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 and related fields at the undergraduate 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 seven full-time faculty members in the department, six 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 degrees in political science and interdisciplinary studies, our department also offers several minors for students seeking other degrees at MGA; you can complete most of our university's majors along with a minor in political science, pre-law, African & African diaspora studies, or environmental 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. Our department is also collaborating in the university's Doctor of Science in Public Safety program.

For more information, you can also see our department brochure and FAQ page.

Department Newsletter

You can download copies of our department newsletter, The Squire's Scuttlebutt, below.

Our Faculty

More details about our full-time faculty can be found in the department directory.

Full-Time Political Science Faculty

  • Dr. Grace A. Adams-Square, assistant professor (Ed.D., Drexel University).
    • American politics, public administration.
  • Dr. Matthew M. Caverly, lecturer (Ph.D., University of Florida).
    • American politics, comparative politics, political theory.
  • Dr. James D. Decker, professor (Ph.D., Florida State University).
    • American politics, comparative politics.
  • Dr. John Powell Hall, associate professor (Ph.D., Auburn University).
    • American politics, international relations.
  • Dr. Christopher N. Lawrence, professor/chair (Ph.D., University of Mississippi).
    • American politics, comparative politics, quantitative methods.
  • Dr. Julie A. Lester, professor (Ph.D., Purdue University).
    • American politics, public policy.
  • Dr. Annie Watson, assistant professor (Ph.D., University of Georgia).
    • International relations, comparative politics, human rights.

Other Faculty Teaching in the Department

  • Dr. Rebecca Lanning, professor of music (D.P.A., Valdosta State University).
  • Dr. Kara S. Svonavec, senior lecturer of history (Ph.D., Auburn University).
  • Mr. William Carroll (M.Ed., Auburn University Montgomery; J.D., University of Alabama).
  • Dr. Brad Dickerson (Ph.D., University of Mississippi).
  • Dr. Allison Hamilton (Ph.D., University of Iowa).
  • Dr. Thomas Matyók (Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University).
  • Dr. Will Miller (Ph.D., University of Akron).
  • Ms. Nemiah Plant (M.P.A., Valdosta State University).
  • Dr. Greg Rabidoux (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee; J.D., Marquette University).
  • Ms. Jeannie Ruggerio (M.P.A., New Mexico State University).
  • Ms. Jennifer Stenander (M.P.A., Georgia Southern University).
  • Dr. Lina Tuschling (Ph.D., Kennesaw State University).

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