THIS MONTH'S HEADLINES:
- STUDY ABROAD IN TORONTO NEXT SUMMER - APPLICATIONS DUE IN JANUARY
- FIRST TEN COMPLETED BEHREND APPLICATIONS FOR TORONTO GET $500 GRANTS
- PLSC 202 NEXT SEMESTER REQUIRED FOR NEW PENN STATE MINOR IN POLITICS AND PUBLIC POLICY
- FORMER PLSC PROFESSOR AND PHILANTHROPIST CHARLES BROCK PASSES AWAY
- PRE-LAW ADVISER NEWS
- FACULTY AND STUDENTS IN THE NEWS
- STUDENT GROUP NEWS
- FACEBOOK PAGE
Applications for the North American Politics course and program in Toronto next May and June are now open on the Penn State Global Programs website.
The deadline to apply is January 24, 2024. Interested students should open applications now because they require a faculty recommendation (a recommendation letter is not required; just completion of a brief form).
The course, taught by Dr. Robert Speel, takes place on the Toronto Metropolitan University campus in downtown Toronto between May 12—June 8, 2024, and 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, relations between national governments and states and provinces, 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.
A lot of financial aid is available from Penn State Global Programs for students in the course. All students, including those who are not Pennsylvania residents, pay in-state Pennsylvania summer tuition for the course.
Behrend alumna Barbara Welton has given generous donations to cover the expenses of many cultural and historical excursions while in Toronto.
Students stay for a month in single private rooms with private bathrooms on the Toronto Metropolitan University campus in downtown Toronto.
Questions can be directed to Dr. Speel at [email protected].
The Summer Study Abroad Program in Toronto is among the most affordable Summer Study Abroad programs offered to Penn State students, possibly the most affordable of all programs due to low travel costs to get to Toronto and to grant money that will cover a majority of the program fee for ten Behrend students. The program fee pays the full cost for one month’s residence in downtown Toronto on the Toronto Metropolitan University campus.
Tuition costs are 3 credits of in-state Penn State Summer tuition. Penn State offers a lot of financial assistance for eligible students to cover tuition costs. Applications for that assistance are on the same site as applications for the course. Students who are not residents of Pennsylvania pay in-state Pennsylvania tuition for Penn State summer study abroad courses.
The program fee to pay for a one-month stay in downtown Toronto is $900. However, the first ten Behrend students with completed applications will get $500 grants and will only pay $400 due to funding from the Penn State Behrend Humanities and Social Sciences Endowment Fund. That $400 will pay for a private room with private bathroom in downtown Toronto for a month while the course takes place. The $500 grants will appear as credits on tuition bills for students who are in the course.
The remaining costs of the program are mainly for personal food and travel expenses and will not get billed by Penn State. Travel to Toronto in a variety of ways is not expensive. Students can keep food costs down through use of a kitchen on each floor of the residence, through a supermarket across the street and grocery store down the block, and due to a very large number of food courts, food halls, and takeout restaurants in the downtown Toronto area.
Details about costs can also be found on the application website.
Penn State has approved a new minor in Politics and Public Policy. The minor is available at Behrend and at University Park and at any other Penn State campus that offers the needed courses.
Students interested in this minor should be sure to take PLSC 1 next semester if they haven’t already, and to take PLSC 202 if they have already taken PLSC 1. While PLSC 1 is usually taught every semester, PLSC 202 is usually offered once every two years.
The requirements of the minor are:
- PLSC 1 - 3 credits
- PLSC 202 - 3 credits
- STAT 200 - 4 credits
- 9 credits (3 courses) from an approved list, including at least 6 credits at the 400-level
The approved list includes the following courses taught regularly at Behrend:
ECON 102, ECON 104, PLSC 177N, PLSC 223N, PLSC 419, PLSC 442, PLSC 473, PLSC 482, PLSC 489, SUST 150N
The full list of approved courses, including those taught at other Penn State campuses, can be found in the Penn State Bulletin.
Charles Brock, who taught political science courses part-time for us for many years, died in Erie on November 1 at age 88. Reverend Brock grew up in Erie, got his undergraduate degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and a divinity degree at Harvard University before teaching at Oxford University in England for many years. After returning to Erie, he first taught religious studies courses at Behrend. But his interest in the many policy problems facing Erie and the United States and in an interdisciplinary approach to studying policy problems led him to start teaching a political science course at Behrend that combined different approaches to policy issues and included many invited guest speakers. Reverend Brock also donated the funds that began the Public Policy Initiative at Behrend. Many former students remember him and his course fondly, and we all offer condolences to his family and friends. Read Reverend Brock's full obituary.
For students who are juniors and who are considering law school in the fall of 2025, this is the time to start planning for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), which most law schools require. Generally, it is recommended that students take the LSAT the summer before their senior year (or in the early fall of your senior year) so you will have your test scores back in advance of your law school applications being due. Usually, the summer and fall tests are held in June, August, and September. In 2024, there will be changes to the LSAT format and so you may want to consider these changes in scheduling when you take your LSAT. Beginning with the August 2024 test, the logic games section will be replaced with a second logic reasoning section. Prior to August 2024, the test will still include the logic games section.
Also, preparing for the LSAT in advance is critical. It is recommended that students start preparing for the LSAT six months in advance of when they plan to take the test. Resources for LSAT prep are available through the Law School Admission Council's website.
If you have questions about the LSAT or law school, Attorney Melissa Shirey has office hours on Fridays from noon to 2:00 p.m. in 155 Kochel. She will have office hours on Friday, December 1, and Friday, December 8, and will then resume office hours after break in January. You may also email her at [email protected].
Dr. Maggie Shum, assistant professor of Political Science, participated in the Hong Kong Studies Conference at Princeton University. She presented her work "Resistance from Afar: Transnational Mobilization of Hong Kong Diaspora during and after the 2019 Anti-ELAB Movement," in which she examines how the Hong Kong diaspora's protest tactics and goals are evolved when the movement take on a transnational dimension.
Dr. Lena Surzhko-Harned, associate teaching professor of Political Science, spoke with WQLN's Marcus Atkinson on his NEXT podcast. This week, she will be in Philadelphia at the annual meeting of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies to present her co-authored research on Russian speakers in Ukraine on a panel entitled “The Changing Nature of Ukrainian Politics in Wartime and Beyond."
Behrend Political Science student Eric Oelhaf published commentary in the Wall Street Journal’s “Future View” from students about why we don’t trust science anymore earlier this month.
The Behrend Political Society has chosen new officers:
- President: Bella Eibl
- Vice President: Madyson Hall
- Secretary: Kendall DeMarco
- Treasurer: Karissa Will
To get involved, contact President Bella Eibl at [email protected].
To get involved with College Republicans, contact President Anthony Farrar at [email protected].
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.