Welcome to the International Studies Program! Since I am new to the role of director, some of you may have actually been in this program longer than I have. Still, I want to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself, and encourage you to get involved in all the exciting events we have planned for students in International Studies.
I am an associate professor in the Political Science department, but I was also an International Studies major as an undergraduate (many, many years ago!). That means that even though I have dedicated my life to research and teaching in political science, all my intellectual and professional pursuits are informed by that foundation in international Studies.
Most of my research and teaching focuses on politics outside of the U.S. I regularly teach PS 210, Introduction to Comparative Politics, and often teach upper-division undergraduate classes on Elections, the Politics of Development, and Cheating Corruption and Crime. I’ve also been known to teach a class on the Politics of France—a country that holds a special place in my heart ever since I studied abroad there during my Junior year of college.
In my time at Kentucky, I’ve led study abroad programs in Costa Rica and Spain. In the past 2 years, my research has taken me to Taiwan, Guyana, Trinidad, England, Mexico, Malaysia, and Ukraine. I’ve had experiences in these places that speak to every major theme in this major—from studying brawls in the legislatures of Taiwan, Mexico, and Ukraine (comparative politics and societies) to visiting major religious and cultural sites in Ukraine, Trinidad, and Mexico (arts and culture), to trying to understand how poverty and colonial histories affect politics today in Guyana and Trinidad (Global Development). Furthermore, I’ve had opportunities to lend my expertise to the political conversation in Malaysia and Ukraine.
We’ve got a lot of exciting things planned for International Studies this year. First, we are going to be sponsoring weeks of programming focusing on each theme and regional area covered by the major. Be on the lookout for our growing presence on social media, advertising these weeks (That’s right, hashtags!). One major focus of all these weeks is going to be opportunities for internships and study abroad. We want all our students getting real-world experience as part of their time in the International Studies program! We also want to help connect you with resources to get you out working, learning, and travelling in that wider world that has drawn you to this major in the first place. So, get ready and please, get involved!
Dr. Emily Beaulieu Bacchus
Director, International Studies