Learn from the Best: Keith St. Clair’s travels to the Middle East enrich his GRCC political science classes

GRCC Political Science professor Keith St. Clair has a passion for politics, and encourages students on multiple career paths to take advantage of the soft skills they’ll gain from a political science course.

“Political Science provides an understanding of government and instills civic responsibility,” St. Clair said. “It’s great preparation for becoming a journalist, lobbyist, diplomat, lawyer, politician, campaign worker, community organizer or city manager.”

An engaging speaker, St. Clair spoke about his participation in a Leadership Mission to Oman (which is located on the Arabian Peninsula) to the World Affairs Council of America in 2009.

He presented on the political/cultural climate in Iran at GRCC after traveling there in 2010. And he presented “The Arab Spring and Prospects for Democracy” to the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan during UN Day in 2011.

St. Clair earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology, then his master’s degree in political science, from Illinois State University.

Working in international politics was an early goal of his. He learned late in his career that he has a passion for teaching. 

“I originally wanted to work for the Foreign Service,” St. Clair said. “After graduating and working for a time as a juvenile probation officer, I accepted a teaching assistant position at Illinois State University. It was only after I started teaching that I realized how much I loved it.”

St. Clair taught at Muskegon Community College before accepting a position at GRCC. 

“I wish I had been more confident, and patient with the amount of time it was going to take to find a full time teaching position,” St. Clair said. 

St. Clair found an opportunity to exercise the confidence and diligence he developed throughout his career when teaching during the pandemic. 

“I’ve gained a new appreciation for how many students are dependent on a routine for self discipline in their studies,” St. Clair said. 

St. Clair also strives to model his personal hero, The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“He was a man of peace, love, and exhibited the greatest courage in changing our society for the better,” St. Clair said.

Enroll in one of St. Clair’s classes for Winter 2023. He teaches PS 110 American Government, PS 202 International Relations, PS 201 Comparative Government and PS 200 State and Local Politics.

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