VERMILLION, S.D. – University of South Dakota students in USD’s Gamma Nu chapter of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society celebrated the organization’s 100th anniversary by producing a new newsletter, "The Farber Legacy." The title of the publication refers to William O. “Doc” Farber, legendary USD political scientist and one of the founding members of the Gammu Nu chapter at the university.
Students in the political science department researched and wrote articles related to Doc Farber's legacy, department alumni, student organizations and current events under the direction of Julia Hellwege, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science and faculty advisor of the USD chapter, and David Earnest, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Political Science.
“We wanted to highlight the rich history of USD in political science as well as the many connections our chapter has to the national organization,” said Amber Hulse, senior political science major and co-president of the honor society with Carissa Occhipinto, also a senior political science major.
Hulse said she and Occhipinto brainstormed with faculty members about content for the inaugural 40-page issue, which includes a history of the department, a discussion of Native American voter turnout in South Dakota, and profiles of distinguished USD political science alumni such as Al Neuharth and Tom Brokaw.
Working on "The Farber Legacy" gave Hulse a new perspective on the department and an appreciation for the effort it takes to produce a publication. “I learned a lot about USD alumni and how to make connections and how to pull together resources to make something beautiful that will preserve history forever,” she said.
Chapter co-president Occhipinto, who contributed an article on Herman James, a past USD president and founder of the national Pi Sigma Alpha organization, agrees. “This newsletter was a great opportunity to link the alumni with current students from the department,” she said. “I hope this becomes an annual project, as it was an honor to work on myself, and I think it will become a great experience for future students as well.”
As the organization’s faculty advisor, Julia Hellwege said the publication was truly student-driven. "Extra-curricular opportunities like this, that not only offer social engagement, but that allow students to apply their classroom learning are so important to students’ success," she said. "I am honored to work in a department with such engaged students and one where we provide the tools and resources for students to pursue such opportunities."