Mission of the Department of Political Science

The mission of the Department of Political Science is to be an organization of faculty and staff who are committed to excellence and integrity and whose collective goal is service to others through positive contributions that enrich and impact our region in general and students in particular. We mentor students pursuing studies in political science at the baccalaureate degree level, preparing students to meet the growing demand for research, analytical, and critical thinking skills in Central Georgia and beyond. We also support the general education mission of the university by teaching introductory courses in political science in the core curriculum.

About Our Department

The Department of Political Science is one of the newest departments at our university, having been established in July 2019 as one of three departments in an expanded School of Education and Behavioral Sciences. We currently have eight full-time faculty members in the department, seven of whom have earned doctorates in political science from leading political science departments in the nation.

Our department prides itself on having a student-friendly environment with close interactions between students and faculty; our biggest classes have 35 students, with many classes in the political science major being substantially smaller. We are eagerly seeking new students who want to join our expanding programs.

In addition to the bachelor's degree in political science, our department also offers two minors for students seeking other degrees at MGA; you can complete most of our university's majors along with a minor in either political science or sustainability policy studies. We also participate in the European Union Studies Certificate Program offered by a consortium of universities in Georgia, which is a great complement to degrees in areas such as political science, English, history, and business. Starting in fall 2020, we also plan to offer a minor in pre-law.

About Our Faculty

Full-Time Political Science Faculty

  • Grace Adams-Square, assistant professor (M.A., West Virginia University).
    • American politics, public administration.
  • Dr. Brooke Bryan, professor (Ph.D., University of Mississippi).
    • International relations, American politics.
  • Dr. Matthew Caverly, lecturer (Ph.D., University of Florida).
    • American politics, comparative politics, political theory.
  • Dr. James Decker, professor (Ph.D., Florida State University).
    • American politics, comparative politics.
  • Dr. Daniel Guerrant, professor (Ph.D., University of Georgia).
    • American politics.
  • Dr. John Hall, assistant professor (Ph.D., Auburn University).
    • American politics, international relations.
  • Dr. Christopher Lawrence, associate professor (Ph.D., University of Mississippi).
    • American politics, comparative politics, quantitative methods.
  • Dr. Julie Lester, professor (Ph.D., Purdue University).
    • American politics, public policy.

Other Full-Time Faculty Teaching in the Department

  • Dr. Patricia Linder, associate professor of communication studies (Ph.D., Northwestern University).
    • POLS 3999, Special Topics: Political Communication and Social Media.
  • Dr. Buckner Melton, lecturer of history (Ph.D., Duke University).
    • POLS 1101, American Government.
  • Dr. Kara Svonavec, lecturer of history (Ph.D., Auburn University).
    • POLS 1101, American Government.

Part-Time Faculty

  • Dr. Marija Bekafigo (Ph.D., University of Florida).
  • Mr. Jonathan Gladden (MPA, Georgia College).
  • Mr. Albert Jones (M.Ed., Georgia Southern University).
  • Dr. Naomi Robertson, retired associate professor (Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University).
  • Ms. Jeannie Ruggerio (MPA, New Mexico State University).

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