Skip Content
Pennsylvania State University Homepage Home

You are here

Political Science Newsletter- November 2013

NOVEMBER 2013 POLITICAL SCIENCE NEWSLETTER

PENN STATE ERIE, THE BEHREND COLLEGE

 

THIS MONTH'S HEADLINES:

1. CHANGES IN MINOR AND CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS

2. TORONTO COURSE IS ABOUT MORE THAN A MAYOR

3. ALUMNI CAREERS IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE

4. TWO ALUMNI ELECTED TO LOCAL PENNSYLVANIA OFFICES THIS MONTH

5. MASTER'S OF PUBLIC POLICY DEGREES

6. MORE INTERNSHIP AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

7. FACULTY IN THE NEWS

8. STUDENT GROUP NEWS

9. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

1. CHANGES IN MINOR AND CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS

Due to new Penn State University policies, the name of the Behrend political science minor will become the Politics and Government minor. This new name will take effect next semester. Course requirements will remain the same as for the current POLSC minor.  For questions, contact Dr. Speel.

Dr. Zachary Irwin is now in charge of the International Studies minor and the Global Awareness certificate. For questions about either program, contact him at zti1@psu.edu.

There will be some changes to the requirements for the Crime, Psychology, and Public Policy certificate program, starting in Fall 2014.  The main change will be that students will be required to take SOC 012 - Criminology - in order to complete the certificate, starting in Fall 2014.  Students who will complete the certificate by next semester can follow current requirements.  Also, starting next semester, Dr. Nicole Shoenberger, assistant professor of sociology, will be in charge of coordinating and administering the CRIMBC certificate. If you have questions, please contact her at nas25@psu.edu.

 

2. TORONTO COURSE IS ABOUT MORE THAN A MAYOR

The city of Toronto is home to the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere (the CN Tower), home to a brand new Ripley's Aquarium next to the CN Tower, home to what may be the most international and diverse urban population on the planet (with over half of the city population born outside Canada in a wide variety of countries), home to over 2.5 million residents in a metropolitan area of over 6 million people, home to the seat of the Ontario provincial government, home to a battle between the United States and Canada in the War of 1812, home to the financial capital and largest city in Canada, home to many television and film productions, host to the 2015 Pan American Games, home to the second largest zoo in North America and host of two giant pandas, home to the Royal Ontario Museum of world culture and natural history, home to a large variety of downtown, commercial, historic,  nightlife-oriented, and ethnically based neighborhoods, home of the large Eaton Centre downtown shopping mall, home to a modern Harbourfront neighborhood on Lake Ontario, home to the Toronto Blue Jays, home to the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Stanley Cup trophy, home to several hundred Tim Hortons locations, and home to what is probably the most notorious current mayor in the world. If you have not been following the news and never watch The Daily Show or The Colbert Report or any other late-night comedy show, here is an introduction to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford:

http://www.latimes.com/nation/shareitnow/la-sh-rob-ford-timeline-20131115,0,4841717.story#axzz2lAGPRnIs

Toronto is also the location for a Penn State Behrend Study Abroad course that will be taught in between May 18 and June 14 in 2014.  This course, which focuses on the comparative politics of the United States and Canada and on international relations between the two countries, will take place on the Ryerson University campus in downtown Toronto. It will include students from Penn State and Ryerson participating together in class discussions and excursions. This course will be co-taught by Dr. Robert Speel, associate professor of political science at Penn State Behrend, and by Ryerson University Professor Greg Inwood.

Among the topics to be discussed will be a comparison of the development of separate political cultures in the two countries, comparisons of government institutions, election systems, federalism, and regionalism, and comparisons of each country's policy approaches toward the economy, health care, gun control, same-sex marriage, language, free speech, abortion, the death penalty and the role of religion in education. Issues important in international relations between the two countries will also be discussed - this includes trade, energy resources, border security, and control of the Arctic. Class excursions will visit the Ontario Parliament Buildings and Fort York, site of an important battle in the War of 1812.

More details about the cost of the course and housing in Toronto and about applying for the course will be in next month's newsletter. For details and photos from the course when it was taught last year, visit this website:

http://psbehrend.psu.edu/school-of-humanities-social-sciences/academic-programs-1/political-science/washington-toronto-courses/toronto-course-north-american-politics

 

3. ALUMNI CAREERS IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE

57 (or 18%) of our Penn State Behrend political science alumni work in government service.
21 work for federal government agencies
14 work for state government agencies
13 work for local government agencies
8 are career military, including at least 5 military officers
1 works for an international government agency

 

Among those working for the government are 9 who work as law enforcement officers at the local, state, or federal level.  8 alumni work as government attorneys.

One alumnus is the elected District Attorney for Potter County, Pennsylvania

Federal government positions of alumni (excluding attorneys) include:

CIA agent
US State Department officer
Senior Inspector, US Marshals Service
US Capitol Police officer
Senior Case Technician, Social Security Administration
Revenue Officer, Internal Revenue Service
Program Analyst, US Department of Justice
Supervisor and Program Analyst, US Department of Veterans Affairs
Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist, US Department of Defense
Senior Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Federal Project Officer, US Department of Labor
US Border Patrol agent
Community Planning and Development Representative, US Department of Housing and Urban Development

 

State government positions of alumni (excluding attorneys) include:

Pennsylvania State Police trooper
Deputy Director for Community Development, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
Connecticut State Library librarian
Policy Analyst, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
Project Manager, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives

 

Local government positions of alumni (excluding attorneys) include:

Human Relations Commissioner, City of Durham, NC
Caseworker, Erie County Office of Children and Youth
Police Officer, Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department


One alumnus works for an international government agency as:

Public Expenditure Management Advisor, Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Economic Governance
 

Those with military careers are serving in the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, US Coast Guard, and US Marines.
 

4. TWO ALUMNI ELECTED TO LOCAL PENNSYLVANIA OFFICES THIS MONTH

Guy Reschenthaler, who graduated from Penn State Behrend with a political science degree in 2004, was elected as Magisterial District Judge in Pittsburgh's southern suburbs this month. Judge-elect Reschenthaler got his law degree at Duquesne University School of Law before serving in the United States Navy JAG Corps, including a deployment in Iraq.

Andy J. Watson, who graduated from Penn State Behrend with a political science degree in 1994, was re-elected as District Attorney for Potter County, PA, earlier this month.  District Attorney Watson obtained his law degree at Syracuse University of Law.

 

5. MASTER'S OF PUBLIC POLICY DEGREES

The political science program at Penn State Behrend is considering the creation of a new master's in public policy (MPP) degree on the Behrend campus. Public policy is a growing area of interest among current students and among our alumni.

Careers in public policy are plentiful, including in government agencies, in legislative offices to offer guidance with policy decisions, in private businesses who hire public policy specialists to assist with planning decisions or to comply with government requirements, and in think tanks that produce policy research to guide decision makers, journalists and non-governmental organizations.

Public Policy includes analysis and research in a large number of areas and fields, including health care, budgets and economics, the environment and energy, urban planning, financial services, social services, mental health, education, prevention of crime, consumer product safety, civil rights, labor relations, military strategy, international trade, and communication technologies.

Penn State Behrend alumni currently work at the following public policy career positions:

 

Associate Director for International Trade Policy, Toyota Motor North America
Government Relations Specialist, Erie Insurance
Program Analyst, US Department of Justice
Federal Project Officer, US Department of Labor
Policy Analyst, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
Vice Chairman, Human Relations Commission, City of Durham, NC
Director, Business Intelligence, The Advisory Board Company (health care)
Program Assistant, Center for Economic & Policy Research
Public Expenditure Management Advisor, Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Economic Governance
Deputy Director for Community Development, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

 

For students who plan ahead, it would be possible for Behrend political science majors and possibly for Behrend political science minors to complete their undergraduate and master's degrees in five years, by receiving an undergraduate degree in four years, and completing master's degree coursework in a fifth year. Other students would be able to complete the master's degree within two years after receiving an undergraduate degree.

In January, you may be e-mailed a survey to gauge interest among current students for such a new degree program on the Behrend campus.  If you receive the survey, we will appreciate your responses, as the decision on whether to proceed with creating such a program will depend on interest among students and in the community.

 

6. MORE INTERNSHIP AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

The James A. Finnegan Fellowship Foundation sets up undergraduate students with executive branch agency internships in Harrisburg during the Summer and offers awards of $1000-$1500. Details can be found at www.finneganfoundation.org.

The US House of Representatives offers a listserv to learn about internship and paid staff opportunities on Capitol Hill in Washington.  To subscribe to the listserv, go to this website:

http://www.house.gov/content/jobs/members_and_committees.php
 

PoliticsPA, Pennsylvania's longest­running political news website, is seeking talented individuals to contribute to their news coverage throughout the Commonwealth.

Interns will have the chance to gain journalism experience and a stronger understanding of Pennsylvania politics. Additionally, interns will have the opportunity to build a portfolio with published political writing.

Internship openings are available for the Spring 2014 semester. The position can be performed remotely and applicants are welcome from anywhere in PA.
 

Intern duties include: Writing news stories; Monitoring press releases and regional news outlets for relevant source material; Covering political and government events; Conducting other research, including taking transcripts.

Requirements:  Applicants must have strong writing skills; Applicants must have working knowledge of Pennsylvania politics; Applicants must possess strong research skills; A commitment of 15 hours per week; specific times based on news events.

The strongest applicants will have a background in politics or journalism. Positions are unpaid.  Please send a resume, cover letter and a writing sample to keegan@politicspa.com. The ideal writing sample will demonstrate the applicant’s familiarity with PoliticsPA subject matter. Email Keegan Gibson keegan@politicspa.com with any questions.

 

7. FACULTY IN THE NEWS

Dr. Robert Roecklein presented a paper titled "Leo Strauss on Hobbes's 'Right of Nature'" for a panel titled "Hobbes, Rousseau, and Nature" at least week's Northeastern Political Science Association conference in Philadelphia.

Dr. Robert Speel was interviewed for three articles this month in the Erie Times-News, about the elections for Erie County judge, the results of this month's local elections, and next year's election for Pennsylvania governor.

 

8. STUDENT GROUP NEWS

College Democrats will be going to Mercyhurst University on Thursday, November 21, to hear a talk by Linda McCabe, President of the Democratic Women of Erie, at 7:00 PM.  After the talk, Mercyhurst and Behrend College Democrats will be watching the previous night's Daily Show and Colbert Report episodes on a large screen at Mercyhurst with light refreshments available.  College Democrats is setting up carpooling for students who need help with transportation. For details, contact president Lillie Gabreski at log5135@psu.edu.

College Republicans meets every Monday at 5:30 PM in the upper part of Bruno's. For details, contact President Taylor Pokrant at tgp5036@psu.edu.

The Political Science Society will be hosting a pizza night on Wednesday, November 20, 7:30 PM, in 59 Kochel. For details, contact president Ryan Snyder at rms5368@psu.edu.

 

9. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

And have a good Thanksgiving break.

 

 

To the Top