Faculty Achievements: Spring 2019

    • Dr. Evan Perkoski recently presented two papers at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association (“ISA”): “A source of escalation or a source of restraint? Civil Society and the Duration and Severity of Mass Killings” and “Veterans, Novices, and Patterns of Rebel Recruitment.”
    • Dr. Perkoski also participated in a workshop and war game in December on swarm technology. The workshop was sponsored by the Marine Corps University and the Office of Naval Research.
    • In March, Dr. Perkoski’s chapter on “Terrorist Technological Innovation” was published in the Oxford Handbook of Terrorism.
    • Additionally, Dr. Perkoski was invited to the University of Denver in February to present his research project titled “Why Regimes Crumble: The Competing Logics of Political and Military Defection.”
    • Dr. Prakash Kashwan was elected to the executive committee of the Environmental Studies Section at the recently concluded ISA meetings for a two-year term (2019-2021).
    • Dr. Kashwan’s research on the politics of forestland rights was cited in India’s national English Daily, the Hindu on March 7, 2019; it was also cited on the online news portal, The Wire on March 5, 2019.
    • Additionally, Dr. Kashwan was interviewed for the podcast Flash Forward, as part of its episode on Climate Geoengineering entitled, “Earth: The Sunshade”. Excerpts from this interview appear beginning ~43 minutes in.
    • Dr. Meina Cai is a co-author (along with with Ilia Murtazashvili and Jennifer Murtazashvili) on a forthcoming article: “The Politics of Property Rights to Land,” to be published in the Journal of Institutional Economics.
    • Dr. Jeffrey Dudas’s latest book, Raised Right, received a positive review in the most recent edition of Law, Culture, and the Humanities.
    • Dr. Dudas also participated in a “Critical Dialogues” exchange in Perspectives on Politics with Melissa Deckman. She reviewed Dr. Dudas’s book, Raised Right, while he reviewed Melissa Deckman’s book, Tea Party Women. They each responded to each other’s reviews as well.
    • At the ISA, Dr. Zehra Arat presented her paper on “Diversity and Inclusion: The Neoliberal Appropriation and Accommodation of Feminism.”  She also served as the chair and discussant of the panel on “Islam, the State, and Society in the Middle East.”
    • Dr. Arat was invited to serve on the Scientific Committee of the International Symposium on “Current Issues on Human Rights,” to be held at Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain in May 2019.
    • Dr. Arat was interviewed for a news story, “Police in Istanbul crack down on this year’s Women’s March,” by Kristina Juvanovski.
    • Dr. Charles Venator received a $149,000 grant from the Massachusetts Vulnerability Preparedness Program to conduct a series of studies on the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts, and its response to climate change migration of Puerto Ricans. This project is part of a collaboration with CENTRO, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, which is part of CUNY.
    • The University of Connecticut President’s Office recently recognized Dr. Stephen Dyson for his publication in The Washington Post entitled “In this dystopian novel, the Wall gets built- and the emergency is real.” In the piece, Dr. Dyson wrote about “The Wall” by John Lanchester, which posits a near future Britain that has built a giant concrete barrier to keep out rising seas and climate refugees.
    • Dr. Shareen Hertel was recently highlighted in an article in UConn Today about the university’s Engineering for Human Rights Initiative regarding her extensive work with the organization.
    • Dr. Shayla Nunnally recently completed her tenure as the 39th President of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS). During her administration, NCOBPS celebrated the 30th Anniversary of its journal, the National Political Science Review (NPSR), and successfully secured a new relationship with the University of California Press to publish its new journal, the National Review of Black Politics (NRBP).
    • Dr. Nunnally also published an essay entitled “The National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS); Organizational Empowerment Through Signaling and Valuing Women and Diversity During #MeToo,” in a special issue of the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy.
    • Dr. Prakash Kashwan was also recognized for his recent award from the American Political Science Association for his project Avoiding “Day Zero” in the US and Global South.
    • In February, Dr. Fred Lee gave an invited lecture “Neoliberal and Authoritarian Variations on the Racial and Sexual Contracts” at the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  
    • Dr. Jeremy Pressman recently published a review essay of Yossi Klein Halevi’s Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor. The essay appeared in the Boston Review on February 20, 2019.
    • Dr. Pressman also wrote an article review for H-Diplo/ISSF on Ahsan Butt’s “Why did the United States Invade Iraq in 2003?” Dr. Pressman’s review was published on February 20th, 2019.
    • Dr. Pressman and Dr. Matthew Leep (UConn POLS ‘13) co-wrote a blog post, “Do British sources influence US opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?” at British Politics and Policy, a blog of the London School of Economics. The post is about their new article, “Foreign Cues and Public Views on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” that recently appeared in The British Journal of Politics and International Relations.
    • Dr. Robert Luptonrecently presented research he conducted with Ozan Kalkan and Mark Brockway, respectively, on two separate panels at the Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting in Chicago.
    • In June, Dr. Yonatan Morse will publish his piece on “Elite Interviews in the Developing World: Finding Anchors in Weak Institutional Environments” in Volume 19 of Qualitative Research.
    • Dr. Morse was also invited to give a talk at a workshop in Dakar, Senegal titled “Parliaments and Democracy in Africa.” The talk was organized by University Konstanz, the European Research Council, and the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA). Dr. Morse presented his continuing research on the candidate background and legislative selection in Cameroon.
    • Dr. Virginia Hettinger was honored in the Brookings Institute Newsletter by a former student, John Hudak, as part of Women’s History Month. This edition of the newsletter highlighted women who shaped the careers of the scholars at the institute.  Hudak used the occasion to “tip [his] hat” to Dr. Hettinger, who is “a spectacular scholar, mentor and person, but for whom [he] would not be at Brookings writing this piece or any other.”
    • Dr. Christine Sylvester’s newest book, Curating and Re-Curating the American Wars in Vietnam and Iraq, was published by Oxford University Press in March.
    • Dr. Jeremy Pressman wrote a piece for the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage entitled, “Trump’s Golan Heights tweet disregards decades of U.S. commitment to U.N. resolutions.”



Student Success: Winter 2019

  • Leann Mclaren (POLS ‘19), a senior honors student, was recently awarded the APSA Minority Fellowship for the 2019-2020 cycle. The Minority Fellowship Program is a fellowship competition for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds applying to or in the early stages of doctoral programs in political science.
  • Jessica Weaver (POLS ‘19), Leann Mclaren (POLS ‘19), and Frank Griggs (POLS PhD candidate) were selected to be part of a 15 student UConn delegation to the COP24 which was held December 2-15, 2018 in Katowice, Poland. The UConn@COP program sends students each year to the conference to gain knowledge on climate change and policy through leadership, experiential learning, and cultural immersion.
  • Carl Costa (POLS Honors ‘17) is still serving in the Peace Corps. He has recently changed posts and is now serving in Mozambique. He arrived there in June 2018 and is posted in Vila Ulongue, Tete Province, right along the border with Malawi. His job is primarily health education and organizational strengthening, with a particular focus on HIV and malaria.
  • John Kelly a Bennett Research Assistant who works with Professor Kim Bergendahl, has been awarded a 2019 SHARE Grant for their project: “Advice and Consent” or “Search and Destroy? the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Review of U.S. Supreme Court Nominations in the Era of Party Polarization.”
  • Brooks Kirchgassner, a PhD candidate, and Jessica Weaver (POLS ‘19) have been invited to serve on the President’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Taesim Kim, a PhD candidate, attended the 12th annual NYU-CESS Experimental Political Science Conference where Taesim presented part of their dissertation chapter “Open up the Black Box: Risk Perception and Public Support for Social Policy.” The presentation was based on the results from a survey experiment in South Korea and a predoc fund from the department was used to conduct the survey.
  • Derefe Chevannes, a PhD candidate, along with Professor Jane Gordon, will be the Keynote Speakers at the 27th Annual Philosophical Collaborations Conference in March 2019.
  • Alexander Andrews (CLAS ‘16) is currently in his third year at UConn Law School. He was selected as a finalist for the 2018 Judge R. Brown Award for Excellence in Legal Writing. Alexander’s note is entitled “Lessons From Wynne: Why New York City’s Internally Consistent Income Tax Nonetheless Violates the Dormant Commerce Clause.” The note will be published in Volume 50 of the Connecticut Law Review.
  • Dr. Melanie Meinzer (PhD ‘17) published a chapter entitled “Solidarity Donors and Popular Education in the West Bank” in the volume Palestine and the Rule of Power: Local Dissent vs. International Governance which was published by Palgrave MacMillan. The book, which addresses issues of resistance, steadfastness, and mobilization against settler colonialism and repression in Palestine, can be found here.
  • Jason D’Andrea (POLS ‘16, MA Econ ‘17) is currently a Coro Fellow in Los Angeles and had an op-ed on the impeachment process published in the Los Angeles Times.  
  • Dr. Ross Dardani (PhD ‘17) has been offered a tenure-track position at Muhlenberg College.

Alumni Notes: Winter 2019

  • Rebecca Aubrey (POLS MA ‘01), has been honored by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages as the 2019 ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year. Rebecca teaches in the Ashford, CT, public school system and is also the lead instructor for the Ecuador Social Entrepreneur Corps summer source for UConn Education Abroad.
  • Derrik Kennedy (POLS ‘05, MPA ‘08) was appointed Town Manager of Mansfield, CT last May. He also sat on the president advisory search committee last year.
  • Dr. Jack Barry (PhD ‘15) recently had his article “Mexico wants internet access for all. Getting everyone online could reduce poverty, too” published in The Conversation.  It was then picked up by multiple newspapers around the country and translated into Spanish for broader further viewing. A public servant based research closed group, Apolitical, and Public Radio International also picked up the article.
  • Dr. Yazmin Garcia Trejo (PhD ‘15) has recently had two reports from her work at the U.S. Census Bureau posted. Read the reports here and here.  
  • Brett McGurk (POLS Honors ‘96), a leading US diplomat, who worked to hold together the American-led coalition fighting terrorist groups in Syria, announced his accelerated resignation with an email criticizing President Trump’s recent decision to pull troops out of Syria.
  • Dr. Rekha Datta (PhD ‘91) was appointed as Freed Endowed Chair in the Social Sciences at Monmouth University in New Jersey, where she is currently a professor.
  • Dr. Gregory Williams (PhD ‘15) recently received a book contract with SUNY Press.
  • Jeff Shaw (CLAS ‘04) is the Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance, the state’s largest nonprofit advocacy organization, in Hartford, CT.
  • We are blessed with many alums who are currently working in media. They include: Kasey O’Brien (associate producer, NBC Nightly News), Jackie Wattles (CNN Money news reporter), Marina Cinami (project coordinator and digital marketing specialist, Society of Professional Journalists), Caitlin Emma (budget and appropriations editor, Politico), Chris Brodeur (content editor, online producer, Hartford Courant), Kate King (reporter, Wall Street Journal), Heather Murdock (award-winning Mideast correspondent , VOA, author of Everything is Possible in Yemen), Kala Kachmar (award-winning investigative and multimedia journalist, Asbury Park Press), Randy Serrano (Washington correspondent, Telemundo), Zach Singer (statistical analysis, ESPN), Jennifer Grogan McDermott (AP military and veterans affairs reporter), Eric Owles (assistant editor for tools and technology, NYT), Doug Hardy (entrepreneurial journalist, founder of CTNewsJunkie), and David Ushery (anchor, WNBC New York).

Faculty Achievements: Winter 2019

  • Dr. Jeremy Pressman and Dr. Erica Chenoweth of Harvard University wrote about the 2019 Women’s March in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage. The piece is entitled, “The 2019 Women’s March was bigger than you think” and appeared on February 1, 2019.
  • Dr. Prakash Kashwan published an op-ed entitled, “India Should Demand International, Political Oversight for Geoengineering R&D” in The Wire on December 28th 2018. The op-ed was re-published by India’s preeminent business paper, The Business Standard.
  • An abridged version of Professor Zehra Arat’s journal article, co-authored by alumnus Abdullah Hasan ’16 (CLAS), was included in the 10th edition of Men’s Lives, published by Pearson. The article is titled “Muslim Masculinities: What is the Prescription of the Qur’an?”
  • As of January 1, 2019, Dr. Kashwan has been appointed as one of the Associate Editors of the journal Progress in Development Studies.
  • Dr. Kashwan is also one of the panelists on the “Expert Panel on Climate Change and the Future of Global Governance” organized by the Centre for International Policy Studies, University of Ottawa on February 28, 2019.
  • Dr. Christine Sylvester has been invited to participate as a principle contributor to the new Leverhulme Project on Women and the History of International Thought based at the University of Sussex, UK. The project is the first sustained attempt to write historical women back into the history of international thought and the academic discipline of International Relations. Dr. Sylvester’s detailed interview will become part of an oral history archive at the LSE library and a public exhibition in London scheduled for 2021.
  • Dr. Sylvester’s mentee at the University of Melbourne, Natalia Grincheva, has had her manuscript, Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy, accepted for publication by Routledge.
  • Dr. Sylvester’s article “Who Gets to Curate Recent American Wars? Looking in Arlington Cemetery and at The Wall That Heals” was accepted for publication by the journal Critical Military Studies on February 7th, 2019.
  • Dr. Stephen Dyson reviewed the new book “Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict” for H-Net Reviews.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Lefebvre’s “Iran’s Scramble for Sub-Saharan Africa” was accepted this winter to the double-blind peer reviewed journal Insight Turkey which is published by the SETA Foundation for Political, Economic, and Social Research.
  • Dr. Lefebvre was also invited to present a lecture at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Middle East Africa Center annual symposium on Global Actors in Africa in Washington, D.C. on April 18-19, 2019. The presentation will be based on his article “Iran in the Horn of Africa: Outflanking U.S. Allies”.
  • Dr. Lefebvre conducted an email interview with Fatemeh Mohammadipour, a journalist for Mehr News Agency (Tehran, Iran). Dr. Lefebvre wrote “Qatar views Turkey as Balancing Relationship with the United States” in January 2019 based on the responses to four written questions regarding the December 2018 GCC summit.
  • Dr. Zehra Arat presented her paper “The Democracy Facade of a Reign of Terror: Turkey in the 2010s” at Columbia University on February 4th, 2019.
  • Dr. Arat was invited to present her paper “The Changing Meaning of Gender: A Challenge for Women’s Rights Advocacy” at the December 13th, 2018 webinar on The Politics of Language and the Issue of “Gender” which was organized by the Women and Gender in Global Affairs Network.
  • Dr. Jeremy Pressman published “The Iraqi Humans at the Heart of Conflict” on the blog Political Violence @ a Glance. Dr. Pressman’s post reflects on the importance of the human beings at the center of Ben Taub’s powerful New Yorker article “Iraq’s Post-ISIS Campaign of Revenge.”
  • Dr. Veronica Herrera’s peer-reviewed article “The Case for Public Policy Expertise in Political Science” was accepted for publication by PS: Political Science and Politics on November 29th, 2018.
  • Dr. Fred Lee delivered a public lecture, “The Extraordinary Politics of Asian Americans”, at the National Chung Hsing University on January 10th, 2019.
  • Dr. Lee also gave  a public lecture on “The Racial and Sexual Contracts of the Trump-Era United States”, at the National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan on January 8, 2019.
  • Dr. Lee presented a public lecture “The Extraordinary Politics of Indigenous Americans”, at the National Taiwan University on January 2, 2019.
  • Dr. Shareen Hertel is appearing on the Sapphire Series panels at the ISA annual program in Toronto in March. These are the highest profile “plenaries” that are held at the meeting.
  • Dr. Hertel’s newest book Tethered Fates: Companies, Communities, and Rights at Stake, will be published in April of 2019 by the Oxford University Press.
  • Dr. Matthew Singer gave two public lectures in January at universities in Singapore, speaking about “How Clientelism Reshapes Political Cleavages” at Singapore Management University and “A Layout of the Literature on Political Representation” at Singapore National University.

A very sad note:  June Krisch, the wife of long-time faculty member and professor emeritus Henry Krisch, died this past December in a motor vehicle-pedestrian accident. She was 80 years old. Our hearts go out to Henry and his family.



    Faculty Achievements: Late Fall 2018

      • This past summer, Professor Lyle Scruggs received a $300,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation to study trends in the generosity of social welfare benefits over the last 20 years in the United States, Europe, and other advanced industrial democracies.
      • Professor David Richards recently published (with Jill Haglund of the University of Kentucky) a chapter entitled “Exploring the Consequences of the Normative Gap in Legal Protections Addressing Violence Against Women” in the book, Normative Gaps in the Legal Protection of Women and Girls from Violence (Routledge 2018).  The book was edited by UN Special Rapporteur Rashida Manjoo and Jackie Jones.
      • Professor Fred Lee gave a public lecture and conducted a senior seminar on his book, Extraordinary Racial Politics: Four Events in the Informal Constitution of the United States (Temple, 2018), for the Department of Politics at Whitman College, November 2018.
      • In early October, Professor Richards held (along with Dr. Eleni Coundouriotis in the English Department) a workshop on “Narratives of Torture.”  Participants included James Dawes (Macalaster College), Marnia Lazreg (Hunter College, Chris Einold (Northern Illinois University), Suzanne Keen (Hamilton College), and Alexandra Moore (Binghamton University).
      • Professor Christine Sylvester was invited by the University of Melbourne as the first senior international academic to give a public lecture on September 19, 2018 related to her forthcoming book, Curating and Re-Curating the American Wars in Vietnam and Iraq (Oxford University Press). The lecture was part of a seven day visit to the university co-sponsored with the Australian ECR program that teams an early career researcher of considerable promise with a senior international academy for individual research coaching.
      • Professor Jeffrey Ladewig’s article on “‘Appearances do matter’: Congressional District Compactness and Electoral Turnout was recently published in in the Election Law Journal. The article was highlighted and discussed in the Boston Globe on July 6, 2018.
      • On Nov 1, 2018, Professor Ladewig also recorded an hour-long interview with Patrick Skahill of WNPR on Redistricting in Connecticut and around the United States.
      • Professor Stephen Dyson’s book Imagining Politics: Interpretations in Political Science and Political Television is forthcoming with the University of Michigan Press. The book examines the stories told by social science theory and televised political fictions.
      • Professor Dyson also wrote about the political thriller “Bodyguard”, one of the BBC’s biggest hit series in years. Find the article here.
      • Professor Shareen Hertel was selected as recipient of the 2018 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement.  The award stems from her work on the Human Rights for Engineering (EHR) Initiative.
      • Professor Dyson wrote an article in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog about the Showtime documentary series “The Circus.”
      • Professor Jeffrey Lefebvre was interviewed by journalist Helen Epstein on August 13, 2018.  They discussed geopolitical issues facing Ethiopia.
      • Professor Lefebvre was also the subject of three separate email interviews throughout fall of 2018 with Fatemeh Mohammadipour, a journalist for Mehr News Agency in Tehran Iran. These interviews concerned the proposed U.S.-GCC Camp David meeting, the projected regional impact of Russia transferring S-300 missiles to Syria and topics of U.S.-Saudi relations, respectively.
      • Professor Lefebvre was also interviewed by Stasa Salacanin, a journalist for The New Arab News web magazine, in October 2018. The interview focused on Oman’s foreign policy and security situation.
      • Professor Beth Ginsberg was recently interviewed by UCONN Today about the role of Latinos in the upcoming midterm election.
      • Professor Ginsberg’s class (POLS 3612) recently held a Voter Education Day during which they registered almost 40 new voters.
      • Professor Ginsberg and Professor Bob Lupton participated in a joint student-faculty roundtable on the importance of voting in the fall 2018 midterm elections.Professor Zehra F. K. Arat’s article, co-authored with a recent UConn graduate Abdullah Hasan, “Muslim Masculinites: What Is the Prescription of the Qur’an?” was recently published in Journal of Gender Studies 27:7 (2018), 788-801.
      • Professor Jeremy Pressman spoke at Temple Kol Haverim in Glastonbury, Connecticut on November 4, 2018.  The title of his talk was “Israel, Palestine, and American Jews”.
      • Professor Pressman spoke about the Crowd Counting Consortium at a symposium at the University of Maryland on September 24, 2018.  His talk was entitled “Studying Protest in an Age of Resistance.”
      • Professor Evan Perkoski published a blog post for the Council on Foreign Relations about recent US operations to deter Russian meddling in the midterms.
      • Professor Perkoski also finalized a grant from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to conduct a study on the relationship between civil society and government-led mass atrocities, focusing specifically on prevention.
      • In late September, Professor Perkoski gave a presentation at the Reiff Center for Human Rights at Christopher Newport University.  The talk focused on why mass killings occur during violent and nonviolent uprisings.
      • Professor Meina Cai was invited to present a talk, entitled “Governance of Land Acquisition in China” at the 5th Urban China Forum held at Columbia University on October 6, 2018.
      • Professor Kimberly Bergendahl was featured in a recent issue of UConn Magazine. Please find the story here.
      • Professor Prakash Kashwan was among the winners of 2018 APSA Special Projects Fund awards for his project “Avoiding ‘Day Zero’ in the U.S. and Global South: Climate Justice in Teaching and Policy Action.” The award of $25,035 was received in collaboration with Frank Matose (Univerisity of Cape Town), Navnita Chadha Vehera (University of Delhi, New Delhi), and Lauren M. MacLean (Indiana University). More details can be found here.
      • Professor Kashwan co-authored “Rethinking power and institutions in the shadows of neoliberalism (An introduction to a special issue of World Development)” along with Gustavo G. Lopez and Lauren MacLean.
      • Professor Kashwan and Craig Kauffman (University of Oregon) were invited by Perspectives on Politics for a “Critical Dialogue” in which they review one another’s book sand respond to the reviews. This exchange appears in POP volume 16, Issue 3, September 2018, pages 807-812.
      • Professor Kashwan was one of the coauthors of a new report, “Governing Solar Radiation Management,” drafted by “a group of fourteen global governance experts” commissioned by American University’s School of International Studies. Professor Kashwan was also part of a subgroup of report authors who participated in two pre-release events at University of Reading and University College London on September 19-20. The report has received significant national and international media coverage in Voice of America and Reuters.
      • Professor Fred Lee gave a public lecture on “Asian American Political Theory, Asian American Political Activism” before the Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Coalition (APIAC) at Macalester College in October 2018.











    Leann Mclaren ’19 (CLAS) Presents at Conference for Emerging Scholars

    In Spring 2018, Leann Mclaren, a seventh-semester political science and history major, was awarded a UConn IDEA grant. The program awards funding to support student-designed and student-led projects, including creative endeavors, community service initiatives, entrepreneurial ventures, research projects, and other original and innovative projects.

    With this money, Mclaren conducted an oral history and statistical analysis that looks at the political, social and economic incorporation of West Indian Immigrants in the Greater Hartford area.

    “I feel the IDEA grant has improved my budgeting skills, networking, time management and research skills,” Mclaren said.

    Mclaren is still in the data collection phase of her project, and has not yet presented her findings. In the past, she has presented previous research at the American Political Science Association.

    She also recently participated in the 2018 Emerging Scholars Conference at the University of Michigan. She presented a paper entitled “Freedom from Mental Slavery? An Analysis of the Effects of European Colonialism on the Politics of Racial Group Consciousness for Afro-Caribbean immigrants,” alongside her honors thesis advisor, Professor of Political Science Evelyn Simien.

    “I feel more empowered each day to complete my project and present my findings due to the investment this grant had in me,” Mclaren said.

    Mclaren said the research she conducted with her IDEA grant has improved her confidence in her abilities as a researcher and enhanced her applications to graduate schools.

    “A skill I gained from research that I don’t think I had prior are critical analysis skills,” Mclaren said. “From reading scholarly literature and proposing contributions yourself, you tend to see the world and its problems in a deeper way.”

    By: Combined Reports | Read more