Position: Associate Professor of Political Science
Employer: Texas Tech University
Current City: Lubbock, TX
Please tell us about your career
As a political science professor, my job entails conducting and publishing research (my primary duty); teaching undergraduate and graduate students; and serving on department, college, and university committees that administer my university’s affairs. As department chair, in addition I manage the day-to-day operations and long-term growth of my department in terms of issues like curricular, program, faculty development; budget and personnel management; student recruitment and retention; grant writing; accreditation; and assessment.
What motivated you to obtain a doctorate in political science?
I started my career in politics and political science in campaign management running state house and city council campaigns in Hawaii. I thought (and still think) that politics are fascinating and important and that getting a Ph.D. in political science would help me understand more of what I was experiencing on the ground during the campaigns I was involved with.
What are the links between your political science studies and your career?
My work in politics led to my graduate work in political science. But then my Ph.D. gave me the credential I needed to become a professor, which is the best, most satisfying and fulfilling job I’ve ever had.
Do you have any advice for students who aspire to hold a job like yours?
To make a living in politics you have to get involved, like volunteering for a campaign or doing an internship in a legislative office, and hope to get noticed by someone who can give you a job (from my experience, job offers happen more often than people think). To become a professor, minimally you have to make good grades as an undergraduate then get in a good Ph.D. program (like UH) and persevere.