Back to Top
Skip to Site Search Skip to Utility Nav Skip to Top Nav Skip to Left Nav Skip to Content
Close Main Menu

The PSIA Review

November 21, 2015  Vol. 2, No. 2


International-Affairs Program Celebrates 100th Graduate
International-Affairs Students Spend Summer Session II in Istanbul, Turkey
PSIA Faculty Members Honored at Awards Ceremonies
Dr. Trey Wilson Wins Award for Book
Dr. Kathleen Woodward Travels to Indonesia as Muhammadiyah Peace Fellow
Jeff Pomrenke, '14, Selected to be San Francisco City Hall Fellow
Archibald Kielly's "American Government" Course Enlivened with Prominent Speakers
Interview with Political-Science Grads Working in the Alumni Office
PSIA Alumni Reconnect with Dr. Jonathan Miner at D. C. Conference
Pi Sigma Alpha Hosts Panel Discussion About Social Justice
UNG Politically Incorrect Club Draws Attention with Gainesville Events
Travel the World While in College
Helpful Information About Courses and Curricula for Current Students
Faculty Members Present Papers at Conference


International Affairs Program Celebrates 100th Graduate

In honor of the 100th graduate from the undergraduate international-affairs program at the University of North Georgia, the Department of Political Science and International Affairs hosted an event highlighting the importance of a global education to prepare for the careers of the twenty-first century.

The panel, titled “International Affairs and Globalization: The Education that Opens Doors to the World,” was held on the evening of November 4, 2015, in the Dahlonega campus’s Library Technology Center, Rare Books Collection Room 382. Guest speakers included Darius Gazinschi, honorary consul of Romania for the State of Georgia, and Danielle Fernandes, director of emerging markets at Equifax, one of the three major consumer-credit-reporting agencies in the United States.

Both having years of professional experiences in this country and abroad, the speakers enlivened their speeches with keen observations and vivid examples that fascinated the students. Ms. Fernandes described how, with the home market increasingly tapped out, Equifax started to expand internationally. This was when she felt compelled to figure out what made people of different cultural backgrounds "tick" and how to customize their products accordingly. One of the few key new markets in which she was involved in developing was India, where--unlike in the United States--people do not have a Social Security number to use as life-long identification. Realizing that a cell-phone number is unique to one person, Ms. Fernandes and her team devised the idea of using mobile numbers for credit evaluation.

Born and raised in Romania, Mr. Gazinschi came to Atlanta after the fall of the Iron Curtain to pursue an M.B.A. degree at Emory University. Having limited resources and being a foreigner, he had a lot to get used to and experienced his share of cultural shock and embarrassment.  But he persevered and thrived by helping clients navigate cross-cultural differences. He described how he challenged American companies to hold on to their moral compass abroad, such as in Russia where Coca-Cola was asked for protection money. While sharing the good news that the economy was on the rebound, he also exhorted our students to analyze their strengths and weaknesses and train themselves through painstaking study and internships to prepare for a competitive job market.

The question-and-answer session illuminated more aspects of the international-business job market. Asked about the characteristics that prospective employers desire in an employee, Ms. Fernandes emphasized flexibility given that international clients do not live in the same time zone and celebrate U.S. holidays, while Mr. Gazinschi highlighted problem-solving skills and entrepreneurial spirit such as the ability to work without ongoing supervision. When asked about the desirability of a master's degree to enter this job market, Ms. Fernandes credited her academic training, including a graduate degree, for being able to translate across cultures.

Mr. Gazinschi holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cluj and an M.B.A. degree from Emory. He was appointed honorary consul for the State of Georgia in August 2008. As honorary consul, Mr. Gazinschi has conducted several cultural and academic programs at universities and other institutions in Georgia. Mr. Gazinschi is the CFO of Huvepharma, Inc., a private pharmaceutical company headquartered in Peachtree City, G.A.

Ms. Fernandes joined the Equifax Corporate Development group and Emerging Markets team in 2012. She is responsible for developing market-entry strategies for new geographies, currently focused in Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe. Prior to joining Equifax, she worked in economic development for the City of Atlanta and the Metro Atlanta Chamber. She held a number of roles within government to develop and lead foreign direct-investment strategies to recruit international investment to the Atlanta region. Ms. Fernandes holds a master of arts degree in international relations from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor of science degree in political science and a bachelor of arts degree in music from Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C.

The undergraduate international affairs program at UNG was established in 2007.


Darius Gazinschi, honorary consul of Romania for the State of Georgia, with Dr. Raluca Viman-Miller and Dr. Nathan Price

Pictured (L to R) are Darius Gazinschi, honorary consul of Romania for the State of Georgia, and Dr. Raluca Viman-Miller and Dr. Nathan Price, lecturers in political science.


-- Dr. Xianfeng Yang, assistant professor of political science, contributed to this article.

International Affairs Students Spend Summer Session II in Istanbul, Turkey


Dr. Jonathan Miner, associate professor of political science, and Dr. Hakki Gurkas of Kennesaw State University’s Department of History led 11 students to Istanbul, Turkey, this summer. Hosted by Istanbul’s Koç University, the group wandered the millennial city of 15 million and immersed themselves in Ottoman history and modern Turkish political culture. The month-long stay during the second summer academic session coincided with yearly Ramadan celebrations and constituted a unique opportunity to explore Turkey during this festive period. Chris Powell (pictured below) deemed the intersection of religious observance and daily life fascinating, as illustrated by an encounter at Burger King with observant Turks who, after having ordered their food, waited patiently for sundown and Ramadan to begin so that they could start eating.

Various UNG students and professors in Turkey

Pictured are PSIA students Clay Carlton, Dave Coviello, Cody Dewald, Shyla Giancola, Leland Hansen, Caleb Norris, Chris Powell, Cody Retherford, Rich Socia, and Rob Young; Kennesaw State University student Philly Huffman; Dr. Hakki Gurkas; and Dr. Jon Miner.

The group explored various regions of this beautiful country, with bus trips to the Gallipoli battlefields of western Turkey and the eastern Black Sea coast cities of Trabzon and Rize. The participants hiked, toured, sailed, and spent several nights in the 13,000-foot Kaçkar Mountains, including a snowball fight in high summer and a plunge into a breathtakingly cold waterfall.

Participants stand at foot of waterfall in Turkey.
Participants stand at foot of waterfall in Turkey.

Dr. Miner and Dr. Gurkas are in the planning stages for their next trip to Turkey during the summer of 2017, and will again offer classes in Ottoman history and modern Turkish politics. If you are interested in our next trip, please contact Dr. Miner at


PSIA Faculty Members Honored at Award Ceremonies

The Department of Political Science & International Affairs was well represented at the 2015 award ceremonies held at UNG campuses on October 28 and 30 and November 2 that recognized faculty and staff members for their professional achievements and contributions to UNG's success.

PSIA faculty members who won university-wide awards were Maria J. Albo, Teaching Excellence Award for a Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Member; Dr. Craig B. Greathouse, Excellence in Online Teaching Award; Dr. Randall Parish, Best Practices in Service Learning Award; and Dr. Beth M. Rauhaus, Emerging Leader Award.

Ms. Maria Albo Dr. Craig Greathouse Dr. Randy Parish Dr. Beth Rauhaus
Albo Greathouse Parish Rauhaus

Dr. Trey Wilson Wins Award For Book


On October 28 at a ceremony at the Georgia State Archives in Morrow attended by University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby and Governor Nathan Deal, Dr. Charles H. "Trey" Wilson III, associate professor of political science, received an “Award for Excellence in Documenting Georgia’s History” from the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council for his book titled The History of Brenau University, 1878-2013, published by Teneo Press in 2014.

The book tells the story of Brenau University in Gainesville, which was founded in 1878 to educate women and is today one of only a handful of women’s colleges still in existence. Dr. Wilson examined such themes as the historical demographics of Brenau’s students and personnel, the evolution of academics and athletics at the university, the development of policies on desegregation, the evolution of physical space on campus, and the history of student organizations (including secret societies) and rules at Brenau. Some of his insights are particularly important because they represent “firsts” for a women’s college in the region. Brenau innovated when it came to intercollegiate athletics, student governance, and curriculum development, among other things.

The GHRAC commended Dr. Wilson for his expert use of literally hundreds of painstakingly researched primary sources (such as letters, documents, photographs, yearbooks, student newspapers, student handbooks, etc.) in producing such a well-written and detailed history.

Dr. Wilson is currently working on his second book, which will be a comparative examination of desegregation at two southern women’s colleges. He is conducting his research this semester aided by a UNG Presidential Scholar Award.

Dr. Kathleen Woodward Travels to Indonesia as Muhammadiyah Peace Fellow

 Dr. Kathleen Woodward in Indonesia

Dr. Kathleen Woodward spent several weeks this past summer in Indonesia researching Islamic schools and their relationship with democratization in Indonesia. She visited schools and spoke with parents, students, teachers, administrators, and government officials to gain understanding of why Islamic schools are so popular in Indonesia, how they influence views of Islam and politics, and how they are intertwined with the secular public-education system. A Muhammadiyah Peace Fellowship made the research trip possible. Dr. Woodward is using this research to enhance her course materials and to write scholarly articles for publication.

Jeff Pomrenke '14, Selected to be San Francisco City Hall Fellow

By Beth Rauhaus, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Jeff Pomrenke, a Political Science alumnus (‘14), was selected as a City Hall Fellow in San Francisco. The City Hall Fellows is a prestigious organization that encourages America’s best and brightest to work in local government and create solutions to pressing social problems in cities. Jeff is currently working in the San Francisco Controller’s Office as a performance analyst or “in-house consultant” for all departments in the City and County of San Francisco.

Jeff stated, “It’s exciting to be here and work on public policy issues that my department is researching. Currently I’m conducting research on nonprofit organizations being displaced due to high rent in the city and writing a new policy on City Benchmark Reports.”

The San Francisco City Hall Fellows, including Jeff Pomrenke.
Pictured are San Francisco City Hall Fellows.  Jeff Pomrenke is in the top row at the far right.

Archibald Kielly's American Government Course Enlivened With Prominent Speakers

Archibald Kielly is teaching POLS 1101, “American Government,” on the Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses this semester. He has lined up an impressive array of speakers and invited other members of the UNG community to attend.

  • Akeel Hanano, a Palestinian/Syrian former pilot and currently a businessman, presented what he called the common Arab man's take on what is happening in Syria/Iraq, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, and the U. S. incursions in the Middle East. Approximately 175 students attended.
  • Arturo Corso, an immigration lawyer and supporter of undocumented workers, gave a passionate argument supporting the 11 million immigrants now in the United States. Approximately 100 students attended.
  • D.A. King, director of the Inman Society, an organization supporting closed borders, spoke about the need to enforce immigration laws. Approximately 100 students attended.
  • Felix Rodriguez, a former CIA agent who was instrumental in the capture of Che Guevara and other Communist guerrilla leaders, discussed the capture of Che and current national and international politics. Over 200 students attended.
  • Steven Gibbs, main pastor of a large Georgia church, spoke about Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, in which Jefferson discussed the First Amendment to the United States Constitution
  • Michelle Nunn, 2014 Democrat nominee for the U.S. Senate, will speak on current national and international political issues and her new job as president and CEO of the CARE.


Interview With Political Science Grads Working in the Alumni Office


Editor Maria J. Albo interviewed political science alumnae Wendi Huguley (‘90), director of alumni relations and annual giving, and Sarah Dunlap (‘07), alumni-relations officer, to discuss how their political science education has impacted their careers.

Ms. Albo: Why did you choose political science as a major and do you think that it prepared you for your future goals?

Sarah DunlapSarah: I chose political science because “Introduction to Political Science” was more interesting to me than any other class I had taken. I think that a political science degree is an all-encompassing liberal arts degree that prepared my peers and me on how to present, how to state and sometimes argue our opinions, and how to write‑‑all things that are used in the “real world.”

Wendi: I’d always enjoyed social science classes in high school, so when I took “Introduction to Political Science” with John Csomor at North Georgia College my freshman year I was hooked, especially in the area of international affairs. Great faculty members taught me to think through complex issues (this was toward the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall) and, more importantly, taught me to express these thoughts in writing.

Ms. Albo: What experiences has your political science education offered you which have provided you with a competitive edge? How have you leveraged these experiences in your career?

Sarah: My writing and presentation experiences helped me land my first job with my national sorority. It was a very tough interview process with writing samples, on-the-spot presentations, and panel interviews.  I still use these skills today.

Wendi: The classes I took as a political science major helped me understand that people often take positions that are born sincerely out of their own experiences and lenses, regardless of how ill-informed they may appear to be to me. This has helped me appreciate alternative points of view when dealing with people. As a former chamber of commerce executive for seven years, I found that good diplomacy was often critical when one deals with competing business interests, local and state government, etc.

Ms. Albo: Describe how your coursework, study abroad (if applicable), or other experiences helped you.

Sarah: Group projects were the focus of several of my upper-level classes. Working with others, delegating, and relying on my teammates helped me build the skills that are essential in the workplace, including with my own department team, with other departments, and with other companies.

Wendi: Political science taught me to think, which, in my opinion, is what a good post-secondary education should do. It also helped me understand the importance of staying informed and not assuming that something is true just because I heard it somewhere.Wendi Huguley

Ms. Albo: If you had to provide a short two- to three-sentence blurb about your courses, the faculty and the major, what would you say?

Sarah: The political science faculty challenged me. I had times when I had to present to my classmates for an entire class period and once wrote a 20-page research paper with dozens of sources, but it wasn’t without the help of my professors and peers. 

Wendi: I was blessed with faculty members who were tough, but loved to teach. Most political science majors in the ‘80s were not involved in study-abroad opportunities and we didn’t have media exposure 24/7, so it was important to have faculty members who could bring the issues into the classroom and transport students to different areas of the world through lecture. Dr. Brian Murphy and Professor Csomor did that.

Sarah graduated with a B.S. degree in Political Science in 2007 and immediately went on to live out of her suitcase for two years for her national sorority as a leadership consultant. After her sorority commitment ended, she hoped to continue working in the nonprofit sector, which she did first with the Girl Scouts and then with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Sarah returned to her alma mater in 2012 as an alumni-relations officer.

Wendi graduated from NGC in 1990 with a B.S. degree in Political Science. In the 25 years since graduating, she has spent half her professional career in higher education at Auburn University and UNG. She spent the other half in the business and nonprofit sectors, serving as a sales representative for Pearson Education for five years and president of the Opelika, Ala., Chamber of Commerce for seven years.

PSIA Alumni Reconnect With Dr. Jonathan Miner at D.C. Conference

The nation’s capital city is a popular place for graduates of the Department of Political Science & International Affairs. Whether interested in domestic or international politics, political campaigns, or diplomatic cables, PSIA alumni flock to Washington, D. C., after graduation. Brad Alford, a 2013 graduate of the international affairs program, organized the first UNG Young Alumni reception in the Shaw/Howard University neighborhood on October 12, 2015. Also attending were (pictured) Hali Sparks, a 2011 graduate of the international affairs program and 2014 graduate of the MAIA Program; Aaron Brown, 2013 graduate in political science; and Dr. Jon Miner (pictured below).

Hali Sparks and Dr. Jonathan Miner at the event.
Hali Sparks and Dr. Jon Miner reunite at UNG Young Alumni reception.

Hosted by UNG’s Alumni Association and its director of alumni relations, Wendi Huguley ’90, another event is in the planning stages for October 2016. Please contact Dr. Miner at to let us know you’re in the D.C. area, and we hope to see you next year!

Please feel free to reach out to the alumni office and board members for information about upcoming events and opportunities to connect with fellow alums. The alumni office loves hearing from current and former students. Contact Sarah Dunlap for information on how you can get involved. Sarah can be reached at or (706) 864‑1562.

Are you following the Office of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving on social media? This is the best way to stay in the know!

Events are always being added to the alumni calendar, so stop by the website often.


Pi Sigma Alpha Hosts Panel Discussion About Social Justice

Pi Sigma Alpha and the Gender Studies Council hosted “Java for Justice” on November 5. The event was a panel discussion on gender and social justice. Erica Y. Barker, a junior student in political science, moderated the discussion with three panelists: Elaine Cannon, associate director of Lumpkin County’s No One Alone battered-women’s shelter; Dr. Timothy Hayes, UNG associate professor of criminal justice; and Dr. Amy Steigerwalt, associate professor of political science at Georgia State University. The panelists presented evidence of social injustices throughout our communities and the role of the mass media in highlighting racial and gender injustices. Panelists also explained how voters, civil and criminal justice, and elected officials contribute to social justice being achieved. Nearly 100 students were in attendance to discuss issues of justice, injustice, and inequalities.

The event was made possible by a grant from the national office of Pi Sigma Alpha. The UNG’s chapter faculty advisor, Dr. Charles H. “Trey” Wilson III, applied for the grant prior to this school year. Because Dr. Wilson is away from the Dahlonega campus this semester to conduct research, Dr. Beth Rauhaus and Dr. Sam Rohrer coordinated the event. The Gender Studies Council also provided a subsidy as co-sponsor of the event.

Students and speakers at the panel

Students talk to the panelists after the event.


UNG Politically Incorrect Club Draws Attention With Gainesville Events

The Politically Incorrect Club, located on the Gainesville campus, has been active hosting guest speakers and panel discussions about contemporary controversial political topics.

On October 5, 2015 the club hosted State Sen. Butch Miller. According to Dr. Douglas Young, professor of political science and club faculty advisor, Sen. Miller gave a most inspiring presentation to close to 60 students in the Nesbitt Building Ballroom.

More than 75 students participated in a spirited debate regarding immigration, amnesty, and moral obligations to various groups of people on October 21, 2015. The event attracted coverage in the Gainesville Times. Dr. Young said that debate was “spirited and informative and inspired many students in the audience to ask questions.”  

The club hosted guest speaker Eric Clanton on November 9, 2015, in the Nesbitt Building’s ballroom. Clanton, who was NASA’s chief engineer for the space-shuttle orbiter program, presented a slide show and question-and-answer session for 79 attendees. Some students stayed for almost two hours asking questions.


Dr. Douglas Young and the Politically Incorrect Club in front of a slide of a NASA space shuttle.
Pictured (L to R) are P.I. Club members Joshua Joransen and Dawson Rogers, P.I. Club President Dayton Carter, Eric Clanton, Dr. Young, and two other UNG students.

Travel the World While in College

By Camille Lialios

Study Abroad Advisor

Students tend to have preconceived notions about what it means to study abroad. Some automatically assume that it is too expensive, some may think that it will push their graduation date back, and yet others may think that they do not have time, due to obligations on campus or at home. While studying abroad is not something every student is interested in, traveling by way of study abroad is definitely something to consider doing while you are still in school.

Studying abroad while in college is the most cost-effective way to travel. Students are able to utilize financial aid and scholarships, and most UNG programs cost no more than the usual UNG tuition and fees. Some exchange programs even charge the same cost as UNG for housing and meals abroad, so your bill looks very similar to what it would look like if you were on campus. There are also several Direct Enrollment programs in which the cost ends up being less than a normal semester at UNG.

While still in school, students who study abroad are gaining credit. My goal as a study abroad advisor is to match students to programs that keep them on track to graduate, or possibly get them ahead by participating in a summer program, a time when the student may not normally be enrolled in classes. Summer options are also ideal for students who do not want to “miss out” on things happening on the UNG campuses, such as clubs, student activities, sports, etc. For students who tend to work in the summers to pay for their fall and spring semesters, studying abroad for a full semester may be ideal.

Traveling to different areas of the world with your peers and obtaining assistance in planning for such a trip isn’t as likely to happen once you graduate. After graduation, people are less likely to have the time to take a few months off and travel, due to work or family obligations.

Having cultural experiences and picking up other cross-cultural competencies can also help boost your résumé for when it comes time to apply for jobs after graduation. Making connections overseas also opens up your networking capabilities, and you start to see how small the world can be.

If you are ready to take a leap and give study abroad more thought, check out the Center for Global Engagement Web site for program information, deadlines, costs, and other resources on how to make study abroad happen for you. Consider also talking to your classmates and friends to see whether they’ve had the opportunity to study abroad, and find out more about their experiences.

There are also ways to get a global connection right here on campus, by taking part in CGE events, or joining the International Student Association or Global Connections Program.

CGE Website:

Like us on Facebook:

Helpful Information About Courses and Curricula for Current Students

Our current plans of study can be found on the department website (

Students who entered UNG after the fall of 2011 must achieve a grade of “C” or higher in all courses within the major (including Area F). In addition, if a student adopts any plan of study after the fall of 2011, that student will be subject to the same policy. Please keep this in mind as the administration is phasing out the old NGCSU and GSC core curricula. We request that students who are graduating after the spring of 2016 visit their advisors to review their plans of study.

Advisement is held in the fall and spring semesters approximately two to three weeks prior to registration. Please take the time each semester to visit with your advisor and make sure that you are following the correct plan of study. You can view your advisor assignment via Banner or contact office manager Andrew Eade at (706) 864‑1628.


Faculty Members Present Papers at Conference

Three PSIA faculty members presented papers at the Southeastern Conference on Public Administration on September 30 to October 3, 2015, in North Charleston, S.C.

  • Dr. Barry D. Friedman presented a paper, “Transparency in Nonprofit Organizations:  Public Access to Minutes of Board Meetings,” which he co‑authored with Amanda M. Wolcott, a 2009 NGCSU graduate in psychology.
  • Dr. Stephen W. Northam presented a paper, “The Stacey Model of the Complicated and the Complex for the Policy Implementation Practitioner.”
  • Dr. Beth M. Rauhaus and co‑authors Robert Eskridge of Appalachian State University and P. Edward French of Mississippi State University, presented a paper, “Representative Bureaucracy and PSM Among Mississippi Local Government Employees.”


Like us on Facebook! 

PSSA: Updates on weekly crossfire meetings

Alumni/ Friends of Political Science & International Affairs

Join us on LinkedIn


THE PSIA REVIEW - November 1, 2015   Vol. 2, No. 2A cake to commemorate the 100th IA graduate.

Department Head:  Dlynn Armstrong-Williams, Ph.D.
Associate Department Head:  Craig B. Greathouse, Ph.D.

Editor:  Maria J. Albo, M.P.A.
Assistant editor:  Barry D. Friedman, Ph.D.
Web editor:  Andrew Eade

Contact information:


            Telephone:  (706) 864‑1628

            Newsletter Home page:

            Department home page:

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.

Back to Top