RSG Newsletter

October 2015
Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner

Dean Eric Patterson, Ph.D.Dear Friends,

October is a busy month on campus. Our students have been able to take courses with former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and past Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vern Clark. In addition to classes, papers, and exams, the campus has also had opportunities to hear from entrepreneurs like Daymond John (Shark Tank) and Walt Wilson (formerly of Apple). Presidential candidate Governor Jeb Bush also spoke on campus.

One of the common themes from all of the speakers has been that success relies both on individual initiative and galvanizing those around you to push toward a common goal. These themes underscore RSG’s approach to public service. We need leaders who are willing to take responsibility for action and leaders who recognize that success in the public sphere is a collaborative enterprise. In this edition of the newsletter you’ll meet one of our alumni, Lydia D’Ross, who is doing just that in the area of disaster relief.

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: Admiral Clark visits Christian Foundations of Government Class

Admiral Vern Clark

Admiral Vern Clark

Admiral Vern Clark, Distinguished Professor of Government, taught on leadership for RSG students. The session, held in RSG’s cornerstone course Christian Foundations of Government, focused on the principles that guide a true servant leader: an individual concerned not only for himself, but for the organization’s mission and for the people of the organization.

Admiral Clark has been teaching on leadership in the Robertson School of Government for several years. He brings to the classroom decades of leadership experience as a ship and fleet commander, including time in the highest position in the U.S. Navy—Chief of Naval Operations—with a seat at the table with the other U.S. military joint chiefs of staff.

Admiral Clark led a discussion based on leadership principles from a number of books, including Kouzes and Posner’s The Truth About Leadership. True leaders, he noted referring to General Eisenhower, can engage and empower their subordinates to own the mission for themselves.

One student observed, “This was a great experience. To learn from a man with Admiral Clark’s real-world experience was invaluable. I was touched by his discussion of being at the Pentagon on 9/11, and I will not forget his charge to us to care for the people that we work for, even if that means making tough decisions for the health of the organization.”


Student Story: Charity Kewish (’17)

Charity Kewish ('17)

Charity Kewish (’17)

As disputes between liberals and conservatives continue to polarize on important policy issues, Charity Kewish comes to the Robertson School of Government (RSG) with the hopes to jump back into the political mix as soon as she can. After spending thirteen years in Mental Health and Social Services, nine years in politics, and five years in marketing, Charity has come to Regent eagerly embracing RSG’s Christian worldview and how that relates to our government.

Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, Charity decided to pursue her MPA with a concentration in law here in Virginia. After graduation, Charity is looking to remain in Virginia, but travel north to the Washington metro area. Named “Charity” after 1 Corinthians 13, the Bible’s famous “love chapter,” she is motivated by its injunction that Christian action should be motivated by love. She intends to make an impact in Washington upon graduation, working with legislators to remain true to their principles and accountable to their constituents.

When asked about her journey to Regent University and her opinions thus far, Charity believes the Regent statement, “Christian Leadership to Change the World,” means carrying the Gospel to whatever realm we are called to, and she is both excited and honored to have joined the RSG community. God laid graduate school on her heart for some time, and after talking to several Regent recruiters she had run into while working with the Rick Santorum Patriot Voices conference series, she decided to rejoin the classroom. Charity is eagerly embracing the challenges posed by RSG, one of her favorite classes being the Christian Foundations of Government course where she was inspired by Admiral Vern Clark. To any prospective students who believe RSG may be their next step, Charity would tell them, “It is an honor beyond words to be a part of this institution and to be able to study to show myself improved in such an excellent way!”

Alumni Story: Lydia D'Ross ('09)

Lydia D'Ross ('09)

Lydia D'Ross ('09)

Alumna Lydia D'Ross resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma and holds a number of positions in public service and disaster relief. This January, she was elected as the Oklahoma State Director for the United States National Prayer Council (NPC), and is the founder and president of the National Hispanic Disaster Relief Network. Lydia started her career working in child protective services in Arizona, but when Hurricane Katrina hit, she felt the call to volunteer with the Red Cross to help those who were affected. Within 6 months of volunteering with the Red Cross, she was hired onto their team and made the career switch to the field of disaster relief. It was this career change that led her to get her Masters of Public Administration from the Robertson School of Government, which she completed in 2009 with added certificates in Terrorism & Homeland Defense and Public Administration. Lydia describes herself as an "ambidextrous leader" and is always balancing her multiple roles in government, disaster relief, and spiritual care. She shared, "We can deal with government one day, and then the next day we're dealing with disaster relief, and then the next day we are doing chaplaincy on both ends." Her roles in these fields have been most expressed in three main positions: as Senior Disaster Relief Coordinator and Armed Forces Communication Liaison at the American Red Cross; Director of the National Hispanic Disaster Relief Network; and Oklahoma State Director for the U.S. National Prayer Council.

It was through her work at the Red Cross that Lydia developed a passion for disaster relief and gained the expertise needed to organize and direct the National Hispanic Disaster Relief Network (NHDRN). Lydia organized the NHDRN to promote and provide "preparedness, recover, and emergency response" as well as "media information to the Hispanic Community so they can be prepared for anything" in disaster relief situations." My training from Regent University in Homeland Defense and Terrorism has prepared me in emergency management at a level that very few Hispanic leaders or organizations have," she says.

On top of her ongoing work in disaster relief, Lydia was appointed in January as Oklahoma State Director for the U.S. National Prayer Council. In this role, she is able to be in consistent contact with government officials in the state of Oklahoma and works as an intercessor and prayer initiative coordinator for the state's leaders and for national prayer issues. Since becoming the state director, she has been able to make connections with multiple state leaders, including a Supreme Court justice and the governor's office to inform them and get them on board with the prayer initiatives that the NPS conducts nationally. Apart from this, Lydia also organizes efforts among churches and pastors in Oklahoma to lift the nation's leaders up in prayer.

Amidst all of these roles, Lydia is passionate about prayer, about organizing people, and about giving a voice to the Hispanic community in government. As her career continues, she feels a sense of calling to a new level of service in public office, and ran for a seat in the House of Representatives in 2012 as the first female Latina to run in her district.

Patterson to teach class on Just War Theory

RSG Dean Eric Patterson and former U.S. Navy Chaplain Mark Jumper will teach a course on just war theory, the war convention, and religion and conflict for the spring 2016 semester. The class is open to students from the schools of government, law, and divinity.

Dr. Jumper, now a professor in Regent University’s School of Divinity, has wide experience as a Navy chaplain before coming to Regent University. Some of his recent research includes the ethics of war’s end (jus post bellum) as well as both the theoretical and practical aspects of chaplains’ ministry.

Dean Patterson has published widely in these areas, including a book on the religion and international affairs as well as books on just war thinking, the law of armed conflict, and post-conflict issues. He says, “Unfortunately many people in government service, civilian and military, refuse to recognize that religious factors play a major role in conflict. Instead, they hide behind ridiculous alternative theories, such as that a group like al Qaeda or Islamic State is simply power-hungry or that only economics and power politics alone can explain the policies of Iran. Religious factors, as well as material concerns, influence how these people think.”

This will be the first time that this course is taught jointly between the Robertson School of Government and Regent’s School of Divinity. It will be offered for both on-campus and online students.

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Recent Events

Rise and Grind! A Shark Visits Regent University’s Executive Leadership Series

Daymond John

For Daymond John, CEO of FUBU and star of ABC's two-time Emmy Award-winning business reality show, Shark Tank, it's always time to "rise and grind."

"I have one of those Sleep Number beds that tells me I get seven hours of sleep each night, but I think I'm up for six of them," he told a record-breaking audience of more than 800 guests at Regent University's Executive Leadership Series (ELS) on Tuesday, September 29th.

John visited campus prior to the November 9th launch of the Daymond John Certificate in Entrepreneurship, led by Daymond John in collaboration with distinguished faculty from Regent's School of Business & Leadership.

But becoming a good entrepreneur is about more than sacrificing sleep for your product, John explained. In fact, he advises against it.

"A good entrepreneur will set your house on fire and sell you a water hose," said John. "And you have to be obsessed with it."

Besides a passion for your product and a cunning wit, which John exuded during his Q&A-style interview with The Christian Broadcasting Network's George Thomas, he said a good entrepreneur must possess several distinctive traits: discipline, a strong "gut" feeling and a self-motivation to lead a team by example.

For John, the most important trait of a successful entrepreneur is the ability to fail.

"Failures, if you think of it, are more of a process of elimination. I learned to keep working until it was just right," said John.

And he's seen quite a number of failures. Approximately $6 million worth. But through his financial failures, and even the three launches and restarts of FUBU, John learned the value of mentors in the business world.

"Anyone who tells you that they've become a success on their own is out of their mind," said John.

His mother, his number one mentor and living "guardian angel," was the person for him. Not only did she tell him to think beyond the "glass ceiling" in his mind when he envisioned FUBU as a boutique, she taught him one of his most important lessons.

"She says, 'money is a great servant, but a horrible master,'" said John. "It doesn't buy you anything. It really doesn't. And it doesn't solve much. It actually creates problems."

John empowers these lessons from his mother and teachers he's gleaned over the years to his most important investments as he offers deals to Shark Tank candidates.

"You have to invest in people. You're not going to create anything new in this world," said John. "Investing in this way is amazing, it's scary and it's frustrating. But I learn so much from them."



Upcoming Events

Executive Leadership Series Luncheon with Walt Wilson (formerly of Apple) – October 13, 2015

A. Willis Robertson Lecture on Virginia Politics – November 3, 2015

Book Launch with Dr. Gary Roberts – November 5, 2015


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