About Us

Chair’s Welcome


Thank you for visiting the website of the Department of Political Science at Radford University.

We are a community of scholars dedicated to the education of our students, the furthering of knowledge in the discipline of political science, and the improvement of life in our local and global communities.

Teaching Political Science at Radford

Our curriculum prepares students with concrete knowledge of political science, management of public and non-profit organizations, and international affairs.

We offer a close faculty-student relationship in which faculty members are available to mentor students in their educational and career goals.

Faculty members use high impact teaching practices to reach students and involve them in their own learning.  We encourage original undergraduate research, study abroad, simulations of political forums (such as Model UN), and collaborative learning.  Our Political Science Days event (held in October) exposes students to documentaries on politics, career events, and special lectures on domestic and international political issues.

Further, we work to develop in students the skills employers say they want 21st century workers to have:

  • Critical thinking,
  • Information literacy,
  • Oral and written communication,
  • Ethical citizenship,
  • Problem solving,
  • Understanding of diversity/global issues, and
  • Collaboration.

(See the American Association of Colleges and Universities’ “It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success” [2013] at https://www.aacu.org/sites/default/files/files/LEAP/2013_EmployerSurvey.pdf).

These are the skills for graduates’ first jobs.  But, as Harvard’s President Drew Gilpin Faust said, these are the skills college provides that help “you anticipate, and perhaps even create, your fourth or fifth job, a job that may not even exist yet” (Drew Faust, “Faust Makes ‘The Case for College’,” Harvard Gazette, October 24, 2014, http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/10/faust-makes-the-case-for-college/.) 

Professional Contributions by Political Science Faculty: Research and Service

Making us stronger teachers, we are engaged scholars in our fields.  We need to be engaged with our discipline in order to bring the debates, methods, and trends of political science research into the classroom for our students.  Our scholarship engages us on the important public issues that made us become professors in the first place.  It also brings prominence to the department as our contributions are recognized in diverse areas.  Further, it helps to make the world a better place through service provided to local and global communities.

Learn about our faculty and some of our professional engagement:

  • Dr. Paige Tan’s research focuses in two areas: democratization and political thought, always with a focus on Asia.  Recently, she wrote an article for the periodical Education about Asia in which she discussed the challenges faced by Myanmar/Burma’s opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, as the country moves ahead in its democratization process.  Even if Myanmar continues to democratize, Tan argued, Suu Kyi faces tough choices that will challenge her leadership and ethics.  Dr. Tan also gave a community talk on India’s rise as a potential superpower and the challenge that poses to the United States.
  • Dr. Tanya Corbin’s research examines the ways in which communities, governments, and organizations prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. She has studied policy changes after Hurricane Katrina, and is currently engaged in a project comparing community responses to the BP and Exxon Valdez oil spills. She has developed community partnerships, and mentors students working with community stakeholders on a variety of projects. Most recently, they analyzed emergency plans for the City of Radford, presented their results to the City Council, and prepared a report.
  • Dr. Nathan Dean’s research explores the tensions that often arise when constitutional democracies simultaneously pursue a diverse set of values such as liberty, equality, and toleration.  In his classes, students come to better understand the ways in which specific laws and policies might further (and/or undermine) these values and prepare themselves for a lifetime of active citizenship as well as careers in law, business, public interest advocacy, and all levels of government service.
  • Dr. Daniel Reed's research focuses on parties and interest groups, elections, and election and campaign finance law.  His most recent research examines the historical development of ballot laws and voting technology and its effects on voter mobilization, third parties, and voter turnout over time.  Understanding the past can help us predict how dramatic changes in election laws might influence electoral processes in the future.
  • Dr. Theresa Schroeder’s research investigates how a threat to national security inhibits the ability of women to win elected office. In her classes, students prepare for careers in U.S. foreign policy by becoming the decision-makers in real-world scenarios, such as whether the U.S. should send military troops in the case of a humanitarian crisis.
  • Dr. Reggie Shareef’s research focuses on management of public organizations, in particular the concept of “public value.”  Translating his knowledge for the public, he gave a talk to the Kiwanis Club in Roanoke on “The Federal Reserve, Monetary Policy, and Economic Global Trade Agreements.” He also addressed the RU campus on the occasion of Black History Month to discuss “President Obama as a ‘DuBois’ Problem: Why the Successful Public Policies of America’s First Black President Create Racial Resentment.”
  • Dr. Tay Keong Tan, an expert in public management, recently edited a book on anti-corruption with a United Nations research group.  In southwest Virginia, he uses his expertise to train local non-profit leaders to manage their organizations more successfully.

I invite you to explore our website and learn more about all the exciting happenings in Political Science at Radford University!


Paige Johnson Tan, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair