Another exciting academic year has drawn to a close, and I’m happy to share with you another issue of our Newsletter. This will be my last one as the department chair. It has been a pleasure working with Betsy Sinclair as associate chair this spring semester and I’m looking forward to all of the great things she will accomplish as chair when she takes over on July 1, 2023.
A lot has happened this spring! We are celebrating many important promotions. Congratulations to Taylor Carlson for receiving tenure and being promoted to the rank of associate professor! Congratulations to Dino Christenson and Jacob Montgomery for their promotion to the rank of full professor! Congratulations to Diana O’Brien for being the inaugural recipient of the Bela Kornitzer Distinguished Professorship! This professorship was endowed by Noémi Neidorff, a longtime benefactor of Washington University in St. Louis and other cultural and educational institutions locally and beyond. Neidorff’s endowment is in recognition of her uncle, an acclaimed author, historian, and journalist from Hungary. I’m very proud of my colleagues for these great achievements.
We owe thanks to esteemed colleagues who are completing their long-term service to the Department and the university. Randy Calvert and Steve Smith are retiring and assuming the positions of emeritus professors. Their work has shaped our understanding of political institutions, and will continue to be impactful for decades to come. We thank them for being dedicated scholars and teachers, and tireless leaders in the department and on campus!
Our department continues to grow. I am very glad to announce that on July 1, we’ll be doubling our international relations faculty! Amy Pond and Timm Betz will be joining our department as associate professors and Xiaoyan (Christy) Qiu as assistant professor. Dr. Pond is a highly impactful scholar of international and comparative political economy, and will also contribute to our formal theory field. Dr. Betz is an expert on the politics of trade and finance and has also made important methodological contributions. Dr. Qiu studies rebel strategies and state formation, relying on tools of formal theory. We also welcome two new teaching-track faculty: Zoe Ang and Stephanie Shady! Dr. Ang started already in March and is teaching courses in American politics. Together with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, she is also supporting our undergraduate program. Dr. Shady will start in the fall, and she will offer courses in comparative politics and international relations. Together with the Director of Graduate Studies, she will also be supporting our graduate program. We are so excited to welcome all of these amazing new colleagues!
We are proud to continue our junior visitor program, which we started last year. We are saying goodbye to our inaugural visitors this year, Lisa Argyle and Mayya Komisarchik. We are welcoming Princess Williams from Amherst College, who will be visiting us for the 2023-24 academic year. Her research focuses on behavior, geography, race and ethnic politics, and American political development. We are looking forward to hosting Professor Williams!
The department is also welcoming several new staff members! On May 1, Dan Callihan started as the administrative and academic supervisor for political science. On May 8, Autumn Dennis started as the administrative coordinator supporting the chair, faculty, and department communications – and is the new editor of our Newsletter! On May 16, Ellen Huppert started as the academic coordinator supporting our undergraduate and graduate programs. We are lucky to have this impressive team help us move the department forward!
I hope you all have a fun and productive summer, full of new discoveries. Please stay in touch!
Margit Tavits, Dr. William Taussig Professor