Regent University Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner
How will you spend your summer? In this edition of our newsletter you will meet members of our faculty, students, and alumni who are making a difference off-campus this summer. For instance, our associate dean, Dr. Jeffry Morrison, serves as a director of the James Madison Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C., where he teaches high school social studies teachers on American government and the Founding Fathers (jamesmadison.com).
You will also meet Julia Walter (M.A./J.D., 2013) who earned a coveted clerkship with a federal judge, and current student Ryan Johnson. Ryan works at a major development organization, Compassion International, which is world-renowned for its mission to release children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty.
Dr. Mary Manjikian just returned from a semester abroad as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Durham. She is becoming an important voice on the multi-faceted ways that international relations theory defines and considers threats, from pandemics to terrorism to illegal immigration. Her latest book, Securitization of Property Squatting in Europe, considers the intersection of illegal immigration, property rights, squatting, crime, and security and how different European governments are dealing with it (Routledge, 2013).
I trust your summer will be as meaningful as those described in this newsletter.
Eric Patterson, Ph.D.
Dean, Robertson School of Government
For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.
As a sought-after commentator on the subjects of Political Philosophy and the American Founding, Dr. Jeffry Morrison is committed to preserving American political history. An associate professor of Government, Morrison has spent over a decade teaching and inspiring students about the importance of these subjects at Regent University.
Currently serving as associate dean of RSG, Morrison also works with the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation, a federal program based in the nation's capital. After serving since 2002 as one of the Madison Foundation's teaching faculty, in summer 2013 Dr. Morrison will serve as director of its summer institute on the Constitution.
The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation was created by the U.S. Congress to commemorate the bicentennial of the Constitution in 1987 by improving teaching about the Constitution in secondary schools. Named for the Father of Constitution, it is an independent agency of the executive branch of the federal government (www.jamesmadison.gov), and maintains a permanent legacy to Madison and the principles and practice of American constitutionalism. Its bipartisan board of trustees is appointed by the president of the United States, and is composed of roughly equal numbers of Democratic and Republican members of Congress, federal judges, and academics. For many years the chairman of the board of trustees was Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and its secretary was Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), both of whom were instrumental in creating the Foundation and its enabling legislation. The Foundation fulfills its mission each year by awarding a generous grant to one or more of the best high school civics teachers per state, and by holding a month-long six graduate hour course on the foundations of American constitutionalism at Georgetown University.
A native of Baltimore, Morrison says his journey to the School of Government provided an opportunity to teach students serious about their faith and leadership. Morrison has also taught at Georgetown University, where he was the Bradley Research Fellow in the Department of Government, at the United States Air Force Academy, where he was an award-winning member of the Department of Political Science, and at Princeton University, where he was Visiting Assistant Professor of Politics and James Madison Fellow in American Ideals and Institutions. He graduated with distinction from Boston College and from Georgetown, where he received his Ph.D.
Dr. Morrison has spent the last twelve years investing in students at RSG, where he appreciates the "combination of academic rigor, well-trained faculty, and Christian worldview." His contagious love of political theory has inspired several RSG students to pursue a Ph.D. degree with the goal of teaching. When asked what he believes the greatest challenge students face today, Morrison says: "In the Age of Twitter, to develop the mental discipline to read great books for comprehension."
Morrison has lectured at universities and think tanks throughout the United States and in Europe. Bringing this experience to RSG, Morrison is the founding director of the highly successful RSG Oxford Study Abroad Program. The program offers Regent students the opportunity to live and study abroad at Oxford University for a month during the summer. Morrison says, "The program unites students and faculty through the study of politics at the world's oldest English-speaking university."
Inspired by political giants such as Aristotle, Cicero, and George Washington, Morrison continues to write and research on early American political thought focused on the 18th century. An accomplished author, he is co-editor of The Founders on God and Government (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004), The Forgotten Founders on Religion and Public Life (University of Notre Dame Press, 2009), and author of John Witherspoon and the Founding of the American Republic (University of Notre Dame Press, 2005), and The Political Philosophy of George Washington (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009).
As the Robertson School of Government celebrates its 30th anniversary, Morrison says: "Building a quality academic institution is not the work of a year, but of decades and even centuries. RSG has steadily increased in faculty, administrative, and student quality in my dozen years here and at thirty is coming of age."
RSG online student, Ryan Johnson, just wanted to meet people and tell their stories. One year ago, while working as a disaster photographer, Johnson found himself in the midst of devastation caused by a tornado much like the recent F5 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. Johnson worked for Operation Blessing, a non-profit humanitarian organization, on their U.S. Disaster Relief team.
As part of a team that responded to disasters within 24 hours, Johnson says he spent long hours in the field, helping people recover from what was often the biggest, hardest tragedy they would ever face.
As a Regent student blogger, Johnson shares about his experience in a piece he wrote entitled, "Tornadoes in the Heartland, 1,000 Volunteers and a Class at Regent University." Johnson describes the devastation he witnessed and the opportunity to apply what he learned in an RSG course.
Johnson recalls, "I took a fantastic class called Terrorism and Disaster Consequence Management in the spring of 2012. While Dr. Manjikian was teaching us about FEMA and local emergency management practices, I was in Harrisburg, IL helping a town recover from a F4 tornado that killed six people. I found myself with an opportunity to apply exactly what I was learning in the course in a very practical way. In these moments I witnessed the human capacity for hope and perseverance in times of immense tragedy, and I really learned a lot about people."
Ironically, it was the tragic death of a friend that led Johnson to RSG. "My good friend, Corporal Kyle W. Powell, died from wounds suffered during combat operations in Anbar Province, Iraq. His sudden death propelled me into a state of near obsession with Central Asia and the Middle East." Johnson reflects that he wrestled with a lot of questions afterwards about the region, its instability, and the conflict there and the U.S. participation in the war abroad. During this time, he decided it was time to move forward with pursuing a graduate degree.
Today, Johnson is working toward earning a M.A. in Government with a concentration in international relations while working full-time at a major development organization, Compassion International, which is world-renowned for its mission to release children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty.
"Regent University provided the academic rigor I was seeking, but also complemented my busy travel schedule. On top of that, it also provided me a strong Christian worldview from which I could better understand the content I was studying, in the classroom and on the ground." Johnson says.
With his busy schedule, Johnson thinks RSG's online program is top-notch. As an online student, Johnson is pleased with quality, passion, and diversity of students and the RSG professor's ability to turn passion into action.
"My classmates are government employees, active-duty soldiers, law students, stay at home moms and wide-eyed twenty-two year olds fresh out of undergraduate programs. The quality of thought and discussion from my classmates continues to impress me.
On top of that, the professors are adept at harnessing students' passions and refining them into actionable steps toward improving our communities, states, and country," Johnson says.
As Johnson looks toward the future, he hopes to one day start a non-profit organization to help those in need. "I feel a calling to mobilize others in pragmatic ways to help those in need, whether it is safe drinking water, education, or even micro-financing. I've always had a lot of respect for nonprofit organizations that see a need and mobilize others to meet that need in a long-term, sustainable way," says Johnson.
Johnson says he is inspired by a quote from Henry David Thoreau: "How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live." He proudly says he would tell any current or prospective student, "to be prepared to stand up to live and fulfill the mission of Regent University before you graduate. It doesn't start after graduation; it starts on the first day of class. Professors expect it of you, and your classmates will expect it of you. The students who fill these classes are called with a fiery passion to strengthen the foundations of their communities, cities, states, and country. If you desire an academic journey filled with sitting on the sidelines, look elsewhere. I wanted to be challenged in every aspect—and Regent provided that."
As she starts a coveted clerkship with a federal judge, Julia Walter ('13) says, "I came to RSG to earn an M.A. in Government. I never intended to pursue law school."
But it was her relationship with School of Government Professor James Davids that changed the course of her academic path. Walter says she was anxious to begin a career in public service, so the idea of staying in school for most of her 20's was difficult. However, Walter credits her relationship with Davids that made the difference.
"Dr. Davids has been a guiding influence in my life since 2010. After excelling in the School of Government's Constitutional Law course, Dr. Davids encouraged me to add a law degree in addition to the M.A.," says Walter. It was David's confidence in her abilities that challenged her to study harder.
Walter says she was first introduced to RSG through its Oxford University Study Abroad Program and was impressed with the integration of Christian principles into the curriculum and the Regent atmosphere. "RSG is unique because it brings together students of diverse backgrounds and opinions who share the common goal of serving Christ in public service."
As Walter reflects on her time at RSG she notes, "RSG prepares students for real world experience by not only teaching substantive course material, but also teaching students to analyze their worldview. Students are constantly challenged to answer questions about why they believe as they do, and to develop coherent rationales that do not rely solely on church dogma or doctrinal beliefs."
Walters fondly remembers her relationships with RSG professors, "My professors inspired me to work harder and think critically about some of the most salient public policy issues of my generation." In 2011, Walter traveled to Russia to observe their legal system and their struggles with the rule of law. Astonished at how the law seemed to change depending on who the criminal defendant was, she says the experience made her appreciate living in the United States.
During her time as a student, Walter had the opportunity to co-author an article for the Regent Journal of Law and Public Policy. Walter believes that research and writing is fundamental to any graduate. "Without being able to convey thoughts and ideas in a concise, coherent manner, a student will not be able to succeed in any graduate-level course," she explains.
Inspired by Winston Churchill, Walter says he is her favorite leader because, "he never gave up fighting for what he believed in." With her Regent preparation behind her, Walter is poised to make a difference.
School of Government Lowers Tuition, Strengthens Program Value
Regent University students in the Robertson School of Government (RSG) have always been held to high academic standards and have been well-positioned for lives of public service, but beginning this fall, that top-quality education will come at a much lower tuition price.
"RSG has looked at the increasingly stiff competition in the marketplace and made major changes," said RSG dean, Dr. Eric Patterson. "The first change is that the university has agreed to reduce the school's tuition by more than $150 a credit hour."
This 20 percent tuition reduction applies to both the Master of Arts in Government and the Master of Public Administration degree programs and reflects a larger university-wide effort to provide top-quality, Christian higher education at a greater value. According to Patterson, smaller payouts are one of several changes being implemented to make the programs more competitive and give students the best possible advantage in the government job market.
Read the full story.
Among the annual holidays celebrating the United States military is the lesser-known Armed Forces Day on May 18. This year, Regent University's Robertson School of Government (RSG) and School of Communication & the Arts (SCA) hosted the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Band for a public concert honoring those who dedicate their lives to military service."
Sharing Success: Cheryl Bachelder,
CEO of Popeye's Chicken Shares On Leadership
I don't ever have to beg people to listen to my story, because it's about food," said Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of AFC Enterprises, the franchisor of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Bachelder addressed Regent University's Executive Leadership Series (ELS) monthly luncheon on Thursday, May 23."But, the real story here is my precious, intentional parents," said Bachelder. "They intentionally raised leaders."
Cheryl Bachelder addresses Regent University's Executive Leadership Series.
RSG Faculty New Book Release:
Dr. Mary Manjikian,
Associate Professor Publishes Securitization of Property Squatting in Europe
Housing is no longer about having a place to live - but about state pressures to conform, norms and policies regarding citizenship, and practices of surveillance and security. Breaking new ground in the field of urban politics and international relations, Securitization of Property Squatting in Europe examines and critiques legislative initiatives and examines governmental attempts to reframe urban property squatting as a crime and a threat to domestic security.
Using examples from France, Netherlands, Denmark, and Great Britain, Mary Manjikian argues that developments within the European Union - including terrorist attacks in London and Madrid, the rise of right wing extremist parties, and the lifting of barriers to immigration and travel within the EU - have had effects on housing policy, which has become the subject of state security policy in Europe's urban areas.
"How To Be Successful in a College Classroom"
June 29, 2013
Robertson Hall - Room 107
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
View event details.
Regent University Government Camp
July 15 - 19, 2013
Regent University Campus - Robertson Hall and offsite locations
View event details.
RSG Inaugural A.W. Robertson Lecture on Virginia Politics
Tuesday, September 11, 2013
Regent University Campus - Robertson Hall
Robertson School of Government - 30th Anniversary Celebration
Friday, October 25 - Saturday, October 26, 2013
Regent University Campus - Robertson Hall and offsite locations