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International Relations Major Wins Best Undergrad Paper Honors

CONWAY, Ark. (June 24, 2013) – Recent graduate Jacob Porter ’13 from Austin, Texas, won Best Undergraduate Paper at the 2013 Arkansas Political Science Association (ArkPSA) conference.

Porter’s winning paper “Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Innovation in Spain’s Autonomous Communities” was his senior thesis for his major in international relations.

Porter participated in the Hendrix-in-Madrid program the summer before his junior year and studied abroad in Granada, Spain, during the fall semester of his junior year. He credits his travels with inspiring his thesis topic.

While in Spain, Porter visited the Basque Country, Catalonia, and witnessed 15-M protests in Madrid and Granada.

“Visiting separatist strongholds and seeing national protests made me want to examine the ties that bind Spaniards together—their rules for fiscal federalism,” said Porter.

In addition to presenting his thesis at the 2013 ArkPSA conference, Porter presented his work at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in La Crosse, Wisc.,.

“Studying economic innovation is also interesting to me because, in the 21st century, economic success will be determined in large part by how well an economy can perform dynamically and rapidly adjust to advances in technology,” said Porter.

Now a Hendrix alumnus, Porter plans on attending law school.

“I had numerous experiences in college related to policy that I enjoyed and am interested in staying involved in policy in the future,” he said.

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country’s best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, Forbes magazine's annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit