Dear Maxwell Faculty, Staff and Students,

As we look forward to the start of the fall semester—for many of us, the first fully on-campus experience in several years—I want to thank you for everything you are doing to make the Maxwell School an exceptional place to conduct research, teach, work and learn and to improve the public good for all. The dean’s office has been working hard to prepare for a successful semester, and I recognize this work is being done across the school.

As we embrace our growing community and adapt to shifting needs, we continue to invest in improvements aimed at helping every member of our community to thrive. Whether you are new to Maxwell or have been here for some time, I hope you will find the information below helpful for understanding the many ways our community is embracing change and for navigating the days ahead.

We’ve tried to keep this email efficient, but if you prefer to jump to different sections, you can follow these links.



The first thing you may notice upon entering Maxwell are four new installations that recognize our varied backgrounds, experiences and accomplishments and reflect a rich diversity of expressions of citizenship within our school, nationally and globally.

  • A Conversation with George Washington: As you enter from the north via the Maxwell foyer, explore our new exhibition of portraits from the “Americans Who Tell the Truth” collection by artist Robert Shetterly that is now on display alongside the iconic statue of George Washington and the Athenian Oath of Citizenship. The installation and upcoming discussion series are designed to spark reflection and dialogue over varied, often conflicting lived experiences and expressions of citizenship throughout American history.
  • Maxwell Awards of Excellence: Entering the second floor of Eggers Hall from the south via the Q1 parking lot, we have installed a series of banners in the Strasser Commons celebrating alumni and friends of Maxwell for their professional accomplishments and commitment to public service across a range of careers and issues.
  • Voices of Maxwell: Entering Eggers Hall from the north via the Lincoln courtyard, visitors will be greeted by a rotating display of quotes by Maxwell community members who have made significant contributions to the school throughout its history. The first series of displays will honor the contributions of women faculty and staff and is due to be installed later this fall.
  • Faculty Scholarship: A new digital screen has been installed among the faculty books displayed in Strasser Commons just outside the Maxwell dean’s office to highlight the range of scholarship activity at the school including journal articles.


Supporting our goal to make Maxwell a welcoming space for all is our multi-year effort to re-envision the first and second floors of Maxwell and Eggers as a hub for undergraduate students. This, along with the integration of the Policy Studies Program into the Public Administration and International Affairs Department (PAIA)—and an impressive number of new faculty hires—has prompted a cascade of office moves this summer.

  • The Policy Studies Undergraduate Program has relocated to 225 Eggers Hall, adjacent to—and extending—the PAIA office suite.
  • The International Relations Undergraduate Program finds its new home in 102 Maxwell Hall, adjacent to the Maxwell Foyer in the suite formerly occupied by policy studies.
  • Maxwell’s Citizenship and Civic Engagement Undergraduate Program has moved to 206 Eggers, formerly home to the Maxwell School’s advancement and alumni team.
  • Undergraduate computer lab space is available in 040 Eggers, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. when classes are not in session.
  • Advancement and Alumni Relations moved to new Maxwell-dedicated office space on the second floor of Steele Hall, a short walk across the parking lot. When construction is complete, they will be joined by the Center for Environmental Policy and Administration (CEPA) and the Dynamic Sustainability Lab, as well as Executive Education.
  • Maxwell Research Development moved to 222 Maxwell Hall, across from the Palmer Career Center.
  • Graduate Enrollment Management moved to 223 Maxwell Hall.
  • Communications and Media Relations moved to a suite of offices on the fifth floor of Maxwell Hall.

As we work to welcome a range of new talent to the school, grow our faculty, increase research and experiential opportunities, and provide a first-class student experience, we can anticipate that construction and office moves will continue into 2023 and 2024.


Click the “new in the last year” check box of our faculty directory to see a complete list of new faculty and staff here.


This fall, we’re thrilled to welcome 13 new faculty, as well as post-doctoral fellows and part-time instructors, from a range of backgrounds, disciplines and specialties. We continue to work with departments to incorporate best practices for hiring, mentoring and retaining exceptional and diverse professionals. In addition to ensuring that diversity, equity and inclusion is front and center throughout the hiring process and that all committee members receive implicit bias training, we are developing a plan for robust and equitably-minded faculty mentoring to ensure all our faculty thrive as both teachers and researchers.

We are pleased to announce key faculty leadership positions around the school:

  • Mona Bhan is the new chair of the Maxwell Faculty Council. Serving terms of up to three years, council members act as a representative group to consider ideas and proposals and act on behalf of the wider faculty body.
  • Shannon Monnat is the new director of the Center for Policy Research (CPR), as Len Lopoo steps down and continues to focus his research expertise in behavioral science as the founding director of the Maxwell X Lab.
  • Saba Siddiki is the founding director of the newly created Center for Policy Design and Governance, the institutional home of the Policy Studies Journal.
  • Brian Taylor is the new director of the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs. He accepts the helm from founding director Margaret “Peg” Hermann as she begins preparations for her retirement in January. We look forward to celebrating her many contributions to Maxwell in the coming months.
  • Colleen Heflin is associate dean and chair of the Public Administration and International Affairs Department. We thank outgoing chair Robert Bifulco for his many contributions to the department, including his support for the strategic decision to integrate the Policy Studies Program into PAIA. Pete Wilcoxen steps in as director of policy studies, supporting this transition in partnership with professor and founding director Bill Coplin, who continues to teach and mentor students in the program.
  • Peng Gao is the new chair of the Geography and the Environment Department, which also welcomed Jane Read as the new director of the Environment, Sustainability and Policy Undergraduate Program. Our thanks to Tom Perrault for his leadership in successfully negotiating the department name change among myriad stakeholders.
  • Devashish Mitra is the new chair of the Economics Department. We congratulate Amy Ellen Schwartz as she leaves Maxwell to become dean of the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration at the University of Delaware.

We thank all of them for their leadership and many contributions to the school.


Staff development is central to helping the Maxwell School achieve its goals for advancing excellence in research, teaching and the student experience, and for cultivating an inclusive and welcoming environment. I would like to welcome and thank the following staff members for their leadership and contributions.

  • As Mary Pat Cornish prepares for her retirement in September, Alicia Madden joins the Maxwell School as the new senior director of budget and administration. I look forward to working with her and my leadership team to create opportunities for training and internal upward mobility across Maxwell.
  • Alexandra Punch has been promoted from assistant director to director of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, assuming the role as Shannon Monnat steps down to assume leadership of the Center for Policy Research.
  • Staff Council: Now in its third year, the council continues to advocate on behalf of staff, and provide enrichment opportunities and support initiatives that contribute to a positive work environment. Programming includes an annual retreat, MaxPro; regularly scheduled training sessions, MaxFacts; and a staff recognition awards program. Congratulations to this year’s Staff Awards winners: Stephanie Worden, Jackie Wells, Julie Davis and Kelley Coleman; and thank you for all that you do!

Affinity Groups and Engagement Opportunities

Maxwell is home to five different affinity groups for faculty, staff, alumni and graduate students of color, as well as for international graduate students. These school-wide groups bring together individuals with a similar identity to provide community and additional mentoring and to empower them during their time in Maxwell. They are intended to complement similar groups across the broader campus and aim to fill gaps to ensure we are creating an environment where everyone feels they belong. To learn about existing groups in Maxwell, to join one or to voice your interest in establishing other groups, please visit our Answers page.

Syracuse University offers campus-wide resources for community building within the Intercultural Collective at the Schine Student Center—including the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Disability Cultural Center and the LGBTQ Resource Center.

Students are encouraged to inquire within Maxwell’s academic departments for a range of involvement opportunities, including clubs, honor societies, Living Learning Communities and more. Visit Maxwell’s public events calendar for Culture and Conversation Tables, where you can practice non-English languages and learn about different world regions; upcoming lectures; discussions and other events.

As the premiere school of citizenship, the Maxwell School is dedicated to preparing students, staff and faculty to engage and lead across diverse constituencies. We aim to foster an environment that emphasizes education and respectful dialogue toward our mutual benefit. I’m proud of the many ways our community continues to work for equity and supports our shared successes.

Here’s to a healthy, energetic, productive and inclusive beginning. Please always feel free to contact us in the dean’s office with any questions or concerns you may have. Have a great semester.


David M. Van Slyke, Ph.D. 

Dean  | Louis A. Bantle Chair in Business-Government Policy

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Syracuse University 

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