The Spring 2017 Political Science film Series featured “The Conscientious Objector” (2004), directed and co-written by Terry Benedict. The documentary explores the life of Desmond Doss, a US Army medic who was the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Seventy five students attended the March 1st event in the Alkek Teaching Theater in conjunction with the 2016-2017 Common Experience, “A Century of Conflict: Dialogues on the U.S. Experience of War since 1917.
On February 18th and 19th, five Political Science majors -- Brittlin Richardson, Madeline Machlab, Sarah Marshall, Keeley Dorman and Devin Barrett -- took part in Model Arab League activities at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. In this year's regional competition, Sarah Marshall received the "Outstanding Chair" honor for her role as chair of the council on Palestinian Affairs and Keeley Dorman was awarded the "Outstanding Delegation" for work done on the joint defense council. We are proud of their accomplishments and wish them the best of luck as they prepare for the national competition at the end of March.
Richard Pastore, Millie Saroha, and Kara Rekemeyer represented the department at the 62nd annual Student Conference on National Affairs (SCONA) at Texas A&M University from February 16-18, 2017. The students attended presentations from national security policymakers and analysts including Admiral Michael Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of U.S. Cyber Command; Islamic scholar, author, and former radical Dr. Tawfik Hamid; and Dr. Charles McMillan, Director of Los Alamos National Laboratories. Additionally, each student worked in a theme-based group over the three days of the conference to develop a policy to advance national security. Millie Saroha’s group explored the news media and the rise of fake news. Richard Pastore’s group focused on economic warfare, regulation of the financial industry, and cybersecurity. Kara Rekemeyer’s group examined immigration. Pastore and Rekemeyer were chosen to present their group’s proposal.
During the first week of the Spring 2017 semester, the Department of Political Science hosted its first visiting scholar from the Autonomous University of Zacatecas (UAZ), a university located in Central Mexico. Svetlana Maksymenko, a master’s degree student at UAZ, conducted research for her thesis at Texas State’s Alkek Library and also interviewed several professors in the Department of Political Science and other departments for assistance with her thesis. During part of her visit to Texas State, Ms. Maksymenko was accompanied by Dr. Martín Beltrán Saucedo, a professor at the law school of the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí, another university in Central Mexico. Ms. Maksymenko was the first visiting scholar under a 2015 Memorandum of Understanding between Texas State and UAZ that is designed to promote scholarly and cultural exchanges between the two universities.
The Political Science Department's new Model United Nations (MUN) program sent a delegation of a dozen students to participate in the Harvard National Model United Nations Competition in Boston from February 14th – 20th. Our students joined more than 2500 students from hundreds of institutions (including Columbia, Brown, Yale, and The United States Military Academy at West Point) and 70 countries around the world. The Texas State delegation consisted of: Carly Spangler, Katy Shull, Ethan Strickland, Bianca Beronio, Brian Delgado, Andrew Homann, Caroline Butler, Justice Mensah, Brandon Milligan, Bre Gilpin, Dominique Gray Berroa, and Lucy Stanley. We’re proud of the way they represented our department and Texas State!
Admiral Bobby Inman, former Director of the National Security Agency and Deputy Director of the CIA, spent an hour with Texas State University students on Wednesday, February 25. He spoke about threats to American security as well as challenges and opportunities. Then, he took the audience on an around-the-globe view of the problems in each region of the world. He took questions from the audience for about a half hour, responding thoughtfully and respectfully to each. After the event, he spend an additional half-hour interacting directly with students answering their questions and comments.
The Department of Political Science and the School of Journalism – Mass Communication welcomed Matthew Dowd, a special correspondent and analyst for ABC News, to campus on Thursday, February 9, 2017. Mr. Dowd, a well-known political commentator and strategist, addressed both American Government and Mass Communication classes about how political, economic, and social institutions respond in today's ever changing world. After the event, Mr. Dowd met with students and fielded questions on a variety of contemporary political topics.
An Associated Press story on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court quoted Dr. Paul Kens. The article explores the history of the seat Judge Gorsuch has been nominated to fill, and quotes Dr. Kens on the seat’s first occupant Justice Stephen J. Field.
To read the Associated Press article please click this link: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/70ac150bfd294b46a42b49ffe09b1b93/justice-scalias-seat-has-history-going-back-150-years
Many members of the department’s faculty joined scholars from around the country at a two day conference on “The Obama Legacy: Preliminary Perspectives” hosted by Texas State’s Center for International Studies on February 2-3, 2017. Departmental faculty who participated included Dr. Ted Hindson who spoke on America’s relationship with Russia and Europe; Drs. Paul Kens, Don Inbody, and Patricia Shields who addressed issues of law and national security; Dr. Omar Sanchez- Sibony who spoke about Mexico and Latin America; Dr. Howard Balanoff who discussed families and health; Dr. Robert Gorman who spoke about the Obama foreign policy legacy in Africa; Dr. Thomas Doyle who addressed nuclear weapons policy and the Middle East; Dr. Jeremy Wells who examined issues of war and peace; and Dr. Christopher Brown who discussed environmental policy. The keynote speakers were Jeremi Suri, Mack Brown Distinguished Chair Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and H.W. Brands, Jack Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin.
On January 27-28, 2017 Professor Rudy Hernandez brought a team of Texas State University Students to Houston, Texas to compete in the first annual American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl sponsored by The American Heritage Educational Foundation. Evan Dominguez, Miguel Carandang, and Molly Williams competed against Texas State against Houston Baptist University. Each Texas State student received a $500 scholarship from the foundation for their efforts. The students had a great educational experience and look forward to returning next year.
On January 20th, to commemorate the 2017 presidential inauguration, Texas State University sponsored a symposium entitled “Transitions in American Democracy.” Two Political Science spoke at the event. Dr. Ken Ward spoke on the importance of inaugurations for the American political system. He addressed different interpretations of the American founding, and the tensions between majoritarianism and republicanism. Dr. Michael Faber discussed the election of 1800 and the resulting transfer of power from Adams and the Federalists to Jefferson and the Republicans. This transition underscored the potential for inaugurations to have a healing effect after a contentious election. The event also featured presentations by faculty from the Departments of History and Mass Communications, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. It was moderated by former Texas Secretary of State and Texas State alumnus, Geoff Connor.