law School (Columbus, OH)
  • Drexel University School of Law (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Duquesne University School of Law (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Elon University School of Law (Greensboro, NC)
  • Florida Coastal School of Law (Jacksonville, FL)
  • New York Law School (New York, NY)
  • Ohio Northern University College of Law (Ada, OH)
  • Penn State Dickinson School of Law (Carlisle, PA)
  • Penn State Law (University Park, PA)
  • Quinnipiac University School of Law (Hamden, CT)
  • Temple University Beasley School of Law (Philadelphia, PA)
  • The John Marshall Law School (Chicago, IL)
  • Villanova University School of Law (Philadelphia, PA)
  • West Virginia University College of Law (Morgantown, WV)
  • Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Auburn Hills, MI)
  • Widener University School of Law (Harrisburg, PA and Wilmington, DE)

To make the most out of a visit to the Law School Fair, Torges recommended that students come prepared with questions for the law school representatives. “This is a chance to see what each school is really like,” she said.

Torges suggested that students considered asking such questions as the following:

  • What’s the average class size and the faculty to student ratio?
  • What type of internships, externships, and legal clinics does the school offer?
  • Are there opportunities for international study?
  • What’s the cost?
  • Does the school offer loan repayment programs for grads taking low-income service jobs?
  • Does the program offer interdisciplinary opportunities (such as the option of getting a joint JD/MA or JD/PhD)?
  • If you’re thinking about going part-time, does the school offer part-time programs?
  • What percentage of students are find JD-required jobs after they graduate, and what is the average time from graduation to employment?
  • What kinds of placement services does the school provide?

IUP Hosts 28th Annual Law School Fair

(Events) Permanent link

Representatives of law schools from across the country are coming to IUP to talk to students about law school and about their respective programs from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21, 2014, in the Blue Room of Sutton Hall.

Are you considering law school, but you still have lots of questions? Not sure what law school you want to go to? Want to find out more about what law school admissions officials are looking for in applicants? Then you’ll want to make time to stop by IUP’s 28th annual Law School Fair.

Admissions representatives from several law schools are coming to IUP to talk about their schools and to answer your questions.

Department of Political Science

The U.S. Constitution is Celebrating its 227th Birthday—And You’re Invited

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IUP will celebrate Constitution Day on Monday, September 15, 2014, with two events free and open to the public.

This will be the ninth annual observance of the day in 1787 when the final draft of the U.S. Constitution was signed and sent to the states for review and ratification. Everyone on campus and in the community is enthusiastically invited to attend and celebrate the 227th birthday of the Constitution.

Public Reading of the U.S. Constitution

  • 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., Monday, September 15
  • In front of Stapleton Library, facing the Oak Grove

Join with students, staff, faculty, and the community in a public reading of the Constitution. Starting with the Preamble and concluding with the 27th Amendment, we’ll bring the words of this venerated document to life. If you have never heard the Constitution read aloud, prepare to be moved. Be one of the first 100 people to arrive, and you can read part of the Constitution and receive a pocket-sized copy of the Constitution, a “We the People at IUP” t-shirt, and a star-shaped cookie.

Chat with the Founding Fathers

  • 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., Monday, September 15
  • HUB Ohio Room

Enjoy—and participate in—a conversation with four of the framers of the Constitution: Ben Franklin, Charles Pinckney, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, portrayed, respectively, by political science professors David Chambers, Dighton “Mac” Fiddner, and Steven Jackson and History professor Joe Mannard.

Learn what the framers were thinking when they wrote the U.S. Constitution, as well as how they might view contemporary constitutional challenges.

The presentation is part of IUP’s Six O’Clock Series, cosponsored by the Center for Student Life.

“Everyone likes to say what an important, almost sacred, document the U.S. Constitution is,” Gwen Torges, Political Science professor and Constitution Day event organizer, said. “But survey research suggests that most Americans haven’t read the Constitution and don’t have a clear idea of just what’s in it.

“The commemoration of Constitution Day provides an ideal opportunity to take a closer look at how our government is structured and what powers it does—or doesn’t—have. In the past, these events have generated a surprising level of interest and discussion about just what the Founding Fathers were thinking and what they hoped to achieve in writing the Constitution.”

  • Political Science Department
  • Keith Annex, Room 103
    390 Pratt Drive
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2290
  • Fax: 724-357-3810
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.