Political science conference covers variety of state, local topics

Source: William Aviles, 308.865.8776, avilesw1@unk.edu
Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529, giboneys2@unk.edu

KEARNEY – Education policy and world hunger are among the issues to be discussed at the 16th annual meeting of the Great Plains Political Science Association Saturday (Sept. 28) at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.


“We’re hoping the event will help people get a better understanding of complex political topics that is presented by actual researchers,” said William Aviles, vice president of the Great Plains Political Science Association and UNK political science professor.

Nearly 20 academics, undergraduate students and graduate students will present research on a variety of topics ranging from global war and conflict, the politics of hunger, explorations of the work of Plato and Machiavelli to politics in Nebraska.

Research presentations include local governance of backyard farms, the liberalization of abortion laws, voter ID laws, labor management relations in South Dakota, renewable portfolio standards in Kansas and gays in the post-World War II era.

A roundtable discussion on mediating world hunger will feature UNK professors Peter Longo, Chuck Rowling and Satoshi Machida. The panelists will discuss political challenges surrounding the production, distribution and consumption of food throughout the world. The discussion will take place from 1:15 to 2 p.m. in Ponderosa Room A in the Nebraskan Student Union.

The event also will feature a student roundtable on education policy from 1:15 to 2 p.m. in Ponderosa Room B. Panelists Justine Boucher of Kearney, Leah Danielson of Gibbon, Shelby Rowan of Hastings and Tyler Hinrichs of Ayr participated in an education policy course offered by the Department of Political Science and teacher education program at UNK. They will present their work on budget cuts and extracurricular activities, and school curriculum pertaining to school violence and safety.

Both panel discussions will end with question and answer sessions.

“The audience will not only have a chance to listen to presentation, but they will have a chance to participate with the presenters,” Aviles added.

The panel presentations are free and open to the public.

For more information, go to www.unk.edu/gppsa/.