Alumni page

Graduates of the Department of Political Science choose a variety of paths upon the completion of their degrees.  This page is devoted to them! Are you interested in joining the Department’s Alumni Page? Please send a photo and brief bio to Dr. Denise DeGarmo (

Making Contributions to the Department

Providing a contribution to the Department helps enhance the vital day-to day-work of the Department. Interested in giving?  Please contact Cindy Scarsdale for assistance:

Now on to the Alums!

Ty Solomon graduated from SIUE with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in December 2002.  Since then, he has earned a Master of Arts degree from SIUC and a PhD from the University of Florida (2010).  He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Government and History at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, where I teach courses in International Relations.  My main teaching and research interests include international relations theory, American foreign policy, international security, affects and emotions in politics, interpretive methodology, and contemporary political theory.  In brief, my dissertation analyzed the interweaving of affects, discourses, and identities in world politics, specifically in the war on terror, and in the rise and fall of neoconservatism in American foreign policy debates.  What Ty liked most about the Department of Political Science at SIUE was the quality of professor, who went out of their way to assist students.

Rene’ Lewis graduated from the Department of Political Science in 2005.  She is active in politics, working on various campaigns through the state of Illinois, including US House of Representative John Shimkus and Illinois State Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier.  She is the founder the Political Science Association@SIUE.  Rene’ is currently working for Representative Cavaletto in Salem, Illinois.

After graduation in 2005, Michael Prelaske went on to receive a Masters of Teaching in May 2010 from Concordia University.  In 2007-2008 he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia where he had two TV shows that he wrote and he starred in over 30 episodes between the two.  Michael was part of an international team that wrote Mongolia’s national policy on youth development.  JRC Sports for Peace is an international non-profit that focuses on supporting grass-roots youth development around the world.  Michael and his wife started this non-profit and currently do all the fundraising, grant review and project design and consultation.

Andrew Bequette received his degree in 2005.  He says that he loved his time at SIUE and the Department of Political Science was amazing in that it set him up for his career.  Andrew works in government as an analyst and lives in the St. Louis area.  He continues to enjoy attending SIUE basketball games.

After John “Tyler” Robinson graduated from SIUE in 2006, he attended the SIU School of Law in Carbondale, where he served as the editor of the Journal of Legal Medicine.  After passing the Illinois Bar Exam, Tyler became an attorney in Marion, Illinois at a firm that specializes in qui tam litigation.  Tyler works in tandem with various state and federal agencies in an effort to recoup wrongfully obtained or retained government monies.

Jay Lingelbach graduated with a degree in Philosophy with a minor in Political Science in 2006.  After graduation he went to Seoul, Korea to teach English and followed by an employment opportunity in the Virgin Islands.  Currently, Jay in residing in the St. Louis area and is employed with Verizon.

After graduation in 2007, Sheikera Balentine enrolled in the Legal Studies Program at Webster University. She is currently using this program to help her prepare for Law School. Sheikera lives in the St. Louis area.

After graduation in 2007, Anthony Dietz completed his Masters Degree in Geography at SIUE.  Tony is currently a police officer with the City of Edwardsville, in Edwardsville Illinois.

During his time at SIUE, Ian Williams studied abroad in Senegal.  Upon graduation he went to the Czech Republic, Russia, Bulgaria and South Korea.  He is currently working in the United Arab Emirates as an English and History teacher.

Matthew Eduakwa received his degree in Political Science with a minor in Peace and International Studies in 2008.  He also finished his Masters Degree in Public Administration at SIUE.


After graduation in 2008, Delia Major pursued her Master’s of Public Administration and served as a graduate research assistant with the Institute for Urban Research at SIUE.

Alyx Mark is  currently studying for her PhD in American Politics at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  Her academic interests include: strategic deision-making in federal courts, political behavior, and institutional socialization and memory.  In her spare time, she enjoys bicycling around DC, cooking and international travel.

Timothy Monaco graduated from SIUE in 2008 with a BA in Political Science. After SIUE he attended the University of Akron where he received an Masters in Public Administration along with a graduate certificate in applied politics from the nationally recognized Ray Bliss Institute. During his graduate school studies Timothy was an independent political consultant, and a researcher for Dr. John Green. Following the receipt of his Master’s, he accepted a position with the Ohio Secretary of State as the Regional Liaison in charge of all of North-West Ohio. Timothy says: He “couldn’t have done it without the skills taught to me at SIUE.”

Since graduating from SIUE in 2009, Dan Prengel has been attending graduate school at Purdue University. During the summer of 2010, he interned with the National Stonewall Democrats in Washington, D.C., helping to plan the organization’s national convention and raising awareness for pro-equality Democratic candidates across the nation. He will complete a Master’s Degree in Spring 2011, with emphases in Political Behaviors and Institutions, Public Policy, and Women’s Studies.  According to Dan: “The best part about SIUE Political Science was working with the wide range of professors who helped shape my interests. Without the support of these wonderful people who encouraged me to pursue my interests and my goals, I would not be where I am today.”

After graduation in 2009, Izak Post pursued one of his career goals to become a lobbyist through a program with the Institute of Business and Government Affairs at Georgetown University. He is currently working on his Law Degree at Michigan State University School of Law.


Upon completion of her degree, Jessica Martin attended Eastern Illinois University where she received her Masters in Political Science in Spring 2011.  She is currently working on her PhD at the University of Iowa.  Jessica says she misses the peanut butter cookies from the MUC and being able to skip class (none of her political science courses of course!).  Some advice she has for undergrads – make sure you take POLS300 and study abroad if you can!

Leah Graves graduated with a BS in Political Science and a minor in Women’s Studies in 2009.  She completed a Master’s in Political Science at the University of Illinois Springfield and is ready to return to SIUE to pursue a Master’s of Art Degree in Public Administration and Policy Analysis.

Nicholas Gebben graduated with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Peace and International Studies in 2009.  He attended a short program through American University’s School of International Service where he earned graduate credits and assisted in research on issues of WMD terrorism and counter-proliferation.  In the spring of 2011 he interned for the Arms Control Association in Washington D.C. writing and editing for their monthly publication Arms Control Today.  He looks to start the State Department’s STEP program in 2012.

Naomi Williams decided to pursue a Master’s Degree after graduation in 2010.  She is currently in the PAPA program here at SIUE.

John Hanson spent most of his undergraduate career as a research assistant to Dr. DeGarmo.  He often attended the Presidential Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health to deliver new research findings.  This board is appointed by the President of the US and is charged with advising the Department of Health and Human Services in regard to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000.  John has completed his Master’s Degree in Political Science  at Eastern Illinois University. Preparing for a PhD program, John is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at SIUE.

Eric Lupardus was an active participant in politics during his undergraduate education in Political Science.  Here he is with Newt Gingrich!  Eric is pursuing a PhD in Political Science at Kent State University.

Michael Vogel was interested in pursuing a degree in political science because he had a general interest in politics.  After taking the introduction class POLS111, he decided the field was for him.  He is currently pursuing a law degree at St. Louis University and expects to graduate in 2013.

Kendyl Schmidt graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in History.  She is currently completing her M.A. in Public Administration and Policy Analysis at SIUE.


Upon graduation with a BA in Political Science in 2011, Emma Pieper moved to West Palm Beach, FL to work on Lois Frankel’s congressional campaign.  Here is a picture of Emma with DNC Chairwoman Congress women Debbie  Wasserman-Schultz and Candidate Lois Frankel.

My name is Corwin Fourqurean. I am getting my masters at Webster University. The political Science dept at SIUE really helped my in my masters classes because of the foundation they helped me build.

Michael Rudy recently defended his dissertation to complete his doctoral degree in political science from the University of Missouri. He is presently working at Truman State University, an elite liberal arts college in Kirksville, Missouri, where is holds a tenure track position. His research focus resides within the conflict studies realm where he has published articles in peer reviewed journals such as Conflict Management and Peace Science and International Interactions. Michael completed his undergraduate degree at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. While at SIUE, he took 17 classes (51 hours) from the political science program ranging from Political Analysis to Political Thought and everything in-between.


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