Political Science and International Affairs


Department News:


Political Science and International Affairs

 Careers and Graduate School Panel Discussion

Featuring the experience and advice of alumni

Andrew Lowdon (’14),

Law Clerk to The Hon. Anthony J. Trenga, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia


Sean O’Brien (’09)

Project Manager, Internet2


William Sacripanti (’14)

Research Assistant, The House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform


Nadine Zaatar (’11)  

Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State


Art Speyer (’93)

Senior Intelligence Analyst, Marine Corps Intelligence Activity

When: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 4 PM

Where: Monroe, 346

Contact Prof. Emile Lester for details: elester@umw.edu or ext. 1146


Come join us as

Reverend Nathan C. Walker,

Executive Director of 1791 Delegates

delivers a public and free lecture titled

“Religion and Political Contempt”



When: Wednesday, March 14 at 4PM

Where: Monroe Hall, Room 346

Sponsored by PSIA, Diversity Unity Coordinating Committee, and House Episcopal Luthern Campus Ministry

For more information contact Professor Lester: elester@umw.edu


The UMW Women’s and Gender Studies Program presents

Starving for Justice: Women, Work and the Resistance
Dr. Dina Siddiqi

Professor, Department of Economics and Social Sciences,
BRAC University, Bangladesh

 Dr. Dina Siddiqi divides her time between New York and Dhaka, where she teaches Anthropology. Her publications, grounded in the study of Bangladesh, cover a broad spectrum: the global garment industry; gender justice and non-state dispute resolution systems, and the intersections of Islam, nationalism and feminist cultural politics. She is currently working on a book entitled Elusive Solidarities: “Muslim” Women and Transnational Feminism at Work. She is also part of the Advisory Council of the South Asian Network of Gender Activists and Trainers (SANGAT). She has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

When: 7pm, Monday, November 13, 2017
Where: Combs 139

Sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Departments of Political Science and International Affairs; Classics, Philosophy and Religion; and Sociology and Anthropology
This UMW program is free and open to the public.
Questions? Contact Kristin Marsh (kmarsh@umw.edu) or Surupa Gupta (sgupta@umw.edu)

The Project 2049 Institute is now accepting

Internship Applications

for Spring 2018!

 The Project 2049 Institute is pleased to announce the following internship opportunity in Spring 2018 for current students and recent graduates:


Position Responsibilities:

  • Assist with the Institute’s research projects and ongoing programs
  • Assist with administrative tasks, event planning, and other logistics
  • Help maintain and update the Institute’s social media outlets
  • Independent research with opportunities to publish on the Institute’s blog, the AsiaEye.
  • Attend local events based on research and project interests
  • Complete projects both in teams and individually

Minimum Requirements:

  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Interest in Asia and Asian affairs
  • Prior research or work experience related to the Asia-Pacific region
  • Proficiency in Chinese (Mandarin, simplified or traditional) is desirable
  • Current undergraduate, graduate student, or recent graduate
  • Self-motivated and ability to work independently

Benefits of Internship:

  • Gain research experience in Asia security issues
  • Learn about the non-profit and think tank industry from all levels of the Institute’s management
  • Opportunities to network with government and the private sector professionals working on Asia-Pacific security and policy
  • Opportunities to contribute to the Institute’s AsiaEye blog
  • Monthly stipend
To apply for this position, please electronically submit a cover letter, resume, and a short writing sample to project2049@project2049.net

The deadline for application submissions is 11:59 pm on Friday, December 1, 2017.

For more information on the Project 2049 Institute, visit their website, and follow their Facebook and Twitter @Project2049. 


 Spring 2018 Courses!

 Political Science Seminars

Seminar                                                              Political Science Subfield

PSCI 471C7: US Civil Military Relations         American Government or

                                                                                International Relations

PSCI 471 D3: American Public Opinion         American Government

PSCI 471SS: Politics of Africa                       Comparative Politics

International Affairs Support Courses

German 485F: Berlin Wall: A Concrete History

HIST 300A5: Modern Middle East History

HIST 300B6: History Ideas in Early Modern Europe

HIST 300CC: History of Food in Global Context

HIST 300YY: From Mongols to Ottomans

PSCI 471C7: US Civil Military Relations

PSCI 471SS: Politics of Africa



 11th Korea-America Student Conference Opportunity

 The 11th KASC is now accepting applications for the next generation of Asia-Pacific leaders!

A delegation of 36 students will be competitively selected to represent the United States of America and the Republic of Korea in the 11th KASC (18 American students and 18 Korean students). Delegates will travel to two locations in the United States (Missoula, Montana and Seattle, Washington) and two locations in South Korea (Busan and Seoul).

Over three weeks, they will have the unique opportunity to engage in academic, cultural, and professional exchange in both countries. They will participate in lectures, seminars, roundtable discussions, networking events, and cultural activities alongside their peers. Delegates will discuss, explore, and collaborate on four pressing bilateral and global topics. They will present their joint solutions to a panel of experts and the general public at the conclusion of the conference.

The Conference will be held in the United States and South Korea from July 20 – August 10, 2018.

Students from all fields of study are encouraged to apply. No Korean language or Asian Studies background is required. They are seeking a diverse delegation that shares a strong passion in furthering US-Korea relations and creating international friendships.

Applications to join the 11th KASC will open on October 11, 2017. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

More information at http://iscdc.org/kasc/2018/.

Please direct any questions to kasc@iscdc.org.


Professor Rosalyn Cooperman receives the first John M. Kramer Faculty Award


At the 2017 annual Spring Awards ceremony, Professor Rosalyn Cooperman received the first John M. Kramer Faculty Award. This award is an acknowledgement of Professor Cooperman’s dedication to students, service to the University, and contributions to academia.

Established in 2016, the John M. Kramer Faculty Award is named for Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs John Kramer. In celebration of Professor Kramer’s distinguished career, his wife, Mary Louise, and 169 other prominent alumni of the department and the European Capitals program joined forces to establish this endowment. The donors hope that, through this endowment, promising faculty will continue to maximize students’ potential through teaching, mentoring, and the pursuit of scholarly excellence. As stated in the Award’s terms of agreement, “The recipient shall be an outstanding faculty member in the Department of Political Science and International Affairs who has demonstrated dedication and excellence in teaching, scholarly endeavor, and student mentoring.

Professor Cooperman has taught and encouraged hundreds of students since she joined the Faculty at Mary Washington in 2003. Professionally focused on elections and women in politics, Professor Cooperman contributed to the development of Women and Gender Studies at Mary Washington. Professor Cooperman’s contributions to academia are numerous, and she currently has half a dozen works in progress or currently under review.  Her recent work focused on the role of women in campaign fundraising. In addition, Professor Cooperman has collaborated on research with students and faculty members from other departments at Mary Washington. In the past, she served as the principal investigator for five important surveys and studies of political convention delegates. Professor Cooperman has also served as a manuscript reviewer for seven peer review academic journals, a difficult and vital service to academia. For the past eight years Professor Cooperman has served as the faculty advisor to the Pi Sigma Alpha Honors Society and served on multiple committees for the University.


Careers and Graduate School Panel Discussion

Featuring the experience and advice of alumni

Sarah Alvarez (’12),

Senior Program Associate, The Aspen Institute

Neil Burke (’13)

Development Specialist for Corporate and Foundation Grants, Catholic Charities USA / Candidate in Master’s Program in Public Administration, Virginia

Sacha Brenac (’15)

Junior Analyst, Cydecor Inc.

Laila McQuade (’14)

Executive Assistant and Staffer for the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, RavenTek

Stephen Pierce (’09)

Attorney, Surovell, Isaacs, Petersen & Levy

Wednesday, April 12th at 4 PM

In Monroe,  116

Contact Prof. Emile Lester for details: elester@umw.edu or ext. 1146

Dr. Farnsworth Receives Outstanding Faculty Award!

Check out the story here!

 Executive Finance Internship for Senator Bryce Reeves!

At the Office of Virginia State Senator Bryce Reeves.

Flexible Schedule. Non-paid.
College credit based on school standards.

Finance Director, Tyler Adams
(804) 402-0085



Intern for Bryce Reeves’ campaign for Lieutenant Governor!

Reeves campaign interns will be the foundation of our grassroots team. Interns will be
leading the charge in transforming Virginia and letting voters know about Senator
Reeves. Candidates for the internship are expected to work through challenges and take
initiative in developing creative outreach strategies. This may include organizing precinct
walks, phone banks, training volunteers, attending parades and setting up political events
throughout the state. Part-time & full time positions available.
While with the campaign, interns will gain valuable connections and skills to further their
desired career. There are limited positions available.

For more information, please email your resume to:
Political Director – Matthew Gruda – Matt@BryceReeves.com


Call for Applications: Spring 2017 Internships!

Deadline to apply: Sunday, 6 November, 2016

The History and Public Policy Program seeks interns for the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP), and the North Korea International Documentation Project (NKIDP). Successful applications will demonstrate strong research skills and writing skills, interest in Cold War or nuclear history, and/or knowledge of a foreign language. Applicants must be enrolled in a degree program, or have graduated in the last year.

For more details about the available positions and application instructions, please see the links below:

The deadline for applications is Sunday, 6 November, 2016.

For further information, please contact coldwar@wilsoncenter.org.

Link for more information: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/internships-the-history-and-public-policy-program


Announcing the third lecture on Globalization, Development and (In)Equality:

Focus on Gender and Development!


Dr. Shruti Majumdar

Sociologist, Social Observatory, World Bank DECRG Poverty and Inequality unit




Dr. Majumdar’s primary responsibility is to lead a team of researchers that is assessing the impact of World Bank assisted livelihoods projects in India. Dr. Majumdar is currently developing an overall assessment of the impact of Jeevika (a livelihoods project in rural Bihar) on women’s empowerment. She specializes in ethnographic methods, community-driven development and the politics of service provision. Her research focuses on how the urban poor in India make claims on the local state when it comes to water and land. Dr. Majumdar holds a B.A. in Sociology from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Brown University.

When: 4pm on October 12th, 2016

Where: Monroe 346

Check out our Fall 2016 Election Schedule!


Monday, October 10, 2016

Public Debate: Media Bias – Threat to American Democracy?

Professor Stephen Farnsworth, UMW Center for Leadership & Media Studies

Professor Craig Smith, Professor Emeritus of Communication, CSU-Long Beach, presidential speechwriter for President Gerald Ford

This event is part of the UMW Podius Debate Series and is sponsored by the Rupe Foundation.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Faculty Brown Bag Conversation: 2016 Elections and Foreign Policy

Join UMW Political Science Professors Jason Davidson, Surupa Gupta, and Ranjit Singh as they discuss the 2016 Presidential election and its implications for US foreign policy.

Noon : MONROE 210

Monday, October 24, 2016

Public Debate: Candidates for U.S. Representatives, VA-1

Congressman Rob Wittman, (R) VA-1

Matt Rowe, (D), Bowling Green Town Council

This event is sponsored by UMW Student Government Association Legislative Action Council, UMW Young Democrats, UMW College Republicans, the Free-Lance Star, and the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Film Screening: GerryRigged – Why Your Vote Might Not Matter

This documentary examines the effects of gerrymandering in legislative districts. This event is sponsored by OneVirginia 2021 and the UMW Center for Leadership & Media Studies.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Faculty Brown Bag Conversation: 2016 Elections Analysis

Join UMW Political Science Professors Rosalyn Cooperman and Stephen Farnsworth as they analyze the outcome of the 2016 presidential and congressional elections.

Noon : MONROE 210

Dr. Farnsworth received the Phi Sigma Alpha  Award!


Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the UMW Center for Leadership and Media Studies, was recognized for his dedication and service to Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, at the American Political Science Association Conference earlier this month. For more, click here.

Student Presents Honor Thesis!

Girard Bucello, IA major and President, UMW Pi Sigma Alpha, presented his honors thesis,
Trouble With the Neighbors: The Baltic States’ Perspective on Security after the Annexation of Crimea, at the 2016 Pi Sigma Alpha National Student Conference, in Washington, D.C.

UMW Alumnus Erik Johnston Appointed as VA Deputy Policy Director!

Click here for the whole story.

UMW professor named 2015 Asia Studies Fellow

Surupa Gupta, associate professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington, has been selected as a 2015 Asia Studies Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, D.C. For more, click here.

Every Vote Counts

Voting is a way of life for most people. Regaining the right to vote poses no easy task for convicted felons who have served time in prison.

Benjamin Hermerding aims to turn that around.

A political science major at the University of Mary Washington, Hermerding interns with the Commonweath’s Restoration of Rights Department  that restores voting rights to convicted felons who have served their prison time. Within the past few years, the Richmond Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office division has granted them more rights than in any other time in Virginia’s history, according to Hermerding. For more, click here.

UMW Student Wins Naval Academy Essay Award

 April 27, 2015 by
University of Mary Washington senior Christian Perkins won the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs essay competition, presented at the organization’s 55th annual conference that took place in Annapolis, Maryland in April. For more, click here.

Face of Feminism