Welcome Alumni!

Welcome to all alumni! 

International relations 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 [email protected] 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!


Nathen Julien Spotlight

Nathen Julien

2018 Graduate Joins Peace Corps in Armenia

Jennifer Ventimiglia Spotlight

Jennifer Ventimiglia

Peace Corps Volunteer and Fulbright Scholar Now Studying Education at U.C. Berkeley

Meghan Ramil Spotlight

Meghan Ramil

2016 Graduate Promoted to Assistant Account Executive for Political Consulting Firm in DC

Tim Zeeb Spotlight

Tim Zeeb

2002 Graduate Becomes Managing Director at Conway MacKenzie

Cody Gradwell Spotlight

Cody Gradwell

2015 Graduate Working in the Peace Corps and Teaching World History in Mongolia

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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
Alan Dunklow 2019

Distinguished Alumni

Edward Cardenas Spotlight

Edward Cardenas

Media and Communications Expert

Nerina Cevra Spotlight

Nerina Cevra

Human Rights Lawyer

Robert Monaghan Spotlight

Robert Monaghan

Corporate Executive and Nonprofit Leader

Alan Dunklow Spotlight

Alan Dunklow

Assistant Attorney General for Maryland

James Spaanstra Spotlight

James Spaanstra

Energy and Natural Resources Attorney

View More Distinguished Alumni


Pullins Wins Outstanding Paper Award

Pullins Wins Outstanding Paper Award

Sarah D. Pullins is the winner of the Outstanding Paper Award for Political Science and International Relations.

May 3, 2024



Jackson Tisdale is the recipient of the Grand Valley in DC Scholarship for the 2023-24 academic year. The purpose of this alumni-funded scholarship is to assist students in pursuing internship opportunities in Washington, D.C.

Apr 5, 2024

Tafel Recognized for Excellence in Teaching

Tafel Recognized for Excellence in Teaching

Dr. Tafel wins Pew Teaching Excellence Award

Feb 19, 2024

Outstanding Student Paper Competition

Outstanding Student Paper Competition

Eligibility is open to all students who major in political science or international relations.

Feb 13, 2024

John T. Batchelder Political Science Scholarship

John T. Batchelder Political Science Scholarship

The John T. Batchelder scholarship is funded by a generous grant from the Batchelder family. The scholarship honors Dr. John Thayer Batchelder who served as a Grand Valley State University professor until his retirement in 1997.

Feb 13, 2024

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Virtual Info Session: Gilman International Scholarship and other undergraduate fellowships that help with costs of study abroad - Interested in applying? Join me to learn more!

August 6, 2024 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Join me to learn more about the Gilman International Scholarship and other fellowships (external, competitive, high-impact opportunities) that help to defray the cost of undergraduate study abroad! The...

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Page last modified October 25, 2019