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Nathan Price Video Transcript

[Interviewer] Welcome to the University of North Georgia Political Science & International Affairs department's YouTube channel where we present interviews of our students and our faculty members to highlight their accomplishments and insights. In this segment of our "Meet Our Faculty" series, you'll have the opportunity to meet Dr. Nathan Price, Coordinator of our Blue Ridge Scholars Program.

Good Morning Dr. Price.

[Dr. Price] Good Morning Larry.

[Interviewer] To get us started Dr. Price, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

[Dr. Price] Yeah. I'm Nathan Price, from Genoa, Ohio. I did my undergrad at Miami University in Ohio, and my grad education at LSU. My main field of study is comparative politics which is the study of domestic politics in other countries.

I got inspired to study comparative politics when I was an undergrad at Miami. I had an opportunity to study in Luxembourg, that really sort of drove my appreciation for European politics and European culture and sort of motivated me to pursue a career in this. I pri, I also teach on the Blue Ridge campus. The Introduction to American Politics class which is always a lot of fun. And our intro class in international affairs.

Personally, I enjoy traveling especially to Western Europe when I can get there. I am a huge Ohio State football fan which is always really popular with my students in Georgia. And I'm a member of our department’s trivia team.

[Interviewer] You came out of Louisiana State University. What got you into teaching?

[Dr. Price] I was lucky. I had the opportunity to have really good social studies teachers in both high school and college. And I was really sort of inspired by them to pursue a career in this, particularly being in college when 9-11 happens. I was actually in my Intro to Comparative and Intro to IR course that semester and really sort of understood that there was sort of power in understanding these events and understanding the motivations behind this. And so the way that my instructors were able to help me make sense of that really drove me to want to do this for other generations.

[Interviewer] Okay, so that got you into the teaching profession. Why or how did you end up here at the University of North Georgia?

[Dr. Price] Yes. Well I was lucky. I had a friend from grad school, Dr. Sam Rohrer, who’s on our faculty, who when the job listing was posted, called me up and encouraged me to apply, thinking it would be a good fit for me. And so I came down and I interviewed, and at the same time, we were opening up a campus on the Blu Ri.. a new campus in Blue Ridge. And the Administration met me and talked about my background. And they started thinking that I might be a better fit on the Blue Ridge campus given my background in high school teaching. And so they asked me if I'd consider going up there and helping us build a program up there and the rest is history. I ended up loving the job description and was the first political science instructor to teach a class on Blue Ridge campus.

[Interviewer] Can you tell us a little bit more about the Blue Ridge campus? It's probably not well known to many of our viewers.

[Dr. Price] Yeah. So the Blue Ridge campus started in 2015, with the giant number of 18 dual-enrolled students. We've seen often, growth rates that are in the triple digits in some of the years I've been here. Currently, for the Fall of 2019 we are expecting north of 175 students. A tremendous growth from where we started just a few years ago.

One of the great things about this growth is the Administration has decided that we need a building, a bigger building to accommodate our needs up in that region. And so I'm really happy that next year we'll be opening our, our grand opening of our stand-alone campus up in Blue Ridge, which is something the entire community and region is really excited about, to have, you know, more access up in that region that has traditionally been under-served by our higher-ed infrastructure.

[Interviewer] I'm going to make the presumption that you, or we as PSIA Department are not the only tenants of this new building. Can you just give a rough number or aspect of who else, or what other departments are up at the Blue Ridge campus for students?

[Dr. Price] Yes. Right now we have instructors who teach English, Psychology, Philosophy, Mathematics, Spanish, Geology, Geography, and History. And we're looking to add more, perhaps Biology or something in the Natural Sciences in this next couple years.

On the Blue Ridge campus we have a unique program called the Blue Ridge Scholars Program, in which we work very closely, and me as the political science instructor, with my colleagues from the other disciplines. And we've created what is essentially a first-year learning community where the students take courses from five of those disciplines and they take all those courses together and those courses are tied around a common theme. Usually something that's a problem or challenge for our region. And then, as we explore that theme in each of those core courses, we do service learning projects out in the community to deepen our understanding and make sure that we're giving back to the community that has been so good to us up there.

[Interviewer] Taking a little bit different track here now, what keeps you coming back every semester? What, in other words, what motivates Dr. Price to help students learn?

[Dr. Price] I really enjoy working with young people. I think that's my favorite aspect of the job. We have students up there who a lot of times are not quite sure what to expect when they walk in on Day One. And they're very intelligent but they have a lot to learn about managing time and study skills and sort of taking their academics to this next level. And when I work with students and have this opportunity to see them exhibit tremendous growth over the course of that first year in school, which is primarily when I work with them, that is highly rewarding for me to sort of help students sort of challenge themselves to really pursue goals that maybe some of them think are unattainable. That's really what drives me.

 [Interviewer] Although you are in some ways a relative newcomer to the teaching profession, what part of your profession would you change...if you could?

[Dr. Price] One of the things that's always bothered me about international relations scholarship, political science scholarship...As we've gotten somewhat overly concerned with methodology in the last couple decades, and what I mean by that is we've started to pursue research interests that are conducive to these highly-sophisticated models and, you know, very formal logic-type thinking. Back in the Cold War, scholars of international relations were regularly sought out by the intelligence community and the two sort of, intelligence and academia sort of worked hand-in-hand with ideas being exchanged between the two. I'm sad to say over the course of the last 20 years we've started to see this disconnect, of political science from real-world politics. And I think that that has deleterious consequences for both. I'd like to see us, I'd like to see policy more driven by academic research, and then academic resea, research that's more conducive to, and more relevant to policymakers.

[Interviewer] In closing Dr. Price, what do you have to say to our viewers, either prospective students or former students, whether undergraduate or graduate students?

[Dr. Price] This is an exciting time at the University of North Georgia. We are growing, we're set to hit over 20 thousand students over, across five campuses, which means we're making a tremendous impact in our region. For our department in particular I've had the opportunity to see us grow in my five years here. We are now offering five different degrees in our program which is truly phenomenal. We're going to have a broad, there's so many different jobs and careers that a bachelor's degree in our department could really prepare a student for. One thing that I think UNG is really good at is delivering a lot of bang for our buck. Making sure that students are going to have access to a wonderful education, that they won't spend the rest of their life paying off.

[Interviewer] Well thank you for your time Nathan, and continued success helping students in northwest Georgia experience more.

[Dr. Price] Thank you Larry.

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