University of Massachusetts Amherst

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B.A., Politics, Fairfield University

My main focus is on the study of American politics, with particular emphasis on political parties, elections, and public policy. My current research examines various aspects of party organization and behavior, focusing on the relationship between formal party organizations and informal/external party groups in elections and the development of public policy. I employ a variety of methods, including network analysis, textual analysis, and interviews.

Stephen Anderson
Partner, Fuller, Rosenberg and Palmer
BA, Political Science

“As an alumnus, I believe in the work UMass does, and the positive influence we, as a UMass community, have on young adults. The advantages I received from UMass are ones I want to share,” he says. “I don’t enjoy hearing high school students saying they’re ‘just’ going to UMass. They’re going to the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Martha Balaguera Cuervo
BA, Political Science, Universidad Nacional de Colombia; MA, Global and Comparative Politics, University of Essex

I am a PhD student at the department. I did my undergraduate studies in Political Science at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and an MA in Global and Comparative Politics at the University of Essex. My major fields are comparative politics and political theory. My interests include: democratic theory, feminist theory, transnationalism, protest, postcolonial and decolonial thought, neoliberalism and empire, discourses of failure, the politics of hospitality, the politics of time, space and geography.

Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant

I am a doctoral candidate studying American politics, public opinion, and political psychology. My current research examines how novel approaches to survey measurement capture psychological features of public opinion.

I am a Research Assistant for the Cooperative Congressional Election Study working under Prof. Brian Schaffner.

Prior to coming to UMass Amherst, I worked as an Undergraduate Research Assistant for the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion from 2013-2015.

Managing partner of Hutchings, Barsamian, Mandelcorn & Zeytoonian, LLP
BA, Legal Studies

“Being a lawyer is a tool,” says Anthony Barsamian ’86 (Legal Studies), managing partner of Hutchings, Barsamian, Mandelcorn & Zeytoonian, LLP in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. “It needs to be applied to something relevant. Using that tool to advocate for others—both individuals and the community—is what brought me to where I am today."

Matthew Bonaccorsi
BA, Political Science

Though Matthew Bonaccorsi ‘13 now has a great job in the office of Massachusetts State Senate Majority Leader Stan Rosenberg as Constituent Services and New Media Aide, he is no stranger to being rejected. Read more...

Andy Cantillon '91
Senior Account Manager, Motorola
BA, Political Science

With a distinguished background in the computer software industry, Mr. Cantillon has demonstrated how a foundation in political science can open awide range of opportunities across professional disciplines.

BA, Legal Studies

Evandro C. Carvalho ’04 spent much of his childhood herding goats, building a chicken farm, and serving as a shepherd to cattle on his grandfather’s farm in Cape Verde. Although the manual labor taught him a lot about hard work—rising before dawn, working with his hands, and persisting day after day—in some ways, finding ways to get out of the work taught him more: “whenever I could, I'd use the ‘I have to study’ excuse,” Carvalho reflects. That focus on academics prepared him well for UMass. Read more

Senior Vice President and Head of Global Relationship Management
BS. Legal Studies

Chris Coleman graduated from UMass Amherst in 1994 with an Undergraduate degree from Legal Studies. He began his career in sell-side sales, marketing and implementation at Thomson Financial. He moved into Global Sales & Marketing at Investor's Bank & Trust, and ultimately moved to State Street Corporation, where he is Senior Vice President and Head of Global Relationship Management. Chris has been with State Street for nine years.

Teaching Associate
B.A., Political Science, SUNY New Paltz

Samantha Davis

My interests are in comparative political theory, historical theory, and the archive, specifically within the Black political tradition in the Americas. I am currently working on a project that explores the Age of Revolutions across the Black Atlantic. 

Joseph Donovan '92
Managing Director, Nelson Mullins Public Strategies Group
BA, Political Science

I've spent most of my professional career in business, press and politics and am a registered lobbyist. UMass gave me countless opportunities to learn new things, make mistakes and realize that "it's the journey, not the destination" that makes us happy. Politics has taught me that people like to be asked, and I don't mind asking. We have lots of alumni that are waiting to be asked how they can help UMass ... so where did I put my phone?

Ann Merriam Feinberg '68
Counsel, Connecticut Community Foundation
BA, Government

Ann thanks UMass for giving her a good start: “what I learned at UMass is important to who I am today,” she says. She encourages today’s students to appreciate all that UMass offers. College goes by quickly, “…try not to feel pressured to make life decisions right away, you have time to figure it all out. Change is good!”

BA, Political Science

Michael Fox '11 (Political Science) remembers the first time he heard about Root Capital; it was during his senior year at UMass. Having recently added an economics minor, Fox recognized Root Capital as a place where his interest in finance and political ideals could be married. Read more...

Bart Gobeil
BA, Political Science

If you are like most people, you will walk away from your undergraduate career with fond memories, great friends, new skills, and a few “words of wisdom” that will follow you throughout your career. For Bart Gobeil ’94, the words of wisdom that have followed him after leaving UMass are “it’s all about perspective.” Read more...

Tom Haynes

“I am a TV news anchor at Fox 5 in Atlanta,” says Tom Haynes ’94. “And trust me, every bit of what I do in my job today was cultivated during my four years at UMass.” Moving from an Intro to American Politics or Political Theory course to TV, may not seem like an obvious step for political science majors. But that’s exactly what happened for Haynes. Read more...

Paul Hohenberger '87
Development Officer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BA, Political Science

As an alumnus of the Political Science department, I received an excellent education, which prepared me well for a post UMass career. I believe the department’s positive impact in the world of politics and policy is the result of its world-class students, faculty and leadership. I am proud to serve on the advisory board and I look forward to serving the needs of the department.

B.A., Stonehill College

I'm Kaylee Johnson, a doctoral candidate, teaching assistant, and research assistant in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Welcome!

My dissertation project explores the ostensibly popular, inclusive, and race-neutral middle class identity, focusing on the extent to which it is racialized. I contend that the middle class identity is exclusive on the basis of race. Media depictions of the middle class as white help to shape this racialization which manifests in stark racial differences in middle class identification.

Janet Keller

“I was always told by my parents and teachers that I was a good public speaker,” says Janet (Rubinstein) Keller ’91, “and I usually liked getting up in front of people and giving my point of view.” This knack for public speaking has formed the basis for Keller’s career as senior counsel in the Office of the Corporation Counsel at the New York City Law Department, where she was recently recognized—for the second time—with a Division Chief Award for superior legal accomplishments. Read more...

BA, Political Science

Like Barack Obama, Billy Kenoi ’93 is a native Hawaiian who ran against an older, more experienced candidate for office last November. And, like Obama, Kenoi triumphed. “Seeing the newspaper with the headlines ‘Obama Wins; Kenoi Wins’, gave me goose bumps,” he says. Read more...

BA, Political Science

You may have recently heard the name Derek Khanna in the news. He has been making headlines for publishing a policy memo outlining “three myths about copyright law” and detailed solutions on reforming copyright law on behalf of the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) – a memo which, despite receiving numerous positive reviews as being “brilliant,” received so much push-back from Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) lobbyists that the RSC eventually retracted it. Read more...

Graduate RA, Institute on Assets and Social Policy, Brandeis
BA, Political Science

"The faculty, staff, and students I met in the political science department at UMass Amherst shaped me into the person I am today and I am honored to be able to give back by serving on the Political Science Alumni Advisory Board," she says. Caroline is currently in her final year as a dual Master's in Public Policy and Master's in Business Administration student at the Brandeis Heller School for Social Policy & Management. 

Douglas Lathrop '01G
Vice President of the Office of Governmental Affairs, New York Life
Phd, Political Science

Everyday in my professional life I draw on lessons that I learned as a graduate student at UMass. Critical thinking, the willingness to question conventional assumptions, and the humility to accept contrary points of view were all part of my education. I know that my career owes many of its successes to my tenure at UMass.

Howard Levin '75
Counsellor, RichMay
BA, Political Science

Serving on the Political Science Alumni Advisory Board, says Attorney Howard L. Levin ’75 (Political Science), “will be an interesting and energizing way to give back to UMass Amherst. Levin, who specializes in commercial real estate and business law, practices with the Boston law firm RichMay. For several years running, through a process of peer selection, he has been named to the group of elite lawyers in Massachusetts by Super Lawyers. Levin has a way of leaving marks of achievement on all of his endeavors.

Nicholas Lowe '97
Founding Partner, Zozimus
BA, Political Science

I have long believed in the mission of UMass Amherst to not only educate the best and brightest from the Commonwealth, but to be a truly world class institution, drawing great minds from all over the World. For me, it is an honor to play a role in bringing back my expertise to the institution and department that started the seed of my professional growth.

Matthew C. MacWilliams
University of Massachusetts, PhD., 2016; University of Pennsylvania, BA. Benjamin Franklin Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa

My research interests include American authoritarianism, campaigns, public opinion, political psychology, legacy and social media, election forecasting, the politics of climate change and health care reform, and interest group lobbying of the judiciary.

Philip McNamara
BA, Political Science

After graduating from UMass Amherst, Philip McNamara ’97, joined the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as the assistant to the director of party affairs and delegate selection. “It was my first ‘professional’ job,” reflects McNamara. “I was 23 and figured I would stay there for a year or two.” After the first year, however, McNamara became the deputy director of party affairs and delegate selection, and, in 2002, the director. His temporary job effectively became an 11 year career. Read more...

Ashley Messenger
BA, Legal Studies

Ashley Messenger ’91 has a passion for the First Amendment. As a student, Messenger studied the constitution and engaged in general discussions about American politics, but not until she began working as a lawyer did she realize how “fun” the First Amendment can be. Read more...

Micaelah Morrill '04
Program Manager, Greentown Labs
BA, Political Science

Originally from Iowa, Micaelah came to Massachusetts to attend UMass Amherst and most recently worked at the Massachusetts State Senate for the Cape & Islands District. There she held the positions of: Scheduler, Legislative Director, Budget & Communications Director, and Chief of Staff. "UMass helped me get where I am today and I hope I can play a role in helping other students write their own UMass success stories," she says.

Ph.D. Political Science, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, expected May 2018; B.A. Wesleyan University
Michael Otto
BA, Legal Studies

“International social justice work is not an easy path,” says Michael Otto ’03, “but it is often very exciting and rewarding!” Otto, who helped to found Tiny Toones, a non-profit organization which uses music to empower at-risk youth in Cambodia, says his Legal Studies background helped to make much of his social justice work possible. Read more...

BA, Legal Studies

For Mark A. Papirio '81, “UMass’ Legal Studies Program boasts some of the best legal minds anywhere.” The faculty, he says, “helped keep me on the straight and narrow path at school…. Peter d’Errico [professor emeritus of legal studies] went out of his way both to help me secure an internship and to put my best foot forward in applying to law school.”  Read more...

Melissa Peacor '80, '85G
County Executive, Prince William County (VA) Government
BA, Political Science; MPPA

As a manager of a very large county government in Virginia, Ms. Peacor knows intimately the ins and outs of public administration and public policy.

BA, Legal Studies

Chris Peterson ‘09 (Legal Studies) graduated from UMass Amherst in the “teeth of the recession,” and applied to 63 jobs. He heard back from one: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Admissions Office, who needed someone to help coordinate their blogs and social media strategy. Read more...

William Ramsey '97
Chief Administrative Law Judge, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, Social Security Administration
BA, Political Science

“UMass Amherst is a very special place for me,” says Judge William C. Ramsey ’97, “I was able to grow academically and personally at UMass, and I look back at my college experience with tremendous happiness.”


The most prominent feature in Sheldon Saltman ’53’s den was a wall-length map documenting every place he has visited over the course of his sixty-year career in sports and journalism. In his capacity as the first President of Fox Sports; Co-Commissioner of Boxing at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles; and a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, Saltman travelled extensively across Asia, Europe, and, of course, the United States. Read more...

BA, Political Science

“I never intended to major in political science when I accepted my spot at UMass,” says Morris Singer ’06. “I went from taking one political science class to the next before discovering my passion for the subject matter and for the opportunities that exist to carry my education beyond the classroom.” Read more...

BA, Legal Studies

“Words are a lawyer’s tools,” says Stacy Slotnick ’05 (Legal Studies/History), a New York-based entertainment attorney and public relations specialist. “Fortunately, my passion is writing, and as a result, I never tire of drafting proposals, contracts, talking points, press releases, or pithy social media entries to highlight a client's accomplishments.” Read more...

Samuel Stoddard
B.A. in Philosophy, Ithaca College; Masters in Secondary Education, Pace University

BA, Political Science

Jonathan Tabb ‘11, Presidential Management Fellow in the Department of the Treasury, is quick to point out the key to his success at UMass: being proactive. “Education is an active journey, not a passive one, and you must take charge to get the most out of it,” Tabb said. Read more...

Emily Tarr
BA, Legal Studies

When asked about her career success-stories, Emily Tarr ’00, who now serves as an International Special Advisor in the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, reflects on “a combination of what I have done right, and some things that I should have done.” Together, these items form a five-step plan for success in the international criminal law field. Read more...

Before coming to UMass Amherst, I earned my BA in Philosophy and Political Science and then my MA in Political Science at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

Candan Turkkan
MA, New School for Social Research (2012); MA, New York University (2010); BA, Sabanci University (2008)

Teaching Associate
• LL.M., 2010, University of Minnesota Law School; • LL.M., 2009, Tilburg University, The Netherlands; • LL.B., 2008, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

I am currently in my final year as a Ph.D. student at UMass Amherst (expecting to finish in March of 2018), with my major subfields being American Politics and Public Law. Before enrolling in graduate school, I earned law degrees in both The Netherlands and the United States and worked for the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (District Attorney's Office). 

Howard Wayne '63
Managing Partner, Wayne Richard & Hurwitz LLP
BA, Political Science

The foundation for my legal career and lifetime of charitable pursuits was built on the education provided to me by UMass and the principles of social responsibility which I learned from college life.

BA, Political Science

ometimes your career path is unpredictable and a single chance event can markedly alter your professional future. That’s certainly the case for Bruce Weissgold ’89. After graduating from UMass, Weissgold entered graduate school at the University of Virginia (UVA) where he focused on US-Japanese cooperation in the design and development of a new single seat fighter jet. Read more...

Jamie Zagami
BA, Political Science

After being a founder of UMass' Veterans and Service Members Association, it would be hard to imagine how much more of a professional and personal link to veterans Jaime Zagami could have. But she then went onto become an Operations Associate for American Corporate Partners, helping veterans transition into the workforce. Indeed, with VASMA helping veterans transition to academia, and her work at ACP, Jaime has a sustained and real interest in the field of Veteran Services. Read more...


Like many alums, Emily Zimmerman ’09 recognizes the value of internships. In fact, her current career – that of a Speechwriter and Public Affairs Specialist for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – began with an internship at the EPA during her senior year at UMass. Read more...