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Department of History & Political Science

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History & Political Science Faculty

UIndy's History & Political Science faculty comprises accomplished and passionate professors who are dedicated to providing students with the knowledge and tools for success in future endeavors. Our professors have a variety of backgrounds and bring their own opinions, ideas and experiences to the classroom, giving you a richer educational environment. 

Laura Merrifield Albright, Assistant Professor, History & Political Science

Dr. Laura Merrifield Albright

Assistant Professor of Political Science

  • Specialties: American politics, public administration, state and local government
  • PhD, University of Alabama

Areas of Expertise
American politics, public administration, state and local government

Background
Dr. Albright has presented her research on the gender and race gap in campaign finance in state legislative races at the annual American Political Science Association conference as well as a number of regional conferences. Her work has been published in the Race, Gender & Class journal and the eJournal of Education Policy.

Research Interests
state and local government, campaigns and elections, gender and race politics, state regulation, taxation and public budgeting

Education
PhD, Political Science, University of Alabama
MA, Women's Studies, University of Alabama
MPA, Public Administration, University of Alabama
MA, American Politics, Ohio University
AB, Theatre, Ohio University

Fun fact
My sister is a proud UIndy alumna!

Favorite thing about UIndy
The people and the collegiality!

Contact Information
albrightlm@uindy.edu
317-788-3335
Good Hall 204A

Dr. Ted Frantz, Associate Professor of History & Director of Civic Archives

Dr. Edward Frantz

Professor of History
Director of Institute of Civic Leadership/Mayoral Archives

  • Specialties: US 1877–1920, Midwest, political history
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002

Areas of Expertise
presidential and political history; history of Indiana and the Midwest, American history (1865-present); African American history 

Background
Serves as the director of the UIndy Civic Archives, which holds key materials regarding the maturation of modern Indianapolis. Author of The Door of Hope: Republican Presidents and the First Southern Strategy (1877-1933 University Press of Florida, 2011). Member of various professional historical organizations. An expert on the presidency, Dr. Frantz has given interviews for radio, TV, and newspapers that have appeared in local, national and international publications.

Research Interests
modern Indianapolis, presidential history, race and politics, midwestern history 

Education
PhD, History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MA, History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
BA, History, Princeton University 

Fun fact
I appeared in UIndy’s inaugural “Personal Attention Unleashed” commercial

Favorite thing about UIndy
The ability to collaborate with students, colleagues and community members.  

Contact Information
Good Hall, 203G
317-788-4906
efrantz@uindy.edu

Dr. James Fuller, Associate Professor of History & Political Science

Dr. A. James Fuller 

Professor of History

  • Specialties: early American republic, Civil War
  • PhD, Miami University, 1995

Areas of Expertise
Civil War and Reconstruction, the Old South, Indiana history, 19th century U.S. 

Background
Past president of the Indiana Association of Historians. Has published six books, including Chaplain to the Confederacy (2000), Soldiers of Christ (2009), and The Election of 1860 Reconsidered (2013).

Research Interests
Dr. Fuller’s primary research interest is 19th century America, especially the Civil War, Southern history, Indiana history, and Evangelical Protestant Christianity. His forthcoming biography of Indiana's Civil War governor is entitled, The Great War Governor: Oliver P. Morton and the Politics of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Education
PhD, U.S. History/World History, Miami University of Ohio 

Contact Information
Good Hall, 203C
317-788-2190
afuller@uindy.edu

Dr. Chad Martin, Assistant Professor, History & Political Science

Dr. Chad Martin

Associate Professor of History

  • Specialties: modern Britain, modern Africa, imperialism
  • PhD, Stanford University, 2003

Areas of Expertise
Modern Britain and the British Empire; Modern Europe 

Contact Information
Good Hall, 204B
317-788-6200
cmartin@uindy.edu

Dr. Samantha Meigs, Assistant Professor of History

Dr. Samantha Meigs

Associate Professor of History
Director, Experience Design program 

  • Specialties: early modern Europe, social history
  • PhD, Northwestern University, 1993

Research interests
Early Modern European history, social history

Professional Activities
Dr. Meigs has published the book The Reformations in Ireland: Tradition and Confessionalism, 1400-1690 (St. Martin's Press, 1997), as well as articles in The Early Modern Ireland Bulletin and Sixteenth Century Journal. She is currently working on a book on the Reverend Robert Kirk.

Contact Information
Good Hall, 203A
317-788-3250
smeigs@uindy.edu

Dr. David Root 

Assistant Professor of Political Science
Pre-Law Advisor
  • Specialties: Constitutional Law, American Political Institutions, Political Theory
  • JD, Indiana University McKinney School of Law, 2006
  • PhD, University of Oregon, 2016

Good Hall, 203B
317-788-3334
rootd@uindy.edu

Dr. Jyotika Saksena, Associate Professor of International Relations

Dr. Jyotika Saksena

Associate Professor of International Relations
Director, Graduate Program in International Relations

  • Specialties: international political economy, international organizations
  • PhD, University of Georgia, 2001

Areas of Expertise
international organizations, international political economy, regime consequences, nuclear nonproliferation

Background
Dr. Saksena has worked on projects funded by the United States Institute of Peace and the Rockefeller Foundation on issues related to South Asian security, focusing on nuclear, dual-use and conventional weapons/technology. Her research has been published as articles in the journals International Politics, Comparative Strategy, and Asian Survey.

Research Interests
trade-related intellectual property rights; intended and unintended consequences of international organizations on societies; nuclear politics 

Education
PhD, International Relations, University of Georgia
MPhil, American Studies, School of International Studies, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
MA, International Studies, School of International Studies, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
BA, Political Science (Honors), Delhi University, Delhi, India  

Fun facts
I have travelled to more than 10 countries in the world. 

Favorite thing about UIndy
Small classroom size and sense of community. 

Contact Information
Good Hall, 203D
317-788-4900
jsaksena@uindy.edu

Dr. Lawrence Sondhaus, History & Political Science Department Chair

Dr. Lawrence Sondhaus

Professor of History
Director, Graduate Program in History

  • Specialties: modern Europe, Germany and Austria, naval and military history
  • PhD, University of Virginia, 1986

Areas of Expertise
modern Europe, naval and military, strategy and policy

Background
Dr. Sondhaus authored 12 books, most recently The Great War at Sea: A Naval History of World War I (Cambridge, 2014),World War I: The Global Revolution (Cambridge, 2011), and Strategic Culture and Ways of War (Routledge, 2006). Three books have been translated into other languages, appearing in German, Italian, Slovenian, Portuguese and Korean editions. Other publications include 12 journal articles, in periodicals such as the Journal of Military History, International History Review, and Central European History

Education
PhD, History, University of Virginia
MA, History, University of Virginia
BA, History and Philosophy, Elon University

Fun fact
I coach boys lacrosse on the middle level.

Favorite thing about UIndy
My role as faculty athletics representative. 

Contact Information
317-788-3463
sondhaus@uindy.edu

Dr. Milind Thakar, Associate Professor of History & Political Science

Dr. Milind Thakar

Associate Professor of International Relations
Department Chair 

  • Specialties: comparative politics, political development, South Asia
  • PhD, University of Georgia, 2001

Areas of Expertise
comparative politics, political development, South Asia

Background 
Dr. Thakar's interests are in the areas of democratization and comparative politics, particularly in the region of South Asia. He has published articles in journals such as Asian Survey, India Review and Strategic Analysis

Research Interests
democratic consolidation; political parties in South Asia; government-business relations; national identity formation 

Education
PhD, Political Science, University of Georgia, 2001
MPhil, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India 1992
MA, International Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, 1990
BA Honors (Economics), University of Delhi, India, 1988

Fun fact
I can name and date the reign of every British monarch since 1066. 

Favorite thing about UIndy
The ability to teach travel courses leading students to Britain and India.

Contact Information
Good Hall, 203F
317-788-4901
mthakar@uindy.edu

Dr. James B. Williams, Assistant Professor of History

Dr. James B. Williams

Associate Professor of History

  • Specialties: medieval Europe, Latin America
  • PhD, Purdue University, 2009

Areas of Expertise
Ancient Roman history, Medieval history, Early Modern history, Latin American history

Background
Dr. James B. Williams has presented at numerous international conferences, written encyclopedia entries, and reviewed textbooks.  He has also published two pieces, “The Tennessee Civil War Centennial Commission: Looking to the Past as Tennessee Plans for the Future” in Tennessee Historical Quarterly (2008) and “Working for Reform: Acedia and the Transformation of Working Culture in Carolingian Monasticism” in the new book Sin in Medieval and Early Modern Culture(2012). He is currently at work on his first book drawn from his dissertation, “The Adoptive Son of God, the Pregnant Virgin, and the Fortification of the True Faith: Heterodoxy, the Cult of the Virgin Mary, and Benedict of Aniane in the Carolingian Age,” which received a Distinguished Dissertation Award from the Purdue University College of Liberal Arts in 2010. 

Research Interests
Early Medieval History, Pre-Modern Religious History, Carolingian Culture 

Education
PhD, Purdue University
MStud, Oxford University
BA, College of William and Mary

Fun fact
I’m just a hillbilly from East Tennessee. 

Favorite thing about UIndy
The sense of community. 

Contact Information
Good Hall, 204
317-788-2395
williamsjb@uindy.edu

Dr. Douglas Woodwell, Associate Professor of International Relations

Dr. Douglas Woodwell

Associate Professor of International Relations

  • Specialties: international conflict, terrorism
  • PhD, Yale University, 2005

Areas of Expertise
international conflict, research methodology

Background
Author of books Nationalism and International Relations: Norms, Foreign Policy, and Enmity and forthcoming (Dec 2013) Research Foundations and Process: How We Know What We Know. Also authored articles published by the World Bank and International Relations Quarterly. Dr. Woodwell is also a former lecturer at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies.  

Education
PhD, Political Science, Yale University
MA, German and European Studies, Georgetown University
BA, International Studies, American University

Fun fact
I’m trying hard to teach myself guitar.

Favorite thing about UIndy
The people, of course!

Contact Information
Good Hall, 204A
317-788-6182
woodwelld@uindy.edu