THESIS DEFENDER – Four years of hard work comes down to 30 critical minutes for Danielle Branz (Iron Mountain, Mich.), who shares and defends her thesis during a symposium at Lake Superior State University on April 17. Political Science seniors channel knowledge and skills acquired from courses in multiple disciplines into a thesis project that requires creativity, planning, and self-discipline. This year's topics ranged from legislative proposals to protect Good Samaritans, to going green without breaking municipal budgets. Branz's thesis was Campaigning with Friends: A Social Media Strategy for Republican Legislative Candidates. Other thesis presenters and their topics were James Gage (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.), a 21st Century model for funding state universities; Heather Landenberger (Springport, Mich.), implementing the Pentagon's decision to permit women in combat roles; Stephanie Jonas (Essexville, Mich.), a cooperative public-private initiative to reduce dropout rates at Pinconning High School; Thomas Hubbert (Holly, Mich.), a legislative proposal to protect Michigan's good samaritans; Justin Carlson (Vulcan, Mich.), an analysis of concealed-carry laws and the case for constitutional carry; Daniel Shumway (Petoskey, Mich.), the compatibility of green technology and fiscal responsibility in local government; and Tyler Helsel (Sand Lake, Mich.), the role of political polarization in the U.S. debt crisis. (Photo by John Shibley)
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