Our Students, Our Alumni, Our Program

Our Students

Students are encouraged to not only excel in the classroom but also in the university community and beyond. Political Science majors have held top positions in the Student Government Association (SGA), major honor societies, the Academic Villages, and other campus organizations. Several of the recent SGA Presidents have been Political Science majors.

Outside of the university our students in the Political Science pPitt-Greensburg Political Science Majorsrogram have also excelled. Recent students and alumni have held internships with US Senators and Representatives, local law firms, in local and state government, and with county and state political party organizations. The program stresses the importance of not only academic work but also hands on experience through internships with local, state, and national government as well as with the private sector.

But it isn’t just local! Political Science students have traveled and studied through Pitt-Greensburg scholarships and our other programs to China, Germany, Netherlands, Mexico, India, Egypt, and across the globe. Our students are engaged in understanding and participating in global politics as well as the local and national. In all, there are numerous opportunities for our students to build not only an academic record of excellence but also a record of leadership, experience, and civic involvement.

Our Alumni

Alumni from the political science program at Pitt-Greensburg have gone on to great things such as law school, graduate school, military service, and successful careers in both the public and private sector. Here is some recent news from our alumni!

A.J. Gales (2014) is the District Injured Support Coordinator for the USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment based in Pittsburgh.

Megha Pai (2013) won the 2013 Poetry Prize from Lexicon, the Duquesne University Journal of Arts and Literature and will be attending Duquesne's John F. Donahue Graduate School of Business as a full-time MBA student.

Raymond Setaro III (2013) was electedthe 2015-2016 President of the Student Bar Association at Duquesne University where he was enrolled in their School of Law.

Sean Cercone (2011) is finishing his third year at the Security & Intelligence graduate program at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. As part of his research and scholarship at GSPIA he also attended and co-presented a paper at the International Studies Association Convention, February 22, 2015, New Orleans, cited as: Khadka, Alla G., Alexander M. Halman, Duran Ward, Sean M. Cercone, Darren J. Hedlun. (2015). Assessing the Effect of Organizational Characteristics on Organization’s Lethality and Role in Terrorist Collaboration Network in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 1999-2011.

Pitt-Greensburg Political Science Alumni wins New Pittsburgh Courier FAB 40 Award for 2013Pitt-Greensburg Political Science alumnus Austin Davis

Austin Davis, 2012 alum of Pitt-Greensburg and the Political Science Program, was among the winners of the New Pittsburgh Courier FAB 40 Awards which are presented by The New Pittsburgh Courier to "highlight African-American young professionals in the region and demonstrate the city's potential to cultivate young minority talent". Austin graduated in 2012 and now works as an Executive Assistant to the Allegheny County Chief Executive, Rich Fitzgerald. Congratulations to Austin!

P.J. Rey, a Pitt-Greensburg Political Science alumnus (who is currently in a Doctoral Program at the University of Maryland) had this to say about our program:

"I am profoundly grateful for my time at Pitt-Greensburg. The modest size and connectedness of the campus put me in a position where, for the first time in my life, I was deeply involved with my community and became a recognized leader. Through student government, the Villages, and the Coffeehouse Committee I found myself making significant and lasting changes to the shape of campus life and gained a deep sense of fulfillment through my contributions. At Pitt-Greensburg I experienced real interest and commitment from the staff and faculty in pursuing my personal educational goals through independent studies and assistantships as well as an unending source of assistance towards my ambition of continuing my education at the Ph.D. level. The senior Capstone helped me to bridge the gap between undergraduate and graduate work . With the guidance of my Capstone advisor, it became the source for my first conference paper and journal publication."

Our Retired and Emeritus Faculty

Dr. Norman W. Scanlon, Emeritus Associate Professor of Political Science, nws@pitt.edu

Dr. Scanlon earned a B.A. from St. Vincent College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Scanlon began his career at UPG in 1968 with an appointment to the political science faculty. He served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (1985-1990), Vice President for Academic Affairs (1991-2000), Interim President of UPG (December 1996-September 1997), Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs (June 2003-June 2006) and the Chair of the Behaviorial Sciences Division (June 2006- June 2008). Dr. Scanlon retired from Pitt-Greensburg in 2009 and is now an Emeritus faculty member.


Dr. Carl F. Poke, Emeritus Professor of Political Science (1963-2009)

The late Carl F. Poke played a key role in developing outstanding academic programs at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. After earning three degrees from Pitt—a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate in political science—Poke became one of the first academic leaders at Pitt-Greensburg.

Dr. Poke left Millersville State College after he was named assistant to the president and instructor in political science at Pitt-Greensburg in 1963. A native of Pittsburgh, Dr. Poke attended the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University. During his 40 years at Pitt-Greensburg, Poke served as director of admissions and student aid and dean of academic affairs, and he was instrumental in initiating the first four-year degree programs offered there. His enthusiasm for political science as well as his belief that administrators should remain connected to students prompted him to teach political science classes throughout his administrative career. He returned to teaching full-time in 1991 and earned the status of Emeritus Professor of Political Science when he retired in December 2005. He received the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004.

An enthusiastic world traveler, Poke encouraged students to study abroad and made a financial commitment to helping them do so by underwriting international travel experiences with gifts he made to the University, as well as through a generous bequest to the Carl A. Poke and Florence R. Poke Endowed Fund for Student Travel. His passion for film also inspired another generous bequest, one that established the Carl F. Poke Endowed Fund for the Millstein Library in support of the Pitt-Greensburg library’s film collection and the purchase of audiovisual equipment. Dr. Poke retired from Pitt-Greensburg in 2005 as an Emeritus Professor of Political Science. Dr. Poke passed away in February 2009.