LSC-University Park Government Department

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The Government Department at Lone Star College-University Park offers an Associate of Arts in Political Science degree program. The program seeks to promote greater civic awareness and understanding of the political process, and to foster enhanced citizenship and participation in government.

In addition to the Political Science AA degree program, the LSC-UP Government department offers fully transferable lower-division Federal Government courses and Texas Government courses that fulfill associate degree requirements.

REGISTER for Associate of Arts in Political Science / Government classes.

Department Contacts

Experienced, highly qualified faculty provide instruction in a variety of formats designed to meet the individual needs of students. In addition to small, traditional face-to-face classes, courses are also offered online.

Laurie Mawyer headshotLaurie Mawyer
Professor of Political Science
Department Lead Government, Criminal Justice, and Geography
Office: B12.508A

Professor Mawyer began her teaching career in Redlands, California at an alternative education high school. Upon moving to Texas, she taught social studies courses, including Dual Credit Government, for Tomball ISD. Professor Mawyer was hired as full-time faculty at Lone Star College-University Park in August 2019. In her time at LSC-UP she has served on committees to enhance student success and completion of Academic Core requirements, teaches Texas Government for the Honors College, served as Lead Faculty for Government, Criminal Justice, and Geography, chair of Leo’s Think Tank, graduated from the Academy leadership program, and been nominated for the Faculty Excellence Award. Professor Mawyer attended Crafton Hills College where she earned her AA in Liberal Studies, University of California Riverside where she earned a BA in History, Chapman University where she earned a MA in Teaching, and Southern New Hampshire University where she earned a MS in Political Science. Being a proud parent to three daughters means that she is constantly busy volunteering in Klein ISD schools, for neighborhood events, with the neighborhood summer swim team, and driving her daughters to and from softball. Professor Mawyer is a strong advocate for continuous learning and promoting curiosity.

Bryan Henry headshotBryan J. Henry
Professor of Political Science
Department Lead Speech
Civic Engagement Coordinator
Office: B13.827

Professor Henry began his teaching career in Humble ISD where he taught AP and Dual Credit Social Studies for nine years. In 2019, he was named High School Social Studies Teacher of the Year by the Texas Council for the Social Studies. As a faculty member at Lone Star College-University Park, Professor Henry enjoys teaching Federal and Texas Government, serving as Civic Engagement Coordinator, and giving presentations at the Academy for Lifelong Learning. Professor Henry studied History, English, and Philosophy at Texas A&M University, and Political Science at The University of Houston. He is currently working on a doctoral degree in Leadership and Higher Education at St. Edward’s University. He is also active in state and local politics as the founder of the non-profit Cypress Families for Public Schools and a former candidate for the Texas House. In his free time, Professor Henry enjoys surfing, supporting the Houston Dash and Everton FC, and spending time with his family.

Cassandra Khatri headshotCassandra Khatri
Professor of Political Science
AFT- LSC-UP Vice President
SGA Faculty Advisor
Office: B13.822

Cassandra Khatri is a native Houstonian. She attended Seton Hall University where she earned both a Masters and Bachelors in Diplomacy and International Relations in 2009 and earned her PhD in Political Science from the University of Houston in 2020. Her area of expertise is in the role of the National Security Council in foreign policy decision making and the presidency. Dr. Khatri’s love of politics and international relations started freshman year of high school, when she joined the Model United Nations team at Cypress Falls High School in Houston, TX. Learning about the workings of the United Nations opened up doors the lead to a passion for all things political, both domestically and internationally. In college, Prof. Khatri developed a passion for studying conflict, both inter and intrastate, and terrorism as a result of inspirational professors. Cassandra also had the opportunity to work for the US Department of State- Office of Foreign Missions in New York City, NY in 2009. This experience allowed her to gain a more tangible understanding of the work of the State Department and its relationship to the diplomatic corps based in the US. 

Dr. Khatri enjoys sharing her love of American government by making the structure and function of the system more accessible. As a big fan of “The West Wing,” Dr. Khatri enjoys using pop culture to show students that government is a vibrant and vital part of our lives. Dr. Khatri’s motto is “Think Critically and Demand Evidence” and hopes to inspire students to challenge the world around them and to think for themselves, so as to become well informed participants in the American governmental system.

Matt Plank headshotMatt W. Plank
Professor of Political Science
Office: B12.624

Professor Plank began his teaching career over 20 years ago in Sarasota, Florida. Upon moving to Spring in 2006, he began teaching Dual Credit Government for Klein ISD. Professor Plank has taught Government at Lone Star College since 2007. He was hired full-time at University Park in 2015. During his time as full-time faculty at UP, Plank was awarded a faculty excellence award in 2020, served as Political Science Department Chair from 2016-2022, was a member of the Honors College Faculty, and is Co-founder/Co-Chair of the annual STAND-UP (Start Taking Action Now for Diversity – University Park) student engagement forum; a yearly civic engagement event showcasing critical societal issues. Professor Plank is a graduate of San Diego State University, where he earned his B.A. and M.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in Constitutional Law. His areas of interest are Federal Government, Constitutional Law, and the Supreme Court. A former international tennis professional, Professor Plank enjoys chili and barbeque competitions, serving as a member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and travel with his family.

Jermaine Johnson, Ph.D. 
Department Chair
Office: B12.726

Dave Gaer
Dean of Instruction
Office: B12.603

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