The Department of Political Science offers several awards to our PhD candidates.

David Minar Memorial Prize for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student: The Department of Political Science awards up to two prizes per year for teaching excellence during the prior four quarters by a graduate student as a teaching assistant, or as a primary instructor in a political science course.

David Minar Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service by a Graduate Student: The Department of Political Science honors a graduate student’s special work enriching a community on or beyond campus in the preceding year(s).

David Minar Memorial Summer Awards: These small grants assist outstanding graduate students in the conduct of their dissertation research.

2017 Minar Award for Community Service by a Graduate Student:  Chris Sardo

Chris Sardo extends his intellectual interests in individual and political responsibility into his contributions in the Northwestern and Evanston Communities. At Northwestern, Chris has been an Assistant Chair in the Public Affairs Residential College, where he has worked with and mentored undergraduates from the Fall of 2014 through the Spring of 2016 to build an inclusive and engaging living-learning environment. Within the Department of Political Science, Chris served a two-year term as the Political Theory workshop coordinator engaging the interests of his peers and providing programming on scholarly and professional related topics. He also secured funding and helped organize a Graduate Student conference. Within the Evanston community, Chris volunteers monthly at the Moveable Feast sandwich making through his church.  Chris has also participated yearly since 2013 in the annual Christmas basket program. For these many contributions to our larger community, the department awards Chris Sardo the Minar Award for Community Service by a Graduate Student.

2017 Minar Prize for Teaching Excellence by a Graduate Student: Sasha Klyachkina & Ethan Busby

Sasha Klyachkina has been an outstanding TA in all of her courses, going above and beyond what is required to help her students master the course material. Even when the material is far from her own research expertise, Sasha truly masters both the material and the faculty member’s approach to the material. She is organized and helpful to the other TAs in the course, constructing and sharing thoughtful teaching materials including activities that can draw students to engage the course material. Faculty appreciate how responsible, responsive and helpful Sasha is, so that teaching becomes a collaboration with faculty who can count on her. 

Ethan Busby has been a TA for technically complex courses, which are both difficult and a bit intimidating for students.  As a TA for the Graduate level Linear Models course, Ethan has been patient and generous with his time.  He is also proactive and organized, helping to manage the various logistics to maximize the learning experience for all students. Undergraduate students appreciate how Ethan can translate the complex ideas in ways that become more understandable to them. Students also appreciate that he is cooperative, organized and truly helpful.