INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
Alumnus’ dissertation wins recognition
Paul M. Collins Jr., who received his doctorate from Binghamton University in 2005, received the nation’s most prestigious honor for dissertations in the social sciences, the Council of Graduate Schools/University Microfilms International Distinguished Dissertation Award on Dec. 8.
The award identifies Collins’ dissertation as making an unusually significant contribution to the social sciences, both methodologically and substantively, as judged by a multidisciplinary faculty panel. Collins’ dissertation on interest group activity in the U.S. Supreme Court, “Friends of the Supreme Court: Examining the Influence of Interest Groups in the U.S. Supreme Court, 1946-2001,” analyzes how organized interests influence the decision-making patterns of Supreme Court justices. Collins found that pressure groups are effective in their attempts to influence the justices’ decision making.
Collins, now an assistant professor of political science at the University of Houston, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton and earned a master’s degree from Binghamton in 2003.