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Department of Political Science College of Liberal Arts

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Faculty & Staff

Jeremy Youde
Head and Associate Professor of Political Science

Office: 153 EduE
Telephone: (218) 726-6908

Office Hours: TBA

Jeremy Youde joined UMD in 2008 after teaching in California and Iowa. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Iowa in 2005. He teaches courses in comparative politics and international relations, and his research focuses on global health politics and African politics. Outside the classroom, you can find him running, biking, kayaking, skiing, doting on his dogs, and messing around in the kitchen. A native Midwesterner, he actually enjoys the winter and advocates for more food being served on sticks.


Geraldine Gomes Hughes
Executive Administrative and Office Specialist

Office: 302 KPlz
Telephone: (218) 726-7534
Fax: (218) 726-6585

Office Hours: M-F: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Geraldine joined the department as office administrator in June 2006. Prior to that, she worked in the Department of Women's Studies. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Her interests range from art, reading, writing, riding her motorcycle, travelling, music and world cultures. Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, she loves plants, and gardening; a love gained from her paternal grandfather and mother.

Mary CaprioliMary Caprioli
Associate Professor of Political Science
Director, International Studies Program

Office: 316 KPlz
Telephone: (218) 726-7612

Office Hours: TBA

Dr. Mary Caprioli came to UMD from the University of Tennessee in 2005. She earned her PhD and MA from the University of Connecticut and her BA from Marist College. Dr. Caprioli has come full circle after her first tenure track position at the “other” UMD -- the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Dr. Caprioli is a native New Yorker, nine-year resident of New England, three-year resident of Tennessee, who is now proud to be considered a Midwesterner. Dr. Caprioli’s research focuses broadly on conflict and security studies, including interstate and intrastate violence. She is fundamentally interested in understanding why states, societies, and individuals engage in violent behavior and more specifically in assessing the role of gendered structural inequality in predicting violence. Her recent articles have appeared in International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Peace Research, and Journal of Conflict.

Cindy Christian
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Office: 178 EduE (Alworth Institute)
Telephone: (218) 726-7493

Office Hours:

Cindy M. Christian holds a PhD in Political Science from Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York. Her areas of interest include international relations, international political economy, Latin American politics, and women and politics. She has taught both political science and women's studies courses over the past fifteen years. She has traveled to Honduras and Mexico to study development programs and the impact of global economic policies. She is currently the Program Associate for UMD's Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Institute for International Studies. She enjoys reading fiction and spending time with her family which includes her partner, originally from Iran and a Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin Superior; her five-year-old daughter, Isabel (named after Isabel Allende); and her West-Highland Terrier, Miss Jean Brodie.

Runa Das
Associate Professor of Political Science

Office: 220 Humanities
(218) 726-7484

Office Hours: TBA

Dr. Das joined UMD in Fall 2005 after teaching for a year at Wayne State University (Michigan).  She has a PhD in Political Science from Northern Arizona University. Her current research focuses on cultural/post-colonial approaches in International relations; India-United States security relations, and South Asian politics. She is currently working on her book manuscripts on India’s strategic culture; India-United States security relations; and, India-Pakistan’s cultural norms and security dialogue. Some of her articles have been published in Journal of Asian and African Studies; International Studies Review; Asian Journal of Political Science; International Politics; Indian Journal of Political Science; Contemporary Politics; European Journal of Women’s Studies; Minerva Journal of Women and War;  Asian Perspectives; Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics; Journal of Development Alternatives and Area Studies; Women’s Studies International Forum; International Feminist Journal of Politics; Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs; Identity, Culture, and Politics; Social Identities; Third World Quarterly; and Comparative Studies of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.


Shannon Drysdale Walsh
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Office: 213 Bohannon
Telephone: (218) 726-7752

Office Hours: Away for Fall 2015 on a fellowship.

Shannon Drysdale Walsh completed her Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 2011, having spent over 18 months conducting fieldwork in the Latin America researching how countries have (and have not) appropriately responded to increasing reported levels of violence against women.  Her primary field of research explains the development and variation in practices within specialized justice system institutions (police and courts) that address violence against women in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. She also produces scholarship on crime in Latin America and the impacts of women's representation. Dr. Drysdale Walsh is the recipient of several nationally competitive awards and fellowships, including a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship and a Mellon/ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Her work has been published in journals such as Latin American Politics and Society and Studies in Social Justice. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled “Engendering State Institutions: State Response to Violence against Women in Latin America.” She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Mark Jennings
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Office: 4th floor KAML Rotunda - Cube R
Telephone: (218) 726-7611

Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday: 1 – 2:50 pm, or by appointment at other times, please email your request for an appointment outside of the regular office hours.

Mark Jennings graduated magna cum laude from UMD in 1973 with a major in political science.  He earned his JD degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 1977. Jennings practiced law for more than 30 years in both the private and public sectors.  For over seven years he supervised major departments of a local unit of government providing housing and other services to low-income persons.  He previously taught classes in the UMD Accounting and Political Science Departments and the UWS Paralegal Program.

Cynthia Rugeley
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Office: 239 Engr
Telephone: (218) 726-7371

Office Hours: TBA

Cindy Rugeley earned her Ph.D. in political science from Florida State University in 2007. A native Texan, she worked as a newspaper reporter in Texas and Kentucky, and in Texas political campaigns and state government before entering graduate school. Dr. Rugeley's research focuses on American politics and policy. Her primary interest is in political participation and how institutions influence political behavior. Her work has been accepted at scholarly journals including The American Journal of Political Science, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, Journal of Urban Affairs, and Politics & Policy.

Paul Sharp
Professor of Political Science
Department of Political Science

Office: 220 Humanities
Telephone: (218) 726-6221

Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 9:30-10:30 am, or by appointment. 

Dr. Paul Sharp teaches and researches on international relations, foreign policy, and diplomacy. He is working on a book on American foreign policy.

Geoffrey Sheagley
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Office: 239 Engr
Telephone: (218) 726-8379

Office Hours: 2-3 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday or by appointment.

Geoff Sheagley received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. His research and teaching interests span many areas of American politics, including public opinion, political psychology, political communication and research methods. Professor Sheagley's research focuses broadly on how political institutions and contexts shape the decision-making of members of the mass public. In particular, his research examines the accuracy and quality of political judgment, especially with respect to how citizens' individuallevel qualities interact with political contexts to influence judgment. His work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science.

A native Minnesotan, Geoff grew up in South Minneapolis and received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, Morris. Despite growing up in Minnesota, Geoff has never learned to cross country ski and he is excited to give it a shot this winter.

Joseph StaatsJoseph L. Staats
Associate Professor of Political Science

Office: 220 Humanities
Telephone: (218) 726-6641

Office Hours: TBA

Joseph L. Staats, associate professor, has a law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. He practiced law as a trial attorney in Sacramento, California before obtaining his Ph.D. and embarking on an academic career. He teaches public law/judicial politics and comparative politics courses as well as research methods and analysis. He specializes in research related to judicial performance and rule of law in developing countries, most especially Latin America. He was recently an expert witness on court performance in developing countries in Chevron Corp. v. Salazar et al., a $17 billion case filed in Ecuador and pending in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. He has been a consultant on judicial performance to the supreme judicial courts of Uruguay and Ecuador and the United Nations Development Program. He has many articles in scholarly journals to his credit and has a co-authored book published by the University of Michigan Press in 2012.