RSG Newsletter

January 2013

Regent University Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner

Watch the dean's welcome message.

Dean Eric Patterson, Ph.D.Happy Birthday to us! 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University. In the fall, we will hold two major anniversary events, the inaugural Senator A. Willis Robertson Lecture on Virginia Politics (September) and an alumni and friends celebration in tandem with the annual Clash of the Titans debate (October).

January 2013 marks another, more sobering, milestone: the 40th anniversary of the controversial Roe v. Wade decision. We began the month with RSG Professor Jim Slack discussing the politics of life and the pending release of the second edition of his book, Abortion, Execution and the Consequences of Taking Life, at Robertson Hall.

You are also invited to join us at one of the Spring 30th anniversary events below.

January 2013: Focus on the Family, Vice-President Tim Goeglein will discuss "Faith and Public Service: A Noble American Tradition." January 22, 2013, noon, Robertson Hall. For more details, click here.

February 2013: Eighth Annual Ronald Reagan Symposium, February 8, 2013. Distinguished Professor of Government Charles Dunn leads this year's symposium on the theme, "God and Man in the Oval Office: Religion and Presidential Rhetoric." For more details, click here.

March 2013: RSG students will lunch with Regent University Founder, Chancellor M.G. "Pat" Robertson. This is a closed event.

April 2013: "Reflections on Regent" with Professor Joseph Kickasola. In honor of his retirement at the end of the semester, "Professor K" will provide valedictory comments on his career at Regent and be recognized by RSG for his contributions.

May 2013: RSG Commencement and Commissioning Ceremony, May 3-4, 2013.

For more details as well as our calendar of speakers, seminars, and events, please see our webpage.

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

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Faculty Profile: Dr. Charles W. Dunn - A Man For All Seasons

Dr. Charles W. Dunn"Critics contended that Ronald Reagan was nothing more than a third-rate Hollywood actor who lacked the intellectual depth and educational training to serve successfully as president," Dr. Charles Dunn, distinguished professor in the Robertson School of Government, recalls. "Reagan jumped high over this low bar of expectations, leading an insurgent conservative movement into the White House."

This pioneering leader inspired Dunn to found Regent's annual Ronald Reagan Symposium, now in its eighth year, which draws a diverse crowd to campus to celebrate the leadership of one of modern history's greatest presidents. Each year, symposium speakers contribute their research and presentations to books on presidential and political leadership. This year's symposium, "God and Man in the Oval Office: Religion and Presidential Rhetoric," will be held Friday, February 8.

"As recorded in President Reagan's own words, he followed the example set by America's founding presidents who held high the Bible as the guiding light for America: 'My experience in the office I hold has only deepened the belief I have held for many years. Within the covers of that single book are all the answers to all the problems that face us today if we would only read and believe,'" says Dunn, who is himself quite the pioneering leader.

He is Chair Emeritus of the United States J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the board's only four-term chair, serving under three presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He is the only chair in Fulbright history to receive "The Award for Outstanding Service" from the United States Information Agency.

Dunn has served presidents, senators and governors throughout his career, running their staffs and contributing to their political processes. "I have experience at the highest levels of government," Dunn explains, "and I do my best to bring that to the classroom every day."

Dunn is the author or editor of 21 books on American politics, including American Exceptionalism, American Culture in Peril, The Presidency in the 21st Century, The Enduring Reagan, The Future of Conservatism (which was favorably reviewed in the New York Times), The Conservative Tradition in America, The Seven Laws of Presidential Leadership, The Scarlet Thread of Scandal, American Political Theology, and American Democracy Debated. Outside the political arena, he also published The Upstream Christian in a Downstream World (1979), which went through 10 printings.

Throughout his career, Dunn has delivered major lectures and speeches around the world, including in Israel, Italy, Austria, Netherlands, China, Russia, Mexico, Canada, Egypt and Indonesia. He makes regular appearances on many national television and radio programs, including NBC's Today Show, FOX News' The O'Reilly Factor, ABC's World News Tonight, and PBS' All Things Considered.

Before joining RSG, Dunn taught at Clemson University and there received the Michelin Award for Teaching Excellence. He now holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Clemson. He also he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Illinois State University.

Dunn and his wife, Carol, have four children and nine grandchildren. He has faithfully taught Sunday school at his church for 57 years.

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Student Profile: Jennifer Salcido - From Regent to the Middle East

Dr. Charles W. DunnWriting to RSG from Iraq, Jennifer Salcido ('12) observes, "RSG provided valuable internship experiences - from working for a Congressman to work 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 she went on to a full-time job. "When I first started my graduate studies at Regent, I had no idea that I would be working in Iraq! I came to Iraq to teach first and second year university students. These last five months in Iraq have been both a challenge and rewarding experience. 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." However, in many ways her Kurdish students have 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 primary goal. Salcido says, "I can honestly say that teaching here in Iraq has enabled me to see a different side of human nature including the results of persecution. My work, although challenging, is not in vain."

A native of Lompoc, California and graduate of Vanguard University's Department of History and Political Science, Salcido originally planned to go to law school. She says, "A month before law school applications were due, the Lord impressed upon my heart that it was not in His plans for me to go to law school. The message was simply said "I have other plans for you, and if you allow me to take control of your life, you will never look back." At first I didn't understand. After praying and researching schools in the international politics field, I came across Regent University. After prayer and receiving valuable feedback, I chose Regent."

She was not disappointed. "From the first moment I stepped foot at Regent university, I knew that Regent was a special place. I felt welcomed and at home. RSG was different in every way - from the way professors opened up class in prayer to the way they interacted with the students. RSG professors also took the time to invest in each student's academic career - making it clear that we had a purpose for which we were 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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Alumni Profile: Judi Johnson Vankevich – The Manners Lady

Miguel MorenoHow does a successful fashion model with political aspirations become known as “The Manners Lady”? Just ask Judi Johnston Vankevich (’87 Government). But, when you ask, be prepared for her to do more than just tell you; she just might break into song.

After all, there’s no better way to explain what she does than to sing about the Bad Manners Monsters—six characters who embody the ultimate in disrespect. The Bad Manners Monsters—Grouchy Rouchy, Messy Bessy, Whiney Rhino, Grabba Jabba, Slobbo Roo and Wiggly Jiggly—are familiar to fans of the Manners Club, an international organization whose goal is to teach children the importance of good manners and respect for others. Read her story.


Regent University Community Impact: A Story Beyond Numbers

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft While many colleges and universities are dedicated to the education of minds, others move further, becoming an integral part of their communities—guided by a passion to serve and a palpable sense of purpose and direction. Regent is one of those universities. Our people, partnerships, excellence and collective contributions are helping “America’s First Region” become one of the top areas in our nation and authenticating Regent’s mantra of Christian Leadership to Change the World.

Regent’s effect goes far beyond numbers, though the impact is substantial in economic terms. In Hampton Roads alone, the economic impact exceeded $312 million* through local jobs created and dollars spent in the region. Regent students spent $10 million in Hampton Roads, and the volunteer time contributed by Regent faculty, staff and students is valued at $2 million annually. Regent is a top employer in Virginia Beach, with more than 900 faculty and staff members fulfilling not just a work role, but a calling.  Read the full story.


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Recent Events

RSG Lunch & Learn Series: Exploring the Consequences of Death and Life

Dr. James Slack, Professor, Robertson School of Government discusses his book Abortion, Execution, and the Consequences of Taking Life in observation of the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade in January 2013.

Upcoming Events

RSG 2013 Speakers Series

Focus on the Family Vice President Timothy S. Goeglein
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Robertson Hall
11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
View event details.

Reagan Symposium
Friday, February 8, 2013

Communication Building, Main Theatre
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
View event details.


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