Missouri State University
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College of Humanities and Public Affairs Blog

Criminology and Criminal Justice Graduate Program Ranked #2 in the Nation!


The online master’s program in criminology and criminal justice here at Missouri State University was ranked #2 nationally by Go Grad, an organization which offers guidance to students interested in graduate education. Our criminology and criminal justice graduate program was recognized for its 3-pronged mission of developing student leadership, decision making, and policy analysis skills as well as its academic quality, affordability, and career and job placement assistance.

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David Romano studies Life and Death in the Middle East


Romano, who holds the Thomas G. Strong Chair for Middle Eastern Studies in the political science department, has written two books tackling life-and-death questions that affect Kurds in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. He also dissects everything from Iranian nuclear negotiations to American influence on the Iraqi constitution in his column for the Kurdish newspaper “Rudaw.”

Romano’s tactile understanding of the Middle East and network of connections – both products of his extensive travel – are great assets to his current research, a global comparison of the factors that contribute to extremism.

The cross-case study of radical groups in Europe, Latin America and Asia seeks answers to one of today’s most anxiety-inducing questions: Why would someone be willing to take up arms for a cause?

Over the course of the project, an international team of collaborators will examine some of radicalism’s most commonly cited factors, including the insertion of religious interpretations into politics, a lack of democracy, a history of colonialism and extreme poverty.

“Engaging students to approach issues objectively and ethically goes a long way toward fulfilling the public affairs mission [of Missouri State],” he said. “When they walk out of here, they may not remember the details of dates or events, but hopefully I’ve instilled in them a way of approaching these questions… to make them better citizens. So that if someone from another ethnic or religious group moves next door to them, they will have the curiosity and background knowledge to understand them, which makes for a better society.”

For the complete article see:  http://blogs.missouristate.edu/mindseye/the-big-questions-life-and-death-in-the-middle-east/


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Family Picnic

003Friday, August 14, the Humanities and Public Affairs annual beginning of the semester picnic was held at Phelps Grove Park. There were approximately 90 people attending. This is always a good opportunity to meet new faculty members and reconnect with other faculty, staff, and their families.

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MSU Field School at Horseshoe Sinkhole Site

DSCN0129The Center for Archaeological Research in cooperation with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Missouri State University offered a three-week summer field course in archaeology from June 8-26, 2015. This 3-week session took place at the Horseshoe Sinkhole site (23CN1313), a habitation site located in a horseshoe-shaped shallow depression (or sinkhole) on a large ridge in eastern Lawrence County. The field course was taught by Jack H. Ray, Assistant Research Professor and Assistant Director of the Center for Archaeological Research. Stephen Dyle, teaching assistant, provided valuable assistance in the field and laboratory. Six students received training in archaeological field methods of excavation and mapping and basic laboratory analysis. Students also learned how archaeologists preserve and interpret archaeological materials. Artifacts obtained during the excavations indicate that this upland site was occupied intermittently over a span of more than 8500 years, although the primary occupations appear to have occurred during the Middle Archaic period (ca. 7000-5000 years before present). This period coincided with a slightly warmer and drier climatic period called the Hypsithermal Interval.

Attached photos show various stages of excavation by the students. The White River points in one of the attached photos, the most common point type that was recovered at the site, date to ca. 6300-5700 years old.  White River points[2] DSCN0111[2] DSCN0121[2] DSCN0067.1 DSCN0040

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Anthropology Group Participate in Study Away trip to Guatemala and Honduras



Anthropology instructor Jason Shepard led a group of six students from MSU to Guatemala and Honduras for a three week study abroad course this summer. This is the fourth summer that students from the university traveled to Central America to study Spanish and Tzutujuil language while living with local Mayan families.

In the process of studying local subsistence, agriculture, and tourism and its various impacts in the region, students took weekend trips and morning excursions. In Honduras, students were exposed to the different culture of the neighboring country and explored the ruins of the Classic Mayan city and ceremonial center of Copan.

Students Alison Dalbom, Jill Fritter, Savannah Gomez, Jessie Kilbourne, Tami Logan-Franklin and Elizabeth Nowicki were all enrolled in the course. The group was lucky to be joined for some of our activities by Amy Huff and Elizabeth Haughey. Amy is currently in the accelerated master’s program in Anthropology at MSU. She previously spent several months in San Pedro and helped organize some of the group’s excursions after completing a study away program in Mexico. Elizabeth came with Shepard’s first study away group to Guatemala in 2012. She has been doing research with local weavers in the country every summer since, and often joins MSU groups while they are there.

Several students plan on presenting their experiences and research findings at the next student anthropology conference. The Mayan World course can be taken as either Anthropology: 490 or Spanish: 297. If you are interested in finding out more about the course, don’t hesitate to contact Jason Shepard at ozarksjason@gmail.com.

See more information at:  http://blogs.missouristate.edu/sociologyjason-in-guatemala-300x225


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DSS graduate has article published

Bradley Headshot 20150512

DSS graduate Jennifer Bradley (Class of 2007) is a senior analyst at US Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base. She authored an article for a special issue of the Air University’s Journal, Air and Space Power Journal. Jennifer’s article, entitled “Increasing Uncertainty: The Dangers of Relying on Conventional Forces for Nuclear Deterrence” was one of only seven articles selected for publication in a highly competitive selection process. Ms. Bradley is consistently recognized for her outstanding analytical contributions to the Deterrence Analysis Plans Support group at Strategic Command.

Ms. Bradley graduated from Missouri State University in 2007 with a MS in Defense and Strategic Studies. She was part of the first class to enter the DSS program at the Washington, D.C. campus once it relocated in 2005. As part of her course work she was selected as an intern for Lockheed Martin in their Missile Defense Systems division where as part of her duties she created glossaries of adversary ballistic missiles capabilities in order to advocate for missile defense systems. Ms. Bradley completed her thesis entitled “British Muslim Extremism: The Terror Within” which focused on the dangers of domestic terrorism in Great Britain. Upon graduation, Ms. Bradley joined the National Institute for Public Policy as an Analyst, and currently provides support to U.S. Strategic Command as part of the Deterrence Analysis Plans Support group in Omaha, Nebraska. She is responsible for conducting adversary specific deterrence analysis to support strategy and plan development. She received her BS degree in Political Science, Philosophy, and Economics from Eastern Oregon University in 2002.

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Patrick Scott Takes Public Affairs on Vacation

Dr. Patrick Scott, Professor of Political Science and MPA Program Director, spent a portion of his summer vacation in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee. During the second week of June he traveled to Johnson City, Tennessee to volunteer with a nonprofit organization, the Appalachian Service Project (ASP). Their work involved putting in a new floor in a home for an elderly man who was stricken with polio from a young age.


Founded in 1969, ASP deploys over 17,000 volunteers annually to repair the homes of more than 650 low-income families across five states in Central Appalachia. The mission of ASP is to see substandard housing in Central Appalachia eradicated by providing volunteer service opportunities to make homes warmer, safer and drier for families in need. ASP operates year-round service centers in four states—Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia—that help provide safe, affordable housing for low-income residents.

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