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Dr. Margaret Hrezo



Dr. Margaret Hrezo--A native of Maryland, Margaret Seyford Hrezo graduated from St. Louis University with a B.A. in political science.  After a summer internship in the office of Representative Melvin Price (D-IL), she earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Constitutional Law and Political Philosophy (1976).  She has lived in Virginia since 1977 teaching political science, history, and criminal justice as an adjunct or temporary assistant professor at Radford University, Emory & Henry College, Wytheville Community College, and Virginia Tech. In other words, she did lots of odd jobs.  In 1979 she worked as Public Participation Agent for Pulaski County Virginia. In this capacity she constructed, carried out, and analyzed a county-wide survey of public opinion in Pulaski County, Virginia. This survey was administered to 500 randomly selected county residents and was used in the formulation of the county's comprehensive plan. It won awards from the National Association of Counties, the Virginia Citizens Planning Association, and the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association.  From 1981-1987, Dr. Hrezo worked at the Virginia Water Resources Research Center as an editor, researcher, and as Assistant (ultimately Associate) Director for Research and Administration.  While at the Water Center she authored Virginia's first set of regulations governing geothermal resources, often worked closely with the staffs of the Virginia State Water Control Board and Virginia Department of Agriculture, and wrote extensively on groundwater law and management and on drought management.  She has taught full time at Radford University in a tenure track capacity since 1994.  She was the recipient of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences Teaching Award for 2013-2014.

To see Dr. Margaret’s CV (Resumé).

Department and University Service

Dr. Hrezo acts as Assessment Coordinator, departmental representative to the Faculty Senate and to the Social Science Oversight Committee, and Chair of the department’s Curriculum Committee.  She also serves on the Inter-Disciplinary Pre-Law Committee.  Apparently having never learned to say no, she has served on numerous ad hoc and Internal Governance committees at RU.


Dr. Margaret Hrezo has taught a variety of courses at Radford University, and it is the best job in the world.   Her specialties are constitutional law and political philosophy.  However, she also has taught other American Government courses as needed by the department.  Her favorite political philosophers are Plato, Simone Weil, Albert Camus, Eric Voegelin, and Emmanuel Levinas.

POSC 321: American PresidencyPOSC 326: Political Parties

POSC 333: Judicial Process

POSC 371: Political Philosophy II—Machiavelli to Hegel

POSC 372: Political Philosophy III—Contemporary Political Philosophy

POSC 438: Constitutional Law—Government Powers

POSC 439: Constitutional Law—Civil Liberties

POSC 474:  American Political Thought

What I Believe and How I Teach

Radford University Meet the Faculty (video)

Education is “the turning of the soul to the good” (Plato, Republic).

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty"  (Thomas Jefferson).

Careful the things you say, children will listen

Careful the things you do, children will see and learn

Children may not obey, but children will listen…

Careful the spell you caste, not just on children

Sometimes the spell may last past what you can see--and turn against you

Careful the tale you tell, that is the spell………. (Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods)

My teaching has always been related to who I am—the daughter of a father who ran gas stations and was a truck driver and a mother who was a normal-school educated teacher, the product of 16-years of Catholic education and eight years of strong liberal arts curriculums, a first generation college student who has taught 8th grade and high school, who at RU has taught Criminal Justice and History as well as Political Science.  Your response, and it is not an inappropriate one, might be “who cares?”  My answer to that is “I am what I am.”  And what I am, for better or worse, is someone who asks questions and seeks answers.  I am, in short, a teacher.  During my career I have taught somewhere between 15 and 20 different courses.  Looking back, the content may have been different but the approach was the same.

Over the course of the past 30 years I have found that we teach who we are far more than what we know.  The three quotations at the top of the page have formed the core of my approach to teaching from the beginning. And they reflect who I am more than what I know.  I remember in freshman composition in college being asked to write an essay on education.  I only remember one part of it now—the part that said I didn’t believe in the filling station approach to education.  We can’t open up the top of a student’s head and fill it with ‘knowledge.’  Each one of us who teaches must develop an alternative to the filling station approach based on our discipline and on who we are as a person.  My alternative rests on the three quotations at the top of this page.  All my teaching life I have worked to weave what I believe are the principles at the heart of those three quotations into a philosophy of education that would complement my love of constitutional law and political philosophy.  Those principles are justice, education for citizenship, and care


Dr. Margaret’s research primarily is in the area of politics and literature.  Recent publications include:

Margaret S. Hrezo. “Wisdom, Strength, and Courtesy—Graveyard Favor Go with Thee” in Tara Precscott, ed. Neil Gaiman in the Twenty-first Century (McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, forthcoming).

Margaret S. Hrezo and William E. Hrezo. “The Politics of the Open Self: America in the Cinemas of King Vidor and Robert Altman,” Studies in Popular Culture. 32.2 (Spring 2010): 67-84.

Damned If You Do: Dilemmas of Moral Action in Literature and Popular Culture, with John M. Parrish (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010).

“Responsible Life in Paradise,” in Margaret S. Hrezo and John M. Parrish, ed. Damned If You Do: Dilemmas of Moral Action in Literature and Popular Culture (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010), pp. 165-87.


Dr. Margaret is interested in far too many things for her own good.  She loves ballet, musical theater, the piano, track and field, reading (especially Thomas Pynchon, Terry Pratchett, Amy Tan, and Neil Gaiman), cooking, and working in the yard.  Most of all she likes spending time with her family and dogs.