Perry World House Names Rutgers University’s Michael Kenwick as 2023-24 Lightning Scholar

April 26, 2023
By Perry World House

Perry World House, the University of Pennsylvania’s hub for global affairs, has announced that Michael Kenwick, assistant professor of political science at Rutgers University, will be its 2023-24 Lightning Scholar. Now entering its fifth year, Perry World House’s Lightning Scholars Program brings outstanding junior faculty studying global policy challenges to Penn, where they work to bridge the gap between academia and the policy world.  During their time on campus, they connect with Penn scholars across its twelve schools and with Perry World House’s global network of scholars, policymakers, and practitioners. 

Kenwick’s new role as Lightning Scholar will deepen his existing ties to Perry World House, where he was a postdoctoral fellow from 2017 to 2019. During his fellowship, he played an active role in establishing the Borders and Boundaries Project, a multidisciplinary initiative exploring the causes and consequences of intensified border control efforts. Kenwick later went on to join the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University, where his research focuses on international security with an emphasis on civil-military relations and international border politics. 

“It is a pleasure to welcome Michael Kenwick back to Penn,” said LaShawn R. Jefferson, senior executive director at Perry World House. “Michael first came to Perry World House not long after we opened our doors in 2016 and has been part of our community ever since. It has been an honor to watch his career flourish over the years, and I look forward to seeing the opportunities the Lightning Scholars Program next affords him.”  

Kenwick received his PhD in political science from the Pennsylvania State University, and his BA in political science and history from the University of Illinois. 

Each Lightning Scholar spends a semester or full academic year in residence on Penn’s campus in Philadelphia, working on a book or other major research output. Alongside their research, the Lightning Scholar helps to further Perry World House’s mission by mentoring students, contributing to policy programming, and featuring their expertise in its public events.  
Previous Lightning Scholars include Stacy-ann Robinson, assistant professor of environmental studies at Colby College; Jane Vaynman, assistant professor of political Science at Temple University; Melissa M. Lee, now Klein Family Presidential Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania; Sarah Bush, associate professor of political science at Yale University; and Cosette Creamer, assistant professor of political science at the University of Minnesota and affiliated faculty at the University of Minnesota Law School.