Dr. Brady Baybeck is an associate professor of political science and the director of the program in Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. His research has been published in several political journals including “The Journal of Politics,” and “The American Political Science Review.”
The Current: What do you like most about teaching?
Dr. Brady Baybeck: I teach primarily in the graduate program and I very much enjoy teaching. I love teaching data analysis because it allows people to better understand the world, and use interesting tools to answer questions that are important around them.
TC: What does the program in public policy administration deal with?
BB: The program focuses on the masters in public policy administration, and we also have certificate programs in nonprofit and local government. The program trains graduate students to hold management positions in public service. It generally takes 40 credit hours for the master’s degree, and 18 credit hours for the certificate, and it teaches life skills that help better address issues of public concern, and help get careers in non-public sectors.
TC: What led you to your career in political science—was it something you always wanted to do growing up, or was there a defining moment that inspired you to pursue that career choice?
BB: I guess it wasn’t something I always wanted to do, but the defining moment was when I realized I love doing research. That happened when I was an undergraduate, but when I graduated I worked in D.C. where I saw a strong need for people who where well-trained in social science. That’s where I found my interest in political science.
TC: When you are not busy working and writing what are some things that you do for entertainment? Are there any movies you have seen recently?
BB: Well I have two young daughters ages four and six. They are my primary source of entertainment. They keep me very busy; that means the last movie I’ve seen was “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” which wasn’t one of my favorite movies I have to admit.
TC: I haven’t seen that, but I was forced to watch the first movie.
BB: Yeah, I was forced to watch both of them, if you can avoid the second one please do.
TC: Will do.
BB: When I do get the time I like to keep up with the current events by reading the New York Times, and I’m pretty excited about “Lost” coming back for the fifth season.
TC: What do you think about the plans the president outlined in the State of the Union address?
BB: Well the president has a significant number of challenges, and he did his best to address them. His address was similar to other presidents’ State of the Union addresses in that there were a lot of little things that he said he was going to do. I’m not sure if I understand the broad outline of what he was trying to accomplish, but with all the challenges we face as a country, I wish him the best.
TC: For any students studying political science is there any advice you could share, that could help them further their goals?
BB: The most important thing is to really focus on expressing your ideas clearly. If you are in political science or studying politics, virtually all the courses are designed to teach students to do so through writing, analysis, argumentation … and being able to express your ideas clearly is one of the best things you can do in real life.