My Faculty Advisors-Anastasia

Posted: July 30, 2012 in Anastasia Kocher

My faculty mentor for the University Honors Summer Scholars Program is Dr. Kikue Hamayotsu. Dr.  Hamayotsu is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University (NIU). She is a native of Japan and a specialist in comparative politics. Her specific research and teaching interests are extensive. They include religion and politics, political Islam, Southeast Asian politics, democratization, state formation and bureaucracy, identity politics, politics and development in the Muslim World, political violence, and Ethnic Conflict.  In 2011, she was appointed a Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute (ARI). ARI is located at the National University of Singapore. Dr. Hamayotsu’s research in Singapore has focused on religious intolerance and the quality of democracy in Muslim Southeast Asia. She has also published a number of scholarly journal articles and book chapters. I chose Dr. Hamayotsu as my mentor, because I enjoyed her Political Violence course. In her classes, she amazed me with her inexhaustible energy and her shining personality. She possesses great knowledge and experience in areas that pertain to my current study. Dr.  Hamayotsu has offered me valuable guidance in my research project and demonstrated a sincere desire to assist me with any challenges along the way.

I have also asked Dr. Michael Clarke to assist me given the value that these mentoring relationships provide me. Like Dr. Hamayotsu, Professor Clark is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and a specialist in comparative politics. He has worked with several students in the NIU’s University Honors Program, most notably the University’s 2011-2012 Student Lincoln Laureate, Nora Lindvall, who wrote her Honors Capstone under his direction. Impressively, Nora has received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Amsterdam with the goal of earning a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution.  Dr. Clark has been teaching at NIU since 2008. He offers undergraduate courses in Western European politics, British politics, research methods, and comparative politics. He has published his research in the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, Electoral Studies, Party Politics, and Comparative Political Studies. Professor Michael Clark is honest, knowledgeable, patient, and enthusiastic. He is a great listener, and someone who guides you in the right direction by posing a number of challenging questions. Dr. Clark provides insightful feedback and has a good sense of humor.  He is personable and immediately made me feel very comfortable. He is inspired by Winston Churchill for keeping Britain together during World War II and standing up to Nazi aggression.  I admire Churchill’s speeches as well.

Both of my faculty mentors are smart, experienced, and always have my best interest at heart. I am grateful to NIU for providing me such an excellent selection of scholars to assist me with my challenging research project.

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