Missouri State University
Political Science Blog

The Saudi-Iranian Rivalry: Filling Contested Vacuums in the Middle East

Matteo poster

Please join the Political Science department, the Global Studies program, and the Strong Chair in Middle Eastern Politics for a lecture by Dr. Matteo Legrenzi entitled “The Saudi-Iranian Rivalry: Filling Contested Vacuums in the Middle East” to be given on Friday, April 24th at 5:00 in Karls Hall, Room 101, on the campus of Missouri State University.

Dr. Legrenzi holds a D.Phil. in International Relations and a M.Phil. in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University where he remains Visiting Academic. In Oxford he
is also Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies of the Department of Politics and International Relations. He is an Associate Professor at the School of International Relations, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and is the President of the Italian Association for Middle Eastern Studies (SeSaMO). He studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo.

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MGS and MPA Students Visit Ft. Leavenworth

Graduate students from the Global Studies and Public Administration programs, along with Dr. David Johnson, traveled to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College on April 20th. The excursion was an outreach effort on the part of the CGSC’s Department of Joint, Interagency and Multinational Operations and sponsored by the CGSC Foundation’s Simons Center for Interagency Cooperation.

A video introduction to the Command and General Staff College can be found at https://youtu.be/EH9n56zAA_Y.

During the visit, students received an overview of the Army’s professional military education system and the Command and General Staff College’s curriculum. The students toured the main instructional building, the Lewis and Clark Center, and sat in on classes within their disciplines. Some of the students attended a class on global economics and currency movement while others observed a table top exercise involving disaster response activities related to a rupture of the New Madrid fault. Our students also participated in a round table discussion with resident faculty regarding current national security issues and they received a brief tour of historic Fort Leavenworth guided by Dr. Mark Gerges of the Department of Military History.

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The students completed their trip to Fort Leavenworth with a stop at the Simons Center, where they received an overview of the Simons Center (http://thesimonscenter.org/) and its support to the College. Several students commented that they wished that had an additional day to learn more about the College and Fort Leavenworth, including the Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Library and the Frontier Army Museum.

Leavenworth (1) Leavenworth (5) Leavenworth (4)

We sincerely appreciate the efforts of our hosts, CGSC Professor and MSU PLS alum, Herbert Merrick, and Major General Ray Barrett. We look forward to future visits and developing closer ties with the CGSC.
Leavenworth (7)

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Grab Your Hard Hat – ICMA Students Go Underground

Underground1 Underground4

About 35 people joined the Missouri State International City/County Management Association (ICMA) chapter for a trip to the Springfield Underground. Formerly a limestone quarry, the Underground is 5 million square feet, one-mile square underground facility designed to securely house clients’ products, manufacturing operations, and office space. John Griesemer, the executive vice president and the COO for the Underground, was the trip’s host and highlighted many of the benefits of having such a unique storage facility including the constant temperature control, green benefits and decreased utility costs. Some of the clients of the Underground include Cargill, Dairy Farmer’s of America, Starbucks and Kraft Foods. The tour was a great way to experience a unique structure within the city limits of Springfield, as well as the added benefit of continuing to develop professional relationships within the community.

Underground3 Underground2

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Dr. Henary Channels Her Inner Tocqueville

Plymouth Rock
Dr. Sara Henary at Plymouth Harbor

Most people who visit Plymouth Rock think about Pilgrims and turkey. For Dr. Sara Henary, visiting Plymouth, MA to attend a meeting of the Association for Core Texts and Courses engendered a reflection on Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America:

“This rock has become an object of veneration in the United States. I have seen fragments carefully preserved in several American cities. Does not that clearly prove that man’s power and greatness resides entirely in his soul? A few poor souls trod for an instant on this rock, and it has become famous; it is prized by a great nation; fragments are venerated, and tiny pieces distributed far and wide. What has become of the doorsteps of a thousand palaces? Who cares about them?”

Additional musings from Dr. Henary can be found in her recent essay on Anthony Trollope at http://www.themillions.com/2015/04/portraits-of-human-nature-anthony-trollope-at-200.html

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Dr. Samantha Mosier Appointed to Willard Park Board


Demonstrating that the Public Affairs mission is not just for students, on March 23, Dr. Samantha Mosier was appointed to the City of Willard Park Board. The Willard Board of Aldermen unanimously approved her appointment. The Willard Park Board advises the City of Willard Parks and Recreation Department, which provides recreational, aquatic, and fitness opportunities for the community.

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Welcoming Simon Mahan Back to Springfield

The Political Science department would like to welcome 2006 graduate, Simon Mahan, back to campus for the 2015 Public Affairs Conference.


Simon has been the renewable energy manager for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy since September 2010. He is responsible for oversight of the organization’s promotion of clean energy with a focus on onshore wind energy within the region, offshore wind and wind energy transmission. He specializes in policy advocacy, energy analysis for an ocean conservation organization in Washington, DC, addressing offshore wind economics, industrial energy efficiency and mercury reduction policies. Simon earned his bachelor’s in political science at Missouri State University with minors in biology and communications.

More information about the Alliance can be found at http://www.cleanenergy.org/.

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The Colors of India – Tarang 2015


Join the Indian Students Association (ISA) at Missouri State University, for Tarang 2015 (Indian cultural show and dinner) to be held on April 18th, 2015 from 6pm to 9:30pm in the PSU Ballroom and the PSU Theatre.

For more information, see http://calendar.missouristate.edu/viewevent.aspx?eventid=85394

For a highlight from last year, see https://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play;_ylt=A2KLqIN87CdVGwQA.KcsnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByYXI3cnIwBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQDBGdwb3MDNA–?p=tarang+missouri+state+university&vid=0d1596b789af1ce58a73ece8e8df9d38&l=6%3A05&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fts3.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DWN.lN0GJTvvlRi%252fJgG6E1ZqbA%26pid%3D15.1&rurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DfaVl8g3qDUo&tit=Tarang+2014+Missouri+State+University+ISA+Boys+Dance&c=3&sigr=11b03f924&sigt=11kpphj6l&sigi=121v0e5fk&age=1397671425&fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Av&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=mozilla&tt=b

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Scott Waddle – PLS Alum, Paramedic, and Fireman Epitomizes Public Affairs Mission

After graduation in 2004 I was prepared to work for RONCO, a private contractor company that worked with the State Department in Humanitarian Demining, specifically as a paramedic in Namibia. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq started around that time and with it with funding for humanitarian efforts like demining quickly dried up. Instead of working overseas as I planned, I moved home after graduation to see what other opportunities would present themselves.

Shortly after moving home, I quickly decided to follow in my father’s footsteps and entered the fire service. My experience as a paramedic in Springfield, MO and my degree from Missouri State allowed me to advance through the rigorous 9 month application process and I was hired as a Fire Fighter/Paramedic in Glenview, IL. With the skills and experience I gained working for the Glenview Fire Department and the relationships I developed at Missouri State, I have had some incredible opportunities. From joining the largest regional SWAT team in the country as the teams’ paramedic to participating in humanitarian trips to Africa.

The first trip was lead by Dr. Ken Rutherford (picture below) who was teaching an African Politics class at Missouri State. During this trip we toured Kenya and learned about the political strife occurring there. While we were in country we were able to stock a regional medical facility that had not been supplied in nearly a year with 100 pounds of medical supplies that we collected with the help of Missouri State Alumni Sarah Becker. Our work was so appreciated my the community that we ended up being visiting with newly elected President Obama’s Grandmother who lived nearby.


My second trip took me to Sierra Leone with a group of local doctors and nurses through the Village Medical Project. The mission of this trip was to set up point of care clinics in very rural villages in the Kono District, famous for its diamonds. During our two week visit our team treated a variety of injuries and medical conditions. We spent a day in each village and treated hundreds of patients. The presence of medial service is so rare in this area that we notify villagers approximately 6 months prior to our arrival so they can repair roads for the journey. Due to the limited modern transportation most people had to travel to our clinics by foot over several days. Currently we are waiting for the Ebola epidemic to pass so me can make our next visit.


For a story on Scott’s trip, see the article at http://www.journal-topics.com/news/glenview/article_052fce86-c883-11e2-8f64-0019bb30f31a.html.

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Inside the Criminal Justice System

Please consider joining our CRM colleagues for the 7th Annual Annual Missouri State University Criminology and Criminal Justice Conference on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 and Thursday, April 9. The 2015 conference theme is “Inside the Criminal Justice System: Characteristics, Challenges, and Opportunities.”

The full program can be found here 2015a MSU CRM CJ Conference

For more information, contact Ivy Yarckow- Brown at Yarckow-Brown@MissouriState.edu or 417-836-5502

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