Political science major and honors student Ciera Hammond was named a winner of the Portz Interdisciplinary Fellowship Award through the National Collegiate Honors Council for her research on youth voter turnout. “Ciera is the first student at CSUSB to win the Portz Award,” said Meredith Conroy, associate professor of political science. “The Portz Award is significant for a number of reasons, but I think the most important is that it allows students to create their own independent research track and, with someone like Ciera who has ideas, they can be the artist and really do whatever they want to do.” The Portz Award allows undergraduate honors students in good standing from two-year and four-year colleges and universities to submit a proposal. The award supports creative and innovative endeavors from students who wish to undertake cross-disciplinary research. Hammond will be funded for a year-and-a-half to conduct research to see if political efficacy affects voter turnout rates among young adults. “One of our main values in the Honors Program – but also a value that’s present here on campus – is bettering oneself through service to your community,” Hammond said, “and so, being able to better myself here and better my community, and better those around me, is a goal that I have for the rest of my time here at CSUSB.” Hammond also hopes to carry those values with her into a future Ph.D. program and, someday, into a university as a professor.   And with Conroy, Hammond has been invited to participate in the Emerging Scholars Conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Nov. 9. Hammond will present her research project, 'The Psychology of Political Efficacy and Its Unanticipated Effect on Youth Voter Turnout,'  at the national conference, which is hosted by the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan. “Kudos to Ciera and Dr. Conroy for this honor,” said Brian Janiskee, chair of the CSUSB Department of Political Science.