Barry McNamara  |   Published September 23, 2020

One of Nation’s Best

Monmouth professor Andre Audette receives one of four top advising awards from Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – As an undergraduate student, Monmouth College political science professor Andre Audette was inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society.

A decade later, Audette was one of four individuals from around the country selected by Pi Sigma Alpha for its national chapter adviser award.

ANDRE AUDETTE: One of four recipients of Pi Sigma Alpha's annual awards for top chapter advis... ANDRE AUDETTE: One of four recipients of Pi Sigma Alpha's annual awards for top chapter advisers.“Being involved with Pi Sigma Alpha when I was a student at the University of St. Thomas was a benefit to me,” said Audette, who graduated from the Minnesota college in 2011 and joined Monmouth’s faculty six years later. “Going on to graduate school, I had some new connections, and it was a good thing to put on a résumé. It’s something I’ve been connected to ever since, so when I came to Monmouth, I was excited to be asked to be the chapter adviser and to help continue growing the chapter that was established here in 2002,” by political science professors Farhat Haq and the late Ira Smolensky.

Pi Sigma Alpha recognizes students with high academic achievement who are either political science majors or minors or who have taken a number of political science classes.

“It’s a great way to recognize students who have put in a lot of work to their academic studies, and to celebrate those achievements,” said Audette.

Audette said the field of political science is worth consideration for students who not only want to work in government-related positions, but also areas such as business or law.

“We send a lot of our students to either graduate school or law school,” he said. “That’s a pretty common career track for our students. A number of our students who graduated this spring worked on political campaigns.”

Other graduates have found work in international politics or international policy, while some have gone into business, said Audette.

“Political science is actually a great degree for business, too, because you’re learning some very important skills like critical thinking and communication skills and writing skills that are very important for lots of different careers,” he said.

Many careers have, at their heart, a focus on creating a better world, and Audette said the discipline of political science asks the important questions that can make those solutions possible.

“We really focus on issues of power, and that’s kind of what government is based on in many different ways,” he said. “Who has power? Who wants power? How do we use that power to create a better world for everyone?”

Audette earned his Pi Sigma Alpha honor by taking an active role, a philosophy, he said, that is shared by his department colleagues.

“We like to host a lot of events,” said Audette, referring to programs such as the weekly “Tuesday Afternoon Politics” and informational sessions on how to vote. “We’re very interested in educating everyone about politics and government in the United States and beyond. We like to interact with as many people as we can, and that counts people in the community, too. We have a lot of people who are very devoted to attending our events.”

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