Faculty News

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Professor Farnsworth Receives Prestigious Fulbright Award for Spring 2024 in Poland

Professor Farnsworth has been awarded the Spring 2024 Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Humanities and Social Sciences at the American Studies Center of the University of Warsaw in Poland. The Fulbright Program provides opportunities for students and professors to pursue research and teaching opportunities around the world. Professor Farnsworth’s third Fulbright award takes him to the University of Warsaw where he will teach a course on presidential communication.

Professor Farnsworth Co-Authors New Book

Professor Stephen Farnsworth’s eighth book, Producing News in a Time of Disinformation: Information Evaluation Strategies for Journalists and News Consumers, will be published Spring 2023. This co-authored book is designed to help journalists, journalism students, and news consumers evaluate critically news sources and news content. Using disinformation case studies from around the world, the book examines how governments, information sources, and some news organizations seek to deceive the public and undermine thoughtful public deliberation regarding the issues of the day.

Professor Cooperman Edits Book on Conservative Women in Democratic Systems

Professor Cooperman has co-edited a book, Sell-Outs or Warriors for Change? A Comparative Look at Conservative Women in Politics in Democracies, forthcoming from Routledge Press in November 2022. This book addresses the central question of how right-wing women navigate the cross-pressures between gender identity and political ideology. A portion of this book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Women, Politics, & Policy.

Professor Lester Authors Book on Religious Literacy

Professor Lester has authored a new book entitled Equipping Educators to Teach Religious Literacy: Lessons from a Teacher Education Program in the American South. This volume provides a detailed evaluation of a unique education program implemented in secondary schools in Georgia to enhance teachers’ religious literacy and their ability to promote this in schools and classrooms. To learn more and find out how to purchase (with a discount!), check out a flyer on Professor Lester’s book. Congrats Professor Lester!!

Welcome Professor McDonald!

Headshot of Professor Jared McDonald.


We are delighted to announce that Jared McDonald, Ph.D., Maryland, will be joining the Department of Political Science and International Affairs as an Assistant Professor of Political Science starting in the Fall 2022 semester. Professor McDonald will be teaching PS 201, American Government, as well as other courses in American political behavior. Welcome aboard, Professor McDonald! Learn more about Professor McDonald on Professor McDonald’s website.

Professor Davidson Awarded Waple Professorship

Professor Jason Davidson has been awarded the Waple Professorship for the academic years 2022-2024. Established in honor of Shirley Van Epps Waple, a 1952 Mary Washington graduate, the nomination-based award recognizes faculty members who have made significant contributions to their scholarly or creative area of expertise. With the receipt of this award Professor Davidson joins the list of several PSIA faculty – Professors Farnsworth, Larus, and Lester – who have received this honor in the past.

Professor Davidson Presents on US/Italy Relations

On  December 13, 2021, Professor Davidson gave a presentation on Defense and Security Relations Between the US and Italy: Challenges and Prospects to a conference on US-Italy relations at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was one of only five academics invited to present. Check out this article for more information on the US-Italy relations conference and a summary of his presentation!

Review of Prof. Davidson’s book America’s Entangling Alliances

H-Diplo, a well-respected digital international relations publication, recently shared a review of Professor Davidson’s book America’s Entangling Alliances calling it “a useful addition to this scholarship and a good tool for teachers and researchers alike.” Check out H-Diplo’s book review!

Is China a threat or an opportunity? Depends which Americans you ask (KLCC; NPR; WAMU)

Elizabeth Larus, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs, says any economic “de-coupling” between the U.S. and China will be very difficult. “You can’t just say you’re going to pick up your factory and move all your resources and have a consistent, reliable energy source and the shipping port to get your stuff out at a decent price, and the logistics. China has nailed that down,” said Larus, the author of Politics and Society in Contemporary China.

Professor Larus on KLCC! 

Professor Larus On NPR! 

Professor Larus on WAMU! 

Professor Davidson to Present in Rome

Professor Davidson has been invited by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFA) to participate in a conference entitled A Lasting Bond: Revisiting & Re-evaluating Italy-US Relations 160 Years since their Inception to be held in Rome on 13 December 2021. The conference’s goal is to bring together Italian and US experts to take stock of the state of play in the bilateral relationship between Italy and the United States. He is invited to be a speaker on “An Overview of Italian-Us Relations: Prospects for the Future”.

Professor Larus Shares Insights on China’s Politics and Relations

Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs discussed her book Politics & Society in Contemporary China (2020) on Ryan Ray’s Inside the War Room podcast. Professor Larus shared her insight on pressing issues in China’s politics, economy, foreign relations, and China-US-Taiwan relations. Check out Professor Larus on Ryan Ray’s Podcast!

Professor Cooperman Receives Teaching Innovation Award

Congratulations to Rosalyn Cooperman for recently being honored with a Teaching Innovation Award by the New Research on Gender and Political Psychology Network!! This award honors her efforts to combat public speaking anxiety in her women and politics class. This award is well-deserved, and congrats again!! Click out the full award from NRGPPN!

Professor Larus on Biden-Suga Summit

PSIA Chairman Elizabeth Freund Larus was quoted in the April 14 Financial Times article “US pushes Japan to back Taiwan at Biden-Suga summit.” Professor Larus stated that it was critical to show a “united front” over Taiwan. “Not only will China be listening to hear any such statement, but so will US allies in the Asia-Pacific who need to be reassured of US commitment to the region,” she said. Check out the article from Professor Larus on the Biden-Suga Summit!

Professor Larus Debates on US Sanctioning of Chinese and Russian Firms

PSIA Department Chairman Elizabeth Larus debated analysts from Shanghai, Moscow, and Budapest on US sanctioning of Chinese and Russian firms on Indus News episode 78 “In Focus: South Asia” on December 1, 2020.

Professor Cooperman on Women Congressional Candidates and Campaign Finance

Professor Cooperman joined a Facebook Live panel to discuss the book, “Politicking While Female: The Political Lives of Women,” and her chapter, “On the Money: Assessing the Campaign Finance Networks of Women Congressional Candidates.” Check out LSU’s panel on Facebook for the discussion.

Professor Farnsworth and Political Humor – Johnny Carson Show

Professor Farnsworth talks about political humor on Johnny Carson C-SPAN3.

Professor Lester on “Dialogues in Democracy” Podcast Series

Professor Lester participated in debate and discussion on various topics surrounding democracy on the University of Michigan Press’s podcast collection “Dialogues in Democracy”.

Professor Jason Davidson commentary on geopolitics in the Asia-Pacific

In NewsWeek’s “US-China’s Geopolitical Battle for Asia Shapes New Power Dynamic for Region” by Tom O’Connor and Naveed Jamali, Professor Davidson discusses China’s assertive behavior internationally and the impact of the Cold War in today’s international alliances.

Professor Cooperman and Professor Farnsworth: COVID in Context

As part of UMW’s Covid in Context course, Professor Cooperman and Professor Farnsworth recently delivered a lecture titled “Covid and the 2020 U.S. Presidential and Congressional Elections.

UMW students at the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust luncheon around a table with Professor Singh.Professor Singh Works with Northern Virginia Conservation Trust

Dr. Singh, associate professor of political science and international affairs, has worked with NVCT to help students learn about legislative and legal strategies for conserving undeveloped land. Check out more information on UMW’s EagleEye article on Professor Singh with NVCT.

UMW Political Science Faculty Receive Prestigious Fulbright Awards

Professors Elizabeth Freund Larus and Stephen J. Farnsworth are go-to pundits in national and international media in their respective fields. Soon they’ll take their expertise and research abroad through prestigious 2019-20 U.S. Fulbright grants. See UMW’s article on PSIA 2019-20 faculty Fulbrights.

PSIA Department Faculty Receive Jepson Fellowship and Waple Professorship

Professor Singh received a Jepson Fellowship and Professor Lester received a Waple professorship so they may pursue research projects. Check out a page on them receiving the Jepson and Waple awards.

Professor Barr wins Prestigious Award

2018 Graduation, Robert Barrassociate professor of political science, received the Grellet C. Simpson Award, the institution’s most prestigious annual award for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Check out more information on a page for the 2018 Graduation awards.

Photo of Laura Gilchrist with Professor Gupta in regalia after Professor Gupta received the Pinschmidt Award.Professor Gupta receives Top Honors at Commencement

Surupa Gupta, associate professor of political science and international affairs, received the Mary W. Pinschmidt Award. The winner is selected by the graduating class as the faculty member “they will most likely remember as the one who had the greatest impact on their lives.” Check out UMW’s article on 2017 Commencement to learn more.

Photo of Professor Rosalyn Cooperman with Professor Emeritus John Kramer.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. Check out a page on Professor Cooperman receiving the first Kramer award to learn more.

Photo of Professor Farnsworth speaking to another student during his class (with camera focus on Professor Farnsworth).Dr. Farnsworth Receives Outstanding Faculty Award!

Stephen J. Farnsworth, University of Mary Washington professor of political science and director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies, has received the prestigious 2017 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award by the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV). Check out UMW’s article on Professor Farnsworth’s faculty award to learn more

Photo of Professor Farnsworth holding his award from Pi Sigma Alpha.Dr. Farnsworth received the Pi 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. Check out UMW’s article on Professor Farnsworth’s PSA award to learn more.

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. Check out UMW’s article on Professor Gupta’s fellowship to learn more.