Political Science – Outstanding Senior 2021

Nicole Craze

Newport, WA

Degrees and Majors:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science


  • French Language
  • Mindfulness-based Social & Emotional Intelligence Certificate

Summa cum laude

Clubs, Organizations, Leadership, and Service

  • Mindfulness Based Emotional and Social Intelligence (MESI) Student Organization – Founding President

Internships and Employment

  • IT Technician for WSU Crimson Service Desk
  • Junior Counselor, Mission Peak Leadership Camp, Association of Washington State Student Leaders

Undergraduate Research

Honors Thesis: Focus on affective polarization in college students, using WSU as a case study. Research will look for the correlation between the number of semesters of college completed and the level of polarization.

Awards & Recognition

  • Outstanding Delegate Award, National Model United Nations with Honors College

Honored Faculty and Mentors

  • Michael Salamone, Politics, Philosophy, & Public Affairs
  • Lydia Gerber, Honors College

Faculty Comments

Nicole took my special topics course on the 2020 election. She was one of the most engaged, prepared, and conscientious students I have had the pleasure of teaching in over 25 years at WSU. Cornell Clayton

Nicole was a stand-out student in my Media and Politics class. She was extremely clever and incisive in her analysis of the sometimes-difficult concepts that we discussed. I wish every student were like her. Travis Ridout

Personal Statement

As my time at Washington State University comes to a close, I am ever more appreciative of the support that I have received from the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs. I have had the immense fortune of being taught by professors who not only were enthusiastic about their subject material but also indulged my curiosity and taught me to understand more nuanced, worldly perspectives. They have had a crucial role in helping me develop my passions in the political field. I hold a great deal of admiration and respect for my professors, which makes this honor that much more meaningful. It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge my family – my incredible parents, brother, and grandmother – who have provided endless support as I work to complete my degree. I am so proud to be my parents’ daughter, and I am grateful for all the love and opportunities that they have extended to me.

Future Plans

After graduation, Nicole will attend a combination degree program to get a law degree as well as a master’s degree in International Law in order to pursue a future in international law and diplomacy.