Department Representatives


Questions for the department? Contact us at umwpolisci@gmail.com.

Political Science Representatives

Mariam Ansari
Senior
Political ScienceDepartment Representative Mariam Ansari
I chose Political Science because I’ve always been fascinated by the way governments around the world function and interact with each other, as well as the history behind their existence. I am most interested in Comparative Politics and hope to go on to Graduate School to continue my research into this topic. Currently, I am conducting an Independent Research Project on Democracy in Pakistan under the advising of Dr. Gupta. With this project, I hope to create a path for myself where I may study this topic further and eventually publish a formal research paper.
Matthew Good
Junior
Political ScienceDepartment Representative Matt Good
My interest is primarily the U.S. Government, in terms of its operation and institutions. I am also interested in public policy as it relates to social issues and governmental ethics/accountability. I chose this major because it lines up with interests I have had my entire life. I have always been fascinated with politics and government, so it’s really right down my alley.
Andrew Sharpe
Sophomore
Political ScienceDepartment Representative Andrew Sharpe
I chose to be a Political Science major to think more independently about how the world functions around me. I believe a major in Political Science opens many opportunities to grow as a person and quickly find work upon graduation. Within this major, I am mainly interested in public policy surrounding education and the election process. Upon graduation, I hope to either continue working on campaigns or in a legislative office to help draft meaningful legislation regarding education policy. I have experience as an intern on Jeremy McPike’s State Senate campaign and as a fellow in the past Presidential election for Hillary Clinton. More recently, I was an intern in the Office of Gerry Connolly on Capitol Hill. All of these have provided me with valuable experience that I hope to continue to use in my time here at Mary Washington and beyond.
Stephen Lamm
Junior
Political Science, Business French minorDepartment Representative Stephen Lamm
I was always politically-interested, with my family engaging in our local political community. I grew up and still live in Mechanicsburg, PA whenever I am not here in Fredericksburg.  I was often intrigued by local campaigns and the behavior of our populace when voting. My interests span from elections, political parties, East Asian international and domestic policy, and a more recent and strong affinity for American public policy and policy research. During the summer of 2017, I interned for my state representative Sheryl Delozier (R) in central Pennsylvania. It was a wonderful experience getting to know more about my local government and community. I hope to be elected there some day in one way, shape, or form! I plan on studying abroad in Grenoble, France this upcoming spring semester in order to strengthen my French skills and complete my Business French minor. After graduation, I hope to work for a few campaigns, hone in my skills, and then later work for the government.

Marina Castro-Meirelles
Senior
Political Science, Security & Conflict Studies and Contemplative Studies minors

department-representative-marina-castro-meirelles

UMW Pi Sigma Alpha President, 2017-2018

I decided to major in political science because I think the discipline asks interesting questions. In general, I’m fascinated by the competition for, and exercise of, power. I’m most interested in comparative politics with a regional focus in Latin America. Additional areas of interest include international relations theory and methodology. I have worked with Professors Barr and Lester on URES projects and completed an independent study on concept development. This year I’m writing an honors thesis on the resilience of clientelism in Argentina. I have completed two internships while at UMW; a research assistant for First Peoples Worldwide and an intern for the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security at the Organization of American States (OAS). At UMW, I also work as a Writing Center consultant and am a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society. I’m still undecided on what I plan to do upon graduation but I imagine it involves studying political science at the graduate level.
Morgan Reece
Senior
Political ScienceDepartment Representative Morgan Reece
I chose to major in Political Science because I have a fascination in not just knowing what is happening in the world, but more importantly, why it is happening. Political Science studies the power, behavior, compromise, and relationships between actors in a variety of different contexts. Through doing an independent study with Professor Cooperman, I had the opportunity to relate each of the following to the topic of my choosing while also strengthening my comprehension, research, writing, speaking, and analytical skills. After graduation, I hope to work for a nonprofit that advocates for the rights of impoverished women and children. However, I know that any career path I take will be both successful and rewarding given the education I have received here within the Political Science major.

 Kyra Watkins
Senior
Spanish and Political Science

Department Representative Kyra Watkins

My interests within the political science major include how policy influences women and children, immigrants, low-income individuals, and minority issues. I have interned as a legal advocate and hotline crisis counselor at the YWCA of South Hampton Roads, a domestic violence agency in Norfolk. Last semester I did an independent study under Professor Robert Barr regarding sex trafficking in the United States, particularly among minority groups. I have also been on two Students Helping Honduras trips, both working on the construction site helping to build schools and as a teacher in the Summer Enrichment Program for children in the surrounding community. Currently, I intern at Legal Aid Works, a local nonprofit that provides legal services for low income individuals. I am also a COAR council member, and am in charge of the Bragg Hill Program that goes to a local community center to tutor at risk youth.

Caroline Trabucco
Junior
Political Science, Security & Conflict Studies minor

Department Representative Caroline Trabucco

I have always been interested in politics, I grew up being encouraged by my parents to pay attention to what was happening in Washington, and political debate was popular at the dinner table, which is why I ultimately decided to major in political science. I am currently a member of both the UMW chapters of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society. I am a Junior, but am working towards graduation in the Spring of 2018. I am planning to work with Professor Davidson on my thesis within the Security and Conflict studies minor after graduation, while hopefully interning with Congressman Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts in his D.C. office. After summer, I hope to spend the next year working for a Boston law firm as a paralegal while studying for the LSAT. I plan to pursue a legal education the following year.
Hannah Wiers
Senior
Political Sciencedepartment-representative-hannah-wiers
My main interests in the Political Science major are voting behavior/elections and public policy, especially in policy areas that affect marginalized groups. Other than political science classes, I fill my schedule with Sociology or American Studies classes – mostly social justice-based – like Gender and Work and American Protest. Upon graduating, I hope to go into a job in advocacy. Through the political science department, I’ve been able to gain experience as a department aide and secure an internship as a student advocacy fellow at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.

 Kendall Parker
Senior
Political Science, Business minor

Department Representative Kendall Parker

 I chose Political Science as my major because I am very interested in how the U.S. government, and agencies within it, maintain security. This past summer, I interned at the Gemini 3 Group, which is a defense contractor. I have also completed a URES with Professor Barr on the topic of populism, which provided me with very useful research experience. In my junior year, I took Latin American Drug Wars and it turned out to be my favorite class. Therefore, I am currently working on an honors thesis project that details the same topic. While at UMW, I have received so many opportunities to learn that I am grateful for both as a Political Science major and a student-athlete on the Women’s Basketball team.
John Cronin
Junior
Political ScienceDepartment Representative John Cronin
I decided to become a political science major because I am interested in the reasons that systems of government form and how governments act. I like to focus more on domestic policy and how politicians/political groups talk about the issues at hand. However, a recent study abroad trip to Cuba this past summer has also grown my interest in international relations, specifically toward Latin America. I work as a fellow on a local delegate campaign race up in Virginia’s 42nd district, and I am currently still helping them by organizing phone calling on campus to voters in the district.
Gabriel Lewis
Junior
Political ScienceDepartment Representative Gabriel Lewis
 I have always been interested politics and international affairs so the Political Science major has been a perfect fit for me. Through the courses in the major, I have learned about various aspects of public policy and lawmaking that hadn’t crossed my mind prior to attending UMW. Women and Public Policy, Women and Politics, History of Political Thought, and the Federal Judiciary have been among the most interesting classes I have taken at UMW. The professors in the department do an excellent job of facilitating discussion and incorporating students’ thoughts and ideas into the material. This makes difficult concepts easier to understand while also making the material more interesting and relevant to students. After graduating I would like to work in an advocacy group or a think tank. I am passionate about environmental sustainability, closing the gender pay gap, increasing access to healthcare, and expanding rights and protections for the LGBTQ community. Additionally, I am very interested in lawmaking and the impact interest groups have on legislation. I feel prepared to enter the workforce in a few years because of the speaking, writing, and critical thinking skills this major has taught me.
 Jeremy Engel
Sophomore
Political ScienceDepartment Representative Jeremy Engel
Growing up in the shadow of the District of Columbia, I have long been fascinated by our nation’s political process. The 2016 Presidential election only heightened this interest, and with the excellent professors I had in the Political Science department my freshman year, I couldn’t see any path for my education other than pursuing a degree in politics. I’m not a natural politician in the slightest, so I don’t ever see myself running for office, but I do hope to work on Capitol Hill in some capacity after graduation. It is the constituency service and legislative aspects of D.C. that most interest me. This past summer I had the privilege of being a political operative of sorts, working in conjunction with my Representative to the Maryland House of Delegates. At his request I made a voters guide for my local Town Council elections, which in the end was widely credited with dramatically increasing voter turnout. I also interned with my former Mayor in his bid for a seat on the County Council, staffing numerous campaign events, organizing volunteers, and canvassing. It all proved to be wonderful experience, and this upcoming summer I hope to intern with my Congressman!
Zareen Emdad
Sophomore
Political ScienceDepartment Representative Zareen Emdad
I hope to work with interest groups or advocacy groups in the future with my political science degree. I chose this major because I saw that not many people of my ethnic background (Muslim-Bengali-American) are interested in politics even though it affects their daily lives. I want to be more knowledgeable about politics so that I may be able to spread the knowledge amongst my community and help them know their rights. I am also minoring is Social Justice, have volunteered with ADAMS civic engagement, and interned with Virginia Tree Farm Foundation. ADAMS civic engagement is a group establish in the ADAMS mosque community to educate the Muslim voters of their rights and encourage them to perform their civic duty as citizens.

International Affairs Representatives

Julia Gibbons
Junior
International AffairsDepartment Representative Julia GibbonsDepartment Student Aide
The International Affairs major was the perfect major for me. I have always been interested in history and economics, and my father’s career in the State Department involved my family moving to new and interesting posts around the world. I was lucky to receive an education in Denmark, Australia, and Vietnam, and those experiences had a profound impact on my values and interests. During my time at Mary Washington, I have been an active member of International Relations Organization, a group that participates in Model United Nations conferences around the country.
Kelly Lehmann
Sophomore
International AffairsDepartment Representative Kelly Lehman
I selected the international affairs major for a few reasons. First, I absolutely love travelling and learning about other cultures and languages. Second, politics, history, and the study of all interactions between states fascinate me. After graduating from UMW, I plan on working for the government, hopefully travelling the world. Currently I am deciding on which direction I really want to pursue in the field, and I am leaning towards something involving security and conflict studies. I have participated in the faculty-led study abroad program to Cuba, and will hopefully go to Switzerland this summer on an international affairs-tailored study abroad. Finally, I plan on double minoring in Spanish and Security and Conflict Studies.
Kyle R. Lehmann
Sophomore
International AffairsDepartment Representative Kyle Lehman
Hello prospective International Affairs Majors, my name is Kyle Lehmann. My interests in the major have been examining the dynamic politics and geopolitical situation of East Asia. In addition, the economics classes offered by UMW as well as those in the Security and Conflict Studies minor have interested me as well. At the moment of writing this, I have not declared a minor, but I will most likely pursue a minor in Economics and/or Security and Conflict Studies. With my degree, I would like to further pursue a path towards becoming a part of the U.S. Foreign Service.

Caroline Mullin
Senior
International Affairs, Latin American Studies minor

Department representative Caroline Mullin

UMW Pi Sigma Alpha Vice President, 2017-2018

I selected IA as a major because I have always been interested in learning about world politics, trying to understand the conflicts in the world today in the past and in the future, as well as gaining a global perspective. Within IA, I enjoy how it allows me to take courses in different subjects such as Political Science, Economics, History, Geography, and Spanish. Another reason that I selected IA as a major is because I hope to work for the government after graduation and I think that this major will help prepare me in my future career. I chose to become a Latin American Studies minor because I was taking Spanish and wanted to continue the language further than the required classes. I was interested in learning more about Latin America and the US relations with Latin America.
I had the opportunity to study abroad in Bilbao, Spain in summer 2016. I stayed with a host mom who only spoke Spanish. My study abroad trip is one of my favorite experiences that I’ve had at UMW.