RSG Newsletter


May 2016
Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner

Dean Eric Patterson, Ph.D.Dear Friends,

Greetings from the Robertson School of Government! In this edition of our newsletter you will learn about some of the tremendous faculty here at the Robertson School. Practitioner in Residence Dr. Edwin Daley was recently recognized as Distinguished Alumnus by Dean John Keeler of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. Judge Patricia West recently shared an off-the-record conversation with students about the ethical challenges faced by judges and prosecutors as part of our semi-annual "Defense Against the Dark Arts Series." Other faculty have worked with military chaplains, participated in events in Washington, DC, and published op-eds while continuing their excellent work as teacher-scholars with our students.

Warm regards,

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


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Faculty Story: Dr. Edwin Daley presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award

Congratulations, Dr. Daley! In recognition of his outstanding record of public service and commitment to local government, Dean John Keeler presented the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, GSPIA, Distinguished Alumnus Award to Dr. Edwin Daley at a dinner held in his honor in Richmond, VA. Read more about Mr. Daley's career and accomplishments here.

 

Alumni Story: Carin and Elizabeth Miller (CAS '08 and RSG '10)

Carin and Elizabeth Miller (CAS' 08, RSG '10) are twin sisters and both alumni from Regent's College of Arts & Sciences and Robertson School of Government. They pursued their education together and now both work at Liberty Ammunition, a privately owned, small-caliber ammunition company located in Bradenton, FL.

Carin and Elizabeth grew up in Florida and while working on their undergraduate degrees, worked in a military ministry among the new recruits and sailors of the Pensacola Naval Station, located nearby. As the two sisters talked with the people on the base, Carin said, "We really developed a heart for them while we were working there, especially for people who are new to the military. Most of them had just gotten out of boot camp. We were on base in Pensacola when 9/11 occurred. Some of the people on the base were only nineteen and they were scared of what might happen. It was really eye-opening." Throughout this time they both developed a desire to work in the defense industry, which was a large part of what brought Elizabeth and Carin to Regent University and eventually to the Robertson School of Government.

The sisters both pursued Bachelor's degrees through Regent's online undergraduate program. They had developed an interest in the Middle East through a trip they had taken to Israel, and after finishing their undergraduate degrees, they decided to move to Virginia Beach to continue their education at Regent in the Robertson School of Government. They both completed the M.A. in Government program with certificates in Mid-East Politics and Terrorism and Homeland Defense. They recounted that their favorite moments in the program came from their internship with the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk where they helped develop military exercises for training purposes. The most memorable exercise they organized was a simulation of a natural disaster: "It was a humanitarian exercise where the participants had to deal with a natural disaster. We had several groups involved: U.S. military, NATO members and coalition partner countries, and NGOs. There were people working together from all over the world." Elizabeth said that this experience was a great preparation for logistical and military relations work they do now for Liberty Ammunition.

After graduating from RSG, Carin and Elizabeth returned to Florida where they began working with a small defense contracting company. Through their work here, they were brought in as contractors with Liberty Ammunition which led to full-time roles for both of them in the company. Liberty Ammunition was started shortly after 9/11 and their desire is to make the world's highest performing ammunition in order to better protect the lives of the soldiers and law enforcement officers using it. Carin works as their Procurement Manager, handling purchasing and logistics and Elizabeth is their Compliance Administrator, working with new customers and overseeing the regulation aspects of the industry. When asked about what makes them passionate about their work at Liberty Ammunition, Elizabeth said, "I think it goes back to us being passionate about working for the military. We were brought in to work with the military and relate to them really well. Also, the ammunition that we sell is more effective than other ammunition on the market right now, so it is working to save the lives of our soldiers."

 

Recent Events

Hearing from the Region's Mayors


Regent University's South Hampton Roads Mayors Town Hall brought local leaders to The Founder's Inn, Thursday, April 28. Mayors from Suffolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth fielded questions from guests and gave an idea of what challenges communities are facing, as well as what opportunities their municipal governments are pursuing.

The local economy took top priority as each South Hampton Roads city mayor voiced his or her opinion on what industry supports its tax-base. Mayor Linda Johnson of Suffolk, calls her hometown the coffee and tea capitol of the world. Suffolk is home to many caffeinated beverage companies, and employers take advantage of the land available in Suffolk. Next-door, Chesapeake is looking to lease its land to bigger businesses too. Mayer Alan Krasnoff of Chesapeake, says his government is concentrating on the southern, rural area of the city, planning to attract what he calls a "mega-site." He plugged his city's online services as a gateway to the venture.

"With our eBuild system, you can get every permit you ever wanted online," said Krasnoff. "The city is open 24/7, no matter where you are, Europe, South America - you can do business without ever visiting our City Hall in person."

Mayor William Sessoms, of Virginia Beach, boasted the housing of a major fiber-optic line going through its Corporate Landing area. That's where Sessoms wants to attract and place biomedical companies. He hopes Virginia Beach's universities, hospitals, and focus on technology will attract such companies to the area which already benefits from a strong defense, tourism and agricultural economy. He says much money is being spent in the biomedical field, and Virginia needs to step up-to-the-plate and attract this sort of innovative business.

Portsmouth, a city more than 200 years old, says innovation is the key to its future. Mayor Kenneth Wright focused his message on replacing city infrastructure. He argued a long-term investment will bring long-term savings for his residents. He says his city has come a long way by investing in a recycling program that is now ranked top in the Commonwealth of Virginia, according to Wright. He says the city is now performing a major overhaul to its water works.

Sessoms prided his community on its safety and good school systems. He and the other mayors agreed that collaboration was the key to creating a strong South Hampton Roads, and Johnson says the area already has a reputation for working together. Paul Fraim, Norfolk mayor, was unable to attend the Town Hall due to an emergency meeting.

 

Panel Discussion, "Evil, Compassion, and ISIS"


How should American Christians respond to the threat of ISIS? Editors and contributors of the recently founded foreign policy and national security journal, Providence, visited Regent's Robertson School of Government to evaluate the approaches Christians have been assuming as they reconcile their faith with action.

"I don't see many Christians thinking systematically about these issues," said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute of Religion and Democracy and editor of Providence: A Journal of Christianity and American Foreign Policy. "Too often, it's in the moment, and in that sense, the Church is reflecting American culture and its reality TV mode. We have a very short attention span."

Tooley says he hears Christians from the Left rejecting violence at all costs, and voices from the right offering knee-jerk reactions. Providence's objective is to get American Christians back to the first principles of what God has ordained government to do, which is provide for the protection and security for its people.

"Regent is already blessed to have several superior professors who are addressing issues of global statecraft intelligently," said Tooley. "Dr. Eric Patterson, the dean of the Robertson School of Government, is a contributing editor to Providence. We're also looking for more writers and contributors. I'm sure there are a lot of students here who more-than qualify."

Other speakers included the journal's managing editor Marc LiVecche and Robert Nicholson of The Philos Project.

"ISIS, compassion, evil, all of these different things that we study in class from week to week really came up heavily," said Brent Jurmu '17 (Robertson School of Government).

Jurmu, an online master's of public administration student and U.S. Marine Corps officer, brought an experienced perspective to the discussion. He's trained in Arabic and has served in Iraq and Afghanistan and says it's important for Christians to consider just war theory, compassion, neighbor love, and Christian principles when it comes to defeating ISIS.

"Bringing the right people into a conversation here at places like Regent and our churches, and those atmospheres, is really the only way we're going to come up with sustainable solutions for them, and then, understanding how to pray for them and how to support them," said Jurmu. "I think we need to reach out to them and ask the victims of these tragedies the way forward."

"Regent potentially is a point of leadership for other Christian schools that are either not addressing these issues, or really aren't addressing them by relying on Christian tradition, but instead relying upon modern ideology or emotions and sentiment of the moment," said Tooley.

Students and a panel with other editors from Providence interacted in a time of questions and answers. The journal was founded in 2015 to provide a Protestant Christian voice to the area of foreign policy.

Featured Video: How Should Christian Respond to ISIS?

 

Judge West Prepares Christian Leaders for Tough Challenges in their Careers

Violent crime, sexual abuse and broken families are harsh realities the real world offers on a daily basis. Some Regent University graduates will serve in careers that demand close interaction with those involved in challenging situations. While it's impossible to perfectly prepare anyone for these tragedies, The Robertson School of Government (RSG) invited Judge Patricia L. West, distinguished professor, to share ethical challenges she faced in her career as part of its speakers' series "Defense Against the Dark Arts."

"God doesn't want us to all be together in a little clump, pat ourselves on the back, and tell each other what great Christians we are," said West. "He wants us to be out there in the darkness. That's the only way that we can ever win anyone."

West sat down and shared stories from her time as a judge in Virginia Beach Circuit Court, Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, and her experience working for Virginia's Attorney General. She shared stories of cases involving tragedy, tough decisions and teachable moments. Facing unrepentant convicted murderers, child sex predators, and victims of heinous crimes took peace, calmness and discernment West says only came from her relationship with God.

"God has granted me the ability to see all of this awful stuff, hate that it happens, but not get jaded by it," said West. "I know it's there, and these things happen, and I cannot explain it apart from God's grace. The things that I've seen and talked about today are a side of the world that most people don't even need to know about, unless they're working in it and want to try to help with it."

As a prosecutor, West counseled and nurtured victims. As a judge, she delivered justice to convicted criminals. After serving sentences, some would come forward and thank her.

"I'm sure a lot of the people I locked up didn't really know I was hoping that I was really making a positive difference in their life, but that was my prayer always, that they would go into prison, and a prison ministry might change their life. They needed to be punished, but my deepest desire, when I imposed those sentences, was that they would come out better people."

West is an associate dean in Regent's School of Law, and is a distinguished professor in the RSG. The "Defense Against the Dark Arts" events are semi-annual off-the-record conversations about facing the moral and ethical challenges of public service. Past speakers have included elected officials and military officers.

 

Dr. Eric Patterson – Interviewed by WAVY-TV 10 – Special Report: From the White House to Your House

Three local political experts say the immediate future of Hampton Roads could vary greatly depending on who wins the presidential election. "10 On Your Side," a local television show, asked them where the candidates stand when it comes to our military presence, government services, wages and the Port of Virginia.

Candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have championed a robust military, but want to cut spending. Those reductions could affect local industry connected to defense, as well as other government agencies.

"The place where it would hit is not so much on the uniformed military, and I don't think on veterans," said Eric Patterson, dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University. "It would be a reduction in contracting services."

Patterson says Democrat Hillary Clinton has also shown intentions to leave our uniformed military alone, but future contracts could be affected. "I think she would continue to be supportive of past commitments – in other words, towards ship contracts that have already been let and things for Greater Hampton Roads."

Political science professor Carol Pretlow of Norfolk State University says Clinton's experience as Secretary of State should make her realize the importance of the military to Hampton Roads. "She understands the connection between our representation internationally and the connection with the Defense Department."

Patterson says Senator Bernie Sanders would shift money away from the military to pay for entitlement programs. "Hampton Roads, I think, would be very, very much in trouble when it comes to military spending if Sanders were elected president."

When it comes to jobs, Pretlow hears about it in her own Norfolk State classroom. "They tell me I can't find a job, or I'm working at MacArthur Mall and I'm having trouble juggling the schedule."

The issue has become part of the larger minimum wage debate – Sanders and Clinton support a hike, while Trump and Cruz argue a $15 an hour minimum could hurt competition and kill jobs. Ohio Governor John Kasich says it should be left up to the states.

Kasich gets points from all three analysts for his fiscal record and avoiding personal campaign attacks. "He's very focused on specific issues and he isn't getting into personalities," said Pretlow.

Patterson is impressed with Kasich's conservative fiscal record as both a Congressman and now a Governor in Ohio. "This is a rust belt state that's been a miracle recovery."

Regent Economics Professor Brian Baugus looked at the tax plans of each of the five candidates when it comes to more take-home pay, and likes what Ted Cruz has in mind as far as cutting taxes. He worries about Sanders' plan for increasing corporate taxes, which Baugus says would reduce entrepreneurship, drive up prices and reduce consumption.

Baugus has also analyzed where the candidates stand as far as trade, especially with the Port of Virginia and its three terminals here in Hampton Roads. He says Trump's rhetoric shows he doesn't fully grasp the importance of trade to a port region like ours.

"When he talks about winning trade – you don't win trade." Baugus said, "When you go to Wal-Mart, do you think I've won, I've beaten Wal-Mart?"

A recent William & Mary study showed that our port terminals are worth $60 billion to Virginia's economy. Patterson and Baugus agree democrats Clinton and Sanders could have a negative effect on the port by increasing regulations on certain industries, especially coal. About 48 million tons of coal passes through the port each year.

"Both might unleash an even more empowered EPA with increasingly interventionist policies. It's hard for me to imagine how that's good for the economy of the port or for Virginians," Patterson said.

Baugus says increased regulation would be like the umpire trying to play the game. "For the government to get into the idea of picking winners and losers is a very dangerous place to be. It doesn't have a real good track record in that."

Meanwhile, two of the GOP candidates are teaming up to block businessman Donald Trump. The presidential campaigns of Cruz and Kasich say they are launching collaborative strategies to deprive Trump the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination.

Both Cruz and Kasich's campaigns released statements Sunday saying that Cruz will focus his campaign resources on winning enough delegates in Indiana, while Kasich will focus his efforts on western states including Oregon and New Mexico.

Trump, the current front-runner, needs 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination. If he falls short, the Republican convention in July will evolve into a rare contested convention.

Story written by Chris Horne of WAVY TV-10.

 

Regent's MPA is only Three Years Old and Already Making an Impact

A quick look at today's headlines exposes a level of distrust in national and world government that is fueling a political revolution. "For such a time as this," Regent offers its Master of Public Administration (MPA). This academically challenging, distinctively Christian program equips strong leaders to influence every level of government and society.

Program chair Dr. Gary Roberts says the degree, which can be earned on campus or online in as few as 24 months, was "birthed" in the Robertson School of Government (RSG) to fill what he calls a serious gap in higher education. "There are no explicitly evangelical Christian MPA programs," he explains. "There is a great need to train and equip the next generation of Josephs, Daniels, and Esthers to serve government and nonprofit organizations with excellence, promoting constitutional limited, effective, and efficient government."

Roberts attributes the program's early success to "prayer and the providential blessing of the Lord." RSG Dean, Dr. Eric Patterson says it's already a "middle-tier program" in terms of current student enrollment, just three years after it was introduced. In fact, MPA admissions are up significantly this spring in comparison to the previous spring semester.

"Christian public servants are needed in every level of government, from city hall to federal agencies," Patterson insists. "In the U.S. alone, there are more than 19 million nonmilitary government employees, all of whom will go somewhere for their training and education. Regent wants to train "Christian leaders to change the world' in how day-to-day government operates in the public interest."

Trust in government and its institutions is at historic lows. For that reason, Roberts says, "There is a critical need to equip men and women of character and competence to serve as skilled and wise stewards of the public interest. The MPA is the ‘degree of choice' in preparing students to assume leadership roles in our increasingly complex governmental environment."

Crystal Featherston, from Norfolk, Virginia, graduated with her Regent MPA in May 2014. She loves her full-time job as management and budget analyst for the City of Virginia Beach, "I chose to pursue an MPA because I wanted a versatile degree that would allow me to gain a position in government, where I could effectively contribute to process improvement." Featherston adds, "The Robertson School of Government showed me how to take that desire and tie it in with my faith."

Bill Dudley is a civilian employee at Naval Station Norfolk, who also earned his MPA from Regent in 2014. "I chose Regent for its excellence," he explains. "I chose this degree because it applied to my current job with the Department of Defense."

A primary RSG goal is helping mid-career Christians gain a wider set of tools. Roberts says Regent has the faculty to do exactly that, "We are blessed with outstanding faculty and staff who are called and equipped by God to not only teach, but to disciple students. The MPA faculty is superbly equipped, balancing outstanding academic training coupled with an impressive breadth and depth of experience in government and nonprofit organizations."

Patterson agrees that the program's professors and practitioners-in-residence are keys to guaranteeing the best possible online and/or on-campus experience and outcomes for MPA students. "The distinctives of RSG are our Christian foundations and our faculty's government experience, from federal service (USAID, U.S. State, Defense and Justice Departments) to state and local government. We take our faith perspective seriously but recognize that there is no single ‘Christian' approach to the diverse and dynamic issues of public life."

Roberts says Regent's MPA degree seeks to create Christian public administrators in the mold of William Wilberforce, the famous 19th century British statesman and abolitionist. "Our program explicitly incorporates the principles of servant leadership, enhancing both the character and competency of students in their Great Commandment and Great Commission callings."

Excerpt from IMPACT – Vol. 7 Issue 3 – March 2016 (Page 5).

Dr. Patterson presents "Beyond Genocide: Toward Justice and Conciliation after ISIS"

Dr. Eric Patterson spoke as part of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Read the entire article here.

 

Dr. Eric Patterson Provides Training for Army Chaplains

Military chaplains provide religious services to the troops but are also increasingly called upon to provide counsel on the religious and cultural dynamics of the context to which they are deployed. Dean Eric Patterson provided training on these issues for approximately seventy U.S. Army chaplains at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina on April 18.

The audience was made up of lieutenant colonels and colonels, many of whom have vast experience as religious leaders. However, training on the intersection of religion and national security affairs is not a conventional part of their seminary training. Moreover, the professional landscape has changed with the publication several years ago of a directive (Joint Publication 1-05) that calls on some chaplains to be prepared to provide religious "advisement" to their commanders as well as be ready, when called upon, to engage with local religious leaders in a deployed environment in pursuit of peace and understanding.

Dean Patterson is no stranger to working with military chaplains. He is the editor of a book about religious advisement and religious leader engagement, Military Chaplains in Iraq, Afghanistan and Beyond (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013) and has provided briefings and seminars for Army, Navy, and Air Force chaplains in the past. In 2012 he also provided support, lectures, and materials for the International Military Chiefs of Chaplains conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

His recent lecture was in two parts. First, he gave a briefing on religious trends in world affairs through 2025, a briefing he has provided over the past year to military and civilian audiences in various settings. Then he introduced a case study of chaplains' involvement in the context of war crimes. That case was the real-world situation of the Australian military chaplaincy in East Timor following the eruption of violence in 1999: military chaplains had to provide services for the dead and counsel the shocked and grieving, including UN peacekeepers affected by mass graves and evidence of mass brutality.

Regarding the seminar, Dean Patterson said, "It is a great honor to serve and assist military chaplains. I am a reserve military officer and the day before this briefing I was able to sit in a base chapel and be ministered to by our own chaplain. I've sat in chapels in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, and I deeply respect the work of these men and women."

 

Dr. Patterson Presides over Panel Discussion, "In the Shadow of ISIS: Coexistence, Stability, and Reconciliation in Kurdistan and Beyond"

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.S. House of Representatives have formally called the depredations of ISIS against Kurds, Christians, Yezidis and others "genocide." But what is to be done? This was one theme at a one-day symposium in Washington, DC that Dean Eric Patterson participated in.

Dean Patterson has had an interest in the region since speaking at an education summit in the (Iraqi) Kurdish capital of Erbil five years ago. He has argued that it is in U.S. interests for there to be recognized, independent Kurdish state. Thus, he was delighted to chair a panel on these issues at a conference led by the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) with participants of the Kurdish Regional Government and the Government of Iraq.

Among the participants were past U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Iraq, and Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, former ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, and several representatives of the Kurdish government, including the Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister (HE Qubad Talabani), Foreign Minister (HE Falah Mustafa Bakir), Minister of Interior (HE Kareem Sinjari), and the KRG Representative to the United States (Madam Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman). The event was led by IGE President John P. Gallagher, co-editor with Dean Patterson of a book on challenges in the greater Muslim world titled, Debating the War of Ideas (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009).

Dean Patterson's panel focused on identifying challenges to the long-term stability of the Kurdish region, with a focus on economic development, infrastructure, and the humanitarian crisis occasioned by involuntary displacement and migration. For example, a World Bank official discussed a recent report outlining both the long-term promise and the desperate needs of people on the ground.

 

Upcoming Events

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Band - Armed Forces Day Concert – May 21, 2016

 

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