Kansas State University


Political Science

A Note from the Department Head

Sam Bell

As this is the first department newsletter during my term as department head, I wanted to briefly introduce myself. I grew up in Stony Brook, New York, a suburb of New York City on Long Island. I earned my B.A. in Political Science at the State University of New York at Albany and my M.A. and Ph.D. at Binghamton University (SUNY). I moved to Manhattan, KS after accepting a position as an assistant professor in the fall of 2009. I have lived in Manhattan since then. My teaching and research focus on the causes of political violence. Some of my research examines the causes of war, but more recently my work has focused on the causes of government repression (the violation of human rights) and human trafficking. Outside of work, I like to spend my free time hiking, running, and watching sports. I arrived at K-State with no rooting interest in college sports and I quickly found myself drawn to the community and environment surrounding K-State sports. That has been one of my favorite parts of living in this area.

I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to serve as the head of the Department of Political Science. We have a lot of very exciting things going on. I am fortunate to come into this position the year after four of members of our faculty and staff earned university-wide awards for their teaching and administrative accomplishments. This is a department with a tradition of strong teaching and service and this is recognition of the fact that it continues to this day. I am also fortunate to start this position at a time where our faculty are producing important cutting-edge research. This is reflected in the large volume of books and journal articles published by our faculty and the awarding of a large defense department funded grant during the most recent academic year. Please browse through the rest of the newsletter for additional details about the many exciting accomplishment of our faculty and staff.

I’d also be remiss to not take this opportunity to thank our former head, Jeff Pickering, for his ten years of stewardship of the department. Many of the strengths of the department that I referenced above are thanks to his leadership. We experienced a great deal of growth in the department during his tenure. As someone that started here during Jeff’s second academic year as head, I can testify to the positive impact that he had on my career and many others.

Please feel free to stop by the department if you find yourself on campus. I’d love to fill you in all the great things going on around here.

Sam Bell

Department Head

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