Mary Helen Miskuly, Dr. Mustafa Gokcek and Hakan Karaaytu presented research at this year's annual conference of the New York State Political Science Association.

Three representatives from Niagara University’s master’s degree program in interdisciplinary studies presented papers during the New York State Political Science Association’s annual conference, which was held April 13 at Wagner College (Staten Island, N.Y.).

Dr. Mustafa Gokcek, director of NU’s interdisciplinary graduate degree program and associate professor of history, presented “Re-imaging a Sultan – Political Cartoons of Abdulhamid II in the Young Turk Era,” which focused on how cartoons were utilized to depict an ousted sultan’s authoritarian rule, loneliness and failures.

Hakan Karaaytu, a 2018 graduate of the MAIS program, presented his thesis research, titled “Journalistic Perspectives on Ideal Media and the Transformation of Media’s Role in Turkey.” Karaaytu’s interviews with Turkish journalists reveal the dynamics of press control by the government and how the private business ownership of the media enables authoritarian rulers to steadily bring the press into the government line.

Mary Helen Miskuly, a current MAIS student and registrar at the Castellani Art Museum, presented “The Power of Place: Art Media and the Promotion of Niagara Falls,” which discussed the art collections in Niagara Falls and how they could be utilized to effectively promote the destination and museum.

“These interdisciplinary presentations with a focus on media and visual arts were a great contribution to the conference and an outstanding representation of research being conducted within in the interdisciplinary studies program at Niagara University,” said Dr. Gokcek.

Niagara University’s master’s degree program in interdisciplinary studies offers an innovative curriculum that leads to an in-depth understanding of an interdisciplinary topic or question, as well as preparation for advancement in an individual’s chosen career field. To learn more, please call 716.286.8195 or visit

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