In Memory of Dr. Frauke I. SchnellfraukeSchnell

It is with much sadness that we share the passing of Dr. Frauke Schnell of our Political Science Department. 

Dr. Frauke Schnell, 57, died suddenly from cardiac arrest on August 15. She leaves behind her devoted husband, Fabio Fernandez and two daughters, Emilia and Luisa. She is also survived by her parents, Renate and Fritz Schnell of Coburg, Germany a place that she loved very dearly, her brother Norbert, and her many friends in the US, Germany, and elsewhere. Known for her style, grace, and love of life, Frauke was a multi-talented person. She loved to travel, read, write, draw, and buy extravagant shoes, but most of all she loved to spend time with her family and friends. She brought charm, warmth, grace, humor, and liveliness to every situation.

Frauke was dedicated scholar who was committed to making the world a better place. As a professor of political science at West Chester University she mentored numerous students and colleagues from all over the world. Frauke developed a study abroad program with the Gustav Stresemann Institute in Germany that spanned West Chester University’s reach in the international community. Additionally, Frauke led the way for many young professional women in the academic community by not only persevering, but also succeeding in a male-dominated world.

Dr. Schnell studied at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen and received her Ph.D. in political science from SUNY Stonybrook. She joined the faculty at West Chester University in 1992, where she recently served as chair of the political science department. Frauke and her family lived in Philadelphia and passionate about the city. She enjoyed being a part of the vibrant community; she also appreciated the beautiful architecture and public spaces the city had to offer. Dr. Schnell was a dedicated active scholar, the author of several books and many rigorously researched scholarly papers on political communication and social justice. Her work was widely known and discussed, which brought her international distinction. (Click for a sample of her latest publication and in-production work).

Aside from her professional dedication, Frauke had a witty spirited lighthearted humorous side as well as a creative, artistic bend that was seen through her beautiful paintings, crafts, and even tiny felted animals that she spent hours working on. Most of all, she was a devoted mother, partner, daughter, friend, and colleague who never lost sight of what is important in life: love, family, ethics, and the search for truth.

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