THIS MONTH'S HEADLINES:
- WE’RE GROWING
- TWO NEW PLSC COURSES ADDED TO THE FALL 2022 SCHEDULE
- DR. LENA SURZHKO-HARNED WILL GIVE CAMPUS PRESENTATION ABOUT WAR IN UKRAINE
- POLSC MAJOR OPTIONS AND COURSE REQUIREMENTS
- ERIE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION 5K RUN
- STUDENT NEWS
- FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- STUDENT GROUP NEWS
- FACEBOOK PAGE
1. WE’RE GROWING
The Penn State Behrend Political Science program plans to have two new full-time faculty members in Fall 2022 and will also be welcoming an increased role in Political Science by a current Behrend faculty member.
We have been approved for a tenure-line faculty member in Political Science, and the search process has begun with a planned start date of Fall 2022. The search is for an assistant professor with a Ph.D. who will do research in some aspect of public policy and who can teach courses about either Latin America, Africa, or South Asia. View the advertisement for the job. Current students may have the opportunity to meet some of the job applicants in April.
We are pleased to welcome Mikaela Karstens to our faculty in the Fall, as the School of Humanities and Social Sciences' first Penn State Commonwealth Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow. This new program has been designed to provide teaching and research opportunities for new Ph.D.s from Penn State’s College of Liberal Arts. Professor Karstens is completing her dissertation titled "Exploring the Relationship Between States and Territorial Contenders.” She will be teaching two courses per semester (see headline #2) and will be working with other Humanities and Social Sciences faculty on her research. She also looks forward to working on research projects with students and to offering a course about political science research in Spring 2023.
Dr. Robert Roecklein has been teaching English composition at Penn State Behrend for many years, but has a Ph.D. in political science from Rutgers University, and has been teaching one political theory course per semester. Starting in Fall 2022, we are pleased that Dr. Roecklein will begin teaching two political science courses every semester and will have the new title of Teaching Professor of English and Political Science. Dr. Roecklein is the author of five books about political theory since 2010, most recently Kant’s Philosophy and the Momentum of Modernity, published in 2019.
2. TWO NEW PLSC COURSES ADDED TO THE FALL 2022 SCHEDULE
One of our new professors, Mikaela Karstens, will be teaching two new courses for Penn State Behrend in Fall 2022. These have been added to the Fall schedule, so please consider them when planning what to take next semester. The new courses include:
PLSC 291: Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies (GS): This course is an examination of how human beings get into and out of violent conflicts, and how conflicts transform. It sizes up the costs of war, examines the processes and challenges of peace, and reflects on the characteristics of human conflicts at all levels. The course is interdisciplinary, drawing together perspectives from political science, global and international studies, cultural anthropology, psychology, sociology, economics, military history, war game theory, and studies of literature and expressive culture. Course modules engage with diplomacy, nonviolence, failed states, ethnic struggle, gender mainstreaming, psychology and sociology of human aggression, economics of war and peace, globalization and conflict, and cyber warfare.
PLSC 451: The Politics of Human Rights: This course examines the politics of human rights and repression, focusing on the causes and consequences of state-sponsored violence and human rights violations. These courses can both be used to complete requirements for supporting courses in the Behrend POLSC major, the University Park PLSC major, and the Politics and Government (POGO) minor. Both courses will also be on the approved list of courses used to fill requirements in the International Relations option, and PLSC 291 will be on the list of approved courses to fulfill requirements in the Public Policy option (see headline #4).
3. DR. LENA SURZHKO-HARNED WILL GIVE CAMPUS PRESENTATION ABOUT WAR IN UKRAINE
On Monday, March 28, at 7:00 p.m., Dr. Lena Surzhko-Harned, assistant teaching professor of political science and faculty affiliate of the Public Policy Fund at Penn State Behrend, will give a Ukraine Update in 180 Burke. The event is in person, free, and open to the public. Dr. Surzhko-Harned is originally from Ukraine and teaches courses about Russian, Ukrainian, and European politics.
4. POLSC MAJOR OPTIONS AND COURSE REQUIREMENTS
The Penn State Behrend POLSC major currently has 4 options:
- Politics and Government (General Option) - This option allows students to choose their own concentrations of coursework within political science and helps to prepare students for a variety of careers, including government employment, social studies secondary education, activist politics, and graduate school in political science.
- Crime and Law - This option requires coursework in criminology and law and helps to prepare students for careers in law or criminal justice, including students planning on law school.
- International Relations - This option requires coursework in international politics and comparative politics and prepares students for careers with international institutions or in business in other countries, and for graduate school work in international affairs.
- Public Policy - This option requires coursework related to how to make government and policy decisions effectively and prepares students for careers with government offices, businesses, interest groups, or think tanks related to public policy, or in public administration, or for graduate degree programs in public policy or public administration.
Each option requires completion of 36 credits of PL SC courses and 6 credits of general education courses from other relevant fields. To find out which courses fulfill requirements in each option, view the major options.
It is recommended that POLSC majors and intended POLSC majors at Penn State Behrend bookmark that link to help plan their future schedules.
5. ERIE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION 5K RUN
Each year, the Erie County Bar Association hosts the Attorneys & Kids Together (AKT) 5k Run/Walk. Proceeds from this event go to the AKT program, which supports homeless Erie County students throughout the year. Some of the money raised goes to backpacks, school uniforms, prom tickets, and attire, SAT fees, cap & gowns, winter coats, etc., for the students.
This event on Saturday, May 21, is open to anyone across the country, and there is a virtual option as well.
6. STUDENT NEWS
Penn State Behrend Political Science Major Spencer Finley has been appointed a paid intern for the administrative offices of the U.S. Senate on Capitol Hill this summer. As an intern, he will be working in Senate administration offices and will be included in special programs, events, and tours on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Spencer was nominated for this position by one of our Penn State Behrend political science alumni who works for the U.S. Senate.
7. FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- Dr. Kilic Kanat, associate professor of political science, has been interviewed several times in the past month in the Turkish media about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On March 17, he was a panelist for a forum organized by the SETA Foundation in Washington, D.C., titled “Turkey’s Policy and Geopolitical Implications for NATO,” which can be seen on YouTube. This weekend he was part of a roundtable meeting titled “From Regional to Global: Impacts of the War in Ukraine on the Middle East,” organized by the Turkish government as part of the international Doha Forum in Qatar.
- Dr. Robert Speel, associate professor of political science, was interviewed about President Biden’s State of the Union address earlier this month for Erie News Now on television, and for two articles that appeared in several Pennsylvania newspapers, including the Sunbury Daily Item and the New Castle News.
- Dr. Lena Surzhko-Harned, assistant teaching professor of political science, published an article earlier this month titled “How a Cathedral of Guns and Glory Symbolizes Putin’s Russia.” The article appeared in several newspapers and on several news sites, including the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Asia Times, and the Cartegena Post in Colombia. Dr. Surzhko-Harned also organized and hosted two online Public Policy Fund forums about the Ukraine War in March, and was a guest to discuss the war on Next with Marcus Atkinson, a WQLN podcast. She was also a panel chair earlier this month for the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society’s National Student Research Conference. On March 7, she spoke at the Jefferson Educational Society in Erie on the topic of “Ukraine and Russia: Troubling Signs, Frustrations, and History of a Conflict."
8. STUDENT GROUP NEWS
- College Republicans meets weekly on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. in Burke 102. They plan to volunteer for local political campaigns in upcoming weeks. To get involved, contact President Garrett Watson at [email protected].
- College Democrats meets online every other week on Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. To get involved with the group and find out the Zoom link for meetings, contact President Mallory Flesik at [email protected].
- The Behrend Political Society meets every other week this semester on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. To get involved, contact President Madison Kwiecinski at [email protected].
- To get involved with Behrend Model United Nations, contact faculty adviser Dr. Lena Surzhko-Harned at [email protected].
9. 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.