Robertson School of Government Dean’s Corner
Classes begin this week! Although outdoors it is still summer, in our classrooms the autumn semester has begun and the campus is pulsing with enthusiasm, in part due to the significant growth of the university. In fact, during my five years on this campus the student body has nearly doubled, to just over 10,000 students. The Robertson School of Government has likewise grown and has nearly 180 students in the M.A. and MPA programs this Fall.
Our team has been hard at work all summer! Our support staff has worked diligently to make this growth possible, and our in-house team in the dean’s office and career services has worked hard to manage the dynamics of change. Moreover, you will see in this newsletter that our faculty team has led students to Russia, given talks in Europe and India, and engaged our many stakeholders from students to alumni.
I am grateful for your interest in the Robertson School of Government and ask that you help us by staying in touch, spreading the word to prospective graduate students, praying for our team, and, if appropriate, consider financial support to help students meet the costs of a university education.
Eric Patterson, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.
Alumni Story – Luke Moon (RSG ‘10) serves as Deputy Director of The Philos Project
Luke Moon (RSG ‘10) is the Deputy Director of The Philos Project, a non-profit that is dedicated to fostering positive Christian engagement in the Middle East and becoming a hub for leaders who are engaging in that region of the world. They do this through providing tours, media, thought leadership, and advocacy in order to raise awareness about the issues at play in that region. They focus particularly on Christian persecution in the Middle East and Christian support of Israel.
As Deputy Director, Luke is tasked with implementing the vision of the organization through managing its various programs, training staff, handling special projects and fundraising, and serving its Executive Director, Robert Nicholson. He said, “I think behind every great leader is a great implementer – someone who takes the vision of the organization and makes it happen.” Luke expressed that “working on one of the most contentious issues in the world is both challenging and exciting,” and that he loves the opportunity that his work at Philos provides to assist people in navigating the tough questions of that region.
Luke originally came to Philos in 2014 after meeting Robert Nicholson while he was covering an Evangelical conference in Israel. Luke was working as Business Manager for the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), a non-profit based out of DC that seeks to address political and social issues from a biblical perspective (Dean Patterson serves on IRD’s board of directors). Despite his recent experience in Christian advocacy, Luke didn’t always imagine himself working for an organization in a city like New York or DC.
Before coming to Regent, Luke and his wife Meredith worked for Youth with a Mission (YWAM) for over twelve years. After participating in YWAM’s discipleship training program, they served as missionaries with their daughter, Havilah, who they adopted in China, all over Asia, Europe, and Africa. Their primary focus during their time with YWAM was dealing with the issue of human trafficking. Luke said, “The kind of programs that I was running were training people who wanted to be in the fight against human trafficking or in social justice work. It was all about how God views injustice and the way the Bible defines how to deal with issues of injustice.”
Luke first enrolled at Regent with intentions to use what he learned to develop his curriculum with YWAM, but when he came to campus, he began to get the feeling that God had other plans. “As I was doing the trafficking stuff, I was wrestling with the questions, ‘What happens when everyone knows about human trafficking? How do you turn this passion for stopping a horrible injustice into something that has a long-term impact?’ What Regent taught me was how to do that.” As his time at Regent came to a close, Luke knew that God was changing the direction of his entire life and leading him to move to DC to take the job at the IRD, which eventually led to his current position at The Philos Project. Both of these allowed him to use what he learned at Regent to promote liberty and justice in a completely different way.
Outside of his professional life, Luke spends his free time writing a weekly blog called “Schaeffer & Moon: A Left-Wing Heretic and a Right-Wing Bigot Walk Into a Bar” where he debates on the conservative side of various social and religious issues against his friend and colleague, Frank Schaeffer.
When asked what advice he would give to other Regent alumni, Luke said, “The two things that have guided me over the years are to keep a strong relationship with Jesus, and build good relationships with other people. I’m working in public policy, and it is so relational. It is a lot more ‘who you know’ than ‘what you know.’ What you know will get you a ticket into the arena, but your relationships are what allow you to move around.”
Student Story – Compelling Journeys at the Post-Commencement Chancellor’s Luncheon: Outstanding Graduates shared their Personal Regent Stories
Immediately following commencement every year, the Chancellor’s Luncheon honors outstanding graduates at a private event inside the Founders Inn. Each of the newly minted alums are given the opportunity to share their Regent story with family, friends, deans, vice presidents and honored guests, including members of the university’s board of trustees.
This year’s luncheon welcomed 10 graduates who spoke about what brought them to Regent and where God is taking them next. The compelling stories about their experiences left no question in the minds of anyone in attendance that they are all Christian leaders ready to change the world. The Robertson School of Government is proud to highlight two of our outstanding graduates.
Rebekah Lloyd, a College of Arts & Sciences student, received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She began her Regent studies after nine years of honorable service in the United States Army: “I could not think of a better school to attend to learn psychology through a Christian perspective. And the fact that I was able to use my G.I. Bill here and have no financial burden made it even better.”
Lloyd finished her undergraduate coursework in December and is now working on a joint master’s degree in public administration and law as an on-campus graduate student. “You can feel the presence of God here. It’s unmistakable,” she told the luncheon attendees. “You know this campus is anointed, and I knew I needed to be here. … There is nothing that God cannot do when you completely surrender to Him.”
Michael Lewis, the Outstanding Master of Arts in Government Graduate from the Robertson School of Government, shared that he was born with some physical challenges: “I have great parents that said, ‘Whatever the world might say, you’re made exactly the way God wanted you.’”
While working in Richmond as a lobbyist for pro-life and disability rights, Lewis began looking into pursuing his graduate degree. He wasn’t familiar with Regent, but a visit to Virginia Beach two years ago convinced Lewis that it was the university for him. After lunch with Dean Patterson and Professor Jim Davids, Lewis felt confident about Regent. “About two months before my wife and I got married, we came down to campus and immediately felt like family,” he remembered. “I would highly recommend this wonderful family to anyone.”
A Busy Summer for Faculty
RSG faculty had a busy summer, traveling to Europe and Asia, teaching, and conducting research. Below are some of RSG’s summer highlights.
Dean Eric Patterson served for three weeks with the Air National Guard in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona and attended a working group of the National Guard Innovation Team in Arlington, Virginia. He worked with RSG M.A. student Peter Purcell and the Navy War College’s Professor Timothy Demy, on the final draft of the co-edited volume Philosophers on War (to be published in November 2017). He also recently spoke for a group of U.S. Army chaplains at Ft. Jackson, SC.
Dr. Mary Manjikian led a Regent University student group to Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia in May, through the Education First (EF) Student Tour program. She also participated in two cybersecurity conferences through a Regent University Faculty Research Grant. In June, she participated in the Defensive Cyber Warfare Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, sponsored by the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association (AFCEA) and later that month, she delivered a paper called “Obstacles to the Development of a Universal Lexicon for Cyberwarfare” at the 16th ECCWS European Conference on Cyberwarfare and Security in Dublin, Ireland. She also enjoyed rediscovering her Irish roots through a visit to the “old Sod.” Finally, she realized a lifetime dream of driving across the United States this summer — visiting 11 states in six days!
Dr. Jeffry Morrison finished his teaching responsibilities at RSG with a summer session of his course “Religion and Politics.” He led the James Madison Foundation’s summer institute on the Constitution on the campus of Georgetown University for four weeks in June. Dr. Morrison taught, wrote, and led with excellence for the past 16 years and we are proud of, but sad for, his move to a full professorship at Christopher Newport University beginning in September.
Dr. Gary Roberts worked primarily on completing the NASPAA MPA program accreditation self-study. He also attended the Academy of Management Conference in Atlanta presenting on servant leadership and promoting a new major research book on workplace spirituality to be published by Palgrave-MacMillan in 2018.
Dr. Elijah Agyapong spent the first part of the summer revising two articles for publication. The first article entitled “Representative Bureaucracy: Examining the Effects of Female Teachers on Girls’ Education in Ghana” demonstrates that passive representation is associated with active representation for women in education. The second paper entitled “Is Passive Representation Necessary for Active Representation to Occur? The case of Girls’ Education in Ghana” follows up on the first paper and seeks to understand the underlying mechanism by which female teachers and teachers in general can affect the performance of girls. Both are on review at major journals.
In the second part of summer, Dr. Agyapong attended the American Society of Public Administration’s (ASPA) 6th International Young Scholars Workshop (IYSW) hosted by Hindustan University in Chennai, India. IYSW is a prestigious and competitive program that provides young scholars in public administration, public policy, and related fields from across the globe an academically rigorous platform for presentation of research, scholarly exchange, and professional networking. Dr. Agyapong presented findings from his research on “Representative Bureaucracy: Examining the Effects of Female Teachers on Girls’ Education in Ghana” and received an Honorable Mention-Best Paper award. After the workshop, Dr. Agyapong joined the international participants in touring the DakshinaChitra Museum and Mamallapuram Heritage Town (UNESCO World Heritage Site: known for rathas, mandapas, and open-air reliefs). On his way back to the United States, he also spent some time visiting with family in Accra, Ghana.
Practitioner in Residence Sam Gaston attended the summer conference of the Alabama City-County Management Association (ACCMA) where he gave presentations on “Preparing the Next Generation” and “Internship Guidelines”. In addition, Professor Gaston is serving another term on the Alabama City-County Management Association (ACCMA) Board of Directors and has been appointed to serve another year as Chairman of the ICMA Advisory Board on Graduate Education.
Practitioner in Residence Edwin Daley, D.P.A. participated in the 2017 ICMA International Summit in the Dominican Republic in March. The participants worked with local and national leaders in Santo Domingo and Santiago on USAID sponsored projects to address sustainability, drug usage and economic development. Twelve countries were represented by the 100 participants. This is the fourth international summit ICMA has sponsored and the 15th time ICMA’s International Committee has met outside the United States. City managers from the host countries coordinate the meetings with the ICMA International Committee. Dr. Daley has participated in the international summits for 15 years. Dr. Daley presented workshops for elected municipal officials on council-manager relations and financing local government, and taught four classes of The Effective Local Government Manager course for ICMA University’s Leadership Development Programs for Emerging Leaders and Mid-Career Managers.
Leadership Institute’s Campaign Data Workshop – September 9, 2017
A. Willis Robertson Lecture on Virginia Politics with Congressman Randy Forbes – September 19, 2017
RSG Student’s Dinner with Distinguished Professor and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft – September 27, 2017
Woodrow Wilson House Tour – October 6, 2017
Defense Against the Dark Arts with RADM Larry Baucom (USN, ret.) – November 9, 2017
U.S. Army TRADOC Band Holiday Concert – December 9, 2017