Where are they now?

Ever wonder what you could do with a political science degree? Read about what some of our alumni have accomplished and find out!

 Joseph W. Westphal, U.S. Ambassador

Masters in Political Science (1974)

Westphal went on to receive his PhD in political science from the University of Missouri in 1980, specializing in natural resources and environmental policy. He returned to teach at Oklahoma State University and served as the head of the department until he left in 1987 to become a visiting scholar at the Institute for Water Resources.

Westphal would go on to become more active in politics, recently serving as the Under Secretary of the U.S. Army in the Obama Administration. He was appointed in 2014 as the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

 Lou Watkins, Consultant
Member of the A&M Board of Regents

lw alumniawardAbove: Watkins receives the Department's Distinguised Alumni Award during the Spring 2014 graduation ceremony.

Bachelor of Arts (1964), Masters in Political Science (1965)

Watkins taught Political Science at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, from 1977 to 1991, chairing the Department during her last five years. In honor of her service, ECU continues to host a lecture series in her name, bringing in recognized authorities to address subjects of major public interest.

After moving back to Stillwater, she co‑founded (and still currently serves as an officer for) World Export Services, Inc., a consulting company with holdings in cattle, land, and other investments. She serves an a member of the A&M Board of Regents, and was appointed by Governor Frank Keating in 1997, reappointed by Governor Brad Henry in 2004, and again reappointed by Governor Mary Fallin in 2011. Her current term expires in 2020.

Leigh B. Goodson, College President

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (1990)

Dr. Goodson received her Masters degree in Organizational Communication from Fort Hays State University, then returned to OSU to earn her PhD in Educational Research and Evaluation (May 2000). She served as an Assistant Professor of Medical Education until May 2014, when she was named the fourth President of Tulsa Community College.

Barb Russo, Program Director and Mentor

Masters (2010) and PhD (2013) in Fire and Emergency Management Administration

Russo directs the Fire and Emergency Services Administration Program in the Department of Government and History at Fayetteville State University. In 2014, her department named her their Advisor of the Year.

Below: Russo (center) along with some advisees.

russo grads



Are you an OSU alum? Send us an email to let us know what you’re up to. Maybe we’ll see your name in the next newsletter or here on the website!