Jack Kappelman | Best Paper in Political Science

Favorite Experience: My favorite experience at The University of Alabama has been all of the opportunities I have had to carry out advanced research on pressing topics. As a freshman at the Capstone, I had the opportunity to begin a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor that later resulted in my first ever peer-reviewed publication in a leading academic journal. Building off of this experience, I began working on numerous other research projects through my classes and independently, and further developed my love for research in the field of American Politics. My research has shaped my current career path, and my experiences at the University of Alabama opened a number of doors to me that I may not have otherwise known about.

Favorite Professor: My favorite professor at The University of Alabama is Dr. Richard Fording in the Department of Political Science. Dr. Fording has been mentoring me with my research, extracurricular involvements, and professional opportunities since I had the good fortune to cross his path my freshman year. We have published a peer-reviewed paper together, and he has advised me through numerous other research projects that are in various stages. He has been a champion for me as I prepare for a hopeful future in academia, and I know that I would not be at the spot I’m at now without his incredible tutelage. But beyond how Dr. Fording has helped me personally and professionally, he is by far one of the most interesting researchers on campus and can captivate you in classes as he discusses leading theories, methodologies, and current events in American Politics. Dr. Fording is extremely dedicated to his students and I hope that more UA students are fortunate enough to get to with him in the future.

Future Plans: My future plans are to begin my PhD studies in Political Science with a concentration in American Politics and Political Methodology at either Washington University in St. Louis or the University of California – Los Angeles in the fall.