This Month's Headlines:
- APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR TORONTO STUDY ABROAD COURSE DURING SUMMER 2020
- CAREER PATHS OF POLSC ALUMNI
- U.S. CENSUS DATA ON SALARIES FOR POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJORS
- FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- STUDENT GROUP NEWS
- FACEBOOK PAGE
1. APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR TORONTO STUDY ABROAD COURSE DURING SUMMER 2020
North American Politics (PL SC 299/499) will again be offered as a Penn State study abroad program between May 17–June 13, 2020 and taught by Dr. Robert Speel. The course, which takes place on the Ryerson University campus in downtown Toronto, combines Penn State and Canadian students in one classroom for discussions about 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, 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.
Costs will be tuition and fees for 3 credits of Penn State University Park in-state tuition (even for out of state students) and a $950 program fee that covers the cost of the Ryerson University residence for one month. The first ten accepted Behrend students to apply will get automatic scholarships of $325 toward the program fee cost, making it $625. Funds for those scholarships come from a donation by Penn State Behrend alumna and Erie attorney Barbara Welton and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences Endowment Fund. Generous and plentiful financial assistance is also available from Penn State for summer study abroad programs and from the Behrend financial aid office. Financial assistance with living costs in Toronto is available from the Penn State Student Engagement Network at engage.psu.edu. Students pay for their own food costs while in Toronto. There are kitchens in the residence, and there are several nearby fast food courts.
More details and the application form can be found on the Global Penn State website or the Political Science page on the Penn State Behrend website.
If you have questions, contact Dr. Robert Speel at [email protected], or make an appointment with Ruth Pflueger, Director of Study Abroad and the Learning Resource Center at Lilley Library or [email protected]. Brochures are available at the H&SS School Office, 170 Kochel Center.
2. CAREER PATHS OF POLSC ALUMNI
Every few years, the Political Science Program at Penn State Erie researches the career paths of our alumni. This semester, we are providing some of the results of our September 2019 study in each monthly newsletter.
There are 466 living POLSC alumni since the first major graduated in 1977.
We were able to determine the current jobs of 378 (81%) of those alumni.*
Of those 378 alumni, the most common career paths are:
- Business professionals (n=116, 31%)
- Government service (n=76, 20%)
- Law (n=74, 20%)
- Education (n=52, 14%)
- Politics and policy (n=15, 4%)
- Other (n=66, 17%)
Note that numbers add up to over 100% because 20 alumni were counted in two categories, mostly government attorneys in both the law and government service fields.
*A few older alumni have retired – they are counted in the fields of their most recent jobs
Among the 116 alumni who work as business professionals, 20 work in banking or finance, 13 work in insurance, and 13 work as sales professionals.
Some of the business professionals hold the following positions:
- Senior Sales Analyst, Southeast Toyota
- Commercial Underwriter, Erie Insurance
- Program Manager, Raytheon
- Manager, Global Operations Strategy, United Airlines
- Senior Loan Officer, H&R Block
- Senior Portfolio Manager, Northwest Bank
- Program Planner, Lockheed Martin
Politics and Policy
Outside of government service, 12 alumni currently work in public policy, and 3 alumni work as political activists.
Among the positions of our alumni in politics and policy outside of government employment are:
- Director for International Trade Policy, Toyota Motor North America
- Government Relations Specialist, Erie Insurance
- Senior Analyst, The Investigative Project on Terrorism
- Associate, Enviroissues
- Political Director at Unite Here (union), Local 25, in Washington, D.C.
Other Career Areas
Other alumni work in a variety of fields, with health care, non-profit professionals, and entertainment among the most numerous careers. Jobs held by some of our alumni in these other fields include:
- Executive Director, Neighborhood Learning Alliance in Pittsburgh
- Executive Vice President for International Distribution, Dick Clark Productions
- General Manager, The Erie Club
- Senior Writer/Producer, Turner Classic Movies
- Manager, Batavia Muckdogs minor league baseball team
- Research Specialist, Saint Vincent Hospital
- Licensed Social Worker, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
- Staff Writer, Ballotpedia
Next month's newsletter will include information about alumni with careers in education and about graduate schools attended by recent alumni.
3. U.S. CENSUS DATA ON SALARIES FOR POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJORS
The United States Census now compiles data on salaries for various undergraduate majors. In a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, political science and international affairs majors nationwide ranked among the top 20 highest mid-career median salaries from among over 70 ranked undergraduate majors. Full data can be found on the Federal Reserve Bank site.
4. FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- Dr. Jacob Lewis, Assistant Teaching Professor of Political Science, will publish an article co-authored by Brandon Ives of the University of Maryland titled "From Rallies to Riots: Why Some Protests Become Violent" in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution.
- Dr. Robert Roecklein, Teaching Professor of English and Political Science, presented a paper titled "Hegel's Theory of Life in the Phenomenology: Its Roots and Pragmatic Implications," on November 8 at the Northeastern Political Science Association annual conference in Philadelphia.
- Dr. Robert Speel, Associate Professor of Political Science, was interviewed for two articles in the Sunbury (PA) Daily Item this month about the Trump impeachment hearings.
- Dr. Lena Surzhko-Harned, Assistant Teaching Professor of Political Science, has published an online article this month titled "Ukraine is Taking a Beating in the Impeachment Hearings: Here's What's at Stake," for the online news site, The Conversation.
5. STUDENT GROUP NEWS
- The Behrend Political Society meets on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in 055 Kochel. To get involved, contact President Rachel Mills at [email protected].
- Model United Nations meets Mondays at 7:00 p.m. in 112 Reed. Earlier this month, the team finished third at the Lake Erie International Model UN competition in Sandusky, Ohio. Penn State Behrend MUN members Carlos Mora, Marissa Litzenberg, Jeremiah Hassel, Henry Chiapa, and Grant Filbeck all won individual awards. To get involved, contact President Carlos Mora at [email protected].
- College Democrats meets Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. in 113 Reed. To get involved, contact President Tiffany Zinn at [email protected].
- College Republicans meets on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. in 114 Reed. The group plans to host another "Change My Mind" table outside of Bruno's in December. The "Change My Mind" topic earlier this week was about the Sandy Hook lawsuit against Remington. To get involved, contact President Andrew Griglio at [email protected].
6. FACEBOOK PAGE
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.