Located just five minutes from the Mississippi State Capitol building, Millsaps College offers a unique opportunity for you to pursue a degree in government and politics in a city that is shaped by politics. Professors in the Government and Politics Department will challenge you to develop your own perspectives on politics in a scholarly and professional way. Small class sizes ensure you will get the attention you need from professors as well as promote discussions in ways that a larger classroom setting cannot.

  • Victoria Gorham

    Victoria Gorham

    Faculty Teaching Fellow in Government and Politics



    In the field of Government and Politics, my specialty is in Comparative Politics and International Relations, and my research focuses on studying nationalism in Tanzania and Kenya. I lived for nearly a year in Tanzania, and to a lesser extent in Kenya, conducting fieldwork, so I'm deeply interested in the politics of identity and democratization in East Africa. Because of my research interests and background as a scholar who studies Africa, I enjoy teaching courses that focus on African politics, nationalism and identity, and the politics of the developing world, as well as more broadly based courses that introduce the themes and concepts of Comparative Politics and International Relations. I strive to provide a classroom experience that makes the course material accessible and creates opportunities for students to participate, think critically, and engage in dialogue with their peers.

  • Robert Pearigen

    Robert W. Pearigen

    President of the College; Professor of Government and Politics



    B.A., The University of the South; M.A., Ph.D., Duke University

    A native of Memphis, Tenn., Dr. Pearigen is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he earned a bachelor of arts in political science. He received his master's and doctoral degrees in political science from Duke University. His post-graduate study included constitutional law, judicial process and political theory, particularly the work of Plato and Aristotle. His academic fields of interest include public law, political theory, and American government.

    Over his career, Dr. Pearigen has served as a secondary school teacher and trustee and in higher education as a professor, dean of students, and vice president for university relations. As Millsaps' president, Dr. Pearigen has launched a comprehensive college-wide strategic plan entitled “Across the Street and Around the Globe: Partnerships and Influence at Millsaps College.” Rooted in the college’s values, mission, and purpose, the strategic plan has been animated by a growing awareness of the need to make the most of Millsaps’ distinctive strengths, including its location in the capital city of Mississippi, its international programs and partnerships (including a 4,500-acre biocultural reserve in the Yucatán), and the unique combination of a liberal arts college with a business school accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

    It's unusual for college presidents with academic credentials to continue to teach. However, President Pearigen has continued to teach throughout his administrative career because, in his words, "It connects me with a small group of students in close and personal way; it reinforces my relationship with my faculty colleagues who are engaged in the classroom experience; and it keeps me in touch with my academic discipline and the core academic mission and purpose of the institution."

    As a faculty member at Millsaps, Dr. Pearigen teaches courses in constitutional law, civil rights and liberties, jurisprudence, and political theory. He is an advocate for, and believer in, liberal arts education as intrinsically meaningful for individuals as well as the very best preparation for a good and worthy life of learning, leadership, and service.

  • Nathan R. Shrader

    Nathan R. Shrader

    Assistant Professor of Government and Politics



    B.A., Thiel College; M.S., Suffolk University; Ph.D., Temple University

    Before arriving at Millsaps in fall 2014, Nathan Shrader served successively as legislative aide and deputy director of communications to Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll, legislative aide to Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter in the Virginia General Assembly, and research analyst at Abrams Learning and Information Systems under General John N. Abrams (retired). He most recently worked from 2009 to 2014 at the Center on Regional Politics at Temple University and was an adjunct professor at Drexel and Neumann Universities. Shrader earlier served as legislative intern in Washington for United States Senator Arlen Specter, legislative intern to Pennsylvania State Representative Rod E. Wilt, and as a clerk under Westmoreland County (PA) Recorder of Deeds Tom Murphy. He has worked as a consultant, manager, staffer, and volunteer on more than two dozen campaigns for federal, state, and local candidates.

    Through his own unique experiences both studying and practicing the art of politics and governance, Shrader encourages his students to build bridges between the theoretical and the real-world application of political science. His main areas of academic interest include state and local government, political history, the presidency, political marketing, campaigns and elections, political parties, and public policy.