In Class

June 2, 2015 at 11:43 am

‘It’s Been Four Years of Fabulous!’

Kristen Riley '15 and Dr. Sarah Poggione

Kristen Riley ’15 and Dr. Sarah Poggione

By Lori Price

“It’s been four years of fabulous!” says Kristen Riley ’15, at a meeting with her Political Science faculty mentor, Dr. Sarah Poggione, in her final semester at Ohio University.

“Fabulous” for Riley included not only working with Poggione for four years, but also developing a new research topic and presenting her work at a conference.

‘Kristen Came Up with the Idea’

In April 2015, Riley had the opportunity to travel to Chicago to present a paper that she co-authored with Poggione at the Midwest Political Science Association conference.

Riley took a course in Politics and Science with Poggione, and “we realized the topic of judicial innovation was incredibly interesting, and there isn’t a lot of research about this topic in the field currently.” Her passion for the subject and curiosity about innovation in the legal field led her to study innovation in court policies at the state level.

“Kristen came up with the idea to examine how and why state courts varied in their response to a change in the federal courts,” Poggione recalls. “While I have looked at how and why state legislatures have adopted new policies or changed policy, I had never looked at state courts and how and why they innovate. Really, the research question was hers.”

“Dr. Poggione and I both share the quality of being very pragmatic, empirical minded people, so we work very well together,” adds Riley.

Federalism, Legal Professionalism and Innovation

Riley went on to co-author the paper on Federalism, Legal Professionalism and Innovation: Reforming Standards of Admissibility of Expert Witness Testimony in the 50 States. The paper was proposed to and accepted by the Midwest Political Science Association for presentation at its April 2015 conference.

In addition, “Kristen presented the paper at the OU Research Expo and won first place in the Political Science division. She also presented the results of the paper at a student panel here in Athens sponsored by the Center for Law, Justice & Culture,” adds Poggione. “Based on the feedback at these presentations and the conference, we will revise the paper for submission to an academic journal.”

Riley received funding from the Political Science Department at Ohio University and Provost Undergraduate Research funding to enable her to present her work.

“The opportunity to present at such a well known conference as an undergraduate is amazing,” says Riley.

Riley was accepted into Master of Public Administration program and starts her master’s degree this fall in the Voinovich School at Ohio University.

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