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The Robertson School of Government, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA 23464.

Robertson School of Government Newsletter – March 2020

In This Issue…

  • Human Nature is at the Roots of Our Political Divide
  • Dean’s Corner
  • More from RSG Social Media
  • Regent University Student Named a Global Winner of the 2020 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition
  • God & Governing the Galaxy Virtual Event
  • Regent University Student Chapter President Attends 2020 ICMA Southeast Regional Conference
  • Eric Patterson Reviews New Christian International Relations Book

Featured Podcast


Blind Politics, Dr. A.J. Nolte, Regent University.


In this episode of his weekly podcast, Blind Politics, Dr. A.J. Nolte of the Robertson School of Government discusses how different views of human nature form the roots of political divide between conservatives and progressives. He also examines the Christian view of human nature, and how that relates to conservatism and progressivism. You can listen to this podcast here, or on your favorite podcast provider.

About Blind Politics: Drawing on history, comparative politics and arguments based on political principles, Blind Politics seeks to examine current events and future trends both at home and abroad, and to answer the big questions behind the headlines. Along the way, we’ll strive to find common ground and practical solutions to complex, polarized and seemingly intractable political problems. Your host, Dr. A.J. Nolte is Assistant Professor at Regent University’s Robertson School of Government.

Dean’s Corner

At no time is it more obvious how important it is to have Government structures in place than when facing a crisis as a nation, or in this case, as a globe. The importance of governments working together, and of units within the government working together is also clear as we see federal, state, and local governments sometimes cooperating, and other seeming to challenge each other. The media is no help as reporters thirst to exacerbate conflict between levels of government. Of course some nations are cooperating and sharing information freely, while others are hiding what is going on in their countries.

To be people who make a difference we must develop expertise through education. This may be in public policy development, homeland and health security, international diplomacy, or in working for non-governmental organizations who are striving to enhance human flourishing in the midst of this crisis. Such education can provide the foundation for helping solve the next national or global crisis. Some people want to run away from threats, but others want to see how they can make life better for everyone. That’s what a degree in government, homeland security, or public administration can enhance.

We are very grateful to our many first responders, health care workers, sanitation workers, those who keep our utilities operating efficiently, and to those who stock things like toilet paper and cleaners on our store shelves, only to see them quickly emptied. I am also grateful to our educators who are delivering needed training to the next disaster’s workers, whether they are in public or private grade schools, or serving at places like Regent University.

Here at Regent we are taking an additional step to help folks deal with this current crisis. On April 21, the Robertson School of Government co-hosted a webinar with the Divinity School to instruct faith institutions like churches and religious non-profits on how they can apply for stimulus money should they be facing hard economic times. Also, on May 4-6 we in RSG held a free webinar series on how to volunteer or work to help candidates in an era of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. To find information about all of Regent’s webinars you can visit here.

The webinar series entitled Keep the Flame Burning: Fueling the Fire of Representative Democracy in a Time of Social Isolation included sessions on:

Politics, Stewardship and Pandemics: How Christians Should Respond – Featuring Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R), Missouri; former RSG Dean Eric Patterson, Executive VP of the Religious Freedom Institute, and others.

Lock-Down Advocacy – Maintaining and Engaging Your Socially Isolated Advocacy Networks explored the magnified role of social media networks as force-multipliers during social isolation. Guests included representatives of the Bernie Sanders and Trump campaigns, three top campaign consulting experts, and a potential candidate for the parliament of Lithuania.

Dr. Stephen Perry, Interim Dean and Professor, Regent University's Robertson School of Government. Finding and Reaching Your Majority from at Least 6 Feet Away reviewed the best ways to continue campaigning to secure majority voter support during the COVID-19 Crisis. Corey Lewandowski, senior advisor to Trump 2020 headlined that panel with others bring experiences from the state and local level campaigns.

What’s Next? Forecasting the Post-Pandemic Landscape finished out the webinar series. Panelists discussed the lasting global impact of pandemic politics, policies and practices on the political landscape. Three American political experts and three with international experience including Falah Mousa, the former communications director for the Presidency of Iraq, made up the panel. A closing keynote address ended the session by Regent University Distinguished Professor of Law & Government and Former US Attorney General John Ashcroft.


Stephen D. Perry, Ph.D.

Interim Dean and Professor

More from RSG Social Media

Recent Events


RSG student winner, Leah Roach, pictured second from the left.
RSG student winner, Leah Roach, pictured second from the left.

The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) and the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy have announced the winners of the 2020 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition—the largest-ever student simulation competition in higher education. Leah Roach, representing the Robertson School of Government from Regent University, was a member of the Global Championship team that had advanced to the Global competition after winning first place at George Mason University during the regional competition.

This year, around 400 students from 114 universities in 46 countries took part in the NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition. Participants competed at 7 global host sites including National Law School of India University in Bangalore, India, Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, and George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Participants in the competition took on a variety of leadership roles in a simulated city and were challenged to implement policies that achieved the most sustainable public transit system. Developed by the Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming (CLSG) at the Batten School, the simulation was built using real-world data and with the help of academic experts and practitioners in the field of transportation and sustainable policy.

'Welcome to #NBSIM2020' graphic. “Simulation-based learning is an incredibly valuable tool, offering some of the most exciting, intense, and impactful learning on the planet for public affairs education,” said NASPAA Executive Director Laurel McFarland. “In the classroom, our graduate students have been trained to be problem solvers, team players, and analysts— these simulations enhance students’ abilities to tackle complex policy problems they may face in the real world. They’ll be ready to take the insights from their sustainable cities simulation experience into whatever kind of public service career they embark upon.”

Sixty-four participating teams, randomly assembled from students at different universities, were evaluated on simulation scores, teamwork, organization, policy decision making, and policy presentations. Seven winning teams advanced to the global round in which a panel of prominent judges identified the global winning team.

“We built Metropolitan: A Sustainable Transit Simulation to bring sustainable city planning to life by providing participants a sense of the comprehensive thinking that this issue requires,” said CLSG Director Noah Myung. “Our students are passionate about sustainable policymaking and want opportunities to apply their knowledge. Metropolitan gives them that chance, challenging participants to think critically about the costs and benefits as well as primary and secondary effects of investments that can help build a more sustainable society.”

In the coming months, the CLSG will develop a classroom version of the simulation which will be available free of charge for the next three years. NASPAA will distribute the free classroom version to its 300 member schools.


Learn about the God and Governing the Galaxy virtual event.


From a Christian perspective, Dr. A. J. Nolte recently held an virtual event where he discussed the underlying assumptions futuristic science fiction authors have made about the future of religion, the nature of politics, and the relationship between the two. Iconic science fiction series such as Babylon 5, Dune, Star Trek, Star Wars, and others were explored. The discussion served as a call to action for Christians to draw on our own world view assumptions as we imagine and help shape the future.



Student Highlight


2020 ICMA Regional Conferences. Consuelo Gonzalez, President of the ICMA Student Chapter at Regent University, recently attended the 2020 International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Southeast Regional Conference. Below is her account of the conference.

I had a great experience participating in the 2020 ICMA Southeast Regional Conference. My visit to Durham started with a beautiful tour of their historic downtown. The walking tour allowed me to appreciate the development of countless buildings and areas, such as the Durham Central Park and Pavilion. I learned about the history of Durham’s tobacco industry, as observed by the remaining Liberty Warehouse surrounding part of a luxurious apartment building. The tour also led to a quote and mural of Pauli Murray, an American civil rights activist, highlighting the meaning of true community. Lastly, downtown Durham offered a vast array of entertainment and food.

The conference presented a series of sessions for participants to learn and share on various issues. Compared to other conferences I have joined where we would follow a list of topics, the ICMA conference offered a variety of sessions for participants to select. I was delighted to learn from the discussion, experiences, perspectives, academic study, and case studies shared during these sessions. I had the great opportunity to critically analyze the legal, political, and social effects along with other local management professionals. I felt welcomed and privileged to join in this forum.

The conference offered a safe and open environment for managers to share on critical issues. Administrators shared some of the legal and social implications involved in the removal or preservation of controversial monuments. The rise of ransom-ware has led to increased attacks and challenges, which has become a top priority for many jurisdictions. Other sessions offered administrators to share their successes. Durham’s innovation model provided a guideline and motivation for development through project submission, planning, and involvement. One session highlighted how the quality of place could influence small-town economic development. Another session offered positive experiences of a data-driven city to better examine public sentiment.

Last, but not least, the conference allowed me to connect and network with a diverse group of individuals. The sessions enabled me to connect with experts who studied or confronted certain issues. In the student round-table, I participated in a thought invigorating discussion highlighting practices, challenges, interests, and initiatives among other ICMA student chapters. I also had the pleasure of meeting administrators and department heads from various jurisdictions. I received great insight and recommendations. As a student, one might feel alone or lost at times when entering the profession. After this conference, I feel even more intrigued and assured to develop my career in local government. This short essay offers only a glimpse of everything I have gained. I highly recommend other students and professionals to take advantage of this great opportunity provided by ICMA.

Faculty Highlight


Robertson School of Government’s Scholar at Large, Dr. Eric Patterson.


Robertson School of Government’s Scholar at Large, Dr. Eric Patterson reviews the new book by Simon Polinder and Govert Bujis Christian Faith, Philosophy, and International Relations: The Lamb and the Wolf. The authors adhere to a new school of Christian international relations thinking that they call “The Amsterdam School”, a form of Christian realism. Dr. Patterson’s review can be found here.