RSG Newsletter

November 2014
Regent University Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner

Robertson School of Government

Dean Eric Patterson, Ph.D.Dear Friends,

We focus on our military veterans in this issue of the RSG newsletter. We are proud that Regent University is consistently ranked as one of the top military friendly universities in the country and approximately 25 percent of our students are directly related to the military in some way. We are proud of our students who currently wear the uniform as well as those who served in the past.

You will meet some of those individuals in this newsletter, such as Distinguished Professor of Government Admiral Vern Clark (USN, ret.), who served as the senior-most Navy official on the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Bush. You will also learn about one of our faculty who serves in the Texas Air National Guard, the fact that we have a retired two-star Navy admiral as a student, and meet some of our students who currently serve on active duty. They have found that our flexible approach—both on campus and online—allows them to maximize opportunities to excel in their coursework.

You will also meet our Veterans Day campus speaker, the man reportedly responsible for downing Osama bin Laden, former Navy Seal Robert O'Neill. This Veterans Day, join me in thanking our veterans for their service and thanking God for the unusual security and prosperity that this country has enjoyed.

Warm regards,

Eric Patterson, Ph.D.
Dean, 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. Eric Patterson - Called to Serve

RSG Dean Eric Patterson was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Texas Air National Guard this summer. In December, he will mark his 18th anniversary as an officer in the Air National Guard (ANG).

Most people are familiar with the Army National Guard due to its high visibility in every U.S. state and territory. What is less well-known is that there is an Air Force component of the Guard as well: 107,000 "weekend warriors" who serve one weekend a month and two weeks or more each summer. The ANG is the first line of aerial defense for the continental United States and has all of the regular Air Force jobs available, from pilots to computer specialists to administrative positions. As members of their individual state militias, guardsmen are also on call when a natural disaster such as an earthquake or tornado hits.

Patterson credits the military with providing him with many opportunities to learn. He observes, "I am a college professor and foreign policy expert—our lives in the university are far different than the military lifestyle! I have learned a great deal about leadership, building a team, and mission-focus from a military career spent almost entirely as a unit commander."

Patterson holds a special role with the Air National Guard: he is one of five commissioned band commanders in the ANG (he holds a bachelor's degree in music education). He earned the spot after a competitive audition in 1996. He spent more than a decade with an ANG Band in Southern California before transferring to the ANG Band of the Southwest in Ft. Worth, Texas in 2012. Over the years he has performed for millions of people at the Nixon, Reagan, and George W. Bush Presidential Libraries, in the Tournament of Roses Parade, and at concerts in a dozen states. The soloists and ensembles from his band have performed for sporting events for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, NASCAR, and others. He has also produced two concert band recordings during this time.

A highlight of his military career was to deploy with a Latin pop ensemble to perform for the troops in Southwest Asia in 2011. He recalls, "We performed for military and civilian audiences in Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and Kyrgyzstan. Whether performing for troops in Iraq or doing outreach performances in a children's cancer ward in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), it was an incredible, exhausting, rewarding time."

"I am thankful for this opportunity to serve my country," he concludes. "There are many ways one can use one's talents on behalf of America, and what I try to do is inspire patriotism and tell a story to audiences about the men and women who are protecting them, whether at home or abroad. That is my duty and it is a delight."

Student Story: RSG in the U.S. Armed Forces

The Robertson School of Government seeks to create a military-supportive environment where service members, veterans, and spouses can pursue their academic, professional, personal and spiritual goals. Regent University is a top choice college education for military and a fully accredited Service Members Opportunity College (SOC) offering online and on-campus classes from a Christ-first and biblically anchored perspective. Whether our students are on active duty, in reserve units or an Armed Forces veteran, our values of Christ first, excellence and leadership complement the U.S. Armed Forces core values well.

William McCarthy, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (retired)

Bill McCarthy

Bill McCarthy
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (retired)

RSG student William "Bill" McCarthy spent over 37 years in military and government service. His Navy career began flying the E-2C Hawkeye and included combat operations in Operation Desert Storm. He later served as the Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. As a flag officer, he served as Commander, Carrier Strike Group Eight with additional responsibility as Commander, Task Force Fifty while conducting operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. A U.S. Naval Test Pilot School graduate, his duties ashore included the Joint Staff and a variety of test and acquisition assignments culminating in command of the Navy's Operational Test and Evaluation Force. Following active service, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Deputy Assistant Secretary level as Deputy Director and retired in June 2013.

Upon completion of his career in the military, McCarthy knew he wanted to expand his formal education in government and political science. "I was aware of Regent and RSG thanks to friends and colleagues who have been associated with Regent as faculty, staff, and students. Through them I had attended several events at RSG and I had come to appreciate the values for which it stands," says McCarthy. "Our country needs talented young women and men of faith to enter careers in public service. I hope to share my experience working in government, both in uniform and as a civilian, with students and thereby encourage them to consider some form of public service."

Karen McCutchin

Karen McCutchin

Karen McCutchin
Civilian Human Resource Specialist, U.S. Navy

In December 2012, RSG student Karen McCutchin says she knew she needed to continue her education and spent a year researching graduate schools and reflecting on which M.A. program would be the best fit. "I came to the Preview Weekend at Regent University in November 2013 and knew right away that RSG was it. The professors were genuinely concerned about the education of the students, the courses were Christ-centered, and I would be able to continue the program if I decided to move," reflects McCutchin.

McCutchin graduated from the University of Arizona with an undergraduate degree in business administration. In 2008, she entered federal service with the U.S. Army under the Federal Career Intern Program as a Human Resources Specialist at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. After the internship, she continued as an HR Specialist working in civilian position classification, recruitment, and staffing for the U.S. Army in Kansas City, Kansas and Houston, Texas. In 2012, she transferred to Virginia Beach, Virginia as a HR Specialist working with the U.S. Navy. At the end of 2014, McCutchin will be moving to Germany to work again with the U.S. Army. During her federal career, McCutchin has recruited for and staffed a variety of federal civilian occupations at various grade levels, working at both the HR operational center and at the command level.

When it comes to discussing faith in the workplace, McCutchin admits the federal government has its own challenges. "I have always tried to be a leader, even when that means being an informal leader. The people within an organization are the most important asset: when people help each other to achieve their full potential, relationships are formed and it becomes easier to fully integrate faith into the workplace."

McCutchin says her time with the military has inspired her to think beyond the office resulting in a global view of the world. "It was this inspiration that led me to RSG to pursue an M.A. in International Relations and now takes me to Germany. After my overseas tour, I intend to use the knowledge gained at RSG and the experience of living and working overseas to apply for the U.S. State Department Foreign Service," says McCutchin.

Michael Owen

Bill McCarthy

Michael Owen
Naval Intelligence Officer – Military Planning and Geopolitics, U.S. Navy

Naval Intelligence Officer Michael Owen knew he wanted to earn a Master of Arts in Government. "Ideally in the future, I'd like to pursue a Navy Legislative Fellowship and eventually work in the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs," says Wilson. "This opportunity would provide me with direct insight and experience into the legislature."

Wilson believes that what sets RSG apart from other schools is academic rigor combined with the integration of faith and learning. "RSG investigates the role that Christianity has played in the development of Western civilization and democratic government. Additionally, there is an intentional effort to understand the continuing role that Christian faith should play in government."

Wilson is appreciative of RSG course Christian Foundations of Government which he credits with "reaffirming his belief that Christians should not shy away from politics or public service." As a member of the armed forces, Wilson affirms that living your faith in the military is more about actions that words. "One remains always aware of the possible perception of forcing one's faith on peers or subordinates. As a Christian leader, we must act differently, answer to different motivations, and guard against the temptations that power in any walk of life brings. Only if we act differently will anyone believe that Christ makes a difference." Reflecting on his career in the military, Wilson suggests that he is ready for increased responsibility whether in or out of uniform: "After RSG, I have renewed confidence that I will be able to step into civilian life in government with little adjustment required when the time comes."

Richard "Rick" Wilson

Bill McCarthy

Richard "Rick" Wilson
U.S. Naval Aviator Pilot, U.S Navy

When searching for graduate schools to attend, United States Naval Academy graduate Richard "Rick" Wilson was impressed with the strength of the Regent University (RU) military program. Ranked as one of the top military friendly universities in the country, Wilson says, "RU has a renowned military outreach program. I received several strong referrals to RU. The Christian-oriented focus was especially appealing to me."

While living in Germany as foreign exchange student , Wilson developed a deep appreciation for international relations, which he later studied at the Naval Academy. Fluent in German, Wilson says, "As my academic background and personal interests involve foreign policy, a graduate degree from RSG seemed like a natural fit."

As an active duty U.S. Naval pilot, Wilson admits that being out of the classroom for over seven years was a challenge. "Adjusting to the academic environment was tough, especially with work and family, which I didn't have to balance when I was in college. I also felt a little intimidated seeing that I was in the academic company of truly brilliant young professionals," says Wilson.

Wilson says his favorite RSG course, National Security Affairs taught by Rear Admiral Larry Baucom was very similar in scope to a course he took with Admiral William Crowe, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, at the Naval Academy. "The intellectually stimulating peer discussions and debates have been invaluable in advancing my learning. I also appreciate the challenge to examine my own faith and learn how to defend my values in an increasingly secular society," says Wilson.

Grateful for the opportunities he has experienced, Wilson is inspired by African-American leaders Colin Powell, Barack Obama, and Condoleezza Rice for efforts to break down historical racial barriers. Wilson believes the Regent motto "Christian Leadership to Change the World" means not being afraid to be guided by faith in God. "The Founding Fathers, I believe (as evidenced by the immediate establishment of chaplaincies during the infancies of the Continental Congress, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in 1789), intended for the government to be guided by religious principles for the betterment of God's people in America."

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Alumni Story: Osmay Torres '13 – A Political Change Agent

Osmay Torres '13

Osmay Torres '13

Osmay Torres' first involvement in public service came about in the form of military service. As an active duty Naval Officer from 1999-2008, he served on the USS George Washington. To him, it was a very special ship. Not only was this ship where he completed his first deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, but his first daughter (who is now 10 years old) was born while he was deployed, and he had the opportunity to baptize her in the ship's chapel after the ship returned to Norfolk, Virginia. Torres was also stationed with an F-18 Squadron (VFA-37) "The Ragin' Bulls" out of Naval Air Station Oceana where he deployed on the USS Harry S. Truman in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served as an aerospace maintenance duty officer at Fleet Readiness Center Oceana and separated as a lieutenant commander from the U.S. Navy Reserves after which he began to work as a consultant with a major defense contractor.

Born in Camaguey, Cuba, Torres and his family left Cuba for the United States in 1980 as political Cuban exiles. Osmay was 5 years old at the time. It is obvious that politics were always a topic at the Torres dinner table, but his background in problem solving and consulting lends itself nicely to government as well. As he says, "I see politicians and elected officials as problem solvers who deal with issues that affect more than just one agency or one company...rather, their issues tend to affect everyone." That led Torres to pursue a second master's degree in government from Regent in order to expand his knowledge of how government should function in order to better prepare him to solve problems. He remembers meeting Dr. Bob Dyer at an American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) symposium hosted at ODU and talking to him about his desire to possibly pursue a degree from Regent. "Dr. Dyer handed me his business card, asked me to call him up and that we would discuss how we can get me enrolled and involved. That conversation took place, I enrolled, and I was definitely involved. While taking a class with Dr. Dyer, he asked me if I would be interested in helping him stand up a Process Improvement Committee for City Council, given my background in Lean Six Sigma. Of course I accepted and went on to serve on that committee and helped the entire team develop standard templates and coordinated training for the team from outside experts whom I had known from the industry. This was my first committee or appointed position, and I learned a great deal from it and owe a great deal to Dr. Dyer and the Robertson School of Government for the opportunity."

According to Torres, by pursuing a graduate degree at the Robertson School of Government, he learned how government works from an academic perspective, but it was the relationships that he developed within the school with professors like Dyer and with fellow peers that helped expose him to local and state politics. Torres is currently working as a defense contractor in Norfolk, supporting the Navy, and is also a Fellow with the University of Virginia's Political Leaders Program (PLP) through the Sorensen Institute.

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Recent Events

World Leaders Participate In Regent's 12th Annual Clash of the Titans®

"Has America Lost Its Leading Edge?" was the hot-button issue debated by a distinguished group including former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, publisher Steve Forbes and former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton at Regent University's 12th annual Clash of the Titans® on Friday, October 24. Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and a FOX News legal analyst, moderated the debate, which drew a sold-out crowd of more than 700 guests.

Referencing the recent terrorist attacks in Canada and a possible terrorist attack against New York City police officers, Sekulow said this about the debate topic: "When you see these kinds of situations, the question is poignant because if we have lost our leading edge, what does that mean for the rest of the world?"

The question stirred a lively discussion, beginning with the panelists' opening remarks, in which they clearly indicated the answer to the question is "no," although they did not hesitate to point out challenges and opportunities for America, and by extension, the rest of the world.

"My view after a lifetime as your neighbor is that America is the greatest nation God has placed on the face of the earth," Mulroney said. "The question is: has America lost its leading edge? No, it has not. Has the administration lost its edge? Now that's a different kettle of fish."

In discussing leadership, Bolton noted the past 70 years, since the end of World War II, have been extraordinary times of economic ups and downs, social turmoil that brought about great change and unprecedented technological advances. "Throughout it all, the United States has maintained its leadership in the world to protect our life here at home, and the rest of the world has also benefitted enormously."

Calderón agreed that the U.S. retains its leadership position in the world, but its ability to protect its interests and values is diminished. "America can defeat almost any enemy in the world, but its willingness to engage the adversary is in doubt. Everyone realizes that, including its enemies." He pointed to "polarized politics" as the source of gridlock in America's foreign relations.

Looking through an economic lens, Forbes listed three factors that hurt the U.S. economy – monetary policy where the dollar is unstable, a burdensome corporate tax code and increasing healthcare costs. "We may be blunted, but it's only temporary. The U.S. is on a detour, this is not the final destination," he said. "Our edge may not be apparent now, but in the next few years, it will be there."

Acknowledging agreement among the panelists on this serious issue, Sekulow then led them through a spirited discussion that touched on many current matters of concern, including President Obama's foreign policy and its impacts, the situation with ISIS, economic consequences, the potential for Russia aggression, immigration policy and border security, and the administration's response to Ebola.

The notion of drawing "red lines" provoked consensus, especially among the two world leaders. "When Reagan walked into the room, no leader was under any illusions on what was going to happen if anyone crossed 'the red line' that he drew in the sand," Mulroney said. "No one questioned whether or not he meant it; if you crossed the red line, you were going to get chopped."

Calderón agreed, saying, "Credible power and consequences for actions is important. If you want to avoid conflict, make sure they believe there will be consequences for crossing the red line. Don't make empty threats, otherwise you will pay."

On the issue of immigration, Forbes and Bolton advocated for what some might call a "common sense" approach.

"Border security is essential, but President Obama has hit on something we used to do—guest worker programs," Forbes said, noting that many people here illegally would welcome the opportunity to come legally into the U.S. to work for a period of time and then return to their home country. He also suggested that the U.S. could do a better job of keeping international students here after they graduate.

"I'm in favor of more legal immigration and resolving the problem of people who came here illegally," Bolton said. "But I'm worried less about immigration and worried more about Americanization. We should welcome anyone to be a citizen who agrees to be an American first, last and always."

Sekulow presented the final question to the panelists that came from a high school student in the audience, who asked about the greatest threat to America.

"Terrorism in all its forms—cyber, personal attacks and the insidious use of paraphernalia to destroy. It's a major challenge and very worrisome," said Mulroney.

On a related note, from Bolton: "Along with terrorism is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction—nuclear, biological and chemical," he said, providing concrete examples of threats posed by three countries—North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.

Calderón responded with a renewed emphasis on a point he made earlier. "The problem and potential threat for the United States is its polarized politics. With unity, you were able to face any challenge in history. But if America is split, it's going to be very difficult to deal with anything."

As might be expected, Forbes named an economic threat. "The greatest threat to the United States is economic ignorance. Sadly, our central bankers know less about money than their forbearers did 100 years ago. The government cannot guide our economy. When free markets are allowed to operate, they turn scarcity into abundance."

Concluding the event, Sekulow thanked the "incredible world leaders who have shaped nations." He ended by asking the audience to keep in mind this thought from Benjamin Disraeli: "Nothing is too difficult for the brave."

Since its inception in 2003, Regent University's Clash of the Titans has been recognized as one of the biggest and best events of its kind in Virginia, given the impressive roster of panelists who have debated pressing issues in a robust, free-wheeling forum.

Learn more about the debate and this year's panelists.

Confronting a Crisis

The saying "Leaders aren't born; they're made" is truth. And for the past 36 years, Regent University has been training Christian leaders who are changing the world. "Without question, Regent stands out among other universities," says the university's founder and chancellor Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson. "It's amazing what our students and alumni are accomplishing in the fields of law, business, education and other disciplines."


Robertson School of Government Hosts Day with Diplomat

The United States government wants to ensure that the best and brightest leaders are involved in the nation's Foreign Service. Regent University's Career Services along with the Robertson School of Government (RSG) wants to make sure its students get there through the Diplomat-in-Residence (DIR) program.

On Wednesday, October 29, diplomat-in-residence (DIR), Rich Jaworski, spoke to students about available career opportunities for those interested in entering the Foreign Service field. Jaworski most recently completed an assignment as Minister Counselor of Management Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.

As the newest DIR for the 2014-2015 academic term for the Southern Mid-Atlantic region, Jaworski makes it a priority to guide those students with the keen ability to navigate a fast-paced, ever-changing career all while representing the United States to the rest of the world.

"You need to be astute, adaptable and flexible," said Jaworski. "We're looking for people who are willing to step into 'the fray,' in order to get something done."

Jaworski took students through the five tracks of the Foreign Service—Consular Affairs, Economic Affairs, Management Affairs, Political Affairs and Public Diplomacy—and the extensive testing process candidates for these jobs must go through.

"Think hard before choosing which career track," said Jaworski. "Once you sign up for it, you own it. You have to consider it yours."

Following the information session, Jaworski met with students, providing individual counsel for students exemplifying true marks of leadership: prioritizing the needs of others and, above all, loving the country that they serve.

Regent currently boasts several of its faculty members who worked in diplomacy and development including Executive Vice President and RSG alum Paul Bonicelli (USAID), Dr. Eric Patterson, RSG dean (State Department), and RSG associate dean Mary Manjikian (State Department).

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2015 Ronald Reagan Symposium Essay Contest

"A Democratic Revolution? Challenges to Fostering Global Freedom."

In honor of the 10th annual Ronald Reagan Symposium, the Robertson School of Government is announcing a student essay contest on the following question:

In 1982 Ronald Reagan asserted, in his Westminster Speech, "If the rest of this century is to witness the gradual growth of freedom...we must take actions to assist the campaign for democracy." In 2015, is it still in the U.S. national interest and/or commensurate with American values to promote democracy abroad?

Winners at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate level will be announced at the Ronald Reagan Symposium, which will be held at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia on March 20, 2015. The symposium theme is "A Democratic Revolution? Challenges to Fostering Global Freedom."

Essay Contest Deadline: January 15, 2015.


Upcoming Events

Executive Leadership Series: Robert O'Neill, Naval Special Warfare Development Group
Monday, November 10, 2014
Founders Inn
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
View event details

Regent University Preview
Saturday, November 14-15, 2014
Regent University Campus
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
View event details

Holiday Concert with the Army TRADOC Band
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Regent University Campus - Main Theatre
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
View event details

2015 Reagan Symposium
Friday, March 20, 2015
Regent University Campus - Main Theatre
View more information and register

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