Placement of our PhD Students

Our PhD program is designed to ensure that our graduates are well prepared for successful academic careers at major research universities. This goal underlies our design of the required curriculum of the program, as well as the professional mentoring we provide through research collaboration, teaching activities, and professionalization seminars. Our consistent successes in placing graduates of the program in tenure-track positions at doctoral institutions demonstrates the validity of this approach. Over recent years, for instance, we have placed our PhDs in tenure-track positions at excellent institutions, such as Duke University, University of Colorado-Denver, University of New Mexico, and Rice University, among others. Although the primary focus of the School of Government & Public Policy is on academic research, we do recognize that many students are also interested in employment at teaching institutions, in governmental departments and agencies, and in other, more applied settings. Our doctoral program has the flexibility to meet the needs of these alternative pathways, and graduates of our program have successfully obtained positions at liberal arts colleges, regional universities, and in local, state, and federal government. 

Below is an alphabetical list of our PhD students and their placements:

Dilshod Achilov:
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Political Science at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Professor Achilov's research specializations include comparative and international politics, research methods, democratization, civil society, and political Islam.  Prof. Achilov's research focuses on the politics of the Islamic world, with an emphasis on Middle East politics.  He was previously a fellow at the National Council for US-Arab Relations and a Visiting Scholar at the Davis Center for Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. He is coeditor of the forthcoming book The Routledge Handbook of Central Asian Politics (Routledge Press). He received his PhD and M.A. from U of A in 2010.
Ruth Alminas:

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Political Science at Fort Lewis College

Dr. Alminas is involved in research on a variety of topics such as internal displacement and other forced migration, secession, international law, organization theory and social network analysis. Alminas has presented research at meetings and conferences including “When Hostility Breeds Friendship,” at the Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting in 2014 and "​Assessing European State Commitment to International Refugee Law," at the 2016 Law and Society Annual Conference. In addition, Dr. Alminas is professionally affiliated with the International Studies Association and the Law and Society Association. She received her PhD and M.A. from U of A in 2013.

Ryan Baird:
Current Position: Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Xavier Basurto:
Current Position: Associate Professor of Sustainability Science at Duke University

Dr. Basurto is interested in the fundamental question of how groups (human and non-human) can find ways to self-organize, cooperate, and engage in successful collective action for the benefit of the common good. To do this, he strives to understand how the institutions (formal and informal rules and norms) that govern social behavior, interplay with biophysical variables to shape social-ecological systems.

Mikhail Beznosov:
Current Position: Associate Professor at The School of Sociology at Kharkiv National University

Dr. Mikhail Beznosov is an Associate Professor at The School of Sociology at Kharkiv National University (Ukraine) and is head of Governing Board of the East-Ukrainian Society for International Studies (EUSIS). His research and teaching interests are primarily concentrated on Post-Soviet Politics, Politics in Eastern and Central Europe, Comparative Electoral Politics, Political Marketing, Political Sociology, Transitions to Democracy, Public Policy in Post-Socialist Countries, Borderland Studies, Energy Politics and Energy Security Studies.

Sverre Bodung:
Current Position: Faculty Associate at Arizona State University

Dr. Bodung’s research focuses on civil wars, international security affairs, geopolitics, and conceptual frameworks.

Felipe Botero:
Current Position: Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of the Andes

Dr. Botero’s areas of research and teaching interests are comparative politics and methodology. His research focuses on the area of ​​democratic institutions in Latin America, the political effects of electoral systems, and executive-legislative relations. He is currently working on projects on patterns of political careers in Colombia and Chile, measuring the fragmentation of party systems in Latin America, and an evaluation of the functioning of democracy in Colombia, among others.

Jennifer Byrne:
Current Position: Associate Professor of Political Science at James Madison University

Dr. Byrne’s current research projects include a series of papers that examine the role that differing conceptions of national identity and assimilation play in shaping public attitudes towards immigrants in the US. Jennifer’s teaching interests lie in the areas of race and politics, immigration politics, and judicial behavior. At JMU, she teaches courses in American government and US immigration policy, and is developing a set of courses that address minority group politics in the US for the course catalog.

Julia Carboni:
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Dr. Carboni’s areas of research and teaching interests include nonprofit management, collaborative governance, Alternative Service Delivery Arrangements, Organizational Networks, and IDP Governance.

Leandro Carrera:
Current Position: Research Associate at London School of Economics

Dr. Carrera’s research interests are related to public policy and social policy. At the LSE Public Policy Group, his work has focused on measuring government services performance in providing key services, on which he co-authored a book with Professor Patrick Dunleavy. As a Senior Policy Researcher at the Pensions Policy Institute, he has led a number of projects on state pension reform, measuring pensioner poverty and analysing trends in private sector pension provision in the UK. He is also interested in pension and welfare policy in Europe and Latin America.

Martin Carrier:
Current Position: Lecturer at University of Montreal

Padmini Coopamah
Current Position: Assistant Professor of International Affairs at Sweet Briar College

Renato Corbatta
Current Position: Associate Professor of International Studies and Director of the International Studies program at University of Alabama-Birmingham

His current research focuses on conflict expansion, networks in international relations, major power states in international politics, and international law. His research interests include International conflict and conflict management, international security, research methodology, international relations theory, foreign policy, and international law and diplomacy. He teaches courses in International Relations and Political Methodology. 

Carrie Currier
Current Position: Associate Professor at Texas Christian University

Her research has generally focused on: 1) economic reform in China, to understand how developing countries are adapting to the demands of globalization, 2) China’s Foreign Policy with the Middle East, examining both arms transfers and the pursuit of energy, 3) China’s energy policy and pursuit of resources, 4) China’s one child policy and its social implications, and 5) the politics of entrepreneurship in Taiwan and China.  She has conducted survey research in both China and Taiwan, examining labor market reforms and its impact on women’s public and private sphere activities as well as analyzing the role the state has played in fostering entrepreneurship.

Gregory Davis
Current Position: Associate Professor of International Relations and Interim Chair at Troy University

Gregory Dixon
Current Position: Associate Professor of Political Science at University of West Georgia

Dr. Dixon teaches courses in international relations and American government. His research focuses on international conflict management and international institutions. Current research projects include dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization, the impact of economic interdependence on international rivalry, and the role of domestic politics in the success or failure of foreign policy.

Kara Ellerby
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at University of Delaware

Her research interests include global gender norms, gender and security, African post-conflict peacebuilding and feminist international relations. She teaches International Organization and Feminist International Relations Theory at the graduate level and Introduction to Global Politics, Gender and Politics and Introduction to Women's Studies at the undergraduate level; she also teaches a new class on the Politics of Diversity.

Keith Grant
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Political Science at James Madison University

Keith specializes in violent interstate conflict and international institutions. He is also interested in applications of social network analysis to international affairs. His previous research has been published in International Studies Quarterly, Conflict Management and Peace Science, and the Journal of Peace Research. He is the co-editor of Major Powers and the Quest for Status in International Politics (Palgrave Macmilan 2011). His current research focuses on participation in IGOs, alliance portfolio composition and management, and feedback loops in international behavior. At JMU, Keith teaches courses in American foreign policy, research methods, international organizations, and conflict.

Tiffany Cartwright
Current Position: Professor of Political Science at Collin College

Jennel Harvey
Current Position: US Government Accountability Office

Tanya Heikkila
Current Position: Professor of Political Science at University of Colorado Denver

Professor Tanya Heikkila’s research expertise is in comparative institutional analysis and the management of collaboration and conflict around common pool resources, with an emphasis on water resources. She has studied institutions for coordinating groundwater and surface water in the western United States, interstate water conflicts and cooperation, the organization of collaborative ecosystem restoration programs, as well as the  political landscape of hydraulic fracturing in the United States.   Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the PepsiCo Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Dr. Heikkila is also the director of MPA concentration in Environmental Policy, Management, and Law at the School of Public Affairs and Co-Director of the Workshop on Policy Process Research.

Alexis Henshaw
Current Position: Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Miami University

Kun Huang
Current Position: Associate Professor of Political Science and Master of Health Administation Faculty Coordinator at University of New Mexico

His research uses organization theory and network analysis to study health and human services networks, e.g., network strategy, structure, evolution, and governance. He is a member of Academy of Management, Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, and Public Management Research Association.Dr. Huang's accomplishments include publishing Knowledge Sharing in a Third-Party Governed Health and Human Services Network, Public Administration Review. This paper also won the Best Paper Award of 2013 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.

Susan Jackson
Current Position: Associate Senior Researcher with the Stockholm  SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme

Gregory Knehans
Current Position: Lecturer of Languages, Literatures, and Culture

Robin Lemaire
Current Position: Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech

Dr. Lemaire specializes in theories of organizations and the management of public, nonprofit, and health care organizations, with a particular research interest in organizational networks and network analysis.

Meghan Leonard
Current Position: Associate Professor of Politics and Government at Illinois State University

Natalia Matukhono
Current Position: Research Associate at University of Strathclyde Glasgow

Patrick McGovern
Current Position: Associate Professor of Political Science at Buffalo State

Dr. McGovern’s research interests include ancient and modern political thought, history of political science, research methods.

Jennifer Miller
Current Position: Research Coordinator Research Coordinator, Nebraska Center for Justice Research at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Laura Parisi
Current Position: Faculty Fellow at the University of Victoria

Dr. Parisi’s project proposes to assess the impact of the international development aid environment on the long-term viability of the co-operative.   It also seeks to analyze the gendered dynamics of the cooperative and how participation in the cooperative may or not contribute to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Finally, this case study provides a unique opportunity to trace the chain of the local consumption (BC, Canada) of a locally (Senanga, Zambia) and co-operatively produced product through the international fair trade system. 

J. Patrick Rhamey
Current Position: Assistant Professor of International Studies and Political Science at Virginia Military Institute

Joseph Ross
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at Florida Gulf Coast University

Kirssa Cline Ryckman
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Political Science and Assistant Director of the MA International Security Studies, University of Arizona

Kirssa Cline Ryckman is the Assistant Director of the International Security Studies program. She teaches courses for the ISS program and at the undergraduate level on armed conflict and human security. Her research focuses on political conflict, including protest, terrorism, and civil war, and explores their causes, outcomes, and effects on civilians. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 2012.

Michael Ryckman
Current Position: Chief Information Officer for Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

Gabriel Sanchez
Current Position: Professor of Political Science at University of New Mexico

Dr. Sanchez serves as the Executive Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy and Co-Director of the Institute of Policy, Evaluation and Applied Research (IPEAR) at the University of New Mexico. Sanchez was formerly the Director of Research, and now Principal at Latino Decisions, the nation’s leading survey firm focused on the Latino electorate.

Alesia Sedziaka
Current Position: Civitas Project

Salmon Shomade
Current Position: Associate Professor of Political Science, Graduate Coordinator, and Pre-Law Advisor at the University of New Orleans

Dr. Shomade's current research interests include state courts, criminal courts, drug courts, and other specialized courts.

Michael Slobodchikoff
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Political Science at Troy University

Dr. Slobodchikoff specializes in relations between Russia and the former Soviet states, international conflict and peace, and comparative politics. He is a regular contributor to Russia Direct, the Russian International Affairs Council, and has often served as an analyst on Russian relations with Ukraine for BBC World News. He has also served as an analyst on Russian relations with the United States for Voice of Russia Radio. He is also a Senior Analyst with Wikistrat.

Aakriti Tandon
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Political Science at Daemen College

Dr. Tandon’s research interests include nternational Relations (International Institutions, International Security), Political Science Research Methods, Comparative Politics (East Asia, South Asia), International Political Economy Conflict Processes, Institutional Design, Military Alliances. She is also currently working on a manuscript on India’s military alliances, and their impact on its foreign security policy as well as strategic position in South Asia.

Gwendolyn Torges
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the pre-law program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Torges’ professional interests include American politics, federal Indian law, constitutional law, and privacy law.

Joseph Uscinski
Current Position: Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Miami

Dr. Uscinski’s research interests include American Politics, Elections, Media, Conspiracy Theories. His research has appeared in Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, and Critical Review among other scholarly outlets. His first book, The People’s News: Media, Politics, and the Demands of Capitalism (New York University Press, 2014) addresses how audience demands drive news content. His second book, American Conspiracy Theories (Oxford University Press, 2014) coauthored with Joseph Parent, examines why people believe in conspiracy theories.  

Jay Wendland
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Political Science at Daemen College

Dr. Wendland specializes in American politics and quantitative political methodology. Specifically, he is interested in presidential nominations as well as other American elections and voting behavior. Dr. Wendland’s teaching Interests include: Elections and Voting Behavior, Politics and Pop Culture, Political Communication, Political Psychology, Public Opinion, Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Politics & the Media. Currently, Dr. Wendland is working on further analyzing candidate strategy in the 2008 and 2012 presidential nominations. He is working on parsing out the differences between the strategy behind campaign advertisements and visits.

Teena Wilhelm
Current Position: Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Georgia

Wilhelm’s teaching and research specialties are judicial institutions, state politics, and constitutional law.  She has been recognized for outstanding teaching by the School of Public and Internation Affairs, the Department of Political Science, the Honors Program, and the American Political Science Association. She is an affiliated faculty with the Criminal Justice Studies Program, and has also been involved in the Department of Political Science study abroad program in China.  Wilhelm has been a mentor for the Honors Program since 2008, and currently serves as Pi Sigma Alpha faculty advisor.

Jeffrey Williams
Current Position: International Trade Specialist for the International Trade Administration