RSG Newsletter – March 2018
Robertson School of Government Dean’s Corner
The past few weeks have been an exciting time for RSG’s programming on national security ethics. Our campus hosted a major cybersecurity summit with speakers with experience at Google, the Israeli Defense Forces, and the FBI. Our own Dr. Mary Manjikian spoke on a panel to an audience of over 400 cybersecurity professionals on the key issue of ethics. Our students also heard from University Fellow, the Honorable Randy Forbes, on professional ethics, and we are launching Dean Patterson’s co-edited volume this week, titled Philosophers on War.
We live in a time when what is needed is not just a quick-fix or utilitarian solution, but prudential statesmanship in the arenas of national security and foreign policy. We are committed in training leaders to have both the practical tools and the moral foundation to make right decisions.
Dean and Professor
For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.
Alumni Story: Michael Lewis (MA ’17) Works to Improve the Lives of Those with Developmental Disabilities
The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council is pleased to welcome Michael Lewis as the new Director of Public Policy Initiatives.
Michael has served in a variety of public policy roles, including working as a healthcare and disability rights lobbyist at the Virginia General Assembly and as a member of the Virginia Disability Commission. He received his undergraduate degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Arts in Government from Regent University.
As part of the Council’s public policy and advocacy team, Michael works to improve policies, services, programs, laws, and regulations that impact the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. He will co-lead the Community of Practice for Supporting Families with DDA and represent the Council on a range of committees such as the Saylor Alliance Steering Committee and the Autism Waiver Advisory Committee.
Michael’s focus areas include family support issues, the Developmental Disabilities Administration service system, self-advocacy, and leadership development. He will manage Council grants related to self-advocacy and leadership development. Learn more about current Council grants here.
As an individual with cerebral palsy, Michael also brings personal experience to the position. He says, “As a life-long advocate, I am passionate about raising awareness, improving services and access, and making sure individuals with disabilities can live their best lives. I am excited about working and advocating for Marylanders with disabilities.”
Student Story: Chaz Rogers (MA ’18)
Charles “Chaz” Rogers Jr. is a Pittsburgh, PA native who is currently pursuing a MA in Government with a concentration in American Government Law and Public Policy. He currently serves as the Counsel of Graduate Students (COGS) Senator for the Robertson School of Government (RSG). In addition to his studies at RSG, Chaz has also worked as an academic advisor for Regent University.
Following his 12 years of service as an Army Infantry Officer, Chaz began working with students to help them achieve their higher education goals as a career advisor and later as an academic advisor. Through this perspective, Chaz says RSG prepares students well for their future careers as faculty encourage students to seek learning experiences outside of the classroom. He points out that RSG facilitates a rich learning environment by providing students access to events, conferences, and forums that offer students opportunities to connect with a variety of people in the field of government.
Chaz is focused on Public Policy and Political Behavior and is interested to providing insight that creates good policies in these fields. He has enjoyed many of his RSG courses, but highlights the Principles of Economics as a favorite. He says, “I have an interest in policy and being able to have a grasp of the relationship between the free market and government is vital to creating good policy for all.”
Chaz encourages futures students to, “Be prepared to challenge your mind! The RSG faculty are committed to their profession and have a great passion for learning”. Following graduation, Chaz will pursue Political Science Graduate Fellowships as well as jobs in the field of government while he prepares to begin a Ph.D. program. In the future, Chaz hopes to focus his passion and education on serving the people in his home state of Pennsylvania as an elected public servant.
Regent University Hosts Inaugural Cybersecurity Summit
On Thursday, February 15, Regent University’s inaugural Cybersecurity Summit generated a wide-ranging discussion about current and future security concerns facing businesses, government, healthcare organizations and consumers as the world increasingly relies on interactive devices for productivity and convenience.
“These issues are of great concern to all of us,” said summit moderator Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, Regent’s executive vice president for Academic Affairs, as he set a sobering tone for the more than 500 students and community and business leaders who attended the summit at the university’s performing arts center.
An assortment of experts followed Moreno-Riaño, warning that the continued growth in the types and uses of interactive devices will open more potential threats to national, corporate, community and personal security. Speakers and panelists offered suggestions for heading off or quickly resolving cyber-based havoc, but noted the need for a more well-trained and ethically steeped cyber workforce.
RSG Associate Dean, Dr. Mary Manjikian, injected the issue of ethics into the summit during her presentation. “The best way to get people to think about ethics,” she said, “is to get them to think about ethics early.” Dr. Manjikian just released a textbook on this topic, Cybersecurity Ethics.
“There’s a major skills shortage in this industry. According to recent research, 51 percent of organizations said they had a major problematic skills shortage and this is only getting worse,” said Ian Green, who helps manage the detection and response team for Google. “Even organizations with well-stocked cybersecurity teams, such as my own, are struggling to keep up with the demands of an ever increasingly connected world.”
He added: “We need a higher level of skilled labor. … That’s the only way we’re going to be able to tackle these problems.”
Some speakers suggested ideas for shaping employee teams for quicker response to cyber threats, but the discussion often returned to how to find the best job candidates. Brian DeMuth, chief executive officer of GRIMM, an engineering and consulting firm, said companies should look beyond traditional resume information to determine a job seeker’s analytical ability and passion for solving problems.
Still, DeMuth expressed concern that new generations of bright cyber employees need to shore up their experience in actually detecting criminal and other malicious threats.
Experts forecast 6 million cybersecurity jobs by 2019; and Regent is preparing students to help meet the needs. The university offers an array of on-campus and online degrees and certificates in cyber and digital forensics, cybersecurity, information systems technology and computer science. In October 2017, Regent launched its Cyber Range training center, a world-class facility that will enable training for and simulation of real-time attacks and security breaches.
The need to thwart attacks and breaches is only going to grow, said Roy Zur, founder and CEO of Cybint, who headed the discussion on “The Cyber Safe City of the Future.”
A retired major from the Israeli military, Zur noted that more cities not only provide free Wi-Fi but also devise greater interactivity in basic urban services, such as policing, transportation and traffic flow, water and sewage systems, and waste management. All will have the potential to be targeted by hackers seeking to do mischief or physical harm or to gain access to confidential information about employees and taxpayers.
“Smart cities are great things,” but the sensors and other high-tech equipment that control municipal services “could be used against us” if not adequately secured, Zur warned. He urged cities to develop “cyber resilience plans” for the prevention, detection and remediation of breaches and attacks. Additional solutions, he said, should involve greater collaboration and sharing of attack-prevention information among various levels of government.
Consumers also have roles in cybersecurity, advised panelists Robert R. Cochran, an FBI expert in cyber crimes, and Jon Green, vice president and chief technologist for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.
“Some things are better left mechanized” instead of computerized, Cochran said. “Not everything needs to be ‘smart.’ Tell me why your refrigerator needs an internet connection.”
Green said he recently counted 87 interactive devices in his household, including his daughter’s dollhouse, and warned that cybersecurity problems could be never-ending if consumers aren’t careful with such possessions.
Zur and Green also urged manufacturers to develop security assurance protocols when designing, developing and testing products, just as they have long done with quality assurance.
Several speakers discussed how hackers can help improve security. For example, some hackers are not aiming to cause problems but are trying to help point out product flaws that could be open to attacks. Speakers also pointed out the need to carefully vet vendors and suppliers, including the sources of any equipment they might use, so they don’t inadvertently bring in malware or similar invasive technology.
Manufacturers of medical equipment are concerned about the vulnerability of sophisticated devices that are being developed for embedding into patients with serious health conditions, said Steve Abrahamson, senior director of product security for GE Healthcare. “One of the frightening things is that bad actors can do things remotely,” he said. “Theoretically, it’s possible to hack into medical devices, (but) we haven’t seen it yet.”
Concerns, he said, include the potential for disrupting the rhythm of heart pacemakers or stopping them entirely. Other types of cyber breaches, he said, involve breaching patient records with the intent of stealing confidential information or committing fraud, all of which already is happening.
“This is not science fiction. This is not far-fetched,” said Dr. Deva Henry, assistant professor of engineering and computer science at Regent. He asserted that the work to prevent ill-intended hacks must start even before new products are designed.
Dr. Richard V. Homan, president and provost of Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, encouraged corporations and institutions to weigh the trade-offs when trying to balance potentially competing concerns, such as patient safety, confidentiality and costs.
Increased potential for cyberhacking should prompt businesses to reconsider the tasks of leaders and the training of employees, according to Ryan Leirvik, chief operating officer of GRIMM. He advised that corporations undertake studies to understand their risks, manage their risks and measure their risks.
The Cybersecurity Summit was presented by The Darwin Group LLC. Panel discussions were sponsored by Aruba: A Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, and GRIMM.
Council of Graduate Students RSG Dinner with Jennifer A. Marshall, VP of The Heritage Foundation – February 18, 2018
The Robertson School of Government along with Council of Graduate Students Senator Charles Rogers hosted an event at the residence of Dean Patterson. RSG students, faculty, and staff gathered for this evening of “Dinner with the Dean” which brings speakers into a more casual environment to interact with RSG students. RSG’s special guest was Jennifer A. Marshall, who serves as Vice President, Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity, and the Joseph C. and Elizabeth A. Anderlik Fellow at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. The highlight of the evening was an insightful discussion on keeping compassion and faith while tackling issues of social policy. Ms. Marshall spoke on approaches such as relational capital and how building relationships and connecting people can be a component to fighting poverty in our nation. Furthermore, Marshall spoke on the many connections between the family and fighting poverty. RSG students were better equipped with ideas on how to tackle these important issues.
Battling the “Dark Arts” Christians Face Daily: The Honorable J. Randy Forbes Shares Advice for Christians Facing Ethical Dilemmas
The phrase “Defense Against the Dark Arts” probably conjures up images of a popular novel series involving wizards, wands and magic in most people’s minds. For the Robertson School of Government (RSG) though, it is an appropriate name for a lecture series on ethics that featured an address from the Honorable J. Randy Forbes on Tuesday, February 27.
During the off-the-record lecture, Forbes talked about various ethical dilemmas many political officials face. He encouraged those present to not only seek out godly counsel when faced with difficulty or evil, but to show love and respect toward those they disagree with.
“Many people seem to think that their Christian faith is going to give them the answers to vocational gray areas in the moment,” said RSG Dean Eric Patterson. “That really is not the example of the Bible: Moses had 80 years of preparation, Nehemiah and Joshua and many others had years of preparation in lesser roles before they took the lead. We want to expose students to real world ethical challenges that are not always easy to define.”
Forbes also described the spiritual support he and his colleagues found in one another when he represented Virginia’s 4th District as a U.S. Congressman in Washington D.C. He served in the position for 16 years, from 2001 to 2017.
Peter Purcell ’18 (RSG), a student present at the event, said he appreciated the unique insights on Christian principle Forbes provided. “I think one of the great things [about] being a graduate student at Regent is the opportunity to meet national leaders and talk to them specifically from a faith perspective,” Purcell added.
Dr. Mary Manjikian speaks on “Media and Foreign Policy” at Great Decisions 2018 hosted by the World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads
On February 24, Dr. Mary Manjikian spoke at the World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads on the subject of “media and foreign policy.” Drawing upon her years of experience as a press attaché for the U.S. Department of State, as well as her expertise on Russia, she described current Russian social media hacking as a type of information warfare. The Great Decisions program is a weekly lecture series which occurs every year in the spring. Students study materials provided by the World Affairs Council and then attend presentations on the topics. Starting next year, RSG students will be able to participate in the Great Decisions series as a one-credit course, offered to both online and on campus students.
Dr. Daley attends ICMA International Conference in Tel Aviv
Practitioner-in-Residence, Dr. Edwin Daley, participated in the ICMA International Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel in February. The ICMA Executive Board meets with the International Committee every three years and to discuss progress in China, the Middle East, Latin America, and elsewhere. ICMA Europe in an important initiative that formally began this past December.
Following the conference, ICMA participants were invited to attend Muni World, a cybersecurity and emergency management conference and innovative technology exhibit hall, featuring representatives from over 60 countries. Daley noted, “It was interesting to visit the exhibits and know the companies did not do business in my country and to listen to so many languages that I did not understand. I now have much more empathy for attendees from other countries who come to the ICMA conferences.”
Participants were hosted for a day each by the new cities of Tel Aviv, Holon, and Haifa and learned about their economic development programs. These communities demonstrated extensive use of technology to connect citizens with their local government and to attract new business ventures and immigrants. Daley commented that he is anxious to read Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle by Dan Senor and Saul Singer.
After the conference, several remained in Tel Aviv and toured Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Qumran, Jericho, Capernaum, the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, and the Sea of Galilei. For Daley, it was a very humbling experience to visit the land where Biblical events took place and to know he were walking where Jesus, the disciples, and the prophets lived.
MPA Students Participate in NASPAA Pandemic Simulation Competition
Two MPA students represented the Robertson School of Government in the 2018 Pandemic Simulation Competition sponsored by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). The competition helps students practice and prepare responses for a rapidly developing pandemic crisis that could occur anywhere throughout the world, as most recently occurred with the Ebola crisis in 2014 that resulted in more than 6,000 deaths, mainly within Coastal West Africa and Mali, but also reached the United States through air travel from West Africa.
The worldwide competition created teams composed of students from various universities and college MPA programs in different U.S. and regional competition centers. The four simulation rounds involved attempts by each of the teams, who represented government roles of a country, to respond to a growing pandemic situation in their country—starting with one person infected in each country at a certain point on a timeline—not knowing when and where this would occur and a growing threat of infection surge. The country teams were to use the national budget and contribute to the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) pooled budget to purchase vaccines, antivirals, masks, hand sanitizers, and activate certain actions to close borders or travel (air, bus, and trains) and/or isolate or quarantine individuals.
From the simulation, students learned that communication with the population is essential. In one simulation, no one was getting vaccinated even though the government purchased vaccines proactively and made them available to the citizens. As new strains developed, new vaccines had to be developed which caused a waiting period or untested vaccines were utilized 2 to 5 weeks early, which could cause adverse reactions and/or more deaths. One team agreed that the most important outcome of the simulation was to watch for the first case in the country, isolate it, treat others in the vicinity, and if necessary quarantining and closing borders to incoming traffic that would least affect the economic trade, unless that also had to be diverted temporarily to save lives. The most costly responses involved quarantines and purchasing antivirals for the general population.
Virginia Delegate, Ron Villanueva, speaks to Public Policy Initiatives Class
On February 28, Mr. Ron Villanueva, former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, spoke to a group of student in the MPA Public Policy Initiatives class. His lecture focused on his role as a state legislator, providing students practical insights into the opportunities, complexities, and challenges in the public policymaking process. Villanueva discussed some common sense legislation he championed during his tenure in the General Assembly including policies for the disabled, new immigrants, and non-violent ex-felons. For instance, as Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, he drafted and presented a bill dealing with the issuance of driver’s licenses to legal resident immigrants. The bill passed the House but was defeated in the State Senate by one vote. Following the lecture, students had the opportunity to ask questions. Dr. Agyapong noted that Ron’s lecture provided an invaluable practical component which helped reinforce the course learning objectives.
Villanueva earned his Master’s Degree in Government from Regent University’s Robertson School of Government, a BA in Political Science from Old Dominion University, and formerly served in the United States Coast Guard. He is a seasoned politician with extensive experience in local and state politics including Legislative Aide to Frank Wagner, Virginia House of Delegates; Councilman, Virginia Beach City; and Member, Virginia House of Delegates (R, 2010-2018). In 2015, Ron was named chairman of the House Transportation Committee, the youngest and first Asian-American to serve in that capacity.
- Book Launch, Philosophers on War with Eric Patterson – March 20, 2018
- A Gathering with Bob McDonnell – March 28, 2018
- Council of Graduate Students RSG Town Hall Meeting with the Dean – April 10, 2018
- American Majority Campaign-in-a-Day Training – April 14, 2018
- To Boldly Go … by Faith? Christianity, Politics, and Science Fiction – April 17, 2018
- Afghan War Game Simulation – April 24, 2018
- Pi Alpha Alpha Induction Ceremony – May 10, 2018
- Robertson School of Government Commissioning Service – May 11, 2018
- Regent University Commencement – May 12, 2018