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Recent Graduates


Our doctoral students have gone on to earn tenure track positions at college and universities, including the University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia Wesleyan University, Longwood University, Monmouth University, and Wright State University. Our PhD and MA graduates have also been employed by government agencies and non-profit institutions such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the U.S. Department of State.

Profiles of a few of our recent PhD graduates:

Fatemah Nawabdin
Assistant Professor, Kuwait University — WVU PhD, 2023

Dr. Nawabdin's dissertation examines decentralization, innovation, and disaster management in East Asia.

Liza Gordon-Rogers
Visiting Assistant Professor, Gettysburg College — WVU PhD, 2021

Dr. Gordon's dissertation explores the dynamics and development of welfare policies in the United States. It examines how gendered and racial messages used during welfare debates influence the preferences of targeted populations, the role of news consumption on welfare opinions, and how racial factors affect the likelihood of the diffusion of drug-testing for welfare policies across states.

Shabbir Khan
Assistant Professor, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan — WVU PhD, 2021

Dr. Khan's dissertation explores judicial independence in Pakistan. He currently serves as the Director, Centre for Civility and Integrity Development (CCID) at Punjab University.

Josh Squires
Assistant Professor, Glenville State College — WVU PhD, 2021

Dr. Squires research interests fall under the umbrella of American politics. He is particularly interested in race, voting behavior, and election administration. His dissertation deals with the election administration of polling places and its effects on non-White citizens.

J. Christopher Moss
Assistant Professor, SUNY Plattsburgh — WVU PhD, 2019

Dr. Moss's dissertation examines drug courts from political science and public policy perspectives and considers the roles that drug courts can play in addressing the current opioid abuse epidemic.

Brian Fitzpatrick
Assistant Professor, West Liberty University — WVU PhD, 2018

Dr. Fitzpatrick's research interests include economic inequality, international political economy, and representation. He has taught State and Local Politics, American Government, and Introduction to Political Science at West Liberty.

Coty Martin
Visiting Assistant Professor, West Virginia Wesleyan – WVU PhD, 2018

Dr. Martin has taught classes in research methods, race and public policy, terrorism, human rights, and political theory.  His research interests include terrorism and state capacity in the developing world, contentious politics, and gender and political violence.

John Mowchan
Director and Faculty Instructor of First Year Studies, The United States Army War College — WVU PhD, 2018

Col. Mowchan's dissertation examines patterns of strategic alignment between former Soviet states and the United States and Russian Federation since the end of the Cold War.

Franchesca Nestor
Assistant Professor, Ohio Wesleyan University — WVU PhD, 2017

Dr. Nestor's research interests focus on public opinion and racial and ethnic representation. Her dissertation examined intersectional opinion and representation of low-income Black and Latino citizens in Congress. She teaches courses including Equality and American Politics, The American Presidency, Public Policy, Methods, and Power and American Politics. "America Competes at 5 Years: An Analysis of Research-Intensive Universities' RCR Training Plans," which Franchesca co-authored with Trisha Phillips, Gillian Beach, and Elizabeth Heitman, appeared in Science and Engineering Ethics in 2017. Learn more about Franchesca and her work.

Michael Thunberg
Assistant Professor, Norwich University — WVU PhD, 2017

Dr. Thunberg’s scholarship focuses on the American presidency, the bureaucracy, and the courts. His research on the American president’s ability to unilaterally affect the policy process extends to the classroom, where he teaches The Presidency, Public Policy, and American Government. Michael's paper, "Crisis Management and Adaptation in Wartime Elections: Ukraine’s 2014 Snap Presidential and Parliamentary Elections,” co-authored with Erik Herron and Nazar Boyko, appeared in Electoral Studies in 2015.

Scott Harris
Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina Upstate — WVU PhD, 2016

Dr. Harris's research focuses on the criminal sentencing behavior of federal judges. He also studies shifts in the partisan preferences of state electorates over time. He teaches American National Government, judicial politics courses, political theory courses, and Introduction to Pre-Law. He recently published a research note -- "The Role and Importance of District Judges in Federal Sentencing" -- in the newsletter of the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association.