News and Awards


Dr. Elizabeth Iams Wellman

Emmy-nominated documentary film producer, Wellman, joins Political Science Department
Dr. Elizabeth Iams Wellman recently joined the University of Memphis as an assistant professor in Comparative Politics in the Department of Political Science. Wellman does research exploring how international migration is reshaping electoral politics and citizenship, particularly in the Global South. Prior to Memphis, Wellman was a assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Williams College and a postdoctoral research fellow at the Bobst Center for Peace and Justice at Princeton University.  Learn more about her research.

Dr. Dursun Peksen

Dr. Dursun Peksen Receives Nearly $800K Grant From the National Science Foundation
July 20, 2023 — Peksen, a professor of political science at the University of Memphis, has received a $795,576 grant from the National Science Foundation for his project, “Government-imposed Restrictions on International Economic Relations.” The three-year project will put together a new cross-national dataset on international sanctions by the United States, European Union and the United Nations from 1992-2022. Dursun will serve as the Co-PI with Timothy Peterson of Arizona State University. This project will put together a new cross-national dataset on international sanctions for the years spanning 1992-2022. The new dataset will allow scholars to test new theories on the use, effectiveness, and consequences of sanctions. I cannot stress enough the significance of this award for Dursun and the Department. It is a tremendous recognition of Dursun's scholarship, and I am sure you are joining me in congratulating Dursun on this wonderful accomplishment! Full Details on the award.

Dr. Dursun Peksen

Faculty Publication

July 12, 2023 — Congratulations to Dr. Dursun Peksen! “Economic Sanctions and Civil-Military Relations in Target Countries," (co-authored with Ghashia Kiyani, Ryan Liou, and Amanda Murdie) was recently accepted at Armed Forces & Society. His article “The Human Rights Effects of Economic Sanctions,” is forthcoming with East Asia Forum Quarterly (as part of a special issue, “An age of sanctions”).

Dr. Kris-Stella Trump

Faculty Publication

June 12, 2023 - Congratulations to Dr. Kris-Stella Trump! Her article "What Does It Take to Be Rich? Asking Reasonable Survey Questions about Income Inequality" has been accepted for publication in Research and Politics. R&P is a peer-reviewed, open access journal on research in political science published by Sage.

Sahidul Islam

Student Highlight

June 20, 2023 — Congratulations to our graduate student Sahidul Islam! He successfully defended his M.A. Thesis "The Role of Civil Society in Authoritarian Legitimation in Bangladesh"! Our picture from last spring's department luncheon shows Sahid with his three thesis committee members Dr. Dursun Peksen, Dr. , and Dr. Nikki Detraz.

Dr. Elizabeth Wellman

The Department Welcomes Asst Prof in Comparative PoliticsWe are delighted to announce that Dr. Elizabeth Wellman will join the Department of Political Science at the University of Memphis in Fall 2023 as an Assistant Professor in Comparative Politics. Dr. Wellman’s research explores intersections of international migration, citizenship and electoral politics, particularly within the Global South. She holds a PhD from Yale University, currently serves as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Williams College, and previously served as a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University. Fun fact: Dr. Wellman was a documentary filmmaker before her academic career. For more information visit Dr. Wellman's website.

Several faculty members and students in the Political Science department have recently received awards and published creative works and publications. We congratulate all of the following on their accomplishments.

l-r include Ebony Daukins, Molly Henderson, Jeff Leedham, David Madlock and Paul Mego

Congratulations to Ebony Dawkins, Molly Henderson, Jeffrey Leedham, David Madlock and Paul Mego! The University of Memphis Board of Trustees has approved Ebony Dawkins', Molly Henderson's, Jeffrey Leedham's and David Madlock's promotions to Associate Professor of Teaching and Paul Mego's promotion to Full Professor of Teaching. These promotions will become effective as of September 1, 2023. They underscore the dedication and commitment of these faculty members to academic excellence and service to the University of Memphis.


Dr. Kris-Stella TrumpDr. Kris-Stella Trump Receives Scholarly Recognition

Dr. Kris-Stella Trump, Assistant Professor of Political Science, has been invited to join the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Expert Group on New Measures of the Public Acceptability of Reforms. The group will look at public attitudes toward inequality and redistribution. Dr. Trump will serve together with a number of outstanding scholars from around the world. Her invitation to join the group is a tremendous recognition of her scholarship. Learn more of her research interests.

Spring 2021

Political Effectiveness, Negative Externalities, and the Ethics of Economic Sanctions2021 Winnie Venstra Peace Lecture

Dr. Dursun Peksen will deliver the 2021 Winnie Venstra Peace Lecture on the subject of "Political Effectiveness, Negative Externalities, and the Ethics of Economic Sanctions" on Monday, April 5 at 5:30 PM on Zoom. As many of you know, Dr. Peksen is one the world's leading experts on sanctions and human rights, and this should be an exciting opportunity to hear him talk about the subject. Full Details

Department graduate student honored as West Tennessee Teacher of the YearGraduate student honored as West Tennessee Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to our current graduate student Daniel Warner! He has been selected West Tennessee Teacher of the Year! Daniel teaches American History at East High School in Memphis and had previously received the New Memphis Teacher of Excellence Award and a James Madison Fellowship. For more background see today's story in the Daily Memphian.

January: Congratulations to Dr. Sharon Stanley! Her article "The Persistence of Myth: Brazil's Undead Racial Democracy" has been accepted for publication in Contemporary Political Theory. Contemporary Political Theory is among the top ranked, peer reviewed journals in political theory.

January: Congratulations to Dr. Leah Windor (Faculty Affiliate and MA '05)! Two of her articles have been accepted as part of a PS: Political Science & Politics symposium on the status of the profession. The first is "Not a leaky pipeline! Academic success is a game of Chutes and Ladders," co-authored with Kerry F. Crawford (James Madison University) and Marijke Breuning (UNT Denton). The other is "MENtorship: Men in the Middle and their roles as allies in addressing gender bias," co-authored with Cameron Thies (Arizona State). PS is published by the American Political Science Association and is the journal of record for the discipline of political science reporting on research, teaching, and professional development.

Summer/Fall 2020

Congratulations to Dr. Dursun Peksen! He has been awarded a Professional Development Assignment (PDA) for Fall 2021. He will use his PDA to work on his current book project. PDA awards reflect the high level of scholarly accomplishments of our faculty. I am sure you join me in congratulating Dursun on his newest achievement!

Congratulations to Dr. Leah Windsor! Her article "Gender in the time of COVID-19: Evaluating national leadership and COVID-19 fatalities" - co-authored with Gina Yannitell Reinhart (Essex), Alistair Windsor (Memphis), Robert Ostergard (UNR), Susan Allen (Univ. of Mississippi), Courtney Burns England (Bucknell), Jarod Giger (Univ. of Kentucky), and Reed Wood (Essex) - has been accepted for publication by PLOS ONE

Congratulations to Dr. Dursun Peksen! His article “Natural Resource Wealth and the Informal Economy,” (co-authored with our former colleague Robert Blanton) has been accepted for publication in the International Political Science Review. IPSR is the flagship journal of the International Political Science Association (IPSA).

Congratulations to Dr. Derefe Chevannes! His article "The Laboring of Black Politics: Decolonial Meditations on Claudia Jones" has been accepted for publication by the Political Research Quarterly. PRQ is among the leading, peer-reviewed generalist journals in political science, and is hosted by the Western Political Science Association.

Dr. Eric Groenendyk has been elected to serve on the Governing Council of the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP). As part of serving on the Governing Council, he will serve on one of ISPP's Operating Committees; write and review reports and recommendations from other committees, helping to drive the future direction of ISPP; review ISPP's finances and vote to approve ISPP's annual budget; and attend 2 Governing Council meetings per year. His election represents a significant recognition of his international standing in the discipline. Visit Dr. Groenendyk's faculty page to view his bio.

Dr. Dursun Peksen is the recipient of a Dunavant Professorship. The Dunavant Professorship recognizes exceptional achievement in teaching, scholarship, service, and outreach. For the past eight years, Dr. Peksen has made outstanding contributions to research, teaching and service at the University of Memphis. The Dunavant Professorship will provide $5,000 annually for the next three years to support Dr. Peksen's research program. Visit the Accolades website for more details.

Congratulations to Dr. Eric Groenendyk! His article "What Motivates Reasoning? A Theory of Goal-Dependent Political Evaluation" (co-authored with Yanna Krunikov) has been accepted for publication at the American Journal of Political Science. AJPS is considered one of the Top Three journals in political science.

Dr. Kris-Stella Trump has received one of the Small Research Grants from the American Political Science Association for her project ""Lazy Natives" and "Hard Working Immigrants": Comparing the Impact of Deservingness Cues on Perceptions of Deservingness." APSA is the leading professional organization for the study of political science, and the award of $2,500 represents a very prestigious recognition of her work.

Dr. Kris-Stella Trump received a Professional Development Award for Fall 2020

Dr. Dursun Peksen's article (co-authored with Ryan Yu-Lin Liou and Amanda Murdie) "Revisiting the Causal Links Between Economic Sanctions and Human Rights Violations," has been accepted for publication at Political Research Quarterly. PRQ is a peer-reviewed journal published by the Western Political Science Association.

Spring 2020

Congratulations to Dr. Kris-Stella Trump! Her article "The Effect of Postcard Reminders on Vaccinations Among the Elderly: A Block-Randomized Experiment" (co-authored with Nuole Chen, Stacy Hall and Quan Le) has been accepted at Behavioral Public Policy. Behavioral Public Policy is an interdisciplinary and international peer-reviewed journal devoted to behavioral research and its relevance to public policy.

Dr. Dursun Peksen received the 2020 Alumni Association Distinguished Research in Social Sciences Award. Dr. Peksen (PhD, University of Missouri, 2008) joined the Department of Political Science in 2012. Visit the Accolades website for full details on the award.

Congratulations to Dr. Sharon Stanley! Her article "Unbridled Stallions and Mad Bulls: Masculinity, Race, and Sexuality in Hemispheric Perspective" has been accepted at New Political Science. New Political Science is the official journal of the Caucus for a New Political Science (CNPS), an Organized Section of the American Political Science Association.

Dr. Derefe Chevannes has received a Catherine and Charles Freeburg Fellowship at the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities. The fellowship will provide for a one semester research leave and related support in spring 2021 for his project "Beyond Euromodernity: Political Speech as Liberation." Visit Dr. Chevannes faculty page to learn more about his research.



Department of Political Science NewsletterA few of the items included in the Fall 2018 newsletter are:

  • A Note from the Chair
  • News from Lambuth Campus
  • Upcoming Events
  • Tennessee Legislative Internship Program
  • Department News
  • Faculty Profile and Accomplishments
  • Student Accomplishments
  • Alumni News

Read the newsletter now.


Past Accomplishments

  • Dr. Nicole Detraz - 2017 Dunavant Professor Award
  • Dr. Sharon Stanley – 2016 University of Memphis Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award.
  • Dr. Michael Sances – Russell Sage Foundation Grant
  • Dr. Nicole Detraz and Dr. Eric Groenendyk – Professional Development Assignments 2016/17.
  • Dr. Eric Groenendyk – Best Paper in Political Psychology award from the American Political Science Association.
  • Dr. Shelby Grossman – Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University.