Missouri State University
Political Science Blog

MSU and Springfield Host Mariana Gonzalez

The Political Science department was pleased to host a visit by Mariana Gonzalez from IDES in Rio Tercero, Argentina.

Mariana is currently teaching her class, Political Science for Lawyers, which will collaborate with Dr. Gary Rader’s PLS 101, American Democracy and Citizenship, class in the Fall via a new conferencing technology called ZOOM. She is also working as the Secretary for Planning and Local Development in the municipal government of Rio Tercero. Mariana’s visit also included meetings with state and local officials.

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Mariana is pictured above with her guide, Dr. Gary Rader, and Springfield Representative Kevin Austin, Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller, at the Downtown Rotary Club, Springfield Senator Bob Dixon, and Springfield Mayor Bob Stephens. Also attached above is an article from the newspaper in Rio Tercero, Argentina about Mariana’s visit to Missouri State University and Springfield.

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Graduate Students Present at MPSA in Chicago


Global Studies graduate students Ngan Thi Thu Truong and Zeyu Sun presented papers at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) in Chicago. Zeyu presented “Gender Empowerment: From Social Movement to Political Representation” and Ngan presented “Vietnamese Policy Towards South China Sea Policy.” Congratulations to both.

Ngan and Zeyu are pictured with Drs. Ondetti and Palacios, who also presented papers at MPSA.

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Fan Mail From an ESPN Sportswriter


My name is Anna McDonald and I graduated from Missouri State University in 1996. I’m reaching out to you because lately I’ve been thinking about how thankful I am for the classes I took in Political Science as an undergraduate. My last two years at school I enrolled in just a few classes from the Political Science department because I was interested in them and curious. I was majoring in Child Development and really had no idea what I wanted to do. At the time, I had no idea I’d eventually, many, many years later, end up in the journalism field. I thought maybe I would see if law school was of interest. I had no idea where I was going or what field I wanted to end up in, but now, I can honestly say the skills and information I learned in those undergraduate political science classes I use every day.

Alice Bartee was the one who taught me to have some confidence. I remember sitting in class with a group of students who were set on going to law school — and beyond — and I thought, what am I doing here? She encouraged me and knew how to develop skills I never knew I had. She had an amazing way of championing success for her students. I’m sure you’ve heard all this before, but whenever I interview someone I remember her lectures about attitudes and beliefs and how they can influence facts. It’s helped me ensure I fact-check my reporting from several angles. Publications that value journalism would never be satisfied with inaccurate or incomplete reporting (and in today’s day and age many places don’t even know how to recognize incomplete reporting, they just want it fast and before anyone else). I wouldn’t be able to write for ESPN had I not learned the importance of looking at things from many different positions.

My work has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, FOX Sports, and I currently (for the past six years) write for ESPN dot com. I didn’t major in journalism, or even take a journalism class, but everything I’ve been able to accomplish has been due to a combination of hard work, treating others the best I can and using the skills I learned in some of the law classes I took at Missouri State University. It’s not an easy thing for a sports reporter in today’s day and age to find content that the best of the best news organizations will want to publish on a national level, and on top of that, have the material actually do well once it’s published.

I just thought I’d drop you a note to encourage you in the fact that students will become many things after they graduate, some will go down the exact path they planned and others, like myself, will years later find their niche. You never know when the least likely student will take something a professor has taught them in class and turn it into something completely fantastic and unexpected. I hope your department is still doing well and a huge thanks to your department for everything you taught me.

You can follow Anna on Twitter @Anna_McDonald

For more information about Anna, you can watch this story from KSDK –Mother of Three

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Jennie Sahagun Moves to the Red Cross


Nice to hear from Jennie Sahagun who let us know that she has accepted a new position as a Disaster Program Specialist with the American Red Cross in St. Louis. She is excited to start with an agency so directly involved in humanitarian and disaster response and we are excited for her. We look forward to updates and hearing about opportunities that could be useful to our current students.

For more information about the Eastern Missouri area Red Cross, see St. Louis.

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Degree Prepares Students For Careers Not Just Jobs

The American Political Science Association has developed a number of valuable resources for undergraduate students who are interested in a Political Science major. An overview of the major and tips for high school and undergraduate students can be found at Majoring in Political Science.

You can find more information about the types of careers Political Science major pursue at Career Sectors.

While there is a considerable amount of information at Career Resources, the most valuable APSA career publication is now available online at Careers and the Study of Political Science.

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Alumni Offer Continuing Legal Education for Local Bar


On Friday, April 1, the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association (SMBA) hosted a federal practice CLE and networking opportunity. The morning sessions had a civil practice focus followed by a panel of Federal District Court Judges, including Douglas Harpool and Stephen Bough.


On May 19th, Judges William Francis and Jeffrey Bates will present “How Appealing! Southern District Style” as part of the SMBA’s May BarBrew program sponsored by the law firm of Neale and Newman.

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