Currently in Political Science
After the Uprisings: Public Opinion, Gender, and Conflict in the Middle East
This conference hosted by Michael W. Suleiman Chair and Political Science Professor, Sabri Ciftci, will focus on the culture and politics of Middle Eastern society. It will consist of three panels including: Gender and Politics in the Middle East, Neighbors of Syria, and Violence, Democracy, and Public Opinion in the Middle East and North Africa. We are excited to be hosting some distinguished experts from universities around the country. The conference will take place Thursday May 5th in the Hemisphere Room of Hale Library. This conference is open to the public and we encourage you to attend any or all of the panels to learn more about the complex nature of Middle Eastern culture and politics.
8:00 - 8:30am : Introduction and Welcome
Dean Amit Chakrabarti, Department Head Jeff Pickering, Sabri Ciftci
8:30 - 10:00 am : Gender and Politics in the Middle East
Discussant: Ali Stoyan, Kansas State University
Lindsay Benstead, Portland State University, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Why Do Islamist Parties Reduce the Gender Gap in Service Provision to Women?"
Marwa Shalaby, Rice University Baker Institute, email@example.com
"Confronting the Governance Crisis in the MENA Region: Remale Politicians and Corruption in Lebanon"
Soumia Bardhan, Kansas State University, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Revolutionary Graffiti and Cairene Women: Performing Agency through Gaze Aversion"
10:00 - 10:30am : Coffee Break
10:30 - 12:00pm : Neighbors of Syria
Discussant: Andrew Long, Kansas State University
Mike Wuthrich, Kansas University, email@example.com
"Turkey's Roreign Policy Nightmare - Syria"
Mariya Omelicheva, Kansas University, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Critical Geopolitics on Russian Foreighn Policy in MENA"
Mohaned al-Hamdi, Kansas State University, email@example.com
"Military Spending and Economic Growth in Iraq after The Regime Change: 2004-2014"
1:30 - 3:30pm : Violence, Democracy, and Public Opinion in the MENA
Discussant: Sam Bell, Kansas State University
Ahmed Khanani, Earlham College, firstname.lastname@example.org
"De-Centering the Human: Moroccan Islamism and Rights"
Ekrem Karakoc, SUNY Binghamton, email@example.com
"How Foreign Policies of Other Nations Affect Domestic Policy Attitudes: The Case of Lebanon"
Michael Robbins, Princeton University, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Passive Support for the Islamic State in the Middle East and North Africa: Evidence from a Survey
Steven Brooke, Harvard-Belfer Center, email@example.com
"Elite Appeals, Social Expectations, and Sectarian Violence: Expiremental Evidence from Egypt"
Sponsors: Michael W. Suleiman Chair of Arab and Arab-American Studies, Political Science Department, College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Military and Veteran Affairs, Office of International Programs, KAWSE
Nathaniel Birkhead Wins 2016 Commerce Bank and William T. Kemper Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award
Four Kansas State University faculty members are being recognized with the 2016 Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award for making a difference in the classroom.
The 2016 award recipients are Nathaniel Birkhead, assistant professor of political science; Huston Gibson, assistant professor in landscape architecture and regional & community planning; Chad Jackson, director of the university's Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship; and Kevin Wanklyn, instructor of mechanical and nuclear engineering.
Sponsored by the William T. Kemper Foundation and the Commerce Bancshares Foundation and coordinated through the Kansas State University Foundation, the awards include a $2,500 honorarium.
"Commerce Bank and the William T. Kemper Foundation partnered with K-State nearly two decades ago to support undergraduate teaching excellence," said Tom Giller, community bank president of Commerce Bank,Manhattan. "We are pleased to continue the tradition with the university to honor these four exceptional educators for their dedication to teaching."
University President Kirk Schulz said that supporting excellent faculty will help the university achieve its goals for the future.
"It is a pleasure to recognize these extraordinary educators for their dedication to K-State students, which would not be possible without support from Commerce Bank and the William T. Kemper Foundation," Schulz said. "The support we receive from community is an invaluable asset to K-State's goal of becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025."
Birkhead's main area of teaching is American politics, focusing on Congress, the presidency and political participation. He was associate instructor of the year for the department of political science at Indiana University in 2011. He earned his bachelor's from the University of Colorado and a doctorate from Indiana University.
Kansas State University Nominates Two Political Science Majors for Truman Scholarship
Sierra Lekie, a junior in political science and economics, and Jill Applegate, senior in political science and Spanish, have been nominated for the 2016 Harry S. Truman Scholarship. The Truman Scholarship recognizes students with exceptional leadership potential and that will pursue careers in public service, government, or the nonprofit sector. If awarded, the scholarship provides up to $30,000 in financial support for graduate school. Four students from K-State were nominated, and we are extremely proud that Sierra and Jill are in that number. Six hundred students are nominated from across the nation and 60 scholarships are awarded in April.
Sierra Lekie, from Lenexa Kansas, is the sustainability director for the Student Governing Association, co-chair for the For Sophomores Only program and alumni chair for the College of Arts & Sciences Ambassadors. She also has been an intern for the Student Governing Association, Grad Bash co-chair for the Student Alumni Board, February event chair for Silver Key Sophomore Honorary, and a member of the Quest Freshman Honorary, Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and Model United Nations. In addition, she was a teaching assistant for the Political Inquiry and Analysis course taught by Sam Bell and an intern for Kansas Sen. Tom Holland and U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran. Lekie has received several awards and honors, including a Cargill Global Scholarship, Putnam Scholarship, McKelvie Scholarship for Government Service, Reba L. Cobb Memorial Scholarship for Political Science, Douglas E. and Victoria D. Hill Economics Scholarship, Ethel L. and Joe D. Hubert Scholarship in Arts & Sciences, Arts and Sciences Fund for Excellence scholarship, Katherine G. Malone and Janet B. Hollis Leadership Scholarship and Richter Family Beyond the Campus Scholarship.
Jill Applegate, from Shawnee, Kansas, is a Bill Snyder Leadership Legacy fellow, a research assistant in the sociology department, an English as a second language teacher, a lecture coordinator for K-State Presidential Lecture Series and a member of the K-State Student Foundation and Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She was recruitment and marketing vice president for Alpha Delta Pi, project coordinator for K-State Proud, the Greek outreach coordinator for the Kays and Kennedy student body president and vice president campaign, and served on the 2015 International Leadership Association Case Study Competition Team. Applegate has received the Mortar Board Outstanding Junior Award, semester honors for seven consecutive semesters, the College of Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Award, Putnam Scholarship, Goss Discovery Study Abroad Scholarship and a Margaret E. Beeson Scholarship in Modern Languages. Applegate is working with Alisa Garni, assistant professor of sociology, to research migration and economic development in rural Kansas communities.
Waters Wins 2015 KSU Young Alumni Award
David E. Waters, BA 1999, received the Kansas State University College of Arts and Sciences Young Alumni Award at the Eisenhower Circle Celebration at KSU on October 15, 2015. After graduating from KSU, David attended the University of Kansas School of Law on scholarship and also clerked for Kansas State Supreme Court Justice Robert E. Davis. He joined the law firm Lathrop & Gage LLP, in Kansas City and Johnson County, Kansas, following completion of his law degree and quickly made his mark on the greater Kansas City legal community. Now a partner at Lathrop & Gage, he was named a Super Lawyers Missouri and Kansas “Rising Star” from 2012 to 2015 and one of The Best Lawyers in America in Real Estate for 2013-2016. David has also published a number of articles for professional legal publications and regularly speaks on legal issues for various professional associations.
While many things contributed to his success, David believes his KSU education was invaluable. Beyond the basic skills of lucid writing and argumentation, he learned the value of compromise, negotiation and the importance of viewing issues from multiple perspectives while at KSU. A true K-Stater, David is also very involved in his local community. Among a large number of activities, David is on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, he serves on the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals for the City of Westwood, and he is active with several economic development organizations. He recently began serving as a mentor for a Kansas City area business incubator to small minority-owned and women-owned construction industry businesses. He also remains an advisor to his fraternity at KSU and emcees its annual alumni dinner and award ceremony most years.
David is thus the consummate K-Stater: highly accomplished in his profession while also being engaged and involved with his community. Needless to say, we are proud that David received this well-deserved honor. We hope that his ties to KSU and to the Department of Political Science remain strong!
Sabri Ciftci has been appointed the Michael W. Suleiman Chair in Arab and Arab-American Studies in the Department of Political Science at Kansas State University.
With a tradition of success in the study of Arab and Arab-American issues at K-State, the Suleiman Chair was established to help the university remain at the forefront of Middle Eastern studies. The Suleiman Chair and the activities that will be associated with it, including talks and workshops, will help to expand knowledge on issues that are currently significant and will remain relevant in the coming years.
"I am truly honored to hold this title," Ciftci said. "Michael W. Suleiman has been a pioneer in Arab studies. Building on his legacy, I believe we can advance the study of Middle East in the Department of Political Science and at Kansas State University. Activities associated with the Michael W. Suleiman chair will help to build an intellectually vibrant community on campus and they fit well with K-State's vision to be among the top 50 public research universities by 2025."
Ciftci is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science. He came to K-State after receiving his Ph.D. in political science from Florida State University in 2008 and specializes in Middle East politics, political Islam and democracy, Arab public opinion, civic engagement in the Arab world and anti-Americanism in the Middle East. Ciftci has published widely in the leading journals including Comparative Political Studies, Political Research Quarterly, International Journal of Middle East Studies and Foreign Policy Analysis. He teaches courses in Middle East politics, political Islam, comparative politics and advanced research methods.
"Professor Ciftci is the kind of academic leader that we want to recognize with the Suleiman Chair," said Peter Dorhout, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. "Through his teaching and research, he has enabled our students to understand and appreciate people and cultures outside their ken, and broadened their perspectives."
It was largely through the efforts of the chair's honoree, Michael W. Suleiman, that K-State developed a widespread reputation for excellence in the study of Arab and Arab-American issues. A K-State faculty member for over forty years, Suleiman was a leader in the study of Arab politics and a pioneer of the study of Arab-American relations.
To honor his legacy and strengthen the study of Arab and Arab-American issues at K-State, John Hofmeister, former President of Shell Oil and founder and CEO of the non-profit citizens for Affordable Energy, made a lead gift in 2005 to establish the Suleiman Chair and was instrumental in initiating support from Shell Oil. Hofmeister is a K-State College of Arts & Sciences alumnus, graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science in 1971 and a master's degree in political science in 1973, and received an honorary doctorate from K-State in 2014.
"We are thrilled that Dr. Ciftci has been awarded the Suleiman Chair," said Jeffrey Pickering, Political Science Department Head. "His scholarship has appeared in the foremost journals in Middle Eastern studies and political science, and is on the cutting edge of knowledge in the area. I am confident that Dr. Ciftci's ongoing research and the activities he has planned for the chair will enhance K-State's reputation in the area even further."
Shai Washington, junior in political science and international studies, is one of 10 students nationally to receive a 2015 Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship with the U.S. State Department.
The fellowship, administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, provides financial support for students; senior year as an undergraduate and first year of graduate school. In addition, students participate in one domestic internship and one overseas internship; receive mentoring from foreign service officers in the U.S. State Department; and after completing a master's degree, are expected to become foreign service officers.
"This has been my career goal since high school," Washington said. "I'm excited to meet and get to know all the people who are involved in this program, including some really incredible people I met during the interview."
Washington, a first-generation college student, became interested in a career in foreign affairs when she spent a summer in Morocco after high school as part of the State Department's National Security Language Initiative for Youth.
"I became passionate about international and governmental relations after living in Morocco with a host family that was so different from my own," Washington said. "My favorite part is learning about a new culture that can be very different, but then realizing that our basic desires are the same - we all want happiness and security for our families."
The fellowship will help Washington reach her goal to aid in communication between the U.S. and other countries and to help create a better understanding abroad of the diversity of cultures and ideas in the U.S.
"The Foreign Service is highly selective, and the Pickering Fellowship offers Shai an incredible opportunity to prepare for a career in international diplomacy," said Jim Hohenbary, director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships. "I think she will represent K-State, Kansas and the United States very well in that role."
Shai is the president of the College of Arts & Sciences Ambassadors and secretary of K-State's Model United Nations team. She is a student blogger for the Office of Admissions and a member of the university's Student Foundation. She is a McNair Scholar, a member of both the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society and Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political sicnece honor society. In addition, Washington is a 2015 Public Policy and International Affairs Program fellow, allowing her to take courses at Princeton University this summer. She is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School and the daughter of Stephanie Grigsby, Lenexa, Kansas.
Washington also participates in undergraduate research as part of the McNair Scholars Program. She has researched factors influencing foreign public opinion of U.S. drone strikes and why the U.S. uses drones instead of other policy options.
"I want to thank Jim Hohenbary for telling me about this opportunity and for encouraging me to apply, and Tom Roesler, communications coordinator for the College of Arts & Sciences, and Dr. Andrew Long, associate professor of political science, for being mentors to me throughout my years at K-State," Washington said.
The fellowship program is named in honor of an American diplomat and career ambassador. Pickering served as ambassador to Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, India and the Russian Federation, finishing his career in the Foreign Service as undersecretary of state for political affairs from 1997-2000.
The department held its annual scholarship reception on Friday, April 10th, at the Manhattan Country Club. Family, guests, donors, and faculty members joined our scholarship recipients and students for an enjoyable afternoon.
2015-2016 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
- Ciara Chambers, senior in political science, modern languages and Spanish, received the Orma Linford Scholarship.
- Danae Dallenbach, master of public administration student, received the Jon Wefald International Security Scholarship.
- Marlaena Gridley, senior in political science and international studies, received the Richter Family “Beyond the Campus” Scholarship.
- Brodie Herrman, senior in political science and philosophy, received the Barbara Meyer Memorial Scholarship.
- Lauren Johannes, senior in political science, received the Don and Marian Button Political Science Scholarship.
- Rebecca Kaye, senior in political science, received the Louis H. Douglas Scholarship.
- Kyle Klucas, senior in political science and history, received the Edward Allen McCoy, Jr. Memorial Scholarship in Political Science.
- Sierra Lekie, senior in political science and economics, received the Reba L. Cobb Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Women in Political Science.
- Michael Mays, senior in political science, philosophy and statistics, received the Donald R. Hill Scholarship in Political Science.
- Deanna Milligan, senior in political science and international studies, received the Joseph Hajda Student Scholarship.
- Joseph Oaks, senior in political science, received the Edward Allen McCoy, Jr. Memorial Scholarship in Political Science.
- Christina Quigley, master of public administration student, received the Tummala’s Master of Public Administration Fellowship.
- Robert Satterwhite, senior in political science, received the Dennis K. Tapsak Memorial Scholarship.
- Brett Sitts, junior in political science and communication studies, received the Louis H. Douglas Scholarship.
- Shai Washington, junior in political science and international studies, received the Rieger-McCrery Scholarship.
- Madeline Westman, master of public administration student, received the John W. and Lynn L. Carlin Public Administration Scholarship.
2015-2016 GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIP RECIPIENTS
- Juste Codjo, doctorate in security studies
- Sarah Hitchcock, master of arts in political science
- Ghashia Kiyani, master of public administration
- David Mitchell, doctorate in security studies
- Christina Quigley, master of public administration
- Katelyn Roush, master of arts in political science
- Derek Shaw, master of public administration
- Andrew Walker, master of public administration
- Jared Wasinger, master of public administration
Congratulations to all our award recipients for their dedication and hard work!
Ciara Chambers and Eleanor Dickens, both juniors in political science, are two of four students nominated by Kansas State University for the 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholarship. The Truman Scholarship recognizes college students with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in public service, government or the nonprofit sector. If awarded, it provides up to $30,000 in financial support for graduate education. The four nominated Kansas State University students will compete with more than 600 nominees from across the nation for the 60 scholarships awarded. Finalists were announced on February 27, and scholarships will be announced on April 15.
Chambers, a junior in political science, Spanish and international studies with a pre-law emphasis, is a member of Kappa Delta sorority and an ambassador for the College of Arts and Sciences. She is the vice president and judicial affairs chair of the Panhellenic Executive Board, and the social and fundraising chair for the university's Model United Nations team. She has received the Lori Payne Memorial Scholarship, the Megan Taylor Scholarship from the modern language department, and the Rieger-McCrery Scholarship from the political science department. In 2013, she received the Fellowship for the Study of Classical Liberalism sponsored by the Fred C. and Mary R. Kich Foundation. She plans to attend law school and focus on immigration law and immigration policy after graduation. Ciara, a graduate of Derby High School, is the daughter of Steve and Stephanie Chambers, Derby.
Dickens is a junior in political science, anthropology and international studies, with a minor in economics. She is the president of the International Coordinating Council; chair of K-State Proud, a student-led fundraising campaign for Kansas State University students and a part of the Student Foundation; a student senator for the College of Arts and Sciences; and a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She has received the Joseph Hajda Student Scholarship from the political science department, the university's Foundation Scholarship and an Office of International Programs scholarship. She researches the effects of globalization and technological growth of the human and sex trafficking trade. She is interested in public policy and pursuing a master's degree in international development and diplomacy. Eleanor, a graduate of Blue Valley Southwest High School, is the daughter of David and Linda Dickens, Overland Park.
Since the establishment of the Truman Foundation in 1977, 34 Kansas State University students have been awarded the Truman Scholarship - more than any other state-supported university. As impressive, more than half of KSU's winners have been political science majors. In 1996, the Truman Foundation named Kansas State University a Truman Scholar Honor Institution, one of 17 inaugural schools to receive the title.
To learn more about competing for future Truman Scholarships or other scholarships while a student at Kansas State University, contact Jim Hohenbary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shai Washington, junior in political science, has received a nationally competitive fellowship from the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Program to attend PPIA's Junior Summer Institute (JSI). The Junior Summer Institute is an intensive seven week program designed to prepare college juniors for advanced degrees and for careers serving the public good. The JSI curriculum "... includes economics, statistics, domestic/international policy issues and leadership topics, all designed to sharpen the students' quantitative, analytic and communication skills -- skills [that] are vital for admission into the top graduate programs in public and international affairs."
Washington chose to attend the Junior Summer Institute program at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs this summer, and all of her expenses will be supported by the fellowship. JSI programs will also be held at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Michigan, and Carnegie Mellon University.
"I was ecstatic when I found out," Washington said. "This is an incredible opportunity to really focus on the skills needed to be successful in an international or public affairs graduate program. I normally would not be able to participate in a program like this because of financial constraints. My career goal is to become a Foreign Service Officer, and this as an amazing opportunity that will help me on this journey."
Washington has been heavily involved in extracurricular activities during her time at Kansas State University. She has been an ambassador for the College of Arts and Sciences, a Multicultural Ambassador and student blogger for KSU's Admissions Office, Director of Retention Strategies for the university's Student Governing Association, and a participant in the university's Model United Nations team. A McNair Scholar, Washington also received a Quest Freshman Award at Kansas State designed to further her involvement in a range of campus activities.
A graduate of Shawnee Mission West high school, Shai is the daughter of Stephanie Grigsby, Lenexa.
Matt King, BA Political Science (2007), is the recipient of the K-State Alumni Association Student Alumni Board's 2015 Distinguished Young Alumni Award. This award recognizes K-State graduates who are younger than 35 and are using the scholarship, leadership and service experience they acquired at K-State to excel in their professions and contribute to their communities.
King is a fund analyst for the World Bank Group, an international development institution in Washington, D.C., that provides finance and technical assistance to developing countries. King helps manage two funds capitalized at $283 million that support energy access, renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects.
While at K-State, King was the co-founder of the nationally recognized K-State Proud campaign and president of Student Alumni Board, among other roles. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from K-State in 2007 with a degree in political science and natural resources and environmental sciences, before continuing his education as a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University, where he earned a master's degree in environmental change and management.
King will be visiting campus February 23-25 to give a keynote presentation and visit with student groups and university classes.
Senior US District Judge Patricia Seitz, BA 1968, was honored as a University Alumni Fellow in April. Judge Seitz spent two days on campus, and shared her insights and experiences with students in John Fliter's Constitutional Law course and with pre-law students on campus. She also met with two Seitz scholarship recipients on campus, and with student veterans.
Seitz is Senior Judge in the Southern District of Florida. She served as chief legal counsel in the White House Office of National Drug control Policy, and prior to that was a partner in the firm Steel, Hector, and Davis, LLP. Seitz is the first woman elected president of the Florida Bar. Her visit was extremely enjoyable and beneficial for students and faculty, and a delight in every way. She was joined by her husband Alan Greer during the trip. Greer is a trial lawyer in private practice, and also provided enriching insight.
The Earhart Foundation, a charitable foundation founded in 1929 by Harry Boyd Earhart, has provided a $7,500 grant to the Department of Political Science for a Mini-Conference featuring the authors contributing to Perspectives on Modern Honor, an edited volume that will be published by Lexington Press. The Mini-Conference, co-hosted by Dr. Laurie M. Johnson (Political Science, KSU) and Dan Demetriou (Philosophy, University of Minnesota-Morris) was held Friday, March 27, 2015 in KSU's Hale Library (Hemisphere Room, 5th Floor).
The conference volume, edited by Johnson and Demetriou, featured authors such as Anthony Cunningham (College of St. Benedict/St. John's), Dan Demetriou (University of Minnesota-Morris), Amitai Etzioni (George Washington University), Steven Forde (University of North Texas), Mark Griffith (University of West Alabama), Sharon Krause (Brown University), Richard Ned Lebow (Dartmouth University and King's College, London), Andrea Mansker (Sewanee), Ryan Rhodes (University of Oklahoma), Paul Robinson (University of Ottawa), Steven Skultety (University of Mississippi), Joe Thomas (U.S. Naval Academy), and Ajume Wingo (University of Colorado). The March 27 conference was held in the Hemisphere Room of Hale Library, and featured many of these authors (see the conference schedule on the department main page). For information on the volume, visit "Books in the Series." This website also features information on the book series that Johnson and Demetriou co-edit.
The series, Honor and Obligation in Liberal Society: Problems and Prospects, already has several books on honor under contract. Dr. Johnson's latest book, Honor in America? Tocqueville on American Enlightenment, will be published in this series. Honorethics.org is a blog, administered by Demetriou, and featuring posts from Demetriou, Johnson, and many other authors, that serves as the locus of the resurgent interest in the concept of honor as a motivator in politics, economics, and social life.
We are pleased that Dr. Michael Flynn joined the department in fall 2014. Flynn was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Alabama in 2013-2014, and received his PhD from Binghamton University in 2013. He is already a highly accomplished scholar on US foreign policy issues, and thus a nice complement to our department and our Security Studies graduate programs.
Flynn will teach courses on US foreign policy, international conflict, and other aspects of international relations. He has published on a range of issues concerning US foreign policy decision-making and also international NGO activity in leading journals such as International Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Journal of Peace Research, and Foreign Policy Analysis.
Dr. Laurie Johnson has won the College of Arts and Sciences most prestigious award for undergraduate advising, the William L. Stamey Advising Award. Dr. Johnson received the honor in recognition of the outstanding job she has done mentoring and advising not only Political Science students, but also students from all majors participating in KSU's Primary Text Program.
Dr. Johnson helped to create the Primary Text Program at KSU nearly a decade and a half ago, and she has served as the Director of the program ever since. She is known for giving focused attention to Political Science and Primary Text students, and for being an outstanding and accessible advisor. Dr. Johnson becomes the 16th faculty member to receive this award since it was established in 1999.
Kansas State University's Model United Nations team has successfully returned to competition. The team won three awards at the 54th Midwest Model UN Conference in St. Louis in February and four awards at the American Model UN International in Chicago in November. These were the first Kansas State University teams to compete at Model UN competitions in over 30 years.
The team was relaunched by John Fliter Jr., associate professor of political science, as part of the activities associated with his term as the university's 2013-2014 Coffman Chair for Distinguished Teaching Scholars. Carla Martinez Machain, assistant professor of political science, is the team's co-advisor.
In Model UN competitions, teams typically role-play delegates to the UN. Each team is assigned certain countries to represent, and awards are given for team members who excel in their delegate roles. Kansas State University teams represented the Philippines, Czech Republic, Senegal and Ecuador in St. Louis and Congo, Malaysia, and Romania in Chicago. Both KSU teams were among the largest at each competition, underscoring the considerable student interest across campus in Model UN competitions.
The team hopes to compete in the St. Louis and Chicago competitions again next year. If you would like to support KSU's Model UN team, please contact Emily Mahoney from the KSU Foundation at email@example.com.
Notable Alumni Visit KSU Political Science Classes
Two notable KSU alumni recently returned to Manhattan and spoke to KSU Political Science classes. John Hofmeister, BA (1971) and MA (1973) in Political Science, former President of Shell Oil (2005-2008) and founder of citizens for Affordable Energy, spoke to students in POLSC 611 Legislative Processes on February 11, 2014. Just two weeks before the classes, John had been featured in a segment on CNN's Anderson Cooper news program on the influence that money has on Congressional politics. Students watched the CNN clip before John's talk and then asked a range of questions. John was also gracious enough to speak at a number of other venues on campus, including giving the Lou Douglas Lecture that evening. Talk about learning from a respected and knowledgeable source!
General Richard Myers (ret.), BS Mechanical Engineering (1965), spoke to students in POLSC 549 International Defense Strategies on February 7. General Myers served as 15th Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the United States, from 2001 to 2005. Given his lengthy military career and his participation in a host of important foreign policy decisions, his insights were greatly appreciated by students. Again, an alumnus helped to give back one of the most valuable things former K-Staters have to offer our current generation of students - their insight and their knowledge.
Needless to say, both alumni visits were extremely successful and provided invaluable information and understanding for our students.
Political Science Graduate Programs Ranked Among Best in the Country
According to GraduatePrograms.com, the graduate education experience offered by KSU's Political Science department is among the best in the country. The GraduatePrograms.com website surveys recent and current graduate students on the quality and value of their graduate education, and then evaluates programs across fifteen categories. Overall, the graduate programs housed in KSU's Department of Political Science were ranked the 13th best in the country. We had good company in this ranking — sandwiched between Harvard University (ranked 12th) and Yale University (ranked 14th). KSU's graduate programs were ranked #1 in the country for both career support and faculty support.
Our ranking is a testament to the dedication and the tremendous effort of our faculty and the outstanding graduate students who choose to join us. Of course, this same dedication and energy is also evident every day in our approach to undergraduate education. We have a long history of providing an outstanding experience for undergraduate students, which we are both proud of and continue to build on.
Internationally Recognized Speakers Visit the Department
Four internationally recognized speakers visited the department this academic year.
A. Cooper Drury, chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri, gave a talk on April 11. Drury is the editor of the International Studies Association (ISA) journal Foreign Policy Analysis and was named a Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar by the International Studies Association-Midwest in 2013. He has published widely on the foreign policy process and economic sanctions and has served on numerous journal editorial boards, including those for International Studies Quarterly and International Interactions.
Amaney Jamal, a professor of political science at Princeton University, gave a talk on February 27, 2014 on US foreign policy and democratization in the Middle East. Jamal has a forthcoming book on the subject entitled "Of Empires and Citizens: Pro-American Democracy or No Democracy at All?" Named a Carnegie Scholar in 2005, Jamal is a well-known expert on the democratization process across the Middle East and the issues encountered by Arab Americans. Her book Barriers to Democracy won the Best Book Award in Comparative Democratization at the American Political Science Association.
Patrick James, Dornsife Dean's Professor and Director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Southern California, gave a talk on succeeding in graduate study and academia on September 17 2013. Among a long list of awards, Dr. James has been honored as a Distinguished Professor by two separate sections of the ISA; he has been Vice President of the ISA, and President of the International Council of Canadian Studies. James served a term as editor of the prominent journal International Studies Quarterly, and has served on the editorial boards of the American Political Science Review, Foreign Policy Analysis, and International Interactions among other journals.
Mark Tessler, the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan, gave a public lecture on November 4 2013. Dr. Tessler is a well-known expert on public opinion and behavior in the Arab world and the Middle East, and is a founder and co-director of the influential Arab Barometer Survey Project. He has been President of the American Institute for Maghreb Studies, President of the Association for Israel Studies, and on the Board of Directors of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at Tufts University and Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.
Professors win Prominent Teaching Awards
Dr. Brianne Heidbreder has received a William L. Stamey Award from KSU’s College of Arts and Sciences. The Stamey Award is the highest teaching honor given in our college. Dr. Heidbreder is known for her engaging and effective instruction style and her outstanding teaching in all types of classes, from large lecture halls to small seminars. We anticipate that Dr. Heidbreder will receive a number of additional teaching accolades in the years to come.
Dr. John Fliter, Jr. has received the foremost teaching honor given across all of Kansas State. He will serve as KSU's Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars during the 2013-2014 academic year. Dr. Fliter has long been known as a dedicated and passionate professor, and has a well-deserved reputation for teaching excellence among students. His hard work and commitment to teaching have been recognized with this endowed chair, which honors him with the title University Distinguished Teaching Scholar for the remainder of his career. During his year in residence as the Coffman Chair, Dr. Fliter will share his ideas on the art of teaching to the K-State community in a widely publicized lecture as well as in a series of workshops.
Congratulations to Dr. Heidbreder and Dr. Fliter for adding to our department's rich history of excellence in the classroom!
Department Launches Online Graduate Certificate
The Department of Political Science recently introduced a new graduate Certificate in Public Administration. The certificate is designed to provide a high quality educational experience to public servants interested in furthering their credentials as well as other students who may have difficulty attending graduate classes on traditional “brick and mortar” college campuses. It provides the most fundamental courses that those in public service administration need to master in a widely accessible, interactive format. Busy professionals and those with a range of other time constraints are able to complete weekly coursework in the setting and at the time they choose in our new online courses while still being able to draw from valuable interaction with student peers and the course professor. We believe that the online graduate certificate in public administration will provide valuable knowledge for current and future public servants, and a worthwhile credential.
We are also developing non-credit course modules that will provide training on the legal issues that local government employees and administrators often encounter. Similar to our Public Administration Certificate courses, these non-credit course modules are also designed for busy professionals and will be offered as interactive, online courses. The modules have been endorsed by the Kansas League of Municipalities and will be included in their 2014 Municipal Leadership Academy. In the future, particular modules will allow practicing attorneys to earn Continuing Legal Education credit.
New Courses Offered in the Department
Department faculty have recently developed new courses that should be of wide interest. A course entitled Political Islam will be offered by Assistant Professor Sabri Ciftci in spring 2014. The course will explore the role that Islam may play in governance in Muslim societies and the extent to which the religion is compatible with democratization. Since it explores the philosophical foundations of Islamic views of governance as well as modern challenges, it will count toward either the comparative politics or a political thought upper level course requirement for majors. The course will be offered as a 600 level topics course in Spring 2014, and will become a regular online course option the following year.
Instructor Katharine Jackson has developed a new course entitled Local Government Law which will also be offered online in spring 2014 as a topics course. Local government law touches every aspect of our lives. Actions as simple as purchasing a latte from your local Starbucks’ drive-thru have been defined, shaped, and regulated by myriad local laws. At the same time, local government is the easiest point of access for citizens in a democracy. A recent City Attorney for the City of Manhattan, Dr. Jackson knows the intricacies of local government law extremely well. This course will also soon become a regular online option in our course catalog.
New courses have also been developed for our MPA students. Two of these new offerings are available this year as pro-seminar topics courses. Public Finance, offered by Assistant Professor Zhiwei Zhang this fall, examines the role and impact of governmental policy in a market economy.
Assistant Professor Josephine Schafer will offer a new course on Strategic Management of Public Organizations in spring 2014. It will examine how public managers identify, plan and accomplish public purposes in a sustainable fashion. Both of these courses will soon become part of our standard rotation of public administration courses.