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Department of Political Science

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ABC News special correspondent and analyst Matthew Dowd visited Texas State

Matthew dowd
Matthew Dowd with Master in Public Administration student, JacQuitta Beeks

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.

Dr. Paul Kens Interviewed by the Associated Press on Gorsuch Nomination

Dr. Paul Kens

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:

Obama Legacy Conference

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.

Jeremi Suri
Keynote Speaker Jeremi Suri- Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs
University of Texas at Austin


First annual American History & Western Civilization Challenge Bowl

Hernandez competition
(Left) Miguel Carandang, Professor Rudy Hernandez, Molly Williams, (right) Evan Dominguez.

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.

Transition in American Democracy Symposium

Dr. Ward and Dr. Faber at Inauguration Symposium

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.

Annual Holiday Party

On December 11, the Department of Political Science held its annual holiday party at Tres Hermanas Restaurant. The faculty, staff, and instructional assistants as well as their families in attendance enjoyed delicious food, and the children enjoyed the cookie decorating table. All in all, it was a great way to kick-off the holiday season!

kids at holiday party

Holiday party


Texas State University and the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi (Mexico) Agree to Collaboration

group pic

On November 29, 2016, a three-person delegation from the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi (Mexico) visited San Marcos to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Texas State University.  The purpose of the MOU is to establish the general bases of collaboration between the two universities for purposes of:   
  • planning and developing specific academic projects;
  • facilitating academic cooperation;
  • promoting mutual understanding;
  • promoting student mobility and exchanges among academics;
  • promoting internationalization as one of the universities’ priorities; and
  • sustaining multicultural understanding through educational activities and research.
Representing the Mexican university were Mtro. José Abraham Oliva Muñoz, Director (Dean) of the Law School; Lic. Joel González De Anda, Secretary General of the Law School; and Lic. Aracely Rojas, a professor at the Law School.  Representing Texas State University were Dr. Eugene Bourgeois, Provost; Dr. Michael Hennessy, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Kenneth Grasso, Chair of the Department of Political Science; and Dr. Walter Wright, Associate Professor in the Legal Studies Program of the Department of Political Science.  According to Dr. Wright, the Mexican university hopes to initiate activities between the two universities by sending a small group of students to Texas State in 2017 to study U.S. law and mediation practices; the short program would be organized through the Office of Distance and Extended Learning. The law school has also invited Dr. Wright to visit San Luis Potosi during one of its lecture series in 2017.

Department Hosts Election Night Bash

watching election results

Discourse in Democracy and Student Association for Campus Activities hosted an Election Night Watch Party Tuesday November 8, 2016.  Over 500 students joined members of the political science faculty in George's and Boko's to watch the results of the 2016 Presidential Election.  Over 20 prizes were given away, 100 pizzas were eaten, and students were glued to the television as the historic election came to a close.  Students engaged in our political process discussing the future of this country and what a Trump presidency will look like.

students watching results


Department Hosts ESMOAS

Mendez group pic

From Thursday, November-Friday, November 5th, the Department of Political Science hosted the 20th Annual Eugene Scassa Mock Organization of American States (ESMOAS) Summit of the Americas Competition and Conference. The event brought some 300 hundred students and faculty members to campus from across the southwestern United States and northern Mexico for a completion simulating meetings of the Organization of American States, an academic conference on Inter-American Relations, and a model Inter-American Court of Human Rights competition.

The opening session featured remarks by Texas State’s provost, Gene Bourgeois and a keynote address delivered keynoted by Ambassador Nestor Mendez, assistant secretary general of the Organization of American States.

mendez speaks to ppl


Texas State’s ESMOAS Team Takes Home Trophies

moas students

Texas State students excelled at this year’s Eugene Scassa Mock Organization of American States (ESMOAS) competition.   

In the competition, Texas State students exemplarily represented the nations of Nicaragua, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.  In terms of honors and awards, our MOAS program is one of the strongest in nation.  This year’s competition was no different, as Texas State students ruled the awards stage.   Highlighting these awards, Connor Clegg won Outstanding Ambassador (1st Place Overall for an individual award) and Team Nicaragua won Distinguished Delegation (2nd Overall team award).  The following is a complete list of the awards and honors our students received during this Fall’s competition:

Domonique Gray-Berroa: Selected as Chair, Secretariat for Strengthening Democracy. 

Carly Spangler:  Selected to the Student Advisory Committee.

Connor Clegg:  Distinguished Resolution (2nd Place in Committee), General Committee.

Damian Perez:  Outstanding Resolution (1st Place in Committee), Secretariat for Multidimensional Security. 

Rachel Burridge:  Outstanding Resolution (1st Place in Committee), Secretariat for Strengthening Democracy.

Andrew Homann and Colton Dutton:  Outstanding Budgetary Statement (2nd Place in Committee), Secretariat for Administration and Finance.

Connor Clegg:  Co-Outstanding Delegate (1st Place in Committee), Executive Secretariat for Integral Development.

Brandon Milligan:  Distinguished Delegate (2nd Place in Committee).  Executive Secretariat for Integral Development. 

Connor Clegg:  Distinguished Delegate (2nd Place in Committee), General Committee.

Andrew Homann:  Outstanding Delegate (1st Place in Committee), Secretariat for Administration and Finance.

Connor Clegg: Bre Gilpin, Robert Gresham, Holland von Rosenberg, Bianca Beronio, Brian Delgado, Andrew Homann, and Colton Duncan: Team Nicaragua, Distinguished Delegation (2nd Place Overall).

Connor Clegg: Outstanding Ambassador. (1st Place Overall).

Connor Clegg: Selected as President for the 21st ESMOAS at Texas State in 2017.

In addition to the exciting developments this Fall, our new Model United Nations program will for the first time send students to participate in the Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) in Boston from February 19th – 23rd.  Representing the Republic of Guyana, the students that will participate as delegates in the HNMUN are:  Connor Clegg, Carly Spangler, Katy Shull, Ethan Strickland, Bianca Beronio, Brian Delgado, Andrew Homann, Caroline Butler, Justice Mensah, Brandon Milligan, Bre Gilpin, and Lucy Stanley.

moas dinner


Panel Discussion on the 2016 Presidential Election

bagnulo and brennan at panel event

On November 1st, Discourse in Democracy hosted a panel discussion on the 2016 Presidential Election featuring Drs. Ashleen Menchaca-Bagnulo (Political Science), Mary Brennan (History), Ted Hindson (Political Science), and Ken Ward (Political Science). In addition to making predictions about the outcomes of the election, the panelists situated the election historically, explored the voting coalitions of each party, and examined the election’s implications for the future of the American party system and American democracy.

panel event


LBJ Museum Fall Lecture series featured retired NASA Director, Dr. George W. S. Abbey.

Dr. Abbey

On Thursday, October 27th, the Dr. George W. S. Abbey delivered the latest talk in the LBJ Museum of San Marcos’ Fall Lecture Series. Dr. Abbey served as director of the NASA Johnson Space Center from 1996 to 2001 and currently serves as the Senior Fellow in Space Policy at the James A. Baker III institute for Public Policy at Rice University. Dr. Abbey’s lecture was co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science.

Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Jim West

Jim West

On Friday, October 21st, a distinguished alumnus of the department of Political Science was on campus to receive a “Distinguished Alumni Award” from President Trauth. Jim West (Class of ’77), a businessman and philanthropist, spent the morning in the department where he met with Dr. Inbody’s POSI 3301 class and attended a reception in his honor.


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