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Hendrix Politics Major Takes Home Honors for Best Undergraduate Paper from ArkPSA Annual Meeting

Keira Boop ’23 presented paper on crisis response insights from coronavirus outbreak


CONWAY, Ark. (May 17, 2023) – Keira Boop, a politics major in the class of 2023, won the Best Undergraduate Paper Award of 2023 for her project, “What Factors Impact the Speed of Crisis Response? Insights from COVID-19,” which she presented this spring at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Arkansas Political Science Association (ArkPSA).

Boop’s work examined the speed at which 80 different countries responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, engaging various theories of crisis response, utilizing two separate datasets.

“The innovative move that Keira makes with this paper is to take a measure of how many protective policies were in place and turn it into a measure of time – how long it took to reach a certain threshold of protectiveness,” said Hendrix Professor of Politics Dr. Kim Maslin, who supervised Boop’s capstone project. “Counter to conventional wisdom, wealthy and developed nations had slower response times, whereas presidential and unitary systems had faster response times than parliamentary and federal systems.”

Maslin added, “Keira was able to produce such a high-quality paper because she was fully committed to the process. She worked the steps and incorporated the feedback that her colleagues provided.”

Boop was also selected to present her research at the highly selective National Student Research Conference of Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honors Society. The conference met in Washington, D.C.

Boop was awarded the Hendrix Politics Department’s Ian T. King Prize in International Relations at the College’s April 27 Honors Day Convocation, and graduated with distinction in politics at the College’s May 13 Commencement ceremony. 

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit