(From left to right: Sean Savage, Amy Cavender, Marc Belanger, Teresa Marcy, Patrick Pierce. Not shown: Sonalini Sapra.)



 marc belangerMarc Belanger, Chair
Associate Professor

Spes Unica 348, Office phone 284.5263

B.A. Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, 1977
Ph.D, Political Science Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1993.

Professor Belanger joined the department in 1995. . In recently published articles, he has examined democratization in Guatemala, social movements and democratization in Latin America, and the political intersections of race, immigration and globalization in U.S. politics.. He served an international observer for the historic 2000 presidential election in Mexico. One of the founding members of Saint Mary's Intercultural Studies Program, Professor Belanger served as coordinator of the program from 2003-2006 and is the Faculty Director the Honduras Study Abroad Program. Beyond Saint Mary's, Professor Belanger has developed a curriculum unit for the Latin American Studies Program at Tulane University and taught a course for the Global Leadership Program in Cordoba, Argentina. He was the recipient of the 2001 Maria Pieta Award for outstanding teaching.

Areas of research: Latin American politics; democratization; political identity; transnational politics.

Professor Belanger is also the advisor for our Pi Sigma Alpha chapter of the national POSC honor society.

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Courses Taught

Course Number Course Title
POSC 160 Global Political Issues
POSC 207 Comparative Politics
POSC 304 Latin American Politics
POSC 319 Politics of the Third World
POSC 360 The Politics of Race
POSC 370 Democratization
POSC 416 U.S. Foreign Policy
ICS 201 Introduction to Intercultural Studies

Amy CavenderAmy Cavender, CSC
Associate Professor

263 Spes Unica, Office phone 284.4430

Professor Cavender is on sabbatical for this 2012-2013 academic year

B.A., Political Science and Spanish, Gustavus Adolphus College
M.A., Ph.D., Government and International Studies, University of Notre Dame

Professor Cavender joined the department in 2004. Prof. Cavender specializes in the field of political theory, with a concentration in the area of religion and politics. Prior to entering the Sisters of the Holy Cross, she taught at Indiana University South Bend and at Holy Cross College, where she also assisted in Campus Ministry. Before coming to Saint Mary's, she was a Visiting Lecturer at the Philosophy Centre of Jinja in Jinja, Uganda, where she taught social science and philosophy from January 2003-May 2004.

Research interests: liberalism and religion, religious pluralism in American politics, Christian political thought.

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Amy Cavender's personal web page

Courses Taught

Course Number Course Title
POSC 151 Political Issues
POSC 204 Intro. to Political Thought
POSC 301/JUST 301 The Quest for Human Rights
POSC 341
Politics and Religion
POSC 342
American Political Thought
POSC 344 Catholic Political Thought

Patrick PiercePatrick A. Pierce

264E Spes Unica, Office phone 284.4469

B.A. in Mathematics and Political Science, San Diego State University
M.A. in Political Theory, Rutgers University
Ph.D. in American Politics, Rutgers University

Joined the department in 1981. Prof. Pierce received several COSTAR grants to pursue his research with Prof. Don Miller (Math) on the politics of legalized gambling. That research has culminated in a book entitled Gambling Politics: State Government and the Business of Betting by Patrick A. Pierce and Donald E. Miller, and was published by Lynne Rienner Publishing (2004). Pierce also received SISTAR grants to work collaboratively with Madeline Carpinelli (1999) on the consequences of constituency contact and with Meg Griffin (2011) on the politics of state tax incentives for businesses. He has been inducted into the college honor society chapters of Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science) and Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics). He installed a chapter of Pi Sigman Alpha at Manchester University. He managed the campaign of James Caldwell for St. Joseph County Commissioner, and provided polling consulting to numerous Congressional candidates. He was the recipient of the 2011 Maria Pieta Award for outstanding teaching. He is currently the faculty advisor to the Saint Mary's College soccer team.

Areas of research: Women candidates for political office; Political psychology; Public policy; Politics of legalized gambling.

Email Professor Pierce

Pat Pierce's personal web page

Courses Taught

Course Number Course Title
POSC 151 Political Issues
POSC 210 Research Methods in Political Science
POSC 313 Mass Media & Public Opinion
POSC 314 Political Participation
POSC 315 Political Parties & Interest Groups
POSC 320 Congress & Legislative Behavior
POSC 364 Gender & Politics

Sonalini SapraSonalini Sapra
Assistant Professor

248 Spes Unica, Office phone 284.4470

B.A. History, Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University, 2001
M.A. International Relations, University of Warwick, 2002
Ph.D. Political Science, Vanderbilt University, 2009

Professor Sapra joined the department in 2010. Professor Sapra’s dissertation examined the strategies and discourses used by women's groups in India in their activism against environmental degradation. Prior to returning to graduate school she worked at a non-governmental labor rights organization in New Delhi examining the impact that international and national trade policies were having on India's informal workers. She was the Andrew Mellon Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in International Studies at Kenyon College in 2009-2010. Her research and teaching interests are in Gender and International Relations, Environmental Politics, Transnational Feminisms, and Feminist Theory.

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Courses Taught

Course Number Course Title
POSC 160 Global Political Issues
POSC 206 International Politics
WOST 207 Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies

Sean SavageSean J. Savage

247 Spes Unica, Office phone 284.4471

B.A. Assumption College
M.A. Syracuse University
Ph.D. Boston College

Dr. Savage joined the department in 1990. At Boston College, Dr. Savage was the Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr. Fellow. Professor Savage has published Roosevelt: The Party Leader, 1932-1945 (University Press of Kentucky, 1991), Truman and the Democratic Party (University Press of Kentucky, 1997), and JFK, LBJ, and The Democratic Party (SUNY Press, 2004). He earned an Emerging Scholar Award from the American Political Science Association for his first book, Roosevelt: The Party Leader. Professor Savage's third book, JFK, LBJ and the Democratic Party, was published in 2004 and won a Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title of 2005.

Areas of research: The Presidency; Public law. Professor Savage is also the Pre-Law Advisor, and Washington Semester Representative.

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Courses Taught

Course Number Course Title
POSC 152 Politics of American Democracy
POSC 307 Intro to American Law
POSC 322 The Presidency
POSC 323 The U.S. Constitution
POSC 324 American Civil Liberties
POSC 355 Public Administration
POSC 325 American Political Development