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Judge Nelva Gonzales-Ramos visit to Texas State University

Judge Ramos

On Tuesday, October 3rd, the Department of Political Science welcomed an alumnus of the department’s Legal Studies Program, The Honorable Nelva Gonzales-Ramos, a judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Judge Ramos conducted two seminars for political science majors and faculty, and met informally with students over lunch and dinner. Topics ranges from what law school to what is like being a judge to some of her favorite cases. These events were funded by a generous grant by the Texas Bar Foundation.

Dr. Daron Shaw of the University of Texas at Austin talked about the upcoming presidential election


On Tuesday October 3rd, the Department of Political Science welcomed Dr. Daron Shaw of the University of Texas at Austin to talk about the upcoming presidential election and the significance of the rise of Donald Trump. Dr. Shaw conducted two afternoon seminars for political science majors and faculty as well as other interested students. That evening he conducted a lecture for the university community.
A widely recognized authority on presidential elections, Dr. Shaw is a member of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the National Election Studies Board of Overseers, the editorial board for American Politics Research, and serves on the national decision team for Fox News and on the Advisory Board for the Annette Strauss Institute. His books include Unconventional Wisdom: Facts and Myths about American Voters (Oxford University Press, 2008)  and The Race to 270 (University of Chicago Press, 2006).
The events were partially funded by a generous grant from the Texas Bar Foundation.


Dr. William E. Forbath lecture "Anti-Oligarchy Constitution" in honor of Constitution Day

In honor of Constitution Day, on September 15, 2016, the Department of Political Science welcomed Dr. William E. Forbath, of the University of Texas School of Law, who spoke on the “Anti-Oligarchy Constitution.”  Dr. Forbath conducted two afternoon seminars with graduate and undergraduate students, and delivered an evening lecture that was attended by 400 students and faculty members. The seminars and lectures explored whether Constitution demands the establishment a truly democratic economic order. The department’s Constitution Day activities were co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and made possible by funding provided by the Texas Bar Association.

forbath lecture


Meet the Professor presented by Discourse in Democracy

meet professor

On Wednesday, September 7th, more than sixty political science majors, public administration majors, graduate students, and eighteen faculty members attended this year's annual Meet the Professors event put together by Discourse and Democracy! They came together learn about the backgrounds and specializations of the faculty, to hear about the courses they teach, and to discuss upcoming events and opportunities made available by the department. The presentations were followed by a social hour giving students the opportunity to meet informally with faculty over pizza. Discourse in Democracy T-shirts were provided to everyone in attendance.

meet prof students


MPA scholarship recipients attend the Texas City Management Association Conference

Texas city management associationMPA students Ricardo Zavala and Moaz Kahn attended the Texas City Management Association (TCMA) Conference on South Padre Island from June 8 –12, 2016 with Dr. Howard Balanoff. Both Ricardo (left) and Moaz (right) were recipients of Texas City Management Association scholarships to attend the Annual TCMA Conference.

Pi Alpha Alpha, held its annual induction ceremony

Pi Alpha Alpha Texas State University’s chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, the national public administration honor society held its annual induction ceremony at the Public Service Recognition Week Awards Banquet sponsored by the Centex Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA). The Banquet was held on May 19, 2016 at Plum Creek Pavilion in Kyle. Dr. Howard Balanoff (far right) with Damon Fogely (second from the right), President of the American Society for Public Administration (Centex Chapter) with Samantha Alexander (far left) President of the Texas State University Chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha.


Barcelona, Spain Study Abroad

spain study abroad

For the last twelve years, the Department of Political Science has been offering graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to take a few of their courses through our study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain.  Study abroad courses expand global perspective and cultural awareness of aspiring students. Undergraduate students can sign up for POSI 2310, 2320, or take an Independent Study course to count toward their degree.  Graduate students also can take a Directed Reading and Research course in this program as part of their degree.  Study abroad courses are both educational and fun.
The Barcelona, Spain, study abroad program is offered during the summer II of every year.  In the course of the program, students travel to the historic cities of Tarragona, Gerona, Figueres and Barcelona, as well as the Montserrat and Dali museums. Through these travels, students learn about the history and politics of Europe as well as the many forms of arts that have marked Western civilization. 
During this program, students and faculty stay in the beautiful apartments of Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona. If you have any question about this program, please contact Dr. Hassan Tajalli at or drop by his office in UAC 377.

Dr. Don Inbody on the Advisory Board of the U.S. Vote Foundation

Dr. Don Inbody was welcomed by the U.S. Vote Foundation as a new member of their Advisory Board. U.S. Vote Foundation (US Vote), together with our Overseas Vote initiative, is dedicated to bringing voter services to millions of American voters. The U.S. Vote Foundation develops and provide online tools to assist US citizens living anywhere in the world to register to vote and request their absentee ballot using their state’s specific voter forms. This includes US citizens living within the US, living abroad or serving in the military. Dr. Inbody has experience with the barriers of voting overseas from his time in the U.S. Navy. Dr. Inbody has also recently published the first comprehensive book on the history of military absentee voting in the United States called The Soldier Vote: War, Politics, and the Ballot in America.

For more information on the U.S. Vote Foundation visit,   

don inbosy


Netherlands Study Abroad

Dr. Billy Fields, as a project with the Center for Research, Public Policy, and Training, directed the International Sustainable Transportation Engagement Program (I-STEP) study abroad program in the Netherlands this summer. I-STEP brought 12 students to the Netherlands to accomplish two goals:

  1. Enhance student knowledge of best practices in sustainable transportation practices through experiential learning  and
  2. Establish a platform for knowledge sharing through a project-based class experience linked to final report of findings.

Students spent 2 weeks in the Netherlands engaging city planners, non-profits, academics, advocates, and everyday citizens in conversations about how to build a strong sustainable transportation system. Students were based out of Amsterdam and Rotterdam and made side trips to Zwolle, Kinderdijk, and Delft to explore different dimensions of the Dutch system. Through the course of these dialogues, the students accomplished a series of exercises to help engage transportation stakeholders, build substantive knowledge of the Netherlands system, and collect data on how the system works. 

The student results are being turned into a project report that will be available in September at the project website housed through the Center for Research, Public Policy, and Training ( ). The program is scheduled for a return trip to the Netherlands in the summer of 2017. Please see Dr. Fields for more information (


Italy Earthquake Relief

The horrible earthquake that hit Central Italy was felt also in the near cities of Rome and Florence. Our heart goes out to those affected by this tragedy. If you want to make a donation to the Italian Red Cross for the earthquake of Amatrice, Rieti and Central Italy:

REASON FOR PAYMENT: "Terremoto Centro Italia"
IBAN: IT40F0623003204000030631681
(BIC/SWIFT for foreign bank transfers: CRPPIT2P086) Online donations can be made at:

Dr. Desoto interviewed by TWC

Dr. Bill DeSoto was interviewed by Time Warner Cable News about the result of a Public Policy Polling in Texas. The results of a Public Policy Polling show that three out of five Trump supporters in Texas want to secede if Hilary Clinton wins the election. Dr. Bill DeSoto explained in his interview that, "It's not like a casual parting of the ways… It would be tough to untangle Texas from the rest of the United States.”



This story can be viewed on Follow the link below:

Poll Finds 3 in 5 Texas Trump Voters Favor Secession Over Clinton Presidency

Dublin, Ireland Study Abroad

The Legal Studies Program of the Department of Political Science conducted its first Study Abroad Program in June 2016.  The program offered graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to take a basic course in Legal Theory and Analysis that focused on judicial decision making; the course also compared legal institutions in the United States with comparable legal institutions in Ireland.  Each student who participated in the program also developed an Independent Study course and pursued one or more topics of special interest to the student.  The program took place in Dublin, Ireland from June 10 through June 30, 2016, and was housed at University College Dublin (UCD).

Dr. Walter Wright was the faculty sponsor for the June 2016 program. Dr. Lynn Crossett will lead the June 2017 program.  For further information about the 2017 program, contact Dr. Crossett at

Group photo at Four Courts

Hog Wild Event Success!

The Department of Political Science, in partnership with the Denton Navarro Rocha Bernal Hyde & Zech, P.C. (DNRBH&Z) law firm and The Office of Distance and Extended Learning hosted the annual Hog Wild Local Government Educational Seminar. This year’s successful seminar took place over the course of two days (May 26th – 27th) and had over 175 attendees. Several of these attendees include local city managers, mayors, city attorneys and other public sector administrative officials. The seminar included a wide variety of subject areas and trends that are useful to public practitioners. Topics covered throughout this seminar included personnel matters, transparency in government information, economic development, land use regulation, law enforcement, and a wide variety of other interesting topics. Partners from DNRBH&Z were generous with their time and knowledge as they moderated all panels and break-out sessions. The Department of Political Science would like to extend our gratitude to Dean Hennessey for taking the time out of his busy schedule to provide opening remarks. We would also like to acknowledge our own Mr. David Smith, Esq. who also took time to provide some opening remarks on the behalf of Legal Studies and the department. We would also like to express our gratitude to Mr. David Cummings from The Office of Distance and Extended Learning for the major role that he played in organizing this event. Without saying, we are especially grateful to the partners and staff of the DNRBH&Z law firm for their valued support. We look forward to working with them again in organizing next year’s seminar.

Former Ambassador Tibor Nagy, speaks in Dr. Gorman’s classes

Former Ambassador Tibor Nagy, who now serves as Assistant Provost for International Affairs at Texas Tech University, spoke to Dr. Gorman's undergraduate African Politics class on Tuesday, June 21 and to his Graduate Problems in African Politics class (pictured here) on Wednesday June 22. He had just returned from the Africa Summit in Washington, DC the previous week.  He spoke about the traditional American policies and approaches to Africa and some of the issues that are currently of concern on the continent and to American policy makers.  He also had meetings with the University officials concerning a trip he will lead this coming fall to Ethiopia in which American scholars and educators will meet with Ethiopian university faculty on ways to improve agricultural output in Africa, which will be home to 2 billion people by 2050.



Texas State Pa Award Recipients at Centex Aspa Awards Banquet

The following PA students, faculty & alumni will be recognized at the Centex ASPA Public Service Recognition Week Banquet on May 19th in Kyle, Texas.

Distinguished Educator Award

Dianne Rahm, Texas State University

Pi Alpha Alpha, National PA Honor Society Student Inductees

  • Jessica Ancira               
  • Katherine Miller         
  • David Beckerley        
  • Holly Doyle               
  • Jesse Ancira                 
  • Bradley Barrett          
  • Billy Fletcher             
  • Abigail Trahan
  • Lana M. Sveda           

Frank Rich MPA Scholarship Recipients

  • Lisa Paiz
  • Sergio Vasquez S
  • JacQuitta Beeks
  • Ricardo Zavala.

William P. Hobby MPA Intern Fellowship Recipients

  • John Palapala
  • Lynn Anderson
  • Kari Fortenot

James M. McGrew Student Research Awards

Marta Ortiz:A Longitudinal Examination of Hispanic College Enrollment and Graduation:  Has the Texas Closing the Gap Plan been successful?

Faculty Advisor – Hassan Tajalli

William Costello: The New Walking Beat: A Model Assessment Tool for Using Social Media to Enhance Community Policing

Faculty Advisor – Patricia Shields

Distinguished alumni plaques to the following individuals.

  • Collette Jamison, Assistant City Manager, San Marcos, Texas
  • Brian Withrow, Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Texas State University

Prof. Mora One of Alpha Chi's Favorite Professors for 2016

The Department of Political Science’s very own associate chair, Prof. Mora, was honored by Alpha Chi as one of their Favorite Professors for 2016! The award was received Friday April 29th in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom as part of Alpha Chi’s induction ceremony.

Texas State Political Science Alumna and Professor receives Kemerer Award.

Texas State Political Science Alumna and Professor receives Kemerer Award.

Cari Gray, M.A. 2011, was recently named winner of the Frank R. Kemerer Award presented by the Texas School Administrator’s Legal Digest (TSALD) and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP). The Award was presented at the TSALD/TASSP Conference in Austin, TX on June 14, 2016. She has been teaching social studies at New Braunfels High School since 1996.    

The purpose of the Award is to recognize an outstanding social studies teacher at the high school level. Candidates for the award are nominated by their high school principal and endorsed by the superintendent. They must display enthusiasm for teaching, creativity, effectiveness, ability to teach various levels of students, and demonstrate involvement in the life and culture of the school. 

In addition to teaching at New Braunfels high School, Ms. Gray also teaches courses at Texas State.   

Cari Gray


Dr. Kens Speaks at a Supreme Court Historical Society Event in Washington D.C.

As part of a May 25th lecture event, Dr. Paul Kens spoke at  “A Conversation on Lochner,”sponsored The Supreme Court Historical Society’s Silverman Lecture Series. He was an introduced by Justice Stephen Breyer. This event took place at The Supreme Court Building in Washington D.C. and was filmed by CSPAN.