Teaching

Every year some political science majors do the work necessary to become certified to teach at the secondary level. They often combine their major with another social science to increase the job opportunities. Some students who major in History also do a teaching minor in Political Science.

Eric Beckman (see photo) graduated in 1989 with a major in Political Science, a minor in Math and certification to teach both. After trying the West Coast for a number of years, he returned to the Midwest where he teaches history (including AP courses) and coaches debate at Anoka High School.  In the summer of 2006, Eric was one of 15 U.S. teachers to spend a month in Nottingham, England, studying the Industrial Revolution in Britain as part of a National Endowment for the Humanities program.

David Hunt graduated from Luther in 1971 with majors in Political Science and History and an intense desire to teach. A social studies teacher in the Clarence-Lowden High School for many years, he was honored by the Iowa Department of Education in 1991 as the teacher of the year.  In addition, David has spent many summers on the campus of his alma mater, serving as the academic coordinator for the summer Upward Bound program.

Scott Pierce (see photo) graduated from Luther in 1988 and has been teaching for 25 years, with 16 of them spent at Decorah High School. In addition to a general government course and an American National Government course taught for community college credit, Scott also teaches a computer research course and coaches freshman football and the girls golf team. 

Brandon Reed (see photo) graduated from Luther in 2010. He first heard about Teach for America during his freshman year when a Luther grad visited his Environmental Politics class to talk about the program. After spending a year in Indonesia on a Fulbright Teaching Award, he headed to Plymouth, North Carolina where he is in his second year with Teach for America, teaching high school English.

Liz Smith (see photo) graduated from Luther in 2011 with majors in Art and Political Science. She is in her second year of teaching 7-9 grade math in northeastern Arkansas in Teach for America.

Brian Tucker graduated with majors in Political Science and Religion in 1997. Following graduation, he moved to Dubuque, Iowa, where he studied theology in preparation for the ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Part of his education involved contextual education in Namibia, South Africa, Norway, and Denmark. He worked as a chaplain in residence at Central Maine Medical Center and as an intern pastor at Cross Lutheran Church on Milwaukee's north side. Finding that teaching was his true vocation, he earned a master's degree in Education from Marquette University in 2002 and taught U.S. History and World Affairs at Greenfield High School. In 2003, Brian moved to Iola, Wisconsin, where he currently teaches 8th-grade social studies specializing in East Asian cultures, 10th-grade U.S. History and 11th-grade U.S. Government. Brian also teaches Tae Kwon Do, and during his summers, he spends time cycling, kayaking and hiking with his son Evan and wife Jackie.

Eric Beckman '89
Scott Pierce '88
Brandon Reed '10