Political Science and Public Administration Update


Homecoming Activities

For the first time, former classmates and department faculty will get together during Homecoming festivities, Oct. 5-6. For more information about any of the following events, contact Dr. Brian Cherry at bcherry@nmu.edu.

Friday, Oct. 5

  • 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Political Science Symposium featuring special guest Dawson Bell ’77, Detroit Free Press columnist and reporter. Dawson covers state politics and policy in Lansing. Location: Reynolds Recital Hall, C.B. Hedgcock.
  • 6 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Reception. Join us for conversation, reminiscing and a few laughs.  Complimentary hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and soda. Special guests include Professors Emeriti John Ashby and Elisha Greifer. Retiring Professor Bob Kulisheck and other faculty members will also attend. Location:  Harbor Ball Room (lower level), Landmark Inn.

Saturday, Oct. 6

  • 3 p.m. Tailgate Party at the Superior Dome. Prior to the NMU homecoming football game, please join your fellow political science and public administration alums for a hotdog, brat and maybe a beer or two. Look for a department banner and come over and join us.

State Internship Program Initiated

“This internship provided a look into how state government truly functions (or dysfunctions, which seems to be the case more often than not) that cannot be taught from a textbook!” 

This year NMU senior and political science major Jeremy Hosking was the department’s first state capital intern. He worked in the office of Representative Steve Lindberg. Similar to the students who participate in the Washington Center Intern Program, Jeremy received a scholarship through the NMU Foundation. The scholarship was made possible by the support of alumni and friends. This initiative is a priority for the Political Science and Public Administration Department. We would like to provide this experience for more students in the future. If you would like to help us in this effort, please contact Professor Brian Cherry at bcherry@nmu.edu.

The Washington Center Intern Program Continues

The Political Science and Public Administration Department is sending three more students to Washington D.C., as part of the Washington Center Internship program. 

Each year, the department awards at least three $4,000 scholarships through a competitive application process for students who are looking for more than just the normal internship experience. 

This year’s scholarship winners are Brian Bowers, a senior majoring in business management; Anne Swanson, a senior majoring in Spanish; and Elissa Kicinski, a senior pre-law major. 

Each student will spend a semester in Washington D.C. with the opportunity to work at a variety of governmental agencies (both local and federal), non-profit organizations (both national and international) or major lobbying and legal firms. These internships are very hands on and provide experiences that only take place in our nation’s capitol. 

Since Northern Michigan University has a long, successful relationship with the Washington Center, NMU students get priority status for both paid internships and other scholarship opportunities. 

Dr. Bob Kulisheck Retiring 

This is Professor Bob Kulisheck’s last semester of teaching at NMU. Hundreds of NMU students have benefited from his dedication to the art of teaching and service to the university, community and state. Come share some stories and experiences with Bob at our Oct. 5 homecoming reception and reunion.   

Faculty Updates


  • Professor Cherry, along with Douglas Ihrke from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is conducting a national survey on municipal management. This extensive survey will examine leadership, policy development, conflict and service delivery of local governments. The survey is being funded via a faculty grant awarded by Northern Michigan University. Cherry also recently made presentations at both the Urban Affairs Association Conference in Seattle, Wash., and the Western Social Science Conference in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.           
  • Professor Kulisheck is continuing his leadership in academic service learning and working with graduate and undergraduate students. This past year, he was recognized by the Michigan Campus Compact for his contributions to the advancement of academic service learning. He also presented "Extending Civic Education Across the College Curriculum" at the American Democracy Project . He has been a regular guest on WNMU-TV’s Media Meet.  
  • Professor Bill Ball was overseas in Thailand this past summer, teaching and doing research.
  • Also overseas during the summer was Professor Aura Syed, who taught and did research in Pakistan.
  • Professor Ruth Watry is co-authoring a book on board of director governance. She is also teaching courses in law, political theory, American government and public administration. She is the faculty adviser to a new student campus organization that publishes the Political Science Review, a liberal student journal publication.
  • Professor Steve Nelson's PS 500: Research Methods class has worked with the Marquette Fire Department to conduct a survey to measure attitudes towards consolidation and/or relocation of the fire hall. The class’ students also worked with Moosewood Nature Center in its efforts to gauge community support and interest. Steve Nelson recently finished a two-year term as the president of the Midwest Pre-Law Association and a four-year term as a board member of the National Pre-Law Committee. He also chaired a panel titled Academic Alternative to Law School at a recent pre-law conference.
  • Dr. Doug Irhrke served as a visiting professor in the department over the summer.  Doug holds an MPA degree from Northern Michigan University. He is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.