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Institute for Peace and Political Studies

In late March 2011, the Metropolitan State University Psychology Department announced the creation of The Institute for Peace and Political Studies (IPPS). The Institute is physically housed in the Psychology Department on the Midway campus and the Psychology Lab on the Saint Paul campus. Those who may be interested in joining the IPPS network are encouraged to contact IPPS co-directors Kerry Kleyman or Caitlin Mahoney.


  • To encourage research and education on issues concerning peace (nonviolent conflict resolution, reconciliation, and the causes, consequences and prevention of war and other forms of destructive conflict) and political phenomena
  • To establish a community of scholars and concerned individuals and thus, to foster communication among researchers, teachers and practitioners who are working on issues related to peace and politics
  • To increase the theoretical and practical significance of peace and political studies both inside and outside academia
  • To provide mutual support among members to facilitate communication of scientific research, theory and practice across disciplinary, national and ideological boundaries, both among members of the Institute, Metropolitan State and those outside the university.

IPPS co-directors

Kerry S. Kleyman, PhD

Dr. Kleyman received a BA in psychology from Metropolitan State University in '04 and a PhD in social psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno (with a concentration in social perception, political and cross-cultural psychology) in '10. Her past research has broadly focused on the influence of stereotypical stimuli on perceptions of racially ambiguous individuals. She is currently conducting research in the areas of perception of race, and nutrition in elderly populations. Other interests include: interracial and multiracial relationships, transracial adoptions, culture and political participation, as well as race and political leadership.

Dr. Kleyman has taught courses in General Psychology, Quantitative Research Methods, Social Psychology, Personality, Diversity and Ethics, Diversity in Children, and will soon be teaching Political Psychology and Cross-Cultural Psychology. Dr. Kleyman is a Special Qualification in Nutrition (SQIN) Fellow at UNR Medical School, has attended the Summer Institute in Political Psychology at Stanford, and has received training in Structural Equation Modeling at KU. She is a member of several psychological organizations, and currently serves as the Psychology Club co-advisor at Metropolitan State.

Caitlin O. Mahoney, PhD

Dr. Mahoney received her BA in psychology from Siena College '03 and a PhD in social, evolutionary and cultural psychology from Clark University (with a concentration in societal peace and conflict) '08. Her past research has broadly focused on the relationship between emotions and political behaviors. She is currently studying the relationship between joy, compassion and altruistic responses to distant others (those we have never met). Other interests include: positive psychology; pro-social behaviors; virtue; psychical distance and interpersonal closeness; and authenticity. Mahoney has taught courses in General Psychology, Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods, Social Psychology, Group Dynamics, and Peace Psychology. She serves as the internet editor for the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence (APA Div 48).