Political Science


Laura van Assendelft


Professor of political science Laura van Assendelft has been teaching at Mary Baldwin College since 1994. Currently serving as chair of the political science department, van Assendelft teaches American Government, State and Local Politics, U.S. Congress, U.S. Presidency, Women and Politics, Political Parties and Interest Groups, Political Behavior, and Senior Seminar in American Politics. Her research interests include state and local politics and women and politics. She has published numerous journal articles and several books, including Governors, Agenda Setting, and Divided Government, The Encyclopedia of Women in American Politics (co-edited with Jeffrey Shultz), and three editions of Women, Politics, and American Society (co-authored with Nancy McGlen, Karen O’Connor, and Wendy Gunther-Canada). She received her BA in political science (cum laude with honors in political science) from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee (1989) and her PhD in political science from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (1994). She was recognized by Who’s Who Among American Teachers since 2004. Outside of teaching and research, her interests include spending time with family, running, hiking, horseback riding, reading, and photography.

Cara E. Jones


Assistant Professor of Political Science Cara Jones joined the Mary Baldwin faculty in the Fall of 2013. Dr. Jones teaches International Relations, Comparative Politics, African Politics, The Politics of Developing Nations, Introduction to US Foreign Policy, Civil Wars in the International System, Research Methods and Responses to War and Genocide in the International System. Her research interested include: Non-State Actors in Violent Conflict, Sub-Saharan Africa (particularly the Great Lakes region) and Post-Conflict Development and Governance. Active in both the policy and academic circles, Dr. Jones publishes policy briefings in addition to journal articles, and her book, Giving Up the Gun: Rebel to Ruler Transitions in Sub-Saharan Africa is currently under review. A graduate of the University of Texas (B.A. government and politics), she received her PhD in Political Science with a graduate certificate in African Studies from the University of Florida in April 2013. Outside of academic life, she enjoys hanging out with her family, enjoying life in the Shenandoah Valley, swimming, cooking and baking.

Steven Mosher


Steven Aker MosherSince 1989, Dr. Mosher has served as the director of the Health Care Administration Program at Mary Baldwin College. He is also a professor of health care administration and political science. He has held similar positions at Avila College in Missouri and Ferrum College in Virginia. He received his PhD in government and international studies from the University of South Carolina where he also received his Master of Arts degree in international studies and his Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) in political science.

Dr. Mosher’s 30 year career as an academic has involved teaching, researching, writing, consulting, mentoring, and making presentations at international and national conferences. He has spent considerable time investigating the field of long term care. He has a special interest in strategic management as well as comparative and international health care. He has traveled widely, including looking at the health care systems of Canada, Australia, Norway, and the United Kingdom. He has received numerous grants, including two awards from the government of Quebec to analyze their health care system. He has also worked with a long term care facility in Nova Scotia to enhance its decision making system. He has completed four consultancies in the area of organizational behavior and development with the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents, the only children’s psychiatric hospital in Virginia.

The undergraduate program in health care administration that Dr. Mosher directs is one of only 35 such programs in the United States and Canada to be fully certified by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. The program is also the only one of its type to be endowed.

Dr. Mosher is an active member in a variety of professional organizations including the International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing, the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, and he has served for 14 years on the Planning Committee of the Augusta Health Care, Inc., a top 50 hospital in the United States.

Quality in long term care is the major research interest of Dr. Mosher. This interest is international in scope. It speaks to a commitment to the integration of academic and practitioner worlds to the betterment of the people served in long term care settings.