By Claire McMorris
I first learned about the Lamb Prize a few years back from my academic advisor at Oregon State University. Knowing how few opportunities there are highlighting undergraduate academic excellence in Political Science, I promised myself, “I’m going to apply for that someday.” I suspected that day would come when I started working on my capstone thesis for the University Honors College. I didn’t give myself an easy task. As my mentor, Dr. Michael Jones often reminded me, “this is more of a graduate level project,” which only made me want to dig deeper into my research. When I had a final draft ready, my next logical step was the Lamb Prize. I put my application together and submitted my hard work to the Selection Committee.
I believe one of the defining aspects of my project was the outstanding mentorship by Dr. Jones. As an undergraduate student it is easy to get lost in a sea of ideas, not understanding what would constitute meaningful research in a given field. Under Dr. Jones’s guidance I was able to take an advanced theoretical concept, the Narrative Policy Framework, and pair it with a relevant and multi-faceted issue, Oregon Measure 97. He helped me better understand the literature and work towards a paper that was sophisticated and intentional. Through my research and submission to the Lamb Prize I developed as a student, writer, and scholar. The support of my mentor was invaluable to my growth and receipt of the Prize. Claire McMorris, graduated with a degree in Political Science from Oregon State University. You may view her short video describing her experience as an applicant and winner. “Claire McMorris on the Lamb Prize” .
Claire McMorris–2017 Recipient–with her faculty sponsor Dr. Michael Jones of Oregon State University.
Oregon State University Department of Political Science
Oregon State University is a public research university and the largest university in the state of Oregon. The main campus for OSU is in Corvallis, with other campuses in Bend, Newport, Portland, and online. The Political Science department at OSU offers coursework in four sub-fields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Theory. As a Land Grant University, OSU offers students unique opportunities through internships, practical real-world work experience, and research with extension offices throughout the state. OSU is one of only two universities in the United States to have Sea, Space, and Sun Grant designations. The political science program at Oregon State is housed in the School of Public Policy. In addition to its undergraduate programs in economics, sociology, and political science, the School offers Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Public Policy.