When David Plazek learned of an opening at JSC in 2012, he leaped at the chance to work at a college that offers a bachelor’s degree in his field, political science. He had earned his doctorate in 2006 at West Virginia University and moved to Vermont to teach political science at Lyndon State College, but he was interested in broader opportunities.
Born into a politically active family, his interest in politics was nurtured from an early age. But he really caught the political-science bug in the early 1990s when he began work on a second bachelor’s degree, in political science, at the University of Pittsburgh, where he had earned an earlier degree in history.
On his bedside table are several books, including China’s Imperial Past by Charles Hucker, A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, Winston Churchill’s The Second World War, a Rand McNally encyclopedia of World War II, and a Jerusalem Bible.
Reflecting his strong interest in Canadian foreign policy, David launched the Institute of Canadian Studies at JSC in 2013 with the goal of enhancing our understanding of our neighbor to the north, and he brought a new course on Canadian politics to campus as well. He also follows American politics closely, and he belongs both to the American Political Science Association and the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States.
Asked how he spends his spare time, David doesn’t hesitate: “I have four children, roughly two years apart — they are my spare time. And I wouldn’t change that for the world.”