–This post was written by UHP student and SURE Award winner Jonathan Robinson.
“What do you know about lobbying?” Hanley asked.
“A lot,” Juliano responded. “You know how much time I’ve spent in the lobby of the Palmer House.”
This summer I was the fortunate recipient of a Luther Rice Collaborative Research Fellowship to work on a paper with then Chair of the Political Science Department and now Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Forrest Maltzman. The paper that was born out of that collaboration is my paper Continuity, Change, and the Evolution of the Federal Minimum Wage, 1937-2010. While the paper is in part motivated by my interest in the politics of social policy, the greater motivation of the project was to study empirically how policies change after they are enacted. The tendency for a policy to move from it’s original intention is called policy drift.
On a whim and a bit of encouragement from Professor Maltzman, I applied for a space in the Undergraduate Poster Session of the Midwest Political Science Association 2012 Annual Meeting (otherwise known as the MPSA) and my proposal was accepted. With the backing of the Department of Political Science, the Columbian College, the SURE Award, and a graduate student willing to split the costs of a hotel room in downtown Chicago with me I was fortunate to have attended the conference a few weeks ago at the Palmer House Hilton right smack dab in downtown Chicago.
The weekend was a whirlwind. With 5000 attendees made up of Professors, graduate students, book reps, and journalists it was easy to be overwhelmed. I attended various panels on a myriad of topics ranging from what journalists could learn from the discipline of American political science to a panel on new directions in research on politics and social class. But by far the most nerve racking part was my presentation. However, after giving my presentation to the few who would listen I got my pitch down to a science and happened upon some great advice and comments.
I would be remiss if I did not thank the generous endowment of Lee and Carol Sigelman. Lee was a great political scientist and from what I know from his colleagues was quite the nerdy humorist. Perhaps if he were alive today he would appreciate this joke via Twitter: