Regent University Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner
September is here and we continue to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Robertson School of Government with a series of events, including a Constitution Week event featuring national security and terrorism expert Amos Guiora (University of Utah) and the inaugural Senator Robertson Lecture on Virginia Politics with Virginia's Secretary of Natural Resources, Mr. Doug Domenech.
It is events of this nature that make the School of Government distinctive: students learn from distinguished faculty and hear from nationally-known experts. For instance, this semester students can take courses with former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vern Clark (ret.). Our democracy course is taught by former USAID assistant administrator, and some of our public administration courses are taught by a currently serving, three-term city councilman.
I hope that you will join us for some of these events, which can be found on our calendar at RSG. Perhaps the most noteworthy event is our alumni-and-friends weekend October 25-26, featuring the University's Clash of the Titans debate between major American figures as well as a valedictory address by Professor Emeritus Philip Bom and an alumni picnic. For more details and registration information, see: RSG 30th Anniversary.
In the end, we remain a community of scholars committed to propelling forward the next generation of Christian leaders who will change the world for the better.
Eric Patterson, Ph.D.
Dean, Robertson School of Government
For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.
Dr. Ionut Popescu joined the Regent University community on August 1 as an assistant professor in the Robertson School of Government. His research focuses on U.S. foreign policy, national security strategy and international relations.
Popescu earned a Ph.D. in international relations from Duke University, where he also worked as the Duke American grand strategy Program Fellow. His dissertation examined the interplay of design and emergence in the making of American Grand Strategy in several strategic eras in U.S. history.
Born and raised in Targoviste, Romania, Dr. Popescu is a rising national expert on the theory and practice of American grand strategy and national security policy. "I believe my long-term focus will center on teaching and writing about the issues surrounding national security strategies,"says Popescu.
With many other career opportunities available, Popescu states several reasons which make RSG a unique place: "First, its unique combination of a Christ-centered teaching institution and focus on high-end academic and policy research. Second, the extraordinary mix of government practitioners and traditional academic scholars working together to prepare future Christian leaders for long and meaningful careers in government, private and non-profit sectors."
Popescu hopes to share with his students not only the intellectual skills that they need to succeed later in their careers, but also to create a place where they become part of a community which inspires them to develop their Christ-given calling. Popescu says one of his most rewarding experiences in graduate school was taking part in a series of meetings with fellow Christian political scientists. "We examined the ways in which our faith, our teaching and scholarship complement each other. What I took from those meetings, first and foremost, was a sense of how my mission as a scholar in search of God's truth is complementary with my calling as an advocate of a values-based U.S. foreign policy grounded in a Christian worldview."
He graduated Summa cum Laude from Occidental College with a B.A. in Diplomacy and World Affairs, and he worked for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. His articles appeared in Orbis, Armed Forces Journal, Joint Force Quarterly, and Contemporary Security Policy.
Popescu says his future plans include writing a book examining the making of strategy during the last four presidents, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, including the similarities and differences between them.
Influenced by former U.S. President George Bush, Popescu is encouraged by his leadership. "I grew up and became interested in politics in the aftermath of 9/11 during a time of great peril and adversity in the United States and around the world. His vision of the United States as a nation uniquely responsible for promoting freedom around the world is inspiring," says Popescu.
As an aspiring scholar of "cyber terrorism," Noelle Joubert is interested in how this issue will affect the everyday lives of Americans in the days to come. With a robust appetite for research and analysis, Joubert is pursuing an M.A. in Government with a focus on International Relations.
Joubert is no stranger to the campus of Regent University, as an alumna of Regent's College of Arts and Sciences, she says, "The mission of Regent University is what attracted me to the undergraduate program and is the reason I decided to pursue my graduate degree with the Robertson School of Government."
As she prepares for her future career, Joubert is maximizing the opportunities at RSG which includes a year-long research assistantship with RSG Associate Dean Mary Manjikian, an expert in terrorism and international relations.
Recently, Joubert took her skills to Washington D.C., to compete in a scholastic competition in the first Student Cyber Challenge at Georgetown University with a team led by Manjikian. The event, hosted by the Atlantic Council and sponsored by American University was a chance for students of cyber policy to hone their skills through responding to a number of different cyber warfare scenarios. "I love learning new things which is why I wanted to participate in the Cyber Challenge," says Joubert. The team was challenged with formulating a policy brief exploring different responses to deal with a hypothetical cyber-attack scenario on U.S. critical infrastructure. RSG's team competed against teams from seventeen different schools, including Harvard and MIT.
"During the preparation phase, I grew a certain attachment to the ideas our team developed. Being judged on those ideas by experts in the field was a new and rewarding experience," says Joubert. To understand these aspects and their role, the team sought outside help from members of academia to members of the military. The RSG team, coached by associate dean, Mary Manjikian, prepared briefing books, wrote a policy brief and attended several informal study sessions where they were coached on crisis management by Admiral Larry Baucom, and tutored in Russian politics by Dr. David Meyer. They were also briefed on activities of the U.S. Cyber Command by professors from the Joint Forces Staff College.
As Joubert prepares for her future career, she understands the importance of her preparation time at RSG.
"I think that the small class sizes and faculty commitment play a vital role in the preparation of students. We are able to develop relationships that will prove invaluable as we move forward," she says.
Inspired by Edmund Burke, Joubert hopes to emulate Burke's ability to observe events and forecast their long-term effects on civilizations as he did concerning the French Revolution.
Reflecting on the Regent mission of "Christian Leadership to Change the World," Joubert says, "I don't necessarily think about changing systems or institutions; I think about changing people and the way we relate to one another; and the best part is that we can practice now in our classroom discussions. I understand respect to be a practical form of love that I will seek to give in all of my interactions wherever my career takes me; this is how I will change my world."
Osmay Torres' initial involvement with "government" came about in the form of military service. As an active duty Naval Officer from 1999-2008, he served onboard the U.S.S. George Washington. To him, it was a very special ship. Not only was this ship where he completed his first deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, but his first daughter (who is now 10 years old) was born while he was deployed, and he had the opportunity to baptize her in the ship's chapel after the ship returned to Norfolk, Va. Osmay was also stationed with an F-18 Squadron (VFA-37) the Ragin' Bulls out of Naval Air Station Oceana where he deployed onboard the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served as an aerospace maintenance duty officer at Fleet Readiness Center Oceana and separated as a lieutenant commander from the U.S. Navy Reserves after which he began to work as a consultant with a major defense contractor.
Born in Camaguey, Cuba, Osmay and his family left Cuba for the United States in 1980 as political Cuban exiles. Osmay was 5 years old at the time. It is obvious that politics were always a topic at the Torres dinner table, but his background in problem solving and consulting lends itself nicely to government as well. As he says, "I see politicians and elected officials as problem solvers who deal with issues that affect more than just one agency or one company...rather, their issues tend to affect everyone." That led Osmay to pursue a second master's degree in government from Regent in order to expand his knowledge of how government is supposed to function in order to better prepare him to "solve problems." He remembers meeting Dr. Bob Dyer at an American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) symposium hosted at ODU and talking to him about his desire to possibly pursue a degree from Regent. "Dr. Dyer handed me his business card, asked me to call him up and that we would discuss how we can get me enrolled and involved. That conversation took place, I enrolled, and I was definitely "involved." While taking a class with Dr. Dyer, he asked me if I would be interested in helping him stand up a Process Improvement Committee for City Council, given my background in Lean Six Sigma. Of course I accepted and went on to serve on that committee and helped the entire team develop standard templates and coordinated training for the team from outside experts whom I had known from the industry. This was my first committee or appointed position, and I learned a great deal from it and owe a great deal to Dr. Dyer and the Robertson School of Government for the opportunity."
According to Osmay, by pursuing a graduate degree at the Robertson School of Government, he learned how government works from an academic perspective, but it was the relationships that he developed within the school with professors like Dyer and with fellow peers that helped expose him to local and state politics in unimagined ways.
Osmay is currently working as a defense contractor in Norfolk, supporting the Navy, and is also a Fellow with the University of Virginia's Political Leaders Program (PLP) through the Sorensen Institute. Osmay has been a member of the 2013 class since March of this year and will continue through December.
RSG's 30th Anniversary Celebration Continues with Inaugural Lecture
As part of this year's activities celebrating the 30th anniversary of Regent University's Robertson School of Government (RSG), the inaugural A. Willis Robertson lecture was held Tuesday, Sept. 10. With a focus on Virginia government and political issues, the new lecture honors the school's namesake, Senator A. Willis Robertson, father of Regent's founder and chancellor, Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson.
"This lecture is about the legacy of a family dedicated to public service," said RSG dean, Dr. Eric Patterson, as he opened the event. Senator Robertson was a national figure who spent a half-century serving his country, first as an Army officer in World War I and later spending four decades representing Virginia as an elected official.
The featured guest speaker was Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech. The self-proclaimed "Secretary of Fun" has a job that would have been near and dear to Senator Robertson's heart as a national leader in conservation efforts. Domenech presides over Virginia's state parks and trails, including hunting and fishing regulations.
He began his remarks describing the early days of discovery in Virginia and the natural resource crisis that Robertson faced head on at the dawn of the 20th century. "It was a matter of taking too much without understanding the consequences and having little restraint," he explained. "Americans weren't thinking about conserving resources, they were celebrating their good fortune."
And with few standards in place for hunting, fishing and development in those days, many national wildlife populations such as bison, antelope and beaver took a deep plunge in numbers and never recovered.
But Robertson, an all-American sportsman himself, saw the hammer as it fell and worked for 30 years to set legislation that would help support wildlife in America. That piece of legislature would eventually be called the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid to Wildlife Act, established in 1937.
It was essentially the first active "user pay, user benefit" law in which taxes from hunting rifles and ammunition, as well as hunting and fishing licenses, were re-invested into state efforts to protect wildlife habitats and populations. To date, $6.4 billion has been invested since 1937.
"This act secured the future of our nation's wildlife," Domenech said. "Robertson left behind a legacy of conservation for this country's vast natural resources."
"Government has the capacity to do great good if the right people are willing to step forward and serve," Domenech said. "Our ideas can win the battle, but we have to be in the fight."
Domenech is on the State Cabinet and manages six state agencies that oversee parks and outdoor recreation, hunting, fishing, and historic resources including Civil War battlefields and the Virginia Museum of Natural History. He is also known as "The Green Guy," managing the state's environmental air and water quality, as well as the state's energy portfolio, and he also maintains relationships with the state's Native American tribes.
Read the full story.
Regent University's 9/11 commemoration event in the new university chapel featured RSG Distinguished Professor of Government Admiral Vern Clark (USN, retired). Admiral Clark was Chief of Naval Operations, the highest position in the U.S. Navy and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on 9/11.
Admiral Clark recounted what it was like to be in the Pentagon when the terrorists attacked the building, and the dozens of Navy families who experienced suffering and loss that day. He told the audience that President Bush individually told each member of his senior national security team to "never forget" what had transpired.
Clark reminded the audience of the long-term impacts on the nation and families, including those who lost parents, spouses and children on 9/11 and in the years that followed. He asked, "Why did God allow this to happen? Where was God on September 11?"
The answer, Clark argued, is that "God was still master of the universe." This act of terrorism was part of the "tragedy" of a fallen world. Clark was careful to remind the audience, "I didn't say God caused these events, but that He can use them." To what purpose? "He is seeking to draw us nearer to Him."
Clark concluded the talk with a challenge to the audience about how we can respond today as we remember 9/11. "We can be angry at sin, but be humble before God" due to our own fallenness. We should be thankful for all the good in our life, and we should pray for those in pain. He charged the audience to be active in doing these things and reach out to those in need around us.
|School of Government Answers Call to Service|
RSG faculty, staff and students will participate in Virginia's annual "Day to Serve," a unique annual event with the goal of helping those in need and improving the communities where we live. "Day to Serve" began in 2012 as a collaboration between the governors of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the mayor of Washington, D.C. The results were overwhelming. Over 14,000 volunteers carried out 750 community service projects. They collected and donated more than 600,000 pounds of food and planted hundreds of trees.
RSG Inaugural A.W. Robertson Lecture on Virginia Politics
Tuesday, September 11, 2013
Regent University Campus - Robertson Hall
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Regent University Constitution Week Celebration
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Regent University Library
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Monday, September 23, 2013
Regent University Campus - Robertson Hall
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Robertson School of Government - 30th Anniversary Celebration
Friday, October 25 - Saturday, October 26, 2013
Regent University Campus
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Clash of the Titans
Friday, October 25, 2013
Regent University Campus
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