Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science

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Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight

From left, Professor Peter Schraeder, Dr. Kirstie Dobbs, Dr. Ratri Istania, and Professor Olga Avdeyeva

Dr. Kirstie Dobbs received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Loyola in 2019. She currently is a Lecturer at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA. Dr. Dobbs writes about her time at Loyola:

Loyola gave me the support, skills, and training to diversify my skill set as a scholar. Not only was I given an opportunity to teach my own course in my area of expertise, but I also conducted field research over three different summers, and I received one-on-one training in quantitative methods during my dissertation. As I have met more and more recent graduates from other programs, I am finding how unique my training was in this regard. In sum, not only does Loyola produce scholars who are great in the field, but they are adept at bridging their research with the classroom. This skill set has been invaluable to me, especially on a very competitive job market. 

I would describe the faculty and mentoring at Loyola as very student centered. I am finding that the intense support I received throughout my entire graduate career is not the "norm" at other institutions. I would tell new graduate students in our program, that every student was like a snowflake, with their own unique journey into academia. The mentorship and faculty in the Political Science Department allowed space for every student to carve their own path, even if it didn't perfectly parallel the expertise and knowledge of their PI.  This gave me ample room for growth and enabled me to fit into a variety of different teaching / research roles at my current institution. Because of my time at Loyola, I was able to enter into  life after graduate school with a strong support system that ultimately led to a full-time position in academia within months of graduating.