Instructor Biographies

Teaching and Learning Summer School


Vassilis (Bill) Kappis holds a PhD degree from the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney (2016) and Master’s degrees in Strategic Studies and European Integration from the Australian National University (2007) and the London School of Economics (2006) respectively. Bill’s academic interests lie in the strategic and psychological aspects of security crises and foreign policy decision-making. His current research is focused on the changing security dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean and supported by an Israel Institute (USA) research grant. He is also an awarded academic instructor by the University of Sydney (Excellence in Teaching Practice, 2013).

Gabriela Pleschová is an Executive Director at Center for North American Studies of the Economics University in Bratislava. Her background is in Political Science, and in 2012 she earned an MSc in Education (Higher Education) from Oxford University. Since 2004, she has been coordinating workshops and other development activities for beginner teachers in higher education. Currently she serves as the co-convenor of the ECPR standing group Teaching and Learning Politics as well as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Political Science Education. She is the co-editor of Teacher Development in Higher Education. Existing Programs, Program Impact and Future Trends which was published by Routledge in 2012 (with Eszter Simon). In 2013 she became Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (United Kingdom).

Markus B. Siewert is Academic Fellow at the Department for Social Sciences at Goethe University Frankfurt. His expertise pertains to American politics and especially presidential-congressional relations, and social science methodology, first and foremost Qualitative Comparative Analysis and other configurational comparative approaches. In relation to these topics, Markus Siewert is interested in teaching innovations and their impact on student learning and behavior. He particularly concentrates on simulations and role plays as teaching-learning environments to foster actor-oriented political education. In the winter term 2017-18, Markus Siewert will be visiting post-doctoral fellow at the John-F.-Kennedy Institute at Freie University Berlin.

Eszter Simon is Research Fellow in International Relations and Psychology at the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security at the University of Birmingham. Dr. Simon has expertise in theories of foreign policy analysis, psychological approaches in particular. Her primary research focus is on the Moscow-Washington Hotline in the Cold War, identifying patterns how trust influenced the use of this communication device. She is also interested in the politics of terrorism and insurgency, American foreign policy in general as well as Hungarian foreign policy. She has published several articles and an edited book about teaching and learning issues. Most recently she edited The Handbook of Teaching and Learning Political Science and International Relations (Edward Elgar Publishing) with John Ishiyama and Will Miller. She is Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (United Kingdom).

Agnes Simon has earned her PhD at the University of Missouri. She currently works as an instructor at Saginaw State Valley University, a public liberal arts college in Central Michigan. She is experienced in both face-to-face and online teaching having taught for the University of Missouri, Westminster College, Arkansas Tech University, and Park University. Her research focuses of summit diplomacy, US foreign policy, economic sanctions, presidential politics, and strategic voting. She has published book chapters and articles both in Hungarian and English about superpower summitry and Hungarian politics. She is particularly interested in blended and online education. Presently, she is working on a paper that investigates the effectiveness of off-the-shelf board games in teachings theories of foreign policy decision-making.