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Professor Floros receiving Podcast of the Semester award in Nov. 2021
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My name is Kate Floros, and I am a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). I teach courses in international relations, US foreign policy, civil wars, and popular culture and politics. My research, with UC Davis Associate Professor Heather Elko McKibben, focuses on civil war peace negotiations and why they fail. The Politics Classroom represents my extracurricular efforts to educate students of all ages about the political actions that affect our lives.

Curriculum Vita

Professor Floros

My Story

When I entered Hood College in 1993, I wanted to join the FBI. During my junior year at Hood, I thought I wanted to be a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., advocating for human rights around the world. A lack of interest in becoming proficient with a firearm dissuaded me from the first career and disappointed hopes during an internship in DC ruled out the second. The only other thing I wanted to do was become a college professor, but my parents, both high school teachers, thought it was a bad idea. After "wandering in the desert" for five years, I finally decided to pursue graduate school to become a political science professor.

I had no idea what I was doing when I applied to graduate school, and was extremely fortunate to be accepted into my "backup" program at the University of Pittsburgh. Six years later, I emerged with a PhD and an interest in civil wars fought in the post-World War II era. I spent four years at the University of Missouri, Columbia before transitioning to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2012.

As a professor not on the tenure track, my focus at UIC has revolved around teaching and service.

  • Courses I've taught

    • Introduction to International Relations​

    • Popular Culture and Politics

      • Politics of Harry Potter​

      • War on Film

    • United States Foreign Policy

    • United Nations and Other International Organizations

    • Civil Wars in a Global Context

  • Select service activities

    • UIC Senate​

    • UIC United Faculty (Bargaining Committee, Committee on Political Education, Representative Assembly)

    • Dept. of Political Science (POLS)

      • Undergraduate Committee​

      • Advisory Committee

      • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee


I am also involved in sponsored research on civil war negotiations with Dr. Heather Elko McKibben, an Associate Professor of Political Science at UC Davis. Our current research is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

In addition to these professional activities, I also host The Politics Classroom, a podcast of UIC Radio. I can't say that I've always wanted my own radio show, but I enjoyed being interviewed by local media in Columbia, MO. Joking that "I have a face made for radio," I commented to a former student that I wanted my own radio show when I found out that she had one. She introduced me to the program director of UIC Radio, and the rest is history. I enjoy the opportunity to interview academics from around the country about the political issues facing the United States and the world, and I hope that students can use it as a resource to understand the background and context of pressing political issues.


Please reach out if you have any suggestions for podcast guests or topics, or if you are an academic who wants to share your knowledge with the audience.


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