Graduate Students

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Daniel Fram

Daniel Fram entered the Ph.D. Program in the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University in the Fall of 2013.  His major field is political philosophy, where his research interests center on the moral foundations of liberalism and democracy, and his minor field is American politics, where he is currently studying the relationship between political parties and the separation of powers. 

Daniel earned his B.A. from the Great Books program of St. John's College (Santa Fe) in 2001, an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi's Teacher Corps (2009), an M.A. in Political Philosophy from Boston College (2013).  Daniel has also lived in Arizona, California, and North Carolina, where he has worked as a musician, a reporter, and as an English teacher in public and private schools. 

Michael Giles

Michael Giles specializes in political theory and American government.  He obtained his BA from Hillsdale College and was the recipient of summer fellowships from the Institute for Humane Studies (2012) and the Hertog Political Studies Program (2013).  He researches the intellectual history of church and state, paying particular attention to how the political-religious question shaped early modern defenses of liberalism in the work of Montesquieu, Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau. 

Mike is also working on a study of Alexis de Tocqueville.  In that work, he expolores how the postmodern lack of consensus on fundamental moral questions presents a challenge to the basic liberal belief in the goodness (and not just the utlitiy) of religious toleration.  As for American Politics, he maintains a general scholarly interest in political institutions and Constitutional law.

Outside of academics Mike enjoys alpine skiing, conversations over a warm pint, and time with his family. 

Emma Slonina

Emma Slonina entered the Ph.D. Program in the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University in the Fall of 2013.  She is a University Distinguished Fellow, having received her BA in political science and Hispanic studies from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in April 2012. 

Her broad research interests include political philosophy and education, the place of liberal education in liberal society, tensions between humanity and citizenship, the history of political thought, pedagogical theory, and the internal politics of higher education institutions.

In her spare time, she acts as the department steward for GEU, co-directs the UM-Dearborn Honors Alumni Association, and regularly volunteers in the preparation department at the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU.

Jacob Snyder

A native of Michigan, Jacob Snyder graduated from Ferris State University with a B.A. in Sociology in 2009.  After working at a Lansing non-profit, Peckham, for a year, Jacob attended Kent State, graduating in 2012 with an M.A. in Philosophy.  Jacob's primary interests lie in ancient philosophy and Twentieth Centruy hermeneutics.  One particular interest within ancient philosophy is Aristotle's ethics and politics, along with its contemporary derivations, such as those of Alasdair MacIntyere.  Within hermeneutics, Jacob is interested in contemporary "methods' of reading Plato, particularly those of Heidegger, Strauss, Gadamer, and Derrida.  He has also been nurturing a newly formed curiosity about the role of conflict in the modern state, especially in light of concerns over the incommensurability of "competing" views of justice.  Outside of these academic interests, Jacob tries to spend as much time as possible enjoying the "Up North" regions of Michigan. 

Douglas Walker

Doug Walker entered the Ph.D. program in the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University in the fall of 2011.  In college, he majored in history, a lifelong passion, graduating with a Bachelor's degree from Trinity International Unversity in December 2007.  He earned an MA at Georgia Southern University in History in the spring of 2011.  His MA thesis dealt with the original meaning of the Second Amendment and its relationship to federalism.  Doug is especially interested in political history and the theories behind political ideas.  He decided to pursue his doctorate in Political Science in the subfield of political theory.  He wants to research in American political and especially constitutional history and theory.  Doug loves to play strategy games, and has even invented several historical board games.  Other extra-curricular interests include reasing, watching football, hiking, and playing basketball.