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Professor, Department of Political Science

Professor Emerita



Mary Lou Callahan was born in April 1930. She attended both high school, at Immaculata in Detroit, and college, at Marygrove College and the University of Detroit, on scholarships that she won by competitive exams. She graduated from the University of Detroit in 1952 with a Ph.B, summa cum laude, in political science. She went on to complete her M.A., also at the University of Detroit, in 1957. She did course work toward her doctorate in political science at both the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, receiving A’s in all of her classes. Her doctorate was from Walden University in Naples, Florida in 1976. Her dissertation was entitled, “Recent Changes in Undergraduate Education in Political Science” and was directed by Dr. Robert Pitcher of the department of psychology of Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio.

From 1952 to ’59, Ms. Callahan worked in the Social Security Administration of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare alternately as a claims representative and claims supervisor. In 1959 she went to work for the MacManus, John, and Adams advertising agency as an assistant librarian.

In 1960, Ms. Callahan joined the faculty of Mercy College of Detroit as a political science instructor. In 1964 she was promoted to assistant professor and in 1969 to associate professor. In 1977, Dr. Callahan became a full professor.

Dr. Callahan’s teaching fields included American politics (parties, groups, and public opinion); voting behavior and elections; legislative process; constitutional law; comparative politics; and European political systems.

Dr. Callahan became one of Mercy College’s most popular teachers, receiving for her efforts, the Meritorious Award in 1968 and the Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year Award in 1969. She was also named Mercy College’s Outstanding Woman of the Year in 1989.   In addition, she received the prestigious Sears-Roebuck Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership for the 1989-1990 academic year.

Dr. Callahan served as vice chair of the Mercy Faculty Senate in 1968-69 and again in 1973-74, and as chair in 1981-82. She also served on Mercy’s search committee for a new college president in 1982. In addition, she served on various promotion, planning, curriculum, and faculty welfare committees throughout her career at Mercy College.

Dr. Callahan was a member of the American Political Science Association, the Midwest Political Science Association, and the Michigan Conference of Political Scientists.

In the winter semester of 1991, Dr. Callahan took a sabbatical leave so that she could travel in Europe and study the movement of the member states of the European Economic Community toward a European Union.

Dr. Callahan retired in December, 1992. She was granted Professor Emerita status on November 30, 1994 by Maureen A. Fay, O.P., Ph.D., President, University of Detroit Mercy.

Mercy College of Detroit

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