Poli Sci Days 2016

Event Schedule


9-9:50am   Guest Lecture by Mr. Parker Schaffel (CIA/State Department) HETH 014
Hosted by Dr. Theresa Schroeder, Political Science Department

10-10:50am   Careers: Interviews HETH 014
Dr. John Liptak, Career Center 

11-11:50am   Brexit: New Hope to Europe's Old Separatist Movements HETH 014
Professor Robin Taylor, Political Science Department 

12-12:50pm   Lecture: Fight for the Future of the Supreme Court HETH 014
Dr. Adrienne Jones, Political Science Department
1-1:50pm   Drones HETH 014
Professor Kent Morris, Political Science Department 

2-2:50pm   Pre-Law Information Session HETH 014
Dr. Adrienne Jones, Poli Sci, and Dr. Luke Hunt, Criminal Justice

3-3:50pm   Race to the White House: The Electoral Map HETH 014
Dr. Dennis Grady, Dean, Graduate School and Poli Sci 

4-6:00pm   Documentary: Frontline’s The Choice (This event earns two tickets) HETH 014
Professor Matthew Brunner, Registrar and Political Science Dept



9:30-10:45am   Documentary: Meet the Donors: Does Money Talk? HETH 014
Dr. Daniel Reed, Political Science Department 

11-12:15pm   Choosing the President in 2016 HETH 014
Dr. Tanya Corbin, Poli Sci, and Dr. Scott Dunn and Ms. Kristina Contreras,

11-12:15pm   Careers: What Can I Do with a Political Science Major? HETH 043
Dr. John Liptak, Career Center
12:30-1:45pm   Careers/Intl: Biggest Mistakes of My International Career HETH 014
Dr. Tay Keong Tan, Political Science Department, and Dr. Kiertsak Toh,
Economics Department 

12:30-1:45pm   Careers: Understanding You as You Move into Your Career HETH 043
Dr. Paige Tan, Political Science Department 

2-3:15pm   Careers: A Visit with a Radford alum, Ms. Jenni Goodman Wilder HETH 014
Hosted by Dr. Reginald Shareef, Political Science Department 

2-3:15pm   China’s Environment: Its Importance for China and the World HETH 043
Dr. Paige Tan, Political Science Department 

3:30-4:45pm   Discussion: Diversity and Inclusion: Back to Basics HETH 014
Ms. Natalie Fajardo, Center for Diversity and Inclusion 

3:30-4:45pm   Documentary: The Secret History of ISIS HETH 043
Dr. Paige Tan, Political Science Department  

Detailed Event Information



9-9:50am            Guest Lecture by Mr. Parker Schaffel (CIA/State Department)            HETH 014

Hosted by Dr. Theresa Schroeder, Assistant Professor, Political Science Department 

Interested in joining the intelligence and foreign affairs community but don’t know how? Mr. Parker Schaffel will be joining us remotely from DC to help you figure out what you need to do! Mr. Schaffel has worked as a military and security strategic analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, an intelligence officer in the U.S. 

Naval Reserves, and a International Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Department of State. His experience ranges from analyst to media relations. Come to this event to see what it takes to be a part of the U.S. foreign policy team!


10-10:50am            Careers: Interviews            HETH 014

Dr. John Liptak, Associate Director, Career Center 

With your resume, “elevator pitch” and portfolio in hand, you are ready for employment 

interviews. Interviewing for employment is one of the most important life skills college students need to learn. However, there is probably no bigger test of your ability than to be successful during a job interview. The secret to success is preparation and practice. If you have gotten an interview, most likely you have the qualifications they are looking for. One secret is that the position doesn’t always go to the most qualified person; it often goes to the one who is best fit for the organization (personality, confidence, enthusiasm, positive outlook, and interpersonal skills). This interactive session will provide you with information related to preparing for an employment interview as well as practice in answering typical interview questions. This session will also cover tips for the anxious interviewer, and suggestions that interviewers wish they could tell every job candidate.


11-11:50am            Brexit: New Hope to Europe's Old Separatist Movements            HETH 014

Professor Robin Taylor, Political Science Department 

In this class, students will explore the prerequisites for statehood, the right to self-determination and what it means to be a "people". Together we will examine how the creation of the European Union affected separatist movements in Europe and look at how the Brexit vote has changed the separatist debate.


12-12:50pm            The Fight for the Future of the Supreme Court            HETH 014

Dr. Adrienne Jones, Assistant Professor, Political Science Department 

Dr. Jones will discuss the Supreme Court and the politics and importance of the recent refusal by the Republican-led Senate to confirm a new Supreme Court justice.


1-1:50pm            Drones            HETH 014

Professor Kent Morris, Political Science Department 

This presentation offers a general discussion of the use of drones by the United States in the ongoing Global War on Terror (GWOT), but also drones in everyday, ordinary American life. The goal is to provide students with a history and knowledge of drones, but more importantly, raise student awareness and sensitivity regarding drones. This discussion will present important questions about the continued use of drones by the US military, their effects on military personnel, but also on everyday US citizens in regards to their perceptions of war, the conduct of ‘just’ warfare, and the incorporation of drones into US domestic life. Topics explored include: drone history, drone autonomy, and concerns over drones in relation to privacy and US national (in)security.


2-2:50pm            Pre-Law Information Session: Preparation, Practice, and Participation            HETH 014

Dr. Adrienne Jones, Assistant Professor, Political Science, and Dr. Luke Hunt, Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice 

Radford has a Pre Law program for students interested in attending law school. The RU Pre Law advisors, Dr. Adrienne Jones and Dr. Luke Hunt, provide an information session on how to prepare for law school, what to practice and do at Radford to get ready to apply for law school, and how to participate on the Radford campus in pre-law advisement, the Pre Law fraternity, and Pre Law Society.


3-3:50pm            Race to the White House: The Electoral Map            HETH 014

Dr. Dennis Grady, Dean, Graduate School and Professor, Political Science 

The session will discuss how the Electoral College works in selecting the President. In so doing, we will explore what the candidates must do to win the election. We will discuss what to be looking for as the polls close to see who will likely win the election.


4-6:00pm            Documentary: Frontline: The Choice (2016 Presidential Race)            HETH 014

Professor Matthew Brunner, Political Science Department and Radford University Registrar 

From the website: “Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are two of the most polarizing presidential candidates in modern history . . . FRONTLINE’s acclaimed election-year series, “The Choice,” returns — going behind the headlines to investigate what has shaped these two candidates, where they came from, how they lead and why they want one of the most difficult jobs imaginable. From veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk, 

“The Choice 2016” will investigate formative moments in Clinton and Trump’s lives through interviews with those who know them best, providing in-depth, trustworthy reporting and powerful new insights at a moment when voters are being bombarded with conflicting partisan stories about each candidate. 

This event earns two tickets, but you must stay for the entire documentary/discussion.




9:30-10:45am            Documentary on Campaign Finance : Meet the Donors: Does Money Talk?            HETH 014

Dr. Daniel Reed, Associate Professor, Political Science Department 

What do we know about the millionaires (and billionaires) who bankroll our US elections? Why do they do it, and what do they expect to get for their money? In this documentary film, “filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi talks with the mega-donors who are funding America's presidential candidates to find out why they are pouring millions into our elections” (HBO 2016).


11-12:15pm            Choosing the President in 2016            HETH 014

Dr. Tanya Corbin, Political Science and Dr. Scott Dunn and Ms. Kristina Contreras, Communications 

In this session, we will explore the current campaign environment for the presidential election. We will discuss the role of the media in the campaign, and critically examine election campaign coverage.


11-12:15pm            What Can I Do With a Political Science Major?            HETH 043

Dr. John Liptak, Associate Director, Radford Career Center 

One of the first questions that the majority of students ask after they have chosen political science as their major is, “now what can I do with a Political Science major?” The answer I usually provide is “students who major in political science develop skills that are valued by employers including research, analysis, writing, oral presentation, critical thinking, synthesis, and problem solving. Students may find employment in business, government, nonprofits, social services, and educational institutions depending on their skills and experience.” But how do you know what the specific jobs are within each category, or which jobs fit your interests, skills and values. In this session, students will complete the Political Science Scale to assess their interests in 10 Political Science specializations, identify specific occupations related to their interests, and explore suggestions for being successful in each specialization.



12:30-1:45pm            The Biggest Mistakes and Greatest Triumphs of My Career: Confessions of a USAID Administrator & a UN Inspector            HETH 014

Dr. Kiertisak Toh, Department of Economics, and former Country Director for USAID in Kenya and Dr. Tay Keong Tan, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, who served as Chief of Staff, United Nations’ Inspector General’s Office. 

In October 2015, Dr. Kiertisak Toh and Dr. Tay Keong Tan jointly presented at the first Pol Sci Days on “A Day in the Lives of a USAID Administrator & a UN Inspector” to a packed-room audience. This year, we have a follow-up event featuring these veterans from the world of global development. This closed-door session brings you into the exclusive world of globe-trotting experts of two premier international development agencies. Our speakers will reveal their hidden secrets and real-life experiences in far flung places and difficult situations. Find out about the greatest failures and successes in their careers and what they have learned from them.



What moral dilemmas can you expect when you work in a huge bureaucracy with diverse international staff? How does one navigate the minefields of ethical trade-offs and conflicting stakeholders’ interests? Come and find out about the most difficult challenges that await you when you pursue a career in international development!


12:30-1:45pm            Understanding You as You Move into Your Career            HETH 043

Dr. Paige Tan, Professor and Chair, Political Science Department 

In this session which serves as a preview to Dr. Tan’s new one credit spring 2017 course on Professionalism in the Public and Non-Profit Sector (POSC 293), we will cover recent research on students’ readiness for careers and help students understand the skills they are acquiring at Radford and how these relate to the workplace. We will look at hard skills like teamwork/collaboration and also softer skills like grit and growth mindset.


2-3:15pm            Careers: A Visit with a Radford alum, Ms. Jenni Goodman Wilder            HETH 014

Hosted by Dr. Reginald Shareef, Professor, Political Science Department 

Ms. Goodman Wilder, a Radford grad with an MS in Public Administration and Policy from Virginia Tech, is going to speak on how her education has help prepare her for the position of Public Information Coordinator for Radford City. In this position, she develops the city’s strategic communication plan. She serves as the point person with the media and the public for Radford; this includes maintaining the city’s website, Facebook, Twitter, and more. She helps organize city events such as the Highlander Festival. The primary function of a Public Information Coordinator for a governmental agency is to provide information to the public as required by law and according to standards of the profession. Importantly, Public Information Coordinators differ from public relations departments in business organizations because marketing plays a less significant role.


2-3:15pm            China’s Environment: Its Importance for China and the World            HETH 043

Dr. Paige Tan, Professor and Chair, Political Science Department 

Images coming out of China show smog-choked cities and citizens wearing surgical masks as part of their daily commute routine. Beyond the hype, what is the state of China’s environment? Why is China’s environment in the condition that it is? How can an understanding of Chinese politics help us to understand the environment and vice versa? What does China’s environment mean for the world?


3:30-4:45pm            Discussion: Diversity            HETH 014

Ms. Natalie Fajardo, Center for Diversity and Inclusion 

Diversity and Inclusion: Back to Basics will break down and explain the basic terminology, concepts, and trends around Diversity and Inclusion. This workshop is committed to providing the foundation and tools to navigate topics of social justice and inclusion and the tools to create inclusive spaces. There will also be opportunities to engage in conversations dialogue for students, staff, and faculty to increase their awareness and acceptance of diversity and enhance their individual understanding of their own identity and culture, which can make a positive impact on our campus community. All levels and individuals are welcome to join us for this great professional development opportunity!


3:30-4:45pm            Documentary: Frontline: The Secret History of ISIS            HETH 043

Dr. Paige Tan, Professor and Chair, Political Science Department 

From Frontline’s website: “The inside story of the radicals who became the leaders of ISIS, the missed warning signs and the U.S. failures to stop the group’s brutal rise.”