By Steven Bonini
What is your role at FSU and what does your job entail?
I am a visiting lecturer of political science. So, what that means is that I have other obligations at Northeastern University, where I’m finishing my Ph.D. and doing research work there. But at Framingham State, I’m essentially here to help teach political science classes. I [teach] two [classes] a semester. Starting next fall, I will also begin teaching at the Graduate School of Public Policy here. I tend to do the pre-law classes – things like Constitutional Law, Judicial Policy. I’m teaching Race Politics and the Law this semester. If students are planning on going to law school, I am most likely going to be encountering them quite a lot.
What is your professional and educational background?
I actually, like all the lovely people here, I did my undergraduate degree at Framingham State in political science. It’s cool to do the full circle of teaching the classes that I was once part of in the same exact classrooms. ... I knew for quite a while that I wanted to teach. And so right from undergrad, I went into graduate school. I did my master’s at Northeastern University where I did research into constitutional law. And now I am doing my Ph.D. there as well – I’m finishing that up. I have a year and a half left of funding, and I studied the role of international institutions in domestic drug policy.
What would you say your goals are as one of the professors in the Political Science Department?
I’ve come to the conclusion that, above all else – and this may sound weird out of context – but above all else, my job is to have fun because I only have so much time with students, and we can only learn so many things. I’m more seeing myself as having fun, because if students enjoy this material, and they end up liking it and becoming passionate about it, and then they want to engage with politics, and just be an informed person with a base amount of civic literacy for the rest of their life, that will do a lot more than me just trying to shove the nitty gritty of constitutional doctrine down their throats.
What are some personal hobbies of yours?
So, one of the biggest things is I am a hardcore history and politics nerd. Sometimes, the link between personal hobby and work – it’s not always so clear. But aside from that, I’m a hardcore gamer. I love video games – always have – full spectrum from Pokémon to Call of Duty. I do it all. Back in the undergraduate days, I was part of management at a GameStop. So, you know, I’m a Renaissance man of gaming. And aside from that, I am an absolute junkie for live music. That’s absolutely my favorite. Really hard to do in 2020. But 2021, you know, most things are back to normal. The wife and I, we’ve done 13 different trips around the country to go concert hopping this year, and we were literally at a rave last night. Gaming and raving alongside the political science duties – those will be my two favorite things.
Do you have any advice for campus students?
This is a good one! I would say – if I had to say one thing – by having gone full circle, is that Framingham State is what you make of it. That’s what I would say. I remember when I was first at Framingham State and I was more thinking long term about wanting to go to graduate school and all these sorts of things, I was wondering if going to Framingham State, would that set me at a disadvantage as opposed to going to an R1 [research] university, like to one of the big schools in Washington, DC, or something like that. And I found that there are tremendous faculty here. If you are passionate about pursuing your careers, and there are faculty in the related fields, they are always looking for excited and enthusiastic, passionate students to work closely with and help mentor. So, there are tremendous opportunities here if you’re looking for them. And I found that I embraced everything I did. I worked as hard as I could. I worked with the political science faculty to the point where I was set up extremely strongly going into Northeastern – I’m excelling there. ... Appreciate the opportunities you have here. There are tremendous faculty. If you’re willing to put in the work and that passion, there are great rewards to reap from Framingham State.