Nicole A. Warmington-Granston
Assistant Professor Dr. Nicole A. Warmington-Granston admits her first career choice was to be a pediatrician. She wanted to help establish healthy foundations for babies and children. However, a different path opened up for the Jamaican-born scholar who has won awards and recognition as a political scientist in the Governors State University (GSU) College of Arts and Sciences Division of Arts and Letters.
An international and comparative politics expert, Warmington-Granston would have healed children as a pediatrician. Instead, she offers remedies to a global population.
“I’m just a different type of doctor who provides a prescription for a different type of case, a remedy for what I think is lacking in society. I still look at how I can make their lives better–just in a different way,’’ said Warmington-Granston.
The daughter of a physician and a politician, she offers the cure of knowledge to an epidemic of ignorance in global politics. This Caribbean-and American-educated researcher is a firebrand who seizes every opportunity to shine light on new political scholarship, especially research focused on developing countries with a focus on the Anglo-Caribbean and Latin America. She says new theories lead to heightened social awareness--and ultimately better government and lives.
While pursuing her Ph.D. at Florida International University, Warmington-Granston won two prestigious awards for her research on justice and politics in Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as Mexico and Venezuela. In 2017, an academic paper examining complex dynamics of U.S.-Caribbean relations fetched the GSU 2017 Black Women Rock award, in the category of Faculty Scholar.
“I want to inspire young people, particularly minorities, to research, because it builds a knowledge base and brings about theory which is linked to action. I tell my students that theory without action is a daydream, and action without theory is a nightmare. With knowledge, you will properly act and change things,’’ she said.
Warmington-Granston joined the GSU faculty in 2015.
GSU Newsroom: Can you tell us about the work that qualified you for the 2017 Black Women Rock Award?
Warmington-Granston: My paper, "Image and Response: A look at 9-month standoff between the United States and Jamaica in the Extradition of Christopher 'Dudus' Coke," had recently been accepted by the Caribbean Journal of International Relations and Diplomacy. In it, I look at U.S.-Jamaican relations through the case of Christopher “Dudus” Coke, a well-known community leader who benefitted financially from the narcotics trade in Kingston, Jamaica. Dudus was wanted by the United States government, and an extradition warrant was served for his involvement in drugs and gun trafficking between the two states. The Jamaican government delayed carrying out the extradition request for months, causing an international crisis that was resolved by a series of national and international maneuvers. I was honored to be recognized for this research because I want to inspire others to study relationships between governments.
GSU Newsroom: You taught American cultural and political science classes during the heated 2016 election. What was that like?
Warmington-Granston: When I was working on my master’s degree and as a teaching assistant at the University of West Indies, Mona, I realized I loved educating young minds. At Governors State, I taught two sections of Intro to American Government during the 2016 election season. My honors class was very active, some even participated in election campaigning. My other class didn’t seem as interested in the course. Some said they didn’t see the point of politics so I used every opportunity to encourage them to participate. I told them one person can make a change. During my Cross Cultural Relationships class, a lot of students were disheartened after the election. I encouraged them to join an interest group or social movement. Later, many of them went to Springfield to rally for the budget. I’m proud to have played any small part in that.
GSU Newsroom: How do you motivate students to participate in the democratic process when they cannot vote?
Warmington-Granston: Political science is important because it affects everybody, and everyone can have an impact on how politics operate in their sphere. Here, many of my students said they didn’t want to vote in the 2016 election because they didn’t think it would make a difference. There may be obstacles to voting, but that is one aspect. The American political system is a participatory system, meaning it is very open. After President Trump won, there were lots of protests, people were writing their legislators, and a lot of interest groups were formed. America is known for that.
GSU Newsroom: What will you be lecturing about this fall in Matteson?
Warmington-Granston: I’m honored to have been asked to do a lecture series once a month at the Matteson Public Library. It begins this fall and ends in January 2018. The series, The Politics of Development and Underdevelopment, will focus on poor and developing countries. We will examine some of the political and economic problems affecting the so-called Third World. Many people don’t understand politics outside the U.S. This is my opportunity to expose residents in the south suburbs to life in developing countries. Again, we are building a knowledge base to help people determine a link between theory and action and to be better citizens locally, regionally, and internationally.