1890 and 2023 shots of Harrison Hall
LEFT: Miami bicycle club students with their velocipedes outside of Old Main—1890. 
RIGHT: Delivery robots outside of Harrison Hall—2023.
Greetings from the Chair
Bryan Marshall
Dear Alumni and Friends:
The fall season reminds us to prepare for change. And we’ve seen quite a bit around this majestic campus from 19th Century bicycles of Old Main to the 21st century delivery robots of Harrison Hall. But one enduring feature is our mission serving extraordinary students.   
This has been an incredibly exciting semester with our students. I have some good news to share and then I’ll move on to wonderful things our students have been doing this fall semester.
First, let’s get to news. We have rolled out the Political Science Centennial website, which includes some interesting Miami POL history and a schedule of upcoming webinars we’ll have around the 2024 Presidential Election. You can watch the 2024 election webinars live or view them online at your convenience. Most importantly, the POL Centennial website has some amazing stories of how alumni support impacts the lives of our students. And for the Miami history buffs, the Centennial website includes photos of Old Main which was originally built in 1818 and renamed to Harrison Hall in 1931—taking the moniker from Miami University alumnus and 23rd President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison. I hope you visit the POL Centennial website, and let me know what you think!
100th Anniversary badge
It seems like we’ve had construction around our slice of campus forever, but I am happy to report that most of the projects around Harrison Hall are nearly finished. The geothermal infrastructure construction is complete on our side of campus; construction sheds and orange fencing are gone; and the two acre-plus landscape looking out from Harrison Hall is once again lush green space (or soon to be snow-covered) dotted with beautiful trees. The exterior work on Ogden Hall (just in front of Harrison) is now finished and interior renovations there are nearing completion. Bell Tower dining is back on-line and bustling with hungry students. Between Bell Tower and Harrison Hall, there is a flow of six-wheeled robots coming and going to deliver student meals (be sure to have your Grubhub app handy!)—it is a sight to see.

More good news, we are very fortunate to have Sarah Larson (Ph.D. Indiana University) and Anne Williamson (Ph.D. University of Georgia) join the Department (pictured below, left). Sarah and Anne’s research and teaching are in public policy and administration. Their expertise significantly adds to our core public administration courses and their work strengthens the footprint of the Center for Public Management & Regional Affairs. We’re all very excited to welcome them as colleagues.
Anne Williamson and Sarah Larson
Anne Williamson (left) and Sarah Larson (right)
Mollie Duffy
Mollie Duffy and the Democracy Bus
Now, onto some of the exciting things our students have been doing. Mollie Duffy (Public Administration major, above right) has been working to promote student civic engagement. Mollie led the “Democracy Bus” project this fall semester to strengthen democracy by helping to inform students about politics and voting.
Over summer, we had about twenty students participate in the Inside Washington program—all of the students had incredible internship experiences. We’re hoping to be back in D.C. next summer with another outstanding group of our students. Here they are below with senior White House adviser, Steve Ricchetti.   
Miami students w/Steve Ricchetti—center and faculty member Annie-Laurie Blair and Miami alumnus Jim Vinch are upper right.
Miami students with Steve Ricchetti (center), with faculty member Annie-Laurie Blair and Miami alumnus Jim Vinch in upper right.
We had students participate in highly selective professional conferences this fall. For example, Connor Pessler and Ava Kalina attended the 74th Student Conference on US Affairs (SCUSA) at the US Military Academy at West Point. Connor and Ava represented Miami University as student delegates along with military cadets, commanders, and renown foreign policy experts gathered over two days to discuss the conference theme, Innovation and the Future of American Foreign Policy.  You can watch their video to learn more about their SCUSA experience on the Political Science Centennial website.
Jack Bernacki at the US Air Force Academy Conference—Colorado
Jack Bernacki, a senior majoring in Political Science and Data Analytics, attended the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) Conference in Colorado Springs. This year’s conference theme was The Dragon Roars Back: China’s Return to the World Stage.
The conference featured panels and workshops with top experts on Chinese history, culture, and the emerging competition between the United States and China. Here is Jack, and you can hear from him about the impact Political Science alumni support had in making this kind of opportunity possible.
“The experience allowed me to learn from field matter experts, expand my networks to students and professionals from around the world, and enhance subject matter knowledge through innovative methods," said Jack. "I am grateful for being given the opportunity to participate in this event and honored to have represented Miami University at the US Air Force Academy."
We do several events with Miami alumni each semester designed to help prepare our students for careers.  For example, we had a number of very interesting career roundtables that showcased our Miami alumni including Chief John Jones '99 and Lieutenant Lara Fening '93. “Starting a Career in Law Enforcement” as well as with Springfield Township Administrator Christopher Gilbert '00.
Career Roundtable
Career Roundtable featuring Christopher Gilbert '00
Please consider joining us for a career roundtable—we’d love to get you back to Oxford with our students!
The fall JANUS lecture was also a big hit! On Nov. 13 we had former Purdue President and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former The Ohio State University President and SUNY Chancellor Dr. Kristina Johnson debate “Is Higher Ed Woke And Broke? The Politics and Economics of College Today.” (See the image below.)
Making us proud was our very own Minnie Warfield (a junior majoring in Political Science) who ran the show as moderator and pressed the speakers on the tough issues. This was an incredibly insightful and engaging back-and-forth with the speakers over some of the thorniest terrain in higher education facing us today. You can watch a video of the debate here.
Janus Forum Fall 2023
Fall 2023's Janus Forum event on Nov. 13
I started our newsletter with the thought that fall is a stark reminder to prepare for change.
Preparing Miami students for change is essential to their success and your role helping us is critical to that mission.  I think the newsletter gives just a peek into our extraordinary students. But so much of what we do with students depends on your generosity to “pay it forward”. Alumni can help by contributing to the Political Science Centennial Scholarship Fund.
Give to the POL Centennial Fund
The POL Centennial Fund will foster student recruitment through scholarships and make experiential learning experiences possible like internships and study away/abroad programs. These kinds of opportunities are life-changing to our students—and I can’t emphasize enough to all of you just how important alumni efforts are in shaping their future. Whether it’s scholarship support or giving time and talent as mentors, placing internships, or careers and networking, your help makes a world of difference in the lives of our students.
I hope you visit the Political Science Centennial website and sign up for the 2024 presidential election webinars. Celebrate the 100-year life of the Department of Political Science by giving to the POL Centennial Fund. And I hope you can join us this summer back at Harrison Hall during Alumni Weekend.
Stay tuned —there’s more to come. Thank you for all you do.
Love and Honor,
Bryan Marshall
Professor and Chair
Support POL
The generous support of our donors provides our students and faculty with the resources to take part in a variety of activities that would otherwise be impossible.
Scholarships, special lectures, and support for student and faculty research projects enhance the academic mission of the Department of Political Science and the student experience. 
This support is a vital component in our mission. Please take a few minutes and consider making an investment in the Department of Political Science.
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