Since 1966, Roger Edward Kanet, PhD, has been teaching students in the discipline of political science. Considered an expert in his field, as evidenced by his many scholarly achievements in his tenure, Dr. Kanet notes that it is not his distinctions that he most proud of — it is his students. “Many of my students have gone on to become very successful, which is the most gratifying part of being an educator. It’s my job to prepare them for what lies ahead and give them the tools to build their own success,” he says. Dr. Kanet considers himself fortunate to have known from a young age that he wanted to teach. As a child, he had an interest in Russia, which later developed into an enthusiasm for world politics.
The first person in his family to graduate high school, Dr. Kanet understood the role of education in his pursuit of a career in the subjects he enjoyed so much. To prepare professionally, Dr. Kanet earned a Bachelor of Physics from Berchmanskolleg in Germany in 1960, a Bachelor of Arts from Xavier University in 1961, a Master of Arts from Lehigh University in 1963, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy from Princeton University in 1965 and 1966, respectively. Thereafter, he immediately began his career as an assistant professor of political science at the University of Kansas.
Dr. Kanet is a family man whose love for his children has resulted in so much joy. As a gift, he recently received a book of tributes — that his daughters organized — from former students. These tributes include sentiments and anecdotes from the many educational roles that Dr. Kanet held in his career. After working for the University of Kansas, he took on a visiting associate professor role with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he progressed to associate professor and then professor over the course of 24 years. During this time, he was incredibly involved in university initiatives. He was the head of the department of political science for three years, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs for eight years, and director of international programs and studies for eight years.
In 1997, Dr. Kanet embraced a new career opportunity with the University of Miami, as a professor for the Department of International Studies and dean of the School of International Studies. Like his experience at the University of Illinois, Dr. Kanet was eager to take on additional roles at the University of Miami. He served as director of undergraduate studies for two years in addition to his teaching and deanship responsibilities.
In recognition of his professional excellence, Dr. Kanet was the recipient of a U.S. Department State Research Award, two Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Awards from the University of Illinois, a Faculty Achievement Award from the Burlington North Foundation, a United Institute of Peace Award, a fellowship award from the National Defense Education Act, a fellowship from NATO, an international fellowship from the Federal Institute for East European and International Studies, and several from the American Council of Learned Societies.
To remain at the top of his field in his career, Dr. Kanet has been a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, the Association of International Studies, and International Council for Central and Eastern European Studies.
Looking ahead, Dr. Kanet intends to continue teaching and taking on new opportunities in the field of political science and international affairs. He is coordinating and editing a handbook on Russian security and working on a project detailing Russia’s current foreign policy.
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