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News and Events
Cuba Study Abroad
Students completed 2 courses, earning 6 credits. Dr. Corbin’s course “US-Cuban Relations: Communism at a Crossroads”, focused on the political history and current political relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Dr. Schroeder’s course focused on the international relations and the political economy between the U.S. and Cuba. Together, the courses provided a nuanced understanding of the politics of Cuba and the political relationship between the U.S. and Cuba over time. The courses provided the opportunity to understand the politics of Cuba and the U.S.–Cuban relationship over time, and offered an opportunity to learn about the contemporary realities of political life in Cuba.
This course provided an experiential learning opportunity through a study abroad experience to Cuba. The course was conducted in Cuba, with additional readings and assignments conducted online via the D2L courseware management system, with due dates before and after the trip dates. We visited various political, cultural, and historic sites in Cuba, and learned from Cubans about their culture and politics. Highlights included visits to the Museo de la Revolucion, the Bay of Pigs museum, tobacco farms, sugar plantations, lectures from Cuban scholars, and even some time to learn salsa dancing!
Trump Forum hosted by the Political Science Society
The Political Science Society hosted a Trump Forum on April 5. The event featured faculty from across Radford University, sharing their expertise and insights on the actions of President Trump to date. Topics of discussion included the impact of NAFTA, executive-congressional relations, Trump’s proposed budget, the travel ban, and civic engagement. Stay tuned for future events hosted by the Political Science Society.
RU Model UN Team Travels to SRMUN in Charlotte
Members of Radford University's Model United Nations Club participated in the Southern Regional Model United Nations on March 30-April 1.
David Alcorta, Ivan Thirion Romo, Elliott Smith, Gabriel Bennett, Brady Guertin, Aidan Chadduck, Izzy Taveras and Michael Wilson traveled to the Charlotte conference at which students representing dozens of countries convened to discuss and mitigate pressing international issues, such as climate change, maritime and land disputes and accessibility to education.
In addition, students practiced public speaking skills, received writing tips, networked with students from across the country and competed for individual and delegation awards.
Aidan Chadduck and Brady Guertin also received the Outstanding Delegate Award.
This year's conference featured 78 country delegations. Radford University represented Chile and Indonesia.
Radford teams served on the General Assembly Plenary, working on preventing gender-based sexual violence and promoting universal access for sustainable and modern energy; the General Assembly Second Committee, working on food security and information technology; the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, working on smart cities and cybersecurity; and United Nations Habitat; working on urban water and sanitation, as well as sustainable housing.
Wilson, representing Chile, won the Outstanding Delegate Award for the Commission on Science and Technology for Development. Chadduck and Guertin, representing Indonesia, also won Outstanding Delegate Award for the General Assembly Second Committee.
Radford University's delegation was led by Ivan Thirion Romo, Radford club president.
- June 7 - Dr. Dr Theresa Schroeder gave a research talk in Geneva Switzerland, titled, "Security and Sexism: Barriers to Women in Society," as part of the Research Frontiers in Gender and Sustainable Peace workshop, hosted by , Gender Centre of the Geneva Graduate Institute. This workshop brought together scholars and practitioners working within the women, peace, and security domain.
- March 27 - Dr Theresa Schroeder gave a research talk titled "Female Political Leaders and the Support for Peacekeeping” as part of the Gendered Dynamics of International Security Invited Conference hosted by the University of Central Florida in Orlando. This conference brought together leading and emerging gender and conflict scholars.
- March 24 - The Political Science Society hosted a film for Women's History Month. The club showed "Makers: Women in Politics" at the McConnell Library.
- March 22 - Dr. Paige Tan gave a talk on the South China Sea to the Great Decisions/Virginia Tech Lifelong Learning Institute program at the German Club in Blacksburg, VA.
- March 18 - Dr. Paige Tan gave a talk on "The United Nations in a Populist World" at the United Nations Association of the Coastal Carolinas at UNC-Wilmington in Wilmington, NC.
Political Science Students in Action
By Ivan Thirion
On January 31st and February 1st members of the Radford University’s Board of Visitors, President Hemphill, university administrators, members of the Student Government Association, and Radford students of all kinds of majors and backgrounds travelled to Richmond with the purpose of meeting our state senators and delegates at the Virginia Legislature to lobby for higher education and the interests of the Radford University community. This event is known as “Advocacy Day.”
In addition to meeting state officials at the legislature, the trip also included a tour at the Governor’s Executive Mansion, a visit to the Virginia’s Attorney General office, and an exclusive meet and greet with Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Hudson, where students got the opportunity to network with them and learn about their jobs.
“It is important to make the personal connection so you can have a conversation where you are talking at each other,” said Brianna Guest, a political science student.
Among the students that participated in Advocacy Day, one of the most prominent groups was the political science students that not only got to put into practice the knowledge and skills that they have learned in their political science classes, but also got to learn more about how the Commonwealth’s government operates, and their potential future careers as public servants.
“I would recommend Advocacy Day for anyone because there is a difference between just seeing the policies that they make and hearing what the legislators have to say in regard to their policies,” said Stacey Boateng, political science student. “You can understand the policymaking process when you get to talk face to face with the legislators.”
Learning New Perspectives Studying Politics Abroad in Chile
By Ivan Thirion
Elliot Smith is a junior majoring in political science from Washington D.C. He recently came back from his study abroad trip in Chile. He spent the fall 2016 semester there, studying politics, exploring the country, and living with a Chilean host family.
Through the study abroad programs offered by the Radford International Education Center, Smith decided to take the initiative to go to Chile to study politics, learn from a foreign culture, learn new perspectives, and practice his Spanish skills.
Smith described his semester in Chile as an “unforgettable experience” where he learned not only about the culture and the country, but also about himself.
“I had a good support system, a smooth transition, and amazing host family that supported me a lot,” Smith said.
Smith explained that he found several things to be very different from life in the United States. Smith expressed how some things, such as seeing the extremely poor ‘barrios’ (slums) and seeing several dogs living on the streets gave him culture shock. He described the Chilean culture as very family-orientated, kind, warm, and welcoming.
“They always follow a schedule, my family and I would sit down at the table every evening and have dinner together,” Smith said. “That’s something that I valued a lot, eating for hours and having a conversation.”
During his experience in Chile, Smith got the opportunity to learn about the politics and history of Chile which broadened his perspectives in different issues. One of the things Smith got to learn about is the history of Augusto Pinochet’s regime, a military dictator that lasted in power for more than 15 years. Smith’s family was personally affected by Pinochet’s government, as they got to experience the U.S.-backed coup d'état on September 11, 1973 that overthrew the democratically elected socialist President Salvador Allende, from whom Pinochet took over power.
Smith also got the opportunity to learn about the horrors that his host family had to live during Pinochet’s regime. They told Smith about how members of Pinochet’s military junta would break into their house and harass them.
“The mom was pregnant at that time,” Smith said. “They had to flee to Mexico City to save their lives.”
According to the Chilean government, the total number of deaths and forced disappearances during Pinochet’s dictatorship stands at 3,095.
“In my class there was a girl that had a different perspective about Pinochet,” Smith said. “She pointed out the fact that most people generally focus on the bad things that Pinochet did rather than the good ones.”
Smith explained how that girl’s family worked for Pinochet’s government and how her family was benefited at that time. She, therefore, had a different perspective about him in comparison to other Chileans that argue that his government was undemocratic and authoritarian.
“That made me look at these historical facts with a different perspective,” Smith said.
In addition, to learning about the politics, history, and culture of Chile, Smith also got to travel across the country from north to south, even go to Mendoza, Argentina. Smith and other international students decided to rent a van and travel across the country. Smith told how it was interesting to see the change in culture and ethnic groups in Chile based on the location where he was.
“People in the north tend to be predominantly indigenous while people in the south tend to have predominantly European roots,” Smith said.
During his experience living in Chile, Smith also had the chance to volunteer for ‘Un Techo Para Chile’ (‘A Roof for Chile’), also known as, ‘TECHO’ (‘Roof’), a nonprofit organization focused in mobilizing youth volunteers to fight extreme poverty in Chile and Latino America. Smith described how poor people in Chile lived mostly in the mountains and had dirt soccer fields on which they play soccer. Something that impressed Smith was how happy and friendly people were disregarding the poverty under which they lived.
Smith believed that this trip helped him mature as a person and become more independent besides of giving him a different and broader perspective about life. Smith recommends and encourages other students at Radford University to do the same.
“It was a fascinating and exciting experience that I will never forget.”
November 15, 2016
"The Election's Over: What Happens Next?" Q&A Session with Dr. Tanya Corbin and Dean Dennis Grady. Hosted by Dean Katherine Hawkins.
November 4-6, 2016
Model UN travels to the Appalachian Model Arab League at Hollins University. 14 students, many new members took part.
Debate Watch/Election Watch with Dr. Theresa Schroeder and the Political Science Society. Hosted by Dean Katherine Hawkins.
Setptember 24, 2016
Career Prep conference - Dr. Paige Tan hosted a goverment jobs panel with alumni guests including:
Sherry Fisher, Environmental Policy Advisor, Hunton & Williams LLP
Michael Cole, Goverment Relations/Communications, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation
Charles Jewell, Executive Director, New River Valley Economic Development Alliance
September 20, 2016
Constitution Day event - Mr. Brian Cannon of OneVirginia2021 spoke about non-partisan redistricting in Virginia and its importance for voter representation.
April 13, 2016
Dr. Paige Tan travels to UVa to give a talk on “Man Made Island: Lee Kuan Yew and Modern Singapore.”
March 31 to April 3, 2016
Model United Nations traveled to University of Virginia for the Virginia International Crisis Simulations (VICS) conference March 31 to April 3. Our students tried to overthrow the government of Sudan, compete with the United States as the Soviet Union in the space race, reform a corrupt FIFA, and deal with potential Brexit from the European Union. The students even fought on both sides of the Spanish Civil War!
If you're interested in joining Model UN, please join us Thursday, April 14th as we organize the club for next year.
March 1, 2016
Political Science Society organized a Super Tuesday View party. They had a great turn out, with about 30-40 people. Food and political banter were provided. They ended the night with Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump winning, to everyones shagrin.
December 11, 2015
Model United Nations hosted a crisis simulation with Radford’s International Student Affairs Council (ISAC). The event took place in Heth Hall and lasted from 5 - 7 p.m. The event was attended by 20 members of both Model United Nations and ISAC.
The event consisted of simulating a hypothetical political and economic crisis in Venezuela based on the problems that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is facing right now, such as inflation, political unrest, bad leadership in the public sector, insecurity, and border conflicts with Guyana and Colombia. Students spent the evening representing their home countries acting as they would act in international affairs and copying their policies. During the simulation, students participated actively showing a lot of interest in defending their countries’ interests at the same time they tried to solve Venezuela's problems. Many delegates proposed different resolutions to solve the economic crisis in Venezuela which is the main source of most of the problems in the country.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of time no resolution was passed. Nonetheless, the event organized by both the Model United Nations and the International Student Affairs Council was a good learning experience for everyone and demonstrated the interest of students of all kinds of backgrounds of wanting to change the world for the better. In addition to this, the event demonstrated to be was a little taste of what Model United Nations members do when they participate in Model United Nations conferences around the US representing our alma matter.
December 1, 3, 8, 2015
In Dr. Corbin’s Presidency course, students held mock presidential primary debates. To prepare for the debates, each student researched a potential presidential nominee for the Republican and Democratic party and current foreign and domestic policy issues to prepare for the debates. Students took on the roles of potential candidates, moderators, pundits, reporters, and campaign directors and staffers.
November 19th, 2015
Students in Dr. Tay Keong Tan’s POSC 300 Public Administration class delivered their consulting report to Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread. The student consulting team advised the local non-profit on how to solve a facilities problem, weighing numerous options and recommending the best course of action. Students were exposed to real-world skills in this Scholar-Citizen Initiative class. They learned to interact professionally with a client organization, analyze real-world problems, find solutions, and deliver a public report.
November 12-15, 2015
Our POSC Model UN students won a verbal commendation on the General Assembly Sixth Committee Legal at the UPMUNC conference at UPENN.
Look at the competition and on a committee with 60-70 delegations! We are so proud of Cathrine Cashwell and Michael Wilson (in the photo, seated).
November 12-15, 2015
Model United Nations travelled to Philadelphia, PA November 12-15 to participate in the University of Pennsylvania Model United Nations. The conference, which brought together 1,200 students, from over 70 schools including six of the eight Ivy League schools, was the Radford students’ largest and most challenging conference to date. Model UN only began at Radford in Fall 2014. Our program has experienced early success, though, winning three awards at the Carolinas Conference in Charlotte in the Fall and four awards at the Southern Regional Model United Nations in Charlotte in the Spring. To support the club, Dr. Paige Tan has created a Model United Nations class which helps students to develop their knowledge of the United Nations as well as the rules and skills to simulate the United Nations. Students work on public speaking, leadership, negotiation, foreign policy, and general awareness of international affairs. Our students put in effort across four days at the Philadelphia conference. Most worked in teams, representing Poland on different United Nations General Assembly committees such as Disarmament and Security; Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian Affairs; Special Political and Decolonization; and Legal. One pair of students served on a historical committee, representing Poland on the International Atomic Energy Agency in 1957 at the height of the Cold War. Students learned a great deal at the conference and hope to organize a conference of our own at Radford for Southwest Virginia schools in the Spring.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
at 10:30 a.m.
Faculty Presentation: India as a Future Superpower and Rival to the US Young Hall, Room 305
Presented by Dr. Paige Tan, Chair of the Department of Political Science
2:00 to 5:00 p.m
Alumni and Family Village Moffett Lawn (Rain or Shine)
October 5-6, 2015
Poli Sci Days
Regular Political Science classes will be shut down for two days while students are invited to explore Political Science Careers, talk with alums, hear about volunteering in the community, watch documentaries, and learn about new areas of political science. Students will attend one Poli Sci Days event for each political science class they have. They’ll return tickets from the events to their regular instructors after Poli Sci Days is over