Missouri State University
Political Science Blog

Ben Franklin on Self-Education and Self-Government

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Join the Political Science Department as we welcome 1993 PLS alumnus, John Zumbrunnen, for a lecture entitled “Benjamin Franklin on Self-Education and Self-Government” on February 5th at 4:00 in the Meyer Library Auditorium. Dr. Zumbrunnen is Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the Director of the American Democracy Forum – https://adf.wisc.edu/.

Departmental thanks to Assistant Professor, Sara Henary, who received a grant from the Jack Miller Center (http://www.jackmillercenter.org/) to support this event.

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Practicing Mandarin with MSU Faculty on Voice of America

Calling it a “Tempest in a Teapot,” Dr. Dennis Hickey responds to questions about the Chinese consulate’s reaction to HCR 7 endorsing continued support of the relationship and shared interests between Taiwan and the State of Missouri – http://m.voachinese.com/a/missouri-20150128/2616270.html.

AP story on the controversy can be found at http://www.stltoday.com/news/state-and-regional/missouri/chinese-consulate-warns-missouri-lawmakers-on-taiwan/article_52fbee65-7a50-52b9-8c13-d48b3cce7d3f.html.

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Vintage Alice Bartee

Gender Equality and the Constitution

Dr. Alice Bartee lectures on a topic of great importance to her — both personally and professionally.

Alums just close your eyes – This will take you back a few years.

For more information about our effort to establish an endowed fund to support the Alice Bartee Lecture Series, please see the website at http://politicalscience.missouristate.edu/alicebarteeendowment.htm.

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Jim Kaatz Appointed to Airport Board


Dr. James Kaatz has been appointed to a three year term to serve on the Board of Directors for the Springfield-Branson National Airport. The eleven member board of directors oversees all facets of the airport operations and the international free trade zone. Board members are appointed by the city manager and confirmed by the Springfield City Council. For more information about the airport board see http://www.sgf-branson-airport.com/organization.

Prior to appointment, Dr. Kaatz served as the Chairman of Springfield’s Public Building Corporation. He is also board president at his church and serves as the faculty advisor to the Missouri State student chapter of the International City Management Association.

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The Softer (OK, Furrier) Side of Disaster Response

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Kelsey Kane, a student in last semester’s PLS315 Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations course, identified a funding source for her class grant project to fund equipment and training for an animal response team in Independence, MO. Using the funding source identified by Ms. Kane, Dr. David Johnson applied for a grant for the Greene County Office of Emergency Management Animal Response Team (ART). The ART was awarded $5,000 from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to purchase animal rescue supplies and equipment to aid pets during a disaster.


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A Mayor, Three City Managers, and a President Walk Into a Bar…

Congratulations to Jerry Kendall and Allyssa Miget, organizers of a MSU student chapter of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Special guests at the first organizational mixer included Springfield Mayor, Bob Stephens, Springfield City Manager, Greg Burris, Republic City Manager, Jim Krischke, Bolivar City Manager and MPA alumni, Darin Chappell, and MSU President, Clif Smart.

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Other attendees included undergraduate and graduate students, MPA and PLS alumni and faculty, as well as practitioners from Bolivar and Joplin.

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You can connect with these professionals and students at mostateicma@Outlook.com and find out more about the ICMA on their website at http://icma.org/en/icma/home.

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Not Your Grandmother’s Dispatcher – MPA Alum Ellen Herrmann is a Telecommunicator


I currently work for Springfield-Greene County Emergency Communications (911). I have worked here since November 2013, just before graduating from Missouri State. My title is “Telecommunicator”. This title encompasses many daily tasks. First, I am a fully cross trained dispatcher, which means I am trained and qualified on all positions on the floor. This training usually takes about a year to complete. On the floor we have several positions. The first position is call taker. Call takers answering incoming emergency and non-emergency lines, receive incoming information about incidents, and record the information in our Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) program. They update dispatchers of current information as well as relay information to other agencies and callers as necessary. Another position is fire dispatcher. At our center, fire dispatching is divided between the city of Springfield and the county. Greene county has 11 different fire agencies. Fire dispatchers alert fire departments of calls for service, relay information, and find additional resources as requested. A third position is police dispatching. This is divided geographically between north side, south side, and sheriff’s department, and smaller municipalities.. Police dispatchers take the information entered by call takers and dispatch available units to calls. This often involves multitasking and prioritizing to get the units to the most critical calls first. In addition, police dispatchers relay all updates to officers and also check people and items for stolen or for warrants. But perhaps the most serious part of a dispatchers job is being aware of citizen and officer safety at all times. Dispatchers are at a near constant state of readiness and are always prepared to send extra help when needed.

As for a typical day, that question is very hard to answer. No two days in dispatch are the same. A dispatcher never knows exactly what calls may come in on a given day and therefore must come into work ready to deal with anything (and everything) that might happen. This creates a feeling of brotherhood in the center. I really love being a dispatcher. This career has honed skills such as patience, grace under pressure, and brevity, that I had not developed during graduate school. This job has also integrated my coursework in emergency management, public administration, and global studies.

For more information about the Office of Emergency Management, go to their website at http://www.greenecountyoem.org/cms/.

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