E-Newsletter

Department of Political Science “Outstanding Students” (2015-2016)

The UCA Department of Political Science announced its “Outstanding Students” for 2015-2016:  Kenneth Stice & Meredith Herring (Political Science program), Clara Plum & Katelyn Wilkins (Public Administration program), and Kayla Close & Stephanie Daigle (International Studies program).  Kayla Close, Meredith Herring, and Katelyn Wilkins were also honored as finalists for the College of Liberal Arts “Outstanding Student” award for 2015-2016.

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 24, 2016.  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 Languages, Linguistics, Literatures & Cultures.

Pi Sigma Alpha Induction Ceremony – April 13, 2016

The 2016 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 13, 2016.  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 Katelyn Wilkins served as President of the UCA Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha in 2015-2016.  Dr. Maurice A. Lee, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at UCA, welcomed the students and guests to the induction ceremony.

Nine UCA students were formally inducted during the ceremony, including Jean Francois Adoupo, Danielle Casey, Jillian Casper, Laura Craig, Eric Durham, Meredith Herring, Casey Jean-Elliott Johnson, Maleka Momand, and Bryce Moore.  The Chairman of the UCA Department of Political Science, Dr. Clay Arnold, also presented Janet Harris with the UCA Department of Political Science’s 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award.  Janet Harris, who graduated with a bachelors degree in public administration from UCA in 1995, served as Deputy Auditor of the State of Arkansas (2011-2015) and Deputy Secretary of State of the State of Arkansas (2003-2011).  She currently serves as Director of Programs at The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute (2016-present).

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International Studies Club’s Spring Cultural Event – Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The International Studies Club at UCA, advised by Dr. Gizachew Tiruneh in the Department of Political Science, held its fifth annual Spring Cultural Event on Tuesday, March 1st at 4:00pm in the Student Center.  Each year’s cultural event focuses on a particular country theme.  Previous cultural events sponsored by the International Studies Club have focused on Tanzania, Turkey, Honduras, and Russia.  The country theme of this year’s cultural event was South Korea.  Kayla Close, the club’s president, addressed the more than 50 UCA students and faculty who participated in the event.  The participants included members of the Korean Club at UCA.  The event include music videos by well-known South Korean singers and Korea food.

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Arkansas Political Science Association (ArkPSA) Annual Meeting – February 26-27, 2016

The 43rd Annual Meeting of the Arkansas Political Science Association (ArkPSA) was held on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) on February 26-27, 2016.  Dr. Steven Breezeel of Harding University served as President (2015-2016).  Dr. Kim Maslin of Hendrix College served as Vice-President (2015-2016).  Dr. Michael Rogers of Arkansas Tech University served as Secretary-Treasurer (2015-2016).  Dr. Carol Strong of UAM served as Program Chair for the 2016 annual meeting.  Mr. Christopher A. Masingill, Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority, gave the keynote speech during the Friday evening dinner on February 26th.  Dr. John Kyle Day, Associate Professor of History at UAM, talked about his book, The Southern Manifesto: Massive Resistance and the Fight to Preserve Segregation, during the Saturday noon luncheon on February 27th.

Several UCA Department of Political Science faculty members and students presented research or participated on panels during the annual meeting, including Dr. Mark Elrod who served as Chair of the International Relations/Comparative Politics section; Meredith Herring who presented the paper, “Understanding the Legal History Leading up to the Landmark Decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015); Dr. Gizachew Tiruneh who discussed his book The Rise and Fall of the Solomonic Dynasty of Ethiopia: Is the Kebra Nagast a Time-Bound Document?; Dr. Mark Elrod and Dr. Mark Mullenbach who co-presented the paper, “Hawks or Doves? A Preliminary Analysis of College Student Attitudes Regarding U.S. Foreign Policy”; Dr. Clay Arnold and Dr. Mary Beth Sullivan who participated in a Political Theory Roundtable Discussion; Dr. Heather Yates who presented the paper, “The Emotional Voter: The Role Emotions Have on Voting Behavior”; Dr. Gizachew Tiruneh and Dr. Joseph Howard who co-presented the paper, “What Determines the Political Orientations of College Students? A Comparative Study of Two Universities”; and Dr. Mark Elrod who participated in a Roundtable Discussion of the topic, “What to do about I.S.I.S.?”

Christopher A. Masingill, Federal
Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority

 

Midwest Model United Nations (MMUN) conference – February 10-13, 2016

Eighteen members of the UCA Model UN student organization, representing the countries of Argentina, Austria, Lithuania, and Uganda, participated in the 56th Annual Midwest Model United Nations (MMUN) Conference in St. Louis, Missouri on February 10-13, 2016.  Dr. Mark Elrod, Visiting Assistant Professor, Mr. Tyler Bittle, Admissions Counselor in the UCA Admissions Office, and Dr. Mark Mullenbach, Associate Professor, served as co-faculty advisers for the UCA delegations to the conference.

The UCA delegations included Jesus Torres & Austin Clagett (Argentina, 1st Committee), Miras Kudabay (Argentina, 2nd Committee), Mallory Walker (Argentina, 3rd Committee), and Breanna Wilbanks-Head Delegate (Argentina, Indigenous Forum), Hari Rolle (Austria, 1st Committee), Ashley Park (Austria, 2nd Committee), Erin Whitfield & Nick Cartwright (Austria, 3rd Committee), Kayla Close-Head Delegate (Austria, 4th Committee), Katelyn Wilkins (Austria, Economic & Social Council), Ellen McKinnie-Head Delegate (Uganda, 1st Committee), Sidney Freyaldenhoven & Michelle Moore (Uganda, 2nd Committee), Jordan Kemp (Uganda, 3rd Committee), Carolyn Casey (Uganda, 4th Committee), Gyuhwan Park (Uganda, Economic & Social Council), and Alex Battaglia (Lithuania, Security Council).

During the Closing Session on February 13th, Breanna Wilbanks and Kayla Close were presented with Outstanding Delegate awards for performance in their respective committees.  The delegation representing Argentina, headed by Breanna Wilbanks, was presented the Outstanding Delegation award for Economic & Social Council Plenary Session.

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Members of the UCA Delegations to the 2016 MMUN Conference – Front Row (l to r): Michelle Moore, Erin Whitfield, Katelyn Wilkins, and Kayla Close; Second Row (l to r): Sidney Freyaldenhoven, Ashley Park, Jordan Kemp, and Austin Clagett; Third Row (l to r): Gyuhwan Park, Mallory Walker, Carolyn Casey, Jesus Torres, and Alex Battaglia; Four Row (l to r): Ellen McKinnie, Hari Rolle, Nick Cartwright, and Breanna Wilbanks; Back Row (l to r): Dr. Mark Elrod and Mr. Tyler Bittle.  Not pictured: Miras Kudabay.

 

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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