James Meernik '85
James Meernik graduated in 1985 with a double major in Political Science and Psychology. He was recognized by GVSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) through the 2010 CLAS Distinguished Alumni-in-Residence program.
"The best thing I did at Grand Valley was my study abroad to Yugoslavia and Poland in 1983 – it led to my majoring in political science and my current career as a professor. I also greatly enjoyed working under Prof. Walter Foote at the Writing Center. Jim Thompson and John Batchelder were great professors I had in political science."
James Meernik is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Castleberry Peace Institute at the University of North Texas. He specializes in research on international justice and international courts, post conflict peace building, and United States foreign policy. Professor Meernik’s research focuses on the judgments of the international criminal tribunals and the impact these decisions have on local populations. Currently, Professor Meernik is working on projects related to victim and witness testimony at international tribunals, public opinion about international tribunals and international human rights.
From 2003-2008 Meernik was Associate editor of the flagship journal of the International Studies Association, International Studies Quarterly. He co-leads a UNT Study Abroad Program to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia that won the 2007 American Political Science Association award for the most innovative course in the United States. Meernik has conducted research in The Hague, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Arusha, Tanzania on transitional justice issues. He won a Fulbright Specialist grant to the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) in 2009 to teach a course on post-conflict peace building, and another Fulbright Specialist award in 2013 to lecture and develop curriculum with Soochow University in Taiwan. He has authored over sixty articles and book chapters and has authored or co-edited four books on international relations. He was formerly Chair of the Department of Political Science (2002 – 2008); Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (2009); American Council on Education Fellow (2009-2010) and Acting Dean of the Toulouse Graduate School (2010-2012). He has taught at the University of North Texas since 1991.