Sep 30, 2020  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Political Science Department

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William D. Richardson, Chair
Eric Jepsen, Director of POLS Undergraduate Studies & Coordinator of POLS Internships
Sandy McKeown, Director of Criminal Justice Studies & Coordinator of CJUS Internships

Timothy Schorn, Director of International Studies

Matthew Fairholm, Coordinator of Leadership Studies

Shane Nordyke, Director of Government Research Bureau

Sandi Allred, Secretary
Ilmira Dulyanova, Graduate Programs Coordinator
Cheryl Hovorka, Program Assistant II

Dakota Hall, Room 118
(605) 677-5242



Richard Braunstein, American Politics, Initiative and Referendum Process, Civil Rights & Liberties
Matthew R. Fairholm, Public Administration, Leadership Theory and Practice, Constitutional Governance
Matthew Moen, American Politics, Congress
William Richardson, Political Philosophy, Public Administration, American Politics, Leadership & Ethics
Michael Roche, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Justice & Compassion

Associate Professors:

Michael Card, Public Administration, Leadership, Public Organizational Theory
Steven Feimer, Policing Administration, Crime Mapping, White Collar Crime, , Criminal Profiling, and Environmental Law and Policy
Eric M. Jepsen, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Economy, Democratization, Globalization, Latin American Politics, and South Asian Politics
Sandy McKeown, Juvenile Justice, Ethics in Criminal Justice
Chad Newswander, Public Administration, Power and Politics, Constitutional Governance, Domestic Security Issues, Administrative Law, and Organization Theory
Shane Nordyke, Public Policy, Policy Analysis, Research Methods, and Intergovernmental Relations
Timothy Schorn, International Relations, Human Rights, Middle Eastern Politics

Assistant Professors:

Bridget Diamond-Welch,  Criminology; Family Violence; Race, Class, and Gender; Sexual Assault; and Victimology
Ed Gerrish, Public Financial Management, Policy Analysis, Public Performance Management, Research Methods


Jacqueline Faulhaber, Public Leadership, Virtue and Justice in Leadership, Biblical Leadership
Joshua Houy, American Politics, Constitutional Law, and Criminal Justice Policy
Lynita Newswander, Political Theory, Religion and Politics, and Feminist Politics



Political Science, B.A., B.S.


Civic Leadership Studies
Criminal Justice Studies
International Studies
Political Science

The Department of Political Science is large enough to provide a diversity of course offerings and viewpoints, but small enough to provide excellent opportunities to become acquainted with faculty members and fellow students. The political science major has two primary goals: 1) preparing students for careers in law, politics, government, and the mass media, as well as for public-related positions in the private sector; and 2) preparing students for responsible citizenship, intelligent voting, and informed participation in public affairs.


Political science and criminal justice faculty will nominate high achieving students who are interested in public service careers to a fast-track to the Master of Public Administration degree. Students would apply to the USD Graduate School during the spring of their junior year, and be admitted to the USD Graduate School contingent on receipt of their undergraduate degree. After completing 90 hours (senior status), students may take 9 graduate hours that will count toward their undergraduate degree and also count toward the NASPAA accredited Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. After receiving their undergraduate degree and satisfactory progress in the three graduate courses, students would continue to pursue coursework leading to the MPA degree.


  • Mary Pat Bierle Scholarship   The scholarship shall be awarded to students who are pursuing a degree in Political Science. Preference will be given to a student who displays tenacity in pursuing his or her career ambitions, be it through seeking relevant internships and career experiences as well as running student organizations. A student who is a recipient one year is eligible for consideration in any other year.

  • Daniel M. & L’Nora Bylander Awards (available to junior or senior political science majors with a 3.0 or better GPA who graduated from a South Dakota high school)
  • Oneta H. Card Government. Cooperation Scholarship (awarded to an upper level undergraduate or graduate student in political science, resident of S.D. with at least 3.0 GPA on 4.0 scale pursuing a career in improving Tribal Government interaction with the state of South Dakota, county and city government)
  • Carlson Local Government Award (given to a junior or senior who has taken, and demonstrated an interest in, South Dakota Politics or State and Local Politics)
  • Alan & Mary Clem Scholarship (given to political science major with preference to students with a second major or minor in journalism or economics)
  • Comparative Politics Award (awarded to a student with interest/ability in comparative politics)
  • Dillon Senior Achievement Award (awarded to an outstanding senior political science major based on overall performance and potential)
  • Mary Edelen Internship Award (given to an outstanding intern working with our political system)
  • Farber Fund Scholarship-Candidates will be enrolled in, or accepted by, USD and meet all USD requirements to be a student in good standing.  The recipients of the scholarships from this Endowment will be chosen using criteria and procedures established from time to time by the chair of the Department of Political Science.  The department chair, or designated representatives, may also determine the size of each individual award.

  • Farber Fund Writing Awards  Awards totaling $2000 given to senior majors in the department for the best research papers submitted on 1) state and local governmental problems; and 2) national and international governmental issues.  Papers are to be at least 20 pages long.

  • Robert D.Faulk Award (given to a sophomore or junior with an interest in state and local government and with leadership potential. Recipient must be a SD resident and show financial need)
  • Donald D. Fowler Scholarship (given to a sophomore or junior political science major based on scholarship, leadership, and a commitment to international public service)
  • Clarence & Sophia Fowler Award (awarded to a junior or senior political science major who demonstrates superior scholarship and civic leadership potential)
  • Thomas C. Geary Presidential Alumni Scholarship-USD’s Presidential Alumni Scholarship program currently involves a four-year award to incoming freshmen and includes tuition and fees annually so long as scholarship and other requirements are maintained. The Thomas C. Geary Scholarship is awarded to an incoming freshman, and the donors have specified that the new scholarship carry a preference for “a student showing promise in the study of political science and related fields in the College of Arts and Sciences.”

  • Raymond Greenleaf & Margaret Coggin Wellington Scholarship-Given to an undergraduate, graduate or professional student in political science or history.

  • Heartland Political Science Scholarship-The scholarship shall be awarded to students who are pursuing their degree in Political Science with an emphasis in public administration. Recipients should be chosen based on their interest in, or potential for, pursuing a graduate education in Public Administration.

  • Governor Bill Janklow Public Service Scholarship. This Scholarship shall be an addition to any other scholarships or aid received by the recipient(s). The Chairperson of the Department of Political Science, in consultation with the faculty and the Janklow Family, will select a recipient of the scholarship who is in good standing and majoring in political science or criminal justice.

  • Clarence Eide-Sue Eide Kimball Endowment (given to a student majoring in International Studies and studying abroad, with preference given to students that have a financial need, in order to promote and foster international understanding and to a student majoring in Criminal Justice, with preference given to students who plan to pursue careers that enhance the security of the United States, such as law enforcement, policing, border control, or cyberspace warfare)
  • Gene Kimmel Award (awarded to an undergraduate major with effective communication skills)
  • The Edward J. Leahy Scholarship (Annual scholarship given to Political Science major (senior) with 3.3+ GPA who is an athlete)
  • MacDonald Political Science Scholarship (given to a Political Science major with preference to a student having financial need)
  • Gene Mahan Memorial Scholarship-Undergraduate scholarships for students who are enrolled in or accepted by USD and meet all USD requirements to be a student in good standing. Candidates shall be Political Science majors.
  • Diane Jones Meier Award (given to an outstanding female major in the department)
  • Stephen & Mary Lynn Myers Scholarship (awarded to a major for outstanding academic achievement and leadership/involvement in student activities)
  • Dr. Samuel C. and Suzanne L. Patterson Scholarship in Political Science              Undergraduate scholarships for students in their junior or senior years who are enrolled as Political Science majors. The scholarship(s) may be given out on the basis of either academic merit or financial need.

  • Joel and Kari Portice Family Scholarship.  This scholarship will only be awarded to South Dakota residents. The scholarship shall be given to students who are pursuing a degree in Political Science.  A student who is a recipient one year is eligible for consideration in any other year.

  • Philip Roche Service Award (for a Criminal Justice/Political Science major who has displayed a sense of community service and a desire to help others and a commitment to such service)
  • Clyde Saukerson Honors Program Scholarship (given to a sophomore major in the Honors Program with a 3.5 or better GPA)
  • Dorothy C. Schieffer Scholarship (four-year tuition, fees, books, room & board awarded to exceptional first-year student; preference for non-traditional student)
  • Frank L. “Jeff” Scott Memorial (Given to a Criminal Justice major who has at least a 3.0 GPA and financial need)
  • SD Fraternal Order of Police Award (Given to two outstanding Criminal Justice majors to promote the study of, and careers in, Criminal Justice)
  • South Dakota Sheriff’s Association (given for a graduate of a West River S.D. high school and for a East River high school graduate. Recipients must be enrolled or accepted at USD and meet all departmental requirements to be a CJUS major in good standing)
  • Blair Tremere Scholarships (available to undergraduates who show promise and responsibility as well as an interest in public service)
  • John H. Wicks Political Science Scholarship-Undergraduate scholarships based upon academic merit for students who are enrolled in or accepted by USD and meet all USD requirements to be a student in good standing. First consideration shall be given to students in the USD Scholars program or its successor. Preference shall be given to an undergraduate student of at least sophomore class standing majoring in political science who has completed at least one economics course, although this preference is not a requirement.

  • Allen G and Barbara B. Wilson Scholarship-Coyote Commitment Scholarship for POLS Major.

  • Brian & Kelly Wirt Scholarship/Fellowship-Undergraduate candidates for the scholarship will have a minimum ACT score of 27 and 3.5 GPA.  Graduate candidates for the fellowship will have met all USD requirements for full admission to the POLS MA or MPA programs, maintained at least a 3.5 GPA as undergraduates, and a 3.5 in their graduate programs. Preference will be given to candidates who have graduated from Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls and who meet the above GPA and ACT criteria.

  • Frederick W. Zuercher Memorial Graduate Assistantship-Given to an outstanding MPA or MA student who shows exceptional interest and promise in Public Administration, Political Theory, Canadian Government and/or Politics.

In addition to these specific scholarships/awards, the Farber Fund makes about $140,000 available annually for Political Science, Criminal Justice and International majors to attend conferences, participate in faculty-led programs and departmental trips, complete internships, travel abroad, and carry out research projects. For additional departmental information, see website listed above and


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