Get to Know: Dr. Katherine Vigilante

Every once in a while, we all love to go and talk to the professors that you all may have one day! This time, we're going into the Political Science department and talking to Dr. Katherine Vigilante! Let's get to know her a little bit better!

HC: Can you introduce yourself a bit?

KV: I am a 9th near faculty member at Oxford College (Senior Lecturer, Political Science); I also graduated from Oxford College, Emory College, and Emory Laney Graduate School. I am a mother of 2 boys (ages 16 and 13) and have been married to my husband for 22 years. We live in Atlanta close to the Atlanta campus.

HC: How did you find yourself coming to Oxford College?

KV: My mentor, Bill Shapiro, asked (begged) me to come out and teach political science courses while our then colleague (Bill Cody) was on leave.

HC: Do you have 1 memory of your time at Oxford that is the most memorable?

KV: The day after the 2008 presidential election. Students were walking on air, just months after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

HC: What do you think is the biggest challenge that Oxford students face?

KV: The ability/willingness to choose their commitments (especially in campus life) and focus on 1 or 2 well (versus 3-10....)

HC: Are there any exciting projects coming up that you’re involved in and can give us some info on?

KV: Yes, I am the faculty advisor to the newly formed Political Science Debate Society. We are hoping to be independently granted (through alumni and student support) and house several solo clubs/institutions (model UN, Debate Club, mock trial, and political science undergraduate report).

Also, I chair the honors committee and we have exciting sophomore seminars offered each spring with an opportunity to earn honors.

HC: Some students are afraid to go into the Political Science/International Studies classes, even if it’s their major. What’s one thing you would say to encourage students to take the classes?

KV: I would encourage people to consider the number one cause of death in the worl is bad politics (war, regime type, health, etc). I also believe in supporting applied, ethical research so that what you study is your passion.

Otherwise, major in something else!