William & Mary

Congressional Leadership/Whip Counts Projects

Over the past few years, Professor Larry Evans has coauthored and presented more than a dozen scholarly papers with William and Mary undergraduates at political science conferences held around the country.  Two of these papers have received “best paper” awards at the relevant conferences.  Almost thirty students have served as coauthors on these papers and helped present them at scholarly conferences in Chicago, New Orleans, San Diego, and other locations.  The College has covered all of the travel, lodging, and registration costs for these students.

Since 2004, dozens of undergraduates have spent the summer months working in Williamsburg with Evans on a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded study of congressional leadership, including specifically the whip system.   It was possible to provide the students with substantial stipends because of the support from the NSF, while the College provided the students with free campus housing in the dorms.  As part of this ongoing research project, a number of the participating students have traveled with Evans to conduct archival research in the papers of former congressional leaders such as Newt Gingrich.

With the financial support of the Charles Center, during summer 2007 Professor Evans was able to organize a seminar series for the almost thirty undergraduates that spent the summer months in Williamsburg working with various government faculty on collaborative research.   About a dozen prominent academics and political practitioners visited Williamsburg in June and July and made presentations to the research students.  Evans hopes to be able to secure the funding and institutional support necessary to continue these and related efforts in the years ahead.

More detailed information, including links to coauthored papers, is available on the undergraduate research page of his website.