The Department of Political Science at Western Michigan University sponsors and promotes many events throughout the academic year.

Saturday, June 23

College of Arts and Sciences Commencement
Miller Auditorium, noon


Faculty news

    • Dr. J. Kevin Corder is the co-recipient of the 2017 Victoria Schuck Award with his coauthor, Dr. Christina Wolbrecht of Notre Dame University. The annual award is given for the best book published on women and politics. "Counting Women's Ballots: Female Voters from Suffrage through the New Deal," is a comprehensive assessment of women's voting in the 1920s and 1930s. Their piece in the Washington Post asked, "For women's equality day, here's the key question: Was women's suffrage a failure?" Read it for a shorthand version of how they used an innovative statistical tool, ecological inference, to find out the answer.
    • Dr. Emily Hauptmann will be on sabbatical leave for the 2017-18 academic year. During the fall 2017 semester she will be a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan's Department of Political Science. She will be researching the creation of the department's graduate program and how the 1960s federal funding supported its creation, as well as how its addition to the graduate curriculum affected the core requirements for the Ph.D. program more generally. For the remainder of her leave she will be working on a book manuscript about the influence of external funding on what political scientists study and how they study it.
    • Dr. Mark Hurwitz is serving as program director in the Law and Social Sciences section of the National Science Foundation for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years. The section awards roughly $5.5 million in grants annually to researchers from around the country. He will return to campus in fall 2018.

Student newsPhD students Abi Chamlagai and Dawid Tatarcyzk

  • Abi Chamlagai and Dawid Tatarcyk, current political science doctoral graduate students and part-time instructors, have both been awarded the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Research Assistantship Award. Abi's project is titled "Breakdowns of Democracy in Nepal: A Comparative Study Between 1960 and 2005." Dawid's project is titled "The House Built on the Rock: The Catholic Church and its Policy Preferences."
  • Kristie Bailey, current political science doctoral graduate assistant, was awarded the 2017 All-University Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Award. This is the highest honor for graduate student teaching at WMU. Kristie has served as instructor of record in PSCI 1050 and PSCI 2000, and she has been a teaching assistant in a wide range of courses.
  • George Lluberes, current political science doctoral student, was awarded first place in the 3MT Grad Talks fall 2016 competition. Designed and sponsored by the Graduate Student Association at Western Michigan University, the program is inspired by TED Talks. WMU graduate students from all disciplines presented their research ideas, theses and dissertations for three minutes. Watch George's talk here.
  • Andrew Sorrow, a spring 2016 graduate with majors in both public law and philosophy, was awarded the Vernon Ehlers Intern Award for his outstanding service to the Michigan House of Representatives, specifically for his work in House Appropriations Chair Al Pscholka's office. Sorrow participated in the department's Capital Intern program during spring 2016 as an intern for Representative Pscholka's office.

Ph.D. placements

  • Josh Berkenpas (Ph.D., 2016) has been appointed assistant professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato, beginning in fall 2016.
  • Marisha Lecea (Ph.D., 2015) has been appointed assistant professor at Glenville State College, West Virginia, beginning in spring 2016.
  • Stacey Pollard (Ph.D., 2015) serves as a Senior Social Scientist with the US African Command, and was published recently in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
  • Michael Romano (Ph.D., 2014) has been appointed assistant professor at Shenandoah University, Virginia, beginning in fall 2015.

Alumni news

  • Kevin Knutson (M.A., 2001) was recognized by the Department of Political Science and the College of Arts and Sciences as a 2016 Alumni Achievement Award winner. Knutson is the Director of Undergraduate Academic Advising for the College of Arts and Sciences and was presented with the "Make a Difference Award" by Western Michigan University in 2015.
  • Several Department of Political Science alums received 2016 Alumni Achievement Awards from departments that they were also associated with while at Western Michigan University, including: Dane Alexander (M.A., 1983), Department of Geosciences, Michael Riedel (B.A., 1994), Global and International Studies, Matt Bahleda (B.A., 2011), Department of Philosophy and Dr. Corey Shouse (B.A., 1992) Department of Spanish.
  • Geoffrey Rettig, Bachelor of Arts in Public Law, was appointed Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Midland, Michigan.