As the new dean, allow me to re-introduce you to the Robertson School of Government (RSG) at Regent University through this first edition of our monthly e-newsletter.
The newsletter will keep you apprised of what is going on at Regent and feature the outstanding work of our alumni and students. Among our best known alumni are Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell ('89) and former USAID Assistant Administrator Paul Bonicelli ('85). Dr. Bonicelli now serves as executive vice president of Regent University. In this issue we feature alumni Dr. Bonicelli as well as recent graduate, Hannah Bell.
If you are not familiar with RSG, our distinguished faculty includes former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft; former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vernon Clark; Associate Dean Jeffry Morrison, who spent much of the summer teaching at Oxford and Georgetown Universities; Distinguished Professor Charles W. Dunn, who is routinely sought by the media for his sage commentary; Dr. Mary Manjikian, who published two books this year and will spend next semester as a Fulbright Scholar in the UK; and others.
In September our students participated in the reading of the U.S. Constitution to honor Constitution Day and had the opportunity to hear from former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez as well as former U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft. This typifies the RSG experience: classroom learning complemented by the insights of renowned national leaders. This is how we prepare the next generation of Christian leaders to change the world.
Eric Patterson, Ph.D.
"What a difference a year makes," RSG's new dean, Eric Patterson, says. "Last summer I was just returning from deploying as an Air Force reservist to dusty Southwest Asia ... now my family and I have moved to Virginia Beach and Regent University."
Dr. Patterson comes to Regent with an unusual resume of academic and government service. He continues to serve as an officer and commander in the Air National Guard, served for a year as a White House Fellow, and spent two stints working in the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. Dr. Patterson spent most of the last four years, however, working at Georgetown University as a professor and associate director of its Berkley Center.
"My writing and teaching was affected by 9/11," he says. That morning he was home with his 5-month-old son. "When I saw the attack replayed on television, I turned my son's baby-chair backwards so he could not see this on the TV screen. It was raw evil. I was appalled in ensuing months that many academics, so-called just-war theologians, and churchmen suggested that the U.S. deserved the attacks and that our subsequent reprisal against al Qaeda and the Taliban were somehow unjustified. They were plain wrong."
Patterson's most recent books, Ending Wars Well, Ethics Beyond War's End, Debating the War of Ideas (with John Gallagher) and Just War Thinking have all had a stake in how we think about the ethics of armed conflict, how wars can be brought to a successful conclusion, and about the ideational struggle between Western values and those of authoritarians, be they secular or Islamist.
When asked about his bookshelf, Dean Patterson mentions two books that were his favorites in the past year. The first, Jay Winik's 1865, is an in-depth history of the final month of the Civil War, from Lee's slow retreat across Virginia to the death of Abraham Lincoln. A major theme in the book is the conciliatory attitudes of Lincoln, Lee and other leaders which allowed the war to terminate without further bloodshed—unlike Afghanistan, Rwanda and elsewhere. The second is the best-selling, The Hunger Games. "The book, in the tradition of Ayn Rand's Anthem and Orwell's 1984, was compelling in showing a brutal authoritarian regime choke its own people, but I was moved most by the humanity of the central character, Katniss Everdeen."
Prior to coming to Regent, Dr. Patterson was active as a Sunday School teacher and trumpet player at his church, Cub Scout leader and soccer coach. "One of my proudest moments in 2012 was to see my son's soccer team outlast its rivals and win a local soccer championship. My co-coach and I were attempting to teach them life lessons about discipline, commitment, teamwork and intensity in addition to soccer skills."
Visitors to Dr. Patterson's office comment on the white board standing to one side of the room, with the motto, "Rooting the Present in the Future" blazoned across the bottom and six strategic goals for the school. "That phrase came to me during a time of prayer and reflection about Regent," he says. "I believe that my number one job is to maintain RSG's heritage and strengths while simultaneously taking concrete steps to become the kind of school we want to be in 2025 and beyond."
It's a familiar story. A faithful mom hears about Regent University on The 700 Club and encourages her son to look into the school's graduate programs. The son heeds his mother's advice, enrolls at Regent and, after graduation, enjoys a successful career in public service and education. But this story has a twist: Nearly 25 years later, the son returns to Regent as the university's chief academic officer. Read the full story.
Hannah Bell was 8 years old when she first stood in Robertson Hall on Regent University's campus during a visit with her parents. That's when God told her she would be back one day. Little did she know it would be to attend the Robertson School of Government, and it would put her on a path to inspire generations of other young leaders. Read her story.
Having just launched this fall, the new Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at Regent University's Robertson School of Government (RSG) is already creating a buzz. Dr. Jim Slack, the program's director and an RSG professor, explained that several of Regent's distinctives make the program one of a kind. Read more about the new program.
Brown Bag Lunch Series with Admiral Larry Baucom
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
View event details.
Brown Bag Lunch Series with Dr. Mary Manjikian
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Robertson Hall - Room 116
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. (Lunch will be provided.)
View event details.