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Dr. Oana Armeanu, Assistant Professor

Dr. Aona ArmeanuDr. Oana Armeanu, an associate professor of political science, teaches comparative politics, international relations, international organizations, and European, post-communist, and Middle Eastern politics.

Dr. Armeanu came to USI in the fall of 2007 from Dallas, Texas, where she taught at the Southern Methodist University. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005. She has an M.A. in Political Science from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and an M.D. from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Bucharest, Romania.

She had worked as a journalist for the “22” newsmagazine in Romania and for the Radio Free Europe. During this period she wrote numerous articles on the social and political problems of post-communist transition.

BookDr. Armeanu is the faculty advisor for the Political Science Society. Her research focuses on post-communist Europe: welfare state reform, political parties, elections, and democratization. Dr. Armeanu’s publications include The Politics of Pension Reform in Central and Eastern Europe. Political Parties, Coalitions, and Policies (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010). She has also published studies on pension reform and presidential elections in Central and Eastern Europe.

Dr. Trent Engbers, Assistant Professor

Image is of Trent Engbers Dr. Trent A. Engbers is a native of Evansville, IN. HIs teaching and research interest include civic and political participation, public leadership, Chinese government, organizational theory, economic development, fundraising, the presidency and religion in public life.

Engbers earned his Ph.D. in Public Affairs from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs with concentrations in public management, policy analysis and American government. His dissertation research focused on the civic potential of cities. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Williams College of Business at Xavier University; masters of arts in counseling and personnel services from the University of Maryland; and a graduate certificate in organizational change from the Truman School of Public Affairs.

His research has been published in Social Science Quarterly, Religion and Politics, Public Administration Review and the Journal of Leadership Education. His current research agenda focuses on presidential leadership and the relationship between economic development and social capital. He presents regularly at the Midwest Political Science Association and the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and the Voluntary Action. Engbers welcomes the opportunity to present or consult with community groups in the Evansville area.

He has held academic posts at DePaul University, University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, Quizhou College, University of Missouri and University of Maryland. Before joining academia, Engbers worked as a community organization in urban Alabama. His most recent nonprofit experience has been as vice-president of Monroe County Court Appointed Special Advocates. He is the former director of leadership Development at the University of Missouri and a returned Peace Corps volunteer from Guizhou, China.

He lives in Evansville with his wife Kimberly and three children. His hobbies include woodworking, genealogy, running and being a dad.

Dr. Mary (M.T.) Hallock Morris, Associate Professor

Image is of Mary (M.T.) Hallock Morris Dr. Mary (M.T.) Hallock Morris is the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at USI. A native of Montpelier, Ohio, Dr. Hallock Morris was raised in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1991, she earned her B.S. in Communication Arts from The Defiance College, Defiance, Ohio. After working as a newspaper editor for five years, she earned her Master of Arts in Community and Environmental Education from The McGregor School of Antioch University, Yellow Springs, Ohio. In March 2004, she received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University – Bloomington, after completing her dissertation on the politics of wetland loss in Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico’s "dead zone."

Prior to coming to USI, Dr. Hallock Morris worked for Southern Mutual Help Association, a nonprofit organization located in rural Louisiana. This practical experience is put to good use in her MPA courses in Fundraising and Volunteer Administration, and in Leadership Skills. She also teaches public policy, environmental policy, research methods, and public administration courses at the undergraduate level. Dr. Hallock Morris received the Defiance College’s Alumni Citation for Academic Excellence in 2008, the USI award for Outstanding Teaching by a Junior Faculty Member in 2009, and USI’s Outstanding Academic Advisor Award in 2010. In 2013, Dr. Hallock Morris was named College of Liberal Arts’ Bill and Helen Sands Professor of the Year.

Her research interests include environmental policy, nuclear politics, and food policy. Dr. Hallock Morris’ research has been published in Politics and Policy, Social Science Quarterly, and the Indiana Journal of Political Science. Currently, Dr. Hallock Morris is working on a book that discusses the political history of wetland loss in coastal Louisiana. She is a member of the Executive Council of the Indiana Political Science Association, vice-president of the Evansville Redevelopment Authority, and the 2013-2014 USI Faculty Senate Chair.

Dr. Matthew Hanka, Assistant Professor

Dr. Matthew HankaDr. Matthew Hanka is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the Master of Public Administration program. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Hanka earned a B.A. in history and politics from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in 2002, and earned a M.A. in Political Science in 2004 and a Ph.D. in Urban and Public Affairs in 2009 from the University of Louisville. His dissertation examines the impact of the HOPE VI program on the economic revitalization of Newport, Kentucky. Dr. Hanka was the recipient of the University of Louisville’s Graduate Dean’s Citation and was nominated for the John M. Houchens Prize for Outstanding Dissertation.

Prior to coming to USI, Dr. Hanka was the Senior Researcher for the Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods (SUN) at the University of Louisville for four years, where he helped supervise the completion of an eight year program evaluation of Newport, Kentucky’s HOPE VI program, and co-authored a statewide study on historic preservation in Kentucky through a grant from Preservation Kentucky, Inc.

Dr. Hanka was one of the youngest persons ever elected to the District of Columbia’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC), representing single member district 5C12 in ANC 5C for one term. Dr. Hanka also has extensive experience in the government and non-profit sector. He served as an AmeriCorps volunteer for Heads Up: A University Neighborhood Initiative in Washington, DC and as the Director of Community Outreach for Brookland Pride, Inc., a non-profit community development organization also based in DC. Dr. Hanka is past-president of the Louisville Chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) and currently serves as the Mid-East Regional Representative on UNA-USA’s Council of Chapters and Divisions.

Dr. Hanka’s research interests include housing, urban politics and policy, community development, comparative urban development, neighborhood housing dynamics, green cities, government reorganization, historic preservation, and economic development. He has published numerous reports, four refereed journal articles, and is currently preparing a proposal for a book on sustainable green cities. He has taught courses in American government and public administration at the University of Louisville, Indiana University-Southeast and Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville.

Dr. Hanka is a member of the 2011 class of Connect with Southern Indiana, a program sponsored by USI's Division of Outreach and Engagement. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Evansville and the USI representative to the Board of the Westside Improvement Association (WIA) in Evansville.

Dr. Nicholas LaRowe, Assistant Professor

Dr. Nicholas LaRoweDr. Nicholas LaRowe is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of the Pre-Law program. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he grew up in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Professor LaRowe completed his undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities graduating with a B.A. in both Political Science and History. He then went on to Arizona State University, where he completed his M.A. in Political Science in 2007 and earned his Ph.D. in July 2010. His dissertation examines the effect of patterns in media coverage on public support for the Supreme Court and was selected as one winner of Arizona State University’s Graduate College Dissertation Fellowship in a university-wide competition.

Dr. LaRowe’s primary area of expertise is judicial politics; his research and teaching interests include law and society, Constitutional law, the Supreme Court, American government, public opinion, media and politics, and political theory. At Arizona State he taught courses on the Supreme Court and American government. At Southern Indiana he teaches courses on American Government, the American Legal System, Empirical Political Inquiry, and American Political Thought.

Dr. Paul Raymond, Associate Professor

Paul Raymond, Ph.D.Dr. Paul Raymond is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Core Curriculum Assessment. He has a B.A. from The College of Wooster, a M.A. in political science from Brown University, and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Raymond also has a M.S. in educational administration from State University of New York-Albany.

Dr. Raymond teaches introductory courses in political science as well as several upper-level courses: Political Parties, The Legislative Process, The Presidency, and State and Local Government.

Professor Raymond's research focuses on American political processes: voting behavior, political tolerance, presidential popularity, campaign communications, and public opinion. He is currently engaged currently engaged in a study of school board elections and research on the impact of Day Reporting Drug Programs on recidivism.