RSG Newsletter

May 2015
Regent University Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner

Dean Eric Patterson, Ph.D.Dear Friends,

Our school year is ending and it allows me to proudly give you a bit of a report card on our students and alumni.

First, one year after graduation 2014, where are our newest alumni? Some continued in public service, such as Clarin Gniffke (staff for Congressman Kay Granger, Texas) and Chaplain Loren Crone (U.S. Navy). Others went to think tanks and advocacy centers, such as Rushad Thomas (Calvin Coolidge Foundation), Alise Krapane (Joint Baltic-American National Committee), and Kassie Dulin (Liberty Institute). Some serve in charitable and non-profit work like Angela Arbitter (International Justice Mission, Uganda) and Connie Tynes (Coordinator of Workforce Management, Christian Broadcasting Network).

The class of 2015 will follow in their footsteps, whether pursuing advanced degrees, teaching, or in some form of public service. In this edition of our newsletter you will learn about some of them, including our 2015 Outstanding Graduates of the Year, Rebekah Lloyd (M.A. in Government) and Ryan Johnson (Master of Public Administration).

RSG’s past record of success is only as good as the way we prepare current students for meaningful public service. I look forward to sending you further reports about the adventures and accolades earned by the class of 2015.

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: Dr. Gary Roberts - 2015 Chancellor's Award

Dr. Gary Roberts

Dr. Gary Roberts, was honored as the recipient of the 2015 Chancellor's Award at Regent University's Commencement Service on Saturday, May 9. Dr. Roberts, a professor in the Robertson School of Government was described as a superior teacher, receiving high marks in all of his student evaluations. He has mastered the use of the online tools and is well-known for going the extra mile as a mentor to traditional and non-traditional students.

During the 2015 academic year, Roberts has had three books accepted for publication with major publishers. The first has already come out and the second is in production. They are in his area of “servant leadership” as applied to public management. He has also published one book chapter. This is truly “integrative” work emanating from a Christian worldview.

He is a faithful servant, a man of deep faith, and is part of the backbone of the University. He has served on numerous committees and for two years as interim dean of his school. His accomplishments are many and his superior work speaks for itself.

Dr Gary Roberts


Student Story: RSG Class of 2015

RSG Class of 2015

The Robertson School of Government's Class of 2015 was awarded a Master of Arts in Government or a Master of Public Administration degree. On Friday, May 8, many graduates gathered to participate in the School of Government's annual Commissioning Ceremony accompanied by family and friends.

RSG Class of 2015

RSG 2015 Outstanding Graduates

RSG Class of 2015 - Rebekah Lloyd

Rebekah Lloyd

Nominated by the RSG faculty, graduates Rebekah Lloyd and Ryan Johnson received the RSG 2015 Outstanding Graduate of the Year award from Dean Eric Patterson at the RSG Commissioning Service. This award is presented to each student whom the faculty considers to be the embodiment of the mission and vision of the Robertson School of Government. Key elements considered in the selection process are leadership, service, scholarship and research.

RSG 2015 Student Awards

RSG Class of 2015 - Juliana Melton

Outstanding Leadership: Juliana Melton

Presented to that student whom the faculty considers to be an exemplary leader.

RSG Class of 2015 - Logan Dickens

Outstanding Service: Logan Dickens

Presented to a student who clearly presents a Christ-like model of service toward fellow students.

RSG Class of 2015 - Linda Waits-Kamau

Outstanding Research: Linda Waits-Kamau

Presented to that student who exhibits exemplary research abilities.

RSG Class of 2015 - Michael Owen

Outstanding Scholarship Award: Michael Owen

Presented to the student who obtained the highest GPA (4.0) within the graduating class.

Alumni Story: Rebekah Lloyd ('15) – Government Education Extends Beyond the Classroom

Rebekah Lloyd ('15)

RSG graduate Rebekah Lloyd '15 went beyond the classroom to get an education in government. For two days per week, she served as a liaison between the people of Chesapeake and their Rep. Randy Forbes.

"All of the staff members answer the phone," said Lloyd. "It doesn't matter if you're the district representative, the constituent service representative, an intern, everybody answers the phone. You all have to answer the same questions. So, that patience and humility level is a pretty general skill-set that you need to have. You also need to be able to deal with people."

Her Regent education prepared her for an experience that would apply what she knows about government to help improve her community. While serving as constituents' eyes and ears to relay their concerns to the lawmaker, and bringing answers back to them, she helped get casework moving. The journey took her through the topics of identity theft, military affairs and even ISIS.

"Some of the things I learned in my class were some of the things I could tell the people on the phone," said Lloyd. "They would ask what happens in relation to this and previous terrorist attacks? I could explain those things and say, 'Well, the president has to take into consideration this, this and this.'"

Lloyd says her education has prepared her for the future, making her interested in a number of careers. She enjoys working with those in the military, has a heart for the homeless and for educating young people. She says the internship provoked an interest in possibly running for local office one day.

"I think the best thing about Congressman Forbes is citizens really feel like he cares, so they're more willing to voice their opinions and give him their honest perspective," said Lloyd. "Some people will give their opinion no matter what, because everyone has an opinion, but I think the biggest takeaway was seeing that they have an opinion and they really feel like he listens. I would love to be in that position too."

Lloyd is now considering her future by reflecting upon her experience as an intern, leaving possibilities open for her future career path.

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Recent Events

Regent University Graduates the Class of 2015

About 7,500 people descended upon Regent University Saturday, May 9, to celebrate Commencement. Nearly 1,000 students walked in the ceremony as the university awarded 1500 degrees. Faculty and students dressed in caps and gowns marched to their seats at the University Library Plaza. Morning fog broke away to clouds which eventually vanished to reveal sun.

Regent's Founder, Chancellor and CEO, Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson greeted the crowd after complete versions of the Star Spangled Banner and Doxology were sung by the Regent Singers, an a capella ensemble. He noted that as of 2015, Regent University will have more than 20,000 alumni, and the university continues to grow as it introduces some 40 new programs.

"It is a great day to be part of Regent University, and this is going to be a tremendous graduation," said Robertson. "Congratulations to all of you!"

Dr. Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, and a Regent alumnus, created a context for Commencement. In his keynote address to students, he reminded them of Christian Leadership to Change the World, Regent's motto, and described for them the condition of the world they are entering.

"We call the World War II generation the 'greatest generation,'" said Sekulow. "I believe your generation has that same responsibility, to be the greatest generation, because the threats, the level of engagement, the adversaries are sophisticated, and are here and in your country of origin. We are supposed to be Christian leaders to change the world. How do you change the world when it is changing so rapidly around you? How you change is by adapting yourself to the situation you find yourself in. You rely on all of the knowledge God has allowed you to acquire, but maintain a degree of flexibility and humility as you exercise those gifts you've been given."

Sekulow acknowledged recent unrest in the America and turned to Acts 4:29 to remind graduates that they are to speak God's Words in boldness.

"Be bold, flexible, and open," said Sekulow. "Understand opportunities you've been given and focus on fellow human beings, no matter your area of study. We are the ambassadors of hope. We are the regents of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords."

Graduates were encouraged to enter into their futures with boldness to resist evil, restore relationships and persevere.

"Leadership is perseverance," said Sekulow "Dr. Robertson has a sign in the studio that says 'accomplish something so big that only God could make it happen.' If your focus is upon the Lord, that perseverance is easy to maintain."

Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riano, Regent’s executive vice president of academic affairs, recognized outstanding graduates from each of Regent’s eight schools, and Robertson pronounced his charge to graduates.

"My charge to you today is be strong," said Robertson. "As you leave here, don't minimize the strength that you have. You have strength in Jesus Christ. You have strength that God has put inside of you. You have strength in the Holy Spirit, and more than anything, you have the strength of the Word of God. The apostle Paul said 'I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation for all of those who believe.'"

Also, during the ceremony, Dr. Gary Roberts, professor in the Robertson School of Government, received the Chancellor's Award, presented annually to an outstanding faculty member.

The 2015 Alumnus of the Year, U.S. Representative Scott Rigell, ’90 (SBL), spoke of his experience at Regent 25 years ago.

"There are many, many thousands of Regent graduates who are serving with excellence and changing the world," said Rigell. "So often in our Christian life we elevate the need for humility. There's an equally important principle, that is, as Christian leaders in whatever field, we are to reflect confidence and boldness and our creator God who has given us potential so our lives reflect conviction and courage."

Graduates were then recognized as they stepped across stage to shake hands with Robertson and receive their degrees. The procession flowed constantly until Regent's 20,000th graduate, Lydia Crutchfiield, made her way across the stage. The crowd cheered as cannons launched blue and green confetti.

Proud parents and friends continued to celebrate once the ceremony concluded. They posted pictures of their graduates using #RegentGrad15.


Reliving the Decisions of the Battle of Yorktown

Robertson School of Government (RSG) students went beyond classroom discussions and textbook reading to play out the parts of historical figures from the American Revolutionary War. They traveled to Yorktown on April 18 as Dr. Ionut Popescu, RSG assistant professor, led them on a staff ride of a battlefield from the Battle of Yorktown. They stepped into the shoes and replicated the decisions of military leaders while walking the field.

Students assumed roles in the battle like British commander Lord Cornwallis, General George Washington or Marquis de Lafayette, while other students acted as journalists who dug into the motives, strategies and personal opinions of the characters that influenced the outcome of the battle.

"While learning about the battle and decisions that led to the victory of the United States, students had to dive further into the material, as their character, and discover why that person chose to do something and what that student would have done as the player in that time period," said Popescu. "Not only did students get the chance to become a commemorated figure from history, but also they were able to engage with other figures of the war and have a dialogue with them; something that would not have happened during the actual event in some instances."

"It was a very interesting and interactive educational experience," said Samantha Graham, '15 (RSG). "Portraying an important character of the battle of Yorktown and seeing the terrain helped me achieve a better understanding and appreciation for the significance of the battle in the American Revolution. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was really fun interacting with everyone and their characters."

The staff ride began by recounting the naval battle that set the stage for the siege of Yorktown. Later in the afternoon, the group walked the battlefield, and eventually completed the exercise several hours later at the Moore House, where the official British surrender took place. The day ended with a group dinner, fellowship and reflections on the lessons learned at a beachside restaurant.



Regent University Presents Second Ethics in Media and Culture Conference

The presentation of the 2015 Chuck Colson Award

In the digital swirl of the 24/7 news cycle and the perpetual over-share of personal details on social media platforms, journalists in this century are challenged to remain ethical in a realm of moral landmines.

From April 10-11, Regent University's School of Communication & the Arts (COM) and Robertson School of Government (RSG) hosted its annual forum to discuss the dovetailing issues in today's media climate; particularly in the realm of first freedoms and terrorism.

The event explored many elements from the perspective of esteemed guests and keynote speakers and panelists such as Clifford May, president for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; and Knox Thames, director of policy and research for the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, who contributed their working-knowledge of toeing the line of ethical reporting.

"People say, 'you're a Christian school; don't you already have the answers?" said Dr. Eric Patterson, dean of RSG. And though he explained that the core of Christian values lies in loving God, loving neighbors and telling the truth, ethical fundamentals aren't always a guarantee.

"How does what we believe play out in the nitty gritty of our everyday lives – and even more so in our professional lives?" asked Patterson.

Dr. Mitch Land, COM dean, asked how these beliefs play out in a journalists' right for freedom of expression and how to take the "moral high ground" when those freedoms become limited.

"We have a lot to express – and a very real truth to convey," said Land. "I'm ready for real freedom; freedom of religious expression and freedom of all forms. And these freedoms are worth dying for."

While Land said that nearly all people are "ethically challenged" on a daily basis, professional journalists are presented with this "nitty gritty" in their roles as informational "gate-keepers." Where do journalists, in this day and age, draw the line in their roles as truth-tellers in the midst of war and religious freedom – or do they have to draw a line at all?

Erick Stakelbeck, terrorism analyst for the Christian Broadcasting Network, shared his expert knowledge on ISIS, and the importance of presenting the unfolding violent events abroad to American audience.

"Unless you make it real, and unless you show them how it's affecting them in their own backwoods, the audience tends to zone out," said Stakelbeck.

Steve Bradford, vice president of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and Land presented the 2015 Chuck Colson Award for Outstanding Contribution in Ethics, Media, and Culture at the conclusion of the event. The award was presented to Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

"What a wonderful conference and idea – our country needs what you're doing," said Cromartie, who served as a research assistant to Colson.

Charles "Chuck" Colson, from whom the award is named, served as Special Counsel to President Richard Nixon during his infamous Watergate scandal – and was first from the administration to be incarcerated.

After his time in prison, Colson converted to Christianity and spent the latter years of his life ministering in his Prison Fellowship and BreakPoint ministries.

Cromartie said that in the midst of the nation's "culture wars" and the differing moral values, it feels as though Christians in the media industry are living and working in exile. He encouraged his audience to present their conflicting worldviews in love – treating others with Christ-like respect and dignity – and shared what was the very thesis of the event itself:

"Snarky looks don't communicate the Gospel – the Gospel is 'good news' about the human condition," said Cromartie. "Be faithful to God's call to care for 'the least of these.' Do your duty even while you're living in exile."

Watch the 2015 Presentation Videos >


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