Hire a WMU Ph.D.

Sarah V. Perez, Ph.d. candidate

Primary field: American Politics and Political Theory
More information: Curriculum Vitae

Sarah Perez’s current research focuses primarily on racial and ethnic politics in the United States and how different groups interact with each other and what affect that has on the political system of the United States. Her dissertation is titled “A House Divided Cannot Stand: The Case for Latino/African-American Coalitions,” which explores what attitudes are likely to produce support for coalition building among African Americans and Latinos. The main focus of the dissertation is the disentanglement of three sets of attitudes and how those sets of attitudes can serve to either support or discourage coalition building between the two groups. In addition to Sarah’s dissertation research, her other interests include racial and ethnic politics, Latino politics, African American politics, political behavior, and campaigns and elections.  Sarah has taught American Government (PSCI 2000) and Critical Thinking about Politics (PSCI 1050).

Joshua R. Berkenpas, Ph.D. Candidate

Primary field: American Politics and Political Theory
More information: Curriculum Vitae

Josh Berkenpas’ current research engages with the areas of narrative theory as well as classicist and political theory studies on myth and mythology.  His dissertation is titled "The Mythology of the Behavioral Revolution in Contemporary Political Science," which explores foundation narratives of the discipline from the perspective of contemporary studies in myth and mythology.  He focuses on the way members of the discipline recount the story of the behavioral revolution and develops a political theory of mythology to explain why an event some sixty years removed in time is still so central to disciplinary identities today.  In addition to Josh’s dissertation research, his other interests include the history of political science, democratic theory, the politics of food and food justice, urban politics and urban regime analysis, and international relations and peace studies.  Josh has taught American Government (PSCI 2000), Critical Thinking about Politics (PSCI 1050), President and Congress (PS 210), and Scope and Inquiry in Political Science (PS 350).

Marisha Lecea, Ph.D.

Primary field: Comparative politics and Political Theory
More information: https://marishalecea.wordpress.com/
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Lecea is a scholar of political science currently focused on issues of citizenship, migration and democracy. Her work currently focuses on comparing citizenship regimes, which include how a state determines who is eligible for citizenship at birth, how aliens are naturalized, and how citizenship is lost. She examines why some democratic countries make being or becoming a citizen so easy, while others heavily restrict who is allowed full citizenship rights. She has focused closely on the cases of Japan, Germany and Sweden, and conducted more broad studies comparing nearly two dozen countries. Citizenship rights are vitally intertwined with issues of justice, human rights, and individual equality, making them an area of great importance in democratic studies. In her work, she uses both quantitative and qualitative methods of research. In future research, she is interested in examining the role citizenship policy plays in connecting migrants with their country of origin, and how acceptance of dual citizenship policies is changing the relationship between democratic state and citizen. She has presented her work at national conferences including the American Political Science Association annual meeting the Midwest Political Science Association conference, and the Joint Conference of the Association for Asian Studies and the International Convention of Asia Scholars.