Lifetime of Achievement


Sherri Wallace (left), current president of the Political Science Education (PSE), Kerstin Hamann in middle, Renée Van Vechten (right), past president of PSE

Kerstin Hamann, Pegasus Professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Central Florida, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Political Science Association’s Political Science Education section. Hamann received the award on September 2 at the 2016 APSA annual meeting in Philadelphia.

Former President of the Political Science Education section Renée Van Vechten presented the award to Hamann, commenting on her accomplishments in the field of education.

Van Vechten said “when a person possessing youth and vitality and has years of academic adventures ahead of her, one might wonder: is this the most opportune moment to receive a lifetime achievement award?”

The executive committee of the ASPA’s Education section thinks so – its decision was unanimous. The section’s website describes the selection criteria for award recipients as “lifetime contributions to political science [that] have had a significant impact on undergraduate education.”

Hamann, who holds a doctoral degree in political science, can now add the award to her lengthy resume. She is a Pegasus Professor – the highest academic honor at UCF. She has received the UCF Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, the UCF Excellence in Professional Service Award, Research Incentive Awards, and other teaching awards as well as university Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Awards.

She also served as the Vice President of the APSA and, together with her co-editors Philip H. Education Pollock and Bruce M. Wilson, has served as editor-in-chief of the “Journal of Political Science Education,” which is currently transitioning to new editors. She chaired the APSA’s Standing Committee on Teaching and Learning and was vice chair of the Political Science section. Currently, she serves on the national board of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honors society.

“Clearly, Kerstin and greatness are no strangers,” Van Vechten said.

When she is not overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Department of Political Science, conducting research, or teaching, Hamann is most likely spending time with her two great loves – her family and the outdoors. She enjoys hiking, running, cycling, swimming, and skiing.

Political Science Professor Alison McCartney from Towson University added to Van Vechten’s comments at the award ceremony, praising not only Hamann’s accomplishments, but also her humanity.

“Kerstin is always available to her colleagues, providing support and advice in tackling the balance and connections among teaching, service, and scholarship,” McCartney said. “She is our all-around champion.”

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