THIS MONTH'S HEADLINES:
1. NORTH AMERICAN POLITICS COURSE IN TORONTO, SUMMER 2018
2. GLOBAL ENERGY: FROM PENNSYLVANIA TO EASTERN EUROPE TALK WITH DR. SURZHKO-HARNED
3. FINNEGAN FOUNDATION FELLOWSHIP
4. FACULTY AND ALUMNI IN THE NEWS
5. FACEBOOK PAGE
6. HAPPY THANKSGIVING
This course (PL SC 299 or PL SC 499) will be offered between May 13 - June 9, 2018.
Spend a month in Toronto—and get credit for it! The class is an official Penn State Education Abroad course that can be used to fulfill requirements for the political science major or minor at any Penn State campus, the international politics major at University Park (PL SC 499 only), and requirements in some majors for an Education Abroad component, including the international business major at Penn State Behrend. The course may also meet requirements in other majors and minors. The course is open to students at all Penn State campuses.
The course will be co-taught by Dr. Robert Speel, associate professor of political science at Penn State Behrend, and by Ryerson University Professor Greg Inwood. The class will take place on the Ryerson campus in downtown Toronto and will include students from Penn State and Ryerson in the classroom together. American students from Penn State and Canadian students from Ryerson will participate together in class discussions and on class excursions and will take the same exams. Penn State students will be graded by Dr. Speel.
The course focuses on the comparative politics of the United States and Canada and on international relations between the two countries. Among the topics to be discussed will be a comparison of the development of separate political cultures in the two countries, comparisons of government institutions, election systems, federalism, and regionalism, and comparisons of each country's policy approaches toward the economy, health care, gun control, language, free speech, legal marijuana, abortion, medically assisted suicide, and the role of religion in education. Issues important in international relations between the two countries will also be discussed - this includes trade, border security, prevention of terrorism, and control of the Arctic. Class excursions will visit the Ontario Parliament Buildings and Fort York, site of an important battle in the War of 1812.
The grade for PL SC 299 will be determined by exams and class participation. An additional research paper will be assigned for students who enroll in PL SC 499; the paper will be due at the end of June.
The class will meet four days a week, three hours a day, Mondays-Thursdays, for fourteen days over four weeks, with a final exam on Friday, June 9. Students will have the option of staying in the Ryerson University residence an additional few days until June 12. Weekends will be free for students to explore Toronto on their own.
The Ryerson University Residence and Location
Students will live during the month in the International Living Learning Centre (ILLC) student residence on the Ryerson campus. Students will each have their own motel-style single rooms with private bathrooms. Each floor of the residence also has a kitchenette, laundry machines, and a television lounge area.
The ILLC residence is located just two blocks from Yonge Street, the Eaton Centre, and Dundas Square. Yonge Street contains miles of restaurants and retail shops. The Eaton Centre is a large downtown mall on several floors that contains many stores and a fast food court. Dundas Square, patterned after New York City's Times Square, offers frequent free live performances by musicians and buskers and is surrounded by restaurants, stores, food courts, a movie theater, and many large electronic billboards. The ILLC is also a short walk from subway lines and streetcar lines to take you to other parts of Toronto.
Applications, Costs, and Financial Aid
To take the course and participate in the Education Abroad program, students will need to fill out online application forms and pay in-state Penn State University Park tuition for 3 credits next summer. (Non-residents of PA will also pay in-state tuition amounts.) However, there is widespread financial aid available to assist with the costs of tuition. Behrend and Penn State offer many tuition scholarships and grants for Education Abroad students. Most students have received financial assistance with tuition in past years, including 80% of Behrend students in 2016. Information about the scholarships and grants are included on the application website. You may contact Ruth Pflueger of the Learning Resource Center (located on the second floor of Lilley Library at Penn State Behrend) to obtain more information about financial assistance with tuition.
The program fee to cover the cost of a room at the Ryerson ILLC residence for the month in downtown Toronto will be $1150. However, nine Penn State Behrend students will be eligible to pay only $600 due to donations from the Humanities and Social Sciences Endowment Fund and from Penn State Behrend political science alumna Barbara Welton. Other Penn State students may also be eligible for financial assistance with the cost of the residence.
The deadline for submission of applications and for the course is February 1, 2018, although interested students should sign up as early as possible to guarantee a place in the course and financial assistance.
Applications can be found here: http://gpglobalea.gp.psu.edu/?go=TorontoSummer
Tuition and fees for the course go on regular university bursar bills - no payment will be required until after students are notified that their applications are accepted and learn of any financial aid awards.
More details about the course and photos from past programs can be found on the Toronto course website.
If you have any questions about the course or residence, please contact Dr. Robert Speel at [email protected].
On Thursday, November 30, 5:00-6:00 p.m., in Kochel 057, Dr. Lena Surzhko Harned, assistant teaching professor of political science, will be talking on "Global Energy: From Pennsylvania to Eastern Europe."
Energy policy provides a unique intersection of local and global politics. This lecture explores the recent development in energy production in Western PA and the influences on local politics, foreign policy of the United States, and geopolitical interplay of the United States, European Union, Russia, and Ukraine. As the United States seeks to expand its markets for liquified natural gas, European countries see this as a fresh opportunity to strengthen ties with the United States and cut their dependence on Russian gas imports and by extension Russian political pressures. For Ukraine, the energy dependence on Russia is evermore poignant, and in the past two years Ukraine has made several important steps to lessen its reliance on Russian gas by buying more gas from Europe and more recently coal from Western PA.
This event is co-sponsored by the Political Science Society and the Behrend Public Policy Fund.
The James A. Finnegan Fellowship Foundation offers paid summer internships in Harrisburg. For details, see this website: https://www.finneganfoundation.org/
Dr. Kilic Kanat, Associate Professor of Political Science, continues to write regular columns
for Daily Sabah, an English-language newspaper in Turkey.
Those columns, of which the most recent is titled "Headlines from Trump's Asia Trip," can be found on the Daily Sabah website.
Laurie Mikelski, a Penn State Behrend Political Science alumna, was elected last week as the new District Judge for most of Millcreek, PA. Mikielski has worked in both the Erie County District Attorney's Office and in the Erie County Public Defender's Office.
Dr. Robert Speel, Associate Professor of Political Science, was interviewed for three different articles earlier this month in the Sunbury Daily Item about Trump's support base in PA, Trump's leadership style during his first year as president, and next year's U.S. Senate race in PA. He also was interviewed for a article in the Hong Kong newspaper HK01 about the Russian collusion scandal - that article (in Chinese) can be found at hk01.com.
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.