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Not goodbye, just see you later

from the Political Science Class of 2020
I’ve always wanted to share this photo. It’s a picture of me and three friends - Brando, Josh, and Joey - representing Benedict College in the 2017 Roth Regatta. Our mouths are open because we’re each screaming “ROW! ROW! ROW!” all out of synch. Despite our lackluster coordination, we managed to make it to the final round, where we finished in last place as the slowest among the fastest.

Submitted by Yukang Park

This is very special because it was the day I found out I got accepted to the same school my sister had graduated from. It was very special because we are first generation students and I felt extremely proud to be following my sister's footsteps, a person whom I really admire.

Submitted by Idalia Rivera

This is the picture I took with a friend in my first year in Stony Brook. I choose this picture because I think the first year means a lot to me since it is my first time to live alone in a foreign country. I am glad to know my friend Chengjia here, she really gave me a lot of help and I had a great time with her in my first year. She accompanied me to go through a really tough time. 

Submitted by Hong Ji Jiang


Tell us about... your favorite class or professor

I wouldn't say I had a single favorite professor in the Political Science Department. Having taken classes with most of the professors in the Public Policy program, I can confidently say they were all my favorites. Just all around brilliant individuals and the ideal people to learn this sort of material from. I will be forever grateful for my experience at Stony Brook.

-Jason Thomas

MA, Public Policy

Dr. John Ryan was a fantastic professor and academic advisor to me. Having transferred to Stony Brook from University at Buffalo, I had alot of questions and concerns about my transfer credits and what classes to take. He helped me with all my transfer problems and even gave me an opportunity to be his research assistant. Without his guidance and help graduating from Stony Brook with a political science and philosophy minor wouldn't have been possible. Thank you to everyone in the political science department!

-Austin Coyle

BA, Political Science

My favorite class, four semesters in a row, was POL 391 with Professor Alessi. This class helped me find my passion for law, and because of this I will be attending law school after graduation. I also made amazing friends and memories. I will be forever thankful for all that POL 391 has given me.

-Nava Berger

BA, Political Science

My favorite professor in the department is a tough decision for sure, but Professor Helmut Norpoth was an excellent teacher as well as a good comedian in his courses. I also took classes with Professor Jason rose for my minor, and the relationship between the two of them offered a great amount of laughter in my time in their classes. Professor Norpoth's courses will certainly be something I'll always remember about my college experience, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to take both a small seminar course to get to know Professor Norpoth better, as well as a regular course, to see him as an excellent lecturer.

-Andrew Bearkland

BA, Political Science

The Political Animal with Dr. Peter DeScioli was by far my favorite class. The readings and lectures have stuck with me and I always share what I've learned with friends and family. The class not only discusses politics, but humanity and the role we play in society.

-Nathaniel Iskhakov

BA, Political Science


My favorite class was Mass Media in American Politics with Sara Yeganeh. It was super interesting to learn about how much the media affects our perception of politics. It was like a psych class, a journalism class, and a political science class rolled in one! And Sara was super nice! 

-Taya Higgs

BA, Political Science

My favorite class was Gender Issues in the Law with Professor Passer. Although I had planned to go to law school for a long time, I did not expect to enjoy reading Supreme Court opinions as much as I did. Even when I passionately disagreed with a legal opinion, I found them extremely interesting. This class was unlike any other I had ever taken and it made me even more confident that law school was the right path for me. 

-Cecelia Masselli

BA, Political Science

I first took a class with my favorite professor, the second half of my freshman year. One Friday, I went to his office hours, and I was so nervous to go talk to such an accomplished individual that I paced outside of his door for about a half-hour. I finally worked up the courage to knock on the door and would soon realize that it was the best decision I made throughout my 4 years at SBU.  Ambassador Bhasin has been one of the greatest mentors I will encounter in my lifetime, and he will be the first person to will receive my business card when I achieve my dreams and enter the U.S. Foreign Service. I would not be where I am today without Ambassador Bhasin, and I am so grateful for his guidance and wisdom over the past 4 years at SBU.

-Emily Carll

BA, Political Science


My favorite class taken at Stony Brook is Race Relations. We were able to openly discuss  a range of topics while still being able to enjoy ourselves.

-Anna J. Sorto

BA, Political Science


A university is more than just its academics, it's also the amazing people you meet along the way. I wouldn't be where I am now if it weren't for the love and support of my roommates. Thank you Alison, Mili, Sania, Annesta, Vini, and Min.

Submitted by Jacquelyn Minassian

This photo represents my favorite part about being a TA for Ambassador Bhasin! Normally, the TA's come and stay for lunch at his residence.  We came and stayed until evening! There is always an amazing meal, conversation, and company.  No Indian food will ever compare to Kumkums!

Submitted by Emily Carll

Being the president of College Democrats has been a very important part of my college experience. When I became president of College Democrats, I wanted to focus on increasing political involvement on campus. This picture is from our 2018 Midterm Elections Town Hall. With more than 200 people were in attendance, it was the largest event the organization had ever hosted. I was so proud of what myself and the rest of the executive board had accomplished.

Submitted by Cecelia Masselli


Tell us... A funny story about your time in the department

One of the most memorable moments during my four years at Stony Brook was during my very first semester taking POL-102 with Professor Jason Rose. Professor Rose is a very eccentric man, and students love him for it. One day in the middle of class a very loud clacking noise started sounding, like someone was typing on the world’s largest keyboard. Imagine the look on Professor Rose’s face when he discovered that a student in the middle of the ~200 strong crowd was taking notes on a typewriter! of all things. “What is that?!” Professor Rose exclaimed. “’s a typewriter,” replied the poor victim. “A typ- a what?! A typewriter?!” Professor Rose spluttered in disbelief. “Yes,’s easier to type notes with than a laptop,” the student tried to explain, but Professor Rose would have none of it. “Put it away! It’s so loud...I can’t talk over that thing!” Despite the fact that every student in the room knew very well that Professor Rose could indeed lecture loud enough to be heard over the typewriter, the student in question complied and sheepishly slid the typewriter into his bag. He pulled out a laptop instead, joining us lesser beings in using - God forbid - modern technology!

-Yukang Park

BA, Political Science




Like the cherry blossom's fleeting nature, my first year at Stony Brook University went by faster than I could ever have imagined. I knew however, that I would continue to grow as a student and a unique individual. That was the gift Stony Brook gave to me, just as the cherry blossom gifts us with their beauty each year. As Zantamana once said, "The bloom may be brief but the memory of its beauty will last a lifetime." That's what I will think about when I remember my years at Stony Brook.

Submitted by  Jeanette Blanchette

I had the honor of interning for Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone for about 9 months. During my time as an intern I worked hands on with many issues in local government. I learned that local government is where real change begins and in order to make a difference you have to start small in order to make the biggest impact. I was able to relate so much of my coursework to the day to day work I did and will never forget the overall experience. A huge thank you to my supervisors.

Submitted by Andrea M. Rua Llano

This photo because summarizes everything that I think a person hopes for in a college experience. In it you see two people who showed up to Stony brook as freshman roommates who knew absolutely nothing about one another but have become, with no exaggeration, lifelong friends. Both being political science majors, we have the potential and the dream to continue to work together outside of Stony Brook University, and hopefully in some of our nations most distinguished positions.

Submitted by  Gabrielle Silverstrim


Tell us... why you chose to study Political Science

I chose to study Political Science because the government plays a big part of our lives and I wanted to make a change. I wanted to know my rights and with this degree hopefully I will be able to make a change in someone's life. I want to help those in need, those who are unprotected and taken advantage of. "If you want something to change, you have to do it yourself." 

-Paola Morales-Santos

BA, Political Science

I chose political science because like many others in 2016, I thought I knew what I was talking about. Quickly I realized that I was wrong. But now, I can use my degree to win arguments so I’d say it was worth it.

-Matthew P. Narouz

BA, Political Science

In all of the majors I selected and changed my first year at Stony Brook, none of them felt as right for me as the Political Science Department. It was the dedication I witnessed in my professors that inspired my love for politics, and for the first time, I finally felt I had a legitimate path for the future. 

-Jacquelyn Minassian

BA, Political Science


Political Science topics deal greatly and affect so many areas of our day to day lives. 

-Carlos Valle

BA, Political Science

I want to make a difference. I'm going to use my degree to work in developing healthcare policy.

-Nicole LaMacchia

MA, Public Policy


This photo is so special because I have my best friends with me. We all met at Stony Brook, all in different programs. Despite our different academic paths, we have made memories that will last a lifetime!

Submitted by  Stephanie Millner

I'm so thankful to have found the Model UN club and all the great people in it. In a short time I made many great friends, and had so much fun, all while pretending to save the world. 

Submitted by  Stilianos Papazoglou

This picture from the makeshift graduation photoshoot my friends and I did after we found out we would have to move off-campus for the remainder of the semester. It was such a sad experience to learn that our senior year had to end in a way none of us would've expected. But even with that, this day was one of my last days with the friends I care for so deeply, and it will always have a special place in my heart. 

Submitted by  Taya Higgs


Tell us... what you would like to do with your degree


In my degree, I learned many things that I didn't expect that I would learn. Many people may think about working in government area when it comes to political science major. I think that the process of studying for a major or learning for a degree can teach you many skills, like how to communicate with people, how to get points from materials, how to train yourself to have logic. I think I can work in business and education with this degree, since all the skills that I get are sufficient for the areas I am going to work in.  

-Hong Ji Jiang

BA, Political Science

I chose to study political science because we cannot escape it. We are all affected by our political choices everyday. These political choices are manifested in everything from the food we eat, the roads we drive on, and the neighborhoods and schools our families reside in. Of course there are also larger aspects such as the treatment of women and people of color within our nation and the wars our country engages in. To deny that political science matters is to deny that our nation and the world can always use improvement. 

-Valerie M. Melgar

BA, Political Science