It’s a pleasure to bring you another edition of the Newsletter. We are finally fully back in person and the campus as well as the department are full of life. There are many exciting developments to share. Most importantly, I am truly excited to announce that Betsy Sinclair has agreed to serve as chair of the Department of Political Science after my term ends on June 30, 2023. Betsy is a creative and innovative scholar and an accomplished leader; her energy and imagination will serve the department well in our efforts to climb to new heights. I’m looking forward to working with Betsy in the spring semester to hand over the chair role to her before my term ends.
This is an exciting time at WashU! The University unveiled its strategic plan, Here and Next and Arts & Sciences launched its own signature initiatives, two of which are led by our faculty: Betsy Sinclair is co-leading the “Incubator for Transdisciplinary Futures” (ITS) and Jacob Montgomery is co-leading the “Transdisciplinary Institute in Applied Data Sciences (TRIADS).”
Our faculty has been in the forefront of innovative research initiatives. David Carter, Matt Gabel, and Andrew Reeves wrote winning proposals for multi-year research collaborations funded by the ITS. Ted Enamorado received a programmatic grant from ITS. Anna Wilke and Margit Tavits received McDonnell Academy seed grants for their collaborative projects with international partners. Christopher Lucas, Jacob Montgomery, and Margit Tavits received a National Science Foundation grant to study the global spread of populism and its effects on democracy.
We are in the middle of a busy recruitment season. The department was approved to search for three positions in the field of international relations and one position in the field of race and ethnic politics. We have enjoyed meeting many talented scholars through this process and hope that some of them will join our faculty in the near future.
In the meantime, our department continues to grow in other ways. On June 14, Taylor Carlson and family welcomed Madeline Jane Carlson and on July 1, Lucia Motolonia and family welcomed Andreas Reiterer-Motolinia into this world. We wish Taylor and Lucia and their families all the very best!
We also congratulate Colleen Skaggs for her promotion to the position of department’s office manager, and Jessica Droege for her promotion to the position of assistant accountant III. We also welcome our newest staff member, Quiana Kelly! And we were sad to say goodbye to Heather Sloan-Randick, the heart and soul of the department for more than 20 years, who left the department for a well-deserved and long overdue promotion in the Dean’s office.
In closing, I would like to thank Jessica Droege for putting together yet another interesting newsletter. The newsletter is Jessica’s creation and with her promotion she leaves big shoes to fill for whoever steps into her role next. I hope you will find this issue a fun and informative read. As always, please stay in touch – we love to hear from you.
Dr. William Taussig Professor
Chair, Department of Political Science