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Department of Political Science

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Department of Political Science

The Department of Political Science is part of the College of Liberal Arts.
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MA Courses for Social Studies Teachers.
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Political Science Undergraduate Programs
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Center for Research, Public Policy, Training

Engaging public agencies and non-profits through research and real world training.
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Department News

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MPA Student Eric Ramirez meets with Governor Abbott

MPA student Eric Ramirez meets with Governor Abbott during his attendance at the 35th Annual SummerFest Independence Day Celebration in San Marcos.

Eric Ramirez with Gov. Abbott

The Legal Studies Advisory Board met at San Marcos City Hall June 11th

The Legal Studies Program has the benefit of an active advisory board that provides input on a variety of issues affecting the legal profession and the overall community. The Legal Studies Advisory Board is made up of attorneys, paralegals, school administrators, professionals from the public and private sector that supervise, work with, or are paralegals, and a student representative. The Legal Studies Advisory Board meets twice a year and these individuals are a valuable resource and sounding board for the Legal Studies program. The board met on June 11 at the San Marcos City Hall.


Legal Studies Advisory Council


Lynn Crossett, Director of the Legal Studies Program, Ben Cunningham, Attorney-Mediator with Galton, Cunningham & Bourgeois, Roland Brown, Attorney with The Roland Brown Law Firm, Renate Claybourn, Paralegal-Contracts Manager, San Marcos City Attorney’s Office, Terry Grimmett, Paralegal with Haynes and Boone, LLP, Deborah Woltersdorf, Legal Assistant with the Law Enforcement Defense Division, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Texas, Pamela Madere, Attorney-Director, Land Use & Real Estate Section, Coats & Rose, Hillary Henderson, Paralegal-Case Administrator with the Tax Resolution Department, Five Stone Tax Advisers, Dr. Eric Paulson, Associate Dean of the Graduate College, Pat Noske, Paralegal Supervisor (retired), Biodynamic Research Corporation

Not in photo, Jeff Caldwell, Project Manager, Land Entitlement/Permitting, MWM Design Group


Dr. Walter Wright Establishes Cross-Border Mediation Program

Dr. Walter Wright has been working to establish a cross-border mediation program among Dispute Resolution Centers in Texas and the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.  The program is designed to provide free or low-cost mediation services for low-income residents of Texas and Tamaulipas who have disputes with each other and wish to reach amicable resolutions.  Mediation organizations and their mediators on both sides of the border will provide the services via video conferences or online services such as Skype and Lync.  As part of the program, Dr. Wright has assisted Texas State University in negotiating and entering into a Collaboration Agreement with the Judicial Branch of Tamaulipas; the university’s role will be to provide training for the cross-border mediators.  Dr. Wright has also assisted the Central Texas Dispute Resolution Center, headquartered in San Marcos, in establishing the first Collaboration Agreement between the Judicial Branch of Tamaulipas and a Texas Dispute Resolution Center.  He is currently working with other Texas Dispute Resolution Centers interested in establishing similar Collaboration Agreements and spreading the program throughout the state. 


Lic. Roberto Montoya González (aide to Magistrado Armando Villanueva), Magistrado Armando Villanueva Mendoza (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Tamaulipas), Dr. Eugene Bourgeois (Provost of Texas State University), Dr. Walter A. Wright

This story was featured in the Austin American Statesman follow the link here.

Houston Mayor, Annise Parker, speaks at Hogwild 2015

Hogwild is an annual public policy symposium sponsored by the law firm of the law firm of Denton Navarro Rocha Bernal Hyde and Zeck (DNRBHZ), Texas State University’s Center for Research, Public Policy, Training, and the Texas State Department of Political Science. The symposium is designed to provide local government officials and practitioners with an overview of key, contemporary legal issues that impact local governance.

The 2015 event was held on Friday May 29 on the Texas State campus. Hogwild 2015 brought together 130 local government officials and practitioners to engage with legal studies experts in detailed discussions of issues relevant to local Texas governance. The keynote speaker was Houston Mayor Annise Parker. Mayor Parker discussed the difficulties in responding to the recent flooding and the overall complexity of governance.

Mayor Annise Parker Mayor parker

Public Administration Program Honors Students 5 May 2015

As the Spring 2015 semester concluded Texas State faculty, staff, and alumni gathered at the LBJ Student Center to celebrate the achievements of our public administration students. The annual PA Program Honors Reception recognized program and scholarship award recipients and inducted new members into the Public Administration Honor Society, Pi Alpha Alpha. Former Bobcat and current President and CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Richard Perez spoke at the event. He emphasized the key role that public service plays in creating dynamic and just communities.

Dr. Balanoff presents honorary membership to Pi Alpha Alpha to Richard Perez

Dr. Howard Balanoff presents Mr. Richard Perez with an honorary membership to Pi Alpha Alpha

Sarah Tennent, political science major, is named 2015 LBJ Outstanding Senior Student Award Recipient

The Texas State Alumni Association is proud to announce Sarah Colleen Tennent as the 2015 LBJ Outstanding Senior Student Award Recipient. 

Sarah Colleen is a senior, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Military Science.  She is graduating in May and is expected to graduate Summa cum Laude.  Her future plans are to attend law school.  As a student, her primary involvement at Texas State includes the following:

  • Cadet, Army Reserve Officer Training Corps
  • Associate Justice, Student Government
  • Senator, Student Government
  • Supplemental Instructor, SLAC

She earned the 2014-15 Liberal Arts Award for Academic Excellence, graduated from the Military Leadership Development and Achievement Course, is a member of Alpha Chi Honor Fraternity and is the recipient of an Academic Achievement Army ROTC Scholarship.

Colleen Tennent

Elizabeth Peterson, undergraduate student, Presents at 2015 International Conference of the Association for Private Enterprise Education in Cancun, Mexico

Elizabeth Peterson, a bachelor of public administration major, presented her research at the 2015 International Conference of the Association for Private Enterprise Education in Cancun, Mexico. Her topic, Market Based Solutions to Poverty, was well-received and aligned with this year's conference theme "Political Economy: 'The Different Progress of Opulence.'"

Elizabeth Peterson in Cancun for Conference

Model Organization of States at D.C. Competition

12 Texas State students -- Melissa Aylward, Tara Dees, Domonique Gray-Berroa, Emily Hinze, Victoria Kadous, Josh Keesee, Nick Pappas, Megan Priebe, Marissa Roman, Gabe Schmidt, Lauren Stotler, and Ashton Thomas -- journeyed to Washington, DC where they participated in the 2015 Washington DC Model Organization of American States representing the Republic of Panama. Undergraduate political science major Marissa Roman was elected Secretary General of  the 2016 Washington DC Model Organization of American States (WMOAS).  This is the WMOAS’s highest elected office. 


WMOAS 2015


Students discuss the state of the Caribbean in the 21st Century

On Thursday, March, 12, Texas State University students, faculty, and residents of San Marcos gathered at the LBJ Museum of San Marcos and listened to Bobcat Alum Ambassador Oliver del Cid discuss the current state of Caribbean nations. Ambassador del Cid attended Southwest Texas State University and graduated with a degree in Political Science in 1994. He is currently the ambassador from Belize to Mexico. This event was hosted by the LBJ Museum of San Marcos and the Texas State University Political Science Department.


Ambasador del Cid discusses the CaribbeanCaribbean in the 21st Century

Students Attend Panel Discussion on the Middle East

On Thursday, February 26, dozens of Political Science and International Studies students gathered in a UAC classroom to listen to various issues facing the Middle East, as well as the United States' role in the region. Three faculty members from the Political Science Department, Dr. Arnold Leder, Dr. Robert Gorman, and Dr. Thomas Doyle, led the discussion. The panel was moderated by Dr. Kenneth Grasso, chair of the Department of Political Science. This event was sponsored by the Department of Political Science and Pi Sigma Alpha.

Students listen to problems in the Middle East

Panel on the Middle East  Dr. Leder discusses the Middle East


Students Discuss Challenges to Democracy

On February 9th, the Department of Political Science Discourse in Democracy hosted two seminars and a symposium on the Challenges to Democracy around the world. The Department welcomed panelists Dr. Terri Givens (from University of Texas), Dr. Ayesha Rey (from Kings College), Dr. Omar Sanchez (from Texas State University), and Dr. Laura Seay (from Colby College) to lend their expertise and help guide these discussions. For the evening symposium, nearly 300  Texas State students and faculty gathered in Alkek to listen to and discuss various challenges to democracy.

Students discuss challenges to democracSeminar on problems with democracy


Students Utilize Moot Court for International Law Simulation

Students in Dr. Gorman's international law class argue a case in the new Moot Court room in the University Academic Building.  Bethany Stewart and Ben Kleiber (left facing the judges) defend Omar Bashir, President of Sudan, against charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes as the Prosecutors of the International Criminal Court, Jessica Altherr and Matthew DePue, present video evidence in an attempt to persuade the ICC Court of Bashir's guilt.  The judges hearing the case are Eric Rogers, Emmett Newton (in wigs), along with Jeannette Castro, Mason Pfeiffer, and Jason Montgomery, in the center, acting as court president.

Moot Court Simulation  Moot Court Simulation

Alumni Panel - November 17th


The Department of Political Science welcomed alumni to talk with Political Science and Public Administration majors about working in the real world following graduation on Nov. 17th. Jordan Berry, a political consultant to several well-known office-holders in Texas and owner of Berry Communications, Scott Hutchinson, Chief of Staff to State Senator Charles Perry, Angela Dozier-Borgman an immigration legal assistant with Foster, LLC, and Jennifer Scott, executive assistant to Hays County Commissioner Mark Jones returned to participate in this annual alumni event. The alums spent two and a half hours talking with students about their work, how they got their jobs, and their recommendations about how to maximize chances of landing that starting position using the skills they learned here at Texas State. 

MOAS Group Takes Home Trophies!

The Model Organization of States teams competed in the 18th annual Ambassador Eugene Scassa Model Organization of American States hosted by Baylor University, November 15-16. Texas State was well represented ant took home several awards.

  • Rachel Carrell. Selected as Rapporteur. Secretariat for Administration and Finance.
  • Josh Keesee. Selected as Chair. Secretariat for Administration and Finance.
  • Melissa Aylward. Selected to the Student Advisory Committee.
  • Victoria Kadous, Emily Hinze, Hailee Harris, and Alex Gamez. Co-Best Committee. Secretariat for Political for Political Affairs.
  • Ashton Thomas, Melissa Aylward, and, Luther Nuncio. Co-Best Committee. Executive
  • Secretariat for Integral Development.
  • Marissa Roman. Distinguished Resolution (2nd Place in Committee). General Committee.
  • Melissa Aylward. Distinguished Delegate (2nd Place in Committee). Executive Secretariat for
  • Integral Development.
  • Tara Dees. Distinguished Delegate (2nd Place in Committee). General Committee.
  • Team Venezuela. Distinguished Position Paper (2nd Place Overall). Written by Rachel Carrell and Tara Dees.
  • Dominique Gray-Berroa. Outstanding Ambassador. (1st Place Overall).
  • Domonique Gray-Berroa. Voted as Co-President for the 2015 ESMOAS.
  • ESMOAS has also recently instituted a program to bring back former students to help serve as judges and advisors for the competition. Because we have been so successful in the past, several of our former students have been selected to serve in these roles, including, Rasha Abu-Zeyadeh, Meghan Ferguson, Cheyenne Krause, Megan Parrish, Javier Reyes, and Sama Sayej.

Ashton Thomas - Right  Emily Hinze - Left

Political Science Graduate Students Present Research at Conference

Two graduate students in the Political Science Department presented their research at the Sixth Annual Research Conference for Graduate Students, hosted by the Graduate College on November 5th and 6th. Master of Arts in Political Science student, Karina Lovas presented her paper, “The International Criminal Court and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Examining the International Legal Response Through the Lens of Prosecutor v. Lubanga (2012) and Prosecutor v. Katanga (2014)”. Master of Arts in Legal Studies student, Dan Hodge, presented his paper, “Mobile Apps, Crowdsourcing, and the Blame Game.”  

Professor Mora Awarded Foundations of Excellence Award

Professor Mora and StudentPolitical Science Associate Chair and Senior Lecturer, Sherri Mora was awarded the Foundations of Excellence Award by Student Foundations for making and extraordinary impact on the lives of students and the university community. 

Midterm Election Night 2014

election night photoOn Tuesday November 4th, 2014, the Political Science Department hosted an Election Watch Party at George’s for Texas State students. The event, organized by Dr. Don Inbody assisted by graduate assistant, Justin McNutt, is part of the department’s Discourse in Democracy program. George’s was an ideal location since there are numerous TV’s tuned to different news channels reporting on results throughout the night. The party provided a great chance for students to participate to discuss the election results and its implications for the future with their professors.  Approximately 150 students attended to talk politics and enjoy the pizza and drinks that were provided by the department! This was one of Discourse in Democracy’s biggest events of the semester so far!

Lindsey Bentley, President
Pi Sigma Alpha

Political Science Faculty Author Award Winning Textbook

Congratulations to Professor Sherri Mora, Dr. Will Ruger and Dr. Ed Mihalkanin on receiving the award for First Edition of the Year from McGraw Hill for the textbook, "The State of Texas:  Government, Politics and Policy."

text cover

Internal Departmental Resources