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Political Science

College of the Sciences

Faculty and Staff

Department Office Staff  
Farrell Hall, Room 409
Phone: (509) 963-2408


  • Paul Knepper, Ph.D:  Chair, Political Science ( B.S., Social Science, University of Wisconsin at Green Bay; M.S. Criminal Justice, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee; Ph.D. Justice Studies, Arizona State University.  Dr Knepper is a visiting professor of criminology at the School of Criminal Sciences, University of Lausanne, and a Senior Research Fellow at the South-East European Research Centre in Thessaloniki. 
  • Jori Derrey,Secretary Senior ( Paramedicine, CWU

Department Faculty

  • Salam, Adjunct Professor, B.A. political science, CWU; M.A. political science, University of Illinois. Research and teaching interests include international law, human rights, social movements, political theory, and a focus on the Middle East. She typically teachings introductory classes to political science.
  • Barb Flanagan, Ph.D:, Professor, State University of New York at Geneseo, BA. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, MA and Ph.D. (2003). Her current research interests revolve around human rights, religion and politics and democracy promotion. She typically teaches classes dealing with political theory and international politics with a focus on the Middle East.
  • Gilberto Garcia, Ph.D:, Associate Professor, B.A. from Loyola University at Los Angeles and Ph.D. from UC Riverside (1986) with a focus on Latin American Studies. His expertise is in the area of Chicano/Latino Studies with an emphasis on Pacific Northwest, and U.S. Mexico border studies.
  • Cameron Otopalik,Ph.D:,Senior Lecturer. Ripon College, B.A.; Colorado State University, M.A.; University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Ph.D. Teaching and research interests include international political economy, politics of N.E. Asia, political demography, and comparative political development.
  • Anne Pflug:, Adjunct Professor, The Evergreen State College, BA; Seattle University, MBA. Practitioner in public sector management 35 years; teaches public sector management and state and local government topics at University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and CWU.
  • Todd Schaefer, Ph.D:, Professor. Colorado College, BA; Northwestern University, MA, Ph.D. (1994). His main interests are American politics and government (particularly mass media, public opinion, political communication, and electoral politics), and African politics.
  • Stefanie Wickstrom, Ph.D:, Senior Lecturer. B.A. political science, CWU; M.A. Latin American studies, University of Arizona; Ph.D. political science, University of Oregon.  Research and teaching interests include environmental politics, environmental justice, identity politics, social movements and environmental history.
  • Geraldine O'Mahony, Ph.D: Geraldine.o', Assistant Professor. Theology, Divinity, Islamic Studies, Political Science, and Development Studies. She received her PhD in Development Studies with a focus on African politics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her dissertation, “Law in the time of Transnationalism: Pluralities of Power in the Liberian Judiciary and Their Implications for Reconstruction” examined how international organizations and local groups are working to rebuild the Liberian judicial system following the recent civil wars. Her research interests include comparative public policy, African politics, religion and politics, and international development.
  • Bárbara del Mar Robles, JD,LLM:, Adjunct Professor/Advisor/Recruiter. B.A. Secondary Spanish Education, University of Puerto Rico; J.D., Valparaiso University Law School; LL.M. Health Law and Policy, Hofstra University Law School. Dr. Robles’ research and teaching interests include civil and human rights, immigration law, and health law and policy.

Emeritus Faculty:

  • Bang-Soon Yoon, Ph.D:, Professor. Graduated from Ewha Women's University (Korea), and obtained MA and Ph.D. (1992) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her current research and teaching interests are gender politics (both American and global), cultural pluralism in America, Asian political development international political economy and the politics of globalization. She is the former director of the CWU Women Studies Program.
  • Michael A Launius, Ph.D:, Professor, Northeastern (Illinois) University, BA. MA; University of Hawaii at Manoa, Ph.D in 1990. His principal teaching and research interests are in the areas of Asian politics, international political economy, and comparative political development. He is currently the Program Director for our Public Administration grad program.
  • Rex S. Wirth, Ph.D:, Professor. BA at Weber State College, Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee in 1977. He was a Christian educator at Lambuth College before coming to CWU in 1983. His teaching and research interests include Introduction to Politics, public administration, international politics and European politics.

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