Undergraduate research winner | Philosophy | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Undergraduate research winner interested in good government

Clance Cook

Double Major in Philosophy and English Clance Cook was singled-out by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (CURCA) with a first place award for his research on political corruption in Illinois. He recently presented his work at a competitive forum for undergraduate and graduate students working in the humanities, business or education. His winning paper was titled, “No End in Sight: the State of Political Corruption in Illinois.”

A native of Schaumburg, Illinois, Cook began his project in 2015 after joining the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute as their first undergraduate research assistant. Director David Yepsen served as his research mentor.

The paper examines how much progress has been made to implement recommendations made by the Illinois Reform Commission under former Governor Pat Quinn, which sought to make it harder for government officials to take advantage of their public positions. Cook argues that these suggested policy changes “should be viewed as paramount to the survival of the state.”

Cook represents the college as an undergraduate senator, and was named “most dedicated senator” by the executive board of the Undergraduate Student Government. He is already thinking about running for political office in the future. But first, the student researcher plans to gain experience working for a non-profit or perhaps pursue his masters in higher education.