RSG Newsletter


January 2015
Regent University Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner

Dean Eric Patterson, Ph.D.Dear Friends,

G.K. Chesteron wrote, "The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul... a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes... Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective."

Chesterton provides a superb admonition and prayer for all of us who care about government and public service. May each of us—including our political leaders—have more backbone to stand for what is right in 2015. May we have humility to listen and wisdom to understand. May we be effective! This desire should animate each of us, whether we teach, work at city hall, serve on a distant battlefield, or were just sworn in to high office.

In RSG's first 2015 newsletter, you will meet RSG student Rachael Monnin and alumnus David Skarka, a former prosecutor. We are also proud to introduce Professor Gary Roberts' new book on servant leadership in public administration.

Eric Patterson, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
Robertson School of Government


Watch the "Get to Know RSG" video.

Read more about RSG alumni.

For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.


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Faculty Story: Dr. Gary Roberts - Servant Leadership in the Classroom

Dr. Gary Roberts

Dr. Gary Roberts

"What would Jesus do... if He served in government?" asks RSG Professor Gary Roberts. "I help students think through this question with readings such as Gene Wilkes' Jesus on Leadership and Shepherd Leadership by Blaine McCormick and David Davenport. It is a joy to see the education process transform students' thinking on ethical leadership."

Gary Roberts joined Regent University in 2003, having previously served as a tenured faculty member at the University of Memphis. Roberts has worked in both the public and nonprofit sectors in the areas of human resource management and public administration. His teaching areas include nonprofit administration, human resource management, and public administration.

Roberts says that it is relationships that are critical to RSG's excellence: "At RSG, we focus on student mentorship, developing long-term relationships beyond graduation. I am proud of how RSG faculty help students sharpen and refine their goals and calling by a curriculum that integrates best practice education, service learning opportunities, high visibility internships, and numerous networking opportunities with leading governmental and nonprofit decision makers."

When asked about his work, Roberts relates, "My current research interests center on workplace spiritual intelligence (how Christians integrate faith into the workplace), servant leader human resource policy and practice, the impact of the religious-friendly workplace, and organizational policies to promote employee work-life balance." He has found a growing interest in these areas as more companies and institutions realize that ethical issues affect the bottom line.

In addition to his work revitalizing the Masters of Public Administration program in RSG, which launched in fall 2012, Roberts has taught in Regent University's School of Business and Leadership, the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the Robertson School of Government. One of his colleagues observes, "Gary Roberts has the heart of a true servant leader: he wants the very best for all of those around him and he defines success in holistic terms that includes not only numbers and statistics, but spiritual vitality as well."

Roberts maintains an active research agenda, having authored more than 45 journal articles and book chapters on various human resource and public administration issues. His work appears in the Review of Public Personnel Administration, Public Productivity & Management Review, American Review of Public Administration, Public Personnel Management, and other academic journals.


Student Stories:

Rachael Monnin – A Passion for Good Governance

Melissa Fuquay

Rachael Monnin (Cleveland, OH)
MPA Candidate for Spring 2016

Rachel Monnin was recently selected to serve as an intern for Congressman Scott Rigell (VA-02). Each year RSG students are exposed to opportunities to work in government settings through competitive internships both locally and in Washington, D.C.
Congressman Rigell, a Regent University alumnus, represents Virginia Beach and neighboring communities in the U.S. House of Representatives.

When asked about the internship, Monnin recounts, "It was a wonderful opportunity to see day-to-day operations of Congress at a district level and what is required to effectively represent constituents. Congressional district staffers wear multiple hats: the role of counselor for residents who are sometimes in truly desperate straits and need an advocate, the role of negotiator and innovative problem solver to determine how challenging objectives can be achieved, and always as a community developer," explains Monnin.

Monnin has a passion for advocacy, ethical governance and promoting civic engagement in government. Currently enrolled in the RSG's MPA program, Monnin is learning how to apply public policy concepts in local, state and federal government. Prior to entering graduate school, Monnin gained professional experience through cross-cultural relations and non-profit development working in Japan for two years.

Monnin first learned about RSG through an alumnus while living in Texas. "Faculty expertise, opportunities for hands-on experience in public policy, and RSG's passion for student development solidified my decision to attend Regent," says Monnin.

Monnin believes one thing that sets RSG apart from other schools is the faculty-student relationship. "Professors not only want students to succeed professionally, but they take a holistic approach to teaching and deeply desire students to thrive personally as well. That level of commitment from the professors is invaluable when discussing how to shape one's career and future. There's a trust that my best interests are being considered, not just my career," explained Monnin.

Monnin recommends applying for internships to any student interested in the day-to-day operations of government which provide relevant exposure. In addition, Monnin says her RSG courses frequently provide opportunities to analyze the consequences of unethical governance and the benefits of good governance. "RSG offers a variety of courses that encourage students to explore different areas of thought and challenges students to think critically for themselves," remarked Monnin.


Alumni Stories:

David Skarka – Administering Justice

Melissa Fuquay

David Skarka

David Skarka ('08) never thought he would be administering justice as a government lawyer in the County Attorney's Office. Today, Skarka handles child welfare cases dealing with abuse and neglect for the government. Previously, he served as a prosecutor focused on criminal cases.

A native of Colorado, Skarka learned about Regent University at a college fair in California and was impressed with the Regent mission. After a campus visit, he decided to pursue a joint-degree in government and law. Skarka says, "I came to Regent University to follow God's calling to study government and law." In 2008, Skarka graduated earning a Master of Arts in Government and Juris Doctor degree.

A student of the founding fathers, Skarka was impressed with RSG's integration of Christian principles into the curriculum. However, Skarka reflects that being a joint-degree student was not without challenges. Skarka admits he was not fully prepared for the academic rigor and the time commitment required to be successful.

However, Skarka says after taking advantage of the resources offered to students, he was able to develop the necessary habits to excel. He also credits his professors with providing the practical support needed both in and out of the classroom. Skarka says that his relationship with Christ is what made the biggest difference. "I invited the Holy Spirit into my studies." It was this motivation that encouraged him to study harder.

Inspired by William Wilberforce, Skarka says he is his favorite leader because, "he sought out justice." Skarka believes as a government lawyer, he also is a "minister of justice" which he defines as "doing the right thing, for the right reason, and always in the right manner."

As Skarka reflects on his time at Regent he notes, "I had a rich and rewarding experience both academically and spiritually. Regent is where I grew the most and was equipped to serve in my profession."


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Recent Events

Servant Leadership: A Spiritual and Moral Perspective

RSG Professor Gary Roberts' newly released book, Servant Leader Human Resource Management: A Moral and Spiritual Perspective, was published by Palgrave MacMillan in late 2014.

Servant leader human resource management (SLHRM) entails developing performance management policies and practices that honor the 'triune towers' of support, accountability and integrity. Employee support requires workplace policies and practices that cultivate a healthy and engaging quality of work life. Employers of integrity balance employee support with performance accountability standards. Accountability is embedded within a value system of the organization.

Support and accountability, in turn, lean on the pillar of integrity, which is the authentic implementation of the espoused values. The book provides a systematic overview of human resource management through actionable principles that promote a moral organizational culture. Sadly, research demonstrates that most employees are disengaged and experience high stress levels.

Developed over a period of ten years, Servant Leader Human Resource Management provides a comprehensive conceptual framework based on a dignity-enhancing stewardship model that integrates and balances mission achievement with motive, means and ends. The foundation is the development of a strategic and tactical collaborative partnership between the human resource department and line managers and employees. This book is a welcome guide for improving the leadership skills of its academic and professional readers.

Each chapter provides concrete recommendations to enhance positive employee attitudes and behavior, and to produce high work performance through infusing servant leadership into traditional human resources practices.

"The reader benefits from personalized reflections outlining the obstacles to the growth of the virtuous character traits essential for servant leadership and concrete recommendations for overcoming barriers," says Roberts.

Roberts believes one of the strengths of the book is its broad appeal to diverse audiences including human resource professionals and line managers in the workplace.

"Gary Roberts brings soul to the workplace. Filled with practical application, scholarly depth and a return to the virtues that sustain human community, Servant Leader Human Resource Management: A Moral and Spiritual Perspective provides a profound base for the kind of leadership dynamic that produces real-world results. Utilizing a Christian perspective, Roberts explores the richness of servant leadership across a vast global landscape and returns with treasures for those willing to be transformed," says Dr. Shann Ray Ferch, an international leadership expert.

Order a copy of the book.

 

Advancing America's Founding Fathers

On December 9, 2014, RSG Professor Jeffry Morrison spoke to a large audience at the Rivers Club in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the topic "John Witherspoon, Grandfather of the Constitution." Sponsored by the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College, the luncheon lecture to state legislators, civil servants, community leaders, and interested laypersons was part of an ongoing American Founders Luncheon Series sponsored by the center. The lecture was followed by a lively question-and-answer session and book signing. Dr. Morrison is pictured with Dr. Paul Kengor, executive director of the center (and a former speaker at RSG's Ronald Reagan Symposium). (Read more about the American Founders Luncheon Series).

From December 10-11, 2014, Morrison participated in a private conference at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., on the topic "Hamilton, Jefferson and American Conservatism." The conference included some of the leading academics in the fields of government and history who work on the American Founding, including faculty from the University of Notre Dame, Louisiana State University and the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.

 

2015 Ronald Reagan Symposium Essay Contest

"A Democratic Revolution? Challenges to Fostering Global Freedom."

In honor of the 10th annual Ronald Reagan Symposium, the Robertson School of Government is announcing a student essay contest on the following question:

In 1982 Ronald Reagan asserted in his Westminster Speech, "If the rest of this century is to witness the gradual growth of freedom...we must take actions to assist the campaign for democracy." In 2015, is it still in the U.S. national interest and/or commensurate with American values to promote democracy abroad?

Winners at the high school, undergraduate and graduate level will be announced at the Ronald Reagan Symposium, which will be held at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on March 20, 2015. The symposium theme is "A Democratic Revolution? Challenges to Fostering Global Freedom."

Essay Contest Deadline: February 1, 2015.

 

 

Upcoming Events

Capitol Hill Alumni Reception
Friday, January 30, 2015
Rayburn House Office Building
First Floor Foyer
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

RSG Lecture Series: War & Peace – Challenges of Peacemaking
Monday - February 2, 2015

2015 Reagan Symposium
Friday, March 20, 2015
Regent University Campus - Main Theatre
View more information and register

Ethics, Media & Culture Conference: "Religious Freedom and Terrorism"
Friday, April 10 - Saturday, April 11, 2015
Regent University
View more information and register


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