E-Newsletter

Alumni News: Bethany Anne Bell

Bethany Anne Bell, who graduated from UCA with a B.A. degree in International Studies in August 2014, recently completed her first year as a Peace Corps Volunteer (English teacher) in Rwanda.  Bethany earned a M.A. in Global Development Policy at Boston University in January 2016.  Bethany worked as a Curriculum Writing Fellow and Global English Team Lead Fellow at Bridge International Academies in Cambridge, Massachusetts beginning in January 2016.  She also worked as an Associate Research Analyst for Calvin Edwards & Company and Temporary Project Manager for The New Teacher Program (TNTP) in Atlanta, Georgia from December 2016 to September 2018.  While a student at UCA, Bethany studied the French language and participated in a study abroad program in Rwanda in 2013.

54th Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN) Conference at UCA

The UCA Department of Political Science hosted the 54th Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN) conference at the University of Central Arkansas on November 22-23, 2019.  Some 515 delegates from 30 high schools in Arkansas participated in the conference.  Abby Mattingly served as Secretary-General, and Willis Arnold served as Deputy Secretary-General of the conference.  Dr. Mark Elrod, Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, served as AMUN Conference Coordinator.  Dr. Mark Mullenbach, Associate Professor of Political Science, served as AMUN Faculty Advisor Liaison.

During the opening session held in Ida Waldran Auditorium in Main Hall on Friday, November 22nd, Dr. Houston Davis, UCA President, gave the welcoming address to the participating delegates.  In addition, seven students students gave delegate speeches during the opening session, including Kriti Edala (Kuwait) of Pulaski Academy, Olivia Farris (Egypt) of Jonesboro High School, Aniya James (Pakistan) of Pulaski Academy, Donavon Millington (Ireland) of Bentonville West High School, Anshuman Nandy (France) of Haas Hall Academy-Fayetteville, DJ Quezada (People’s Republic of China) of Haas Hall Academy-Bentonville, and Lia Wilson (Germany) of Conway High School.  The delegation representing Pakistan (Pulaski Academy) was presented the Outstanding Delegation award during the closing session on Saturday, November 23rd.  The delegations representing the France (Haas Hall Academy) and Kuwait (Pulaski Academy) were presented the Outstanding Delegation Runner-Up awards during the closing session.  Eight additional delegations were presented the Outstanding Delegation-Honorable Mention awards, including Benin (Haas Hall Academy-Bentonville), Egypt (Jonesboro High School), Germany (Conway High School), Mexico (Central Junior High School-Springdale), People’s Republic of China (Haas Hall Academy-Bentonville), Philippines (Pulaski Academy), Sri Lanka (Pulaski Academy), and Turkey (Bryant High School).

Department of Political Science Hosts the 9th ACMUN conference

The Department of Political Science and the UCA Model United Nations (MUN) student organization hosted the 9th annual Arkansas Collegiate Model United Nations (ACMUN) conference at UCA on Friday, November 1, 2019.  More than 100 college and university students from Arkansas State University-Beebe, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro, Hendrix College, Harding University, Lyon College, Northeastern State University (Tahlequah, Oklahoma), Northwest Arkansas Community College-Bentonville, University of Arkansas-Little Rock, University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton, and UCA participated in the conference, including simulations of the Security Council, Human Rights Council (HRC), Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC), and the Council of the Arab League.  Members of the UCA Model United Nations (MUN) student organization represented the countries of Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, France, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Poland, and Venezuela.  Dr. Mark Elrod and Dr. Mark Mullenbach served as faculty advisors for the UCA MUN delegations participating in the conference.

Outstanding Delegations:
Security Council – United Kingdom (Hendrix College)
Economic & Social Council – Philippines (Hendrix College)
Human Rights Council – United Kingdom (Hendrix College)
Council of the Arab League – Morocco (University of Arkansas-Little Rock)

Outstanding Delegation-Honorable Mentions:
Security Council – Equatorial Guinea (Northwest Arkansas Community College), Indonesia (Lyon College), Poland (University of Central Arkansas), Russian Federation (Northeastern State University), South Africa (Harding University), and United States of America (Lyon College).

Economic & Social Council – Canada (University of Central Arkansas), Denmark (Hendrix College), Ethiopia (Northwest Arkansas Community College), Ireland (University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton), Japan (University of Central Arkansas), Mexico (Northwestern Arkansas Community College), Morocco (University of Arkansas-Little Rock), People’s Republic of China (Harding University), Russian Federation (Northeastern State University), Sudan (University of Arkansas-Little Rock), and United Kingdom (Hendrix College).

Human Rights Council – Argentina (Harding University), Brazil (University of Central Arkansas), Denmark (Hendrix College), Italy (Hendrix College), People’s Republic of China (Harding University), Philippines (Hendrix College), Qatar (University of Arkansas-Little Rock), and Saudi Arabia (University of Arkansas-Little Rock).

Council of the Arab League – Algeria (University of Central Arkansas), Israel (Arkansas State University-Jonesboro), Kuwait (University of Arkansas-Little Rock), Lebanon (University of Central Arkansas), Saudi Arabia (University of Arkansas-Little Rock), and Sudan (University of Arkansas-Little Rock).

Best Delegation/Plenary Session:
Ireland – University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton

Best Delegation/Plenary Session – Honorable Mentions:
Denmark – Hendrix College
Italy – Hendrix College
Morocco – University of Arkansas-Little Rock
People’s Republic of China – Harding University
Philippines – Hendrix College
United Kingdom – Hendrix College

UCA Political Science Club Hosts Distinguished Panel on Civil Rights

The Political Science Club hosted an open discussion with a distinguished panel of civil liberties attorneys and social scientists in UCA’s Doyne Auditorium at 6:00pm to 8:00pm on Thursday, September 19, 2019.  The panelists – which included Bettina Brownstein, civil liberties attorney; Dr. Whit Barringer, a faculty member in UCA’s Schedler Honors College; and Cindy Lea, a faculty member in UCA’s Schedler Honors College – discussed the struggles of marginalized people for civil rights in the U.S.  The event was co-sponsored by the UCA Office of Institution Diversity and Inclusion; Vote Everywhere; the UCA Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honors Society; the UCA College of Liberal Arts; and the UCA Schedler Honors College.  Dr. Heather Yates, Assistant Professor in the UCA Department of Political Science, serves as Faculty Adviser for the Political Science Cub.

Department of Political Science Hosted 3rd Model UN Summer Camp at UCA

The Department of Political Science hosted the 3rd Annual “Arkansas and the World: Model United Nations Summer Camp” at the University of Central Arkansas on July 14-19, 2019.  Forty-four Arkansas high school students participated in a unique, interactive learning experience designed to enhance their understanding of international relations, diplomacy, and international organizations in the 21st century.  The students participated in workshops on international relations, the fundamentals of Model United Nations, the historical roots of the United Nations, and the UN’s role in international affairs.  The students also represented assigned countries in a simulation of the UN General Assembly, including several committee and plenary sessions held throughout the week.  The students also competed in a Global Trivia Competition held each night of the summer camp.

The summer camp was funded by a grant awarded to Dr. Mark Mullenbach, Associate Professor of Political Science, by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE).  Ten individuals, mostly current or former UCA students,  served on the summer camp staff as resident assistants and mentors.  Guest speakers during the week-long summer camp included Dr. Tom Williams, Dean of the UCA College of Liberal Arts; Ms. DeAnn McGrew, Director of Agriculture & Volunteer Programs, Winrock International; Mr. Willis Arnold, Clinton Foundation; Mr. Josué Villa, Consular Officer, Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock; Dr. Houston Davis, UCA President; and Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Department of Political Science “Outstanding Students” (2018-2019)

The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Academic Honors Convocation was held in McCastlain Hall on Sunday, April 28, 2019. Dr. Tom Williams, Dean of the CLA, welcomed faculty, students, and family members attending the convocation.  During the convocation, Dr. Williams congratulated all of the students chosen for the awards presented by the departments of English; History; Languages, Linguistics, Literatures, & Cultures; Philosophy & Religion; Political Science; and Sociology, Criminology, & Anthropology.  He also announced that Carolyn Casey, a senior majoring in International Studies, was named the CLA Student-of-the-Year for 2018-2019.

Dr. Clay Arnold, Chair of the Department of Political Science, announced the winners of the department’s annual awards:

Outstanding Student in Political Science:  Cagney Kilgroe

Outstanding Student in Public Administration:  Matilda Benson

Outstanding Students in International Studies:  Carolyn Casey and Itzel Velazquez

International Studies and Political Science Student Named Newman Fellow

Itzel Velazquez, a senior double-majoring in International Studies and Political Science and minoring in Latin American and Latino studies, was named a recipient of the Newman Civic Fellowship.  Itzel was one of 262 students across the United States who were named as the 2019-2020 Newman Civic Fellows by Campus Compact, a Boston-based nonprofit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education.  Velazquez is a UCA Ambassador, President’s Leadership Fellow, secretary for the Association of Future Alumni and president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honors society. She is also an ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Vote Everywhere campaign, through which she was involved in civic engagement on campus and helped with voter registration drives.  She has also served as vice president of the Latino Student Association and on the Student Government Association Diversity Committee.


Itzel Velazquez

2019 Pi Sigma Alpha Induction Ceremony

The 2019 Induction Ceremony for the UCA Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science Honors Society,  was held in the Fireplace Room in McCastlain Hall on Monday, April 15, 2019.  Dr. Heather Yates, Assistant Professor in the UCA Department of Political Science, served as Faculty Adviser for the UCA Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, and Itzel Velazquez served as President of the UCA Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha in 2018-2019.  Dr. Peter Mehl, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at UCA, welcomed the students and guests to the induction ceremony.  Dr. Clay Arnold, Chairperson of the UCA Department of Political Science, presided over the induction ceremony.

Five political science students were formally inducted during the ceremony, including Jamie Matilda-Ann Benson, Jacob N. Holland, Logan C. Koprovic, Lauren C. McCauley, and Keely Rose Spugnardi.  The Chairman of the UCA Department of Political Science, Dr. Clay Arnold, also presented the James D. Gingrich with the UCA Department of Political Science’s 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award.  Mr. Gingrich, class of 1977, is the Founder and Director of the State Courts Partnership at the Bowen School of Law in Little Rock.

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson visits UCA

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, a best-selling author and sociology professor at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., visited UCA on Monday, April 15, 2019.  Dr. Tyson is the author of 19 books, including his most recent book What Truth Sounds Like.  Dr. Heather Yates, Assistant Professor of Political Science, held a “conversation” with Dr. Tyson on Monday afternoon (2:15pm-4:00pm).  Later that evening (7:00pm-9:00pm), Dr. Tyson gave a keynote address titled, “Fake News, Public Discourse, and Seeking Truth in America.”  UCA faculty, students, and the public were invited to attend both events held in McCastlain Hall Ballroom.  Dr. Tyson’s visit was sponsored by the UCA Alpha Kappa Delta Sociology Honor Society and the UCA Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Anthropology, as well as the UCA NAACP, UCA Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, UCA College of Liberal Arts, Office of the UCA Provost, and the UCA Foundation.

Department of Political Science sponsors “International Studies Day” and “Spring Cultural Event”

The UCA Department of Political Science sponsored “International Studies Day” on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.  UCA students and faculty were invited to participate in the day’s events, which included two morning sessions, a luncheon session, and the International Studies Club’s Spring Cultural Event.  All of the events were held in the Student Center Ballroom.

Morning Session I (9:25am-10:40am):
Dr. Mark Mullenbach, Director of the International Studies Program, UCA Department of Political Science, Presentation on “Professional Opportunities & Careers in International Affairs.”

Morning Session II (10:50am-12:05pm):
International Studies Program Alumni Panel – Jose Guzzardi (’07), Multinational Account Manager, B Lab, New York City, NY; Chase Mangiapane (’07), Attorney, The Law Offices of Peter Miller, Little Rock, AR; and Abayi Ibro Ayouba (’15), Administrative Specialist, Office of the Dean of the UCA College of Liberal Arts.

Luncheon Session (12:15pm-1:30pm):
Keynote Speaker – Jose Guzzardi, Multinational Account Manager, B Lab, New York City, NY.  Luncheon Session sponsored by the UCA Model United Nations (MUN) student organization and the Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN) program.

Spring Cultural Event (4:00pm-5:30pm):
The International Studies Club at UCA hosted the 8th annual Spring Cultural Event, including a celebration of the culture, music, and food of Brazil.  Dr. Gizachew Tiruneh, Associate Professor in the UCA Department of Political Science, served as the faculty advisor for the International Studies Club.  Ramatou Souley Boubacar, UCA senior majoring in International Studies, served as president of the International Studies Club in 2018-2019.  Jose Guzzardi, who graduated from UCA with a B.A. degree in International Studies in 2007, talked about the political history of Brazil.