THIS MONTH'S HEADLINES:
- SPRING 2023 COURSES
- SPRING BREAK TRIP AND COURSE IN WASHINGTON
- WELCOME TO NEW POLSC FACULTY MEMBER
- REPRESENTATIVE MIKE KELLY TO SPEAK AT BEHREND
- ENROLLING IN THE POLSC MAJOR
- CAREERS OF BEHREND POLSC ALUMNI
- FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- STUDENT GROUP NEWS
- FACEBOOK PAGE
1. SPRING 2023 COURSES
Here is a list of Political Science, Sociology, and Criminal Justice courses that we intend to offer at Penn State Behrend in Spring 2023.
Spring 2023 Courses
- PLSC 436 - Civil Wars
- PLSC 456 - Politics and Institutions of Latin American Nations
- PLSC 467 - International Relations of the Middle East
- PLSC 484W - Foreign Policy of Soviet Successor States (W)
- PLSC 001 - American Politics (GS, US)
- PLSC 003 - Comparing Politics around the Globe (GS, IL)
- PLSC 014 - International Relations (GS, IL)
- PLSC 017N - Introduction to Political Theory (GS/GH)
- PLSC 132 - Politics of International Intolerance (GS, IL, Other Cultures)
- PLSC 177N - Politics and Government of Washington DC (GS/GH, US)
- PLSC 223N - Ethnic and Racial Politics (GS/GH, US, IL)
- PLSC 308 - Introduction to Political Research
- SOC 001 - Introductory Sociology (GS)
- SOC 406 - Sociology of Deviance
- CRIMJ 100 - Introduction to Criminal Justice (GS)
NOTE: All students in the Public Policy option of the POLSC major should be taking PLSC 223N next semester (if they have not taken it or PLSC 111 already).
2. SPRING BREAK TRIP AND COURSE IN WASHINGTON
PLSC 177N will include a required Spring Break trip to Washington, D.C., next March. The week in Washington will include visits with members of Congress and their staffs, visits with diplomats at embassies, meetings with executive branch officials at their offices, meetings with interest group and political party leaders and with many Behrend alumni who work in Washington, and tours of government buildings.
There is a 3-credit version of the course that includes classes on campus before and after Spring Break, and a 1-credit version of the course that involves the Spring Break trip and a paper written afterward.
We are currently determining details about the hotel where we will stay while in Washington. More information and the course fee for the hotel stay will be announced in October in this newsletter and in campus publicity.
Visit the course website to see information and photos from past trips.
3. WELCOME TO NEW POLSC FACULTY MEMBER
Dr. Maggie Shum joined the Penn State Behrend political science faculty last month in a tenure-track position.
Dr. Shum received her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, specializing in comparative politics with a regional focus in Latin America (Brazil) and East Asia (Hong Kong and Taiwan). She is interested in participatory policies, political party organizations, transnational contentious politics, diasporas, and elections. She will be teaching Latin American Politics and Intro to American Politics in the spring semester 2023. Dr. Shum is a native of Hong Kong. She is currently working on research projects focusing on how Hong Kong diasporas re-construct their collective identity, and how they navigate between their concerns of the homeland and well-being in the host countries (i.e., U.S., Canada, U.K.). Besides politics, Dr. Shum enjoys the art of coffee making, photography, and martial arts.
4. REPRESENTATIVE MIKE KELLY TO SPEAK AT BEHREND
Behrend College Republicans will be hosting U.S. Representative Mike Kelly on Wednesday, October 19, at 5:00 p.m. in 002 Burke. Congressman Kelly has been representing northwest Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to College Republicans President Noah Esper at [email protected].
5. ENROLLING IN THE POLSC MAJOR
Students who are eligible to enroll in a major (usually completion of 30 or more credits, with a GPA of 2.0 or above) are strongly encouraged to do so. Enrollment in the POLSC major provides at least four benefits:
- The ability for academic advisers to make needed degree substitutions, including proper placement of transfer credits on degree audits
- Eligibility to be invited to certain events, such as dinners with alumni and community leaders
- Eligibility for certain awards open only to POLSC majors
- Notifications about certain jobs or internships for POLSC majors
The Penn State Behrend POLSC major currently has four 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 learn the requirements of the options, see the Bulletin listing. You can also view the lists of approved courses.
Students are allowed to complete more than one option within the POLSC major if the requirements of each option are met.
6. CAREERS OF BEHREND POLSC ALUMNI
Every few years, we compile some statistics about the careers of Behrend alumni who graduated with a political science degree.
In September 2022, there are exactly 500 living POLSC alumni since the first major graduated in 1977.
We were able to determine the current jobs of 442 (88%) of those alumni.*
Of those 442 alumni, the most common career paths are:
|Field||Number and Percentage of Total|
|Business Professionals||(n=151, 34%)|
|Government Service**||(n=83, 19%)|
|Politics and Policy***||(n=13, 3%)|
* Some older alumni have retired; they are counted in the fields of their most recent jobs.
** Thirteen alumni (3%), mostly government attorneys, have been counted in two career areas.
*** Outside of government service.
Eleven alumni work in some aspect of international affairs in government service, education, or policy.
Over the next several months, the newsletter will contain some more details about the different careers of our POLSC alumni.
This month, we focus on POLSC alumni with current careers as business professionals.
Among the 151 alumni who work as business professionals, 18 work in banking or finance, 16 work as sales professionals, 15 work in insurance, 13 own a small business, 11 work in health care management, 10 work in human resources, and 8 work in marketing.
Some of the business professionals hold the following positions:
- Risk Lead, Google
- Commercial Underwriter, Erie Insurance
- Senior Data Analytics Specialist, Erie Insurance
- Senior Loan Officer, H&R Block
- Senior Portfolio Manager, Northwest Bank
- Procurement Specialist, Rolls Royce Nuclear
- Associate Marketing Strategy Analyst, Highmark
- Director, Product and App Development, Hertz
- Senior Vice President, Credit Review Manager, M&T Bank
- Senior Sales Analyst, Southeast Toyota
- Program Planner, Lockheed Martin
- Product Marketing Manager, Motorola
- Senior Manager, Industry Analyst Relations, Oracle
- Head of Esports and Games, Nielsen Company
- Director of Program Management, Collins Aerospace
- Partner and Chief Marketing Officer, Gemstick (cannabis rolling papers)
7. FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- Dr. Kilic Kanat, Associate Professor of Political Science, has received a book contract from Bloomsbury Publishers for his manuscript about the history of Turkish-American Relations.
- Dr. Maggie Shum, Assistant Professor of Political Science, was interviewed twice during the summer by German public international broadcaster Deutsche Welle regarding the increasing crackdown on civil society and imprisonment of activists in Hong Kong. She also published an article titled “Brewing for Democracy: Digital Activism and the #MilkTeaAlliance” in New Mandala, a page that focuses on politics and societies of Southeast Asian countries.
- Dr. Robert Speel, Associate Professor of Political Science, is working on a book project about Canadian-American Relations with co-author Greg Inwood of Toronto Metropolitan University to be published by Irwin Law Publishers in Toronto and the Institute of Parliamentary and Political Law in Ottawa as part of a book series titled Understanding Canada. Last month, Dr. Speel was interviewed for an article with Bloomberg News about U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman’s campaign rally in Erie and for a fact-check article published in USA Today about inaccurate electoral college claims found on social media.
- Dr. Lena Surzhko-Harned, Associate Teaching Professor of Political Science, had a busy summer. She spoke about the war in Ukraine with the Erie County Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees, the American Association of University Women, and staff of the Allegheny Health Network. Earlier this week, she gave a public talk at the Burke Center titled “Babyn Yar: Its Significance Then and Now” about the site of Nazi massacres during World War II in Kyiv, Ukraine. In May, Dr. Surzhko-Harned published an updated article, "What a cathedral and a massive military parade show about Putin's Russia," on The Conversation website. And she was named to Erie’s 40 Under 40, Class of 2022 by Erie Reader.
8. STUDENT GROUP NEWS
- College Republicans meet every Tuesday between 3:00-4:00 p.m. in Burke 102. To get involved, contact President Noah Esper.
- To get involved with College Democrats, contact President Mallory Flesik.
- The Behrend Political Society will probably be meeting on alternating Monday evenings. To get involved, contact President Spencer Finley.
- Behrend Model United Nations meets on Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m. in Reed conference rooms near Bruno's. To get involved, contact President Madison Kwiecinski.
9. FACEBOOK PAGE
All students and alumni are invited to like the Penn State Behrend political science Facebook page, get updated news, and learn about events.