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Prowant and Syck admitted to top doctoral programs in political science

Max Prowant and Tyler Syck, both government/political science majors and members of the George M. Luckey Academic Honors Program, have been admitted to top doctoral programs in political science.

A native of Burlington, Prowant has accepted an admissions offer from the University of Texas - Austin, where he will join Henry Quillen, a 2017 MSU graduate, in Fall 2018. At MSU, Prowant double-majored in government and Spanish, spent a semester studying in a Spanish-immersion environment in Costa Rica, interned in the Canadian Parliament in 2016, and won the Abdul Rifai award for best undergraduate paper at the Kentucky Political Science Association. He also served on the Student Government Association and helped to found the Cicero Society, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA At UT, Prowant plans to study the Middle East democracy deficit and Tunisia’s efforts to establish a constitutional democracy in the years following the Arab Spring.

Syck, a native of Pikeville, has accepted an admissions offer from the University of Virginia for  Fall 2018. A double-major in government and history, Syck presented his research at more than a dozen conferences over the last four years, including the Kentucky Honors Roundtable, the Celebration of Student Scholarship, the Midwestern Political Science Association, and the Kentucky Political Science Association, where he was also the recipient of the Rifai award for best undergraduate paper. Syck served three years as president of the Honors Students Association, and was an active member of the Student Government Association and Cicero Society. At UVA, Syck plans to take an American Political Development approach to the study of the U.S. presidency, where he will have opportunity to work with two of the most prominent scholars in the field.

Both students were admitted to several doctoral programs, with institutions offering each student tuition and stipend scholarships individually valued at up to $250,000 during 5-6 years to support their studies.

Prowant and Syck credited their preparation to research opportunities afforded them by the Undergraduate Research Fellowship program and the support they received from the George M. Luckey Academic Honors Program. Both students plan to pursue teaching careers in political science after completing their doctorates.

Dr. Jonathan Pidluzny, associate professor of government and government program coordinator, who supervised both students’ undergraduate research fellowships, noted that Syck and Prowant’s success proves there’s no limit to what MSU students can achieve, adding that they are the sixth and seventh government/political science students to receive fully funded admissions offers to to doctoral programs in recent years.

Additional information is available by contacting Dr. Pidluzny at 606-783-9437.

More information on the Department of History, Philosophy, Politics, International Studies and Legal Studies is available by visiting

Pictured above, left to right, are Dr. Jonathan Pidluzny, Max Powant and Tyler Syck.