Political Science



  • A Siena college sophomore interned at Office of Presidential Correspondence at the White House this semester. News detail.


  • We would like to welcome Jack Collens Ph.D. as an Assistant Professor in the department starting in the Fall of 2014. His teaching specialty is American Political institutions, including the Congress, the Presidency and Political Parties, which he will be teaching in the Fall.


  • The Political Science Department wishes Dr. Halpert and Dr. Stern a very happy retirement! Thank you both for your many years of service and dedication to the Siena College community.


  • Be on the lookout for changes to the Political Science department when you return in the Fall! Siena Hall will be undergoing renovations for a more updated look and will add a new space for students to work.



Capitalizing on the Capitals

Our students take advantage of Albany, the capital of New York and our long standing relationship with American University in Washington D.C. In the spring, juniors and seniors can enroll in the legislative process internship. Students attend sessions, committee meetings, hearings, and become involved in undertaking legislative research related to constituent concerns or public policy issues that need to be addressed.

Left to Right: Sara Klock, Layvon Washington, Daniel Browne and Joseph Snyder in Washington, DC

Washington Semester Program

"Last semester I had the opportunity to be a part of the Washington Semester Program at American University. My focus there was Justice and Law and specifically Criminal Justice. As I’m almost a full month into my senior year I would tell anyone thinking about spending a semester in Washington to do it, without hesitation. I witnessed a Presidential Inauguration, I had a professor who sits as a D.C. Superior Judge (which means she was nominated by President Obama) has her PhD and her JD, I saw where the opening scene of the “Silence of the Lambs” was filmed, I stood at the cusp of the West Wing, I went to the Pentagon, and I witnessed an Oral Argument in the Supreme Court of the United States."



 Recent Events

Social Media and Democracy

The Political Science Society, Siena Research Institute and Center for the Study of Government and Politics hosted a panel discussion titled "Social Media and Democracy: The New Era of the Citizen Elect." The goal was to discover the impact that social media has on the level of political and social participation. Students interacted with the panelists by tweeting to the twitter handle @SienaPSS. News detail. 





15th Annual Pre-Law Mentor Event 




Alumni from all avenues of law attended this event. These mentors gave valuable insight on law, what to prepare for, what their journey was like, and answered other general questions regarding pursuing a legal career.  We would like to thank all of the mentors that took the time to attend the event. Congratulations to all of the students selected for the Summer Legal Fellows Program!




A Students Perspective: Pre-Law Panel Discussion

By Mara Afzali '14




 On Wednesday, October 16, 2013, Ausra Park, Ph.D. an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Siena College gave a talk titled "Silent Tsunami: Human Trafficking in Europe." Dr. Park was recently awarded an International Research Exchange (IREX) Grant to conduct an 8-week long field research in the summer of 2014 for the project "Politics of Human Trafficking: Governments' Political Games and NGOs." The Political Science Department would like to thank and congratulate Dr. Park.




The Department of Political Science celebrated Constitution Day 2013 on Wednesday, September 25 during free period. The keynote speaker was Professor Donna E. Young, LL.M. Professor of Law at Albany Law School. We would like to thank Professor Young and everyone that was responsible for organizing the event. For more information see the news report here.


On March 8th, 2013 Penelope Andrews, President and Dean of Albany Law School, gave a talk for International Women's Day in the SSU. The title and focus of her address was based upon her most recent book entitled From Cape Town to Kabul: Rethinking Strategies for Pursuing Women's Human Rights.






Past Events


 Globalization Studies

Globalization StudiesGlobalization StudiesGlobalization Studies

On November 15, 2012 Joshua Rubenstein, long associated with Amnesty International, gave a talk on “Prisoners of Conscience: What We’ve Learned in 50 Years." AI celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. On November 19, Dr. Trita Parsi, 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, discussed, “The U.S. and Iran: Between War and Diplomacy.”


The Department of Political Science celebrated Constitution Day 2012 on Friday, September 14th during free period. The keynote speaker was Professor Steve Wermeil, Professor of Costitutional Law, Director of the Marshall/Brennan Program, and Associate Director of the Law and Government Program, American University Law School,Washington College of Law. We would like to thank Professor Wermeil and everyone that was responsible for organizing the event. For more information see the news report here

Constitution Day 2012Constitution Day 2012









Past Conferences


Political Science, Making the Connections


Connecting to Globalization Studies, student research, and Concordia University


On March 21st and 22nd, 2013 we invited you to join us for the 8th Annual Siena College-Concordia University Globalization Conference: "The Future We Want: Sustainable Development and Social Justice." On March 21st we welcomed keynote speaker Robert Freling, Executive Director of the Solar Electric Light Fund, to give a talk on "Energy for All: Powering the Millennium Development Goals." 

Connecting to Politics, Law, and Activism

On April 12th, 2013 we were pleased to welcome Dora Galacatos, Senior Counsel to the Feerick Center at Fordham Law School, for an interactive discussion on sex trafficking. 

Connecting to Fair Trade

On April 19th, 2013 we were happy to welcome back Larissa Walker for the Fair Trade Sustainability Conference. For more information on this event, please visit the webpage for The Fair Trade Colleges and Universities Regional Conference.



Political Science Power!

Featured Alumni

  • Michael DiSiena '11

  • Michael is a Law Student at Washington and Lee University School of Law where he regularly writes for the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice. 
  • Paul Bissember '08
  • Paul graduated with a double-major in Political Science and Spanish. He is currently a Master’s of Arts Student in Latin American Studies, and also works as a Graduate Student Instructor at the University of California Berkeley.
  • Larissa Walker '09
  • Larissa graduated from Siena in 2009 with a double major in Political Science and Philosophy. After finishing at Siena she attended Lehigh University and graduated with a Master's in Environmental Policy Design. Larissa is a Campaign Coordinator and Policy Analyst at the Center for Food Safety in Washington, D.C.