Karen Petersen
Political Science

Hi, I'm Karen K. Petersen and I'm one!—one of Tennessee's Best.

I'm an associate professor of Political Science and I teach and conduct research in International Relations, particularly in the area of international conflict. I received my undergraduate degree in International Relations from MTSU and completed my Ph.D. at Vanderbilt. I fell in love with Middle Tennessee and was thrilled to be able to return to MTSU as a professional. I am passionate about International Relations. The fact that I get to teach and conduct research on the issues that I enjoy is the best part of my job.

My students keep me here. I am blessed with wonderful students; and I enjoy learning with them and helping them reach their academic, professional, and personal potential. I have overwhelmingly positive interactions with my students. During my first year, I taught a course with an intense simulation (role-playing). The students exceeded my expectations and the result was the best learning experience I have ever helped facilitate. Currently, I have five students with pending applications for the Fulbright program, two recent graduates in the Peace Corp, and several students either in graduate school or in the process of applying for graduate programs. My students have studied or interned in Dubai, Jordan, Kenya, Rwanda, South Korea, Botswana, and many points in between. Guiding students through our International Relations program and seeing them make the most of their experiences have been amazing.

The quality of professional resources available, the ability to interact with and influence students, and an administration supportive of research combine to make MTSU an excellent place for faculty. Potential faculty members should take a good look at all factors before deciding to work at my alma mater. At first glance, MTSU appears to be another large public university. But there is much more to MTSU than meets the eye.

The campus atmosphere is energetic. Faculty are doing interesting research; we often have engaging outside speakers; and students are involved in a variety of projects. While there really is no one thing that sets MTSU apart from other schools, MTSU represents a good combination of quality-of-life opportunities, academic opportunities, and a good working environment. That combination makes this an attractive place to be.

And that MTSU is located in Murfreesboro is just an added bonus. The city, as far as I am concerned, represents the best of all worlds. You can combine small- (or medium-) town living, college-town life, and an urban environment in nearby Nashville and come up with a community that provides something for everyone. Depending on your preferences, you can emphasize one of the three. Additionally, Tennessee offers an excellent environment for outdoor recreation with a first-rate state parks system, abundant local wilderness areas, and a mild climate.

We have it all at Middle Tennessee State University. Come be a part of a vibrant learning community that is focused on students. You'll be glad you did. I know I am!