Welcome Alumni

Welcome to all alumni! 

Political science majors are accomplishing incredible things in Michigan and all around the world. We love to hear from you! If you'd be interested in being featured in one of our spotlights, send an email to with a picture and some or all of the following:

  • Name, major(s), minor(s) (optional), and year of graduation from GVSU:
  • Describe your accomplishment (education, work, voluntarism, etc.), and optionally, anything you did previously (just a couple of sentences or as much as a page):
  • Anything you’d like to mention about how your classes, professors or activities at GVSU prepared you for your current path (optional): 

If you are looking to make contact with fellow alumni, check out the GVSU PLS and IR alumni Facebook group.

If you need a letter of recommendation, you'll find our letter of recommendation guidelines here, and faculty contact information here

We look forward to hearing from you!


Emily Brown

Master's Student Working for State Department

Rebekah Bailey

Attorney for State and Federal Employment Law

Maro Houhanisin

Attorney for Probate, Estate Planning and Domestic Relations

Tyler Nickerson

First Vice President of Commercial Banking, Amalgamated Bank

Jay Fleming

LEAP student with multiple clerkships at MSU Law

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Distinguished Alumni

Periodically, the Political Science Department is asked by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to invite a Political Science or International Relations alumnus to campus for the Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence program. The program provides a venue for departments to invite outstanding alumni back to campus to share their post-graduation experiences with the GVSU community.  Through the program, our distinguished alumni have the opportunity to share their insights about what constitutes strong academic preparation for students.

Political Science and International Relations Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence:
James Spaanstra 2005
Edward Cardenas 2006
Bob Monaghan 2007
James Meernik 2010
Nerina Cevra 2012
Richard Damstra 2015
Tim Zeeb 2017

Distinguished Alumni

Tim Zeeb '02

Managing Director in Finance

Edward Cardenas '95

Media and Communications Expert

James Meernik '85

Political Science Professor

Richard Damstra '96

Foreign Service Office, U.S. Department of State

James Spaanstra '74

Energy and Natural Resources Attorney

View More Distinguished Alumni


Apply for the Summer 2019 Henry Congressional Internship Award

December 07, 2018

Henry Fellow applications now being accepted

Willoughby Awarded Malson Memorial Scholarship

November 16, 2018

Willoughby Awarded Malson Memorial Scholarship

Immigration, Trafficking and Human Rights Panel and Mixer

November 05, 2018

Immigration, Trafficking and Human Rights Panel and Mixer

Rides to Polls for GVSU Students on Election Day

November 04, 2018

GVSU offers transportation to polls on election day.

Naturalization Ceremony at GVSU

October 26, 2018

The International Relations program and Political Science Department host a naturalization ceremony at GVSU.

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Human Rights Movie Series: The Visitor

January 23, 2019 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

HUMAN RIGHTS MOVIE AND PIZZA NIGHTS - CO-SPONSORED BY RELIGIOUS STUDIES When professor Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins) travels to New York for a lecture, he's stunned to find illegal immigrants...


January 24, 2019 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Thomas Jefferson – the most revered expositor of the early republic’s Enlightenment ideals – was deeply involved in the nation’s original sin of slavery. DNA testing has established...

Daniel Postel, The Myth of Ancient Sectarian Hatreds

February 11, 2019 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Daniel Postel, Assistant Director of the Middle East and North African Studies Program at Northwestern University, will present a lecture, "The Myth of Ancient Sectarian Hatreds: What's Really...

Washington Center Informational Meeting

February 13, 2019 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

A representative from the Washington Center will be visiting GVSU February 13th, and will have an informational meeting from 6:00pm-7:00 pm in Kirkhof room 2270. See attached flyer for more information.

Human Rights Movie Series: The Kite Runner

February 21, 2019 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

HUMAN RIGHTS MOVIE AND PIZZA NIGHTS - CO-SPONSORED BY RELIGIOUS STUDIES Afghani immigrant Amir is summoned from his California home to Pakistan by Rahim Khan, an old, dying friend of his father....

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Page last modified June 21, 2018