News & Events

AY 2017-2018

 

2018 Legislative Internship Program

Nine Western students are participating in the 2018 Legislative Internship Program in Olympia. This annual program provides the opportunity for students to spend the Winter quarter working at the Capitol with members of the State Legislature. In addition to gaining great hands on experience in state government and legislation, participants receive academic credit and a stipend to cover their expenses.

Congratulations to Haylee Anderson, Andrew Edwards, Colton Gully, Maggie Hawk, Karlie Lodjic, William Martin, Eston McKeague, Leanna Sauerlender and Joshua Shimkus. We send our very best wishes for a successful experience in Olympia and look forward to seeing you back on campus for Spring quarter!

 

Visiting EU Fellow Joins Professor Abedi's European Union Seminar

On Thursday, November 30th, Dr. Jurgen Salay joined Professor Abedi's PLSC 403 seminar on the European Union. Dr. Salay is the 2017-2018 EU Fellow at the University of Washington and a Policy Officer in the European Commission.  He has spent two decades working in the area of energy and climate cooperation as well as climate mitigation efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and came to WWU to talk with students about Climate Policy in the European Union.

Dr. Salay, who was a participant in the Kyoto Protocol negotiations, currently leads the Commission’s Climate Action team which is responsible for implementation of the Effort Sharing Decision (ESD). The ESD sets greenhouse gas emission limits for the 28 member states of the European Union. In his talk, Dr. Salay provided a background on the history of EU climate policy, explained the main objectives and targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions and examined the importance of monitoring and reporting for effective climate mitigation. He also related EU climate policy to international climate negotiations and discussed challenges for the future.  For more details on the visit, check out the UW "Follow Our Fellow" blog post.

You can listen to a podcast of the talk here.

 

Jesse Moore, Western Young Alum of the Year, Visits WWU Campus

Jesse Moore, Western Young Alumnus of the year for 2017, and Political Science graduate in 2005, visited campus November 7-8. He did several events including a talk at the Underground Café and an appearance at Professor Sarah Singleton’s seminar on community organizing. It was great to welcome this accomplished PLSC alum back to campus and inspiring for current PLSC students to hear about his career trajectory since leaving Western!

 

AY 2016-2017

PLSC Graduate Jesse Moore (2005) named WWU Young Alumnus of the Year

Western Washington University will honor Jesse Moore in an Award Ceremony on May 18, 2017. At Western, Jesse was active in the campus community with the Black Student Union and as AS Vice President for Diversity.  He served on the Multicultural Advisory Board, helped to develop a class on Civil Controversy and Dialogue, and received several awards including the Bellingham Herald Diversity Award (2003), the AS Student Leader of the Year (2004), the AS Diversity Award (2004).  In 2005, he was the first student to receive the Diversity Achievement Award. 

Since graduating from Western Washington University Jesse Moore has worked with the Department of Health and Human Services, on the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of Barack Obama, as Associate Director of Public Engagement in the Obama White House, and most recently as Vice President for Civic Engagement with Rock the Vote.  He is also a commentator for MSNBC and the Huffington Post.  Today Jesse is working on a new initiative, Pop Culture Collaborative, an organization that leverages pop culture, social media, and advertising to elevate the narratives of people of color, Muslims, and refugees in popular media.

To learn more about Jesse and see his alumni profile go to:  https://chss.wwu.edu/political-science/alumni-profile-jesse-moore.

Congratulations, Jesse!

 

2017 Outstanding Graduating Student

The department is pleased to announce that Ben Larson has been named the 2017 Outstanding Graduating Student.  Ben is completing a major in Political Science with a minor in Economics and in Geographic Information Systems.  He is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science Honors Society.

Ben’s interest in Political Science extends well beyond an academic exercise.  He is actively engaged in community service, as a co-founder of the Bellingham Tenant’s Union, a Board Member of the York Neighborhood, and a campaign volunteer for Carbon Washington on Initiative 732.  His passion for the environment and working to effect positive change are also evident in his work on water rights here in Whatcom County and water access issues in Ladakh, India.

Most recently he participated in a Resistance GIS mini-conference in Portland which focused on the ways in which geospatial technologies can be used to empower communities and “shape, maintain, and dismantle the institutions we seek to understand.”

Ben has a quiet passion to be a force for good in this world.  We are excited to see where his path takes him next!

 

Attorney General Bob Ferguson visits WWU

On Tuesday, May 2 the Political Science department was honored to welcome Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson to campus.  He gave an enlightening talk about the work of the AG's office and the court challenge of President Trumps' travel ban.  If you missed the talk, you can read about it here or view it here.

 

International Affairs Association Participates in Model UN in New York and Los Angeles

During the week of March 18-25, the WWU International Affairs Association sent 16 delegates to represent the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia at the National Model United Nations conference held in New York City.  With 5,000+ students in attendance (over half from outside of the US) and 21 simulated committees, this conference stands as the Olympics of Model UN.  

Working in pairs in 8 different committees, our WWU IAA delegates addressed an array of challenges facing the world while collaborating with other delegations to develop new and innovative solutions to these issues.  The WWU IAA delegation finished in the top 10 percent of delegations, receiving the Distinguished Delegation award.  IAA also received an Outstanding Position Paper award for its delegates to the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Refugees committee.  

WWU IAA delegates met people from across the world, addressed some of the most pressing issues of our time, explored New York, and developed skills to aid in their future work. 

A second trip took the IAA delegation to the Model United Nations in Los Angeles from April 20-23.  Four delegates represented Bangladesh, Laos and Burundi in SOCHUM, 1 delegate represented Haiti in UNCSW, and 2 delegates represented members of Parliament in the UK House of Commons.

Next up?  VIKMUN!  On May 13, IAA and Western Washington University’s Model United Nations program hosts their annual high school conference, VIKMUN, on the Western campus, bringing high school students from the region together for a Model UN event.  For more information about IAA and the Model United Nations program at Western Washington University, please contact the IAA President at President@wwuiaa.com.

 

Faculty-Led Study Abroad to China

Professor Kristen Parris from Political Science and Professor Baozhen Luo of Sociology are leading a study abroad program "Changing China:  Culture, Community, Citizenship' with several WWU students.  Latest reports from the field indicate they are having a fantastic experience; two of the participating WWU students are even doing a short internship with the NGO Chinese American People to People Friendship Center.  The group's travels are also being chronicled by the local media.

 

 

2017 Legislative Internship Program

Three students have been selected to participate in the 2017 Legislative Internship Program in Olympia.  Congratulations to Emmett Mills, Joshua Peck, and Caitlin Upshall!  Emmett, Joshua, and Caitlin will spend the Winter quarter in Olympia where they will be assigned to work with a member of the Legislature during the upcoming session. They will gain hands on experience in state government and legislation, earn credit towards their WWU degree, and receive a stipend to cover their expenses.  We send our very best wishes to them for a successful experience in Olympia!

 

Dean's Lecture Series

On November 16, Professor Todd Donovan was the featured speaker at the CHSS Dean's Lecture Series.  His talk, "The 2016 Presidential Election and Donald Trump's Effect on American Politics" focused on how Trump's campaign and the 2016 elections represent a fundamental change in the Republican Party, the American electorate, and American politics.  To watch a recording of his presentation, please click here.

 

Munro Seminar for Civic Education

The Ralph Munro Institute will host the 2016 Seminar for Civic Education from October 14-16.  George Washington University Professor Danny Hayes will give the keynote address, "The Role of the Media in The Presidential Campaign".  For details, click here.

 

Ambassador Koenig Speaks to Western Washington University Students and Faculty

John Koenig’s experience in the U.S. Foreign Service spans three decades.  He has served as Political Advisor to the NATO Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy; as Deputy Chief of Mission in Berlin, Germany; and as Deputy Permanent Representative to the U.S. Mission at NATO.  Most recently Koenig served as U.S. Ambassador in Nicosia, Cyprus.  In 2011, he received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award in recognition of the policy and leadership roles he has played in Berlin and at US NATO.

On October 27, Ambassador John M. Koenig visited the Western campus and gave a talk on "The New Cold War – NATO, Russia, and the Re-division of Europe".  Koenig describes a new Cold War that is underway between Russia, on the one hand, and the U.S. and EU on the other.  While it lacks the concentration of military forces and clear territorial division that characterized the period before 1989, the New Cold War increasingly bears markers of the earlier conflict between the Soviet Union and the West.  How did we get to this point, what started the deterioration of relations between Moscow and Western capitals, and who has driven the process forward?  How dangerous is the present situation and will the New Cold War have the global reach of the last one?  These are among the important questions he raises in his presentation to Western students and faculty.

To listen to the talk, please click here.

 

AY 2015-2016

 

2016 Outstanding Graduating Student

The department is pleased to announce that Heather Heffelmire has been named the 2016 Outstanding Graduating Student.  Heather is completing a major in Political Science with a minor in Economics and has been active in diversity and community service throughout her time at Western Washington University.  She adds this award to an already impressive list of accomplishments including serving as the WWU Vice-Chair of the Associated Students Legislative Affairs Council from 2013-2016, participating in the prestigious AFSCME Union Scholars Program in Summer 2015, and serving as a board member with the United States Student Association.  We are excited to see where Heather’s path takes her next!

 

2016 Hoover Prize Awarded

Congratulations to Alex Hastings, recipient of the Hoover Prize for her excellent paper "Mujeres Libres: Lessons on Anarchism and Feminism from Spain's Free Women ," presented at the 2016 PSA Conference. Alex was part of a student panel on "Comparative Politics" moderated by Professor Kristin Parris.

 

2016 Legislative Internship Awards

Congratulations to students selected for the Winter 2016 Legislative Internship program in Olympia! Eight talented Western students—John Boone, Katrina Brzozowski, Katherine Galambos, Bobby Hall, Renee Kester, Peter Lindgren, Joseph Pejovic, and Jaleesa Smiley—will spend the Winter quarter working at the State Legislature and gaining firsthand experience of the political process.  Our best wishes go with them for an engaging and informative quarter.

 

Departmental Statement Regarding November 24th Suspension of Classes

To Our Students:

As faculty in the Department of Political Science, we feel compelled to communicate with you about our thoughts in the aftermath of the suspension of classes last Tuesday.

Of most importance, we stand with the students who have been threatened. We urge the University to put all possible effort and resources into protecting and supporting students, faculty and staff who face harassment and threats of violence.

Universities should be places of inquiry and civil communication. Our work is to explore ideas and examine the world. It is not to demean or diminish. We will of course differ as we engage in intellectual work. But we must find ways to express our disagreement respectfully. Epithets and threats (whether explicit or implicit) have no place in a university community. Moreover, it is up to all of us to demonstrate our respect for others by educating ourselves about the historical legacies of oppression and violence that have lead to the recent threats. For example, references to “lynching” should not be taken lightly. Lynching involved the public celebration of hanging, burning alive, and dismembering of black and brown people. We take any suggestion that anyone should be “lynched” as an act of violence, a violation of our humanity.

Questions remain about the nature of the University’s response to the threats of the last week. We hope that the university community will engage in honest and sustained discussion about what occurred, how the University responded, and how we move forward.

We ask that you join us in recommitting ourselves to creating classes that are as safe and open as they are academically challenging and intellectually engaging. While we understand that no place is fully safe, we must make every effort to ensure that, as AS President Seare has argued, none of us is forced to sacrifice our education to protect ourselves from violence.  

Sincerely,

The Members of the Department of Political Science

Amir Abedi

Bidisha Biswas

Joan Blackwell

Paul Chen

Shirin Deylami

Todd Donovan

Charles Hoffman

Cynthia Horne

Vicki Hsueh

Vernon (Damani) Johnson

Kristen Parris

Rachel Paul

Debra Salazar

Sara Singleton

Erica Steele

Chris Towler

Sara Weir

 

Political Science Faculty Honored at WWU Convocation

Two members of the Political Science Department received awards at Western’s Opening Convocation on September 17. Professor Emeritus Donald K. Alper, who has retired after 43 years at Western, received the Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award, for his service as director of the Center for Canadian-American Studies and founder and director of the Border Policy Research Institute. Professor Vernon D. Johnson received the Philip E. Sharpe Community Engagement Award for his outstanding community service and, most recently, his numerous public presentations on race and law enforcement in the Post-Ferguson era. Congratulations to both!

 

 

Towler Cited in Recent Study on Patriotism Across the States

Professor Chris Towler was among several experts cited in a recent WalletHub study on the "2015 Most and Least Patriotic States".  In his remarks, Towler distinguishes between two forms of patriotism.  “To me, the characteristics of a good patriot reach far beyond a person’s loyal devotion to their country. Over the course of time, patriotism has split into two distinct and separate forms: blind and constructive patriotism. Blind patriotism is associated with an unquestioning positive assessment of the nation, or unwavering allegiance. While, on the other hand, constructive patriotism is an attachment to America that relies upon criticism intended to better the country… patriotism can (also) involve love for the core values associated with America, liberty and equality, rather than simply being about a positive or negative evaluation of the country.”

 

Outstanding Graduating Student

The department is pleased to announce that Mia Nafziger has been named the 2015 Outstanding Graduating Student.  Mia is completing the combined major in Economics and Political Science with a minor in French.  She adds this award to an already impressive list of accomplishments including serving with the Peace Corps in Senegal, serving as a research aide for both the Washington State Institute of Public Policy in Olympia and Congressman Denny Heck in DC, and volunteering with the Slum Doctor Program on microfinance projects in Uganada and Kenya.  We are excited to see where Mia's path takes her next!

 

2015 Hoover Prize Awarded

Congratulations to Asher Wycoff, recipient of the Hoover Prize for his excellent paper on "Affect and Horizontality in Locke and Nietzche" presented at the 2015 PSA Conference. Asher was part of a student panel on "Warriors and Victims: The Politics of Behavior, Affect, and Inequality" moderated by Professor Kristin Parris.

 

Legislative Internship Applications Now Open

Applications for the 2016 Legislative Internship Program are now open on the State Legislature website! Applications will be accepted between now and October 16th; the priority deadline is October 6. Interviews will be scheduled between October 26-November 13 and final selection of candidates is expected by December 1.  The internship is expected to run from January 6 through March 10, 2016.  For more information go to:  http://leg.wa.gov/Internships/Pages/InternshipApplication.aspx.

 

Your Future With Political Science-A Talk with Alumnus Tim Allen

May 28, 3:30-4:30 pm in Miller Hall 105

Tim Allen earned both his BA and MA in Political Science at Western Washington University and, for a time, taught political philosophy and served as director of the university’s debate team.  After completing his JD with honors at the University of Washington School of Law in 2004, Tim joined the firm of Bennett, Bigelow & Leedom in Seattle where his areas of practice include medical malpractice and insurance coverage.  He is a member of the Washington State Society of Healthcare Attorneys, the Washington State Bar Association Health Law Section, and the Washington Health Care Risk Management Society.

Tim has extensive courtroom experience and received the Washington Defense Lawyers Outstanding Litigation Associate Award in 2006.  He has been recognized as a Washington Rising Star attorney in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.  We are honored to have him back on campus to speak to current WWU students.  Sponsored by the Political Science Association.

 

Earth Day Event

On April 22, 2015 Kathryn Harrison, Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia, was on campus to participate in the World Issues Forum and to give a talk on International Carbon Trade and Domestic Climate Politics.  Click here to access her presentation.

 

Professor Abedi Receives Award from the German Federal Foreign Office

Julia Reinhardt, Consul for Cultural and Press Affairs at the German Consulate General in San Francisco, recently visited Western to present an award from Deutschland Magazine to Political Science Department Chair Amir Abedi. The magazine is published by the German Federal Foreign Office and Dr. Abedi is an avid reader.

Consul Reinhardt is responsible for fostering cultural ties between Germany and the Pacific Northwest and her visit to campus was an opportunity for WWU faculty and staff to learn more about opportunities for academic cooperation and exchange with Germany.

Currently the department has an active student exchange program with the University of Duisburg-Essen; UDE student Ole Ostendorp just completed two quarters at Western and is on his way home to Germany after a very rewarding experience.  Western students interested in the program are invited to contact Dr. Abedi at amir.abedi@wwu.edu.

 

Lecture:  “Mid-Century Dream to Today's Reality: All the Ways that Race Still Matters

When: Wednesday, April 15 at 7:00 pm

Where: Central Library Lecture Room, Bellingham Public Library

Professor Vernon Damani Johnson will explore the ideas and expectations set forth at mid-century, when the Voting Rights Act, Affirmative Action and other initiatives were initially conceived, contrasted with recent events and challenges to equal opportunity and justice for all.  The talk is part of a lecture series "Intolerance & Injustice: Where We've Been, What We've Learned," sponsored by the Bellingham Public Library.

 

Political Science Students Headed to National Model UN Conference

 
From March 22-26, a team of WWU students in the International Affairs Association, will be headed to the National Model United Nations (MUN) Conference in New York.  Coming on the heels of the February Northwest Model UN Conference held in Portland, the New York event is the veritable "Superbowl" for MUN bringing together approximately 2000 delegates from across the country and partially held in the United Nations headquarters.  In 2014 the WWU IAA team received the Distinguished Delegation Award and hopes are high for the upcoming 2015 conference.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Western Students Participate in Model EU

Students Renee Kester and Cody Brower participated in the recent Model EU representing the nation of Ireland.  Hosted at the UW Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, the event brought together more than 60 students from 14 different universities throughout the Western United States and British Columbia.

Our students did a great job representing Western and the Political Science department in the roles of Ireland’s Head of Government and Foreign Minister respectively.  Cody won an “Honorable Mention” award as Foreign Minister for Ireland!  For more information about the meeting and the Model EU go to: https://jsis.washington.edu/euc/meu/.

 

Your Future with Political Science-A Talk with Alumnus Keith Boyd

In a talk sponsored by the Political Science Association, alumnus Keith Boyd '95 returned to campus on January 26, 2015 to meet with students and discuss how the field of political science is relevant in today's job market.  Mr. Boyd is currently Director of the Cloud and Enterprise Division at Microsoft and serves on the WWU Alumni Association Board of Directors.  A recording of the presentation, Your Future with Political Science, is available for viewing through the Political Science Department.

 

8 Students selected for Winter Quarter 2015 Legislative Internships

Interns will work with legislators and staff in either the House or Senate in Olympia. They will conduct research, bill tracking, constituent correspondence and agency casework. Also, they will participate in weekly seminars and workshops, be given opportunities to attend committee hearings and interact with staff and legislators.

Students awarded the Legislative Internship include: Anthony Ellis (Bothell), Seth Esmeson (Bellingham), Hannah Hendrickson (Bellingham), Kathryn Payne (Tumwater), Elizabeth Pebley (Tacoma), Benjamin Reh (Sammamish), Bradley Sharp (Edmonds) and Sarah Vatne (Pacific).

 

Major Declaration Changes!

Only 2 core classes required to declare! Come to AH 415! (more about declaring the major)

 

STUDY ABROAD THIS SUMMER - 2015
South African NGO's in Development

PLSC 437G/HSP 437G5 (12 credits)

Travel/international location dates : July 5-August 20, 2015
Return session dates : September 30, 2015

INFORMATION SESSIONFebruary 10 at 3:00 pm (CH 137)

Explore the growing role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in bringing social development to South Africa. Engage in a rich experiential learning opportunity highlighting the history, culture, and politics of the region, while exploring the challenges that South Africans face and their many assets that contribute to community development. Examine grassroots and (NGO)-initiated approaches to community development and apply these perspectives to your own academic area of interest. Contribute to the well-being of our host community, Kurland Village, in the Crags region of South Africa.  For more information, contact: Vernon.Johnson@wwu.edu, (360) 650-4874, AH 438.

BORDER POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE  
2014 FALL QUARTER COLLOQUIUM SERIES

Friday, November 7, 12:00 - 1:00 Canada House

 

“Future Bilateral Trade Scenarios and Their Implications For Border Infrastructure”

Dr. Steven Globerman, Kaiser Professor of International Business & Director of the Center for International Business, WWU Friday, November 7th, 12:00-1:00 Canada house

 

Professors Steve Globerman and Paul Storer will present preliminary findings from a BPRI funded research project that explores how recent and prospective changes in North American trade patterns are influencing the volume and composition of commodities crossing land ports at the Canada-U.S. border. This research also projects future changes in the volume and mix of bilateral trade flows at major U.S. landports, providing insight into transportation infrastructure needs along bilateral transportation corridors.

Monday, November 17th, 10:00-11:00 --  SMATE 150
**New time and location**

“Resilient Economy, Resilient Communities”
WA State Representative Gael Tarleton
Gael Tarleton represents Washington’s 36th legislative district (Seattle).

Gael is a member of the House Higher Education Committee and co-chairs the Economic and Community Resilience legislative caucus, which she founded. In her first term she was appointed to represent the legislature on the Pacific NW Economic Region’s executive committee due to her considerable experience with ports, border security, and international trade policies. Gael has worked at the Pentagon as a senior research analyst and led U.S.-sponsored programs with Russia. Her talk will explore how we sustain open borders and expand trade with Canada while protecting the security of our people and our communities.

 

 

 

 

October 7, 8, 9, 2014
Munro Institute for Civic Education

The Munro Institute brings leaders from the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches along with local government, community and political leaders to campus for lively and spirited discussion and debate.  This year we have scheduled three panels, one on each day, October 7, 8 and 9 from 10 – 11:30 am, followed by a short reception, in the Reading Room of the Wilson Library on Western’s campus.

 

Here is a listing of the panels and dates:

October 7th  -  How To Break Away From Legislative Polarization 
October 8th  -  The Future of Washington, The Future of Higher Education
October 9th  -  Nurturing Talent and Innovation:  What Should Washington Look Like in 2025?
2014MunroSeminarFlyer.pdf

Professor Todd Donovan in Scotland for Referendum

Western Washington University Political Science Professor Todd Donovan was in Scotland observing the country’s political process during the run-up to the Sept. 18 referendum on Scottish Independence.

Donovan arrived in Scotland on Sept. 10. He has researched initiatives and referenda extensively and incorporated his findings into numerous publications and course materials for classes taught at Western. “This is a one-of a kind opportunity to observe an independence referendum of historic proportions,” Donovan said Sept. 15 from Edinburgh.