Graduate Student Spotlight: Damian Boldt from the Department of Political Science

What department are you a graduate student in? 

I am a third year Ph.D. student in the FSU Political Science Department.

Why did you decide to go to graduate school?

As an undergraduate I found that I really enjoyed learning about political science broadly and international relations more specifically. Over time, I came across questions that did not have an answer that satisfied me. My undergraduate mentor told me that graduate school was a way for me to learn and develop the tools to help me answer those questions and questions I had not even asked yet. The prospect of being able to work with others to answer questions about political processes that affect the lives of billions of people is what pushed me to pursue graduate school.

Did your interests change throughout your program? 

When I entered FSU’s political science Ph.D. program, I was mostly interested in great power politics and systemic-level questions. As I have studied here at FSU, I have grown more interested in the study of interstate conflict. In addition, the events of the past couple of years have demonstrated to me the importance of studying democracy, democratization, and authoritarian reversal. The intersection of democracy and interstate conflict has motivated much of my recent work in the program.

What do you want to do with your advanced degree? 

I hope to enter academia after I have completed my advanced degree. Entering academia will allow me to continue to work on answering interesting and important questions. It will also allow me to teach and work with students, helping to give them the tools to ask and answer the important questions of their time. I believe that this balance of research, learning, and teaching is important for scholarship and helping to make an impact on people’s lives in a meaningful way.

Damian Boldt is a PhD student in the Political Science Department at Florida State University. Damian’s primary field of study is International Relations, with a secondary field in Comparative Politics. You can learn more about Damian here.

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