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Hendrix Graduate Awarded Arkansas Political Science Association Best Paper Award

CONWAY, Ark. (July 8, 2015) – Austin Nelson ’15 received the Best Undergraduate Paper Award from the Arkansas Political Science Association (ArkPSA).

Nelson was among dozens of students who presented their work on panels organized by ArkPSA, which held its annual meeting this spring at Hendrix. His paper was titled "Race and Redistricting: How Racial Gerrymandering Benefits Black Voters and Republicans." His research, based on work done in the 1990s and early 2000s, confirmed that affirmative action redistricting (mandated by the Voting Rights Act) increases the number of black congressmen as well as the number of Republican congressmen.

Nelson graduated with distinction in politics, his major. He was awarded the 2015 Buthman Prize in Politics and was one of two recipients of the 2015 John A. Ziegler Law Award.

“His work in departmental courses was consistently excellent throughout his four years at Hendrix,” said Dr. Daniel J. Whelan, Chair of the Department of Politics and International Relations.

“As this well-deserved honor shows, Austin has become an excellent researcher. We are quite proud of the undergraduate research training provided in our department and the way it provides students tools to use in their lives after Hendrix,” said Dr. Jay Barth, Nelson’s academic advisor at Hendrix.

Nelson will begin graduate work this fall at Baylor University in the master's program in public policy and administration.

About Hendrix College

Hendrix College is a private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas. Founded in 1876 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884, Hendrix is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges and is nationally recognized in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings for academic quality, community, innovation, and value. For more information, visit