International relations professor Mary Anne Madeira, director of University Art Galleries Will Crow and political science professor Nandino Deo chat in Rishikesh, India, in May 2023. All three participated in the Global Teaching and Learning Fellowship. (Courtesy of Professor Ziad Munson)

Professor earns teaching awards, prestigious fellowship


Some people stay in the United States their entire lives, securing a job and never leaving the country. Mary Anne Madeira, on the other hand, has been traveling around the world to spark new passions since she was an undergraduate student and has no intentions of stopping now.

Madeira, an international relations professor, said she has always had a passion for international politics.

As an undergraduate student, Madeira studied political science at Johns Hopkins University and studied abroad in Paris, which led her to discover her love for European politics.

Mary Anne Madeira is a professor of international relations at Lehigh University. This past May, Madeira was selected for the first-ever cohort of The Global Teaching and Learning Fellows. (Courtesy of Mary Anne Madeira)

After graduation, Madeira went on to get her master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh in international and European politics. It was while studying in the United Kingdom that she realized she wanted to pursue a doctorate and become a professor.

“I was just really fascinated by the history of Europe — and it transformed itself from this place that was constantly at war to this peaceful economic and political union,” Madeira said.

In 2018, after starting a family and leaving her professor position at Queen’s College in New York, Madeira joined the Lehigh faculty.

“I loved that we had a separate international relations department here so I can teach a much deeper range of IR (international relations) classes than I would be able to if I was just in a (political science) department,” Madeira said. “It’s really unique because we can go so much deeper in our major.”

In May 2023, she had the opportunity to grow her love even more by traveling to India. Madeira was selected as one of seven individuals for The Global Teaching and Learning Fellows, which honored its first-ever cohort at Lehigh.

The fellowship invites a group of Lehigh faculty on a weeklong seminar abroad, centered around critical experiential pedagogy. The seminar took place in Rishikesh, India.

“I applied because, as an international relations professor, it’s really important to me to develop a sense of global citizenship in my students,” Madeira said. “I thought this would be valuable in helping me to learn how to do that more effectively.”

Madeira said the main focus was to understand how to engage students as global citizens and how to better conduct experiential learning. The cohort worked with Will Crow, the director of the University Art Galleries, to do this by using art.

Discovering art as a means to help connect students with other people’s experiences was really effective for her, Madeira said.

Madeira took what she learned in her fellowship and redesigned one of her courses for this semester, Work and Labor in a Global Economy. Madeira added a new component that interacts with artwork at the Lehigh University Art Gallery.

“We’re going to interact with artwork that introduces themes like being a worker and labor, migration, and child labor,” Madeira said. “The students are going to analyze particular pieces of art as their final project and talk about how that art helps them connect more deeply with the course themes.”

At this year’s faculty and staff awards, Madeira was awarded the Stabler Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Robert C. and Virginia L. Williamson Award for Social Research.

The Robert C. and Virginia L. Williamson Award for Social Research recognizes the best-published research in social science. Madeira’s work investigates the ways various types of globalization affect women’s ability to join the workforce in developing countries.

“It’s really important for us to understand what forms of global economic integration do a better or worse job of creating jobs for women,” Madeira said.

She said being nominated by her students and winning the Stabler Award was one of the greatest honors of her career.

Emma Hartmann, ‘23, was one of the students who nominated Madeira for the Stabler Award for Excellence in Teaching. She had Madeira as a professor for an introductory international relations course called Introduction to World Politics.

She said she was excited when Madeira won because she felt she truly deserved it. Hartmann said although there were over 100 students in the class, she was still able to form a personal relationship with Madeira.

“Everybody that I talked to who had just taken her course was always like, ‘I love her, she’s one of my favorite teachers.’ And I always thought that was crazy because of the number of students in that class,” Hartmann said. “She still always finds a way to make a personal relationship with people.”

Hasan Jashari, ‘24, also nominated Madeira for the Stabler Award.

Jashari had Madeira as a professor his first semester of his first year and continued to take Madeira’s classes during both his sophomore and junior years. Madeira will also serve as Jashari’s thesis adviser for his senior year.

He said she is one of the most “genuinely caring” professors he knows on campus, both in and outside of the classroom — he finds her expertise in the field and her quality research part of the reason he is glad she was recognized.

Jashari said teaching is more than just an hour and 15 minutes out of the day for Madeira.

“It never ends for her, and she’s always ready for anyone and everyone for whatever they need,” Jashari said.

Norrin Ripsman, international relations department chair, said the department has repeatedly increased the capacity for her Introduction to World Politics course over the past few years.

“We do this because of the demand to get in. And that’s a tribute to a great teacher and someone who cares for her students,” Ripsman said. “She cares deeply about her students, and her students feel that, and I think that’s very important.”

Edann Brady, international relations department coordinator, said the Stabler Award was not only a huge deal for Madeira but for the entire department, which only has eight faculty.

“We’re still a pretty small department,” Brady said. “To be recognized with these awards was pretty big, right?”

Brady said although Madeira has only been here since 2018, she’s made a huge impact on campus by using her humble personality to serve as a role model for students, especially young women.

Ripsman said Madeira is a great representative of the international relations department in all of her work that has been recognized.

“High-quality teaching is something that we’re known for,” Ripsman said. “And Professor Madeira really fits that bill.”

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