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Alison Tinker ’20: Travel grant takes student to nation’s capital to present research

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Posted on Wednesday, September 2, 2020

A Drinko Center Travel Grant allowed senior political science major Alison Tinker to travel to Washington, D.C., to present her research at the Pi Sigma Alpha Student Research Conference in February 2020.

Tinker presented her honors research, titled “Competing Cultures: The Impact of Differing Societal Values on Democratic Action to Address Climate Change.” The research uses data from the World Values Survey and linear regression to analyze attitudes toward the environment and climate change, as well as what factors shape those attitudes in both the United States and Europe.

Conference attendees received Tinker’s research well and were overall quite impressed with its depth and relevancy.

“The discussant for my panel session called my work ‘a model paper for undergraduate students,’” Tinker explained. “It was so nice to receive such positive recognition for my months of hard work!”

Tinker also gained confidence in her skills as a researcher and as a young adult soon to begin her career from attending the conference.

“Sometimes I struggle with being proud of my achievements, but having the opportunity to not only present my independent research but also receive positive feedback on it really made me feel good about my work,” Tinker said.

Aside from presenting her research, Tinker also had the opportunity to learn from her peers and listen to a panel of professionals discuss their career paths.

Tinker conducted her research under the mentorship of Dr. Shannon Smithey, professor of political science.

The Pi Sigma Alpha Student Research Conference, held at the George Washington University, annually invites members of the national honors society for political science students to celebrate and present their research with professionals and peers alike.