It’s a pleasure to bring you another edition of the Newsletter. The department continues to grow and prosper, and I have a lot of exciting news to share. Before doing so, however, I feel compelled to pause and acknowledge the increasingly uncertain times that we are facing, with the war raging in Europe and the pandemic that still has no clear end in sight. As academics, we cope with this uncertainty by trying to make sense of it through research. And so the political science research of our colleagues and students is as relevant as ever in helping us understand the tumultuous world, including the heinous unprovoked war that Russia is waging against Ukraine. Through research and public engagement, we are trying to make this world a better place. I hope we succeed.
I am very proud to share with you the successes of our Ph.D. students on the job market this year. They are heading to tenure track jobs at institutions like Loyola, New York University, University of California Los Angeles, and the University of Texas Austin. You can read more about our “all hands on deck” approach to training and placing our graduate students in an article describing our successes.
Our colleagues, too, are meeting important milestones. Congratulations to David Carter on his promotion to full professor!
Our department continues to grow. I am happy to announce that Diana O’Brien and Matthew Hayes have recently accepted our offer to join our department from Rice University. Professor O’Brien studies women’s political representation in democracies across the globe. Professor Hayes’s research lies at the intersection between race and political representation. We will also be joined by Anna Zhang, who was hired through a joint search with Global Studies. Professor Zhang is joining us from UPenn where she is a postdoctoral fellow having completed her PhD at Stanford last year. She studies ethnic identity and conflict in the context of China. And we are welcoming Anna Wilke, who will start with us this summer after completing her postdoctoral fellowship at Berkeley. Professor Wilke was hired last year as part of the digital transformations initiative and she studies the comparative politics of developing countries, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa. We are so excited to welcome all of these amazing colleagues!
Our department has grown in other ways. On April 6, Zack Bowersox welcomed a baby daughter into the world. Her name is Elisabeth, and we wish Zack and his family all the very best!
We also congratulate Heather Sloan-Randick, the Department’s office manager, for twenty-five years of service at Washington University! Heather brings to her job an uncommon competence and astute ability to problem solve. The success of our department depends on Heather and the rest of our fantastic staff.
The department has started a new junior visitor program. Our inaugural visitors are Lisa Argyle from Brigham Young University and Mayya Komisarchik from Rochester University. Professor Argyle studies political behavior, political psychology, and American politics. Professor Komisarchik focuses on American politics (including race and ethnic politics) and political methodology. We are excited to have these exciting scholars visit the department for the next academic year!
Several of our faculty are taking on new leadership positions on campus. Andrew Reeves will start as the Director of the Weidenbaum Center on July 1. Betsy Sinclair is co-leading the “Incubator for Transdisciplinary Futures,” an Arts and Science’s strategic initiative. Jacob Montgomery is leading the “Transdisciplinary Institute in Applied Data Sciences (TRIADS),” another signature initiative of the Arts and Sciences strategic plan.
Looking to the future of the department we are committed to enriching undergraduate and graduate experiences through student research, scholarly networking, and extracurricular events, including election-related programming, speakers, and other community-building events. These varied learning opportunities are invaluable to our students, and you can help enhance our efforts by making a gift to the Department of Political Science today.
In closing, I would like to thank Jessica Droege for putting together yet another interesting newsletter. I hope it will be a fun read for all of you. And please stay in touch – we love to hear about your news and accomplishments.
William Taussig Professor
Chair, Department of Political Science