Political Science Newsletter - October 2017

THIS MONTH'S HEADLINES:

1. C-SPAN'S STEVE SCULLY TO VISIT CAMPUS ON NOVEMBER 10
2. PENN STATE BEHREND STUDY ABROAD IN CANADA AND UKRAINE IN SUMMER 2018
3. NEW PUBLIC POLICY DIRECTOR AT BEHREND
4. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND PUBLIC POLICY WEEK AT PSU
5. STUDENT GROUP NEWS
6. FACULTY IN THE NEWS
7. ALUMNI IN THE NEWS
8. ELECTION DAY
9. IMPRESSIONS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE FROM DR. JOHN GAMBLE
10. FACEBOOK PAGE

 

1. C-SPAN'S STEVE SCULLY TO VISIT CAMPUS ON NOVEMBER 10

Steve Scully, senior executive producer and political editor at C-SPAN in Washington, D.C., will be on the Penn State Behrend campus on Friday, November 10, from 1:00-2:30 p.m., in Reed 114. He will speak and answer questions at a forum for students and the campus community. Scully, an Erie native, has been nicknamed "The Most Patient Man on Television," in several segments on HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. The event is sponsored by the Political Science Society.

 

2. PENN STATE BEHREND STUDY ABROAD IN CANADA AND UKRAINE IN SUMMER 2018

Dr. Robert Speel, Associate Professor of Political Science, will lead a Penn State study abroad course in Toronto between May 13 - June 9, 2018. The course is taught on the Ryerson University campus in downtown Toronto, where students will share a classroom, class discussions, and class excursions with Canadian students. The North American Politics 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, 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, and control of the Arctic. Full details about the course will be in the November newsletter. Details from the 2016 version of the course can be found on the Toronto course website.

Dr. Lena Surzhko-Harned, Assistant Teaching Professor of Political Science, will lead a University of Pittsburgh course open to Penn State Behrend students titled Competing Perspectives on Global Energy: From Western PA to Eastern Europe, between May 14-27, 2018. Students will visit energy companies and energy policymakers in Washington County, PA, Washington, D.C., Brussels, Belgium (EU Headquarters), and Kyiv, Ukraine. Participants will make site visits to companies, extraction and transportation facilities, various government, and civic organizations and participate in lectures by local stakeholders and specialists. At the end of the course, participants will have a much broader understanding of the global impact of energy developments and more clearly understand how local activities such as those related to Marcellus Shale can have far-reaching consequences in different sectors and geographic locations. Penn State students can register for the course at University of Pittsburgh and pay Pittsburgh tuition, but have the course transferred into Penn State for credit. The application deadline is December 1. For more details, visit: http://www.abroad.pitt.edu/globalenergy.

 

3. NEW PUBLIC POLICY DIRECTOR AT BEHREND

Caitlin Handerhan has begun work as the new Public Policy Director at Penn State Behrend. She will be on campus regularly starting in mid-November. Ms. Handerhan has a masters of public administration degree from Cornell University, where she wrote her thesis about the Affordable Care Act, and an undergraduate degree in political science from Mercyhurst University. She has worked extensively in local government and in local politics in Erie. One of her first goals will be to compile a database of local internships in government, politics, and public policy to help Penn State Behrend students find positions in northwest Pennsylvania. There will be more details about the Public Policy Center and the role of the Director in upcoming newsletters.

 

4. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND PUBLIC POLICY WEEK AT PSU

October 30 - November 3 is International Relations & Public Policy Week at Penn State. The University is highlighting a number of scholarships and fellowships for which political science students are especially suited and eligible. Details can be found in this International Relations and Public Policy Week news article.  Students who are interested in any of these opportunities should make an appointment to see Ruth Pflueger at the Learning Resource Center on the second floor of Lilley Library.

 

5. STUDENT GROUP NEWS

The Political Science Society is sponsoring a GTI (Guns, Taxes, and Immigration) debate between College Republicans and College Democrats on Tuesday, October 31, at 7:00 p.m., in Burke 001. Costumes will be welcome. The PSS will also be selling popcorn to raise money for UNICEF at the event.  

The Political Science Society meets every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Kochel 055. For more details, contact President Jack Walker at [email protected].

College Republicans is working on local political campaigns for next week's election. For details about upcoming meetings and events, contact President JP Jarecki at [email protected].

College Democrats is also working on local political campaigns for next week's election. For details about upcoming meetings and events, contact President Jillian Dunn at [email protected].

Model United Nations meets every Monday at 7:00 p.m. in Reed 114. This weekend, the Penn State Behrend Model UN finished first place at an intercollegiate scrimmage hosted by Mercyhurst University. MUN will be participating at a national conference at Harvard University next February. For details about getting involved, contact Vice President Carlos Mora at cam[email protected].

 

6. FACULTY IN THE NEWS

Dr. Zachary Irwin, Associate Professor Emeritus of Political Science, will present a paper titled "The Macedonian Orthodox Church in the New Millennium" at the Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies in November in Chicago.

Dr. Kilic Kanat, Associate Professor of Political Science, will present "Turkey's Relationship with the US and NATO" at the Birmingham Committee on Foreign Relations in Alabama on November 16. Dr. Kanat continues to write regular columns for Daily Sabah, an English-language newspaper in Turkey. Those columns, of which the most recent is titled "(Dis)advantages of the Iran Nuclear Deal for the US," can be found on the Daily Sabah website.

Dr. Robert Roecklein, Associate Teaching Professor of English and Political Science, will present a paper titled "The Epicurean Core of Kantian Anthropology" at the Annual Convention of the Northeastern Political Science Association in November in Philadelphia.

Dr. Nicole Rosen, Assistant Research Professor in Sociology, will be speaking at Bridges over Barriers, a TED-X Erie event on November 4 at McDowell High School. The topic of her presentation will be "A School Like No Other: The Impact of Music on Diehl Elementary School." The details of TED-X Erie can be found at www.tedxerie.com.

Dr. Nicole Shoenberger, Assistant Professor of Sociology, was a speaker and panelist for a presentation titled "Casual Marijuana Use: A Crime or Civil Infraction?" along with Pennsylvania State Representative Ed Gainey, Rev. Dale Snyder of St. James AME Church, and Dr. Michael Balsan, chair of the Pediatrics Department at UPMC Hamot. The event was sponsored by several Erie community groups and held at the Jefferson Educational Society in Erie.

Dr. Robert Speel, Associate Professor of Political Science, was interviewed for Erie News Now, the local news broadcast for WSEE and WICU before his October 13 presentation to the Jefferson Educational Society in Erie on the topic of "The Red and the Blue: Which Americans Vote for Which Party and Why?"

 

7. ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

State Senator Guy Reschenthaler, a Penn State Behrend Political Science Alumnus, has announced that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. House of Representatives from the 18th District of Pennsylvania, after the previous House member resigned. More details can be found in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Penn State Behrend Political Science Alumnus Juan Niño, who is working as a campaign tracker for the Ohio Democratic Party, was in the news this month in Cleveland, when a Republican campaign staff member for a U.S. Senate candidate tried to push away Niño's camera before a campaign event. Details can be found on Cleveland.com.

 

8. ELECTION DAY

Tuesday, November 7, is Election Day in Pennsylvania. Many offices will be on the ballot, including Erie County Executive, Mayor of City of Erie, Erie County Clerk of Courts, County Council in some areas, City and Borough Councils, Township Supervisors, School Boards, 10 State Judges, and a referendum to amend the Pennsylvania State Constitution. For students who live on campus or at University Gates or Hudson Lofts, the Penn State Behrend campus will offer a shuttle to the polling place. Watch for details from SGA and the Office of Student Activities.

 

9. IMPRESSIONS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE FROM DR. JOHN GAMBLE

I was honored to be invited to attend a memorial service for Sir Elihu Lauterpacht who died last February at age 88. I first met Eli, as he ordered me to call him, almost 20 years ago. Twice I lectured at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at Cambridge. I should like to offer some observations about Cambridge and the memorable events celebrating the life of a friend.

First a bit about the university. This was the sixth time I have visited so it was hardly new to me. I must have walked 20 miles over three days observing and reacquainting myself. Students don’t look much different from those I see everyday at Behrend— about 80% were using Macs. But Cambridge is old; it recently celebrated its 800th anniversary! Total enrollment is about 20,000 students and tuition for Brits is about $13,000 per year. Beginning undergraduates are assigned to one of 31 colleges where they will live, eat, and get to know one another.

The equivalent to president of Cambridge is the Vice-Chancellor. I was amazed to discover the new Vice-Chancellor, who took office on Oct. 2, is Stephen Toope, an old friend of mine. I met him 25 years at McGill University in Montreal. He is 346th Vice-Chancellor and the first non-Brit. to hold that position.

The Memorial Service for Eli was held in the chapel of Trinity College. It was the most moving church service I have attended—and the least comfortable seats. There was music, prayers in English and Hebrew and there was laughter including a joke about a priest, a minister, and a rabbi.

The reminiscences from of Eli’s family and friends were fascinating. His father, Sir Hersch Lauterpacht, was a world-famous international law scholar who left continental Europe for Britain when Jews in Polish Universities were prohibited from taking exams. Eli was born in 1928. His parents sent him to Brooklyn, NY, from 1942-45 to protect their only son from the dangers of World War II. When Eli returned to England, his father was appalled by his Brooklyn accent and immediately sent him for voice lessons so he spoke like a proper English gentleman. Eli was a gentleman and in far more ways than his accent.

Three random thoughts that occurred to me as I walked the cobblestones. This is where Isaac Newton invented calculus. This is where Stephen Hawking lives today. What greater irony could there be: the person who best understands the universe can communicate only by blinking. And the names for academic units— it is the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Physics, etc. Perhaps some things should not be changed.

Dr. Gamble is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and International Law at Penn State Behrend. He visited Cambridge earlier this month.

 

10. 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.