John L. Sullivan: Master Mentor

Publication Date


Document Type

Contribution to a Book

Publication Title

At the Forefront of Political Psychology: Essays in Honor of John L. Sullivan


Eugene Borgida, Christopher M. Federico, Joanne M. Miller



First Page


Last Page



This chapter will focus on John Sullivan’s impact as a teacher and mentor. As with many of the finest mentors, John resists the label itself. A true Minnesotan, Sullivan’s style is straightforward, humble, and collegial. Of course, he is also brilliant, innovative, and highly accomplished. But John Sullivan somehow manages to combine these traits in a non-intimidating way that has served to inspire generations of students over the years. In that sense, he has fully earned the title of Master Mentor. The chapter begins with a recognition of Sullivan’s steadfast commitment to collaboration, inclusion, and equality, and comments on how the topics he has chosen to study relate to his core values, and an enduring focus on Democratic citizenship. The chapter then considers Sullivan’s appreciation of the joys of teaching and how he has passed on concrete advice along with a general philosophy of education. Finally, I reflect on the impressive Sullivan legacy of service to his students, colleagues, and the profession.


Political Science