Grad receives national honor

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    After being the first person selected from TCU for Junior Fellow in the American Academy of Political and Social Science, a TCU graduate has the opportunity to do something only 10 people in the nation will be able to do.Haley Swedlund, who graduated in May 2005 with a political science degree, will be competing with other distinguished honorees for the Undergraduate Research Award for 2006.

    A Junior Fellow must have “an outstanding grasp of a discipline, show enthusiasm for understanding social issues and promise to make substantial contributions to the social sciences in the future,” said Julie Odland, the managing editor for the academy.

    Being a Junior Fellow is a pat on the back for superior work, and gives students a chance to have their papers submitted for the Undergraduate Research Award, Odland said.

    Swedlund’s paper was one of only 43 submitted for the research award.

    “I, of course, was honored and excited to be selected as a Junior Fellow,” Swedlund said, “especially since I am continuing down the political science track.”

    Swedlund was appointed as a fellow in 2005 based on her senior honor thesis addressing the role of gender in European parliament, said Joanne Green, a political science professor who oversaw Swedlund’s thesis.

    “We nominated her because she was one of our very top students and is pursuing a graduate education in political science,” Green said.

    Green said Swedlund finished her senior thesis in a timely manner, and it was well-received by the faculty.

    Swedlund’s paper was recently published in the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics, Green said.

    “Haley is an amazing woman,” Green said. “She is well organized, diligent, intelligent and reliable. I hold her on my highest personal regard.”

    If nominated for the research award, Swedlund will have the opportunity to present her research at a banquet in Washington.

    Swedlund said it is not guaranteed that she will present her research in Washington, but said the experience will be valuable.

    The academy looks at the quality of the submitted papers and selects the best pieces for the research award, Swedlund said.

    Odland said the academy is currently reviewing the submitted papers for the award and will choose the top papers by the middle of February.

    “Even if I am not selected to go to Washington,” Swedlund said, “I think Junior Fellow is a nice honor to have under my belt.”

    Swedlund is currently working on her doctorate and is a teaching assistant in the department of political science in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.