Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN) conference – November 20-21, 2015

The 50th Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN) Conference was held at UCA on Friday, November 20th and Saturday, November 21st.  More than 560 delegates representing 122 countries from 29 high schools in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Oklahoma participated in the conference.  Breanna Wilbanks from Russellville, Sociology (major) and Anthropology (minor) at UCA, served as AMUN Secretary-General (pictured below, bottom-left) and Dr. Mark Mullenbach, Associate Professor in the UCA Department of Political Science, served as Coordinator of the AMUN Conference.  UCA President Tom Courtway gave the welcoming address to the delegates during the Opening Session in Ida Waldran Auditorium on Friday, November 20th.  Mr. Bernd G. Reindl, Deputy Consul General at the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Houston, gave the keynote address during the Opening Session (pictured below, bottom-right).

Committee chairs included Jesus Torres (Special Political Committee), Kayla Close (Social & Humanitarian Committee), Willis Arnold (Economic & Finance Committee), Alex Battaglia (Security Council), Stephanie Gray (Historical Security Council), Katelyn Wilkins (Economic & Social Council), Ashley Semiche (Model Arab League), and Nick Cartwright (Human Rights Council).  Dr. Mark Elrod, Visiting Assistant Professor in the UCA Department of Political Science, served as Coordinator of the Model International Court of Justice (MICJ).  During the Closing Session on November 21st, the “Outstanding Delegation” award was presented to the Nigerian delegation (Pulaski Academy, Little Rock) and the “Outstanding Delegation Runner-Up” awards were presented to the French delegation (Conway High School, Conway) and United Kingdom delegation (Haas Hall Academy, Fayetteville).  Several students were also awarded “Outstanding Delegate” awards for performance in each of the nine committees.

On Friday evening, a 50th AMUN Anniversary reception and dinner were held in Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center.  Sixteen former AMUN secretaries-general (pictured below, top-left) and several other invited guests participated in the event, including Mr. David Gruber (AMUN secretary-general in 1967) and Mr. Brett Newcomb (AMUN secretary-general in 1968).  Mr. Robert B. Andrew, U.S. Department of State Diplomat-in-Residence at the University of Oklahoma, was the guest speaker during the dinner.

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UCA Model UN students participate in ATU Model UN conference – November 6, 2015

Five UCA students and members of the UCA Model United Nations (MUN) student organization – Nick Cartwright, Jesus Torres, Shaye Davis, Erin Whitfield, and Ellen McKinnie – represented Russia and Venezuela at the annual Arkansas Tech University (ATU) Model UN conference in Russellville on Friday, November 6th.  Delegations from several other Arkansas colleges and universities, including Arkansas State University-Jonesboro, Arkansas State University-Beebe, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, and University of Arkansas-Monticello, also participated in the conference.  At the end of the conference, Venezuela’s delegates (Jesus Torres, Erin Whitfield, Nick Cartwright, and Shaye Davis) were honored as Outstanding Delegates.

ATU MUN 2015 (2)Left to right: Nick Cartwright, Erin Whitfield, Shaye Davis, Jesus Torres, and Ellen McKinnie.

Department of Political Science hosts “UN Day” – October 30, 2015

The Department of Political Science hosted a United Nations 70th anniversary commemoration event at the University of Central Arkansas on Friday, October 30, 2015.  The event was the first UN Day event organized by the department in eight years.  The department hosted UN Day events in 2005, 2006, and 2007.  Hundreds of Arkansas high school teachers and students, as well as several UCA students, participated in annual UN Day events at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock or Pulaski Academy in Little Rock between 2008 and 2014.

Participating in the UN Day event at UCA were more than 50 teachers and students from several Arkansas high schools, including Little Rock Central High School, Rogers High School, Marked Tree High School, Mills University Studies High School, Maumelle Charter High School, and Pottsville High School.  The UN Day event included a workshop for high school teachers and students in the UCA Student Center from 9:00am to noon.  The topics covered included “The Historical Roots of the United Nations” by Dr. Mark Mullenbach and “Learning about International Politics through Model United Nations” by Dr. Mark Elrod.  Dr. Karen Mingst, Lockwood Chair Professor in the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky, was the guest speaker during a luncheon in the Student Center from noon to 1:30pm.

Karen MingstDr. Karen Mingst, Lockwood Chair Professor in the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky

Department of Political Science “Outstanding Students” (2014-2015)

The UCA Department of Political Science announced its “Outstanding Students” for 2014-2015:  Bryan Altman (Political Science program), Matthew Goss (Public Administration program), and Autumn Reddell & Brianne Smith (International Studies program).

Dr. Clay Arnold, Chairperson of the UCA Department of Political Science, presented the awards to the students during the UCA College of Liberal Arts’ Academic Honors Convocation held in Doyne Health Science Center held on Sunday, April 26, 2015.  Dr. Steven Runge, UCA Provost, and Dr. Maurice Lee, Dean of the UCA College of Liberal Arts, spoke at the honors convocation, which included undergraduate and graduate student recipients of outstanding student awards and scholarships from the Departments of English, History, Philosophy & Religion, Political Science, Sociology, and World Languages, Literatures & Cultures.

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Pi Sigma Alpha Induction Ceremony – April 15, 2015

The 2015 Induction Ceremony for the UCA Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science Honors Society,  was held in the Mirror Room in McAlister Hall on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.  Dr. Joseph Howard, Associate Professor in the UCA Department of Political Science, served as Faculty Adviser for the UCA Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, and Melissa Cornwell served as President of the UCA Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha in 2014-2015.

Twelve UCA students were formally inducted during the ceremony, including Austin Ardwin, Kayla Close, Stephanie Daigle, Richard Frizzel, Matthew Goss, Laura Holzhauer, Hayden Knox, Brady Shiers, Kenneth Stice, Jesus Torres, Mallory Walker, and Katelyn Wilkins.  The Chairman of the UCA Department of Political Science, Dr. Clay Arnold, also presented Preston Scroggin with the UCA Department of Political Science’s 2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award.  Preston Scroggin, who graduated with a bachelors degree in political science from UCA in 1989, served as Director of the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission (2013-2015) and Faulkner County Judge (2007-2013).

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Arkansas Political Science Association (ArkPSA) annual meeting, February 27-28, 2015

The 42nd Annual Meeting of the Arkansas Political Science Association (ArkPSA) was held on the campus of Hendrix College in Conway on February 27-28, 2015.  Dr. Kevin Brennan of Ouachita Baptist University served as President (2014-2015).  Dr. Steven Breezeel of Harding University served as Vice-President (2014-2015).  Dr. Mark Mullenbach of the UCA Department of Political Science served as Secretary-Treasurer (2014-2015).  Dr. Kim Maslin of Hendrix College served as Program Chair for the 2015 annual meeting.  Dr. Randy LeBlanc of the University of Texas at Tyler gave the keynote address, “Speaking Peace to Enmity: Edward Said, Judith Butler, and the End of Criticism in the Discourse on Palestine/Israel,” during the Friday evening dinner, and Dr. Jay Barth of Hendrix College addressed the conference participants on the topic, “The Challenges and Opportunities of an Academic in Public Life,” during the Saturday luncheon.

Several UCA Department of Political Science faculty members and students presented research or participated on panels during the annual meeting, including Autumn Reddell, “Education and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa”, Dr. Gizachew Tiruneh, moderator of panel on “NATO-Russian Relations”, Dr. Mark Mullenbach, “What Works in Africa? An Analysis of the Management of Intrastate Disputes, 1960-2012″, Dr. Mark Mullenbach, Willis Arnold, and Kayla Close, “Ballots and Observers: Elections, Election Monitoring, and Political Stability in Post-Colonial Africa, 1961-2010″, Dr. John Passe-Smith and Mary Sue Passe-Smith, “American Attitudes Toward Immigrants: The Dangers and Possibilities of Analyzing Social Media”, Dr. Clay Arnold, moderator of panel on “Erica Benner’s Machiavelli’s Prince”, and Dr. Mary Beth Sullivan, member of panel on “Erica Benner’s Machiavelli’s Prince”.

Midwest Model United Nations (MMUN) conference – February 18-21, 2015

Sixteen members of the UCA Model UN student organization, representing the countries of Afghanistan, Japan, and El Savador, participated in the 55th Annual Midwest Model United Nations (MMUN) Conference in St. Louis, Missouri on February 18-21, 2015.  Dr. Mark Elrod , Visiting Assistant Professor, and Dr. Mark Mullenbach, Associate Professor of Political Science, served as co-faculty advisers for the UCA delegations to the conference.  The UCA delegates included Kayla Close & Katelyn Wilkins (Afghanistan, 1st Committee), Danielle Casey (Afghanistan, 2nd Committee), Ashley Park (Afghanistan, 3rd Committee), Ellen McKinnie (Afghanistan, 6th Committee), Jordan Kemp & Jesus Torres (Japan, 1st Committee), Helena Burrow (Japan, 3rd Committee), Dustin Ervin (Japan, 6th Committee), Breanna Wilbanks (Japan, Economic & Social Council), Nick Cartwright (Japan, International Fund for Agricultural Development), Mallory Walker (Japan, Peacebuilding Commission), Juan Mayen & Gyuhwan Park (El Salvador, 1st Committee), Alex Battaglia (El Salvador, 2nd Committee), and Leila Julian (El Salvador, 6th Committee).  UCA’s head delegates were Kayla Close (Afghanistan), Breanna Wilbanks (Japan), and Juan Mayen (El Salvador).

MMUN 2015 (1)Members of the UCA delegations to the 2015 MMUN Conference

Back Row (left to right):  Breanna Wilbanks, Nick Cartwright, and Dustin Ervin.

Third Row (left to right):  Juan Mayen, Jordan Kemp, and Ellen McKinnie.

Second Row (left to right):  Dr. Mark Elrod (faculty adviser, Gyuhwan Park, Alex Battaglia, Jesus Torres, and Mallory Walker.

Front Row (left to right):  Helena Burrow, Leila Julian, Kayla Close, and Katelyn Wilkins.

Not Pictured:  Danielle Casey.

Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN) conference – November 21-22, 2014

The 49th Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN) Conference was held at UCA on November 21-22, 2014.  Some 425 delegates representing 90 countries from 24 high schools in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Oklahoma participated in the conference.  Stephanie Gray (pictured below on the left), International Studies major in the UCA Department of Political Science, served as AMUN Secretary-General and Dr. Mark Mullenbach (pictured below on the right),  Associate Professor in the UCA Department of Political Science, served as Coordinator of the AMUN Conference.  UCA President Tom Courtway gave the welcoming address to the delegates during the Opening Session in Ida Waldran Auditorium on Friday, November 21st.

Jose Guzzardi (pictured below in the middle) gave the keynote address during the Opening Session.  Jose Guzzardi, who served as AMUN Secretary-General for the 41st AMUN conference held in 2006, graduated with a B.A. degree in International Studies from UCA in 2007.  He is currently employed as a Sourcing Manager for Wal-Mart (E-Commerce) in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Jose Guzzardi earned a Master’s degree from the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock in 2009, and he was previously employed as the Manager of Institutional Relations for Wal-Mart in Brazil from January 2011 to August 2014.

Committee chairs included Juan Mayen (Special Political Committee), Kayla Close (Social & Humanitarian Committee), Jordan Kemp (Economic & Finance Committee), Kate Loyd (Security Council), Breanna Wilbanks (Economic & Social Council), Nora Bouzihay (Model Arab League), and Helena Burrow (Human Rights Council).  Dr. Mark Elrod, Visiting Assistant Professor in the UCA Department of Political Science, served as Coordinator of the Model International Court of Justice (MICJ).  During the Closing Session on November 22nd, the “Outstanding Delegation” award was presented to the German delegation (Pope John Paul II High School, Hendersonville, TN), and the “Outstanding Delegation Runner-Up” award was presented to the Syrian delegation (Conway High School).

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International Studies Club “Fall Scholarly Series” – September 9, 2014

As a part of the “2014 Fall Scholarly Series” sponsored by the International Studies Club at UCA, Dr. Dorian Jano, Visiting Scholar at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, spoke on the topic, “European Union Enlargement and Europeanization of the Western Balkans,” on September 9, 2014.  The club’s officers in 2014-2015 were Kayla Close (President), Ina Tregubova (Vice President), Ashley Park (Secretary), Autumn Redell (Treasurer), and Stevie Massey (Membership Chairperson).  Dr. Gizachew Tiruneh, Associate Professor in the UCA Department of Political Science, served as Faculty Adviser for the International Studies Club.

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Pi Sigma Alpha Induction Ceremony – April 17, 2014

The 2014 induction ceremony for the UCA Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science Honors Society,  was held in the Mirror Room in McAlister Hall on April 17, 2014.  Dr. Joseph Howard, Associate Professor of Political Science, served as Faculty Adviser for the UCA Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha.  Eleven UCA students were formally inducted during the ceremony, including Bryan Altman, Bethany Bell, Tess Bradford, Seth Bradley, Jill Carlson, Melissa Cornwell, Katie Farely, Felipe Fernandez, Julius Gerard, Stephanie Gray, and Juan Mayen.  During the ceremony, Tab Townsell, Mayor of the City of Conway, was presented the UCA Department of Political Science’s Distinguished Alumnus award.  Tab Townsell graduated with a bachelors degree in political science from UCA in 1983.  Blake Brizzolara (Political Science) and Bethany Bell (International Studies) were honored as the Department of Political Science “Outstanding Student” award winners for 2013-2014.

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