Mentoring students through research

By Mary-Lyn Buckley

Balance, research and mentorship are key attributes of Rider’s newest staff member in the Department of Political Science.

Dr. Elizabeth Radziskewski, assistant professor, said the heart of her work is having her students contribute within the university and beyond.

“It’s not just about my own work,” Radziskewski said. “I find there is so much value in having my students be active participants both in and out of the classroom.”

She received her bachelor’s degree at Rutgers University, and later went on to earn her doctorate and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois.

Having previously taught political science and foreign policy courses at Seton Hall, Yeshiva University and Lehigh University, Radziskewski feels Rider University is a very good fit for her career.

Beyond the classroom, she has conducted research in international relations, conflict dynamics and foreign policy.

She expressed that a large benefit of working in a smaller-scale environment is the accessibility to build mentoring relationships with students; Radziskewski said Rider students are approachable and some of her best experiences have been watching her students excel through research.

Radziskewski has mentored several students at previous universities, and has seen students excel in their professional careers. One of her former students was granted full tuition to pursue a graduate degree after pitching a particular study and research that originated in her classroom.

“I try to keep my assignments moderate so students don’t feel a burden and that they can replenish and focus,” she said.

Working at Rider, she feels the gap between levels of student interaction is not evident.

“The key is to stay flexible and not be afraid to ask students what works and what doesn’t,” she explained. “It is nice to see a high quality of student involvement, carving out a chunk of time to focus their thinking exclusively in research.

Radziskewski plans to get more students involved this semester in conducting their own research.

She feels it is still a challenge to find time to engage solely in her research. She feels it is a balancing act that comes with time and emphasized there aren’t always immediate answers.

“Balance is important to relax and do things outside of the classroom,” she said. “When you are happy and healthy, you are more successful. My philosophy is that more isn’t necessary to be better. We all need time to sit down and think.”

Radziskewski is eager to be joining the Department of Political Science and hopes to get students thinking about future career paths.


Originally printed in the 11/09/16 edition.

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