Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner
November was a historic month, but then again, every presidential election is. Many are wondering not only about a president-elect who brings business (rather than government) experience to the White House, but also about how GOP control of both houses of Congress will impede or advance the new president’s agenda. Of course, there are many other parallel stories across the country, from state gubernatorial races to individual elections where Regent alumni participated. In this issue of our newsletter you will see some of the events that RSG participated in to provide students with insight on the elections.
We also recognize this month the outstanding contributions of our faculty. Dr. Manjikian received a faculty research grant from the university and was selected as the Fall 2016 Outstanding Professor for Teaching at Regent University. Dr. Morrison has been in high demand across the country, with six speaking engagements from Washington to Louisiana to Utah in recent months. Distinguished Professor Admiral Vern Clark (USN, ret.) taught on the security dynamics of the Middle East and leadership to our students.
As we enter the Thanksgiving season, the election has reminded me how grateful I am for this country, its processes, and its people. What a difference from places that lapse into civil war at election’s end! But, we also need to pray for the reconciliation of our citizens and the success of our leaders, from either party.
Eric Patterson, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
Robertson School of Government
Watch the "Get to Know RSG" video.
For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.
Dr. Gary Roberts, professor in the Robertson School of Government (RSG), is passionate about servant leadership. He's explored the topics in two academic books and is launching a third, Working with Christian Servant Leadership Spiritual Intelligence: The Foundation of Vocational Success.
Taking lessons from personal experience and a careful study of Scripture, Roberts’ new book examines the use of spiritual intelligence in the workplace. He defines spiritual intelligence as reasoning ethically and morally to live life according to Scripture through the Holy Spirit. It pulls from the concept of intelligencies, mental reasoning abilities that enable problem-solving, and combines it with spirituality from a Christian worldview. Roberts says spiritual intelligence reflects a Christian's growth and knowledge, enhances what he or she believes, produces wisdom and the ability to reason and make decisions.
"If you're a public administrator, you're a leader in a public position," said Roberts. "Perhaps you are making a budget decision about which program to fund. There are principle-based considerations, or you must consider whether the program works and produces good, or you must decide how the program will be implemented in virtuous ways that enhance character and don’t violate any moral principles. Spiritual intelligence says you have to consider all these forms of reasoning to help analyze the situation and make a decision as led by the Holy Spirit."
Roberts shares personal examples from his own life's journey and derives all of the book's advice from Scripture. It integrates his teaching on servant leadership and builds upon three other books he's written over the past seven years. He interviewed and consulted more than 100 Christians working in law, chaplaincy, military and law enforcement. The book encourages readers to keep a diary of what they're experiencing in life and includes diagnostic scales for readers to assess themselves.
"The only way I was able to write this book was to set priorities and sacrifice certain areas. Certain things are non-negotiable. I have to spend time with the Lord. It's all part of a life of Godly balance. There are different seasons where you have to work hard at both ends, and seasons where you rest. You can't ignore your family and your church and be a success as God defines it. You really have to make some sacrifices and maybe say 'no' to conference trips or speaking engagements, set priorities and follow them."
Roberts says that's exactly what spiritually intelligent people do. They give themselves permission to say, 'no,' at the right place after being led by the Lord, and they also give themselves permission to do less than “A” work at everything. Although it sounds odd, Roberts says the principle is important to keep from burning out.
He introduced his new book Monday, October 31, at a gathering with RSG faculty and students. In the future, he hopes to re-work the book for a more mainstream audience.
Bruce Carson is serving as a Captain in the United States Army, with airborne operations and deployments in his recent past. He is currently assigned to Fort Jackson’s student detachment. In this position, Bruce strives to exemplify servant leadership and balance strength, empathy, courage, and compassion. He believes that every choice he makes defines what type of person he will be.
Carson was led by the Lord to make the decision to attend Regent University’s Robertson School of Government (RSG). He knew that there were going to challenges when he made this decision. The biggest challenge that he has faced is learning how to be a student again and how to work with those who are not in the military. Another challenge is to be a full-time service member while returning to graduate study. Through the guidance of faculty, staff, and students of RSG, Carson is flourishing as a student at Regent University. He will be graduating in May 2018 with an MA in Government with a concentration in International Relations and an MA in Law with a concentration in Human Rights.
“Christian leadership to change the world” is exemplified through Bruce Carson. He has a servant’s heart and a passion for his work. Following graduation, he anticipates being engaged in political military operations in sub-Saharan Africa as a Foreign Area Officer where he plans to carry out his life verse, Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” This verse has guided him through airborne operations, combat, and the loss of soldiers. He says, “It reminds me that what I do is not in vain. That a task, no matter how big or small should be done with everything that is within me so that God may get the glory.” His advice for prospective students of RSG is, “Don’t just think about it, do it! It will stretch you mentally by a world class faculty that has a vested interest in your success.”
Regent Executive Leadership Series Features LTB (Ret.) William G. Boykin
Robertson Campaign Speech - 1988
Founding member of Delta Force LTG (Ret). William “Jerry” Boykin was born with a love for his country in his veins.
On Wednesday, November 9, Boykin spoke at Regent University’s Executive Leadership Series (ELS). He told a story of a 17-year-old veteran named Cecil, who left his family’s tobacco farm to enlist in the United States Navy in 1943, serving his country on the infamous beaches of Normandy.
Following WWII, he enlisted in the United States Army, serving in the Korean War. And true to form, he joined the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
"Cecil loved God, America and his family, in that order,” said Boykin. “He took an oath three times to ‘support and defend the United States.'"
And for Cecil – Boykin’s father – there was no expiration date to that oath. To Boykin, he was a man who had no high school education, but who had wisdom and character.
“I had no choice but to love America,” said Boykin, who followed in the footsteps of his father’s longevity and dedication of service, committing 36 years of his life in the U.S. Army.
It’s with his history of service and his genuine pursuits to protect the “founding values of this nation,” that he believes restoration is in America’s future. A timely message in the days between the closing of a whirlwind election season and the celebration of Veterans Day.
“This is where we stand today,” said Boykin. “We will never surrender, and we owe it to our veterans to stand up for what we believe in.”
He realizes this type of leadership comes from a place of both difficulty and courage. In 1993, following the Battle of Mogadishu, known commonly as “Black Hawk Down,” Boykin watched a truck arrive with its aftermath: his dead and wounded fellow soldiers.
“Blood poured out [of the truck] like water,” he said. “I wanted to sit down and weep, but I was the leader. I had to continue leading no matter my personal feelings.”
Boykin later found himself on the battlefield, suffering a bullet injury next to a man who was shot and killed instantly. In that moment, he questioned why God had spared him that day.
It wasn’t until years later while he was fulfilling his duties as the executive vice president of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. that he received his answer.
The familiar sound of active gunfire alerted Boykin and sent him running into the lobby, where he found a man pinned to the floor – an activist in protest of his organization – and several bullet holes in the office’s walls, doors and his coworker’s arm.
“I heard God say then, ‘I spared you to fight another day, this is the battle I spared you for: The soul of this nation,’” said Boykin. “I serve a sovereign God and I was spared for what I’m doing today. My 36 years were preparation.”
He encouraged his listeners to find a similar “transcendent call,” and for a restoration of courage.
“If we’re going to be leaders in our homes, our communities, and in our social circles, we have to have courage,” said Boykin. “And it’s in short supply.”
Learn more about Regent University’s Executive Leadership Series.
Having a Political Party to Watch Results
In the midst of the intensity of election night on November 8, Regent University's Robertson School of Government (RSG) concentrated the excitement into one room in Robertson Hall where students and faculty gathered to watch election returns together.
"It is wonderful being among a group of people who are excited about the election, and the conversation that we were able to have is so informed," said Bethany Sigler '17 (RSG).
The conversation stayed informed with up-to-the-minute election results from Fox News, and coverage from WAVY News 10 where RSG Dean, Dr. Eric Patterson, offered his insight into local and national elections.
"I love election season. It became even more of a big deal," said Sigler. "My husband and I are expecting. This is even bigger for us now because it's going to be the world we are bringing our child into, so there's a lot at stake for our country and our family."
Sigler, an international relations student, says the military is her top voting priority. She comes from a left-leaning family and once held similar views, but through education has embraced conservatism. She originally pulled for Rubio, but found herself supporting Trump at the election watch party. Her transformation experience inspires her to one day become a college professor to inspire others to explore a world of ideas, something she's experienced at Regent.
"We have constant debate in our classrooms, and it's refreshing to be among so many people from so many different backgrounds, and we can talk about all sorts of different issues in an academic setting and respect each other's views," said Sigler.
During the evening, students expressed their political views in a presidential poll and political coloring books. They kept track of electoral votes by shading in states with Sharpies, and enjoyed pizza, cake and puzzles.
"It's been fun," said 1L Brandan Goodwin '19 (School of Law). "I think it's been a lot of camaraderie. There are a lot of people hopeful for the election, a lot of people who really do care. I think it's good for students to take an active role in their government, and a very active role in presenting themselves, and presenting how they feel about the election, and how they feel about electoral decisions in the United States."
Goodwin, an aspiring immigration lawyer who volunteered with Trump's campaign in Michigan, says national security, immigration and trade are his top considerations for his candidate. And while he'll argue for those positions with his friends on election night, he says his political activity will go beyond voting.
"We get a choice in the United States, unlike many places in the world," said Goodwin. "You just have to move forward, keep voting, keep having your feelings heard. You should write your congressmen, your senators, keep getting your voice heard."
Post Election Panel Predicts President Trump’s Administration’s Impact
As the dust settles after the 2016 presidential election, experts in the Robertson School of Government (RSG) shared their perspectives of its outcome. Four professors presented their opinions on president-elect Donald Trump’s impact on the federal court system, the role women played in electing him, and his administration’s impact on the military. A crowded room of students eagerly digested their research and predictions.
Considering Trump’s potential influence on the courts was Tessa Dysart, assistant professor in the School of Law. She discussed the importance of this issue for voters who desire a conservative Supreme Court, and clarified the president’s role in selecting judges for lower courts which are also shaped politically according to the executive branch’s agenda.
Dr. Mary Manjikian, RSG associate dean and associate professor, discussed the role women played in the election. She explained that Clinton’s pandering to the female vote ignored the fact that women voters also consider other elements of their identities when selecting a candidate.
Joseph Saur, principal lecturer in the College of Arts & Sciences, shared his perspective on technology and the electoral process. Admiral Larry Baucom, RSG adjunct professor, examined the possible opportunities for the military under a Trump administration.
Baucom teaches classes in crisis and disaster consequence management and national security affairs. Although the military’s budget has stayed relatively the same over the past several years, the percentage of America’s gross domestic product allocated to military has been cut in half since 2011. He sees Trump’s promise to build the military a needed venture, but cautions it will not be easy.
“A President Trump is going to deal with reality,” said Baucom. “You can promise all you want as a candidate, which he has. He says he’s going to rebuild the military, and that’s great to say, and everyone rallies around behind that, however a President Trump has to deal with the reality of discretionary spending, as well as trying to attack the deficit, and then the national debt.”
America currently spends $3 billion per year in interest on its national debt, and this is projected to increase to $500 billion within the next few years, a number close to military expenditures. Baucom says this calls for finding efficiencies, a challenge both Trump and graduates of the Robertson School of Government are willing and able to solve.
“You can look forward to the military being a great line of work,” said Baucom. “There are going to be opportunities for graduates of this school to find positions in public administration and the defense industry to be able to contribute to this, help drive the efficiencies we need, and help lead the defense establishment where it needs to go.”
RSG’s professors are equipping their students to lead in this capacity. Many come from a legacy of military service and offer a first-hand experience on military-related topics.
Admiral Vern Clark visits with RSG Students
Admiral Vern Clark, Distinguished Professor of Government, taught on leadership for RSG students. The sessions, held in RSG’s courses Middle East Politics and Terrorism & Homeland Defense, 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.
Students were also treated to a rare opportunity for dinner and casual conversation with Admiral Clark at the Dean’s home where Admiral Clark led a discussion based on leadership principles from a number of books, including Max DePree’s, Leadership Is an Art, and 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.”
Admiral Clark has been teaching on leadership in the Robertson School of Government for over 10 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.
Dr. Manjikian – Awarding Faculty for Service, Scholarship, and Teaching
Three of Regent University's faculty members were recognized for their contributions Tuesday, November 1, at the university’s quarterly faculty and staff meeting. Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, executive vice president for academic affairs, presented Fall 2016 Faculty Awards for service, scholarship and teaching.
Dr. Mary Manjikian receives consistently high rankings from student surveys. She's taken an active approach in new course development, creating classes in Cyber Security Policy and Russian Politics. Recognized in the area of teaching, she is known for innovative use of technology in the classroom and is planning a trip to Russia that would be available as a one-credit class.
"Teaching is one of my favorite things and I feel that my conversations with students over the years have really sparked my research as well," said Manjikian. "Lots of times a student will ask a question and I'll realize that no one has written about this topic yet, and I will end up authoring a journal article which came out of that class section. For example, last year we had a conversation about intelligence sharing between nations in my intelligence class, and I ended up authoring an article on the ethics of intelligence sharing, a neglected but important topic."
Manjikian encourages a collaborative and interactive degree of participation, especially with her online students. She's been experimenting with an add-on to PowerPoint that allows her to gather feedback from students and incorporate it into her presentations. Learn more about RSG. Learn more about the Russia trip.
Also recognized at the faculty awards were Professor Gary Oster and Professor Michael Ponton. Dr. Oster was recognized for his service providing insight for course and program development. For the past three years Dr. Oster has taught RSG’s courses on micro- and macro-economics. In the School of Business he designed two new master's degrees, a Master of Arts in Business & Design Management, and a Master's in Data Analytics. Dr. Ponton, of the School of Education, is the author of seven books and was recognized for outstanding scholarship.
Dr. Manjikian Presents Cybersecurity Paper at ISA
In October, Dr. Manjikian attended the International Studies Association South Conference at Shephard University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. She presented material associated with her forthcoming textbook on Cybersecurity ethics. Her paper focused on the levels of analysis (individual, local, state, national, and international) at which we speak and theorize about cybersecurity ethics and norms.
Movie Night – The Battle of Algiers
On Sunday, October 30, a group of faculty and students gathered at Dr. Patterson’s home to enjoy pizza and watch the 1966 Algerian film, “The Battle of Algiers”, directed by Gillo Pontecorvo. The film depicts the events in the capital of Algeria circa 1954-1957, following the actions of Ali Ammar, aka Ali La Pointe. As tensions rise between the native Arab population and the French colonials, Ali La Pointe is recruited and radicalized in the notorious Barberousse prison by militants of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN).
“The Battle of Algiers” depicts a struggle between Middle Eastern and Western forces that resonates to this day. For every blow made by the FLN to terrorize the French colonials, the French return with equal ferocity, sparking greater retaliation in turn. The cycle of conflict rises further and further, inflaming emotions and creating martyrs until Algiers reaches the breaking point. It is an excellent study in asymmetric conflict between the state and a resentful population.
After the movie was finished the group enjoyed banana cream pie and cookies. The discussion went over the events of the film and their relation to contemporary events. Deep consideration was given to topics such as how to defuse political violence, secure both security and liberty, and the nature and strategies of revolutionary groups.
U.S. Army TRADOC Band Christmas Concert – December 17, 2016