The 2018 CENTEX Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) held its annual banquet recognizing outstanding achievements and service by public administration students, faculty and alumni from Texas State University, the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs and the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.
Texas State’s own Dr. Tom Longoria received the award for 2018 Distinguished Public Administration Educator.
Additionally, a number of Texas State students received awards and scholarships at the event.
Two MPA students received the James M. McGew Research Award from the Centex Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA): Reginald Brooks received the award for his Applied Research Project, “An Exploratory “An Exploratory Framework to Assess Urban Wildfire Mitigation Policy in Austin Parks.” Deron Reinders received it for his Applied Research Project, “an Ideal Model for Transitional Programs for autistic Students.”
Tajudeen Basiru and Miah Wagner were awarded Balanoff Family scholarships.
Joseph Resendez, Yvette Mendoza, and Megan Moore were awarded Frank Rich Family Scholarships
Meghan Wallace and Ayodamola Olanipekun were awarded William P. Hobby Family Scholarships
Jabarri Falls, Troy Gilbeaux, and Jenna Rubert were awarded William P. Hobby intern Fellows
Tajudeen Basiru and Brekia Jackson were awarded Balanoff Intern Fellowships
In addition, the following public administration students were inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha, the Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration:
Krystal Muller Shifa Lateef Ashley Wayman Carol Lynn Campa Tajudeen Basiru Christina Lee Barbour Dylan Russell
Travis County Commissioner Precinct 1, Jeff Travillion was inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha as an Honorary Member.
Pi Sigma Alpha’s Rho Eta Chapter hosted their annual spring induction ceremony on April 29, 2018. The event was coordinated by outgoing President Dora Jackson and outgoing Vice President Madalyn Folgate. The induction ceremony featured a talk by Deborah Tucker, President of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence and an adjunct faculty member at Texas State. Ten new members were inducted into the society: Ebonie Smith, Morgan Morrow, Mason McKie, Rex Wyatt, Mayra de Luna, John Cavazos, Roman Gros, Amaireny Rodriguez, Justin Villa, Tara Watson. Five members -- Ebonie Smith, Morgan Morrow, John Cavazos, Amaireny Rodriguez, Madalyn Folgate, Doraneesha Jackson -- received their graduation honors cords. Mayra de Luna will serve as the chapter’s president during the 2018-2019 Academic Year, and Rex Wyatt will serve as vice-president.
Pi Sigma Alpha is the only national honor society for college students of political science and government in the United States, and currently has more than 700 chapters across the country. The Texas State Chapter, Rho Eta, was established in 1988 and over the last thirty years has hosted a variety of lectures and conducted various community-service projects.
On Thursday, April 26th, Dr. Bradley Watson, Professor of Politics at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, visited Texas State University as part of the Department of Political Science’s Discourse in Democracy program. His afternoon lecture entitled “Living Constitutionalism and the Decline of the Rule of Law” addressed recent trends in constitutional interpretation. In addition to the lecture, he led a seminar for twenty students and faculty members, and joined students and faculty for lunch and dinner.
Dean Mary Brennan presided at the annual College of Liberal Arts Awards Ceremony in the LBJ Ballroom on Monday evening, April 23. Our department’s majors were well represented among the awardees. The following is a list of our students who were recognized at the ceremony:
Academic Excellence Certificate Awardees
Gloria Andrus Casey Clark Maci East John Espinosa Cassie Estes Keely Freund Ana Gonzalez Annette Hernandez Kaylie Hidalgo Lauralee Holbrook
Jean Lambeth Amy Lane Jadelyn Lopez Madeline Machlab Bridget Martinez Juan Martinez Coffey McCurdy Brandon Milligan Haley Naiser Dustin Nichols
Aaron Plumlee Sarah Pressler Lucas Rowland Dylan Russell Alia Sanchez Brenda Sarabia Abigail Trahan Jordan Villarreal Tara Watson Claire Whisler
Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award in Political Science Kaylie Hidalgo
Outstanding Graduate Student Award in Political Science Isabella Key
Richard B. Henderson Award – Awarded for academic excellence and character in the tradition of Distinguished Professor Emeritus Henderson Cory Pohlmeyer
Howard M. “Prof” Greene Award – Academic excellence in honor of a political mentor to Lyndon B. Johnson and other Texas State alumni Annette Hernandez Amy Lane Coffey McCurdy Cory Pohlmeyer Sarah Pressler Abigail Trahan
Barney and Linda Knight Scholarship – Awarded to students majoring in political science or business who have persevered in the face of adversity, overcome financial challenges, and demonstrated academic success Otto Bieker Brittny Sepulveda Darbin Wofford
Dan Farlow Scholarship – Honors a longtime political science faculty member and Piper Professor Bianca Beronio Alexander Molina
John and Charlotte Sharp Scholarship – For outstanding majors who have completed 45 hours Bianca Beronio Alexander Molina Brittny Sepulveda Darbin Wofford
Seven faculty members from the Department of Political Science -- Ben Arnold, Bill DeSoto, Rudy Hernandez, Arny Leder, Tom Longoria, Tom Varacalli, and Walter Wright – were named “Favorite Professors” by the Texas State Chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society at its annual induction ceremony. Founded in 1922, Alpha Chi is a coeducational academic honor society whose purpose is to promote academic excellence and exemplary character among college and university students and to honor those who achieve such distinction. With over 300 chapters nationwide, membership is limited to the top 10% of juniors, seniors, and graduate students. This year’s induction ceremony was held on Friday, April 20th in Alkek Teaching Theater.
As part of the Department of Political Science's Model United Nations program, six Texas State undergraduates travelled to Charlotte, North Carolina April 11th – 14th to participate in the Southern Regional Model United Nations. The SRMUN competition consisted of 500 competitors, representing 70 institutions, including Clemson University, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Central Florida. Participating students were able to debate a host of pertinent global issues, ranging from the access to clean water to global debt issues.
Representing the Republic of Panama, the Texas State delegation consisted of Brian Delgado, Deante Dowdell, Kaylie Hidalgo, Natalie Hernandez, Haley Schmidt, and Bradley Taylor. They were joined in Charlotte, by Professor Ben Arnold who coordinates the department’s Model United Nations and Model Organization of American States programs.
On April 7, a group of Texas State Students attended the Texas Network for the Study of Public Issues seminar on freedom of speech at the University of Texas at Austin. Students Samuel Barr, Ana De Loza, Adam Henley, Ezekiel Loeseke, Jordan Mandujano, Evan Olszewski, Evan Spake, and Sabra Woodward attended. Dr. Ashleen Menchaca-Bagnulo was the faculty sponsor. In the morning session, the students heard a keynote speech by Dr. James Stoner of Louisiana State University on Free Speech and the Natural Law. In the afternoon session, students heard a panel discussion featuring diverse opinions on freedom of speech from panelists Jeffrey Abramson (UT Law), James Sullivan (former Solicitor General of Texas) and Naomi Reed (UT's Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis) . The students also participated in small group discussions about speech laws and hate speech with students from surrounding universities. Texas State student Ezekiel Loseke described the seminar as a “great experience” that “really broadened his intellectual horizons.” He was especially impressed by opportunities for discussion among the students and between the students and speakers, as well as by the depth of the discussion and “diversity” of views represented.
On Thursday, April 5th, the LBJ Museum of San Marcos and the Department of Political Science hosted a panel discussion on the relationship between President Lyndon Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Elvin Holt of the English department, and Drs. Rodolfo Hernandez and Ed Mihalkanin from Political Science, discussed how the collaboration between LBJ and MLK helped create the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as well the importance of these landmark pieces of legislation today.