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ASU political science student grateful for opportunities

March 23, 2017

On the heels of Sun Devil Giving Day and quickly approaching graduation, Arizona State University senior Austin Marshall wanted to take the time to express his gratitude for the support he’s received from the School and its donors.

Marshall, who is majoring in political science in the School of Politics and Global Studies (SPGS), was awarded the Kenneth C. Behringer Political Science Scholarship in 2016. 

“The scholarships money I've received has been crucial to my success in college,” Marshall said. “It's gone to support everything from books to rent. It helped give me the peace of mind I needed to allow me to take advantage of all the opportunities ASU has to offer.” 

The Behringer Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students interested in pursuing a research project. Marshall, who is also a student in Barrett, The Honors College, completed his honors thesis in partnership with this scholarship.

Marshall’s thesis looked at what effect Arizona’s clean elections system had on representation in the Legislature. He collected data from the Arizona Clean Elections Commission and from the Arizona Secretary of State’s office and ran statistical tests to analyze how running clean interacted with party affiliation, gender and if a candidate was urban or rural.

“While I gained practical experience working on campaigns, SPGS and Barrett gave me the philosophical and theoretical background to everything I did. I would knock on doors and talk to voters in the morning and then read Aristotle, Hobbes, and Locke in the evening,” Marshall said.

Marshall is currently participating in the Arizona Legislative Internship Program run out of the school. The program allows students to intern full-time at the capitol while receiving course credit. The experience has given Marshall an inside look into how policy is made. 

Born and raised in Yuma, Arizona, Marshall says his interest in politics was first sparked by his mother, who worked in the newspaper.

When he came to Tempe to attend ASU, Marshall said he wandered into a Young Democrats meeting his freshman year. According to Marshall, everything he’s done in politics during his college career all started with getting involved in an ASU club.

“Joining gave me a community for academic and personal support, career connections and opportunities, and a sense of belonging on campus,” he said.

Whether it is working on political campaigns, interning at the DNC, completing his honors thesis or graduating college, it is clear Marshall has taken full advantage of the opportunities given to him. 

“The best advice I got in politics was to just show up and work hard. It seems really simple but if you are around when someone is needed and give it your best effort you will really go far.”

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