New Faculty Friday: Q&A with Molly Berkemeier

SPIA is excited to introduce Molly Berkemeier, Assistant Professor of International Affairs.

Molly Berkemeier received her PhD in political science from Texas A&M University in 2019. Her main research areas are nuclear politics (including proliferation, latency, deterrence, and cooperation), international security, alliances,  and the role of trust between leaders in international politics. She is teaching Introduction to International Affairs this fall.

What attracted you to UGA? 
MB: The friendly attitude and productivity of my department and colleagues, the institutional support for research, and the quality of the students. Athens being a beautiful place didn’t hurt either.

Where did you grow up? 
MB: All over! I was born in New York City, lived in California from ages 3 to 13, and London from ages 14-18. My family is mostly from Australia so I also spend a lot of time back there.

What are you working on that you’re most excited about?
MB: I have a lot of projects that I am excited about! Two of my favorites at the moment: I’m working on a project that looks at the influence of shared background characteristics of leaders on cooperation and conflict in world politics and also a project thinking about the implications of culture for the concept of nuclear deterrence.

What was your favorite part of your college experience?
MB: I’m a huge geek so I honestly just loved learning. I went to the University of Chicago for undergrad, where the motto is famously, “where fun goes to die”, but I had a ton of fun.

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working?
MB: I love to spend time with family and friends and enjoy travelling, cooking, and reading.

What is your favorite food?
MB: I think cheese (and wine) is a complete meal.

Please tell us one fun fact about you.
MB: I used to teach circus arts.

What are you looking forward to in the coming year?
MB: Working on some really cool projects, getting to know my department and Athens, and teaching (and learning from) the UGA undergrads.

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind(s)?
MB: Yes!! My husband and I have a 4 year old cat and a 12 year old dog.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
MB: I’d love to be able to speak every language.

What advice do you have for SPIA students?
MB: Say “yes” to as many opportunities as possible, but also make sure to breathe & have some downtime!