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Past Alumni Spotlights

Ph.D. Alumni

Joseph Wysocki, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, May 2013

Grad_WysockiJoseph Wysocki received his Ph.D. in political science in May of 2013, writing his dissertation on Rhetorical Practice in Congress: A New Way to Understand Institutional Decline. Offering several cases from the history of the American Congress, Wysocki shows that certain uses of rhetoric contribute to the institutional health of Congress, deliberation, regular order, and institutional identity, while others undermine these goals.

Wysocki is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Government and Political Philosophy at Belmont Abbey College, where he has taught since the fall of 2010. He teaches courses in the fields of American politics and constitutional law. His research interests include presidential studies and separation of powers jurisprudence.

David Capper, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, May 2013

Grad_BartlDavid W. Capper received his Ph.D. in political science from Baylor in May of 2013. He titled his dissertation, "Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and Substantive Due Process: Why the Most Powerful Judge in American History Isn't as Crazy as Everybody Thinks He Is." Capper's work challenged the widely accepted characterization of Kennedy as a political moderate or 'swing' Justice, focusing on the substantive due process cases that the Court has heard during Kennedy's tenure. Capper explains how the apparent contradictions in Kennedy's jurisprudence reveal that Kennedy has a consistent methodology for approaching substantive due process cases that is both respectful of the precedent and seeks to limit the Court's power in this area of constitutional law.

Capper's undergraduate degree was from Hampden-Sydney College. While at Baylor, he was awarded the R.W. Morrison Fellowship for the study of the Constitution, in 2009-10, and received the award for outstanding Ph.D. student in 2013. He is currently a student at the School of Law, University of Georgia.

Matt Dinan, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, May 2012

Grad_DinanMatt Dinan received his Ph.D. from Baylor in May 2012. His dissertation "The Other as Friend: A Platonic Response to the Political Thought of Jacques Derrida," put Derrida's accounts of democracy, the self, and friendship into critical dialogue with Plato's Socrates. He has published two articles based on this research: "On Wolves and Dogs: The Stranger's Socratic Turn in Plato's Sophist" in Socratic Philosophy and Its Others, eds. Dustin and Schaeffer (Lexington Books, Lanham, MD, 2013) and "Keeping the old name: Derrida and the deconstructive foundations of democracy" in European Journal of Political Theory. He is currently at work on a book manuscript called Jacques Derrida's Democratic Future for Political Philosophy, and an article on justice and principle in Aristotle, Rawls, and Derrida.

Dinan's dissertation research was supported by a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and his dissertation nominated for the 2012 American Political Science Award for best dissertation in political philosophy. At Baylor, he was nominated for the Spring 2010 Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher award and awarded the 2008 Stormie Schott Award and the 2010 Richard D. Huff distinguished doctoral student in political science award. In 2012, he was named a fellow of the Jack Miller Center.

Since 2011, Dinan has taught at College of the Holy Cross in Worester, MA, first as the Veritas Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow and now as a Visiting Assistant Professor. In addition to courses in political philosophy, Matt teaches in the Montserrat Program, Holy Cross' distinctive first year seminar program. He and his wife Vivie, a Ph.D. candidate in Baylor's Religion and Literature program, live in Worcester with their daughters, Joanna and Julia.

Anthony D. Bartl, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, August 2012

Grad_BartlTony Bartl's dissertation, The Principled Constitutionalism of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, examines the powerful "swing" justice's role in shaping the Supreme Court's jurisprudence in the areas of religious liberty, freedom of speech, and the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause. Taking on both the conventional view that Kennedy is unprincipled, pragmatic, and inconsistent and the revisionist view that Kennedy is something approaching a libertarian ideologue, Bartl argues that Kennedy is indeed a highly principled jurist but that his attachment to liberty is often balanced by his commitment to other constitutional principles—most importantly that of equality.

The dissertation was successfully defended in the Summer of 2012 and is currently under contract for publication with LFB Scholarly Publications.

Bartl was hired to a tenure-track job in the Department of Political Science at Angelo State University in 2010 and assumed the title of Assistant Professor upon graduating in 2012. His teaching interests include Constitutional Law, the Supreme Court and Judicial Process, American Political Thought, and Politics and Literature. His research continues to focus primarily on Constitutional Law and Theory and the Justices of the Supreme Court. He now resides in San Angelo, TX.

Julianne M. Romanello, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, May 2012


Julianne M. Romanello received her Doctor of Philosophy in May 2012.  Her dissertation, “Political Philosophy and the Divine Ground: Eric Voegelin on Plato,” examined a unique and oft-neglected approach to understanding Plato’s writings.  Julianne contrasts Voegelin’s approach, which treats the dialogues as expressions of Plato’s essentially ineffable experiences of the divine, with the approach of another great reader of Plato—Leo Strauss, for whom the boundary between reason and revelation is much more prominent that it is for Voegelin.  The dissertation is currently under review for publication as a monograph. 

Julianne has published an article on Saul Bellow and Kierkegaard, and is preparing essays on St. Augustine’s Dialogues and Plato’s Alcibiades I.  She has taught courses in Government, Humanities, Honors, and Philosophy at Northeastern State University and Tulsa Community College (both in Oklahoma), and lectures for the Tulsa Philosophical Society.  She enjoys participating in a reading group with faculty from institutions around the Tulsa area and attends academic conferences regularly.

Julianne and her husband Tony live in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she stays home with their two young children. 

Thomas R. Pope, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, May 2011

Grad_PopeThomas Pope's dissertation, Balancing Liberty of Contract with Police Power: A Hobbesian Approach, explores the apparent tension in American jurisprudence between the freedom of individual citizens and the responsibility of the state to provide for a more general welfare. In it, he argues that the Court has failed to provide a rationale that is able to comprehend both of these basic needs of liberal society. As a corrective, he looks back to our Constitution's roots in Social Contract Theory, finding a reconciliation in Thomas Hobbes that views individual freedom and the public good as interdependent rather than antagonistic.

Pope's research interests include classical and American liberalism, early modern political philosophy, and American constitutional law (esp. early 20th century federalism and substantive due process). Pope's Social Contract Theory in American Jurisprudence: Too Much Liberty or Too Little Authority? was published by Routledge in 2013.

Since 2010, Pope has been serving as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lee University, where he teaches Political Theory and Constitutional Law.1

Jerome Foss, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, May 2011

Spotlighting Alumni_Jerome FossJerome Foss's dissertation, John Rawls and the Supreme Court: A Study in Continuity and Change, examined the implications of John Rawls's thought for the judicial branch based upon Rawls's advocacy of judicial review and his statements about the Court's use of public reason. Foss argued that what Rawls offers is a rhetorical strategy meant to assure the realization of his version of liberal constitutionalism. The dissertation was successfully defended in the Spring of 2011.

Foss's work at Baylor earned him several recognitions, including the 2011 Outstanding Ph.D. Student in Political Science, the Morrison Fellowship in 2010, the Stormie Schott Award in 2009, and the Richard D. Huff Distinguished Master's Student in Political Science 2008. He was also invited to present his research on Francisco Suarez before the Graduate Student Association in 2009 and was a recipient of the ISI Weaver Fellowship in 2007. Foss's publications include "Francisco Suarez's, John Locke, and the Case for Toleration," in Perspectives on Political Science; review of Why Political Liberalism: On John Rawls's Political Turn by Paul Weithman for American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly; "Economics and Political Thought," CQ Press Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought. He also served as the Guest Editor in 2012 of an issue of Listening on "Approaches to Jurisprudence from a Catholic Perspective."

After graduating from Baylor in 2011, Foss joined Saint Vincent College as Assistant Professor in Political Science. His teaching interests include American Politics and Policy, Institutions, Political Philosophy, and American Political Thought. He is currently Fellow of Political Institutions and Policy in the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government at Saint Vincent and resides in Latrobe, PN, with his wife Karen and their four young boys.

Patrick Cain, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, May 2010

Patrick Cain defended his dissertation, Family, Rights, and Community: Aristotle and John Locke on the Family and Political Life, in the spring of 2010 and received his PhD in May. His dissertation contrasts Locke's emphasis on the contractual basis of the family and civil society with Aristotle's more comprehensive view of family relationships and obligations, and their connection with the formation and practice of political life.

Cain's research interests range from the Greeks, especially Aristotle and the relation between the family and the political community, the role of rights in the American regime, and Shakespeare as a political thinker.

In 2008, Cain was awarded the Richard D. Huff Distinguished PhD Student in Political Science at Baylor University.

Cain's recent publications include "Technology and Freedom: Pope Benedict XVI on Faith, Reason, and Politics" in 2012 in Perspectives on Political Science, and "Aristotle's Nod to Homer: A Political Science of Indebtedness" coauthored with Mary P. Nichols, in Socrates and Dionysus, edited by Ann Ward in 2013.

After teaching for a year at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina (2010-11), Cain is now Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where he teaches courses in political theory.

Amy Edmonds, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, May 2010

Grad_EdmondsAmy Edmonds defended her dissertation, Autonomy and Church Opposition to Authoritarianism in Latin America, in the spring of 2010 and received her PhD in May. Her dissertation examines the relationship between the Catholic Church and the military regimes in Latin America in the latter half of the twentieth century. She argues that church opposition to authoritarianism is best explained by the historical institutional arrangements between church and state. She examines the cases of Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay  examined through a historical institutionalist lens, and findings indicate that both institutional autonomy and structural carriers are necessary for opposition to authoritarianism to occur.

Edmonds's primary research interests are Latin American politics, the interaction of religion and politics, nonviolent action, and democratization. Her teaching interests include the politics of developing countries, American foreign policy, and American government.

In 2006, Edmonds was awarded the Stormie Schott Outstanding Graduate Student in Political Science Award. Edmonds also served as the graduate and research assistant for the Baylor in Maastricht Study Abroad Program in the spring of 2007, and interned at the United States Senate in the summer of 2003. She also held a Dawson Fellowship in the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor, and served as the faculty sponsor for Baylor's Model United Nation's team.

David Ramsey, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, May 2010

Grad_RamseyDavid Ramsey defended his dissertation, The Role of the Supreme Court in Antitrust Enforcement, in the spring of 2010, and received his PhD in May. His recent papers include: Can Courts Regulate the Economy? A Critique of the Chicago School of Antitrust Analysis and Leegin v. PSKS, the Rule of Reason and the Roberts Court.

In addition to American politics, constitutional law, and political theory, Ramsey also works in politics, literature, and film. He has published several articles on Flannery O'Connor. Ramsey's Antitrust and the Supreme Court was published in 2012 as part of the Law and Society Series of LFB Publishing.

At Baylor, Ramsey held the department's first Presidential Scholarship, and was a two-time recipient of the Earhart Fellowship. Ramsey also has worked with the Graduate School to develop a series of short, discussion-based seminars on course design and pedagogy. He now holds the position of Assistant Professor in the political science department at University of West Florida in Pensacola.

Andrew Hogue, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, December 2009

Alumni_Andrew HogueAndrew Hogue defended his dissertation on 1980: Reagan, Carter, and the Politics of Religion in America, in the fall of 2009 and received his PhD in December. Bringing together his interests in the presidency, religion and politics, and political rhetoric, Andy's dissertation focuses on the 1980 presidential election, arguing that election marked a significant development in American politics - specifically that it ushered in a new era of religious politics for the country.

Hogue is the co-editor of Landmark Speeches on the Cold War, 1945-1991 (forthcoming, Texas A&M University Press); the author of, "The Advent of Spring at the End of the Cold War: George Bush's Rhetorical 'Vision' at Mainz, Germany," in Voices of Democracy 3 (2008): 205-221; "Richard Land and the American Presidency, 1988-2004," in Texas Baptist History (2006).

At Baylor, Hogue served as a Dawson Fellow at the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies. Prior to this, he earned a BA from Clemson University and an MA in Church-State Studies from Baylor. He received the Stormie Schott Outstanding Graduate Student in Political Science at Baylor in May of 2009. Hogue's Stumping God: Reagan, Carder, and the Invention of a Political Faith was published in 2012 by Baylor University Press as part of the series in the Studies in Rhetoric & Religion series.

Hogue held a tenure-track position in American politics at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington from 2009-2011 and is currently a full-time faculty member at Baylor University.

Master's Alumni

Eva Silkwood, Masters of International Relations, 2009

Spotlighting Alumni_Eva SilkwoodEva Silkwood is now working as a Research Assistant at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Within INSS (the official "think-tank" for the Department of Defense), she researches U.S.-Latin American defense policy and Inter-American security issues, as well as organizes conferences, seminars, and workshops on related topics. In February 2010, Eva will also be taking the Oral Assessment in anticipation of becoming a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. State Department.

In 2009, the Political Science Department honored Silkwood with the award for the outstanding student in the MAIR program.

Angela Funai, Master's of Public Policy and Administration, August 2008

Spotlighting Alumni_Angela FunaiAngela Funai currently serves as the Director of Foundation and Corporate Development at Baylor. She teaches professional development workshops on proposal writing and leads guest lectures on Community & Politics in Cyberspace. She has more than ten years of professional experience in the nonprofit sector and higher education, specifically, grantwriting and grants administration.

Funai also holds a BA in Communication from Stephen F. Austin State University. During her graduate studies at Baylor, she presented a paper entitled, Boomer Benefactors - An Investigation of How Charitable Tax Policy Affects the Giving Generation, at the Graduate Student Association's Interdisciplinary Scholarship Forum in 2007. She is a member of the American Political Science Association and a charter member of the Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers.

B.A. Alumni

Daniella Romero, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, May 2010

Spotlighting Alumni_Daniella RomeroDaniella Romero, a 2010 Magna Cum Laude graduate and International Studies major, has been selected to represent the Rotary’s 5890 District and the United States as an Ambassador of Goodwill for the 2011-2012 school year in Geneva, Switzerland. The Rotary scholarship provides her with $30, 000 to pursue her education with a Masters in International Affairs in Geneva.  As a Rotary Foundation Scholar and Ambassador Daniella will attend meetings and give presentations throughout Switzerland and Europe. The scholarship requires her to focus on an individual project, and Daniella plans to work with students in local schools focusing on peace and conflict prevention and resolution.  As she states in an email to Dr. Linda Adams, “I believe that by  providing youth with the tools to be informed internationally and the skills to be fair, strong leaders, future conflicts can be avoided and our world will be in good hands.”

While at Baylor, Daniella minored in French, Spanish, and Public Relations. An Honors College student in the BIC program, she was a member of Phi Delta Pi French Honor Society and Phi Delta Kappa. Daniella says that her participation in the Model Organization of American States furthered her interest in international relations, and she is convinced that it will help her with her Rotary project. 

Daniella’s long-term goal is to work in the US Foreign Service and rise to the rank of ambassador.  As Dr. Adams notes, “Daniella Romero one day will be an ambassador for the United States and once again, Baylor University will have helped to educate another world leader.” 

Jessie Kuykendall, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, May 2010

Jessie Kuykendall came to Baylor from Tulsa, Oklahoma, as a National Merit Scholar. During her four years as an undergraduate, she spent a summer working at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. as part of the Washington Internship for Native Students program, a semester studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, and her senior year as president of her sorority. As a student in the Honors Program, Jessie wrote a thesis examining the United States use of soft power in the Middle East. With the assistance of her thesis director, Dr. Bradley Thayer, she successfully defended her research and received a grade of outstanding. She graduated in May 2010 Summa Cum Laude with her BA in International Studies and minors in Spanish and History. She is also a graduate of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core program, winner of the Richard D. Huff Distinguished Student in International Studies award, and an Honors student with distinction. She will begin graduate school in fall 2010 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. pursuing a MA in Global Communication. This program focuses on the study of the global information environment and its implications for governance, security, and business.

Jessie is also entering graduate school as a Pickering Fellow. The Thomas Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of State and awarded to twenty individuals nationwide. The award portion of the fellowship includes financial support of up to $50,000 annually towards tuition and mandatory fees, a living stipend, and reimbursement for books. The program includes two internships with the State Department, one domestic and one international, during the summer. Most importantly, after graduation and passing the necessary interviews, Pickering Fellows are commissioned as Junior Officers in the United States Foreign Service and will be posted as diplomatic representatives of the United States all over the world.

Melissa Yeakley, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, May 2010

Spotlighting Alumni_Melissa YeakleyMelissa Yeakley lives in Hurst, Texas and graduated from Birdville High School in 2006 and Baylor University in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (the intensive track) with a concentration in Chinese. She studied Chinese for three years at Baylor under Dr. Xin Wang, Dr. Vincent Yang, and a visiting professor from Tsinghua University in Beijing. She participated in the Baylor in China Study Abroad program in the summer of 2008, and the Critical Language Scholarship Program through the State Department in 2009 in Suzhou China. In June, she will travel to China for the CLS Program in Beijing. During her last semester at Baylor, she attended the Waco Chinese Church and taught English as a Second Language to visiting Chinese professors at Baylor.

While in China from June to August, she will study at the Beijing Language and Culture University and will live with a host family. She hopes to narrow her career goals upon returning from China in August. One option is to stay in China and teach English for a year. Another option she is considering is to return to the United States to seek an internship with the State Department, National Security Agency, or Defense Department. She is also interested in pursuing a Masters in International Relations and possibly joining the Foreign Service.

Ashley Killough, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies & Journalism, May 2009

Spotlighting Alumni_Ashley KilloughAshley Killough is a student at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. With a bachelor's degree in international studies and journalism, Ashley graduated in 2009 from Baylor University, where she worked as a reporter and columnist for the student newspaper, The Baylor Lariat. Most recently, she completed a 10-month stay in Armenia as a Fulbright fellow, studying Russian and conducting research on new and social media. Ashley also spent two summers in Washington, D.C., reporting for The Chronicle of Higher Education and writing radio editorials for Voice of America. In addition, her work has been published by Eurasia Daily Monitor, Wacoan Magazine,, Ianyan Magazine, and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

Seth Reed, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and in Economics, May 2009

Spotlighting Alumni_Seth ReedSeth Reed currently is teaching at Rajinibon (the queen's school in Bangkok, Thailand), a private girls' school whose students primarily are daughters of military officers' families. Seth teaches English as a Foreign Language to ten classes at the fifth and sixth grade levels. Throughout this experience, Seth has had the opportunity to travel to Malaysia, Cambodia, and Northern Thailand. By teaching in another country, Seth has had unique opportunities to apply his knowledge developed in International Studies courses in adapting to the Thai culture and in comprehending the current political issues in Thailand.

Seth graduated from Baylor University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and in Political Science. During his undergraduate education, he was a Head Delegate and President of the Washington Model OAS Conference in 2009, and he won the Outstanding Delegate Award in San Antonio in 2008. He was also an Assistant Head Delegate with the Model UN team, and won the Outstanding Delegate Award for the MUN Conference in Chicago in 2008.

Jamie Gianoutsos Jordan, BA Political Science and Great Texts, May 2006

Spotlighting Alumni_Jamie Gianoutsos Jamie Gianoutsos Jordan (BA, May 2006, with majors in Political Science and Great Texts) is now studying for her doctorate in history at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Her primary interests lie in British intellectual history, 1500-1800.

When a senior at Baylor, Jordan was awarded the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, which funds graduate work in the United Kingdom. As a Marshall Scholar, she received a Master's degree in English from Queen's University Belfast, and then another master's in history from Cambridge. Jordan's undergraduate work at Baylor gave her a solid foundation for her graduate studies. Jordan co-authored an encyclopedia article with Professor Sarah-Jane Murray on "Love and Culture in the Medieval World," and wrote an honor's thesis on John Locke, under the direction of Political Professor Dwight Allman. As an undergraduate, Jordan also published two articles in The Pulse, a honors college journal devoted to undergraduate research.