Greetings from North Stevens Hall

Mark D. Brewer, Professor and Acting Chair

We are approaching the end of another highly successful academic year here in the Department of Political Science at the University of Maine. While the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much with us, we have been getting closer and closer to “normal” as the year has progressed, and we are now fortunate to be enjoying many of the traditional end of the academic year events and celebrations that we all enjoy so much and remember so fondly.  In mid-April we inducted eighteen new members into our Epsilon Delta Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science undergraduate honor society in a live event at Wells Conference Center and in late-April we had some of our students honored at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Awards Ceremony at Buchanan Alumni House.  Maine Day is happening as I write this, and we are eagerly anticipating graduation.  This is a great time to be on the UMaine campus.

We have lots to share with you in this newsletter, but want to start off with a few notable student, alumni, and faculty achievements.  For current students, POS major Dominique DiSpirito has been named as the Valedictorian of the Class of 2022.  Dominique had received many other awards and honors too numerous to list here, but some notable ones include selection as s 2021 Truman Scholar, 2022 Robert Q. Dana Change Maker Award for Student Leadership, and the 2022 Outstanding Graduating Student in the Honors College.  Elizabeth Davis was the recipient of the Eugene Mawhinney Outstanding Senior Award in Political Science and Sam Mathisen received the Edward Collins Outstanding Senior Award in International Affairs/Political Science.  Last, but certainly not least, the incredible generosity of Professor John M. Nickerson allowed us to award full and partial scholarships to twenty-eight POS majors for next academic year. 

For alumni, Thilee Yost (Class of 2019) was recently named scheduling coordinator for Vice President Kamala Harris.  Andrew Mahaleris (Class of 2017) is now Communications Director in Maine and New Hampshire for the Republican National Committee and Michele Girard (Class of 2015) is Director of Development for the Little Earth Resident Association in Minneapolis.

Finally, on the faculty front, our newest colleague Dr. Nicholas Micinski is wrapping up his first year on the faculty, bringing exciting new research and courses to the Department.  Dr. Robert Glover recently received the CLAS Outstanding Faculty Award in Service/Public Engagement.  Dr. Amy Fried, currently on sabbatical but returning as Department Chair as of July 1, continues to receive high praise for her most recent book, At War with Government: How Conservatives Weaponized Distrust from Goldwater to Trump, co-authored Douglas B. Harris.

These are just some of the wonderful things happening in the Department of Political Science.  Please read on for more news, and also please share with us any updates on your career and accomplishments.