Admiral Inman Visits Texas State
Admiral Bobby Inman, former Director of the National Security Council and Deputy Director of the CIA, held a two hour seminar on Wednesday, October 4, 2017. He discussed his own career in the intelligence community as well as sharing stories about his involvement in some of the more important events in recent American history. The topics he addressed included North Korea, Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Additionally, he shared some observations about the four Presidents he served under (Ford, Carter, Reagan, GHW Bush) and how they dealt with national security issues and policies. Several students remained afterward to continue the discussion.
Admiral Inman is currently the Lyndon B. Johnson Centennial Chair in National Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas.
On September 19th, Dr. James R. Stoner of Louisiana State University visited campus to speak on "The Positive Freedom of Speech" during Discourse in Democracy’s annual Constitution Day celebration. Dr. Stoner spoke about the purposes which the constitutional guarantee of free speech was intended to serve and addressed the question whether government had a legitimate role in limiting speech in order to ensure rational discourse in public life. In the course of his day on campus, Dr. Stoner spoke to 80 students from New Braunfels High School who were enrolled in AP government classes and held two seminars for Texas State political science students. His evening lecture in Alkek Teaching Theater was attended by more than 350 students and faculty. Dr. Stoner also had lunch and dinner with undergraduate and graduate students from the political science program.A graduate student in the political science program, Adam Henley, said that the seminar he attended “was fantastic. About 15 students and faculty discussed the limits of free speech and explored various historical and contemporary controversies surrounding it, including the current debates about free speech on America’s campuses. All in all, it was a rewarding conversation about a subject that is quite relevant to our times.”After the evening lecture, Drs. Jo Ann Carson (Philosophy), Vaughn Baltzly (Philosophy), Elizabeth Bishop (History), Rudy Hernandez (Political Science), and Paul DeHart (Political Science) commented and raised questions, as did several students in the audience. Following the event, a number of students huddled around Dr. Stoner to extend the conversation for an additional hour. Texas State University President Dr. Denise Trauth and Provost Dr. Gene Bourgeois attended the lecture.
Pi Sigma Alpha
Texas State’s Rho Eta Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, had its first meeting of the semester on Wednesday, September 12. During the Fall 2017 schedule, the group will meet on September 27, October 11, and October 25 at 5:00 p.m. in UAC 382. The group will discuss current events, participate in local community service activities, examine potential job opportunities, and address the various nuances of being a political science major. A panel about attending law school is tentatively scheduled for November 8 at 5:30PM in UAC 382. Doraneesha Jackson-Wilson (’18) is currently serving as President and Madalyn Folgate (’17) is serving as Vice President.Students interested in joining Pi Sigma Alpha should contact President Jackson-Wilson at email@example.com . The chapter was established in 1988.
Supporting Women in Political Science
On Wednesday, September 20th, Texas State students met for the inaugural meeting of the new student-led club, Supporting Women in Political Science (SWIPS). SWIPS is a bi-partisan group intended to help women in political science at Texas states find opportunities for support, mentorship, and networking in their discipline. While enjoying pizza provided by the Department of Political Science, they discussed the vision of the organization and their plans for the future. SWIPS member Morgan Morrow said, “I’m aspiring to be a lawyer and have decided to join SWIPS because it provides support for women in a major and career field that is traditionally dominated by men. I believe SWIPS will provide a way for women in the field of political science to come together to aid one another by sharing stories and experiences.”
Advisors for the group are Dr. Ashleen Menchaca-Bagnulo and Dr. Jennifer Lamm. For more information on SWIPS please email Ana Deloza at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brianah Rodriguez at email@example.com. Follow SWIPS on Twitter @SWIPS_TXST and on Facebook at "Supporting Women in Political Science at Texas State University".
Meet The Professors – Hosted by Discourse in Democracy
On Tuesday, September 12th more than 100 political science and public administration students attended the department’s annual “Meet the Professors” event sponsored by Discourse in Democracy. The event gives students an opportunity to meet faculty members, to hear about their backgrounds and specialization, and to learn about the courses they teach. It also gave students a chance to learn about upcoming departmental events and the various student groups that work with the department. The formal presentations were followed by a social gathering that gave students a chance to talk informally with faculty over pizza. Attendees received a free tee shirt courtesy of Discourse in Democracy.
Mayra De Luna, political science major and transfer student, was greatly impressed by the department for taking the time to organize the event. Given their backgrounds and professional experiences, she found several faculty members who might be potential mentors. “I really loved the department having professors getting involved,” De Luna shared. Indeed, it was there that De Luna heard about Supporting Women in Political Science. She subsequently attended group's first meeting and was chosen to be its Communication Officer.
Peru Study Abroad – Swimming with Piranhas
In June 2017, Dr. Omar Sanchez of Texas State’s Department of Political Science hosted a Study Abroad program in Lima, Peru at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Students took courses on Latin American Politics and Economic Development in Latin America, and explored Peruvian politics and culture. The group explored a variety of sites including Machu Picchu, Cuzco, and Iquitos, which Nina Burleigh of the New York Times calls “Capital of the Amazon.”
Graduate student Travis Ferrell was struck by the variety of climates and topographies he saw. His travels included a fishing trip for piranha and swimming in a river full of them. Ferrell described the political climate in Peru as characterized by “a major divide between the youth and the older generations. Older generations see Fujimori as being able to get things done in government, while the youth see him as a dictator.” He further noted that political parties come and go with every election. “Unlike in the U.S., where political parties are deeply tied into government, there is not a consistent message from election to election.” He also noted that it was difficult for those in the outskirts of the country to make their voices heard. “Maybe there could be a two-party system if someone were able to unite people outside Lima,” Ferrell observed.
Study Abroad in The Netherlands – Cycling Capital of the World
This summer Dr. Billy Fields, Associate Professor of Texas State’s Department of Political Science, led a Sustainability Transportation Policy Study Abroad program in the Netherlands. Twelve students participated, making it the third year of research. Students explored the Netherlands’ interconnectivity as they did biking tours through Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Delft. Major areas of focus include infrastructure and connectivity, service learning, and international policy transfer. The study abroad program was organized by faculty advisors of Texas State’s International Sustainable Transportation Engagement Program, I-STEP.
The team of students explored the Netherlands through the lens of sustainable transportation with the aim of transferring effective policy into the context of the United States. They focused on the role of dedicated facilities for walking, biking, and public transit as an overall approach to solving current and future transportation needs. “In Amsterdam, half or more people use dedicated facilities by walking, and that number increases to over 70% if you include public transit,” Dr. Fields commented. Maggie Bergeron, graduate student of Sustainable Studies at Texas State, enjoyed the rich heritage of biking, calling Amsterdam “the cycling capital of the world.” She remembers beautiful scenery and wide bike paths. “In the U.S., cars yield to pedestrians, while in Amsterdam, people stop and yield to busy cyclists,” Bergeron recalled. The trip included a free weekend to a North Sea beach where Dutch were seen line-dancing to American southern country music on the boardwalk.
Barcelona Study Abroad – European Reflection from Rome to Recent
Dr. Hassan Tajalli, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science at Texas State, hosted a Study Abroad program to Barcelona, Spain during the second summer session. This study abroad allowed twenty-seven undergraduate students to fulfill their required political science courses, POSI 2310 (Principles of American Government) and 2320 (Functions of American Government). One graduate student, Allison Morris, attended the program, using the opportunity to complete a directed reading class related to her Applied Research Project (ARP) for the Masters in Public Administration program. Morris’ research focused Catalonia’s mental health system.
In addition to their classes, the students explored ancient ruins, modern cities, and eclectic architectures crafted over millennia, and learned about the challenges facing contemporary Europe. The landmarks they visited include the Roman city, Tarragona. “It had so much history starting in the Roman era and through the medieval time, and it was so beautiful,” Morris said. Another favorite location was Montserrat, an ancient, yet active Benedictine monastery carved into the side of the Montserrat mountain range. “It was originally a Roman shrine to the gods. It was turned into a monastery, a hermitage. It was an amazing architectural feat,” Morris recalled. Robert Rodriguez, a sophomore majoring in Exercise and Sports Science, described the excursions as his favorite part of the program. “We went to ruins of cities. It was like looking at a map before and after and seeing how the city was remodeled over centuries,” he reported.
Dr. Donald Inbody Interviewed by KUT Radio
Dr. Donald Inbody was interview by KUT radio about the recent collisions by U.S. Navy destroyers in the Pacific Ocean. To view more or listen to the interview, check out the links below: