News & Events
May 6, 2021
In this Newsletter

  • Remembering Roger H. Davidson
  • GVPT Welcomes Two New Faculty Members
  • Faculty Achievements
  • Graduate Student Achievements
  • Undergraduate Student Achievements
Departmental Updates
  • Sadat Chair for Peace and Development
  • GVPT Undergraduate Updates
  • Applied Political Analytics Program (APAN) Updates
  • GVPT Global Learning Program Updates
  • GSA Updates
Upcoming Events
  • Democracy at a Crossroads
  • Spring 2021 Commencement


Remembering Roger H. Davidson

Dr. Roger H. Davidson was Professor in American politics in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland from 1987 and retired and awarded the title of Professor Emeritus in 1999.  Dr. Davidson passed peacefully on April 14, 2021. 
He was born in Washington, DC, and raised in Fort Collins, CO, Dr. Davidson attended the University of Colorado and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He began his teaching career at Dartmouth College. His many works on national government and policymaking include (with his original coauthor Walter J. Oleszek) Congress and Its Members, Sage / CQ Press, which has long been the leading textbook on the subject and is about to be published in its 18th edition.
From 1968-1994 he was a full-time member of the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he served as Department Chair (1976-1978), Associate Dean of the College of Letters and Science (1978-1980).  In addition, he served as a visiting professor at the Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, American, and George Washington universities.  He lectured or conducted seminars on U.S. politics and policymaking throughout this country and in Europe, South America, Africa, India, and Japan.
From 1980 to 1988 he held the post of Senior Specialist in American National Government and Public Administration with the Congressional Research Service, U.S. Library of Congress.  He was also a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and a founding director of the Governance Institute.
Dr. Davidson loved music.  His interests began early in his youth when he took piano lessons and was part of high school and university choirs. His passion for opera (and Broadway musicals) blossomed during his years in New York City as a graduate student at Columbia University.

He was a great mentor to generations of undergraduate and graduate students and will be missed by so many.

Words of sympathy from colleagues:
"Roger Davidson was my colleague when I first arrived at the University of Maryland as a junior professor. He was always considerate, kind and supportive, and a great colleague. I'm sure others will comment knowledgeably on his contributions to the field of American politics where his work was so highly regarded. I have fond memories of a few lovely dinners at his house where he and his wife Nancy welcomed me. I believe it was Roger who introduced me to the concept of grilling a turkey for dinner, which I later tried with much less success. When I visited them in Santa Barbara we talked about his great love of and support for the arts in that city--his second passion. I am deeply sorry to hear of his passing."
– Professor Virginia Haufler, GVPT, UMCP.
"Very sad news. Roger was a good friend and I was initially responsible for recruiting him to our department.  He arrived at the Congressional Research Service some years ago from the University of California--Santa Barbara and I recruited him to teach part-time with us, eventually leading to a full-time position with us.  He was a wonderful scholar, mentor, and friend, and my wife and I got to know both him and Nancy (who herself was a wonderful editor at Brookings).  He was one of the giants of Congressional scholarship and his works are considered outstanding.  His retirement was a loss for the department.
– Professor Emeritus Eric Uslaner, UMCP.
"He was a great scholar, mentor, and good friend to many."  
– Professor Paul Herrnson, University of Connecticut.
"A premier scholar of the U.S. Congress, his influence on the field was broad and enduring. Although I never had the chance to work with him as a colleague during my time at the University of Maryland, I collaborated with him as a co-author on his textbook for many years. It was a delight to work with him and to learn from him."
– Frances Lee, Princeton University, and pending Professor Emeritus UMCP.

GVPT Welcomes Two New Faculty Members

Dr. Marcus Johnson (Ph.D., Princeton University 2017) joins us as an Assistant Professor of political science.  Marcus Johnson previously served as an assistant professor at CUNY, Baruch College. He specializes in ethnicity, race, and electoral politics in the Americas.
His work seeks to explain the conspicuous absence of racial appeals to voters in Latin. America, despite the increasing visibility and social salience of black identity in the region. In his current research, Dr. Johnson examines land grabbing against Afro-Latin Americans in conflict environments. 
Professor Johnson’s approach to teaching seeks to move course content closer to the interests and perspectives of a diverse student population by incorporating underrepresented voices in the mainstream debates in political science. He has a diverse set of teaching experiences that span from an associate degree program in a youth correctional facility in Trenton, NJ to more traditional university classroom settings. During the 2017-2018 academic year, Professor Johnson held the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Maryland. He joined the faculty at Baruch in the fall of 2018.

Dr. Chryl Laird (Ph.D. Ohio State University, 2014) joins us as an Assistant Professor of political science.  She previously held the position of Assistant Professor of Government and Legal Studies at Bowdoin College. She studies American Politics with a specialization in race and ethnic politics and political psychology.
Her book (with Ismail White), Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Political Behavior with Princeton University Press, examines how Black partisanship to the Democratic party is maintained through social networks and political norms. Her research and commentary has been featured on a number of media outlets including The New York TimesThe Washington PostNPRThe Atlantic, and FiveThirtyEight. Dr. Laird is an award-winning lecturer who has taught the following courses: Race, Ethnicity and Politics, Urban Politics, Women of Color in Politics, and Public Opinion and Voting.

Faculty Achievements

James Gimpel

Journal Articles

Gimpel, James G., Tristan Hightower and Patrick Wohlfarth. 2021. “The Geography of Law:  Understanding the Origin of State and Federal Redistricting Cases.”  Political Research Quarterly.  Accepted and forthcoming. 

Gimpel, James G., and SoRelle Wyckoff Gaynor. 2021. “Small Donor Contributions in Response to Email Outreach by a Political Campaign.” Journal of Political Marketing.  Accepted and forthcoming.

Vladimir Tismaneanu

Book, Book Chapters, Presentations, Interviews

Tismaneanu, Vladimir, and Jordan Luber, eds. 100 Years of Communist Experiments. Budapest, Vienna, and New York: Central European University Press, 2020.

Tismaneanu, Vladimir, and Marius Stan, 'Ceausescu's National Communism as National Stalinism," John Lampe, editor, The Routledge Handbook of Balkan and East European History, 2020.

Tismaneanu, Vladimir, and Andres Garcia, "Eastern Europe 1989," in Peter Furtado, ed., Revolutions: How They Changed History and What They Mean Today," London: Thames and Hudson (distributed by Norton in the US), 2020, pp. 291-303.

Tismaneanu, Vladimir, and Marius Stan, "Truth, Memory, and Reconciliation,"  in Jens Boel, Perrine Canavaggio, and Antonio Gonzales-Quintana, Archives and Human Rights, Routledge Approaches to History, London and New York, 2021, pp. 247-260.

Tismaneanu, Vladimir, "Romanian Communism in Comparative Perspective," two lectures (via Zoom) for the Masters' Program in the History of Communism, University of Bucharest, Romania, April 2 and 16, 2021.

Tismaneanu, Vladimir, interviewed with in "Polityka" (Poland's leading weekly magazine), a dialogue with Polish political commentator Slawomir Sierakowski, forthcoming.

John McCauley

Journal Articles

McCauley, John F. 2021. “Clientelism and Community Support in Times of Crisis: Evidence Following Floods in Ghana.” Studies in Comparative International Development 10.1007/s12116-021-09329-6.

McCauley, John F. 2021. “Community Violence and Support for Violent Extremism: Evidence from the Sahel.” Political Psychology 42, 1: 143-161. (With Steven E. Finkel, Michael Neureiter, and Christopher Belasco)

Graduate Student Achievements

Tristan Hightower

Journal Article

Hightower, Tristan with James G. Gimpel, and Patrick Wohlfarth. 2021. “The Geography of Law:  Understanding the Origin of State and Federal Redistricting Cases.”  Political Research Quarterly.  Accepted and forthcoming.

Alauna Safarpour

Journal Article

Safarpour, Alauna with Liz Hamel, Mellisha Stokes, and Mollyann Brodie. “KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: Vaccine Attitudes Among Essential Workers.” April 23, 2021. Kaiser Family Foundation. Available online at:

Jiun-Da Lin

Journal Article

Lin, Jiun-Da (with Jong-sung You, (2020)  "Liberal Taiwan versus Illiberal South Korea: The Divergent Paths of Election Campaign Regulation." Journal of East Asian Studies, 20(3), 437-462.

Tiago Ventura

Journal Article

Ventura, Tiago with Aruguete, N.; Calvo, E.; Cantu; F.; Ley; S.; Scartascini; C. “Partisan Cues and Perceived Risks: The effect of partisan social media frames during the Covid-19 crisis in Mexico.” Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, Forthcoming.  Also, Ventura, T.; Munger, K.; Keng-Chi, K.; McCabe, K. “Connective Effervescence and Streaming Chat During Political Debates.” Journal of Quantitative Description, Digital Media,  Forthcoming.

SoRelle Wyckoff Gaynor

Journal Article

Wyckoff Gaynor, SoRelle and James G. Gimpel. 2021. “Small Donor Contributions in Response to Email Outreach by a Political Campaign.” Journal of Political Marketing.  Accepted and forthcoming.

Jonathan Fox (GVPT Alumni)

Journal Article

Fox, Jonathan & Roger Finke “Ensuring Individual Rights through Institutional Freedoms: The Role of Religious Institutions in Securing Religious Rights” Religions, 12 (273), 2021,

Undergraduate Achievements

Rachel Yu

NSF Fellowship

Yu, Rachel has been awarded an NSF Graduate Study Fellowship.  Rachel has also been selected as one of Maryland's "Undergraduate Researchers of the Year" for 2021.

Yukyung Yeo (GVPT Alumni)

Academic Appointment

Yeo, Yukyung has been awarded a visiting scholar appointment at Harvard University's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies for the 2021-22 academic year.

GVPT Honors

Three GVPT Honors students recently defended their honors theses. Congratulations, Erica, Zach, and Emily! Other students who will defend their honors theses in May include Ben Baitman, Kaitlyn Iwanowski, Patrick Peralta, Andrew Scarbrough, and Fatima Younis. Congrats to all!


Erica Greenwald: The Deprioritization of Gender and Protection During UNRWA’s 2018 Financial Crisis.

Zach Jablow: Debate in the Fourth Estate: Opinion Coverage of American Foreign Policy in the Post-Iraq War Era.

Emily Suter, High Honors: The Supreme Critique: The Urgent Need for Reform in an Overly Politicized Supreme Court.

Departmental Updates

Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development

In May, Dr. Shibley Telhami, the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, will be moderating a panel on “Democracy at a Crossroads” featuring General James Clapper (Former Director of National Intelligence; Former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency; Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center), Tamara Cofman Wittes (Senior Fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution; Board Secretary of the National Democratic Institute; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State), Dana Priest (John S. and James L. Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism; Washington Post investigative reporter and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner), Pearl Dowe (Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Emory University’s Oxford College and the College of Arts and Sciences); and Stella Rouse (Associate Professor of Government and Politics; Director of the Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement; and Associate Director of the UMD Critical Issues Poll). This event will be taking place at 4pm on Thursday, May 6th. To register, please visit:
Call for Polling Proposals: The University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll invites faculty (TTK and PTK) and graduate students in GVPT to submit questions for possible inclusion in the next Critical Issues Poll to be fielded in June by Nielsen Scarborough. To view the full call for proposals, including the proposal requirements and award conditions, please visit: The deadline for submissions is Friday, May 28th at 11:59 pm. Submissions should be sent to
The new University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll initiative, the Middle East Scholar Barometer, co-directed by Dr. Shibley Telhami and Dr. Marc Lynch at George Washington University, has been highlighted in the American Political Science Association (APSA)- Middle East and North Africa section newsletter, with a description of the barometer and a summary of the findings from the first poll. The newsletter write-up can be found here:

GVPT Undergraduate Updates

Undergraduate Scholarships
The department awarded over $23k in undergraduate scholarships this spring. 
Pass/Fail Grading
Students have until May 11 to select pass/fail grading or withdraw from a course. Faculty are asked to please keep course grading information updated so that students can make informed decisions about whether they want to choose pass/fail grading. 
The university will hold two Spring 2021 Commencement ceremonies in person on Friday, May 21, 2021. Graduates will be assigned a designated ceremony time based on their college and will be permitted to bring two guests. The ceremonies will be available via live stream at as well as on the university’s Facebook page and YouTube channels.

Applied Political Analytics Program (APAN) Updates

The Applied Political Analytics Program (APAN) is thrilled to welcome its inaugural cohort in Fall 2021!

This exciting new program offers promising students an opportunity to earn a Master of Science degree in the high-demand, and still growing, modern data science industry. It is delivered as either a standalone degree or a combined 4+1 BA/MS. All admitted students will complete 36 credit hours at the graduate level, with classes from both the Government & Politics (GVPT) and Survey Methodology (SURV) departments. Graduates of the APAN program will be well-suited and prepared well above average for data-oriented political careers in the private sector, research organizations, NGOs, and government agencies of all levels.

GVPT Global Learning Program Updates

Professor and Icelander Jóhanna Birnir is teaching a virtual study abroad class this summer – the first of its kind in UMD’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. While students remain at home, Prof. Birnir will travel to Iceland this June to teach and take her students on live virtual tours and guest lectures. Her class, Constructing a Gender Inclusive Society, delves deep to the sub-national case level to ask how a gender-inclusive society was built in Iceland, which is currently ranked first in gender equality in the World Economic Forums World Gender Gap Index and, according to the Global Acceptance Index, ranks among the five most LGBTQ rights accepting countries in the world.

GSA Updates

GSA has had a great year! We have worked hard to make diversity, equity and inclusion a pillar of our tenure. We have been able to start with a peer mentor program to foster relationships and collaboration among graduate students, and started a Young Scholars book workshop to help provide transparency and information about how to become effective early career scholars and manage book projects. Further, we have worked with the graduate students in other service positions to foster our professional and personal development; we are deeply grateful for the help and support they have all provided. We have also worked with the Directors of Graduate students to highlight issues that directly and uniquely impact graduate students - particularly in light of the pandemic. 
We have been so happy to work with the graduate students and faculty over the past year to make the department a better and more inclusive space.

Upcoming Events

Democracy at a Crossroads
     May 6th  |  4pm  |  Virtual

Spring 2021 Commencement
     May 21st  |  11am & 4pm  |  Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium

Contact Us

3140 Tydings Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Phone: 301-405-4156
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