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The political science department introduces Emily Schnurr

Emily Schnurr teaches Introduction to American Government and Women and Politics. Photo via

As of Monday, newly hired political science professor Emily Schnurr, had yet to fully move into her new office. A few books and a Hamilton poster occupied the barren shelves, and four computer monitors in various states of packaging rested around the room. A member of the Information-Technology department fussed with a cable behind her desk, as she settled into her chair.

“It’s more real than real,” she said, gesturing at the high-resolution picture of a sand dune on both her new monitors.

Schnurr was born in Winterset, Iowa. She attended the University of Northern Iowa for undergraduate degree, where she double-majored in psychology and political science. She spent a year in Montana with the AmeriCorps, assisting with a parent-teacher home visit program on a Native American reservation.

“Peoria’s the largest place that I’ve ever lived,” Schnurr said. “There’s a skyline!”

She received her Ph.D in political science this May from Northern Arizona University. For her thesis, she examined the top two primary composition in Washington State and measured whether or not elections were getting more competitive using voter turnout and campaign finance.

Bradley appealed to Schnurr because of its location, opportunities and size.

“It’s a close campus. I’ve always gone to bigger state schools, and it’s been really nice to [see] what the private school benefits are about,” Schnurr said.

She said she is getting along nicely with her new colleagues and students.

“Everyone’s been really nice,” she said. “[But] give it another couple of months and we’ll all be fighting.”

Sophomore political science major Margaux Gray-Army said she enjoys Schnurr’s teaching style.

“She is very excited and knowledgeable about the topics discussed in class, which always makes the class interesting and fun,” Gray-Army said.

Schnurr enjoys running, cooking- particularly Asian food- and playing video games. She also likes to travel and is attempting to visit all 50 states; so far, she has been to 37. She also enjoys watching reality television.

“Really bad reality TV,” she said. “I’m in pretty deep in ‘Married at First Sight’ right now … I’m a serious academic person.”

Schnurr is currently teaching two sections of Introduction to American Government and one section of Women in Politics.

“I went in as a psychology major,” Schnurr said, “And then I took Intro to American Politics, and I remember very distinctly, within the first three or four days of class, going ‘Oh, this explains the world to me in a way that is so intensely satisfying.’”

Schnurr said she enjoys the opportunity to draw in new political science majors.

“I like to look out into the faces [of students] and see the ‘mind blown’ thing,” she said. “That’s fun.”

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