RSG Newsletter


December 2014
Regent University Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner

Robertson School of Government

Dean Eric Patterson, Ph.D.Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe that we are at the final week of the semester, with all of its exams, term papers and grading. It has been a noteworthy and productive semester, with the publication of three new faculty books, a host of superior speakers with names like Huckabee, Ashcroft, Forbes, McEwen, and Scalia, and a tremendous amount of day-to-day work in the classroom.

We are grateful to our alumni for their support of the Bom-Kickasola Scholarship fund, which honors the 58 years of combined teaching by Professors Emeritus Philip Bom and Joseph Kickasola. Both professors continue to be active in the Robertson School of Government during retirement, and there are thousands of Regent alumni who were touched by these men.

In this issue of our newsletter you will also read about Dr. Ionut Popescu's Smith-Richardson Foundation grant as well as some of our alumni who are making a difference in the non-profit world. Examples include Regent's alumni director Melissa Fuquay to Catholic Charities of Boston VP Larry Mayes to Jennifer Salcido, who has worked with refugees on the border of Iraq and Syria.

As we approach the holidays, allow me to wish you Merry Christmas on behalf of all of us here at RSG.

Warm regards,

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


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Faculty Story: Dr. Ionut Popescu - Smith Richardson Foundation Grant Recipient

Dr. Ionut Popescu

Dr. Ionut Popescu

A Smith-Richardson Foundation (SRF) grant is sending one Regent University professor on a book-writing journey on one of his favorite policy-oriented topics. Dr. Ionut Popescu, assistant professor in the Robertson School of Government, was awarded $60,000 by the SRF to author his first book. Launching from his doctoral dissertation, he'll be exploring how presidents form foreign policy according to their "grand strategy."

Popescu applied for the grant in May 2014. He learned in late October 2014, that SRF had selected him to be one of three recipients for its International Security and Foreign Policy Program's Strategy and Policy Fellows Program annual grant competition. Now, he's mapping out his research plans to travel to Washington D.C., the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, and the William J. Clinton Presidential Center.

"I prefer to research issues of practical importance, not just theoretical," said Popescu. "I envisioned this project while doing my dissertation. I will write a book about how grand strategy forms and how it should be formed."

Popescu describes the theory of "grand strategy" as the overarching principles and framework of why presidents do what they do in the international scene. It drives a government's plan and pattern of behavior in the realm of foreign policy and geopolitics. His book will take a look at Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Bush ('41), Clinton and Bush ('43) and how their grand strategies informed their plans and decisions. The book could serve as advice to future presidential administrations.

"The purpose is to show that the common understanding of how grand strategy should be made is, at best incomplete, and at worst, it is flawed," said Popescu. "The key will be to show policy makers that there are two approaches to grand strategy and that there is a time for each of them. Sometimes they should focus on long-term planning, other times on learning and adaptation."

The grant will provide funds for travel, research and the hiring of a Regent student as a research assistant. The book will be completed within a year, and once it is completed, Popescu hopes that it will stir up some debate and advance the understanding of grand strategy in both academic and Washington think-tank circles.

The book project has been a multi-year dream for Popescu who encourages his students to follow their dreams.

"Work hard, pray, stay faithful, and follow your dreams," said Popescu.


Alumni Stories:

Melissa Fuquay ('02)– Serving Alumni

Melissa Fuquay

Melissa Fuquay ('02)

Melissa Fuquay ('02) never imagined when she set foot on the Regent University campus, that fourteen years later she would be serving her fellow RSG alumni. Today, Fuquay serves as the Regent University alumni director. She and her alumni team are the link to over 19,000 of Regent University alumni. Graduates of Regent University are blazing trails in the world's most competitive fields in government, law, education and the arts.

"Being in a position where I am able to support our alumni as they are living out our motto of Christian Leadership to Change the World has been very rewarding. I encourage students to stay in touch with their Regent family when they graduate by tapping into the many resources and networking opportunities provided by our alumni association," says Fuquay.

Fuquay first learned about Regent University during a presentation by a former RSG dean. "A previous RSG dean spoke at a convocation service and held a special info session afterwards for government students. I was so impressed with everything that I was hearing about the program, as well as the current RSG students in attendance. After that visit, there was no doubt in my mind about pursuing my master's degree at Regent," reflects Fuquay.

"At that time, Regent was the only Christian university that had a master's degree in political management. In the classroom, we were able to discuss various political scenarios from a biblical and moral perspective, which helped later in real-world experiences," says Fuquay.

Fuquay says her time as a student were both rewarding and challenging. "As a student I interned on Virginia Attorney General Mark Early's campaign for governor. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience because of the ability to practically apply what I was learning in class in the day-to-day activities of my internship." However, she notes balancing school, work and an internship was a challenge.

When asked how she has integrated her faith, education and career, Fuquay notes, "My faith has always played an important role in all aspects of my life. There were some really tough times during my years working in politics where I really had to cling tight to my faith to get me through those moments. My education was crucial to preparing me for my jobs on political campaigns given all of the practical, hands-on training I received in the political management program. When I was in school, being an alumni director never crossed my mind, but it has been amazing to see how each job I've had since graduating has prepared me for my current position."

For Fuquay, the Regent University motto, Christian Leadership to Change the World is more than words: "It can mean leading by example in your daily life at work to serving in high governmental levels where you are influencing major policies. We all have an opportunity to be a Christian leader in whatever walk of life or profession we are in."

Fuquay says she is often inspired by a quote of former President Ronald Reagan, "There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit."


Larry Mayes ('98) – Catholic Charities

Larry Mayes

Larry Mayes ('98)

Having achieved a number of professional goals in the financial industry, Larry Mayes '98 was looking for a change. He began to reexamine his life and future following his mother-in-law's death from cancer.

"I remember thinking, 'At the end of the day, if I were to die what would my tombstone say? Here lies a mortgage broker?' It seemed cold," Mayes recalls.

That's when he decided to begin a new career. A friend suggested he attend Regent University's Robertson School of Government. He was immediately drawn by the school's integration of faith with rigorous academics.

"I was fascinated by the idea that you could reconcile faith and reason," Mayes explains. "In my experience there was always a clash. I was confronted either by no reason or by a faith that accelerated to absolutely nothing. The intellectual pursuit for truth I found at Regent was very appealing to me."

He describes his educational experience at Regent as "drinking through a fire hose." Mayes was introduced to theories and viewpoints he had never heard before. He also enjoyed lively debates among peers and faculty.

"I am so glad Regent is not afraid to engage with other viewpoints," he says. "It is a place where people are willing to debate their position honestly and without fear. Those were the debates happening in the mainstream market place."

Mayes' interest in government centered primarily on working to improve systems and public policy. He knew he wanted a job that would make a difference in people's lives. He assumed this would be through nongovernmental organizations, but since graduating, he has had opportunities to bring about change through a variety of roles. He served as a director of Log School, an alternative school in Dorchester, Mass., where he helped start an all-girls radio station in a neighborhood where violence was prevalent. His students began the station to provide young women with an alternative to music from a hip-hop culture that they felt degraded women.

Next, he served for six years as the cabinet chief of human services for the city of Boston. In this role, he was engaged in fostering community development and creating anti-violence initiatives. In the process, he had the opportunity to partner with a variety of nonprofit organizations.

Two years ago one of those organizations, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston, invited him to join their staff as Vice President of Programs. Mayes says it is "a great honor and a privilege" to work for one of the largest providers of social services in Massachusetts. "Catholic Charities is very much local," he says, "but it has an international reach." Some of the many services they offer include childcare, interpretive services for limited-English speakers, educational and career preparation, counseling, and programs for young parents.

To him, each program he oversees is an important opportunity to live out his calling and make a difference. "I remember thinking when I was at Regent that I wanted to fight for those who can't fight for themselves," he recalls. Now he is doing that every day.


Jennifer Salcido ('12) – Called to Iraq

Jennifer Salcido

Jennifer Salcido ('12)

After spending almost two years living and working in Iraq, Jennifer Salcido ('12) knows her time of preparation at RSG was important.

"RSG provided valuable internship experiences—from working for a U.S. Congressman to working in Iraq with the Kurdish government—that provided me with important knowledge and skills. Each experience provided excellent advice from my supervisors."

From her Regent internship with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Salcido landed a full-time job in Iraq.

"When I first started my graduate studies at Regent, I had no idea that I would be working in Iraq! I went to Iraq to teach first-and second-year university students. Working in a foreign country, especially in the Middle East is not an easy task. However, it is fascinating to partake in the educational development of a region, especially one that has been torn by ethnic and foreign wars," she says.

When asked about living in an area governed by the Kurdish Regional Government, Salcido notes, "Living in a Muslim country is a struggle as a single woman, especially when dealing with a very different culture, tradition and language."

In many ways Salcido thinks her Kurdish students had it much harder: "The students' views of democracy and freedom are distorted by years of tribal and ethnic wars. However, seeds of hope for their nation are evident when they speak. The students have shared stories of family survival during the cruel years of Saddam Hussein. For many restoring Iraq into a nation of religious freedom and ethnic diversity is a primary goal," reflects Salcido.

"I can honestly say that teaching in Iraq has enabled me to see a different side of human nature including the results of persecution."

After living abroad and bonding with the ancient Christian community of Iraq, Salcido says her passion for helping persecuted Christians in Iraq grew.

"Their stories of persecution and suffering stayed with me…in many ways I felt a sense of guilt that I couldn't do more for them. I wanted to do more than just carry their stories of loss and suffering, I wanted to give them hope."

After returning to the U.S., Salcido says a turning point came this summer when the extremist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) attacked and expelled the Christians from the city of Mosul, Iraq, mere miles from the place she lived and worked. "Many of my Christian friends had become victims of ISIS and the ultimatum was either convert or be killed by the sword," explains Salcido.

"Many of the ancient monasteries that I had visited were destroyed and the ancient historical churches that I had prayed in were burned to the ground. And as I watched on the news members of the most ancient Christian civilization in the Middle East flee for their lives, I knew that I had to help."

Troubled by the events occurring in Iraq, Salcido and a team of allies started International Veterans Alliance (IVA), a nongovernmental organization, focused on recruiting Iraqi war veterans to assist in providing humanitarian aid to persecuted Christians in northern Iraq and Syria. Salcido says IVA is committed to raising awareness and resources in order to lead a team of veterans and humanitarian workers to Iraq to assist with relief efforts including the purchase of winter supplies and medicines for refugees.

Currently, IVA partners with other organizations to sponsor a humanitarian mission to the Kurdistan region of Iraq on December 27-January 7, 2015 to assist the refugees displaced this summer by ISIS.

"With an estimated 1.5 million refugees crossing the border of Kurdistan (the northern region of Iraq), seeking refuge from the deathly grips of ISIS, the region of Kurdistan has been transformed into a refugee camp in a matter of months. This has created a humanitarian crisis in the region which neither Kurdistan or the international community are prepared to handle. Many of the refugees who fled were forced to cross the border by foot in 120 degree weather, bearing injuries, starvation, dehydration, and post-traumatic stress from witnessing loved ones massacred at the hands of extremists," says Salcido.

IVA intends to build a mobile clinic to provide doctors and refugees easy access to the best possible medical care in the Kurdish region and will film a documentary detailing the plight of Christians in the region.

"Although our work is challenging, it is not in vain," says Salcido.

"From the first moment I arrived at Regent University, I knew that Regent was a special place. My RSG professors took the time to invest in my academic career, making it clear that I had a purpose for which I was being prepared." She cites Colossians 3:17 as an important beacon: "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."


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Recent Events

Navy Seal Robert J. O'Neill Addresses Regent's Executive Leadership Series

More than three years have passed since America's Public Enemy Number One was defeated by a brotherhood of elite servicemen. But on Monday, Nov. 10, all eyes were on Robert J. O'Neill, a highly decorated combat veteran who recently revealed details about his role in the victory that was a decade in the making.

And though the news media, and even Hollywood, would tell a romanticized story on the efforts of a singular hero, O'Neill will be the first to admit that any successful mission, whether on the battlefield or in an office, is all about teamwork.

"If you're the leader of your workplace, take Monday through Friday off and see if the work still gets done," said O'Neill, as he addressed more than 500 guests at Regent University's Executive Leadership Series (ELS) luncheon. "Then give your employees the following week off and try to do all of their work by yourself."

O'Neill took his tactics for leading a successful mission one step further, explaining that teamwork is one thing, but "trusting your people" is another. He identified this as one of his four points of leadership, stressing importance of delegating power and owning the people skills to direct others.

According to O'Neill the value of being prepared and relinquishing the temptation to waste time by "over-planning," abstaining from making decisions while being emotional, and his ultimate key point, never quitting, are essential to effective leadership.

O'Neill is the very picture of what he teaches as the former team leader of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, often referred to as Seal Team Six. He understood, even from the beginning of his intensive training, that no mission could be accomplished without the brothers he had, literally, by his side in his squad as they soldiered through enemy lines in the midst of potential suicide bombers or ambush attacks.

"My daughter's best friend's dad had my back, and I had his," said O'Neill. "Everyone is looking out for everyone else."

As a 19-year-old coming out of a difficult end to a relationship with his former high school sweetheart, O'Neill reasoned his quickest escape route was to join the armed services, choosing the SEALS as his ultimate calling.

Having grown up in the landlocked town of Butte, Montana, he began to piece together the fact that the "sea" portion of his "sea, air and land" SEAL training might be a bit of a struggle.

"I thought, 'now was definitely a good time to learn how to swim,'" said O'Neill, who ventured to a nearby university to grow accustomed to doing laps in a pool. "When I entered the water, that's when the trouble started."

And, as O'Neill is known for saying, "it's better to be lucky than to be good," and through the help of a friend, he was able to learn the sport well enough to qualify for training.

But O'Neill's success can't only be attributed to dumb-luck, though the advice he frequently gave to himself on the field, "keep it simple, stupid" (KISS) would, perhaps, reflect otherwise. Ultimately, his tenacity is derived from his never-quit mentality, even in the midst of intense adversity.

"Failure is a great learning tool," said O'Neill. "If you want to know about success, ask a successful person; if you want to know about failure, ask an even more successful person."

Each month, ELS invites prominent leaders to speak to businessmen and women in the Hampton Roads area. President and CEO of Franklin Entertainment, DeVon Franklin, will close out the season for the year on Tuesday, Dec. 9, at the Founders Inn and Spa.

 

2014 Christmas Military Concert with the Army TRADOC Band

A traveling Christmas tradition began its tour at Regent University's Performing Arts Center with a full house and 60-plus member U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Band. The sounds of the season filled the auditorium as Regent welcomed the Newport News, Va.-based Fort Eustis concert band, smaller ensembles and vocalists.

"These players put out some amazing sounds. They are masters of their craft and are highly educated," said TRADOC's public affairs officer and tuba player Mark Lucero. "Everyone in the band is a professional musician, and we are always playing. We just finished some Veteran's Day concerts, took a week off, and are jumping into the holiday music."

Some of that music was written by band members. French horn player SFC Sean Payton arranged several of the evening's pieces. From "Home for the Holidays," to the "Three Moods of Hanukkah," the concert offered a diverse taste and range of holiday arrangements and got the audience to participate at its conclusion with a holiday sing-along.

The Saturday, December 6, performance was the first of three holiday concerts the band will perform in the Hampton Roads area. It was made possible by the band's connection to Robertson School of Government Dean Eric Patterson. He is the commander of the Air National Guard Band of the Southwest (Ft. Worth, Texas) and invites the TRADOC band to perform at Regent each year.

"The TRADOC Band is not only entertaining, but inspiring. Its musicians remind us of how great our country is through the power of musical artistry," said Patterson.

The TRADOC band is self-run. Not only do its members perform pieces, but they keep the band going by providing sound, lighting, promotions and administrative help. Members thanked Regent for its hospitality and work to ensure a successful concert.

"Due to sequestration, we haven't been able to rent venues, so a lot of organizations have taken us in. Working with Regent has been great. They have a box office and they do these sorts of things all of the time, so it's always nice to come in with a professional staff helping us out at the door with tickets and to have the wonderful venue," said Lucero. "Regent always rolls out the red carpet for us and we always appreciate it."

The TRADOC band used to be named the Continental Army Band and has a long history with Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va. Consolidation of forts moved the band to Fort Eustis two years ago. The Army TRADOC Band serves as an outreach asset for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. The TRADOC Band performs numerous concerts in support of local, regional and national events, including festivals, parades, and both city and state commemorations. The band also supports military ceremonies on and off Fort Eustis.

 

Dismantling Disease: Regent University Panel Examines Ebola

The international Ebola outbreak continues to make headlines of newspapers and rundowns of TV news scripts one case at a time. On Thursday, Nov. 13, the topic took center stage at Regent University. Experts shared history, tactics and stories of success while students and guests sought to gain a greater perspective on this mysterious disease.

Dr. Mary Manjikian, associate dean with the Robertson School of Government (RSG), laid the groundwork for understanding Ebola's potential impact. She reminded the audience of the Black Death. It wiped out an estimated 30 to 60 percent of Europe's population in the 14th century. This pandemic decimated the population, killing nearly half of those it infected.

Monuments still mark many countries where the disease spread. Culture responded with songs and customs that carry on today in the fight against Ebola. Manjikian questioned whether the two infections are one-in-the-same, showing pictures of people protecting themselves in Black Death suits that resemble the protective precautions doctors take today.

Manjikian questioned how governments are responding to such disasters in our era of securitization. Do they enact martial law, engage in surveillance, quarantine people and trample rights? Dr. Ionut Popescu, RSG assistant professor moderated panel responses to these questions. Panelists offered domestic and international answers.

"The international strategy has five aims," said retired Admiral Larry Baucom, an RSG adjunct faculty member. "We need to stop the outbreak initially, treat the infected, ensure essential services, preserve the stability of the region, and prevent future outbreaks. U.S. strategy aims to control the disease overseas, mitigate the impact at home, coordinate with a global response, and fortify the global health infrastructure to better respond in the future."

The United Nations created a Mission for Ebola Emergency Response and many non-governmental organizations are offering aid. The United States has allocated more than $1 billion to its military and created a "czar" to fight Ebola. Communications, said Baucom, must be implemented correctly to reassure the public in a time of crisis.

"The United States needs to refine its crisis management capabilities on epidemics, because this was kind of sloppy in several cases," said Baucom, citing conflicting reports and confusion from the United States government early in its handling of the Ebola outbreak.

Panelist Dr. Olusoji A. Akomalafe, professor and department chair of political science at Norfolk State University, said the United States is consulting with Nigeria in the handling of the outbreak. He said the Nigerian people thank the hand of God for protecting them during their Ebola scare.

According to Akomalafe , a man with the disease was treated for malaria in a private clinic because Nigeria's public hospital workers were on strike. Although he infected 20 people, killing eight of them after angrily removing his IV and releasing his blood, he was kept away from the general public and the disease was contained.

"A public emergency was declared in 2005," said Akomalafe, "and they identified everyone who this man had contact with. Everyone was isolated. The ACLU didn't stop the quarantine. Schools were closed, and mega-churches were advised to close."

Akomalafe said that if proper precautions are taken, people crossing borders are screened, science is followed, and lawmakers pass policy that makes sense, Ebola can be defeated.

Regent University will continue to address the topic. Manjikian says RSG is adding a certificate class in health policy and ethics in the fall of 2015.


 

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: January 15, 2015.

 

RSG Book Corner: Devotions for the Christian Public Servant

RSG Professor James Slack served as the editor for the newly released, Devotions for the Christian Public Servant, based on the daily electronic devotional for Christian public servants which was launched in September 2012 by the Robertson School of Government at Regent University. The term "public servant" includes people working in all levels of government, nonprofit organizations, education, healthcare, social work, public safety and defense, as well as in faith based service agencies and church management. The word "Christian" includes everyone in the church—regardless of denomination and faith-practice. The daily email devotional, called The Christian Public Servant, was first sent on November 5, 2012 to 300 subscribers. Based strictly on devotionals submitted by volunteers, the email version continues to grow. It now has over 10,000 subscribers on six continents. This printed volume contains selected entries from the email version. Each devotional is workplace or profession-oriented and written conversationally. Entries cover a variety of topics which public servants face. Subscribe to The Christian Public Servant.

 

Upcoming Events

Christmas Break - Regent University Closed
Wednesday, December 24 - Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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: A Dialogue with Rick Love
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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