Political science professor Zoe Oxley elected president of Pi Sigma Alpha

Publication Date

Zoe Oxley, professor of political science, has been elected president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society.

Founded in 1920, Pi Sigma Alpha is the only honor society for college students of political science and government in the United States.

 Zoe Oxley, professor of political science

Oxley’s research focuses on political psychology, public opinion and gender politics. She is co-author, with Rosalee Clawson, of “Public Opinion: Democratic Ideals, Democratic Practice” (CQ Press) and “Conducting Empirical Analysis: Public Opinion in Action” (CQ Press).

Her work has been published in leading journals, including American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly and Politics & Gender.

Her most recent research, with a group of coauthors, explores children’s views of political leadership, including the consequences of children being exposed to more negative messaging about politics and political figures than children in the past. The project also examines the gendered nature of political socialization, finding that girls are less interested in politics than boys, even at a young age.

Oxley will serve two years as president.

“As Pi Sigma Alpha celebrates its centennial, we are excited to have Zoe Oxley step in to lead the organization,” said Executive Director Sean Twombly. “For 15 years she has been engaged with Pi Sigma Alpha - both at the chapter and national level - and her commitment to undergraduate teaching, undergraduate research and mentorship will help advance the organization as we march into our second century.”

Union’s chapter, Zeta Upsilon, was founded in 1974. Oxley served as faculty advisor from 2006-11. During her tenure, the chapter was honored with three national Best Chapter Awards for creative programming on campus.

From 2007-10, the chapter hosted the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics. Union is one of only five schools to have hosted the journal.

Last spring, Union sent two students to the undergraduate research conference in Washington, D.C.

Oxley served on the Pi Sigma Alpha National Executive Council from 2008-12.

“My past involvement with Pi Sigma Alpha has been very enriching, whether serving as a chapter advisor at Union, mentoring students as they completed the editorial work of the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics, or helping to support the national organization’s rich array of programming through my service on the Executive Council,” said Oxley.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead Pi Sigma Alpha now, as we celebrate the organization’s centennial and embark on its second century.”

Since its founding 100 years ago, Pi Sigma Alpha has inducted more than 300,000 members. Notable members include former President Bill Clinton, former Supreme Court Justices William Rehnquist and Anthony Kennedy, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw.

Oxley joined Union in 1998.