Real-world experience and academic expertise
The professors in SFA’s Department of Government represent a wide variety of educational backgrounds, professional experience and research interests. Interested in studying policing or the criminal justice system? You’ll learn from former police officers, as well as state and federal agents who have firsthand law enforcement experience. Planning a career in political science? You’ll attend classes taught by professors (not teaching assistants) whose research interests range from the Supreme Court and American political parties to human rights.
Dr. Kwame B. Antwi-Boasiako
Dr. Kwame Badu Antwi-Boasiako is the chair of the Department of Government and full-time professor of public administration and political science at SFA. He teaches public policy, program evaluation, research methods and American government. His primary research interests include traditional institutions and democracy in Africa, decentralization, terrorism and diversity in the public sector.
Dr. Charles F. Abel
Dr. Charles F. Abel holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Maryland, a Master of Arts in political science from the University of Philadelphia, a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University and a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. He has held several consulting positions for organizations including the National Institute of Justice, the National Center for State Courts and the United National World Food Council. Abel is the author of numerous books, articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries and conference papers.
Dr. Alan Baily
Dr. Alan Baily earned his Bachelor of Science in political science from Texas A&M University and his Master of Arts and Ph.D. in political science from Louisiana State University. His research and teaching interests include contemporary political thought, classical political thought, American and Texas government and the relationship between literature and politics. He is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Southern Political Science Association and the Carlyle Studies Association.
Dr. Ken Collier
Dr. Ken Collier’s teaching interests include campaigns and elections, American presidency, public opinion and American democracy and political behavior and political parties. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Ph.D. in government from the University of Texas at Austin. He has authored dozens of books, book chapters and articles.
Dr. George Day
Dr. George Day holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from Tarleton State University. He has worked as a program administrator and a juvenile correctional officer with the Texas Youth Commission. He is a member of the Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice, the Texas Association of Criminal Justice Educators and the Harrison County Community Coalition Partnership.
David W. English
Adjunct Instructor, Political Science
David W. English holds a Master of Arts in political science and a Bachelor of Science in English and political science from SFA. In addition to teaching political science at SFA, he teaches English and pre-AP English in Nacogdoches Independent School District. He has participated in selective programs including the New Jersey Writing Project and AP Summer Institutes. He was one of 43 U.S. teachers selected to participate in the Holocaust Studies in Poland.
Adjunct Instructor, Public Administration
Eric Faulk has held communications positions within several state and national government agencies. He worked as a media advisor for the United States Environmental Protection Agency and as a speechwriter and special events coordinator for the Texas Agriculture Commission (he worked on the well-known GO TEXAN campaign). He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and linguistics from Trinity University, a Master of Arts in advertising and public relations from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.
Dr. George R. Franks, Jr.
Dr. George R. Franks, Jr. has more than 25 years of experience working in various leadership positions in state and local law enforcement. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies (with a concentration in human services) from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a Ph.D. in educational administration from Texas A&M University. He is the co-director of SFA’s Texas Certified Public Manager Program.
Dr. Steve Galatas
Dr. Steve Galatas’ teaching interests include comparative politics, international relations and American politics. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Ouachita Baptist University, a Master of Arts in political science from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Dr. Don Gooch
Assistant Professor, Political Science
Dr. Don Gooch holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from The University of Central Arkansas, a Master of Arts in political science from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Missouri. He is the faculty advisor for SFA’s Pre-Law Club and the SFA chapter of the Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity, and he also serves as advisor and coach for SFA’s Moot Court Team.
Dr. Peyton Gooch
Adjunct Instructor, Political Science
Dr. Peyton Gooch holds a Ph.D. in political science from Texas A&M University, where she wrote her dissertation on competing versions of Aristotelianism and contemporary political theory. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Baylor University. Gooch is the author of several articles and conference presentations, and she has received multiple research awards.
Dr. Charles Gregory
Dr. Charles Gregory holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and political science from High Point University, a Master of Arts in political science from the University of Montana and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota. His primary research interests include Supreme Court nominations and confirmations.
Dr. Julie Harrelson-Stephens
Dr. Julie Harrelson-Stephens earned a Bachelor of Arts in both political science and Russian from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Texas. Her teaching and research interests include international human rights and American foreign policy, peace studies, international human rights and democracy, conflict and security studies, American foreign policy, international political economy and international terrorism. She has authored and co-authored numerous textbooks, book chapters and articles.
Dr. Richard J. Herzog
Dr. Richard J. Herzog is the director of SFA’s Master of Public Administration program and the co-director of SFA’s Texas Certified Public Manager program. His research and teaching interests include public personnel administration, public budgeting and financial management. Dr. Herzog earned his Bachelor of Science in communication from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and he holds a Master of Public Administration and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Orleans.
Dr. Milt Hill
Dr. Milt Hill holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice and criminology and a Master of Science in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University. He earned his Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science in criminal justice from Dallas Baptist University. His research interests include examining the role of religion in delinquency and criminality, police officer safety, domestic terrorism and the effects of “blue culture” on police officers.
Dr. Lee W. Payne
Dr. Lee W. Payne’s teaching interests include political behavior, elections and public opinion, American politics, political parties, women’s politics, research design, public administration and budgeting, environmental policy and welfare policy. He holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from SFA and a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Houston. He is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Southern Political Science Association and the American Association for Public Opinion Research.
Dr. Cindy Pressley
Associate Professor, Public Administration and Political Science
Dr. Cindy Pressley holds a Ph.D. in organization studies from Florida Atlantic University’s School of Public Administration. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Richmond and her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Florida. Her teaching and research interests include personnel and labor studies, public administration theory, organizational theory and environmental policy.
Dr. Deborah Sibila
Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice
Dr. Deborah Sibila has more than two decades of experience working in law enforcement, and she has served as a special agent for both the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in law enforcement and police science from Sam Houston State University, a Master of Public Administration from Jacksonville State University and a Ph.D. in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University. Her research interests include policing, ethics and immigrant- and gender-related issues in criminal justice. She is a member of the American Society of Criminology, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and the International Association of Women Police.
Dr. Michael Tkacik
Dr. Michael Tkacik received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, his Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law, a Master of Arts in political science from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park. His research interests include national and international security, American foreign policy, international terrorism, international law and American government. He serves as director of SFA’s School of Honors.
Joy Rhodes is the administrative assistant for the Department of Government. She is a graduate of SFA’s Texas Certified Management Program and an active member of the SFA LitterBugs and SFA’s Faculty/Staff Parking and Traffic Board.
Dr. Spencer Willardson
Willardson earned his doctorate in political science from the University of Iowa, with major fields in international relations and comparative politics and a minor field in political methodology in 2013. His research concentrates on foreign policy of arms with a focus on their role in shaping the relations between states.
Before entering graduate school, Willardson was an enlisted soldier in the Utah Army National Guard. He was a Russian linguist and counterintelligence agent who served two combat tours in Iraq. He completed his enlisted service after nine years and held the rank of staff sergeant.
Willardson earned a master’s degree in strategic intelligence while working full time as a translator for the Reserve Language Support Project through the US Army. Originally from Ephraim, Utah Willardson was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Ukraine from 1998 to 2000. During his service in Ukraine, he lived primarily in the Donbas (Donetsk and Gorlovka) and spent seven months living in Zaporozhye. His time in the Ukraine experience, along with his experiences in the military, has had a profound influence on the way he sees the world and in his interests in political science.