Alumni in 10

Jim Meernik, '85

Jim Meernik, '85

Title/Employer: Professor of Political Science and Director of the Castleberry Peace Institute, University of North Texas

Degree Earned/Emphasis Area: B.A., Political Science and Psychology


1. What has been your journey since graduation?
After receiving my Ph.D. in 1992 in political science and psychology, I took a job at the University of North Texas where I have been working ever since. I have worked my way up the ranks to full professor and Director of the Castleberry Peace Institute, while also serving as department chair, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and acting Dean of the Graduate School. I am married to Kimi King, a fellow professor and collaborator. We have a daughter, Marlene.

2.  How has Grand Valley had a role in your journey?
Grand Valley was absolutely instrumental in my journey.  Because of a study abroad program to Yugoslavia and Poland in the summer of 1983 I became a political science major, earned a graduate degree in political science, and went on to conduct research on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and its impact on Yugoslavia. Without Grand Valley and that study abroad trip, none of this would have ever happened.

3.  What is your favorite Grand Valley memory?
Working at the Writing Center and living at Robinson Hall with my best friends.

4.  What three words describe your experience at Grand Valley?
Eye-opening discovery

5.  How have you stayed involved with Grand Valley since graduation?
I have been to some alumni events in the Dallas region and I give to Grand Valley.

6.  Why are you proud to be a Laker for a Lifetime?
Grand Valley set me on a course for life and helped make me who I am today.

7.  What do you like to do for fun?
Have adventures with my wife and daughter, travel, hang out with friends and colleagues, and listen to my favorite band: The Church.

8.  What is your favorite quote/motto to live by?
Let’s just see what happens.

9.  What motivates you?

10.  What book or movie have you recently enjoyed?
Homage to Catalonia
by George Orwell and the movie Love and Mercy

October 2016

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Page last modified July 27, 2016