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Department Announcements and Achievements

Our department works hard conducting research, teaching classes, and remaining engaged with local and global trends on topics that impact us and shape the future. The Department of Political Science is proud to recognize the achievements of our faculty, graduate students, and staff in service of our mission.

PhD Candidate Hillary Style Receives Rapoport Family Foundation Grant to Study Political Cynicism


Hillary Style, PhD Candidate in Political Science, has been awarded a doctoral dissertation grant by the Rapoport Family Foundation to conduct a study on the relationship between political cynicism and perceptions of political knowledge. Results from Style's preliminary research indicate that people do view an individual who makes a cynical statement about politicians as more knowledgeable than an individual who make a statement that is not cynical.

To build on these findings, Style will be fielding a survey experiment supported by the grant to determine if individuals perceive statements about political issues framed in a cynical way as more informative and if they are more likely to share and trust cynically framed statements. This research will further analyze the relationship between expressions of political cynicism and perceptions of political knowledge. The results of this study will contribute to the analysis in Style's dissertation of the role political cynicism plays in American democracy. The findings of this study also have implications for the study of political communication and participation more
broadly by extending research on political cynicism beyond media effects and addressing concerns about the impact of political cynicism on participation.

To learn more about Hillary and her research, you can view her website at


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