Missouri State University
Political Science Blog

Water, Water, Everywhere!

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On the left, Hollister mayor Townsend Godsey rows a canoe through the lobby of Ye English Inn in 1943. On the right, Political Science and MPA faculty member, Dr. David Johnson, participates in the recent Regional Incident Support Team exercise which simulated the response to a massive flooding event in Taney County. Dr. Johnson was working the GIS position while consulting with a member of the Taney County Emergency Management office.

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Public Affairs in Action: Students Learn and Serve

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Political Science majors Macon Allen, Melvi Cifuentes, Alana Collins, and Political Science minor Juan Narvaez, spent a couple of weeks at the beginning of January of this year volunteering at Raíces, an NGO in San Antonio Texas. Raíces provides legal assistance and political advocacy to women, children and family fleeing gang and political violence from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Macon, Melvi, Alana, and Juan observed and assisted the NGO’s work with refugees at the Karnes Detention Center. They performed interviews, observed court proceedings, and helped gather and organize evidence for legal procedures.

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The Value of Internships – Connecting the Dots

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In response to a Faculty Senate mandate, the Political Science department implemented a Capstone requirement. The department’s goal was to add an experiential learning component to the academic curriculum. While some students fulfill this requirement with a Study Away program, most will choose some form of internship.

A recent study underscores the market value of an internship experience. In general, employers are more likely to offer a position to students who had internships, whether paid or unpaid. Most Political Science majors will have unpaid internships. While there may be chicken soup and popcorn for dinner in the short run, unpaid federal government interns increase their job offer chances by 50% and unpaid state/local government interns increase their offer chances by 34%.

While there is a market advantage, the real value of an internship is the experience itself; allowing students to connect-the-dots between academics and a career.

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Presidential Management Fellowship Selects Kelton Russell

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Congratulations to Global Studies graduate student, Kelton Russell, for his selection by the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) program. The PMF is the “flagship leadership development program” for the United States government and is quite selective. Mr. Russell will join a cohort selected from some of the best programs at many of the finest colleges and universities in the world. Well-deserved recognition.

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We Hold These Truths: Public Affairs In Spring 2017

Missouri State University’s Public Affairs theme for the 2016-17 academic year, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Perspectives on Self-Government, is rich with opportunities to engage the campus community in discussions exploring both our rights and our responsibilities as citizens in a modern democracy. We encourage everyone to be a part of this conversation at the 2017 Public Affairs Conference which will be held April 4-7.

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Offering historical perspective and hope for the future, the conference begins with a keynote address by Doris Kearns Goodwin on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM in the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts. Other noteworthy highlights include plenary speakers, Nadine Strossen, “Defending Free Speech for All: From Right to Left, and from Right to Wrong,” and J. D. Vance, “Hillbilly Elegy: A Culture in Crisis.”

We are looking forward to welcoming back former Political Science colleagues Cidgen Cidam and Denise Dutton, as well as old friends Missy Shelton-Belote and J. D. Crouch II, and Political Science alumni, Larry Bradley.

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Alum on the Road to Rio*

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2006 alumni, Strader Payton, visited with Dr. Dennis Hickey, Global Studies Program Director, during his visit home to Springfield for the holidays. Mr. Payton is now a Foreign Service Office with the US Department of State and he is assigned to Rio de Janeiro. Prior to his assignment in Brazil, Mr. Payton had spent two years as a Foreign Service Officer at the US Consulate in Guangzhou, China.

*Without Crosby or Hope

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2016 Presidential Election Has International Implications

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Global Studies Program Director, Dr. Dennis Hickey, and MGS faculty member. Dr. David Romano, have recently discussed the impact of Donald Trump’s election on U.S. policy in Asia and the Middle East.

Dr. Romano’s interview can be found at KurdPress news agency . Dr. Hickey’s interview, in Chinese, is here U. S. Election. For those who do not read Chinese, Dr. Hickey was kind enough to summarize:

First, Donald Trump is president-elect and that means he is NOT an official yet. Private citizen. We have a past president (Bill Clinton) who journeyed to Taiwan for a lucrative speech and met with then-President Chen Shui-bian. So, if a past president can go to Taipei and meet with the Taiwan leader, a future president should be able to take a phone call. Second, Mr. Trump doesn’t know a lot about the nuances of US policy in East Asia. During one of the GOP debates, for example, he claimed TPP was a plot by China. He only dropped the matter after Senator Rand Paul told him that China was not invited to join. So, its likely Mr. Trump did not understand the significance of answering that phone. Third, while Mr. Trump criticized PRC in the campaign, he did not praise Taiwan. In fact, he claimed it was stealing American jobs. So, it is unlikely this signals a change in US policy–although some elements in Taiwan might like to put that spin on it so as to boost Tsai Ing-when’s dismal approval ratings as president.

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