R. Bruce Anderson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Political Science; Pre-Law Adviser
Dr. Sarah D. and L. Kirk McKay Jr. Chair in American History, Government, and Civics

To involve students in every possible way. I'm a firm believer in engaged learning, and my classes reflect that - I understand the value of theory, but theory without application is an empty exercise. I feel successful when my students are in motion, working in the field, preparing for employment, graduate school, and law school. Solid preparation for life after college is crucial to how and what I teach.

- R. Bruce Anderson

Connect with
R. Bruce Anderson

building is Ordway - room is 128
Phone 863.680.4311


View CV


My parents were both liberal arts professors; my father in Philosophy and my mother in English. After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan, I spent some time in the world of business before seeking my Master's and Doctorate at Rice University. Except for my very first job, at Auburn University, I have spent my entire teaching life in liberal arts or liberal arts core institutions, with quality faculty and small classes - the student has always come first. The finest of these - and the College most solidly vested in engaged and experiential learning I have ever seen - has been Florida Southern College. I have two children (Kati, 21; Kai, 17;coming to FSC this fall) who are both dual citizens of the US and Germany. I am strongly supportive of student activities, and since I've come to FSC, I have always sought partnerships with athletics, the Greek system, and Student Life. With my colleague, Dr. Kelly McHugh, we have piloted the Living/Learning experience, and our department charts the longest continuous offerings in both LLCs and Learning communities on campus. I am, politically, relatively conservative, and strongly believe in the value of applied, hands-on learning with a purpose.


I love all Mocs sports (Go Mocs!) and show it; I play USTA league tennis, I surf with my kids, and travel extensively.


  • Ph.D., Political Science, Rice University, Houston, Texas, 1997
  • M.A., Political Science, Rice University, Houston Texas Prospectus and Model Defense passed in 1996.
  • B.A., Political Science with a minor in American History/European History, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, 1988

Honors and Awards

  • Appointed to The Sarah D. and L. Kirk McKay, Jr., Endowed Chair in American History, Government, and Civics, 2016
  • Tenured, Florida Southern College, 2014
  • Award in Outstanding Teaching in Political Science; American Political Science Association, 2012
  • Miller Distinguished Professor, Florida Southern College, 2012
  • Faculty Volunteer of the Year, 2011-2012
  • Program Chair, Political Science, 2010 to present
  • Pre-Law Advisor, 2010 to present
  • Pre-Law Program Chair, 2010 to present
  • College Liaison, The Washington Center, 2010 to present
  • Kopke Scholar Grant in Holocaust Studies, 2008
  • Faculty of Harlaxton College, UK, 2007
  • Artinian Award, SPSA, 2005


Summer Collaboration

Anderson, R. B., Fogle-Miller, C., Pinkele, C. The Future of the Democratic Party in the South: A Questionable Past and an Uncertain Future.

Publications and Exhibitions

Co-authored Policy Making and Southern Distinctiveness with John C. Morris, Martin K. Mayer, and Robert C. Kenter. First Edition. Routledge (2021).

“Florida: Border State, “South” or Wild Frontier?”. With Zachary Baumann. Analysis Chapter. The New Politics of the Old South. Fifth Edition. Charles Bullock III, Mark J. Rozell, Eds. Rowman and Litttlefield. (published December, 2014).

Conference Presentations


“Is there a “South” in “Southern Politics”?  Paper to be delivered at the Annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association; San Juan, PR; January, 2016. With Zachary Baumann (Penn. State).


Anderson, R. B., Vaal, J., Primary Attraction: Does the Romance Continue? The Failure of Successful Women Primary Candidates in General Elections. Paper presented at the State Politics and Policy Conference, Houston, TX: February 16th and 17th, 2012.

Anderson, R. B., Garraway, C., Scandalous Behavior: ACORN, Voter Regist ration, and the Aging of "Action" Groups. Poster presented at the State Politics and Policy Conference, Houston, TX; February 16th and 17th, 2012.