Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner
Many seem to think that we are in the "worst of times" politically, but it is clear to me that the energy and engagement of people across the country suggests a re-thinking of our national identity and purpose by many people. At the Robertson School of Government we do not try to indoctrinate graduate students in a single point of view, but provide them with the critical thinking skills, knowledge, and experiences to encounter the complexity of global affairs for themselves.
In the past few weeks our on-campus students have had the opportunity to hear from the UK Conservative Party's Colin Bloom, presidential candidate Donald Trump, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, and others. You will hear some of the students' reactions in this newsletter, as well as meet our newest adjunct professor, RADM William McCarthy (USN, ret.) and a recent alum, Matt Viau, who works at the National Science Foundation.
When I think about those who have served our country in the past, like Admiral McCarthy, or the next generation of public servants like Matt Viau, I am hopeful for good times ahead.
Eric Patterson, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
Robertson School of Government
Watch the "Get to Know RSG" video.
For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.
The Robertson School of Government is happy to welcome Adm. Bill McCarthy as a new Adjunct Professor in the Master of Arts Program. Adm. McCarthy's experience and teaching focus on the formulation of public policy, intergovernmental relations, and presidential and congressional leadership.
McCarthy has had extensive U.S. government experience. He spent over 37 years in military and government service. His Navy career included combat flight operations in Operation Desert Storm. He later served as the Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. As a flag officer, he served as Commander, Carrier Strike Group EIGHT conducting operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. A U.S. Naval Test Pilot School graduate, his duties ashore included the Joint Staff and a variety of test and acquisition assignments culminating in command of the Navy's Operational Test and Evaluation Force. Following active service, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Deputy Assistant Secretary level as Deputy Director (OT&E), Net-centric and Space Systems/Missile Defense. In June 2013, he completed his career as a senior executive with the Navy here in Norfolk. He is an adjunct professor of public administration and procurement at the Old Dominion University and a member of the adjunct faculty in the Department of Leadership and American Studies at Christopher Newport University.
Matthew Viau (RSG, '11) is a Program Specialist at the National Science Foundation (NSF), an independent government agency which funds scientific research conducted by scientists, engineers and American colleges. He first came to the Robertson School of Government in 2009 seeking a Master's degree in both National Security Affairs and Middle East Studies. After studying Political Science and Middle-East Studies in his undergraduate work and a short stint working in the political world, Matt came to Regent with a sense of calling from God. Little did he know that he would meet his wife, Maureen, in Dr. Manjikian's Homeland Security class.
Looking back on meeting Maureen, Matt said, "How Maureen and I met is a funny story. I was asked by Professor Manjikian to sit on a panel for her class and ask graduate students questions on their final research paper presentations. I was then tasked to link all the presentations on the student topics together into one larger presentation at the end of the class. Maureen had refused to send me her paper to review before class, and I came prepared to ask her some really difficult questions on her work. But, when I caught sight of Maureen sitting in the audience, I was star struck. I completely forgot the hard questions I had prepared and asked a few that she knocked out of the park. Following my presentation, I quickly left. Who made first contact is still in dispute to this day, and the rest is history." Maureen and Matt were married in 2012. They both love to travel and visited Iceland this past year and plan to tour Thailand in 2017.
As a Program Specialist for the NSF, Matt monitors and assesses grant proposals and recipients in the NSF's Astronomy division. He is responsible for the logistics of peer review panels, which are made up of experts who advise the NSF on what research to fund. He also ensures that grant recipients are compliant with the terms and conditions of their grants, and researches new technologies and methods to make his division more effective.
When asked what makes him passionate about his work, Matt said, "The NSF mission is ‘to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense...' I believe in this mission. I also love meeting students and young professionals who are enthusiastic about their research. Their passion for science drives me to work as hard as I can to make sure they have the resources they need. It is amazing to think that one of the proposals I helped through the process could result in some ground breaking scientific discovery."
When asked for a word of advice for other RSG alumni, Matt advised, "Never give up. God has a plan. It is extremely time consuming to get a job with the government following graduation. Do not limit yourself. Expand your horizons and apply for jobs that will help you get your foot in the door. If you were to tell me five years ago that this is where I would be working once I graduated, I would have thought you were joking. But I love my job and I am privileged to work with my colleagues at the NSF."
What it is Like to Run for President
Robertson Campaign Speech - 1988
With the current presidential race running at full-force, a former candidate met with Robertson School of Government (RSG) students to share his experience about what it all was like. Motivating future Christian leaders to prayerfully consider whether they ought to run for an elected office, Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, Regent's founder chancellor and CEO, shared his experience winning multiple states in the 1988 Republican Primary.
"I campaigned in 34 states, rally after rally," said Robertson. "I shook many hands, and my campaign manager wanted me to shake 1,500 per day. I did that sort of retail politics. I rode a horse in 100 degrees and a bus in Spirit Lake, Iowa in negative temperatures. It was fun, but it was exhausting."
Robertson shared the struggle of dealing with a hostile media, and needing to forgive hurtful and false accusations from rivals and the press. He described the grueling experience of rushing across the country to meet voters, but also the rewarding experience of encountering hardworking Americans with an appreciation for American values and a slower pace of life. Robertson said it wasn't so much his plan to run for president as he believes it was God's. Although he didn't win the presidency, he looks back and sees how the Lord used him.
"It was the founding of the Christian Coalition which really, as he pointed out, was the legacy of that campaign," said Dr. Mary Manjikian, RSG associate professor. "He made an analogy that the Republicans have to think about the evangelicals the same way the Democrats have to think about labor unions. You really can't get elected without them."
Robertson's involvement in the election mobilized the voting efforts of Christians, some of whom previously avoided politics. He encouraged graduates to continue a tradition of taking action in the realm of public policy.
Master of Arts in Government student Jordan Mertens chose Regent University because of the leadership experience and credentials of the RSG faculty. He feels led to one day run for public office, and appreciated the wisdom Robertson shared.
"I've been thinking about this for a while, especially as a Christian, how you're supposed to handle things because it's supposed to be different," said Jordan Mertens '17 (RSG). "You're not supposed to look like everyone else. You're supposed to stand out and be salt and light to the world.
"He said you need to go on with a servant-like attitude and extend that just like Christ did for others," said Mertens. "So, there's a lot of examples he took of Christ's ministry that we know of from scripture, and applied it to how he thinks we should apply that to active campaigning as well."
"Obviously Dr. Robertson is one of those individuals who have lived this out," said Mertens. "It's not just a rhetorical idea. It's a practical experience for him, and now he can turn around and share those experiences with other people that he's trying to raise up into a position that could truly make a difference."
Click here for audio version.
Donald Trump Selects Regent University for Campaign Rally
On Saturday, October 22, Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump held a campaign rally at Regent University, bringing more than 10,000 guests to the Virginia Beach campus.
"On behalf of Regent University I want to welcome you and the ‘Trump team' to this plaza on this beautiful day," said Regent Founder, Chancellor and CEO Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson at the event's opening.
Robertson has explained his desire to expose Regent students to a variety of thought-leaders within the political process. Regent has extended invitations to all presidential candidates on the ballot in Virginia to hold similar rallies on campus in an effort to accomplish this.
Trump reiterated the 100-day plan that he debuted earlier today at Gettysburg. He laid out his plans for cutting taxes "way, way down," appointing Conservative Supreme Court Justices and a promise for a four-percent growth and one million jobs over a 10-year period.
Trump also stated his plan for rebuilding the "depleted" military.
"We will be a strong nation again," said Trump "We are going to start with the Navy right here in Virginia Beach as part of our plan to create a 350-ship fleet. Little Creek and Naval Air Station Oceana are going to get a lot busier when I'm president."
Trump said his administration would "cherish and defend faith and religious liberty." And work to find "peace through strength."
"You're going to look back and you're going to be proud of your country again and hopefully you're going to be proud of your president, because we will make America wealthy again," said Trump. "We will make America strong again, we will make America safe again and we will make America great again. God bless you."
Before Trump's arrival, former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani greeted the crowd with a plea for a political "change of direction." He believes this "change" will bring about lower taxes, a stimulated economy, increased jobs and a change in foreign policy.
"[Trump's] loyalty is to one place and one place alone and that's to you the people," said Giuliani. "He will owe his election to the place you're supposed to: to the people of the United States. Get out there and vote."
The pre-rally event was emceed by United States Army Major General (Ret). Bert Mizusawa, who introduced guest speakers such as Delegate Glenn Davis; Virginia state Senator Frank Wagner; Ralph Reed, Founder and Chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition; Tony Suarez, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; and Virginia Delegate Scott Taylor.
"We need leaders who step up to the fight, leaders who have failed but have gotten back up to succeed," said Taylor. "We need leaders who have the ability to step up and move toward the fight to get the nation back up and on the right path."
This was Trump's second trip to Regent in 2016. In February, he participated in Regent's Presidential Candidate Forums, where political thought-leaders were invited to participate in a Q&A-style interview with Robertson.
Additional candidates on the forum roster included former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Senator Ted Cruz, Governor John Kasich, and Dr. Ben Carson.
Regent does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Regent has extended invitations to all presidential candidates on the ballot in Virginia to hold similar rallies on campus.
On Tuesday, October 25, Regent University's Executive Leadership Series will feature Director, Outreach and International Secretary of the UK Conservative Party Colin Bloom. Each month, Regent's ELS invites prominent speakers to discuss leadership principles and trends with the Hampton Roads business community.
Learn more about Regent's Executive Leadership Series.
Former U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft Hosts Dinner for Robertson School of Government Students
Former U.S. Attorney General and Robertson School of Government (RSG) Distinguished Professor John Ashcroft and his wife Janet, hosted a barbeque dinner at their residence for students and faculty. This event illustrates one way that Regent University students benefit from building relationships with their professors. It is a great time for School of Government students to unwind and get to know each other better in the midst of a busy semester. "The dinner experience with John Ashcroft at the beach house in Virginia Beach was wonderful! As a first year online student at Regent Uni-versity, it afforded me a unique opportunity to meet my professors face-to-face for the first time, making my educational experience more personal. It was my pleasure to meet Dr. Eric Patterson, Dean of the Robertson School of Government, as well as Dr. Gary Roberts and Dr. Mary Manjikian. My thanks to former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, Dean Patterson, and Anita Reed for all of their kindness and hospitality hosting and coordinating this event! I look forward to future events that I may be able to attend affording me interaction with my professors in person," said Belinda Wilson (MA '18).
General Ashcroft, who has taught at Regent during the last dozen years, and Dean Eric Patterson served barbecue and dessert to faculty and students alike. The evening included current events-related activities as well as a time for discussion of government affairs. The General offered valuable insight to the students based on his time as governor, U.S. Senator and U.S. Attorney General. The night concluded with numerous songs including Regent's official school hymn, "Regent, Host of Faith and Learning" (text written by General Ashcroft).
General Ashcroft teaches a national legal policy class as well as a class entitled Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and National Security. Beyond his time in the classroom, he annually hosts up to ten such events like the government dinner which allow him more time with students.
Regent University's Executive Leadership Series Features Colin Bloom
In a 1941 address to the United States Congress, Winston Churchill closed his rousing speech with words that still resonate: "Still, I avow my hope and faith, sure and inviolate, that in the days to come the British and American peoples will, for their own safety and for the good of all, walk together in majesty, in justice and in peace."
Director, Outreach and International Secretary of the United Kingdom Conservative Party Colin Bloom called for a reigniting and extension of the values of "justice and peace" at Regent University's Executive Leadership Series (ELS) luncheon on Tuesday, October 25.
And much like the crux of history the two nations were turning into in the midst of WWII, Bloom explained the U.K. and the U.S. are in a similar history-changing realm nearly 75 years later.
"This is an interesting time in global politics and the United States," said Bloom. "And the best of Britain loves America, and we're delighted to have a relationship between the two countries. There is something about your American dream and your pursuit of excellence that makes this an extraordinary place."
Bloom spoke of the U.K.'s recent Brexit, secession from the European Union, and the changes that took place. Namely, the nation's former leader stepping down to make way for current Prime Minister Theresa May. He explained that her leadership has been the pair of "steady hands" the nation needs to recover from their transition earlier in the year, when the world was watching them closely.
In that same vein, Bloom explained that the world is now watching the current U.S. election unfold.
"I've visited every continent since September, and people all over the world are aghast," said Bloom.
He aimed to "speak truth with love," as he explained the international impression of events leading up to the eminent Nov. 8 decision. Peoples divided, he explained, can't be on guard with losing values such as the free market, liberty, democracy and justice.
"Today, more than ever, these values are under threat," said Bloom. "We need to defend them and extend them even more. America has got some healing to do. And the level of hatred that's unhealthy for America long-term is not healthy for the U.K."
Next month's ELS will feature LTG (Ret.) William G. "Jerry" Boykin, founding member of Delta Force and world-class expert on leadership and teamwork on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
Learn more about Regent University's Executive Leadership Series.
Presidential Panel Represents Candidates on their Policies
With the presidential election less than one month away, time is running out to complete voter registration and select a candidate.
"I've noticed that a lot of people are just looking to the personality instead of the policies," said Leo Thome, Regent University Council of Graduate Students (COGS) president. "That's a very dangerous place to judge, just to place a vote on a personality."
To make policy the main focus of the presidential race, COGS organized a presidential panel to answer questions and educate students. Teams of volunteers articulated the candidates' positions on issues ranging from military intervention to social issues and taxes. Representatives for Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Donald Trump fielded questions in the Moot Court Room, articulating their candidate's views.
"They volunteered to speak on behalf of the candidates," said COGS Senator Charity Kewish. "This is not an affiliation with a candidate at all. It's not an endorsement of the candidate, but they are here to answer the question as best as they can on behalf of the candidate."
Dr. Eric Patterson, Robertson School of Government (RSG) dean, moderated the panel. He asked prepared questions, and then opened the discussion to questions from the audience, foreign policy, Obamacare, the economy and jobs, all key issues.
"I don't know how many people really understand the complexity of the issues involved," said Kewish. "We thought this would be a great way for people to come and find out more about the candidates, and hopefully it will help them make a decision."
"It's vitally important because, last election, the current administration only won by 3 million votes," said Thome. "If all Christians had voted, and they voted for a different party, we could have had a different result. When the righteous govern, the people rejoice. Politics is important, and we need to be engaged in culture because the Great Commission is not just limited to the Church or to the streets. It goes way beyond that into business, government, politics, everywhere."
Election events continue at Regent as Election Day approaches. The RSG will hold an Election Night Watch Party on November 8, and a Post-Election Panel Discussion on November 10.
Russia Study Abroad Trip 2017
Have you ever dreamt of visiting Red Square, the Hermitage Art Museum, and other scenic and historic sites in Russia? This summer the Robertson School of Government will offer students an opportunity to visit Moscow and St. Petersburg through EF Abroad.
In May 2017, the Robertson School of Government will sponsor a nine-day study tour of Russia led by Dr. Mary Manjikian, a former diplomat and Russia expert. Participants will have the opportunity to take a one credit course on "Politics and Religion in Russia," along with the study tour.
We are also opening up this tour to Robertson School of Government alumni. Please visit this link to learn more about the program or to enroll now!
Book Launch with Professor Gary Roberts – October 31, 2016
Election Night Watch Party – November 8, 2016
Post-Election Panel Discussion – November 10, 2016
U.S. Army TRADOC Band Christmas Concert – December 17, 2016