Missouri State University
Political Science Blog

William and Brittney Bishop: Father and Daughter Find Path to Business Through Political Science

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William Bishop earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in History at Missouri State University, graduating May of 1989. William took a management position with YRC Freight upon graduation where he sharpened his critical thinking skills and began a long career in logistics. In 2004, William took a position with a logistics consulting startup, where he quickly became a principal with the company. After ten years, William left to start Bishop Enterprises, LLC., along with his wife and business partner Ginger Bishop (MSU class of 1997). Along the way, William earned a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University. Today, William is the managing operating partner of Bishop Enterprises, which is celebrating its tenth year of business.

William and Ginger were pleased to be able to employ daughter Brittney Bishop at Bishop Enterprises, where she too began to learn basic business skills. Brittney also attended Missouri State University, where she graduated in 2012 with her Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in Religious Studies. Continuing her career with Bishop Enterprises after graduation, Brittney moved to Kansas City where she served as a Business Development Specialist. But after seven years of continuous employment by Bishop Enterprises, Brittney wanted to expand her experience beyond the family business, so she took a position as Service Director for Hanebutt Technologies Inc., in Overland Park, Kansas. Brittney has been able to use her political science training at Hanebutt to properly allocate engineering assets as needed by their customers, as well as utilize her customer service and sales experience from Bishop Enterprises.

With William and Brittney, political science and business has been a family affair, and along with wife and mother Ginger, MSU also runs deep in the family. (Son Colin is attending Robert Morris University-Illinois on a lacrosse scholarship where he is pursuing his degree in Accounting. Colin also worked for Bishop Enterprises while in high school).

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Dr. Yitan Li Finds Professional Success in Seattle

Dr. Li
Dr. Yitan Li is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Seattle University. After earning a Masters degree at Missouri State in 2002, Dr. Lee earned a second Masters degree at the University of Missouri and completed a Ph.D in Politics and International Relations at the University of Southern California in 2008. At Seattle University he is the Director, of the Global Awareness Program.

Dr. Li’s professional interests include International Relations, Comparative Politics, Foreign Policy Analysis, International Political Economy, East Asian Politics, Chinese Politics, Chinese Foreign Policy, and U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations. 2014 has been an eventful year with three academic publications: “US Economic Sanctions against China: Explaining Sanction Effectiveness from a Cultural Perspective” in Asian Perspective, “Constructing Peace in the Taiwan Strait: A Constructivist Analysis of the Changing Dynamics of Identities and Nationalisms” in Journal of Contemporary China, and “At the Nexus of New Challenges: China’s Leadership Change and Cross-Strait Relations” in Fudan Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences.

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Public Affairs Convocation Explores the Intersection of Strength and Compassion

As a kid growing up in Missouri, Eric Greitens loved “choose your own adventure” style stories. When he went to college, he resolved to make his life an adventure of his own choosing.


His passport stamps comprise a list of geopolitical hotspots: China, Bosnia, Rwanda, Iraq, Bolivia, Afghanistan. His roles in these places have been diverse: teacher, aid worker, Navy SEAL, documentarian. And through his experiences, he realized “that it is within our power, and that the world requires of us — of every one of us — that we be both good and strong in order to love and protect,” an understanding he details in this year’s Common Reader, The Heart and the Fist.

Eric Greitens will share his journey during this semester’s Public Affairs Convocation at 7 p.m., Oct. 28, 2014 in Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

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Dr. Denny Pilant Honored During Homecoming Gala


Professor of Political Science and former Department Head and Dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs, Dr. Denny Pilant was honored during the Homecoming Gala with the 2014 Award of Appreciation. A member of the Political Science Department for thirty-six years, Denny’s impact on the department, the college, and the University is immeasurable.

For a profile of Denny’s life of service to the University and greater Springfield community, see


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MGS Alumni Selected for Lead Asia Pacific Program

2014 MGS alumni Aaron Kruse has been selected to attend the Asia-Pacific Youth Organisation (APYO) Lead Asia Pacific (LAP) Program in Beijing China in November 2014. Aaron will be one of five people representing the United States at this special program for emerging leaders from the twenty-one Pacific Rim countries/economies that make up the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

According to APYO, the objective of its Lead Asia Pacific program “is to provide a high-level platform for 21 young leaders from across the region to research and debate with pressing regional issues with their peers and experience the workings of important regional summits and the leaders that attend them.” Presidents Obama and Xi will be in attendance.

Congratulations Aaron. A well-deserved honor.

More information about APYO can be found at http://apyo.org/.

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A Salute to Alumni Lt. Colonel Cory Baker

1999 Political Science and 2002 Master of Public Administration alumni, Cory Baker, was recently promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel in the United States Air Force.

In addition to being promoted, Lieutenant Colonel Baker was selected to be the 48th Medical Support Squadron Commander at RAF Lakenheath, England. He will manage approximately 200 personnel in the squadron and lead the support functions in the hospital (resource management, info systems, readiness, nutritional medicine, logistics, pharmacy, patient administration, and lab).

Congratulations to Cory and his wife, Jennifer, a 2012 Technology Management alumni of Missouri State University.

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“How to Defeat ISIS via the Kurdish Road” – A Public Lecture

Please join the Thomas Strong Chair in Middle Eastern Studies, the Political Science department, and the Global Studies program as we welcome Dr. Michael Gunter for a public lecture on the current situation in the Middle East. “How to Defeat ISIS via the Kurdish Road” will be presented on October 17th, from 5:00 until 7:00, in the Meyer Library Auditorium (room 101) on the Springfield campus of Missouri State University.

Dr. Gunter is a professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University. He is the author of 11 critically praised scholarly books on the Kurdish question and co-editor (with Mohammed M. A. Ahmed) of three more books on the Kurds, among others. His most recent book is Out of Nowhere: The Kurds of Syria in Peace and War. He has also published and worked extensively on issues related to terrorism, foreign policy, Turkey, Iraq and Syria.

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For more insight into the situation in Syria, Dr. David Romano joins other experts on The Current, a Canadian Broadcasting Company radio program – http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2548374951

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Social Science Majors Find Engagement and Job Satisfaction

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, social science major graduates, while not “thriving,” find greater satisfaction in their jobs. The same study shows that “teachers and mentors matter a great deal” and that state school graduates are just as satisfied as their elite-school peers.

Choose Missouri State. Choose the College of Humanities and Public Affairs. Choose the Department of Political Science. You’ll be happy you did :)

To read the full article, follow this link – http://online.wsj.com/news/article_email/business-graduates-show-least-interest-in-their-work-poll-finds-1412222464-lMyQjAxMTI0NzA1MjMwNTIxWj

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An Ethical Dilemma: Experts Assert that Conflict Minerals Campaign Fundamentally Misunderstands the Relationship Between Minerals and Conflict in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Along with 70 other Congo leaders and experts, MSU assistant professor Ashley Leinweber signed an open letter that has been reported on by several international news agencies in recent weeks. For example, see the final paragraph in this Washington Post Monkey Cage blog entry – http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/09/10/in-eastern-congo-economic-colonialism-in-the-guise-of-ethical-consumption/

The letter asserts that “conflict free” initiatives will risk contributing to, rather than alleviating, the very conflicts they set out to address. The full text of the letter can be found at DRC Conflict Minerals Open Letter

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Once A Pirate, Always A Pirate – Alumni Melissa Sill Proudly Serves Her Hometown


Melissa Sill graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Spanish minor) in December 2011 and began working in the City of Branson Finance Department shortly after. Melissa has applied her education at MSU, work experience as a former Regional Director for the Cultural Exchange Network (based at SEMO in Cape Girardeau, MO) and an internship at Senator McCaskill’s Springfield office to gain the knowledge and experience needed to become actively engaged with citizens, business owners and various organizations located in the City of Branson.

Melissa’s job proves that working for a municipal government can be a challenging, yet fulfilling career. She interacts on a daily basis with the public, often assisting the City Clerk, Court and Police Department with interpretation for Spanish-speaking residents. She also assists in reviewing the city’s municipal code and making suggestions for code revisions based off of her direct experiences with the public. Melissa organizes the meetings and records minutes for the City’s Budget and Finance Committee, as well as drafting staff reports, ordinances and resolutions to be presented to the Board of Alderman. Special projects are assigned on a regular basis which include reviewing City contracts and researching state statutes and bills in the Missouri legislature that may affect the City’s operations. Currently, Melissa is assisting in the City’s conversion from a line item budget to Priority Based Budgeting to be completed for the 2015 FY budget.

Melissa currently lives in Branson with her husband Mark and their two children, Charlotte and Henry. As a life-long resident of Branson, she’s proud to be serving her community and hopes to continue to help her city grow.

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