Political Science  

Students & Alumni

Numerous graduates of AQ's Political Science Department have developed public service careers or have continued their formal education at some of the countries finest Universities. These include Harvard Law School, Cornell University, University of Michigan, William and Mary and Michigan State University. Some have gone on to become Judges, Congress people, and even college professors. Internships are an important part of Career Development. Recent AQ political science students have held internships with:
  • U.S. Congress
  • Michigan State Legislature
  • Federal Justice Department
  • Federal Bureau of Investigations
  • Grand Rapids City Manager's Office
  • Public Defender's Office
  • Kent Metro Planning Council


Career options for Political Science majors are wide ranging. Jobs can be found in the federal government, state government, local and city governments. Many go on to work for International Organizations. Interest groups and associations hire people to do research, draft legislation and formulate and implement public policy. For more information contact Professor Durham.
Department News & Featured Alumni
AQ Alumnus Patrick Miles Jr. Sworn in as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan
AQ alumnus and former Aquinas Board of Trustee chair Patrick Miles Jr. was sworn in on July 9, 2012 as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. A 1988 graduate of Aquinas College, Patrick was the first African American law partner for Varnum Law Firm in Grand Rapids. He is now the first African American U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. Patrick is the first presidential appointed U.S. attorney for Michigan's western district since 2001.
Retired GR City Manager Gives Keynote Address at Pi Sigma Alpha Ceremony

Kurt Kimball, recently retired Grand Rapids City Manager for 22 years, was the guest speaker at the 2011 Psi Upsilon induction ceremony. Psi Upsilon is the Aquinas College chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society. In his talk entitled "Consolidated Government in Kent County: Progress or Peril?" Mr. Kimball spoke of tension in regional government integration, and advocated for more cooperation and consolidation.

AQ Alumnus Will Eberle Working in U.S. Senate in Washington, DC
After working as a field director for a U.S. House of Representative campaign in 2010, Will Eberle '10 has been hired by U.S. Senator Stabenow as a Congressional Staff member. His previous Capitol Hill experience includes an internship in Senator Levin's office in Washington, DC and in Grand Rapids. >Read More
Alumnus Brandon Sexton's Calling Lead Him To National Parks Service
A history and political science dual major, Brandon Sexton '09 reflects on his current field as he prepares to transition from work with the Keweenaw National Historical Park in Calumet, Michigan, to a new position with the Boston National Historical Park. Among these thoughts, he shared memories of his Aquinas years and their role in where he has gone. >Read More
Aquinas Alumnus Receives Congressional Fellowship

“I was very lucky to receive the APSA Congressional Fellowship. It is a great honor and allows me to be a part of ‘practical politics’ after spending five years in the academic realm of political science,” said Kelly Dittmar '06, now an assistant professor at Rutgers University.. “I am so incredibly thankful for my experience at Aquinas, and I know it has shaped the last 10 years of my life in so many wonderful ways.” Dittmar also recently released a study, Navigating Gendered Terrain: Stereotypes and Strategy in Political Campaigns, that investigates how gender influences campaign strategy and candidate behavior. >Read More

Alumnus Profile: Alexander Wilson
During his time at Aquinas, Wilson participated in Model United Nations, Model Arab League, Student Senate, a study abroad program in Spain and Pi Sigma Alpha, while earning two majors in political science and Spanish. He also held a couple internships for political campaigns, including for President Obama in 2008. Wilson went on to earn his Master’s in Journalism from Northwestern University, which he completed in August 2011. >Read More 
Aquinas Graduate Teaches English in Saudi Arabia
Committed to service of others, Aquinas graduates take what they’ve learned and serve in a variety of ways all around the world. Michael Stephenson ’09, a dual major of political science and international studies, is a clear example of this commitment to serve. Stephenson’s studies at Aquinas often featured a special emphasis on the Middle East. Now an instructor in Saudi Arabia, Stephenson has been empowered by the core values of an Aquinas education as he learns to live and thrive in a vastly different culture. >Read More 
Aquinas Graduate Serves Botswana as Peace Corps Volunteer
Coupled with the passion for service, a hallmark of an Aquinas education, some AQ graduates find themselves traveling the world to the aid of the global community. Just ask Adam Hii, a 2011 graduate currently living and working in Botswana. Hii is serving as a member of the Peace Corps, an American organization which provides humanitarian aid and other services to various countries around the world. >Read More
Aquinas Graduate Sworn in as U.S. Attorney
AQ alumnus and former Aquinas Board of Trustee chair Patrick Miles was sworn in on July 9, 2012 as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. A 1988 graduate of Aquinas College, Patrick was the first African American law partner for Varnum Law Firm in Grand Rapids. He is now the first African American U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan. Patrick is the first presidential appointed U.S. attorney for Michigan's western district since 2001.
Outstanding Seniors
Each year the Political Science department chooses a student or two that best represents excellent scholarly work with exceptional participatory and citizen involvement. Past recipients include:
  • 2014-2015: Brandon Heritier
  • 2013-2014: Ian MacNeil
  • 2012-2013: Matthew Kuczynski
  • 2011-2012: Joseph Spaulding & Joseph Walderzak

  • 2010-2011: Adam Hii & Katie Luebke

  • 2009-2010: Will Eberle

  • 2008-2009: Javier Lopez-Ayala & Ashlyn Mausolf

  • 2007-2008: Tim Ramsay & Theresa Woodbridge

  • 2006-2007: Hilary Atkin & Rob Dordon

  • 2005-2006: Kelly Dittmar & Frances Kabat

  • 2004-2005:  Erin Monk & Adam Johnson

  • 2003-2004: John Ebers & Christine Hypner

  • 2002-2003: Ragan Savara

  • 2001-2002: Timothy Lowe

  • 2000-2001: Cheryl Kasprzyk & Eric Zeemering

  • 1999-2000: Richard Klemczak

  • 1998-1999: Amy Clapp

  • 1997-1998: Andrew Pieper

Political Science Alumni
AQ Political Science majors have gone on to make significant contributions to society. Some have entered public life while others have made impacts through the private sphere. To enhance their study of Political Science we offer four scholarships. AQ has a very good record of placing our graduates in some of the best graduate and professional schools in the country. These include:
Graduate School:
  • Pat Miles, Jr. - Harvard Law School
  • Doug Dooley - William and Mary Graduate School
  • Jessica Kalmewicki - University of Michigan Law School
  • Matt Perry - University of Michigan Law School
  • Andrew Piper - University of Connecticut
  • Chissey Mueller - American University and Kyoto University
  • Nate Jonjevich - Cornell University
  • Amy Jantovsky-Clapp - Michigan State University Detroit College
    of Law
  • Aaron Caccamo - Central Michigan University
  • Eric Zeemering - Indiana University
  • Cheryl Kasprzyk - Michigan State University
  • Robert Shefferly - Wayne State University Law School
  • Lisa Bush - Western Michigan University
  • Anthony Squiers - University of Manchester, England
  • Marquise Blakeslee - Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
  • Tim Lowe - Wayne State University Law School
  • Chris Hekman - Wayne State University Law School
  • Amanda Caldwell - Conflict Resolution Wayne State University
  • Heather Brown - Purdue University
  • Ragan Savara - Syracuse University Law School
  • Matt Grabowski - Georgetown University
  • Matt Garner - Marquette University Law School
  • Kelly Dittmar - Rutgers University
  • Bryan Browning - University of Minnesota Law School
  • Lisa Gast - Notre Dame Law School
  • Daniel Costie - American University School of International Studies
  • Brad Bosserman - Johns Hopkins University
Public Sector:
  • Darryl Delabbio - Kent County Manager
  • John Krajewski - Grand Rapids City Police Department
  • Rick Chapla - The Right Place Program
  • Amy Clapp - Assistant Prosecutor, Allegan County Prosecutor's Office
  • Jeremy Poindexter - Governor Engler's Office
  • Denny Lieber - Circuit Court Judge
  • Laurie Noall - Grand Rapids Urban League
  • Elissa Sangalli - Local First
  • Ragan Savara - Legal Aid of West Michigan
  • Chris Hekman - Assistant Prosecutor, Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Joyce Lewis - The SOURCE
  • John Krajewski - Grand Rapids City Police Department, now Byron Center Public Schools
  • Dan Costie - Peace Corps in Grenada
  • Alex Cook - Peace Corps in Romania
  • Adam Hii - Peace Corps in Botswana
Private Sector:
  • Robert Shefferly - Plunkett & Cooney
  • Kristi Pavlak - Detroit Institute for Children
  • Chris Wessely - Great Lakes Sport & Social Club
  • Wade McConnell - Siebers Mohney
  • Julianna Julianna Hyatt-Wierzbicki - The Bratschie Law Firm
From successful attorneys to judges to college professors to politicians, AQ Political Science graduates have made their mark.