December 2021 Newsletter
With tireless dedication, hard work, good cheer, and support of faculty, staff, and students, we approach the end of a successful—if stress-filled and unprecedented—semester. Graduating seniors are presenting the projects they are most proud of from their time in our department. I imagine that they are very pleased to be able to do so in person rather than over Zoom. Faculty and undergraduates alike are preparing for final exams and essays. I am grateful and proud to have served as chair during this difficult time, especially after reading the stories included in this newsletter.
Please take some time to read two student profiles and a Q&A with one of our faculty members that will help show you the important work we are doing in our department.
- PhD Candidate Ashley Sorensen has published research on how race, gender, and class impact political representatives and how people view them. Sorensen's work has earned her prestigious fellowships and scholarships.
- Professor Kathleen Collins participated in a Q&A that will help us understand the history of Afghanistan, the U.S. invasion and mission, and the chaotic withdrawal of the past summer.
- Undergraduate student Philsan Isaak has won effusive praise from our faculty and tells us how her education at UMN is preparing her to make a difference in the world.
As the year comes to a close, please consider making a gift to our department that will support faculty research funds, undergraduate scholarships, and graduate student fellowships.
Professor and Chair
Ashley Sorensen received several competitive fellowships and scholarships that have helped her cultivate her research studying representation in politics, which has led to intriguing findings about barriers to diverse political representation.
Professor Kathleen Collins answers questions on the current state of Afghanistan, the country's deep history with the United States, and the United States’ decision to withdraw. “The future of Afghanistan is bleak, far worse than several months ago.”
"Philsan is the epitome of a liberal arts student,” says Professor Timothy R. Johnson. Philsan Isaak has become known to her professors as a top student and leader in the classroom even as a young undergraduate student.