Political Science Faculty & Staff

Meet the Department of Political Science's faculty and staff members.


Mike Gunter, Ph.D
Professor of Political Science | Department Chair
Cornell Hall – Room 146
T. 407.646.2263
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Ph.D., MA University of Kentucky

BA Vanderbilt University

Dr. Mike Gunter is a Cornell Distinguished Faculty member and Arthur Vining Davis Fellow who teaches courses on environmental politics, sustainable development, and international security. He served as a Fulbright Scholar at Univerzita Komenského in the Slovak Republic and has led field studies to the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador as well as traveled with students in Australia, Singapore, and Vietnam. Gunter has over 40 popular and academic publications to his credit, including Building the Next Ark: How NGOs Work to Protect Biodiversity (2004/2006). His current project, Tales of an Ecotourist, makes a case for experiential learning as a route to better understand climate change. Gunter also serves as director of the interdisciplinary International Relations Program as well as an advisor to Rollins’ Washington Semester Program. He was Rollins’ first faculty-in-residence and directed its Living & Learning Communities, whose programs link academic and social aspects on campus.

Dexter Boniface, PhD
Professor of Political Science
Cornell Hall – Room 202
T. 407.646.2389
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MA., Ph.D. University of Illinois

Dr. Boniface is Professor of Political Science and holds the Weddell Chair of the Americas at Rollins. Dexter was a visiting fellow at the Center for Inter-American Studies and Programs at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City in 2009-2010. He is co-editor of the book Promoting Democracy in the Americas (Johns Hopkins, 2007) and the author of numerous articles in journals such as Comparative Politics, Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica, and Global Governance.

Sabbatical 2017/18 Academic Year

Dan Chong, PhD
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Cornell Hall – Room 208
T. 407.691.1709

Ph.D., International Relations from American University
MA, International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame

Dr. Dan Chong is an Arthur Vining Davis Fellow at Rollins, teaching courses in international human rights, global poverty, and peace and conflict resolution.  He has led international field study courses focused on human rights and poverty to Guatemala, South Africa, Tanzania, and the Thai-Burma border. His first book, Freedom from Poverty: NGOs and Human Rights Praxis (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), analyzes the methods that NGOs use to advocate for rights to food, housing, and health care. He has also contributed to journals such as Development and Change, Human Rights Review, and Global Environmental Politics. His most recent book, Debating Human Rights (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2014), examines major controversies in the field of human rights. He is currently working on an undergraduate textbook on human rights for Lynne Rienner Publishers.  He also serves as the faculty advisor for the Amnesty International student club, as a member of the strategic task force for the Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Initiative (SESI), and on the internationalization committee at Rollins.

Don Davison, Ph.D
Professor of Political Science
Cornell Hall – Room 205
T. 407.646.2505

Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis
MA, University of Notre Dame
BA, St. Louis University

Dr. Davison specializes in political behavior, American institutions, public policy and formal theory and methodology. His research focuses upon the effects of race and religion on political behavior and the reactions by majority populations to minority voting rights.   During Poland’s transition to democracy in the 1990s he taught courses on democracy and rights at the Graduate School of the University of Warsaw as a Senior Fulbright Scholar. His research enables him to travel extensively including to South Africa, Turkey, Portugal, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Malta, and Spain.  Dr. Davison served as the Associate Dean of the Faculty from 2009 - 2011.  His most recent publications include “The Myth of the Catholic Vote: The Influence of Ideology and Theology on Catholics in Presidential Elections, 1972-2008,” with Michael Krassa, (2011), “Deliberative Democracy: Health Care and the Limits of Increased Information Levels,” with Daniel Reagan and Josh Raines, (2011), and “American Conservatism: The Influence of the Tea Party on the Republican Party,” (2013). He is also the editor for the European peer reviewed Politics and Religion Journal’s special edition on the United States and a member of its international editorial board.

Joan Davison, Ph.D
Professor of Political Science
Cornell Hall – Room 211
T. 407.646.2551

MA and Ph.D., University of Notre Dame 
BA, Wheeling Jesuit University

Dr. Joan Davison is a Cornell Distinguished Faculty Member and specializes in international relations and comparative politics.  Her research currently focuses upon ethnoreligious identity and politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Recent publications include  “Sarajevo Heart of Europe? Global Politics, Symbol(ism) &Liminality in the Centenary of WW1,” with Jesenko Tesan, International Political Anthropology (2014), “The Left’s Attraction amidst Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Nationalist Politics,” Left and Right: The Great Dichotomy Revisited (2013),  “What Matters to Social Democratic Party Voters? Liberal and Economic Interests trump Ethnoreligious Identity in Bosnia Hercegovina,” Civis (2013), “The Beauty and the Beast: Civil Society and Nationalisms in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” with Jesenko Tesan, Southwestern Journal of International Studies (2011) and “Whither or Wither: Disaffection, Intransigence and Democratization in Bosnia and Hercegovina,” Balkanistica (2011). Dr. Davison also serves as the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative in which capacity she assists student-athletes.

Rick Foglesong, Ph.D
Professor of Political Science
Cornell Hall – Room 206
T. 407.646.2608

MA., Ph.D.  University of Chicago

Richard Foglesong is the George & Harriet Cornell Professor of Political Science, and teaches courses on American national politics, urban politics, and urban policy. He is also the political analyst for Orlando’s ABC-affiliate TV station, WFTV-Ch.9. Dr. Foglesong was the first recipient of Rollins’ Bornstein Award for Outstanding Scholarship; his books include Immigrant Prince: Mel Martinez and the American Dream (University Press of Florida, 2010); Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando (Yale, 2001); and Planning the Capitalist City (Princeton, 1986). He has also taught at UCLA, where he was the Harvey Perloff Visiting Professor of Urban Planning, and Hong Kong University, where he was a Fulbright Fellow. His civic activities include chairing the Citizens Advisory Committee for MetroPlan Orlando, the Orlando area’s three-county transportation planning agency.  Dr. Foglesong received his MA in Urban Studies and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago, where he was a Ford Foundation Fellow.

Julia Maskivker, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Cornell Hall – Room 236
T. 407.646.2301
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Ph.D., Political Science, Columbia University

BA, Political Science, Universidad Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dr. Julia Maskivker is a political theorist whose teaching and research focuses on contemporary theories of justice, global ethics, and social and economic citizenship. She teaches the following courses at Rollins: Problems in Political Thought, Ancient Political Theory, Welfare and Justice, Constitutional Law and Contemporary Political Theory. Her recent publications include: Self-Realization and Justice: A Liberal-Perfectionist Defense of the Right to Freedom from Employment (Routledge 2012), and “Discursive Practices in Ancient Athens: A Habermasian Approach” (The European Legacy, 15:7, 2010).

Eren Tatari, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Cornell Hall – Room 120
T. 407.646.2183

MA., Ph.D.  Indiana University

BA,  Franklin and Marshall College

Dr. Eren Tatari is an Assistant Professor teaching courses on Comparative Politics, Middle East Politics, Muslims in Western Politics, Research Methods, and Islam and Politics courses. She specializes in ethnic and religious minorities in the U.S. and Western Europe, Middle East politics, democratic theory and minority rights, politics and religion, women in Islam, gender politics, and intersectionality. Her recent publications include Surrendering to God: Understanding Islam in the Modern Age (Tughra Publications, 2012) and Muslims in British Local Government: Representing Minority Interests in Hackney, Newham, and Tower Hamlets (BRILL, 2014).

Sabbatical 2017/18 Academic Year

Faculty Emeriti

Thomas D. Lairson
Professor Emeritus

Thomas D. Lairson is Professor of Political Science at Jindal Global University and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rollins College.  He was formerly the Gelbman Professor of International Business and Professor of Political Science at Rollins College.  He received the Ph.D. in political science from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Lairson was the first Ford Foundation Professor of International Relations in 1994 at the Institute for International Relations in Hanoi and has taught at East China University of Science and Technology, Wuhan University, and at Jindal Global University in India. He was awarded a Senior Fulbright Fellowship for Singapore in 2011.  Dr. Lairson teaches courses on the political economy of Asia, with a focus on China and India.  He has published articles recently on the global financial crisis, U.S.-China relations, Vietnam and China, the global economy, state capitalism in China, and the strategic relationship of China and Russia.  With David Skidmore, he is author of International Political Economy: The Struggle for Power and Wealth in a Globalizing World, Routledge, 2017.  Professor Lairson is currently completing a book entitled “State Capitalism and Economic Growth in China.”


Nakia Gater
Administrative Assistant
Cornell Hall - Room 216
T. 407-646-2155

Nakia Gater currently serves in the capacity of Administrative Assistant to the Political Science Department. She has held this position since December of 2016. In this position Nakia is responsible for communications, overseeing departmental budgets, purchasing, and serves as inter-departmental liaison with the College and community.

When not working, Nakia enjoys spending time with her family, writing, mentoring teens, and serving in her community.

Kennedy Hayles
Work Study
Cornell Hall - Room 216

Kennedy is majoring in Economics and Business Management and aspires to become a stockbroker. While not at work, Kennedy is a member of the German club, participates in greek life. In his spare time Kennedy loves to play sports, go to the beach, and hang out with friends.

Department of Political Science
Rollins College
1000 Holt Avenue - 2762
Winter Park, FL 32789
T. 407.646.2158
F. 407.646.2363