Political Science Major Wins Award at SCONA
On February 13-15th, the Department of Political Science sent a team of three students to the prestigious . . .
Alumni Night 2020
On Wednesday, February 19th Discourse in Democracy hosted the Political Science department’s annual Alumni Night. . .
Poli Sci Majors to Attend National Conventions
Two Texas State University Political Science majors have been selected to represent the university at the Washington Center’s National Convention Seminars in ...
Semester News, Continued
In a recent press release from GradReports, Texas State University was ranked a best college for Public Administration. The GradReports rankings are the first to be based on median early-career salary data of over five million graduates according to the U.S. Department of Education’s “College Scorecard” resource. Dr. Nandhini Rangarajan, Director of the MPA program, noted, "At a moment when high cost of education and rising student debt are issues of national interest, this is a timely recognition for our MPA program that has, for decades, emphasized the importance of rigorous, high quality yet affordable graduate education"
On Tuesday, February 4th, over 150 students and faculty attended the first Discourse in Democracy event of the spring semester, a State of the Union Watch Party. Students enjoyed pizza, soda, and cookies while watching the President's address. Michael Goodner, a public administration junior, reported that watching the State of the Union was "more interesting around people that are just as interested in politics as I am." Before the President opened, students had the opportunity to watch excerpts from State of the Union addresses delivered by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Other students used the time to ask questions regarding the State of the Union to professors who attended the event. Students also heard from Dr. Thomas Varacalli, who gave a brief background lecture on the history and structure of the State of the Union address.
“The crowd turnout was a lot bigger than what I expected,” observed graduate student Noe Garcia. He added that this was “probably due to the fact that our politics today is extremely interesting, regardless of [one’s] party preference.” Public administration senior Braden Kropp observed that "even in the face of today’s polarization, there are moments in the address where all of us can come together and celebrate the past generations who served and sacrificed to protect our rights."
On Sunday, December 8th, the Department of Political Science held its annual holiday party at Mamacita's in San Marcos. The faculty, staff, instructional assistants, and their families attended and enjoyed quality time together and delicious food. Children enjoyed a colorful cookie decorating table alongside their parents. It was a great way to kick-off the holiday season!
The Department of Political Science especially thanks the Hobby Center for their continued support of this annual event, Mamacita's for hosting, and all who worked very hard to make the party a success.
Dr. Ionut Popescu, a member of the department’s international relations faculty and an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, spoke to The Texas Standard on KUT, Austin’s NPR affiliate, about a recent article he published in Political Science Quarterly. In his piece, Popescu outlines the principles of a new American grand strategy. He argues that the theory of offensive realism — the idea that nations engage in aggressive acts of self-interest directly as a result of opportunity afforded by the chaos and instability prevalent in international politics — is better suited to the new era of geopolitical competition with China and Russia. This article represents the beginning of a second book project for Popescu, and it builds on his first book on U.S. foreign policy, Emergent Strategy and Grand Strategy, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2017.
Follow Dr. Popescu on Twitter: @ICPopescu
More than two dozen Texas State Students participated at the 23rd annual Eugene Scassa Mock Organization of American States Competition & Conference (ESMOAS) competition at St. Mary’s University on November 14th-16th. At the competition, there were 125 students representing schools throughout the region, including Baylor University, University of Louisiana Lafayette, Texas A&M Commerce, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Representing the nations of Venezuela, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Guyana, the 25 member Texas State delegation won several awards. Highlighting these awards, Team Venezuela, consisting of team members Ethan Strickland, Ciana Seddon, Adrian Flores, and Jasper McDonald, won Outstanding Delegation (the top overall award at the competition).
Junior political science major Darian Bear observed that “the MOAS group at Texas State has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my collegiate career.” Ethan Strickland, a senior poli sci major commented that his involvement in the competition “not only gave me skills that I can utilize as in career in diplomacy, but the real life skills and a perspective that could be used in any other career. I consider myself blessed to have been given the chance to join up with the Texas State team.” Kaela Thompson, a sophomore major, praised MOAS for giving students it’s “hands-on and interactive approach” to teaching students about politics.
The complete list of the awards and honors our received by Texas State students is as follows:
- Amanda Beck
Selected to the Student Advisory Committee
- Zack Abnet, Darian Bear, Kevin Brown, Allison Cason, Dani Hancock, Natalie Hernandez, Jasper McDonald, Andrea Garcia Rodriguez, and Catching Valentinis-Dee
Outstanding Committee, Secretariat for Multidimensional Security.
- Ethan Strickland
Outstanding Crisis Speech (1st Place in Committee), General Committee
- Darian Bear
Outstanding Delegate (1st Place in Committee), Secretariat Multidimensional Security.
- Ethan Strickland
Outstanding Delegate (1st Place in Committee), General Committee.
- Ethan Strickland, Ciana Seddon, Adrian Flores, and Jasper McDonald (Team Venezuela)
Outstanding Delegation (1st Place Overall)
On Thursday, November 21st, the department hosted the final Inklings gathering of the fall semester. Dr. Alex Kroeger spoke about "The Algerian and Sudanese Revolutions: Prospects for Reform." His talk focused on revolutions, the reasons for anti-regime protests and the prospects for democratization. The talk was attended by more than two dozen faculty members and students, and was followed by a discussion among the attendees.
Anthony Armendariz, a Political Science graduate student, explained the talk offered “great insight to the process of democratization in developing countries.” He added that he was struck by the fact that in “both cases protests against current leadership have been overwhelmingly peaceful.” Another graduate student in political science, Fanny Mazna, noted that Inklings gatherings allows you to see “in-depth the research interest of faculty and students in the department.” She added the research “helps students to see with who their research interests align with.”
The department's "Inklings" gathers take their name from a small group of intellectuals (whose ranks included J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis) who met weekly at Oxford University in the early and middle decades of the 20th century to read aloud and discuss their works in progress.
Five members of the department's faculty were recognized by the Alpha Chi Honor Society as Favorite Professor awardees for 2019 on November 8th. Founded in 1922, Alpha Chi promotes academic excellence and exemplary character among college and university students and has more than 300 chapters nationwide. Membership is limited to the top 10% of juniors, seniors, and graduate students. The awardees from the department were: Drs. Thomas Doyle, Emily Hanks, Diane Rahm, Nandhini Rangarajan, and Walter Wright.
On Tuesday November 12, City Council Member Dr. Joca Marquez spoke to Supporting Women in Political Science (SWIPS). During the meeting, Dr. Marquez spoke about her background and home town, as well as why she made the decision of run for city council and the importance taking risks. During the Q&A following, students asked how they could make a difference in San Marcos and how Marquez balanced life as a politician and a mother.
In connection with the Common Experience theme, "Truth," the fall showing in Discourse in Democracy's Political Science Film Series was The Insider, an expose about the tobacco industry. The showing, which took place on Wednesday, November 14th in Alkek Teaching Theater was attended by nearly 400 students and faculty. The series is coordinated by Professor Rick Henderson.
On Tuesday evening, November 12th, 150 attended a lecture in Alkek Teaching Theater by the New York Times’ Tom Ricks, a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. Ricks’ talk explored George Orwell’s famous essay on politics and the English language and the common ground that united Orwell and Winston Churchill. Although occupying very different positions on the political spectrum, Orwell and Churchill shared a common commitment to individual freedom and a common hostility to modern totalitarianism. Prior to the lecture, students had an opportunity to win departmental swag by competing in a trivia contest on Orwell’s article. At the conclusion of his talk, Ricks fielded questions from the audience and later spoke with several students individually.
Earlier in the day, Ricks spoke to Dr. Menchaca-Bagnulo’s American Political Thought class, as well as to a history and mass communication class. He also had lunch with faculty and students from the department.
Political science major Zachary Poston noted that Ricks’ talk “offered unique insights” into two of the most “inspiring figures of the twentieth century,” while another undergraduate major, Ariel Long, was struck by the light the talk cast on contemporary issues such as “fake news.”