Who We Are

Mission Statement and Goals

The mission of the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center is to strengthen and support the study of public affairs at Hamilton College.

The goals of the center are:

  • To enable students to engage in public affairs through research, service-learning, lectures, discussion, and practice.
  • To foster creative, ethical, and informed responses to public issues by providing opportunities for students to engage with the local community, develop leadership skills, and explore careers in public service.
  • To support interdisciplinary collaboration and discussion; and to encourage faculty to address public affairs in their own research and in collaborative research with Hamilton students.


Marianne Janack

Marianne Janack

Director and Professor of Philosophy
mjanack@hamilton.edu 315-859-4127

Marianne is generally in the Levitt Center on Mondays from 3-4:30 p.m. in Kirner-Johnson 251E, though it is best to email her to make an appointment. You can also generally find her in the Philosophy Department (201 College Hill Road), first floor, on Fridays from 1-3.

Christina Willemsen

Christina Willemsen

Associate Director
cwillems@hamilton.edu 315-859-4810

Chris is available to talk about all aspects of Levitt Center programming, including student and faculty research, social innovation programming, leadership programs, and potential new opportunities and collaborations with other offices, faculty, staff, or students. You can set up an appointment below or contact her by email or phone. Her office is in the Levitt Center, Kirner-Johnson 251C.

Sharon Topi

Sharon Topi

Leadership Programs Coordinator
stopi@hamilton.edu 315-859-4451

Sharon is available to talk about the Levitt Center’s Leadership and Innovation programming, as well as summer research and internship opportunities, speakers and workshops and other ways students might get involved in Levitt Center programming. You can schedule an appointment online, or contact her by email or phone. Her office is in the Levitt Center, Kirner-Johnson 251B.

Zack Schuman

Community-Based Learning Coordinator
zschuman@hamilton.edu 315-859-4208

Zack Schuman is the Community Based Learning Coordinator at the Levitt Center. You can schedule an appointment with him by email at zschuman@hamilton.edu or by stopping by his office in Kirner-Johnson 251D. Zack is available to talk about the Levitt Center Public Philosophy program and community-based learning programming including SHINE, VITA, and Law and Justice Lab, as well as potential new ideas and opportunities for community-based learning.

Levitt Council

  • Marianne Janack, Director of the Levitt Center; Professor of Philosophy

  • John Bartle, Director of Inequality and Equity Program; Associate Professor of Russian Studies

  • Mackenzie Cooley, Assistant Professor of History

  • Erica De Bruin, Director of Justice and Security Program; Assistant Professor of Government

  • Nathan Goodale, Associate Dean of Faculty and Associate Professor of Anthropology

  • Jaime Kucinskas, Assistant Professor of Sociology

  • Herm Lehman, Director of Public Health and Well-Being Program; Professor of Biology

  • Quincy Newell, Associate Professor of Religious Studies

  • Alex Plakias, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

  • Todd Rayne, Director of Sustainability Program;  J.W. Johnson Family Professor of Environmental Studies

  • Wei Zhan, Assistant Professor of Economics


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