Western Michigan University Spring 2017 Graduation
College of Arts and Sciences Commencement Ceremony
Saturday, April 29, 7:30 p.m.
- Dr. Jim Butterfield is on sabbatical during the 2016-17 academic year. He received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and will conduct a research project on Russian online forums as arenas of free speech. In addition to Vietnam, he also will travel to Russia and China during his sabbatical.
- Dr. Denise Keele is on sabbatical during the 2016-17 academic year. Part of her project on climate change litigation in the United States and Germany involves field work at WMU's sister institution Passau University and the University of Tübingen, both located in Southern Germany. Her research is supported by a WMU Faculty Research and Creative Activity Award.
- 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.
- 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 recently 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Samuel Gedman, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Mississippi. He is starting a position as Deputy Director at the County Board of Elections in Durham, NC.
- Norris Tweah, Master of International Development Administration, has been appointed Vice President of University Relations at the University of Liberia, Monrovia.
- Angela Peoples, Bachelor of Arts in Public Law, was featured in the magazine National Journal (access required, but the story is available via the campus network). Angela co-founded GetEQUAL, a grassroots group based in Washington, DC, that advocates on LGBT issues.
- Ashley Horvat, Bachelor of Arts in American public policy, serves as the nation's first-ever public-sector Chief Electric Vehicle Officer.
- Carmen Siciliano, Bachelor of Arts in American public policy, serves as legislative assistant to State Senator Mike Nofs.
- Frank Waters, minor in political science, reminisces about his time at Western Michigan University and how he became the director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in Lansing, Mich.
- Tom Lenard, Bachelor of Arts in American public policy, talks about his job as chief of staff for State Senator Jim Ananich (Bronco Legislative Network).