Dr. Michael Makara is an Associate Professor of Comparative Politics and International Relations. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and his B.A. from Virginia Tech. Professor Makara's research focuses on politics in authoritarian regimes and civil-military relations, with a regional focus on the Middle East. His research appears in Democracy and Security, Defense and Security Analysis, and the Journal of the Middle East and Africa. At UCM he teaches a variety of courses related to comparative politics and politics of the Middle East. Every year, he leads a study abroad program to Jordan and Israel that aims to challenge students' perceptions of the region. He recently published an article in the Journal of Political Science Education (with Kinsey Canon) that explores the impact of this program on the extent to which students adhere to common stereotypes of the Middle East. Dr. Makara also sits on the Board of Directors for the International Relations Council (IRC) of Kansas City and is the director the Mideast meets Midwest project to expand opportunities for university students to pursue Middle Eastern Studies.