I have always been interested in politics and especially international relations. It probably has a lot to do with my personal history—I was born in the Soviet Union, I lived in Israel and my mother was always politically active.
I believe the only way to truly learn is not though lecture, but rather through discussion and the free flow of ideas. I make an effort to get students involved in the subject through discussion of the topics we cover. I have also been incorporating projects into my classes, which allow students to address some of the issues facing the international system.
My research focuses heavily on the role national identity plays in a country’s foreign policy. Most recently I have been examining the role of national identity in the foreign policy of post-Soviet Russia and Ukraine.
Best Part of Teaching
The best part is the students, and I am not pandering. They are the reason I do this.
My favorite building is Chapman Hall. I know it is not the newest or the most up to date, but it has the most character. I like historic buildings, and Chapman is the most historic … and it’s got a ghost in it, which also is interesting.
Small Class Sizes
Mount Union can offer something that most other schools cannot: it can provide you with the education you would find at a big state school but with the added benefit of small classes and faculty members who really know their students. I would compare the programs offered by the Department of Political Science and International Studies favorably to any programs offered at much larger schools, but you don’t end up in a class of 100 or more.
In our department, we encourage students to get an internship. It gives students practical, real-world experience that they can take with them. At the same time, we try to provide a strong theoretical basis in the classroom.