Iqra Athar ’26
Trinity College’s Political Science Department stands out not only for its academic rigor but also for its unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion. Political Science is the second most popular major on campus, after Economics, and with Psychology following closely behind.
Professor Stephanie Chambers, Chair of the Political Science Department, emphasizes the department’s dedication to diversity, stating, “A lot of faculty identify with some sort of underrepresented group, so we are a very diverse department… our commitment to carefully reviewing applications and recruiting individuals who represent political science not only brings them in but also supports them once they’re here.”
In Fall 2023, the department welcomed its newest Tenure-Track Professor, Professor Sidra Hamidi, selected from a pool of all-female candidates who qualified to present on campus for the last round of the application process. Professor Chambers underscores that this decision was based on merit, highlighting, “We looked at the strongest candidates… maybe it’s just that the strongest candidates in this pool of international scholars knew that Trinity was a good place to go.” She also explained the importance of a diverse and inclusive faculty for the department, emphasizing how it inspires students to aspire to attain academic positions themselves one day.
The department’s recruitment efforts extend beyond traditional channels, with Professor Chambers explaining, “We recruit very broadly… we advertise in places that increase visibility, particularly for underrepresented groups.” Trinity College’s clear commitment to diversity and inclusion is evident in all faculty advertisements.
In Fall 2023, the department also introduced Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, supervised by Professor Do and Professor Dudas, Assistant Professor and Senior Lecturer respectively. Professor Dudas stresses the importance of inclusivity, stating, “While Pi Sigma Alpha is restricted by national honors society rules of society members needing ten political science credits, we have created a parallel political science club open to all students to encourage students active involvement and allow them to think of themselves as researchers who can contribute to scholarly debate.”
Looking forward, Professor Hamidi, who will be joining Trinity in Fall 2024, emphasizes the department’s commitment to inclusive pedagogy and community development, stating, “Diversifying syllabi by incorporating the voices of underrepresented groups is just the beginning… my pedagogy aims to challenge pre-existing worldviews and encourage critical thinking.”
In addition to academic initiatives, the department focuses on creating a supportive community through affinity groups, mentoring programs, and broader events. Professor Chambers affirms, “There’s a lot of thought put into creating communities where people can get the support they need to be successful here.” While the Political Science Department has been renowned for its legislative internships, it is now gearing towards expansion to meet the diverse needs of its students, ensuring excellence and support across all areas of study.