Political Science alumni newsletter: Janus Forum
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Welcome from the Chair
Patrick J. Haney
When you work on a college campus, you are not only used to transitions but they are some of the fun of the job! Seasons change, there’s a flow to events through the year that is exciting, starting with Convocation and ending with Spring Commencement. Students graduate, new students move in.
The Department of Political Science has experienced an unusual number of transitions in the last year—some exciting, some tragic. We have a new President, Gregory Crawford. And of course now we have a new U.S. President—and that election and new administration have helped keep things exciting around here!
  • Several of our colleagues retired in May 2016, and we thank them all for their years of service and their friendship and partnership: Clyde Brown, Mel Cohen, Adeed Dawisha, and Karen Dawisha.
  • Our colleague Cyril Daddieh suffered a terrible stroke toward the end of the 2015-2016 school year and has not been able to return.
  • One of our majors, Erin Rodriguez, passed away suddenly at her home in Florida in January. Erin was interested in law school, was co-captain of the Women’s Tennis Team, a Dean’s List student, and a College Ambassador, and we are saddened by this terrible loss.
We have exciting new additions too, though:
  • Dr. Rachel Blum joined the faculty this fall on a tenure track, joining Dr. Amanda Gillespie, Dr. Youn Ki (both in their second year with us), and Dr. Erica Edwards (in her third year) in our contingent of assistant professors. Next year more colleagues will join us, and hopefully more after that.
  • We brought a very large class of Political Science, Public Administration, and Diplomacy & Global Politics majors to campus this past fall, and right now we have over 750 majors and more than 110 minors in the department.
  • We brought a group of 21 very high ability students to campus as Law & Public Policy Scholars, with majors mostly in the department and shared interests in law, government, and public affairs.
  • We recognized our first designee of the Gus Jones Scholarship, honoring our colleague Gus Jones, who passed away last school year.
  • And next year we will have our first Dan Jacobs Scholarship recipient, honoring our colleague Dan Jacobs and awarded to a new Law & Public Policy Scholar interested in a career in law. One of Dan’s former students, Hank Hockeimer, a lawyer in Philadelphia, endowed this scholarship in Dan’s honor, and we are very grateful.
In January 2017 we kicked off a new Winter Term program that takes students to Washington, DC, and embeds them in the Miami community in DC—including a day of shadowing with alums. Professors Chris Kelley and Cheryl Gibbs (from Media, Journalism, and Film) helped execute this experience, which included being present for the inauguration. None of it could have happened without our great students, talented faculty, and dedicated alums in Washington, DC, including the Alumni Board we have there, chaired by Steve Pinkos. The Janus Forum programs were crowded houses on super topics with great guests—all run by our wonderful students.
I cannot thank all of you enough for all your continuing help and support. The way you support our students and faculty helps make Miami great. I hope you will all continue to be engaged, keep in touch, and take a Miami intern! Thanks again for all your support.
Patrick J. Haney
Professor and Chair
Constitution Day Conference
Miami's Constitution Day Conference brings in nationally recognized scholars to provide modern context to the U.S. Constitution
On September 22, the Miami University Janus Forum, in partnership with the Jack Miller Center, presented its first Constitution Day Conference in Armstrong Student Center.
Focusing on both historical and modern interpretations of the U.S. Constitution, the day-long event consisted of two moderated roundtable conversations followed by a final presentation from two constitutional experts: Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar and Director of the National Constitution Center Jeffrey Rosen.
Fall 2016 Janus Forum with Ambassador Wendy Sherman and Admiral James Stavridis (with student moderator Kristen Fowler)
What Are the Foreign Policy Issues that Face the Next U.S. President?
Last October, with the presidential election less than two weeks away, it was only fitting that Miami University’s Fall 2016 Janus Forum centered around the foreign policy challenges that would face the next U.S. president.
Ambassador Wendy Sherman and Admiral James Stavridis were joined by Miami students, faculty and community members in the Armstrong Student Center Wilks Theater on Tuesday night to discuss these future challenges.
Hannah Shepherd with Speaker of the House and Miami alum Paul Ryan
Student Spotlights
Hannah Shepherd
  • Junior, Political Science Major (BA/MA Program)
  • From Elm Grove, Wisconsin
As a prospective student, Hannah was drawn to the “close connection between teachers and students” and appreciated that Miami’s faculty were approachable and eager to mentor students. Being accepted to the academic scholars program in Pre-Law and Public Policy gave her the opportunity to meet with Dr. Patrick Haney, Department Chair for the Political Science Department, who outlined that many opportunities that Miami’s program could offer her. After visiting Oxford and meeting with faculty, she chose Miami. Read more about Hannah.
Kirby Chandler with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Kirby Chandler
  • Senior, Political Science & Economics Double Major
  • From Houston, Texas
Coming out of high school in Texas, Kirby had the choice of Miami and the University of Texas in Austin; she chose Miami because she got to see the “classes where professors engaged with their students and formed connections.” She believes that professors “help a person grow and establishing lifelong bonds with a professor shows a student’s dedication to their work inside and outside the classroom.” Her interest in political discourse, policy, and economics led her to pursue a double major in political science and economics. Read more about Kirby.
Congresswoman Susan Brooks
Alumni Spotlight: Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN) "Being an Advocate for People"
Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (Miami ’82) majored in Political Science and Sociology. She has been the U.S. representative for Indiana’s 5th Congressional district and recently secured her nomination for a third term. A Republican, she serves on the Energy and Commerce and Ethics Committees as well as on the select Committee that investigated the terrorist incident in Benghazi. Watch her video interview or read the transcript.
Spring 2016 student award winners
Spring 2016 Awards
On April 26, 2016, the Department of Political Science celebrated its students by awarding them for a variety of accomplishments divided into several categories organized by “prizes,” “scholarships,” and “recognitions.” These students had a distinguished level of past work. Each year in the spring semester, the Department hosts a ceremony to honor the many accomplishments of majors. In addition to awarding these prizes, scholarships, and recognitions, the Department also honors students for their activities at a University level.
Arthur Brooks
Arthur C. Brooks gives lecture on "The Conservative Heart"
For last spring's Veritas Lecture, the Miami University Political Science Department welcomed renowned conservative writer Arthur C. Brooks for his lecture “The Conservative Heart” on April 6, 2016. A packed Taylor Auditorium tuned in to hear Brooks speak on the importance of kindness and integrity in a hostile political climate.
Brooks is the president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), which is a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C. He regularly contributes columns for The New York Times and was a business and government professor at Syracuse University. He is most notably the author of several bestsellers, including The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Happier, Fairer, and More Prosperous America that was published in 2015.
Brooks began his lecture by discussing his political background – or lack thereof. 
Lynn Vavreck
West Lecture offers scientific reasoning for behavior of 2016 presidential candidates
Last spring, guest speaker Lynn Vavreck made sense of the lively rhetoric of the 2016 presidential campaign in her talk, "Who's Ahead and Who's Behind in the Race for the White House."
An audience of Miami students and faculty gathered in the Armstrong Student Center on March 31, 2016 for the annual Darrell West Lecture in American Politics, sponsored by the Department of Political Science.
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