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Political Science

Political Science

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"Take every opportunity that is given to you because those opportunities simply do not exist at any other educational institution."

Rachel Zanders, Class of 2014
Political Science and French Major

Is there any advice you can give to an incoming CHC student about to begin a liberal arts education?

"Take every opportunity that is given to you because those opportunities simply do not exist at any other educational institution. Get to know your professors, especially within your department, for they are the ones that will know you the best and know the most beneficial opportunities for you.

"Take every class taught by Dr. Reich and do NOT miss a single one. Most importantly, pet the campus dogs every time you see them and always take a moment to really let the beauty of the campus soak in."

Can you explain your current job position, the company and the role you serve there?

”I am the youth representative to the United Nations for the non-profit, United Nations affiliated organization, Global Education Motivators (GEM). GEM works in aiding both the local community as well as the global community to meet the constant challenges of an advancing, global society. As the youth representative, I have been able to work side by side with UNICEF and their Voices of Youth platform in reaching children from around the globe and creating conversation cross-culturally via the online platform.”

How did you end up in your current position/field?

"The head of my department, and a wonderful professor, told me about GEM and motivated me to get in touch with the president of the organization. I had an internship with them during college, so the organization knew my personality, my resume, my interests, etc. Therefore a formal interview was not needed however career development offered “mock interviews”, resume building, tips for interview attire, and provided information to aid in the entirety of the job application process."

Rachel's Experience
Program Information

As a Political Science major and graduate of Chestnut Hill, you will grow into an actively involved and intelligent citizen of the global community. Through courses that range from Constitutional Law to Politics in the Middle East, CHC's curriculum is not only one of diversification but also one that allows students to discover their niche and to experience all facets of the political landscape in the process. Through the liberal arts education that the College prides itself on, students will develop a variety of versatile and transferable skills that include a background in research, critical thinking, compassion and understanding, initiative for change, dedication, leadership and advocacy, all of which are beneficial in any career a student may choose to pursue. 

All of CHC's professors within the major are Political Scientists in their own right. They bring years of experience, insight and research backgrounds to the table, all of which is beneficial to the students. Due to small class sizes, professors can effectively prioritize their roles as teachers and mentors and develop close relationships with their students in the process. The faculty helps students secure internships, establish meaningful connections and offers opportunities for paid research collaboration positions as they arise. CHC professors are dedicated to seeing you succeed and actively do what they can to make that happen.

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Major and Minor Requirements

Click here to read the course catalog for more information.

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Political science majors are encouraged to extend their classroom experience by taking on one or more internships throughout the course of their academic careers. Internships are critical in securing employment post graduation but more than that, they allow an individual to grow and take their classroom knowledge and apply it in a real-world environment. Our students have obtained high level internships both in the Philadelphia area and beyond. 

Rachel Zanders ‘14, Internship with Global Education Motivators (GEM) 

Rachel Zanders interned in the Fall 2013 semester for Global Economic Motivators (GEM) which is based right here at Chestnut Hill College.  GEM is an NGO dedicated to raising awareness among youth about the United Nations and the issues it engages.  Rachel helped to do research and prepare materials for some of the many activities of GEM, including the UN Student Conference on Human Rights held at the UN on December 16-18, 2013.  At the UN Student Conference, Rachel contributed by conducting an interview with Maggie Betts concerning her work as a documentary film maker.  The interview focused on Bett’s role as producer of "The Carrier", a real-world film about an African woman who gets HIV-AIDS and tries to not pass it on through an unexpected pregnancy to her baby. (The full webcast can be found on UN WebTV.  Rachel’s segment begins at 1:30:00 in the webcast.)
After graduation in May 2014 Rachel went on to accept a fulltime position at GEM.

Andrew Kouzema '15, Internship with Office of the Major of Philadelphia  

Andrew shared:  "This internship was a great experience!  It allowed me to learn more about the city of Philadelphia and how it functions.  I was able to meet and talk to some very influential people who work for the City including the Mayor, his managing directors (who basically run the City’s departments), the Police Commissioner, the City Comptroller and many others. The great part of the internship is that is split up into three portions: individual department work, group project and 'Exploring Government' sessions. 

Descriptions of Internships
Co-curricular Programs

At its very nature, Political Science is a practical, real-world subject with lasting, real-world implications. It is not meant to be taught out of a book but rather lived through first-hand experiences and activism. Knowing the importance of this, Chestnut Hill's curriculum is developed around the active nature of the field. Complementary to the classroom study is one of the College's most established and most vibrant clubs on campus, the SPSA. 

SPSA, a branch of the Association for Political Science (APSA)

Open to all students but encouraged especially to political science majors and minors, the SPSA raises awareness of local, national and global issues through lectures, film showings and guest speakers. Additionally, the SPSA regularly engages in educational and fun field trips that include:

  • touring Independence Hall and the Constitution Center in Philadelphia;
  • attending a taping of the Daily Show in NYC;
  • visiting Congress and the Supreme Court headquarters in Washington, DC;

as well as remaining active on campus through activities that include:

  • promoting voter registration;
  • running a mock presidential election;
  • and hosting activities in honor of National Constitution Day (Sept, 17).

Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society 


The mission of Pi Sigma Alpha is to stimulate scholarship and intelligent interest in political science as well as to promote the ideals of integrity and citizenship in local, national and global contexts.

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Recent Seminar Projects

The Senior Seminar is a culminating point in a Political Science students experience.  Here are some topics from past years' papers:

Bobbie Chukuntarod, The Deterioration of the Iranian Theocracy, 2013 

Thesis: The Iranian theocratic government system has become increasingly fragile since it cannot provide for economic needs and because it has lost legitimacy by not sufficiently acknowledging the public’s voice in policy debates. 

James Davis, Combating the Illegal International Small Arms Trade: An International Dilemma, 2013 

Thesis: International organizations and shared norms among some states cannot halt the proliferation of small arms and light weapons unless powerful states become motivated to take the lead in halting the manufacture and trade in small arms.  

Christopher Hess, European Integration: Building on a History of Free Markets and Liberal Democracies, 2013 

Thesis: Despite recent troubles, the European Union will not only persevere but become strengthened as European states will respond to the security and increased economic benefits of stronger economic and even political union.   

Ariel Miller, Making the Necessary Adjustments: Affirmative Action in Higher Education, 2014 

Thesis: Affirmative action in college admissions is still necessary but would be fairer and more effective if it were based on class as opposed to race.

Sara Russell, Shattering the Political Glass Ceiling: Gender Biases and the Media, 2014 

Thesis: While women may occasionally “break through” the political glass ceiling, they will not be able to permanently “shatter” the glass ceiling while media portrayals of their candidacies perpetuate biases against female political leaders. 

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Jobs After Graduation

Political Science is a competitive and well-regarded field that results in job opportunities across a varied sector. The best way to succeed in a career in Political Science is through connections, internships and practical experience and no one knows this better than the devoted, caring faculty members in the department. 

Rachel Zanders ’14
Liason with the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and their child protection department.Global Education Motivators (GEM), an NGO dedicated to raising awareness among youth about the United Nations and the issues it engages. 

Gregory Houlihan ’14
Recruiter for Intelligent Capital Network in Wayne, PA.

Aizaz Gill ’13
Associate Regulatory Reviewer at Digitas Health. 

Christopher Hess ’13
Capitalized on his Spring 2013 internship at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office and was hired there as a Paralegal just a few weeks after graduation. After working for a year he matriculated to Drexel University Law School’s 2 year JD program.

Michael Daly ’13 
Attending Widener Law School. 

Katherine Tohanczyn ’12
In her third year at Villanova University School of Law.  In addition to classes this year she was chosen as the Director of Operations for the Corporate Law Society and will be writing for the school’s Sports Law Journal.  

Michael Akoto-Banfo ’11
After having been accepted to graduate programs at Georgia State and at Arcadia he is starting his second year in the M.B.A. With a Global Perspective program at Arcadia University.

Ally Antonini ’11
Continues to follow her passion for working in the non-profit sector as Administrative Coordinator (paid position) at the Chester County Food Bank. 

Tim Streeper  ’11
Finishing up his work at Holy Family graduate school so as to earn his certification in secondary education .

Bridget Lafferty '10
Hired after graduation as Campaign Manager Matt Bradford’s 2010 run for PA State Representative. Following Bradford’s victory at the polls, Bridget was named Chief of Staff to State Representative Bradford where she continues to serve today.

Christian Kuczynski '09 (political science minor)
Reports that he has been putting his political science minor to good use in his job as Research Analyst for the Mediterranean theater of operations at the Office of Naval Intelligence, U.S. Government.  

Shane Lesher '09
Earned his Secondary Education certification after graduation.  He is getting ready to begin his second year as a 9th grade Social Studies Instructor at the Burlington County Institute of Technology in New Jersey.

Justin Saporito ’09
Graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Law School in May 2013 and passed the bar exam in Fall 2013.

Dan Kelin ’09
Is in the USMC reserves.

Fran Boshell ’09
Graduated from West Chester University in 2013 with her Master’s in Higher Education counseling program and works as Assistant Director of Resident Life and Director of Residence Life Diversity Program at Cedar Crest College.

Nicole Bayer ’09
Graduated from the law school program at the University of Florida in May 2013 and is taking the bar exams this summer to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Lauren Carey ’05
Graduated from Drexel University's Law School and now works for the major Philadelphia law firm Dechert LLP.

Christa Faustman ’02
Vice President of  BMS Intermediaries, Inc. and is currently enrolled in the MBA program at Eastern University 

What Our Alumni Are Doing
Post-Undergraduate Education

Our students have gone on to study post-baccalauerate studies in a variety of fields. These include:

  • Widener Law School
  • Villanova University School of Law
  • M.B.A. at Arcadia University's Global Perspective Program
  • Secondary education certificate from Holy Family Graduate School
  • University of Pittsburgh Law School
  • Master's in Higher Education from West Chester University
  • University of Florida Law School
  • Drexel University's Law School
  • M.B.A. from Eastern University
What Alumni Say

Christopher Hess ’13:  “I ended up deciding to attend Drexel's School of Law and am now part of their inaugural accelerated 2 year JD program.  I feel that taking political science courses specifically prepared me better that I could have imagined for the large amount of reading and writing required in law school.  I'm in the process of writing my first legal memo and have found a number of similarities between writing this and writing research papers in political science classes, particularly for the citations needed and proper formatting.”

Bobbie Chukuntarod ’13:  “I have come to realize how strong of a foundation I truly have built in political science. Furthermore, I feel that the skills I have developed go beyond political science and apply to all areas of my life in being the best possible citizen to contribute to the goal of forming a good society.  The lessons I have learned over the course of four years as a political science major at Chestnut Hill College have truly given me the ability and power to be a positive force of change in the global community in which we all live. I have been able to understand and analyze political and social issues from an academic standpoint as well as incorporate my own personal compassion towards the issues.”

Christina Walsh ’12:  “Political Science Senior Seminar activities helped me to become a life-long learner in that I began to put into practice what I learned in the class.  I applied the methods that I learned in Senior Seminar to my part-time insurance job.  These methods helped me become more organized in my thoughts and opinions when I wrote memos and eventually got me hired full-time.”

Noel Vines ’13:  “A student from another major at CHC told me that the Political Science department was by far one of the best and I have to agree.  Political Science as a major teaches you to open your mind and think critically.  When I came to CHC I didn’t have a clue about what Political Science really was but I’m not sorry that I studied it since I have gained so much and it applies to so much in the world.”

Sara Russell, ’14: “Political Science at Chestnut Hill College is a well rounded major; I believe it touched almost every other subject a little bit.  My Comparative politics classes as well as my American politics classes have helped me the most and will hopefully help me to work on policies and/or help change something that future political science majors will be learning about.” 

Jesse Daywalt, ’12:  “The political science major has deeply prepared me for my life. Before coming to CHC I really had little knowledge on how the political system worked. Now that I have a basic foundation for politics, I can apply my knowledge for future voting scenarios. Taking the Mass Media and Politics class with Dr. Troicki really brought to light how the media can construe certain political situations in the U.S. Also, taking the [Rule of Law] class with Dr. Reich gave me a better understanding of politics in the U.S. This will all help shape my views and habits when it comes to participating in political situations.”

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Contact Information

Jacqueline C. Reich, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science
Coordinator, Political Science and Global Affairs majors

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