THIS MONTH'S HEADLINES:
- FALL 2021 COURSES
- TIME TO ENROLL IN MAJORS AND MINORS
- MESSAGE FROM RETIRED PROFESSOR JOHN GAMBLE
- LEGAL STUDIES CERTIFICATE TO BE PHASED OUT
- PI SIGMA ALPHA POLITICAL SCIENCE HONOR SOCIETY
- STUDENT GROUP NEWS
- FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- FACEBOOK PAGE
1. FALL 2021 COURSES
Here is a list of Political Science, Sociology, and Criminal Justice courses that we intend to offer at Penn State Behrend in Fall 2021.
- PLSC 001 - American Politics (GS, US)
- PLSC 003 - Comparing Politics around the Globe (GS, IL)
- PLSC 007N - Contemporary Political Ideologies (GS/GH)
- PLSC 014 - International Relations (GS, IL)
- PLSC 017N - Introduction to Political Theory (GS/GH)
- PLSC 111 - Debating the Purpose of Government (GH)
- PLSC 132 - Politics of International Intolerance (GS, IL, Other Cultures)
- PLSC 200N - Government and Politics of Europe (GS/GH, IL)
- PLSC 442 - American Foreign Policy
- PLSC 471 - American Constitutional Law
- PLSC 482 - American State and Urban Politics
- SOC 001 - Introductory Sociology (GS)
- SOC 012/CRIMJ 012 - Criminology (GS)
- SOC 013/CRIMJ 013 - Juvenile Delinquency (GS)
- CRIMJ 100 - Introduction to Criminal Justice (GS)
2. TIME TO ENROLL IN MAJORS AND MINORS
Sophomores should be enrolling in a major on LionPath during the Spring 2021 semester. Details about degree requirements can be found at Bulletins.psu.edu. The Behrend Political Science Major (POLSC) offers four options: Politics and Government, Crime and Law, International Relations, and Public Policy. Students in the major are allowed to complete more than one option. For assistance with specific courses required for each option, contact any political science or sociology professor.
The Behrend political science program also coordinates four minors: Politics and Government, Sociology, Transnational Perspectives, and Crime, Law, and Psychology. Information about each minor can be found on the Penn State Bulletins website or the Behrend Humanities and Social Sciences website. Students can enroll in minors via LionPath. Political science majors are not eligible to enroll in the Politics and Government minor nor the University Park political science minor because they are all the same thing.
3. MESSAGE FROM RETIRED PROFESSOR JOHN GAMBLE
Jan. 29, 2021
From Dr. John Gamble, Distinguished Professor (emeritus)
I retired effective July 1 after 44 years at Behrend. H&SS Director Eric Corty, Robert Speel, and others were planning a retirement event for me in early April. That fell through, along with many things during the COVID-19 era. I’ve moved to a retirement community in Redmond, Washington, to be close to my family, including grandsons ages one and four. Considering the difficulties, it went quite smoothly. My brain still works most days—smile. I would like to make just two points now:
- I’d love to hear from students and former students and colleagues. Penn State has let me keep my email: [email protected].
- For decades, we Political Scientists have argued, too often unsuccessfully, that all college graduates should understand some core principles of government. The unrest in the U.S., especially over the last five years, certainly has proven our point. The most conspicuous example: Governance depends on free, open, understood, and accepted procedures, most notably voting. The U.S. has lost ground here.
I went to graduate school in Seattle, so I “know” this area. I’ve rediscovered my love for mountain views, especially looking south from the University of Washington campus at Mt. Rainier (about 60 miles away).
4. LEGAL STUDIES CERTIFICATE TO BE PHASED OUT
The Penn State Behrend Legal Studies certificate was created over a decade ago as an academic credential that appears on Penn State transcripts to show potential employers some undergraduate academic background in legal cases and processes. The certificate was intended for students thinking about law school or intending careers as legal assistants or paralegals. Law Schools do not expect nor suggest completion of such a certificate.
A few years ago, the Penn State Behrend political science major created a Crime and Law option that students can complete that also gets noted on transcripts. The Legal Studies certificate is no longer needed for that purpose, therefore, and only a small number of students have completed it.
Therefore, the certificate will be phased out after August 2021. Students who enroll in the certificate prior to that will still be able to complete it and get it noted on Penn State transcripts. However, at some point after that, it will no longer be possible for new students to enroll in the certificate.
If you have any questions, you can direct them to Dr. Robert Speel at [email protected].
5. PI SIGMA ALPHA POLITICAL SCIENCE HONOR SOCIETY
Penn State Behrend has a Pi Sigma Alpha chapter.
Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, is the only honor society for college and university students of political and social sciences in the United States. Its purpose is to recognize and promote high academic achievement in the field of political science. Any junior or senior with a Political Science major or minor is encouraged to inquire about the GPA requirements and the benefits of joining. First-year and sophomores intending on a Political Science major or minor are also encouraged to inquire to begin the track of joining the society once they reach the eligibility year. Any questions are encouraged to reach out to President Marissa Litzenberg ([email protected]) or Vice President Raul Garcia ([email protected]).
Marissa Litzenberg will also represent Penn State Behrend to present her paper "The Forgotten Labor: How Brexit will Impact Immigrant Communities in the United Kingdom" as part of the 8th Annual Pi Sigma Alpha National Student Research Conference on March 6.
6. STUDENT GROUP NEWS
- Model United Nations students will be participating in the International Model NATO Conference during the weekend of February 12-14. The group will also host a High School Model United Nations conference this semester and an online "Ask a Republican" session to follow up last semester's "Ask a Democrat" session. The group meets Mondays at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom. To get involved, contact President Marissa Litzenberg at [email protected].
- College Democrats meets Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom. On February 3, the group will host Pennsylvania Supreme Court candidate Carolyn Nichols and Dr. Robert Speel, who will discuss the DC Statehood issue. To get involved, contact President Grant Filbeck at [email protected].
- College Republicans meets Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom. The group plans to invite political candidates to their online meetings this semester. To get involved, contact President Hunter Kellar at [email protected].
- The Behrend Political Society will be working with the local chapter of the League of Women Voters this semester to organize online events about voter registration and voter education. The group will also help to moderate debates between College Republicans and College Democrats. To get involved, contact President Cole Troutner at [email protected].
7. FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- Dr. Molly Monahan Lang, Assistant Teaching Professor of Sociology, participated in an Our Erie podcast this month titled “Decolonizing Education and Contextualizing History,” which centered on the book Black Indians by William Loren Katz.
- Dr. Robert Speel, Associate Professor of Political Science, published an article in the British magazine Index on Censorship last month titled "Out with the Old?" about the history of lies, rumors, and intimidation in American elections, including 2020. This month, he published an article titled "With His Win, Georgia's Raphael Warnock Becomes Member of Select Club: Pastor Politician," that appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Boston Globe, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Buffalo News, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), the Jewish Forward, the website Blavity, and many other news sites. In the past six weeks, Dr. Speel has been interviewed for news articles about last November's election, Trump's legacy, the Capitol riot of January 6, and the Biden inauguration that have appeared for the TT News agency in newspapers across Sweden, in Dagsavisen in Oslo, Norway, in Politifact, in Sojourners magazine, and in the Erie Times-News, the Sunbury Daily Item, and the York Daily Record in Pennsylvania.
- Dr. Lena Surzhko-Harned, Assistant Teaching Professor of Political Science, has published two articles in the past six weeks: "President Trump's Use of the Authoritarian Playbook Will Have Lasting Consequences," co-authored with Luis Jimenez from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and published in the Palm Beach Post and websites like Alternet and The Street, and a second article titled "The U.S. Is Falling Apart: How Russian Media is Portraying the U.S. Capitol Siege," published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The National Interest and Raw Story websites and many other news sites.
8. FACEBOOK PAGE
All students and alumni are invited to like the Penn State Behrend political science Facebook page and get updated news and find out about events.