Senior US District Judge Patricia Seitz, BA 1968, was honored as a University Alumni SeitzFellow in April. Judge Seitz spent two days on campus, and shared her knowledge and experiences with students in John Fliter’s Constitutional Law course and with pre-law students on campus. She also met with two Seitz scholarship recipients on campus, and with student veterans.
The Earhart Foundation, a charitable foundation established in 1929 by Harry Boyd Earhart, has provided a $7,500 grant to Dr. Laurie Johnson for a Mini-Conference featuring the authors contributing to Perspectives on Modern Honor, an edited volume that will be published by Lexington Press. The Mini-Conference will be held Friday, March 27, 2015 in KSU’s Hale Library (Hemisphere Room, 5th Floor). It is open to the public, and interested individuals are encouraged to attend.
Three additional KSU alumni recently returned to Manhattan and spoke to KSU Political Science classes.
John Hofmeister, BA 1971 and MA 1973 in Political Science, former President of Shell Oil (2005-2008) and founder of Citizens for Affordable Energy, spoke to students in POLSC 611 Legislative Processes on February 11, 2014. Just two weeks before the class, John had been featured in a segment on CNN’s Anderson Cooper news program on the influence that money has on Congressional politics. Students watched the CNN clip before John’s talk and then asked a range of questions. Talk about learning from a respected and knowledgeable source! John was also gracious enough to speak at a number of other venues on campus, including giving the Lou Douglas Lecture that evening.
Four internationally celebrated scholars visited the department this past year. Such visits not only provide exciting learning opportunities for our students, they underscore our department’s growing national reputation.
Brianne Heidbreder was promoted to associate professor with tenure in August 2014. Brianne joined the department as a faculty member in August 2008 and quickly developed a reputation as an outstanding teacher and scholar. She has already won the William L. Stamey Award for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence at KSU, and has published in outlets such as Legislative Studies Quarterly and State Politics and Policy Quarterly. We are thrilled she will be a Wildcat for some time to come.
The department held its annual scholarship reception on Thursday, April 17th, at the Bluemont Room in the K-State Student Union. Family, guests, donors, and faculty members joined our scholarship winners and majors for an enjoyable afternoon. Please consider joining the fun at this years’s reception, which will be held at the Manhattan Country Club on Friday, April 10, 2015.
Generous gifts by alumni and friends are crucial to the success of our students and faculty. Such donations have helped us to support talented undergraduate students, attract quality graduate students, and enhance our instructional and research equipment, and send students and faculty to conferences to present their research findings and to stay on the cutting edge of knowledge. We are extremely thankful to those who have contributed to the department, and are pleased to recognize those giving more than $100 in our Honor Roll of Giving.
Our faculty continues to be extremely active in the profession, as the highlights below illustrate. As many readers can surely testify, our outstanding professors are dedicated to excellence both as teachers and as scholars. They work hard to ensure that the best new knowledge is brought into the classroom for K-State students, so that generation after generation of K-Staters receive a first class education. Below you will find a few highlights from what has been yet another strong year for faculty in the KSU Department of Political Science.
K-State has set a lofty goal of becoming a top 50 public research university by 2025. This goal has multiple components, but two are perhaps central. The first is a positive, student-centered atmosphere with a concentration on excellent teaching. The second is outstanding scholarship and research, which informs and improves instruction while it simultaneously benefits society as a whole. As you know, K-State Political Science has been successful in both of these key endeavors for some time, and we continue to move from strength to strength.
As promised last month, this is the second installment of KSU Political Science’s fall newsletter. This installment focuses on some of the research accomplishments of our faculty. As this brief glimpse should indicate, we are increasingly becoming an energetic hub of research activity in the profession. Major scholars visit our campus, our faculty are invited to give talks around the world, and we continue to publish in the most visible and elite outlets in the discipline. Such research activity not only helps our faculty members bring relevant, cutting edge knowledge into the classroom, it bolsters the reputation of our professors and helps to open doors for our students.
In fact, it would probably be hard to enumerate the many tangible and intangible benefits that our sustained research productivity has for both students and the department. Such benefits are definitely “felt” in the energy of an active department nonetheless, as are various positive outcomes for students, alumni and faculty.
As always, we welcome your feedback on this newsletter or on any other matter.