THIS MONTH'S HEADLINES:
The annual political science dinner will be held at The Olive Garden on Peach Street on Wednesday, April 24, at 7:00 p.m. Graduating political science majors are the guests of honor, but all are invited to attend, and most political science faculty members should be there as well. Friends and significant others are also welcome. We use the regular menu, and people pay for their own meals. Dressing up is not necessary. To attend, RSVP to Dr. Speel no later than Monday, April 22.
A group of 18 Penn State students were in Washington, D.C., during Spring Break as part of the course PL SC 177, Politics and Government in Washington, D.C.
While there, students toured the:
- White House
- State Department Diplomatic Reception Rooms
- Library of Congress
- National Building Museum
- Monuments and Memorials
- Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
- U.S. Capitol
- Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument
Students met with:
- U.S. Senator Bob Casey
- U.S. Senator Pat Toomey
Students visited the:
- World Bank
- Ford's Theatre
- National Archives
- U.S. Supreme Court (and had lunch in the Supreme Court cafeteria)
- House and Senate Galleries (and saw all House members on the floor in a series of votes)
- Arlington National Cemetery
Students had briefings with officials from:
- Embassy of Romania
- State Department Bureau of Overseas Building Operations
- State Department Office of International Labor Affairs
- Bank of America Office of Mortgage Policy
- Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars
Students met Penn State Behrend Political Science Alumni, including:
- Guy Reschenthaler, U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania
- Lauren Piera Jowell, International Relations Officer, Department of Labor
- Mauricio Cortes, State Department
- Yuri Unno, Director for International Trade Policy, Toyota Motor North America
- Sam Epps, Political Director, Unite Here Local 25 (union that represents employees of Trump International Hotel)
- Pete Weichlein, CEO of U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress
- Derek Pangallo, U.S. Senate Office of Public Records
- Paul Witt, Federal Trade Commission
- Willie Hubbart, Research Analyst, FBI
- Michael Boadu, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Police
- Mark Marshall, Intelligence Educator, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Students also met:
- Steve Scully, Senior Executive Producer and Political Editor, C-SPAN (and a native of Erie)
- Brian Lamb, Founder and Former CEO, C-SPAN
- Tom Petri, former U.S. Representative from Wisconsin
- Stanley White, former Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Bob Brady of Philadelphia
During free time, students visited Smithsonian Museums and went to a performance of the Capitol Steps comedy group.
We wish to thank those who donated or provided funding for student travel costs to allow students to afford this educational trip:
- Barbara Welton, Erie Attorney and Penn State Behrend Political Science Alumna
- Penn State Behrend Office of Student Affairs
- Penn State Behrend Humanities and Social Sciences Endowment Fund
Some photos from the visit can be found on the Penn State Erie Political Science Facebook page and will soon be posted on the School website.
The Public Policy Fund continues to sponsor a series of events about the Environment in March and April.
Tuesday, March 26, 5:00 p.m., Metzgar Center - "Perils of Plastic," a presentation by Dr. Sherri Mason, the new College Sustainability Coordinator at Behrend. Dr. Mason received the prestigious Heinz Award in the Public Policy category for her groundbreaking research identifying the presence of microbeads and microfibers in fresh water, and for raising awareness of their potential health impact, resulting in state, federal and international policy change. She is also a member of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) Working Group 40, a body that advises the United Nations on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection.
Wednesday, April 3, 5;00 p.m., Metzgar Center - "Condor Preservation & Public Policy," presented by Dr. Arpan Yagnik, Assistant Professor of Advertising, Communication. The event will include displays about the use of advertising for public policy to protect the California condor.
Wednesday, April 10, 5:00 p.m., Metzgar Center - "You Are How You Eat," presented by Katie Chriest, Sustainable Food Systems Program Coordinator at Penn State Behrend
The Behrend Political Society meets Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. in 060 Kochel. The group is planning a student-oriented debate on environmental issues on Wednesday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m., in 114 Reed. Students will debate the following questions:
- Does trophy hunting benefit the economy, or is it just inhumane?
- Is nuclear energy a clean energy alternative?
- Should we enact a carbon tax?
All are welcome to attend and participate in the debate. To get involved, contact President Rachel Mills at [email protected].
College Democrats meet alternating Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. in 059 Kochel. The group plans to set up a voting table on campus in April to find out which Democratic presidential candidate has the most support at Behrend. To get involved, contact President Tiffany Zinn at [email protected].
College Republicans continue to hold "Change My Mind" events on Friday afternoons. One Friday in April will feature a question about abortion. They are planning a College Republicans Retreat during the week of June 21–23 that will involve visits to historic sites from the French & Indian War in southwest PA. The group meets on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. in 112 Reed. To get involved with College Republicans, contact President Bailey Rollage at [email protected].
Model United Nations will be hosting the Second Annual High School Model UN at Behrend on April 12 at 180 Burke. Among participating schools are General McLane, McDowell, Fairview, Girard, Mercyhurst Preparatory School, Collegiate Academy, and Gilmour Academy. The students are simulating ECOSOC. Dr. Eric Corty, Director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, will deliver the keynote address. To get involved with future events, contact Faculty Adviser Dr. Lena Surzhko-Harned at [email protected].
Dr. John Gamble, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Law, Dr. Robert Speel, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Dr. Lena Surzhko-Harned, Assistant Teaching Professor of Political Science, will be participating with others on a roundtable panel discussion titled Re-Calibrating Our Audiences for the 21st Century, about teaching international studies, at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in Toronto later this week.
Dr. Robert Speel, Associate Professor of Political Science, was interviewed in the past month for an article in the Sunbury Daily Item about former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic candidate for Vice President. His 2016 article about the electoral college was also quoted this month in a column for New York magazine.
All students and alumni are invited to like the Penn State Behrend political science Facebook page to get updated news and find out about upcoming events.