Congratulations to Texas A&M-Texarkana Political Science Major Alexander Gray for his paper presentation at the annual Arkansas Political Science Association conference. Mr. Gray presented “The State of Research on Electoral College Reform.” This is the first time an A&M-Texarkana Political Science major has presented a peer-reviewed paper at a professional conference.
The Arkansas Political Science conference was held in Conway, Arkansas February 27 and 28. Alexander attended both days, going to panels and meeting students and professors. He presented his paper on the panel “Undergraduate Research: Voting and Representation.” He says that “there was a robust discussion after the presentations and I was asked about the constitutionality of the “National Popular Vote Initiative.”
Mr. Gray writes in his essay that “the reader will see inherent problems with the Electoral College, why previous constitutional reforms have not been successful, and how a new drive from some states might succeed where national reform has failed.” He carefully reviews the literature, noting a shift towards an emphasis on state-based rather than congressional-based reform efforts. Alexander wrote the first version of the essay in Professor Gary Bugh’s “Political Parties and Elections” fall semester class.
The Arkansas Political Science Association is perhaps the most active state-level Political Science association in the country. Not only does it have a yearly conference at which both professors and students present original scholarship, it has a well-respected peer-reviewed journal, the Midsouth Political Science Review.
The Political Science professors at A&M-Texarkana integrate scholarship into many of their courses, inviting students to review and criticize their work, co-author essays with them for publication submission, and present their own work at conferences. A&M-Texarkana’s College of Education and Liberal Arts, also known as CELA, funded Alexander’s travel costs for the conference.