Mary Slosar graduated from Saint Louis University in 2003, summa cum laude with an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011, with a dissertation on "The Politics of Personality: Candidate-centered Voting in New and Established Democracies." She has presented a number of conference papers, mostly on voter behavior. She was awarded the Malcom MacDonald Dissertation Fellowship, among many other grants. Presently, she is working as the Director of Research and Evaluation for an anti-poverty non-profit in Washington D.C.
While at SLU, Mary participated in many community and social justice activities, including a SLU-CAP Spring Break trip to volunteer at a Mexican refugee/immigrant center in southern Texas and a lobbying excursion to Washington DC to meet with members of Congress about the School of the Americas. She had two internships during her undergraduate years, at Congressman Lacy Clay's St. Louis office and with the local chapter of the United Nations Association. Mary honed her Spanish language skills at the SLU Madrid campus. Immediately after graduation, she spent nine months in El Salvador, teaching English and helping to coordinate an international electoral observation mission for the 2004 presidential elections. Her interest in El Salvador had been sparked by her research for her undergraduate honors thesis, "Leftist Political Parties and Popular Civil Society in El Salvador and Guatemala."
Mary feels that her undergraduate degree in Political Science provided great preparation for her graduate work. She says, "The best preparation I had for graduate school was being challenged to think critically about real world problems, practicing to propose and evaluate arguments, and learning how to express ideas well in writing and speaking."
Mary adds, "If I had to choose one aspect of my education at SLU that I value most, it would have to be the quantity and quality of opportunities that I had to interact with professors and students. At SLU, you are not just one of many students going in and out of the classrooms; you are an individual who matters both inside and outside the classroom. Many of my friends experienced a similar sense of belonging and community in their undergraduate experiences at other universities, but for most, it was limited to the social sphere and only among other students. At SLU, this sense of community penetrates the academic halls and classrooms as well, which is due primarily to the faculty's commitment to get to know their students and provide opportunities for meaningful interaction and learning."