Missouri State University
Political Science Blog

Kelly Hoover Serves the Citizens of Missouri in the Highway Patrol

Kelly Hoover majored in political science, minoring in anthropology, and was a residence hall advisor. She graduated in May of 2009 and was presented with the Advisee of the Year award. Upon graduation she joined the Missouri Highway Patrol and is assigned to Troop B, in Macon, MO, and patrols Zone 7, serving Knox and Lewis counties in Northeast Missouri. While we are proud of all of our graduates, Kelly’s service to the citizens of Missouri should be applauded. For more information about law enforcement careers with the Highway Patrol visit their webpage at http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/PatrolDivisions/HRD/Trooper/troopCareer.html.


If you look closely, you just might see a little brown monkey hanging from the rear view mirror.

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MPA Program Reaccredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration

After a rigorous process that included a self-study, external review, and site visits, the Master of Public Administration program at Missouri State University has been fully accredited by the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) for the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). NASPAA represents the “global standard in public service education” and their endorsement indicates that the MPA program has demonstrated our commitment to quality public service education.

Dr. Mark Rushefsky, emeritus professor and former MPA Director, provided exceptional leadership as the MPA program successfully navigated the reaccreditation process. He is to be congratulated for his efforts along with all of the MPA faculty. Well done all.

More information about NASPAA and its programs can be found at http://www.naspaa.org/. The full text of COPRA’s accreditation letter can be found here: NASPAA decision letter Missouri State University

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Department Saying Goodbye to Maggie Herring


The Political Science Department bids a fond farewell to our student worker, Margaret Herring. Maggie has accepted a teaching position in the Waterloo, IL school system where she will teach culinary arts in the high school. Last week Maggie won a first place award at the national Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) meeting in San Antonio, TX. Congratulations to Maggie and her faculty advisor, Debra Price.

Maggie’s positive attitude and cheerful demeanor will be missed. Our loss is Waterloo’s gain.


Go Bulldogs!

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Gonzalo Vargas Manages Finance and Risk

Gonzalo Vargas is the Finance Director for Groupon in Latin America. After helping lead the department in the company’s IPO process in 2011, his main focus has been to recruit and develop the finance, accounting, treasury and risk teams in eight countries: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay. Prior to working with Groupon, Gonzalo held finance positions with Chysler Financial and Briggs Industries in the U.S.

Gonzalo studied political science as an undergraduate and earned a master’s degree in global studies in 2006, with an emphasis on international economics and business. His thesis was on the Chilean macroeconomic miracle of the 1980’s. He was a teaching assistant for the political science department as well as an active member of the International Student Association. Gonzalo returned to Springfield to participate in the 2014 Public Affairs Conference.


After living in Springfield for almost six years, Gonzalo considers himself a true Missourian; remaining both a Cardinals and a Chiefs fan. Posted con abrazos.

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Jeremy Walling Promoted to Full Professor at SEMO

The Department of Political Science at Southeast Missouri State University recently promoted Jeremy Walling to the rank of Full Professor. At Missouri State, Jeremy earned his undergraduate degree in 1996 and his MPA in 1998. He earned his PhD at the University of Kansas in 2005. He is the co-author, of Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Public Administration and Policy, with McGraw-Hill, and the co-editor of Tea Party Effects on 2010 U.S. Senate Elections: Stuck in the Middle to Lose and The Political Battle over Congressional Redistricting; both with Lexington Books. We offer our congratulations to Jeremy.

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It Was Only A Little Tear Gas: Study Away Trip Explores History and Identity in Turkey

This Study Away program was designed to introduce students to the history and politics of Turkey, with a focus on identity politics. By learning about the historical events and personages that become central to a construction of an “imagined community” such as a nation, and then comparing these things to other identity constructions (i.e. alternate nations or identities), students developed a better appreciation for the most powerful motivating ideologies in today’s world. By learning about the identities of others, they also became better able to critically examine their own identity. The main focus for this trip was on Turkish, Kurdish, and Armenian nationalism and corresponding the religious identities, including secularism.

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Visiting the U.S. Embassy and Touring the Turkish Parliament

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Meeting Member of Parliament, Malik Ozdemir, and Playing Soccer with Syrian Refugees

By actually going to the places where crucial historical events occurred, such as Istanbul, the Gallipoli peninsula, Caldiran and the foot of Mount Ararat, the issues under discussion moved from the realm of abstraction to a more immediate, understandable, and tangible appreciation. Meeting the people of Turkey from various regions of the country also provided students with an appreciation for the diversity and complexity of identities in existence there. Speaking with Turkish parliamentarians in Ankara, diplomats in the Turkish Foreign Ministry, human rights activists in Van and villagers near the Iranian border, for instance, provided many different perspectives.

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Visiting Cappadocia and Galipoli

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Visiting Kurdistan and Istanbul

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Hickey Says Peace Initiative Could Ease Tension

Interviewed recently by the Focus Taiwan news channel, MGS Director, Dr. Dennis Hickey, suggested that the East China Sea Peace Initiative proposed by President Ma “has proffered the most sensible proposal designed to reduce the potential for conflict in the East China Sea.”

The full interview can be found at http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aall/201406290014.aspx

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Jennie Sahagun Protects Elder Missourians and Adults with Disabilities

Jennie Sahagun, was an undergraduate political science major with a criminology minor who was accepted into the accelerated Public Administration graduate program. She earned her BS in 2012 and her MPA, with a concentration in Public Safety, along with a Homeland Security certificate in 2013. Jennie is currently a staff member of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Her official title is Adult Protection and Community Worker II. Her job is to investigate the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of Missouri seniors or adults with disabilities.

For more information about the department of Health and Senior Services, go their website at http://health.mo.gov/index.php

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MPA Alumni Publishes an Article

Evangelia Petridou recently published an article in the Policy Studies Journal entitled, “Theories of the Policy Process: Contemporary Scholarship and Future Directions.” In this article Ms. Petridou reviews some of the most recent scholarship on public policy making, and she shows how several long-standing theories of policy making continue to generate interesting insights in terms of how policies are created, disseminated, and implemented across a wide variety of political and institutional contexts.

Ms. Petridou earned her MPA degree in 2008 and is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at Mid-Sweden University. Her research and teaching interests include theories of the policy process, political entrepreneurship, and urban governance.

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