RSG Newsletter

August 2015
Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner

Dean Eric Patterson, Ph.D.Dear Friends,

Summer is nearing its end and students are beginning to return to campus here in Virginia Beach. Prospective and new students often ask, "Are internships available? Will I be able to get a job upon graduation?"

The answer to both questions is "yes." I receive more requests for interns than we can possibly place. We maintain a website listing jobs, grants and internships and we also publish an internal career bulletin that alerts students to new opportunities. Similarly, our graduates do very well on the job market, generally being employed within six months of graduation.

Two such recent students are Bryan Ballas ('14) and Lincoln Smith ('16). Both are featured in this edition of our newsletter. Upon earning his MPA degree, Bryan went to work for the State of Florida. He later left that position to take an internship in Washington, D.C., so that he could transition to working on national issues. Lincoln Smith retired from the U.S. Navy and came to RSG to pursue an M.A. in Government. Lincoln has immersed himself in activity, attending conferences as well as participating in political work and serving as an officer of the Military Officers Association.

The list could go on, from internships and job experience here in Virginia Beach for a local Congressman to service in state capitols and Washington, D.C. This is the practical training that parallels classroom education. It is how RSG develops Christian leaders who will change the world.

Warm regards,

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

Watch the "Get to Know RSG" video.

Read more about RSG alumni.

For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.

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Faculty Story: Welcome Dr. Edwin Daley

Dr. Edwin Daley

Dr. Edwin Daley

The Robertson School of Government is happy to welcome Professor Edwin Daley as a new Practitioner-in-Residence. Daley is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Dr. Daley has a distinguished background, having served as the city manager in four different cities. He brings this expertise to the students of RSG. Professor Daley also has experience teaching with several universities, most recently at Virginia Commonwealth University and West Virginia University. Daley earned his bachelor's degree from Slippery Rock University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as two doctoral degrees in public policy and public administration from the West Virginia University and University of Southern California, respectively. Dr. Daley brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to RSG, with military service in the Marine Corps, and professional service as the chair of the Virginia Institute of Government Advisory Committee, past president of the Virginia Municipal League, past president of the International City/County Management Association, and past president of the Virginia Local Government Management Association (VLGMA).


Student Story: Lincoln Smith – Becoming Better Equipped as a Problem Solver and Leader

Lincoln Smith

Lincoln Smith

After completing two decades in the U.S. Navy, Lincoln Smith decided to take the next step in his public service career by returning to graduate school. To date, Lincoln has served his country well: serving with the International Peacekeeping Forces Lebanon, working with U.S. Navy Public Affairs, serving in various military operations abroad, and working with NATO. Now Lincoln is earning his master's degree in government from the Robertson School of Government (RSG). Lincoln chose RSG to become better equipped as a problem solver and leader. Lincoln has seen the world to be lacking leadership and problem-solving skills. RSG prepares students with not only an education, but also the practical skills to prepare them for life and service, all rooted in a Christian worldview and faith-based education. Lincoln says, "I understand that there is a need for Christian leadership in all areas of life, at any time in life, whether it is working for your employer or serving our nation." He now finds himself making better connections because of the work he's done in class.

When asked, he gave three personal examples of his connections between the classroom and the real world. First, there was a sermon at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Norfolk in which the visiting chaplain included discussion about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran pastor whom had been recently addressed in Lincoln's Christian Foundations of Government course. Lincoln has spent time as the legislative liaison for the Hampton Roads Chapter Military Officers Association of America, and because of his studies, Lincoln now finds himself better equipped to serve and fulfill his duties. Finally, Lincoln has noticed a more critical and analytical eye as he reads and listens to news reports, due to his studies in a research course. Due to Regent’s unique Virginia location, Lincoln recently visited Montpelier, the home of James Madison, and the U.S. Supreme Court, spending two days learning more about the court.

Along with the work he's done in class, Lincoln has also participated in various events. These activities include attending the Commissioning of the USS John Warner, the CPAC 2015 Conference, the Sea Air Space 2015 Conference, and numerous events hosted by the Heritage Foundation, most recently concerning Medicare and natural disasters in the United States. Lincoln also volunteers at the Republican Party of Virginia Beach Headquarters and as a Virginia Beach announcer/reporter, as well as serving as the Military Officer's Association of America, Hampton Roads Chapter, legislative liaison and the master of ceremonies of the City of Virginia Beach Annual Human Rights Dinner.

Lincoln encourages his peers, and anyone else looking into government education, to be ready to be leaders in whatever field they are called to. To anyone who is considering RSG, Lincoln would advise to not assume that which you already know, but to continue keeping your mind open as you pursue your education and career, "Seize the moment and revisit the field you may have studied or even worked in, in an effort to become a more effective Christian leader to change the world."

Alumni Story: Bryan Ballas ('14) – Utilizing Gifts and Talents Through Internships

Bryan Ballas ('14)

Bryan Ballas ('14)

Bryan Ballas arrived at Regent University in the fall of 2012. A year into his education, he was employed as a research assistant to Dr. Eric Patterson, dean of the Robertson School of Government. Under his direction, Bryan learned how to properly utilize scholarship in research, and was taught the nuances of Just War Theory. With this knowledge, he contributed to the dean's research on the ethics of the Mexican-American War by evaluating historical records, books, scholarly articles, and penning a summation of his findings.

Following his graduation in May 2014 with a Master of Public Administration degree, Bryan was employed by Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR). After learning the mechanics of investigation procedure, Bryan put his research skills to work, finding unlicensed advertisements, interviewing subjects, calling witnesses, inspecting job sites, and documenting the findings in investigative reports.

Bryan decided that he wanted to pursue a position that allowed him to use his writing and research skills. Consequently, in 2015 he left government service and was selected for a competitive internship with the Media Research Center's (MRC) News Analysis Division. In this capacity, he transcribed media broadcasts, prepared and uploaded video clips documenting media bias, and wrote over 50 articles about the media's coverage of a variety of topics, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) laws, the marriage debate, and pro-life issues.

At the MRC, Bryan was schooled in writing styles that are fit for news blogging, as well as how to strategically promote conservative ideas at the social media grassroots level. He was also exposed to jobseeker training under the guidance of the Leadership Institute.

Following his work at the MRC, Bryan began an internship with the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD). There, he covered Union Theological Seminary's second "Union on the Hill" event and Washington National Cathedral's "Honoring the Road of Love and Justice" service. His writing on the perception of conservative Christians and Christian responses to changing public perceptions of LGBT politics have been featured in the Christian Post and IRD's Juicy Ecumenism blog.

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Recent Events

Regent Professor Academic Director of James Madison Foundation

Dr. Jeffry Morrison

Each year, one high school teacher from every state receives the most prestigious award a civics educator can win – a grant from the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation to study the U.S. Constitution in Washington, D.C. Regent University professor Dr. Jeffry Morrison is responsible for helping instruct the recipients, and he delights in sharing his Constitutional knowledge with these leading teachers.

"It's been a privilege, as a Robertson School of Government professor, to have a job that puts me in Washington, D.C., in the federal government in an educational role," said Morrison, who serves as the James Madison Foundation’s academic director. "It's very rewarding. It dovetails very nicely with the mission of the university and RSG where we are all about American Constitutional principles like limited government and separation of powers."

Morrison spends one month each summer at his alma mater, Georgetown University, where he leads a class titled, "Foundations of American Constitutionalism" for the top fifty high school civics teachers. The graduate-level class contextualizes legal, political and Constitutional history by exposing students to Monticello, Mount Vernon and James Madison's home, Montpelier.

"I see a really interesting slice of America every summer," said Morrison. "I meet people from all fifty states, from rural to urban settings, people from elite and smaller schools. They have a passion for teaching."

Congress set aside $20 million in 1987 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution and provide annual grants for recipients to study the document. Program participants are selected based on their applications and merits. The grant money helps fund their advanced degrees in political science or history.

"Part of the reward for me is seeing these 1,400 former and current James Madison Fellows teaching in each of the fifty states," said Morrison. "They have taught one million Americans to date. We are hopeful that our work makes a difference. When we're talking about numbers like that, there is reason to be hopeful."

The James Madison Foundation, which receives federal and private funding, seeks to preserve knowledge of America's founding document by educating rising leaders. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, the Foundation is led by a bipartisan board of congressmen, judges and scholars.

Morrison started teaching with the Foundation in 1992. He became academic director in 2013 and says he is grateful for the encouragement and support he has received from Regent. His research focuses on religion and the Constitution, and he is being featured in a Foundation video series, voicing his perspective on this topic.


Dr. Manjikian’s Book on Housing Politics Reissued In Paperback

Securitization of Property Squatting in Europe will be reissued in paperback this year. In this book, RSG Associate Dean Mary Manjikian argues that 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. Using examples from France, Netherlands, Denmark and Great Britain, she 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.


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