Graduate School

Because we place so much emphasis on the practical world of politics, preparing students to pursue the Ph.D. in Political Science or some other discipline never has been a high priority for the department. Nevertheless, our experience shows that students who choose that route come out of Luther well prepared.

Rudy Espino (’97) came to Luther from California but stayed in the Midwest to earn his Ph. D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin. Lured by the chance to get closer to his native Los Angeles and away from those Midwestern winters, Rudy accepted a job at Arizona State where his research involves a wide range of areas related to minority politics (his dissertation, which focused on the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Latino representation in Congress, received the American Political Science Association award for the best dissertation in race and politics).

Scott Fitzgerald graduated in 1994 with degrees in Philosophy and Political Science/Sociology. One of many Luther students to earn an M.A. at Iowa State, Scott realized that sociology was his real academic love. He moved to Iowa City where he earned the Ph. D.  Scott currently is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Bonnie Gunzenhauser (’90) went from Luther to the University of Chicago, where she earned a Ph. D. in English in 1998. While finishing at Chicago, she returned to Luther to teach Paideia for a year, and then moved on to a position at Millikin University in Decator, Illinois. After four years there, Bonnie took her current position at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where she teaches British Romantic literature and currently serves as English department chair. Bonnie draws upon the Political Science major in her research on 18th century copyright law and its impact on Romantic-era reading publics.

Jon Jensen combined his interests in ethics and politics by majoring in both Philosophy and Political Science. After graduating in 1989, Jon spent a year in Baltimore in the Lutheran Volunteer Corps and then worked at the Wilderness Canoe Base in the Boundary Waters. He eventually found his way to Colorado where he earned a Ph. D. in Philosophy. After teaching at Green Mountain College for three years, Jon agreed to come back to his alma mater, where he teaches philosophy and environmental studies and directs the college’s environmental studies program.

George Kun came to the U.S. and Luther from Liberia in 1997. He studied in Luther’s Nottingham program and graduated in 2001.  After Luther he earned a M.A. at the American University School of International Service and is now back in the UK studying law at Cambridge. George is widely recognized for his role in advocating for refugees around the world and has appeared on NPR and the BBC.

Stephanie S. Rollie (’95) majored in Political Science and Communications at Luther. She worked for two years as a Consulting Assistant at Frank N. Madrid Associates and then for three years as Project Manager at Epley Marketing Services. Stephanie then earned an M.A. and Ph. D. in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at Miami University in Ohio.

Emily Van Dunk graduated in 1989 with a major in Political Science and a year of study in England, but upon graduation, she was not quite sure what she wanted to do. The idea of continuing her studies sounded interesting, so she went to Iowa State where she earned the M.A. That led to a Ph. D. program at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She currently is Research Director at the Public Policy Forum in Milwaukee and the co-author of School Choice and the Question of Accountability, published by Yale University Press.  

Rudy Espino
George Kun