Department of Political Science
The study of politics – an ancient discipline – emerged alongside our earliest societies and governments. Today, its scholars collect data and make scientific observations to describe, explain and predict the political phenomena that are so central to questions of leadership and governance.
Our goal is to provide a rigorous political science education, with a strong basis in liberal arts and technology, that enables students to better understand today’s political world and how political forces may be harnessed to improve communities, our nation and the world.
Professor Frederick has served as the chair of the Bridgewater State University Political Science Department. He specializes in the field of American politics. He teaches classes in campaigns and elections, public opinion, political parties and interest groups, women and politics, undergraduate research methods and data analysis for public administration. His research focuses on the U.S. Congress, women and politics and campaigns and elections. He is author of the book Congressional Representation and Constituents: The Case for Increasing the House of Representatives. His research has appeared in Political Research Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Behavior, American Politics Research, Social Science Quarterly, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, PS: Political Science and Politics, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Congress and the Presidency, Women, Politics and Policy, Judicature, Justice System Journal, Politics and Policy, American Review of Politics, Social Science Journal and numerous edited volumes. Professor Frederick also serves as a Research Fellow with the Bridgewater State University Center for Democratic Governance and Leadership, Faculty Director for the Massachusetts Certified Managers Program and on the Editorial Board of the Journal State Politics and Policy Quarterly.
BS, MacMurray College
MA, University of Illinois at Springfield
PhD, Northern Illinois University
Dr. Barkalow is the Assistant Director of the Honors Program. Professor Barkalow teaches courses in Political Theory and American Government. His current research agenda focuses on the changing understandings of American citizenship and the effect of these changes on principles of constitutional design and the nature of the American political system. Elsewhere, Professor Barkalow has research interests in Ancient and Modern Political Theory. He has published in Political Research Quarterly, has a forthcoming book chapter, and has presented numerous papers at professional conferences. Professor Barkalow is currently working on a book manuscript that argues for a commercial understanding of American citizenship in contrast to Christian, republican, and other liberal theories of citizenship.
BA, Pacific University
MA, PhD, University of Houston
Dr. Donnelly teaches courses in American Government, state and local government, and public policy, and graduate courses in public personnel and program evaluation. His research interests are in the areas of American politics, language in politics, and health and social welfare policy. Professor Donnelly recently co-authored a book titled Foreign Remedies: What the Experience of Other Nations Can Tell Us about Next Steps in Reforming U.S. Health Care with David Rochefort. He has also published in the Journal of Policy History, Harvard Health Policy Review, and Medicine and Health Rhode Island, and presented numerous papers at professional conferences. Professor Donnelly's current research focuses on the language of political actors involved in advancing policy ideas and interests.
BS, Providence College
MA, University of Rhode Island
PhD, Northeastern University
Dr. Kemper teaches courses on American Politics, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Legal Theory and Process, Model United States Senate, and Mock Trial and Moot Court. He serves as a pre-law advisor for Bridgewater State University and as the faculty advisor to the BSU Pre-Law Club. In 2004 Professor Kemper was recognized as the University's Advisor of the Year. In addition, Dr. Kemper is the Assistant Director of the Center for Legislative Studies and co-hosts the Center's monthly cable television public affairs show, Commonwealth Politics. Professor Kemper's current research agenda focuses on the selection of state and federal judges, affirmative action policies in higher education admissions, the impact of courts on bureaucracies, and the historical evolution of free speech doctrine in the United States. Dr. Kemper has presented numerous papers at professional conferences, published an article in The Journal of Politics, and authored several book chapters and encyclopedia entries.
BA, Northern Illinois University
MA, PhD, Ohio State University
Dr. Deniz Zeynep Leuenberger is Bridgewater State University Chief of Staff and a Professor of Political Science/Public Administration. Professor Leuenberger specializes in sustainable development, public sector economics, public budgeting and finance, and non-profit and non-governmental organization management. In the past, she has held the following roles within the department and university: Coordinator of the MPA Program, Faculty Director of the Institute for Policy Analysis and Regional Engagement, Faculty Director of the Massachusetts Certified Public Managers Program, Faculty Director of the Institute for Regional Development, Coordinator for the Center for Sustainability, and Coordinator of the Center for Legislative Studies Global Citizen Leadership and Education program. She has served on the boards of ASPA's Association for Budgeting and Financial Management, the Section on Transportation Policy and Administration, and the Section for Women in Public Administration. She is the past chair of the Section on Transportation Policy and Administration. She has published articles on sustainable development, strategic planning, and caring labor in Administrative Theory and Praxis, Public Works and Management Policy, Water Policy, State and Local Government Review, PA Times, and in the Public Manager. She is the co-author, with John R. Bartle, of the book Sustainable Development in Public Administration.
BA, Midland College
MPA, PhD, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Professor Mozaffar teaches courses in Comparative Politics and International Relations. His professional work combines academic research with public policy. His academic research focuses on the application of institutional analysis to the comparative study of democratization, ethnopolitics, constitutional design, electoral systems, democratic governance, conflict management, and African politics. A recipient of a National Science Foundation research grant, he is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on the colonial state, regime change, ethnopolitics, democratization, political parties, electoral systems, the choice and consequences of new democratic institutions in Africa, and US democracy assistance policy. His work has appeared in the American Political Science Review, Comparative Politics Studies, Electoral Studies, International Negotiations, International Political Science Review, Journal of Legislative Studies, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Political Parties and Representation (UK). Professor Mozaffar is a co-Principal Investigator of the African Legislatures Project, a collaborative project between the BSU Center for Legislative Studies and the Democracy in Africa Research Unit of the Center for Social Science Research at the University of Cape Town. He is a Research Fellow of the African Studies Center at Boston University, a Research Fellow of the BSU Center for Legislative Studies, and a Research Fellow of the Center for Social Science at the University of Cape Town. Professor Mozaffar was a Fulbright Scholar in Nigeria.
In his public policy work, Professor Mozaffar has served as a consultant to the USAID Africa Bureau on institutional design and democratic governance. During the 1999-2000 academic year, he served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Diplomacy Fellow at USAID, where he worked on democracy and human rights issues in Latin America. He was also a member of the US delegation to the Organization of American States election observation team for the legislative elections in Haiti in May 2000. He was a member of an international panel of experts on electoral systems established by the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division for the Fiji Constitutional Review Commission. In 2005, he served as a member of an international team of experts appointed by Elections Canada to assist the International Mission for Iraqi Elections assess the Transitional National Assembly Elections in January 2005, the Constitutional Referendum in October 2005, and the Iraqi Council of Representative Elections in December 2005, which he also monitored and observed in Baghdad. Most recently, Professor Mozaffar was invited by the Naval Postgraduate School to deliver its Regional Security Education Program lectures on US strategic interests in Africa and country briefings to Navy personnel on deployment.
BA, MA, Bowling Green State University
PhD, Miami University in Ohio
Professor Serra is the director of the Center for Legislative Studies and coordinator of the interdisciplinary civic education and community leadership minor. He served as department chair from 2004 to 2014. His teaching and research interests focus on legislative and electoral behavior, congressional representation of minority interests, presidency and executive politics, and policy implementation. Dr. Serra is a 2003-2004 American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and has published articles in leading political science journals, including The Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, American Politics Research, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Party Politics, The Journal of Legislative Studies, Congress and the Presidency, and Electoral Studies.
BA, MA, PhD, State University of New York, Stony Brook
Melinda Tarsi specialized in the field of American politics, with research interests in veterans’ benefits policies and politics; American political development; race and ethnicity in political behavior and representation; public opinion; and public administration. Dr. Tarsi is also a Research Fellow with the Center for Democratic Governance and Leadership, a Faculty Fellow with the Institute for Policy Analysis and Regional Engagement, and a Fellow with the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society. Her work has appeared in the journals Journalism Practice; Armed Forces and Society; Politics, Groups, and Identities; and the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. Her book project, which focuses on the politics of veterans' benefit policies in the twentieth century, has been supported by the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation's Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies, the Roosevelt Institute, the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, and the Harry S. Truman Library Institute. Dr. Tarsi teaches courses on American politics, public policy, and public administration.
BA, Western Connecticut State University
MA, University of Massachusetts Amherst
PhD, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Larry Azer is a part-time Senior Instructor in the Political Science department and will be teaching a one-credit course on Public Budgeting (POLI 597) at Bridgewater State University's Cape Cod campus.
Larry is the Director of Finance and Operations for the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District since January 2011,where he is responsible for all aspects of financial management and ancillary services including budget development, capital planning, food services, student transportation, and facilities management. He is a member of the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials (MASBO) and is a Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Officer (MCPPO).
While working towards his MPA degree at Bridgewater State University, Larry was actively involved with the Institute for Policy Analysis and Regional Engagement (IPARE), creating and presenting a module on public budgeting. He was also the 2013 winner of the Guy Clifford Scholarship for his scholastic achievement and commitment to public service. As a capstone assignment, Larry had his book review of "Trapped Under the Sea" by Neil Swidey published in The Public Manager in the winter of 2014.
Larry also served as an elected member of the Randolph School Committee from 2003 to 2012, including three years as the board's chair, as well as creating and chairing the budget sub-committee. He was a very active member of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) and he led the school district's effort in passing a $5.5 million operational override of Proposition 2 1/2 in 2008, which is believed to be the largest such override in the history of Massachusetts.
BA, Tufts University
MPA, Bridgewater State University
Dr. Kalisz teaches Introduction to American Government in the Political Science department as a part-time instructor. Dr. Kalisz currently serves as Executive Director of the Parents Alliance for Catholic Education, responsible for the operation of a "grassroots" advocacy organization representing all Catholic schools in the state of Massachusetts. He has served as an adjunct at a number of institutions of higher education in New England. His expertise, experience and contributions come in the areas of leadership development, sustainable economic development, environmental education, public policy, American government operations, and entrepreneurship.
On January 5, 1998 Dr. Kalisz was administered the oath of office for the position of Mayor of the City of New Bedford which he held for eight years. The City of New Bedford is a "strong mayor" form of local government. As chief executive officer of the City he was responsible for daily operation of a nearly $226,000,000.00 budget, managing approximately 4000 employees, 18 square miles of land, the nation's largest dollar-value fishing port, and a population of approximately 100,000 residents.
During his term of office he was officially recognized by five cabinet-level federal agencies and by the Massachusetts Governor's office and Legislature. He was appointed by the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to serve on a federal advisory task force studying the future needs and impact of Superfund environmental legislation. Through his efforts New Bedford was selected as a Brownfield's Showcase community by the EPA and was later selected as one of only three Portfields Pilot Communities by NOAA/Commerce Department for advancement of environmental remediation and economic development potential as a deep-water port community.
BS, Southeastern Massachusetts University
MA, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
LPD, Northeastern University
Jodie Drapal Koretski has served over 25 years within the nonprofit sector in a variety of roles and with a myriad of organizations. Within her academic career, she has served as a core faculty member teaching courses in public and nonprofit management and is currently serving as the director of the Massachusetts Certified Public Managers program at Bridgewater State University. Her research has centered on the public and nonprofit sector, citizen engagement and voluntary action, informal associations, and organizational behavior. She has presented her work at both national and international public and nonprofit sector conferences and has published research articles in Public Administration Review, Administrative Theory & Practice, Public Manager, and PA Times. Over the past several years she has been actively involved with service learning communities on campus, served on the National Service Learning Conference planning committee, and incorporates service learning/experiential learning within her classroom design. She is also actively involved in the greater community as an educational consultant with a number of nonprofit and governmental organizations, as an instructor/presenter for nonprofit education programs, and as a director of development for a local arts and culture organization.
BS, University of Nebraska Lincoln/Omaha
MPA, ABD, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Paula Montgomery currently serves as the Campaign Manager for the Campaign to Re-Elect Jon Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford. Paula is a part-time instructor for the Certified Public Manager Program teaching a one-credit course on Change Management. Paula received her MPA degree from Bridgewater State University in 2011.
Paula has spent 17 years in leadership and management roles with national non-profits. Prior to joining Mayor Mitchell's re-election campaign she was the Executive Director for the American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter. Paula also served as the Rhode Island Regional Director for Make-A-Wish MA and RI. Prior to that role, she served in a number of capacities with the American Cancer Society where her last position was State Vice President of Development.
Paula's undergraduate degrees from Emerson College and Bristol Community College are in Communications and Broadcast Journalism. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Rhode Island Chapter where she has served as co-chair of National Philanthropy Day in 2010, 2014, and 2015. Paula was nominated for a Cable Ace by the National Academy of Cable Program as a producer of a three part series titled Heroin: Back on the Streets in 1998.
AA, Bristol Community College
BS, Emerson College
MPA, Bridgewater State University
Dr. Sandra Popiden is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Norco College. Her research interests lie at the intersection of international relations and comparative politics, focusing on the causes and consequences of conflict. Her research interests include globalization, natural resource management and secessionism, civil war and terrorism, piracy, illicit trafficking, and other threats to international security. Dr. Popiden recently contributed two chapters on "Global Governance" and "Conflict and In/Security in the 21st Century" to the book Encounters with World Affairs (2015). She also recently published a book review on the internationalized civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo titled "Local Dimensions of War and Peace in the DRC," in the International Studies Review.
BA, Loyola Marymount University
MA, PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara
Katherine Saucier teaches courses in American Government. She specializes in the field of political psychology, and her primary interests include: prejudice, personality factors on political attitudes, threat appraisal, facial recognition bias, political bias in scientific research, and the psychological influences of humor on attention and decision-making. She has presented her findings at multiple conferences, including the Association for Psychological Sciences and the Eastern Psychological Association.
BS, Bridgewater State University
MA, Stony Brook University
Dr. Valla is currently employed full-time as an intelligence analyst specializing in international and domestic terrorism with FBI's Boston Field Office. He has served in that capacity for almost fourteen years. Additionally, he retired as a Major from the U.S. Army Reserve after a twenty year career as a military intelligence officer. His final assignment before retiring was teaching at the Joint Military Intelligence College, now the National Defense Intelligence College. There he taught graduate courses in national security studies, counterterrorism, and analytical methodology. At Bridgewater, Dr. Valla teaches Terrorism and National Security and The Government and Politics of Eastern Europe. Dr. Valla is a member of the International Studies Association and the International Association for Intelligence Education.
PhD, University of Connecticut
MA, University of Massachusetts Amherst
BA, Bridgewater State University
The department offers a BA in Political Science, with the option of choosing one of four areas of concentration. We also offer a minor in political science, an interdisciplinary minor in civic education and community leadership, and a graduate MPA program.
Our political science programs prepare students to be leaders in public, nonprofit and/or government positions. Students will also develop a strong background in history, economics, mathematics, literature, the arts and the sciences, and will be well-qualified to enter the fields of journalism, business, social welfare, teaching, law and information technology.
For more information on programs see our Catalog.