Academics photos

Meet the Political Science Faculty

Mari Ishibashi

Chair of the Political Science Department, Associate Professor of Political Science
B.A., Sophia University, (Japan); M.A., Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
(e-mail)

Originally from Japan, I first came to the United States as an exchange student and became a strong advocate of exchange programs. After completing my B.A. at Sophia University (Jouchi Daigaku) in Tokyo, I jumped into the field of policy research, working with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members of the Japanese parliament. My desire to learn about domestic and global politics from a very different spectrum brought me to the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and later I earned my Ph.D. in political science at the University of Notre Dame.

What I hope for my students is to discover a life-long joy of developing a greater appreciation of and celebration for the differences and commonality of humankind. I would like them to understand the world by making connections among different pieces of knowledge they acquire in various disciplines. I would like my students to open their minds and hearts to different predicaments of other peoples and critically reflect on important issues which affect not only them but also others in the world.

My research interest has been on minority politics, especially the Korean minority in Japan. Most recently, I have been examining different factors behind decisions made by the local governments in Japan to allow foreign residents participation in referendums. My courses include Introduction to East Asian Politics, Gender Politics in Asia, Ethnic and Political Conflict in Asia, Introduction to World Politics, Peace and Conflict Resolution and Political Research.

When I am not on campus, I spend a lot of time with my husband, Carl and our son, Elliott.


Jennifer Dugan

Professor of Political Science
B.A., California State University; Ph.D., University of California
(e-mail) (web site)

Global Studies is about studying the world from the perspective of outer space looking down: from there, we see the simultaneous and overlapping forces that drive world affairs. GS students are trained to identify both the root causes of the challenges we face and to generate solutions that address them for the longer-term.

In addition to taking core courses in political science, economics, and foreign languages, the student chooses a special focus area within the major.

Students have focused on areas such as

  • peace and conflict resolution
  • international law and diplomacy
  • human rights
  • global health
  • environmental sustainability

We work closely with you to shape your program of study around your interests and future goals.

In our classes, we emphasize collaborative learning, problem-solving, debate, critical thinking, and diplomatic skills: writing, speaking, and listening.

Randolph College participates in National Model United Nations, which includes a week in New York each spring. As a result of their combined experiences, our graduates are prepared for work in a variety of fields, such as teaching, policymaking, and development, and for graduate and law school programs.

My own work is in the area of international humanitarian law. I am especially interested in how the rules of war influence countries decisions to go to war. Are the current rules adequate to both address new global threats and preserve international peace and stability? Much of my focus is on the United Nations Security Council and the changing norms regarding use of force standards. Teaching international law and the United Nations system is one of the most exciting aspects of my job.

I am happy that you are interested in Global Studies and am available to speak with you. Meanwhile, please look at our website, be in touch with current GS students, and check out our NMUN blog during the spring semester!

Vincent Vecera

Assistant Professor of Political Science
Ph.D., M.A.,University of Minnesota; B.A., Reed College
(e-mail)

My research is focused on the politics of civil rights, particularly the use of constitutional and moral language in democratic discourse. I?m interested in how Americans think and talk about constitutional rights and how rights shape the way we understand political problems. I'm currently writing a book manuscript about the role of constitutional rights in shaping public discourse about abortion policy while working on a variety of projects dealing with the social construction of political conceptions of marriage, public safety, family, and other ambiguous social concepts.

In my teaching I cover a variety of topics spanning American politics, public law, political theory, research methods, and philosophy of science. My favorite courses to teach are those that challenge students' preconceptions about how social institutions function. I love discussing big ideas in the classroom and working with motivated students on original research projects.

Additionally, I serve as Randolph's pre-law advisor. If you are interested in a career in law, please contact me and we'll arrange a meeting.

My wife, Molly, is a PhD student in English Literature at Indiana University. Her research focuses on Victorian lodgings, landladies, and tenants. Our main non-academic interests are music and comedy.