Kevin Hill, Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, May 29, 2017. Over his 24 years of service at FIU, his sense of humor and love of learning made a lasting impact on his students, colleagues, and all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
According to Department Chairperson John Clark, “Kevin is memorable for two major qualities. First, he had an incredible intellectual breadth. His interests ranged from African politics, to the politics of the American South, to internet politics, to social science methodology, and he published in all of these areas. Second, he had a palpable love of teaching, and it showed in how students responded to him; he set the bar when it came to student evaluations of teaching in our Department.”
Prior to joining FIU, Kevin received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Florida in 1993 and his bachelor’s in political science and history from Furman University in South Carolina in 1988. He also served as a Fulbright Scholar in Zimbabwe in 1992 and 1993. In 1993, he joined FIU as an Assistant Professor of Political Science and in 1998, he earned tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor. He published two books, fourteen book chapters, fifteen referred journal articles, along with grants and consultation work related to election and political analysis. He was a pioneer in the study of politics on the internet, publishing one of the first books on the subject in 1998 (Cyberpolitics: Citizen Activism in the Age of the Internet).
Kevin was highly regarded by local, state and national leaders as a leading expert in elections and campaigns. His ability to communicate research in a plainspoken manner and engage the community in the process was a strong suite and a beloved quality amongst his students. He was the recipient of the Faculty Senate Excellence in Undergraduate Advising Award in 2001 and a Teaching Incentive Program Award for excellence in teaching in 1997. Kevin will be deeply missed by all who knew him, Kathryn Depalo, Senior Instructor in the Department and his former teaching assistant said, “I owe my career to him, he really elevated FIU and the department with his research and outreach to the community. He was the smartest person I ever met.”
His loving family survives him, including his mother Alice Hill, former wife Barbara Herrera and their daughter Olivia. The family will host no services.
The Department of Politics and International Relations will be hosting a Celebration of Life on Friday, June 16, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. to RSVP or for additional information please click here.
An FIU scholarship fund is being established in his memory. Should you wish to contribute please contact Maria Wilkinson-Diaz at 305-348-2227.