Published: Feb. 15, 2023

Andy Aspens

By Andy Baker

Welcome to our Winter 2023 newsletter. I’m happy to report that we are well on the way to completing a rather normal academic year—for the first time since 2018/19! Our lecture halls are teeming with students, speculation and fear about the next pandemic surge have faded, and the only threat to in-person learning is the occasional winter snowstorm. It’s great to be fully back!

In the last newsletter, I talked about the recent increase in Political Science majors at CU. Even amidst the turmoil of the COVID pandemic, our numbers remained steady, and this year they continue to be strong at more than 1,000 majors. One of those majors is freshman Ryan Pak, whom we were able to rope in as he was finishing high school by offering him a scholarship. In one of our articles in this newsletter, Ryan talks about this new First Year Scholarship Award program and how it influenced his decision to choose CU.

In another set of articles, we turn to former students, profiling two alumni who followed two very different paths to career success after graduating from CU. One is Missy Kelly, who served as the commencement speaker for our Spring 2022 graduation ceremony. Kelly is a founding CEO of CatTongue Grips. To say her company’s products are used around the world is, amazingly, an understatement. They are also used in outer space! The other CU alum is Alan Zarychta, who is now a widely published professor at the University of Chicago, one of the world's top research universities.

In a final set of articles, we show off (as always) some of the accomplishments of our faculty. CU Political Science faculty have compiled many awards in recent years—far too many for us to cover in a single newsletter. So we will continue to highlight a few awards each time. Megan Shannon is one of the leading experts in the world on the United Nations and, in particular, its peacekeeping operations. Her recent award-winning book on the topic contains some surprisingly optimistic findings on the matter: UN peacekeeping usually works! Finally, we talk about Anand Sokhey, who received an exceedingly prestigious award for his entire body of scholarship. He recently won the emerging scholar award from the Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior section of the American Political Science Association. Sokhey describes how he got interested in political science and some of his ongoing work on understanding and combatting antisemitism.   

Remember to check out our online course offerings for non-CU students through Continuing Education,, and please consider a donation to help out our undergraduate or graduate students!

All the best,

Andy Baker


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