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ASU political science student develops research skills through summer program


Jesus Emiliano Galvan.

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August 07, 2020

Jesus Emiliano Galvan chose Arizona State University because of its goal to be inclusive.

“ASU gave me an opportunity, so I ensure that I work hard in return,” he said.

Galvan is a first-generation political science student in the School of Politics and Global Studies at The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who often thinks about various research “puzzles.” Originally viewing political science as a major to get him to law school, Galvan’s passion for the discipline came after he found political theory.

“As soon as I got to work in the Early Start Program and the POS courses my freshman year, I just fell in love with the work.”

The Early Start Program is a two-week immersion program that helps prepare incoming first-year students for their transition to ASU. Galvan attributes much of what he’s achieved thus far in college to this experience since it better helped him understand his major, connect with faculty and form relationships with like-minded students.

After his freshman year, Galvan would continue to assist the Early Start Program and participate in Junior Fellows, which gives undergraduate students the opportunity to work with professors as teaching or research partners.

His latest achievement was being selected as a member of the inaugural class for The Society for Political Methodology Undergraduate Initiative to Diversify Political Methodology. This initiative is designed to “increase the number of underrepresented students who intend to pursue an academic career in political methodology.” Through the initiative, eight students get invited to attend the first summer session of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research.

“I have been very fortunate to develop relationships with faculty at the School of Politics and Global Studies,” Galvan said. “Dr. Woodall actually encouraged me to apply, as the program offered a huge opportunity to further develop my research skills.”

The ICPSR summer program, which was virtual this year, provides instruction on statistical techniques, research methodologies, and data analysis. During the program, Galvan took courses like Race Ethnicity and Quantitative Methodology, which “touched on group love and the different theories regarding how it leads to group hate."

“When I saw this program advertised, I immediately thought of Jesus since he is a curious student who works hard and is interested in conducting his own political science research in graduate school and beyond,” said Gina Woodall, senior lecturer in the School of Politics and Global Studies.

Beyond the classroom, the ICPSR program connected Galvan with a network of PhD students from around the globe. He says these connections can help him gain perspective from someone who is further along in their career path.

As Galvan approaches his junior year at ASU he tries to be mindful of his time in college rather than attempt to sprint through it. He shared his appreciation for his family, friends and everyone who has been a part of his journey so far, including Woodall.

“(Dr. Woodall) sets an example of what a political scientist and professor should be,” Galvan said. “If I was ever to be a professor, I would want to be just like her.”

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