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New MIW Director

Please Welcome, Professor Pauline Jones

"I am truly delighted(!) to join the Michigan in Washington (MIW) program as the Edie N. Goldenberg Endowed Director. The MIW program is one of the University’s flagships – providing students with innovative opportunities to gain direct learning experiences while inspiring them to become actively engaged citizens. 

Both experiential learning and public engagement have been essential to my own personal and professional development and continue to guide my approach to scholarship and teaching. The opportunities I had to serve as a Congressional page in DC in high school, an intern with the US Department of State in Argentina during my sophomore year in college at UC Berkeley, and an exchange student in the Soviet Union during my junior year greatly influenced my decision to pursue an academic career. They also fortified my commitment to publicly engaged research and teaching. 

As a political science scholar, I have always strived to communicate my research to a broader audience, particularly policymakers, and to focus on topics with substantive and policy implications. Most recently, my work has questioned the emphasis on religion in explaining political attitudes and behaviors in Muslim societies and investigated the differential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities around the world. I also follow current events closely, especially those that occur in my region of expertise – Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. Most recently, I illuminated the root causes of the January 2022 mass protests in Kazakhstan for the Washington Post, and I explained why Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invoked particular historical references in his appeals for international assistance after Russia launched a war against his country in February 2022. As an instructor, I value helping students gain knowledge and analytical skills that will serve them not only in their future careers but also as citizens.

On a more personal note, one of my non-academic passions is running. When in Washington DC, I love to run on the mall – especially up and down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. My favorite places to run in Ann Arbor are Nichols Arboretum and the original UM track near the baseball stadium where Jesse Owens broke four world records. I love to run not just because it’s great exercise and lots of fun but also because it’s a metaphor for how I approach life: Focus less on the destination and more on the journey.

Precisely because I know first-hand how transformational experiences like the MIW program can be, my top priority as incoming director will be making participation possible for students across campus from all backgrounds and fields of study. 

So, please consider this a warm and open invitation! 

  • If you are a current or former MIW student, schedule a meeting with me to please share your experiences so that we can continue to improve our program and
    build on its success – you! 
  • If you are a current UM student who wants to find out more, schedule a meeting with me to learn how the program can help you achieve your own
    personal and professional goals. 
  • If you support MIW, near or far, schedule a meeting with me to help us make more opportunities available to more UM students. 

I’m really looking forward to meeting with you in person or virtually – whichever is more convenient for you. I’m so excited to connect students to MIW and the life-changing opportunities it has to offer and expand these opportunities. Get in touch!"