Political Science  


The political science faculty study, teach, and do politics. They maintain active relationships with local, state, and national elected and appointed officials. They have worked on campaigns, run for office, and consulted on the problems of governing at all levels. They actively engage in research and are members of prestigious academic societies and associations. Students are strongly encouraged to participate as well. Click on a faculty member's name to learn more about them.
Roger J. Durham

Roger J. Durham, Ph.D.
Chair & Professor of Political Science
(616) 632-2840

Office: Holmdene 219
E-mail: durharog@aquinas.edu
>About Prof. Durham

Ph.D., University of Oregon
M.A., University of Oregon
B.S., Southern Oregon University

Molly Patterson

Molly Patterson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Political Science
(616) 632-2841

Office: Holmdene 221
E-mail: pattemol@aquinas.edu
>About Prof. Patterson

Ph.D., University of California - Irvine
M.A., University of California - Irvine
B.A., Carleton College

Glenn Barkan Glenn Barkan, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
E-mail: barkagle@aquinas.edu
Ph.D., Claremont Graduate School
B.A., Hobart College

Ragan Savara, J.D.

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Legal Aid of West Michigan

J.D., Syracuse University

B.A., Aquinas College

Bradford Winkler, J.D.

Associate Professor

Director, Pre-Law Program

Office: Academic Building 55

Phone: (616) 632-1997
E-mail: bradford.winkler@aquinas.edu
J.D., Thomas M. Cooley Law School
M.A., Bowling Green State University
B.A., The College of Wooster

Dr. Deborah Steketee 
Associate Professor of Sustainable Business
Office: 230 Academic Building
Phone: (616) 632-2930 
E-mail: stekedeb@aquinas.edu 

Professor Barkan joined the Aquinas College community in 1973 and served as Department Chair from 1974-2004. His contributions to the College, the Grand Rapids Community and the discipline of Political Science are significant. He is a member of the World Affairs Council Board, the Public Defenders Board, the ACLU Board and he is a court-appointed advocate for families in trouble. He has been very influential in the Grand Rapids urban public planning process as a driving force in the creation of the Metro Council and the Aquinas-Eastown Project. He is a well known expert on state and local politics and continues to publish and comment on political and election issues. Professor Barkan teaches many of the domestic politics courses including Politics and the News Media, Politics and Elections and American Political Thought. He has published many articles and book reviews and is currently engaged in a research project on managed health care. In the summer of 2004 he was named Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Barkan retired in December 2009 and is currently a Professor Emeritus of Policial Science.

Professor Durham joined the Aquinas College community in fall of 1996. He teaches the international relations and comparative politics courses and coordinates the International Studies Degree. He has been honored with the AQ Student Senate Outstanding Faculty Award four times for the years 1996-1997, 1998-1999, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008.

His research interests include: post-Cold War dynamics between strong and weak states; development issues; just war theory; Caribbean politics; international political economy and human rights issues. He recently published “Expanding the Scope of Policy Leadership through Networks: Grand Rapids, Michigan” Chapter 9 in the text The Facilitative Leader in City Hall: Reexamining the Scope and Contributions, James H. Svara, Editor, Arizona State University, CRC Press. This was co-Authored with former AQ student Eric S. Zeemering, Ph.D., now of San Francisco State University.

He is a past President of the Michigan Conference of Political Scientists (2001-2002). On campus he is the advisor to the POLIS Political Studies Club and serves on many committees including the Haiti Connection Committee. He has twice accompanied students on a service learning trip to Haiti, and recently returned from Honduras.

He is a member of the International Studies Association and the American Political Science Association and has presented research at several conferences. Visit his homepage for his vitae, course material, information about him and Model United Nations and Model Arab League. In January 2004 he was appointed Chair of the Political Science Department.

Professor Patterson arrived at Aquinas College in fall of 2005. She teaches courses in American politics, political and feminist theory, political psychology and research methods. Her research interests involve issues of power and social justice, including democratic theory, new democratic practices, and citizenship education and empowerment. >More About Professor Patterson

Dr. Steketee served as Executive Director of the Center for Sustainability from 2006-2013, and continues to contribute to Aquinas' momentum toward sustainability.

Dr. Steketee completed her doctoral work in public policy and political science in 2006 at Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Her research focused on cross-scale linkages between ecological and social systems, specifically examining the role of environmental organizations in community forestry initiatives in Ecuador. She earned her Master of Science degree in Resource Development from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Steketee's work in the private and non-profit sectors has included consulting engagements as well as positions as an environmental advocate and educator, television producer, and magazine editor. Strongly committed to community service, Dr. Steketee continues to be actively engaged in various community and sustainability-related activities and initiatives.

Along with her husband, Fred, and daughter, Dr. Steketee enjoys life on Michigan's waters.

Professor Savara joined Legal Aid of Western Michigan as a staff attorney in 2007. Ms. Savara is a graduate of Aquinas College (Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude). She is a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law (J.D., Cum Laude) where she received the Law Chancellor's Scholarship and Heintz & Kirwin Scholarship (Environmental Law). Ms. Savara was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society and holds a Certificate in National Security and Counterterrorism Law. She also served as a student attorney handling cases in the areas of disability and prisoner rights law. Ms. Savara's legal experience includes a judicial clerkship, insurance and medical malpractice defense law, and public interest law. Since leaving law school, she has developed a strong interest in consumer law. Ms. Savara is a member of the Kalamazoo County Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, and National Association for Consumer Advocates. She is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
Professor Winkler has been at Aquinas since 1979. He is a graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1996. He also holds degrees from Bowling Green State University and Michigan State University in student affairs administration. He served in student affairs positions at Aquinas as Director of Residence Life from 1979-1987, Associate Dean of Students from 1987-1990, and Dean of Students from 1990-2008. In the fall of 2008, Prof. Winkler moved full-time to the faculty as Associate Professor In-the-College. He is a licensed attorney in the Michigan and federal courts. He teaches a variety of law classes in Political Science, Business Administration, Graduate Management, Education, and Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. He also teaches a section of Inquiry and Expression (GE 101) and coordinates the Moot Court class in which students compete against other undergraduate students in appellate argument. He serves as an advisor to students preparing for legal careers and serves as advisor to the Pre-Law Club.
Professor Berkenpas is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science who teaches American Government and Politics, The Presidency and Congress, and Methods and Inquiry in Political Science.  He is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at Western University Michigan and his dissertation is titled "The Mythology of the Behavioral Revolution in Contemporary Political Science."  His research interests include the history of political science, narrative theory, myth and mythology studies, democratic theory, the politics of food and food justice, and urban politics and urban regime analysis.  >More about Professor Berkenpas