Finding Greatness: Dr. John Hall

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, August 5, 2019 12:00 AM
Categories: Faculty/Staff | School of Education and Behavioral Sciences | Finding Greatness | Pressroom

Macon, GA


Dr. John Hall is building student organizations to support MGA’s new Bachelor of Science in Political Science.

Full Name: Dr. John Powell Hall.

Title: Assistant Professor of Political Science.


• Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (minor in History) from Troy University

• Master of Arts in Postsecondary Education/Political Science from Troy University

• Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy from Auburn University

Describe your accomplishments while at and your service to Middle Georgia State and the community.

“Since joining Middle Georgia State University, I have been working to encourage student participation in, and appreciation for, the discipline of Political Science. Thanks to the hard work of our department chair, Dr. Christopher Lawrence, we have a new four-year-degree program in Political Science at MGA. As a result of this success, I am currently working to create a new Political Science Student Organization and our University’s first chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha (a national Political Science honors society). I have also founded, with the assistance of Dr. Matthew Zimmerman and Dr. Lawrence, the University’s first chapter of Pi Gamma Mu (an international honor society for the social sciences). “In an effort to further increase student participation in political science, I have taken part in a series of topical debates on the Macon campus over the last four years. Working with Dr. Niels Eichhorn, faculty director for the University’s History Student Organization, I have participated in ten debates covering an eclectic mixture of policy areas (immigration reform, gun violence, fascism, and Brexit). These debates have successfully encouraged hundreds of students to take part in political discussions outside of their normative class schedules.

“I have had several opportunities to serve the University and community in my four years at MGA. I have served as the faculty director for the Pi Gamma Mu international honor society and on the All in Campus Democracy Challenge Committee, the Institutional Review Board, the Faculty Development Committee, the Student Conduct Committee, and the Core Teaching Mentor/Fellow Committee. I have had the pleasure of serving the community by volunteering for the Bibb & Houston County National History Day Competition, the Georgia Academic Bowl, and the Georgia History Bowl. I have also provided election analysis for 41 NBC News and served as the moderator for a 2018 8th Congressional District primary election debate.

“While the majority of my time at MGA is spent on student development, I have enjoyed a healthy research agenda. I regularly present my research at state and national political science conferences (Georgia Innovation in Teaching Conference, Georgia Political Science Association Conference, Southern Political Science Association Conference, and the Midwest Political Science Association Conference). I have also successfully published my research at MGA through the Journal of Political Science Education and am currently collecting/analyzing data for two additional journal articles in the fall of 2019.”

What attracted you to a faculty position at Middle Georgia State University?

“The most attractive characteristic of Middle Georgia State University, for me, was the balance between teaching, research, and service. I was most impressed by the University’s emphasis on teaching and student success. MGA offers students and professors a small classroom environment that promotes open and effective communication. I also already knew Dr. Christopher Lawrence from several academic conferences I attended while in the doctoral program at Auburn University.”

What do you like best about teaching at Middle Georgia State?

The best thing about MGA has got to be the people. The faculty and staff are overwhelmingly helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly. Over the last four years, I have been blessed with departmental secretaries, colleagues, chairs, and deans that have always had the time and expertise to address my questions and concerns. MGA has a general atmosphere of warmth and professionalism that makes coming to campus a pleasure.”

In your opinion what does it take for students majoring in your discipline to be successful these days?

“Students need to have a commitment to their own academic success; the earlier the better. Students that develop a consistent work ethic during their undergraduate careers will frequently experience success inside and outside of the classroom. The development of positive habits (attending all classes, reading the assigned literature, preparing in advance and often for exams) is essential for student success.”

What would students be surprised to learn about you?

“My passion for politics began early in life due to a close relationship with my grandfather, who served in the Alabama State Senate. Thanks to Sen. Jerry Powell, my birth was actually written into the 1975 Code of Alabama. Another interesting detail about me can be found in my great-great-great-etc., uncle, Lyman Hall, a delegate from the state of Georgia who signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Also, I am married to the best wife in history (with four amazing children).”