Faculty Profile: David Cochran, Ph.D.

Having spent the past 24 years teaching American politics and political thought, David Cochran, Ph.D., has grown fond of Loras College. While his destination has worked out well, the journey to Dubuque was a bit uncertain.

“I had a map on my kitchen wall with a pin everywhere I applied for a job,” Cochran said. “It was like a hundred jobs and Loras was one of them. I guess it was fate that led me here.”

Coming from the University of Maryland, where he earned his Master’s Degree and doctorate, the professor of politics found his new location to be an immediate fit.

“When I arrived on campus, I got a really good vibe right away, a kind of friendly but serious and down to earth vibe. It was not the kind of environment that is pretentious or anything like that. I got a good feeling from the professors and the students here.”

During his time on campus, Cochran has been able to observe at least one constant over the years.

“The students have always been down to earth and open to learning. That allows us to create the same kind of culture each year.”

Being a professor of politics, the shifting ideas and changing issues make for an ever-shifting curriculum.

“The types of issues we cover in the classroom change because issues always arise,” he said. “There are new constitutional issues and new international conflict, but we’re always updating our materials to fit the changing times.”

Cochran is a winner of the college’s two campus-wide teaching and leadership awards. In addition to a wide array of articles and book chapters, he is the author or co-author of four books and the co-editor of a fifth. In addition to his work in the Politics Program, Cochran directs the college’s Archbishop Kucera Center for Catholic Intellectual and Spiritual Life.

About Loras College
Founded in 1839, Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. In 2019, Loras was the second-highest ranked Catholic college in the state of Iowa according to College Consensus, the 16th Best Regional College in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and one of America’s Top 200 Most Loved Colleges/Universities by Forbes Magazine for the third consecutive year. Loras students ranked No. 2 in the world as part of the global Peeptrade Investment Challenge while a second group ranked No. 4. For the 10th consecutive year, Loras Media Studies student-led television station (LCTV) was named the TV Station of the Year by the Iowa College Media Association (ICMA).