5 questions with…political science’s Kathryn Lavelle

When Kathryn Lavelle was in high school, she sat in the same place many students found themselves just a few short weeks ago as finals came and went: in the campus library (then Freiberger Library), writing a paper. A native of Cleveland, Lavelle’s brother attended Case Western Reserve, so she often spent time on campus during high school. In fact, she even worked at the university as a typist for a brief stint between college (at Georgetown University) and graduate school (at University of Virginia).

At the time, Lavelle had no idea she’d ever be back on campus as a member of the faculty; in fact, she had every intention of becoming a foreign service officer. But after earning her doctoral degree in political science from Northwestern University, Lavelle returned to her hometown and eventually joined the Case Western Reserve University faculty in 2001; she became the Ellen and Dixon Long Associate Professor of World Affairs in 2006, an appointment she still holds today.

While on campus, her time is devoted to politics, especially international relations and the political economy of finance. Her research interests have garnered her positions such as the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Global Issues at University of Toronto and a research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

But outside academia, Lavelle tries to “get away from all things political”—filling her time with traveling, hiking or simply relaxing and watching television.

Learn more about her in The Daily’s weekly “5 questions with” feature.

1. What superpower would you most like to have?
The ability to be in two places at one time.

2. What’s your favorite place to dine in Cleveland?
Slyman’s with my mom, before she retired from the Cleveland public schools.

Now that both of my parents are retired, we love to go to Joe’s Deli in Rocky River. It’s owned by the same family, and their children went to Case [Western Reserve].

3. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A ballerina.

4. What accomplishments are you most proud of—personally and professionally?
Receiving my PhD and hanging on to my dream of becoming a university professor, against all odds.

5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve University?
Without a doubt—the students!


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