Last updateFri, 08 May 2020 6pm


New Classes and Concentration Headline Changes in Political Science Department

The University’s Department of Political Science and Sociology has shone some light on this upcoming semester with new changes for students and faculty alike.

Through offering a variety of courses and programs, the department has recognized the need for keeping students interested and engaged at the start of each semester.

Starting this month, former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman will be the University’s 2013-2014 Public Servant in Residence, the department recently announced in a newsletter.

Now students will be able to attend campus events with the former governor and can receive mentoring in their classes during fall and spring semesters by an established leader in our state’s history.

According to the University’s website, Gov. Whitman served as the state’s Governor from 1994 to 2001. She was New Jersey’s first female governor, the second female Republican chief executive in any state and the thirteenth female governor in American history.

Dr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Political Science and Sociology Department said, “This will be a great opportunity for students within all departments of the University to be mentored by someone with so much prestige and experience in our state.”

The Public Servant-in-Residence program, coordinated by the Office of Global Initiatives and the Department of Political Science and Sociology, was created in 2000 to provide a venue for public officials who wish to share their expertise with students and the campus community, explains the University’s website.

“Governor Whitman’s deep knowledge of the issues and her extensive experience are invaluable,” President Paul R. Brown stated in a press release. “She will bring a ‘real world’ perspective to our students in particular and the Monmouth community in general.”

Along with the new addition to the department, students can also expect to see new class listings in the Political Science course list.

PS-225-50, a special topics class entitled Supreme Court Decisions in American History has become available for the first time since the class was created in 2007.

Taught and created by Professor Noah Lipman of the History Department, the class examines American history through U.S. Supreme Court Decisions by analyzing how the court developed, grew in strength, and the effect it has had on our country’s culture and politics.

In addition to PS 225-50, there is PS 398: Politics in India being taught this fall by Dr. Rekha Datta. This course will involve a two-week service-learning trip to Calcutta, India over the upcoming winter break.

Patten explained how the department is excited for this international seminar class because of how successful it has been in years past in giving students a valuable educational experience.

Last year, several students from Dr. Kenneth Mitchell’s Argentine Politics class gained hands on experience in the nation’s capital through their winter break trip.

As new classes continue to be added to the department, starting in fall 2014, there will be a new Legal Studies concentration in the Department of Political Science.

Lipman, who graduated from  Pace Law School, said of the new concentration, “It is an excellent idea and not just for students seeking to attend law school. It will be very helpful in attracting students to the University who seek to enter many other fields such as law enforcement, business/arbitration/mediation or paralegal studies and criminal justice.”

He continued, “The knowledge learned in such a major will aid those students with their problem solving and analytical skills.”

Anthony Giannopoulos, a senior political science major explained how the creation of the new legal studies concentration is a “step in the right direction” for the Political Science Department.

He said, “By having a legal studies major along with the new pre-law club, the Political Science Department has successfully created a new field of study here at Monmouth; one that was not as predominant when I first started at this University four years ago.”

Professor Gregory Bordelon of the Political Science and Sociology Department and advisor to the Pre-Law Club explained, “Building on the analytical building-block nature of the existing political science curriculum, the legal studies concentration will sharpen students critical thinking skills by focusing on higher-order levels of reasoning (deductive and inductive).”

He explained that although the American Bar Association does not require any one major for law school, the largest numbers of students applying every year are political science majors.

Therefore, Bordelon described, the advanced political science-legal classes will get University students ,“ready for the amount of detail incumbent in law school level reading and writing.”

While the department gears up to have the new major available for student registration next fall, Bordelon explained how interest in extracurricular activities on campus such as Debate Team, Mock Trial, and Model UN has also increased.

During the 2013-14 school year, Bordelon described, the University will field both collegiate intermural mock trial and moot court teams.

Despite the spotlight being on the department’s new and upcoming changes, the department still continues to recognize the University’s recent graduates and their accomplishments since graduation.

While many students constantly worry about finding a job once they graduate, several May 2013 graduates from the department found and began their careers immediately following graduation.

Patten described that through the Department’s partnership with the Washington Semester in Washington, D.C., a total of fourteen University students interned at our nation’s capital during the 2012-13 semester; more students than any other University in the state.

Since their experience, many interns were hired as full-time employees at many of our nation’s prestigious establishments.

Among many others, Miriam Peguero’13 was hired as an analyst with the World Bank in Washington D.C. Also Katelyn Nawoyski ’13 started her position as a video producer with the U.S. Department of State this past summer.

Similarly, Alexandria Matz ’12, a student who took Dr. Datta’s Politics in India class, is currently working as an analyst in the India Bureau of the U.S. Department of State.

Patten is proud of the different institutions that University students have been placed in following graduation.

“I am incredibly proud of our students. We send about 13 students a year to the Washington Semester and many of our recent graduates have started careers in prestigious positions in our nation’s capital.”

Patten continued, “In the last year we’ve placed students in the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, the World Bank, the FBI and the Council on Foreign Relations to name a few. These students serve as a reminder that anything is possible if you are determined to succeed and willing to work hard to make it happen.”

PHOTO TAKEN by Christopher Orlando

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