Robertson School of Government Dean’s Corner
It is a privilege to have been asked to serve as the Interim Dean of RSG. Dr. Eric Patterson leaves big shoes to fill, but he makes that easy by being constantly available to assist me in helping the school continue to advance the mission of impacting government as Christian leaders. I am impressed with the faculty in the school. Their knowledge and research productivity contribute to their strong teaching abilities. Dr. Patterson continues with us in a faculty role as he also adjusts to being a husband again – for which we offer our warmest congratulations.
I congratulate our faculty members who have toured Europe with students, published and edited books, and spoken to important organizations. The topic areas of their scholarship are wide and varied as well. Dr. Nolte’s expertise in Foreign Policy in the Middle East is supplemented by his research on Ibn Khaldun, a fourteenth century historian and sociologist from Tunisia and Egypt. Dr. Roberts’ work on servant leadership continues in his writing and permeates his teaching. Dr. Manjikian’s new textbook will be important for our National Security Studies MA program.
In addition, our practitioners-in-residence continue to contribute as Christian leaders themselves. We are fortunate that they will be able to share their continuing professional knowledge and experience with our students in the classes they teach.
The success of our former students also continues to make us proud. Alumnus Nathan Gill continued his education and now has his Ph.D. New MPA graduate Kayla Babitz got to speak to Chancellor Robertson and other dignitaries of the university as our outstanding 2018 graduate. Her list of accomplishments are featured later in this newsletter. Captain Bruce Carson of the U.S. Army also graduated from both the Law School and RSG as an outstanding graduate. The Army will benefit from his new expertise in international relations as he studies the Indonesian language and then serves as a foreign exchange officer in Malaysia.
These alumni, along with many other graduates from other schools clearly emphasize their intent to be Christian leaders to change the world. May they do so for the glory of God, fulfilling the vision that He gave Chancellor Pat Robertson at the founding of Regent University. May we embrace the soul of the Christian foundation of Regent University as we continue to educate the next generation of leaders.
Stephen D. Perry, Ph.D.
Interim Dean and Professor
For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.
Welcome Dr. Stephen Perry, Interim Dean of the Robertson School of Government
Please welcome Dr. Stephen Perry as the new interim Dean of the Robertson School of Government. Dr. Perry also serves as the Director of Graduate Programs in Communication and Professor in the School of Communication and the Arts. He is teaching a course on State Sponsored Diplomatic Media and is working on an edited book on the NFL anthem kneeling controversy.
Dr. Perry previously spent 17 years on the faculty at Illinois State University, and has served as a Fulbright Scholar. Perry earned his Ph.D. from the University of Alabama. He has published 27 journal articles, 11 book chapters, and three books, and has been a journal editor. His professional experience has included television, radio, newspapers, and political public relations. He also served for seven years as an elected school board member and one year as vice-president.
Alumnus Nathan Gill (MA ’13) Earns His Ph.D.
Dr. Nathan Gill was born in Delhi, New York. He has his MA in Government from Regent University and his Ph.D. in Politics from Hillsdale College. He graduated from Regent University in 2013 and then spent five years pursing his Ph.D. During that time, he was required to take three years of classes, learn to read Latin and French, and complete exams before beginning his dissertation. His dissertation is focused on the way American politics developed and changed during the years between the Founding of the country and the Civil War.
He went to Hillsdale College torn between wanting to eventually pursue scholarly work as a professor and his long-time goal of helping start a classical, Christian School in his home state New York. He now works as an academic dean and high school history and government teacher at Chapel Field Christian School. In many ways, he is working to inform students of wisdom and virtue in ways that emulate what he learned from Dr. Jeffry Morrison, Dr. Eric Patterson, and other RSG faculty. Gill states, “If I had to choose one highlight of my time at Regent, it would be my experience with Professor Morrison as a research assistant, “Working with him taught me, first-hand, how to honor God with my mind.”
Launching Leaders: Meet Six Regent Graduates Ready and Equipped to Change the World
Shortly after commencement ended, six newly minted alumni were asked to speak at a special Chancellor’s Luncheon at The Founders Inn. Kayla Babitz, who had earned her master’s degree from the Robertson School of Government just minutes earlier, was the first “outstanding graduate” to share about her Regent experience.
“These past three years at Regent have shaped my character in ways I could not have imagined,” she said. “My goal in attending Regent was to learn how to study government without becoming dismayed or discouraged like so many of the people I knew back home.”
In addition to being on the university’s moot court team, a Life Group Leader and involved in Campus Ministries, Babitz also helped lead the new Regent Royals cheerleading squad to a second-place finish at its first-ever national competition this year.
“Regent introduced me to a community of believers who pursued government with the same passion they’d give the work of the mission field or the pulpit,” she explained. “We’ve learned at an institution that exalts Christ as the center of our study; and at this center, our eyes find focus.”
Captain Bruce Carson of the U.S. Army graduated from Regent with degrees in both law and government. He has orders to be a foreign area officer stationed in Indonesia. But his first order of business at the Chancellor’s Luncheon was to thank his wife for “enduring” with him as he completed two degrees in two years.
Carson also thanked another family member, his late grandfather: “I live in this moment to live up to the legacy that he created. When he took me to church in the backwoods of West Virginia, he sparked that drive of Christ within me. So, I’m here because of that.”
Originally, Carson enrolled at Regent to earn a law degree, but the Army wanted him to do something completely different. “The Army said we don’t need any more lawyers. We need you to get an international degree.” he explained.
So, after spending the next year in California, learning to speak Indonesian, he’ll spend another year as a foreign exchange Army officer in Malaysia. Then he’ll go to Indonesia and work as a military attaché to the U.S. ambassador there. “I will go forward,” he insisted. “I will be that Christian leader to change the world!”
Captain Shane Ferrell of the United States Army received his doctorate from the School of Psychology & Counseling. But he didn’t graduate alone, his wife Michelle also received her Ph.D. In fact, they met, fell in love, and got married while attending Regent.
Kelly Whelan endured a tremendous loss while pursuing her Doctor of Strategic Leadership degree at Regent. During the course of her studies, her father and oldest son died. The wife of an Army combat veteran, Whelan’s Regent journey began with two years left on her husband’s G.I. Bill.
“I was compelled to research programs and schools,” she explained. “I wasn’t necessarily looking to attend a Christian university, but I kept being drawn in by the story of our founder Dr. Robertson, his vision to start a university, and a call to train students to represent Christ.”
Gloria Dandridge is from the South Side of Chicago. She’s one of only 10 students from her high school to go to college, and the only one to attend law school. “My high school class started with 300 students,” she remembered. “By the time I graduated, we were 100 students.” Dandridge will head to Uganda soon to use her law degree to serve the people there.
Edward Moses graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Film-Television and was the recipient of Regent’s Chancellor’s Scholarship. “Not long ago, while I was in India,” Moses explained, “I was sitting in my house like a potato with no hope, with no way, surrounded by mountains of impossibilities [and] filled with fears and anxieties about my future.”
Moses added, “I have seen God move mountains in my life. I have seen God split oceans in front of my eyes. I have seen God opening the floodgates of heaven and pouring out His unmerited favor and His goodness into my life. And I’m totally convinced that if this God starts something in someone’s life, He is faithful, and He is able to complete it.”
Regent Students Participate in European Study Abroad Trip
A group of Regent students, led by Dr. Elijah Agyapong, participated in a 13-day study tour in Europe from May 25 to June 6, which focused on Government and Politics. The tour provided students an opportunity to experience the aftermath of the Brexit and migration crises and to examine policy responses of member states and the European Union. The group visited four countries, namely the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.
The tour began in London where highlights included the British Parliament, Buckingham Palace, British Museum and Library, Old Bailey, Tower of London, and a lecture on UK and EU politics. In the Netherlands, the group visited the Peace Palace, Noordeinde Royal Palace, and the Humanity House in The Hague, and Anne Frank’s House in Amsterdam. Sites in Brussels included the EU institutions, La Grand-Place, and Mont des Arts. In Paris, the group toured the Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomphe, Les Invalides, Latin Quarter, Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel Tower, and the Palace of Versailles.
A Busy Summer for Faculty
RSG faculty had a busy summer, traveling to Europe, teaching, writing and conducting research. Below are some of RSG’s summer highlights.
Dr. Eric Patterson served for three weeks with the Air National Guard. He also spoke at multiple venues including the National War College. He spoke about three ethical challenges faced by leaders during the first World War.
Dr. Mary Manjikian worked on several publishing projects including her forthcoming textbook on international relations and cybersecurity (Sage/CQ Press, 2019), a book on intelligence and an edited volume on international cybersecurity.
Dr. Gary Roberts edited and published one book, The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Spirituality and Fulfillment, as well as authoring or co-authoring three chapters in the book, Servant Leader Behavior: Leadership Behavior Implications, Servant Leadership Across Cultures, and Christian Workplace Spiritual Intelligence: A Preliminary Analysis.
Dr. Elijah Agyapong completed revisions on an entry on representative bureaucracy in Ghana for the Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance. He was also elected as council member of the Hampton Roads Chapter of American Society for Public Administration.
Dr. A.J. Nolte presented a paper on Ibn Khaldun and globalization at the Christians in Political Science conference in June. He has been invited to co-author the second edition of a primer on biblical faith and international politics, and is also pursuing a solo research project looking at the benefits Christian minorities bring to Muslim-majority societies.
Professional-in-Residence, Rear Admiral USN (ret) Larry Baucom, was recently installed as President of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The council strives each year, through a series of programs featuring world leaders, to encourage engagement and understanding of our top foreign policy and global issues for the citizens of Hampton Roads.
This winter, the council hosts the highly acclaimed Foreign Policy Association’s “Great Decisions” lecture and discussion series. Next spring it celebrates its 50th year in Hampton Roads and will host the Norfolk NATO Festival Banquet celebrating NATO’s 70th anniversary.
Dr. Edwin Daley, Practitioner-in-Residence, participated in the Virginia Local Government Management Association (VLGMA) Summer Conference in Virginia Beach, June 19-21, where he facilitated a discussion of leadership issues for multi-generation workforces and political discord.
Practitioner-in-Residence, Sam Gaston, at the request of the International City-County Management Association (ICMA), traveled to Accession Parish, Louisiana to speak to community groups and their Charter Committee about professional local government management. Gaston continues to serve as Chair of the ICMA Advisory Board on Graduate Education.
Also, congratulations to Professor Gaston for achieving a milestone on June 14th as he celebrated his 25th work anniversary as City Manager of the City of Mountain Brook, Alabama.
- RSG Students’ Dinner with General John Ashcroft – September 26, 2018
- Book Launch with Dr. Gary Roberts – October 9, 2018
- Defense Against the Dark Arts with RADM William McCarthy (USN, ret.) – November 13, 2018
- U.S. Army TRADOC Band Holiday Concert – December 11, 2018