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The PSIA Review

October 2016, Vol. 3, No. 1


The Department of Political Science & International Affairs ranked #2 for online degree programs by SR Education Group

The Department of Political Science & International Affairs has experienced significant growth in the number of students choosing to take online courses. The department currently has two fully online degree program options. SR Education Group, an education publisher founded in 2004, ranked our online degree programs #2 in political science degrees among the 25 most affordable online schools offering political science degrees. SR Education Group said, “This set of rankings represents schools across the nation that are making an effort to provide economical options for students.” The university overall was ranked #13 by SR Education Group for most affordable social science degrees. 

The Department of Political Science & International Affairs was an early adopter of online programs. The department began offering a fully online Master of Arts in International Affairs (M.A.I.A.) degree in the fall 2009 semester. All courses in the M.A.I.A. program were developed and are taught by full-time faculty members who hold terminal degrees and have active research agendas in international affairs. Since its inception 43 students have graduated from the program. Currently 45 students are enrolled in the program. 

In 2011 Georgia Governor Nathan Deal unveiled his ambitious “Complete College Georgia” plan focusing on college affordability and access. In response to this initiative, UNG challenged academic departments across campus to develop lower-division online courses which would give students the opportunity to complete A.A. degrees online in conjunction with the University System of Georgia’s eCore program. This fall the department began offering a fully online Associate in Arts, Core Curriculum -  Political Science pathways. In conjunction with UNG Online and eCore, the pathway offers students the opportunity to complete all required courses in Area F (which are offered by the department on a two-year rotation). The university also offers online Associate in Arts, Core Curriculum -  social work and sociology pathways.

Our third online degree program, the Master of Public Administration Program (M.P.A.), is currently being developed under the direction of Dr. Luisa M. Diaz-Kope. As the M.P.A. Program coordinator Dr. Diaz-Kope will work with Drs. Barry Friedman and Beth Rauhaus to develop a comprehensive and competitive program designed to meet the needs of today’s graduate students.

Faculty members who would like to teach online must complete the Facilitating Learning Online Course (FLOC) through Distance Education & Technology Integration (DETI) before they can be scheduled for an online course. Please contact Andrew Eade, department office manager, if you are interested in offering online courses. 

Philip Branyon receives “Ann Matthews Purdy Outstanding UNG Full-Time Faculty Member of the Year Award”

Phil Branyon, lecturer of political science, received the “Ann Matthews Purdy Outstanding UNG Full-Time Faculty Member of the Year Award” last spring. UNG President Dr. Bonita Jacobs presented the award. Mr. Branyon teaches courses in American government, state and local government, and public administration on the Oconee campus.

UNG President Bonita Jacobs and Dr. Phillip (Phil) Branyon

Barry Friedman honored for twenty years of service to the M.P.A. program

On April 20, 2016, PSIA faculty members were joined by M.P.A. current students and alumni who thanked Dr. Barry Friedman for his commitment and dedication as the M.P.A. Program coordinator for the last 20 years. Georgia state Senator Stephen W. Gooch (M.P.A., ‘98) and Marsha Harper Moore, founding commissioner of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (M.P.A., ‘98), were in attendance. According to Dr. Friedman’s March 21 letter to current M.P.A. students and alumni, “The program went into operation when the spring quarter of 1996 began.  Since then, 150 students have earned their M.P.A. degrees from our program.  I gratefully recognize the various ways in which the recipients of this E‑mail message have supported the program‑‑by enrolling in it, working as hard as you did to learn the course material, providing volunteer service to the M.P.A. Student Association and the Graduate Student Senate, establishing impressive careers that reflect so well on the program, recruiting others to enroll in the program, and causing the program to have a favorable reputation. I remember with gratitude the determination of Dr. Delmas J. Allen, who served as vice president for academic affairs and then as president of NGCSU, that an M.P.A. Program would be established here, and the resolute support of Dr. Ray C. Rensi, then head of the Department of Social Sciences, and Dr. Brian M. Murphy, the first head of the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, that made it possible for the program to go into operation in March 1996.” The Barry Friedman M.P.A. Legacy Award was established and will be awarded annually to the M.P.A. student who has the highest GPA. Dr. Luisa Diaz-Kope is serving as the new M.P.A. coordinator and is in the process of developing a new online program scheduled to debut in August 2017.

Dr. Barry Friedman being recognized for his work with the M.P.A. program by Dr. Dlynn Armstrong-Williams

Dr. Friedman with guests at the event

Glen Smith pursues active research agenda

Dr. Glen Smith has pursued an active research agenda during his time at UNG focusing on partisan media and political tolerance. As the recipient of the Presidential Semester Scholar Award for 2016-2017, Dr. Smith was awarded a full-semester release from teaching and service, plus funding support to write a supplemental textbook for American government that will be free for UNG students. Previously, Dr. Smith was awarded a Presidential Summer Scholar Award to study partisan news outlets through an internal grants program initiated by UNG President Bonita Jacobs to support productive research, scholarly and creative activities.

Dr. Smith recently published two articles: “The Timing of Partisan Media Effects during a Presidential Election,” published in Political Research Quarterly, and “Sympathy for the Devil: How Broadcast News Reduces Negativity Toward Political Leaders,” published in American Politics Research. Based on his work, Dr. Smith was recently invited to write a blog post for the London School of Economics American Politics blog.  It can be accessed at this URL address:

Dr. Lance Bardsley attends the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute at Oklahoma University

Dr. Lance Bardsley, PSIA Department, Oconee CampusDr. Lance Bardsley, associate professor of political science, was accepted for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute at Oklahoma University. His proposal, titled “Western Expansion and American Constitutional Development,” highlighted the “importance of informing the general public and promoting awareness of China as an economic and political force in the world and of facilitating a dialogue of how the two countries can benefit from each other even when there are times of tension or disagreement over policy. A well informed public is one of those features of a robust civil society that can actively engage its government and the policy choices it makes providing differing perspectives on critical issues while also serving as a check on the state and its actions. One of my goals from participating in an intensive study about U. S.-Chinese relations would be to become a community asset to the local school systems to inform and promote an interest in studying China. This is why I would arrange opportunities to make a presentation about U. S.-Chinese relations to our partner high schools to not only inform the general public, but also to encourage future college entrants of the possibility to study abroad in China through our available programs as just one attempt to enhance the public’s understanding of the growing relationship between the two nations.” Dr. Bardsley, who teaches on UNG’s Oconee campus, attended the institute in hopes of participating in the UNG exchange program with Liaocheng University in China.   

Newsletter editor Maria J. Albo interviewed Dr. Bardsley.

What inspired you to apply for this program?

I have always been interested in constitutional development and this was an opportunity to examine the impact of western expansion on early American constitutional development. This was similar to my dissertation that examined the incorporation of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales into what became the United Kingdom. The impact had a significant effect on its constitutional structure and we are now witnessing some delayed reactions to it in the past 20 years.

Describe the application process.  How long did it take you to gather the necessary materials?

The application process required administrative aspects, which were straightforward and consumed minimal time. However, the essay portion, a thought piece on what impact the program would have on the applicant’s research and teaching, required considerable self-reflection. In fact, it required the applicant to examine where he saw himself going intellectually over the next few years.

Tell us about the program.  (i.e., What was your typical day like?  What books were included on your reading list?  Who were the main speakers?)

The usual day required about 100-200 pages of reading nightly in preparation for the following day’s presenters and discussions with a class of 25 other scholars and teachers. A great deal of peer pressure was a real motivator. Also, the program leaders sent four books a month out that were required to be read before arrival at the seminar. This was essential to complete because a participant would actually have a one on one with the author, which promoted discussion about the work itself and the issues of research general. Finally, a participant roomed with two to three other faculty members and the out-of-class discussions of the material were intellectually stimulating because participants had not only perspectives from faculty members of different disciplines, but also different educational and life experiences. This leads to making new friends that remain long after the end of the seminar.

What part of your experience will you/have you incorporated into the classroom?

We reviewed how the Articles of Confederation had numerous weaknesses, but one we ignore or intentionally forget was the necessity to deal with the Native American tribes. We had no clear foreign-policy perspective because it was accomplished on a state-by-state basis, which usually resulted in conflict of interests. This is where some of the so-called “border conflicts” between states arose because of a lack of a coherent policy dealing with Native American affairs.

Do you have any suggestions for other faculty members in the department who may be interested in applying for this program? 

The NEH offers institutes on 10-15 topics each summer covering a variety of topics strictly for university faculty members. For political scientists, the best options are usually history or philosophy programs that have a direct relation to issues in political science. One just has to look and determine whether a program satisfies her intellectual interests.

For more information visit the NEH website:

UNG Political Science Faculty Leads National Campus Voter Registration Study

By Dr. Nathan Price

As many of you know, last year Dr. Renée Bricker and I led a national study that was funded by a grant from the Bernard and Audre Rapaport Foundation. The goal of the study was to better integrate Turbovote into the IT landscape at its partner institutions. Turbovote is an application developed by Democracy Works, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization founded at Harvard University and dedicated to promoting voter registration on college campuses across the United States. Turbovote promotes civic engagement by assisting students in registering to vote, connecting them to their precinct, helping them request an absentee ballot, and providing information about local issues that will appear on the ballot.

When we began our study last year, Turbovote had recently expanded its partnerships to over 200 colleges and universities throughout the United States. The goal of our study was to deepen Turbovote’s integration with its partner institutions to ensure that the application was helping as many people as possible in registering to vote. We were specifically interested in examining the role that IT could play in promoting Turbovote, and the degree to which campus administrators would support Turbovote integration into Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Desire to Learn (D2L). We also wanted to see what various groups like the faculty, student affairs, IT, and administrators knew about Turbovote and how willing they were to promote it.

To undertake the study, we collaborated with 24 project leaders who represented their 24 respective Turbovote partner institutions. (I also administered the survey to respondents at UNG.) We included in the sample institutions that had already registered many students with Turbovote as well as some institutions who were still in the fledgling stages of the process. The project leaders were in charge of administering a survey that Renée and I designed to respondents from six groups on campus: Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, faculty, Communications, Information Technology professionals, and student organizations.

The results of our study indicated that Turbovote has a lot of work to do in promoting awareness of the program at its partner institutions. Nevertheless, the silver lining is that we found that faculty and staff members, administrators, and IT professionals were generally supportive of Turbovote’s mission and willing to help promote it in a variety of ways. We found that administrators were overwhelmingly supportive of integrating Turbovote into the LMS software of their respective institutions as long as Turbovote took the requisite steps to ameliorate security and privacy concerns. Fortunate to have the advice and guidance of UNG IT professionals Scott Marshall and Judy McHan, we were able to speak with IT administrators for the University System of Georgia who helped us provide Turbovote with a plan to integrate into various LMS. This will allow faculty to incorporate Turbovote right into their class pages making the application readily available to students as they navigate these high-traffic areas of their institution’s website.

Renée and I recently participated in a webinar with Turbovote partners from across the country in which we presented the results of our study. We also were delighted to hear from two of our partners--Dr. John Theiss at Lone Star College and Leah Casselia at Kutztown University--who used the results of our study to implement changes that are making a positive impact at their respective institutions. Additionally, we are working with administrators at UNG such as Dr. Tom Ormond, provost, and Dr. Chaudron Gille, associate provost, on a plan that will promote Turbovote across our five campuses.

I’d like to close by thanking all of you for all the support you have shown me throughout this project. This was very much a learning experience for me, and I appreciate all the guidance and advice that I received from many of you. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to promote Turbovote and civic engagement at UNG in general.

Welcome New Faculty

Dr. Hamid Serri, who has a specialty in security studies, will be teaching a variety of courses on the Dahlonega campus including “Global Issues” and “Comparative Security Issues.” Dr. Serri received his Ph.D. degree in international relations at Florida International University in Miami in 2015.  Dr. Luisa Diaz-Kope is the new M.P.A. coordinator.  Dr. Diaz-Kope completed her Ph.D. degree in public policy and public administration at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., in May.  Sadie Foote is a 2016 graduate of the M.A.I.A. program and will teach several sections of “Global Issues” on the Dahlonega campus. 

International Affairs students traverse the globe to find internships during summer 2016

By Dr. Jonathan Miner

International Affairs major Robert Young in the Republic of GeorgiaThe summer months are often a time to relax and take a break from the rigors of college, but international affairs students often use that time to study abroad or find internships to complete their degree.  During the summer of 2016, 16 IA students traveled the United States and the world to find “work”; to seek positions designed to increase their understanding of foreign cultures, people, and politics; and to increase their marketability after graduation.  IA majors worked in equally interesting locations and for a variety of entities.  Senior Robert Young (image on the left, left) interned at the National Defense University in the Republic of Georgia, a military academy equivalent to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  “While there I assisted the GDIT staff to advise the NDA [National Defense Academy] Cadre and staff to train and educate the cadets. Most of my actual work was conducted while in the field with the cadets observing and analyzing their training from the perspective of a current soldier and former cadet myself.” 

International Affairs major Tanner Scroggins in PortugalTanner Scroggins (image on the right, center left) worked at the Quinta Azenha farm in Ourique, Portugal, at a private farm and guest house, where he tended to animals and worked at the various businesses owned by a British couple who relocated to southern Portugal, gaining a unique perspective of the Brexit vote from the many Europeans with whom he worked. “I gained a unique perspective into the lifestyles of the rural population that I would have never had before…. For the first time, a major vote like the EU referendum hit close to home as I saw the anguish and despair of the people who would be impacted the most.”

A dozen other international affairs students participated in internships around the world, including Chase Parker at municipal tourism agency in Tel Aviv, Israel; Danielle Mummaw in London, U. K., with a U. S.-based, international NGO; Chelsea Falk at the Chysalis business startup incubator firm in Santiago, Chile; Darion Gibson at Liaocheng University in China; Chrystal Martinez at the Hall County Family Life center in Gainesville’s hispanic community; Jacob Yingling at Sword APAK Corporation in Alpharetta, Ga.; and Melody Moore, Richard Socia, and Nathan Patterson interned at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Atlanta, while Eli Fierer worked in the IRC’s Baltimore office, each interacting daily with newly arrived immigrants to the United States from the Middle East.

IA majors Seth McCormick and Colin Marney in LativaSeth McCormick (image to the left, top right) and Colin Marney (left) spent the summer in Daugavpils, Latvia, working at the Priedite orphanage with children ages 7 to 14. Seth recalls that, “on a formal level, I gained a deeper level of knowledge on subjects that related to the ways in which local and regional governments attempt to implement social programs that benefit children like those I met at the orphanage. Having a background in international affairs helped to provide a base of knowledge that allowed me to converse with the staff at the orphanage—particularly in regards to the ways that the Lativan government is still dealing with the effects of 50-plus years of Communist rule…. On my last day, I knew that our internship experience was worthwhile. It was a very tearful experience as we left the final time. We came to understand that, for two brief, chaotic months, not only did we develop personally and professionally, but we also made a visible impact in the lives of people who benefited from having a positive influence in their life. For those asking whether or not the internship was a valuable experience, my answer is simply: ‘Absolutely—certainly for those who wish to volunteer, and hopefully for the people you’ll meet while there.’”

Lastly, Jacob Fortner (image below, center, white shirt) interned at the United States EU Command in Stuttgart, Germany: “My internship gave me valuable experience in analyzing and facilitating a Pol-Mil relationship between the United States and foreign nations. During my internship I acted as a desk officer for the Western Balkans branch of the European Plans and Policy Division at Headquarters United States European Command. I consulted with subject-matter experts, both domestic and abroad, on how to keep the diplomatic relationship between the United States armed forces and European governments healthy. This was a remarkable opportunity to put theory into practice and learn how to be diplomatic when representing the United States.”  Over 100 international affairs students have completed internships since the degree was introduced in 2007. The Department of Political Science & International Affairs welcomes the opportunity to make new internship connections for its students. Please contact the internship director, Dr. Jonathan Miner at , with questions or inquiries.

International Affairs major Jacob Fortner

Pi Sigma Alpha initiates 19 new members

At an initiation ceremony on April 8, 2016, the Xi Kappa Chapter of the Pi Sigma Alpha national political-science honor society initiated 19 members. They include these 18 students.

Orevaoghene Zaudu Aki
Seth Andrew Bailey
Lauren Ashley Billet
Erika Lee Evans
Courtney Laine Hall
Douglas Paul Harden
Christopher Jackson
Nathaniel Kreider
Scott Leonard
Sherry Lynn Parker
Lydia Christine Peterson
Jacqueline Brooke Pirkle
Grayson P. Ruhl
Richard L. Socia II
Yanet Velázquez
Rémi Jean Ver
Adam J. Watts
Brett L. Williams

The chapter also initiated Dr. Edward L. Mienie, associate vice president for economic development and community engagement in UNG’s Office of University Affairs on the Gainesville campus. Dr. Mieni holds a B.A. degree in law from the University of South Africa and a Ph.D. degree in international conflict management from Kennesaw State University. From 1987 to 1998, he was a member of South Africa’s Diplomatic Corps, the last four of those years as deputy ambassador to Switzerland. From 2002 to 2015, he was a senior consultant for Applied Software USA & Canada.

Dr. Charles H. “Trey” Wilson III, associate professor of political science on the Dahlonega campus, is the chapter’s faculty advisor. He administered the process of inviting members and processing applications for membership. Dr. Barry D. Friedman, professor of political science on the Dahlonega campus, is the chapter’s treasurer. He conducted the April 8 ceremony.

Dr. Douglas Young offers his expertise throughout the region

Dr. Douglas Young, professor of political science, has been active in the larger community by sharing his expertise throughout the region.  Young’s areas of expertise include U.S. politics, Georgia politics, and constitutional law.  Recently Dr. Young was invited to Young Harris College as the guest of Professor Archibald Kielly to give an address on contemporary China to over 40 students and Dr. Lee March (dean of social and behavior sciences), 

Dr. Young was also recently interviewed by the Gainesville Times regarding the upcoming presidential election.

The article is available online:

M.P.A. students present at the 18th annual Georgia ASPA Academic Conference

The M.P.A. program was well represented at the 18th annual Georgia Public Administration Academic Conference sponsored by the Georgia Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. Jenna Rodgers presented "Privatization is the New Black" and Jennifer Springston Mack presented her paper titled "Privatization of the Department of Family and Children Services" during a panel called "Alternative Approaches to Public Administration: Privatization, Collaboration and Contracting Out."  Both papers were written for Dr. Beth Rauhaus’s fall 2015 “Public Budgeting” course. Dr. Stephen Northam served as discussant and Dr. Rauhaus served as chair.

M.P.A. major Jenna Rodgers with Jennifer Springston Mack
Left to right:  Jenna Rodgers and Jennifer Springston Mack. 

“Hannah Hudgins is a wonderful example of what a political science major can be”

By Dr. Douglas Young, Professor of Political Science

Political science major Hannah Hudgins won the UNG-Gainesville’s prestigious Clark-Theodore Award for Outstanding Traditional Student of the Year. Hannah plans to graduate from UNG this fall and attend law school in 2017.

Hannah Hudgins is one of the most impressive students I have taught in 30 years. Her academic accomplishments at the University of North Georgia-Gainesville are magnificent.  She made the President’s List four times as well as the Dean’s List. In addition, in Hannah was awarded the Outstanding UNG Political Science Student Award and in 2016 the Clark-Theodore Outstanding Student Award for the entire Gainesville campus.

Having been blessed to teach Miss Hudgins five times, I know she is the ideal student: always in class, on time, paying close attention, taking notes diligently, displaying such a cheerful attitude, and doing excellent work on tests and term papers. In fact, Hannah wrote some of the best research papers I have ever graded. In short, Miss Hudgins is the kind of student I would like to clone for all my classes.

Making Hannah’s scholastic accolades all the more noteworthy is that she worked her way through college. At the Braselton Animal Hospital she helped with a wide variety of jobs to take care of the animals. At the law office of Scott R. Tolbert, she has worked for an attorney and a paralegal, assisting each with many important legal tasks.

Miss Hudgins contributed significantly to the extracurricular life of our campus. In addition to participating in many special events of the multiple-award-winning Politically Incorrect Club, she demonstrated meaningful leadership and a commitment to help fellow students.  Hannah is the secretary of UNG’s Pre-Law Society, and has served on the Standards Board of UNG’s Delta Phi Epsilon sorority in which role she was responsible for impartially holding her sisters to the standards of the organization.

This young lady has likewise tangibly helped many folks in need. Indeed, through her sorority, she helped raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation, and the National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.

So Hannah is a magnificent role model for our students since she personifies academic excellence while enlivening the extracurricular life of the campus and showing how to successfully juggle classes, clubs, work, and philanthropy. Having a positive persona, ready smile, poise, professional dress, and kind, friendly demeanor, she represents the very best of UNG’s students. She’s far too humble to say it, but I will: Hannah Hudgins is a spectacular Clarke-Theodore Student of the Year Award winner and UNG-Gainesville political science graduate.

Dr. Douglas Young presenting the award to Hannah Hudgins

“Hunter Leger is a super political science student already working in the political world”

By Dr. Douglas Young

It was such a blessing to have Hunter Leger in three of my political science classes on UNG’s Gainesville campus. During class discussions he was always articulate, well prepared, thoughtful, and respectful of other perspectives.

Hunter’s young life is already replete with success on an impressive variety of fronts. Academically, he has long been a stand-out student, earning a spot on the Dean’s List for two years.

Mr. Leger has also made a most impressive mark on a variety of extracurricular fronts. In high school he was an Orchestra Leadership Council member who made the honors orchestra for his entire county. He also was a French Honor Society founder. At UNG he became the student newspaper’s assistant editor.

On the work front, Hunter has always stood out. At just 15 he began working at Kroger as a bag boy. His excellent work enabled him to become a cashier, service-desk worker, bookkeeper, and department supervisor.

Perhaps what is most noteworthy about Mr. Leger’s employment record is his work in the public-service realm. In addition to interning for Georgia’s Ninth District congressman, Doug Collins, he worked for the 2016 Carly Fiorina presidential campaign where he earned the honor of directing social-media operations for New Hampshire, the first primary state. For a college student to attain such a coveted position is remarkable. Accordingly, he was invited to address UNG-Gainesville’s award-winning Politically Incorrect Club to discuss what he saw and learned in the world of presidential-election campaigns. He did a superb job explaining campaign life and inspiring many students.

Most importantly, Hunter is a conscientious gentleman of integrity and kindness whose superior work ethic and cheerful personality enable him to work well with others. He is a remarkable ambassador for UNG who will be a treasured addition to any work force or graduate school.

Political Science & International Affairs well represented among 2016 Distinguished Military Students

On September 11, the top 25 senior cadets were recognized for their academic and leadership achievements. The department is well represented in the group because seven are pursuing degrees in POLS and IA. Here is the list of their names and majors.

Seth Bailey – International Affairs (Asia)
Mikaya Emma – Political Science
Daniel Parker – International Affairs (Europe)
Seth McCormick – International Affairs (Europe)
Marlena Schmidt – International Affairs (Asia)
Adam Watts – International Affairs (Middle East)
Brett Williams – Political Science (History Minor)

Article from UNG newsletter:

Mary Catherine Olive selected as UNG Fellow to the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress

Mary Catherine Olive has been chosen by President Bonita Jacobs to be the 2016-17 UNG Fellow to the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. This is the second year in a row that a political science student has been selected (Erica Barker was the 2015-16 fellow). Mary Catherine Olive is a junior political science major, who is concentrating in American politics. She previously served as an intern in Governor Nathan Deal’s office. Olive is currently co-authoring the revised “Georgia Public Policy” chapter supplement with Maria Albo, senior lecturer of political science). The chapter supplement will be appear in the 2017 edition of the Basics of American Government published by the University Press of North Georgia. 

International Affairs major Lindsey Collier featured in article

Lindsey Collier, a junior international affairs major, was featured in an article highlighting her study-abroad experience at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia. 

The full interview is available here:

Emily L. Bailey serving as intern for Georgia Congressman

Emily L. Bailey, a junior political science major, is currently serving as an intern for Congressman Doug Collins (R‑9th District).  

Newsletter editor Maria J. Albo interviewed Emily.

What was your favorite part about the political science program?

My favorite part of the political science program is the selection of classes for the American Politics concentration. Classes such as “American Presidency,” “The Road to the White House,” and “State and Local Law” cover topics that are extremely interesting to me. The wide selection of classes plus the knowledgeable and helpful professors make being a political science major well worth it.

What was your favorite course within the political science major?

My favorite course within the political science major would have to be “Introduction to Political Science.” My reasoning for this has to do with the professor who taught it when I took it: Dr. Douglas Young. Dr. Young was the first professor I talked to when I started thinking about switching my major to political science.  Taking my first political science course with him made the experience come full circle for me. Dr. Young is extremely knowledgeable but also very entertaining. He made, and continues to make, politics fun for his students!

What made you decide to apply for an internship?

I started working for Congressman Collins as an intern on his reelection campaign in the spring of 2016. The experience was rewarding, especially after his primary victory. After getting to know the campaign team and his staff better, I knew that they were people I wanted to continue to work with and get to know. I had no plans of moving to D. C. for a whole semester, but, when I got an email about the position from the department, I applied. I realized early on that the type of people who work in Congressman Collins’ office as well as the congressman himself are not the type of “political people” you think of when thinking of D. C. They are extremely motivated toward helping the Ninth District of Georgia as well as very kind.  The congressman makes every effort to help the interns out, from inviting us to briefings and hearings to just sitting down and answering any question we might have. I knew that this opportunity wasn’t one I was willing to pass up.

Tell me about your typical day as an intern.

Like all offices, I start off handling administrative duties in the mornings. I listen to voicemails, check and respond to emails, and make sure the office is ready when the rest of the staff gets there. While Congress is in session, I attend as many briefings and hearings that I can. I am passionate about military defense, homeland security, and combating terrorism, so I attend Armed Services and Department of Homeland Security briefings as much as possible. Because Congressman Collins is on the Rules and Judiciary Committees, I also attend those briefings and hearings. I also give tours of the Capitol Building to constituents from the Ninth District who are visiting Washington, D. C.

What has surprised you most about your internship?

The most surprising thing about my internship in Washington, D. C., is how normal everything is. At the end of the day, people in D. C. are just that:  people. The Capitol Building is like any other office building with hard-working staffers and meetings to get to. But don’t get me wrong:  Passing politicians whom I’ve watched on C-SPAN never gets old!

 How have your courses prepared you for this internship?

My “American Government” class prepared me most for my internship. “American Government” really lays the groundwork and reviews everything that happens in the three branches of government, which comes in handy when working in Congress. In hearings and mark-ups, I see first-hand the legislative process that bills go through to become a law. Because I took “American Government,” I have a better understanding of the process.

Anything else you would like to share about your experience in the political science program or your internship?

Washington, D. C., is an amazing city to live in, especially as a young adult. I love being around people from various backgrounds who have different opinions than the ones I am used to. The atmosphere in D. C. is as challenging as it is rewarding, and I’m so glad I have the opportunity to be a part of it.

Students interested in internships should contact the internship director, Dr. Carl Cavalli at carl.cavalli , with questions or inquiries.

Governor’s Office and Legislative Internship Program Applications due on January 27, 2017 

Governor Office Internship 

Georgia General Assembly Internships

Initiated in 1971, the Governor’s Intern Program provides Georgia’s brightest and most ambitious students with professional experience to prepare for the working world. College juniors and seniors, graduate students and law students are eligible to apply to the Intern Program.

See application link below.

Summer 2017 application deadline: Friday, January 27, 2017

Please complete the application and submit to the Governor Internship website.  Also, email Dr. Stephen Northam ( to confirm your submission.

During this internship, you will receive firsthand experience of the legislative process. During your time at the State Capitol, interns gain knowledge of how state government works and how the legislative process works, along with making lifelong career contacts and friendships.

See application link below.

Contact the internship director for application deadlines.



Students interested in internships should contact Dr. Steven Northam, with questions or inquiries.

Advance planning is necessary for out of state internships

University students wanting to enroll in out-of-state internships are being affected by new rules pertaining to all forms of distance learning that occur across state lines. The new arrangements necessitate that students who plan to participate in such internships inquire about any existing obstacles well in advance of the start of their internship programs.

State higher-education officials, accreditation agencies, and other authorities established a clearinghouse program called “State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements” (SARA). For the online and other distance-learning programs of a university to be accepted as SARA‑approved educational opportunities, the state in which the university is located must be “a member of one of the four interstate Regional Compacts that administer SARA, or must have concluded an agreement with such a compact covering SARA activity,” according to the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. After paying a fee to the National Council of SARA, a university will be evaluated based on whether the regional accreditation agency has placed it on probation or whether the university’s ability to fulfill its commitments is questionable for any reason. A university whose record is deemed sound will be approved for participation in SARA.

Terri E. Bell, the state-authorizations coordinator in UNG’s Distance Education and Technology Integration center, reported on April 29, “Unfortunately, University of North Georgia is not authorized to allow our students to participate in internships in North Carolina.” As of April 11, other states and territories that have not been approved for SARA participation are American Samoa, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Marianas Islands, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Utah, the Virgin Islands, and Wisconsin.

For up-to-date information, contact a department internship advisor or Lisa Geddings, career/internship specialist in Career Services, at

Politically Incorrect Club Hosts events on Gainesville campus

On April 20 the Politically Incorrect Club hosted an address and Q&A session with former congressman and then Ninth Georgia congressional candidate Dr. Paul Broun Jr. Over 60 students and staff and faculty members attended and asked questions. The students were so attentive and asked many good questions. Many U. S. Constitution booklets were given away, as well as a couple of voter-registration forms. Afterwards Dr. Broun met students and posed for pictures.

On September 19, the Politically Incorrect Club and the American Democracy Project and U. S. Constitution Day Committee co-sponsored an educational event in the Nesbitt Building on the Gainesville campus. State Rep. Emory Dunahoo spoke about public-policy concerns to a packed room of almost 80 students and faculty members. Dozens of U. S. Constitution booklets were given away, voter-registration forms were made available, and Rep. Dunahoo ended up staying for almost an hour and 40 minutes answering student questions. Since Rep. Dunahoo was the Gainesville campus’s Constitution Day speaker, this event meant that UNG officially complied with the U. S. Byrd Amendment which requires every school getting federal tax money to have an event in September celebrating our U. S. Constitution.

Michelle Jones, Democratic party nominee for Georgia’s 30th state house district seat, spoke to a full room in the Nesbitt Building on the Gainesville campus. A total of 81 students and faculty members attended this Politically Incorrect Club presentation.

The Politically Incorrect Club hosted its “Debate Watch Party” on the evening of September 26 in the Robinson Ballroom of the Gainesville campus’s student center. Thirty-one students, faculty members, and family members watched, commented on, and often laughed throughout the first Clinton-Trump debate, while they enjoyed refreshments.

Crossfire events remain popular on the Dahlonega campus

Every week during the fall and spring semesters, members of the UNG community including students and faculty and staff members meet to discuss pressing political issues during the weekly Crossfire debate on the Dahlonega campus. Sponsored by the Political Science Student Association (PSSA) under the direction of faculty advisor Carl D. Cavalli, the Crossfire debates began in 1994 as a way to encourage civil political debates on hot-button issues.  

The PSSA has put together an exciting schedule for the fall semester with debates covering important current events including: the presidential election, the “Black Lives Matter” movement, and animal rights. 

We encourage your students to join the Political Science Student Association (PSSA). It’s open to majors and non-majors alike. The dues are $10/year. Dues are voluntary, but, if we get enough paid members, that means lunch every Wednesday during the Crossfire debates for the entire year.  That’s not a bad bargain.

The lineup for the current semester is available on the PSSA’s Facebook page at

The PSSA Voters Guide is here! This guide was prepared specifically for UNG students, based on a survey of important issues. You can access an electronic copy of the guide booklet here:

PSSA hosts Crossfire debates on the Cumming campus

By Dr. Steven Northam, Lecturer of Political Science

On September 22 the UNG Political Science Student Associations student forum Crossfire was introduced on the Cumming campus. While the attendance was small in number the enthusiasm caught on and on the following week we doubled the attendance to 14 with expectations of getting bigger. The Cumming Crossfire follows the same topic schedule as Dahlonega but only a day later on Thursday. In addition the time is from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. instead of the traditional noon to one. The hope is that in the not so distance future the two sessions maybe hosted via video conferences for a cross-campus student forum. Stay tuned.

Helpful Information about courses and curricula for current students

October is fall semester advisement month! Make sure to see your advisor for information about spring classes.

Registration for spring 2017 will be from October 31 to November 18 for continuing students (students who last attended spring 2016, summer 2016, and/or fall 2016) and will be based on student overall earned hours. Check your BANNER account for your specific registration time. 

Certain courses require departmental approval to sign up. These classes include:

POLS 4460 – International Affairs Capstone
POLS 4470 – Senior Seminar in Political Science

To enroll in these classes, you must contact Andrew Eade ( with your request to register. 

It is important to take the time each semester to visit your advisor and make sure that you are following the correct plan of study. You can view your advisor assignment via Banner or contact Andrew Eade at (706) 864‑1628.

How do I find my advisor?

  • Log in to BannerWeb.
  • Choose Student Records.
  • Choose Tranguid.
  • Scroll down until you see the advisor information.

How do I know which courses to take?

All programs of study are listed on the department website. Our current plans of study can be found on the department website (  Do not hesitate to visit your faculty advisor!

Can I CLEP classes?

Students cannot CLEP a class if they already have credit (any grade other than “W”) for the course, including any transfer credit. Please see the following webpage for specific courses eligible for CLEP credit at UNG:

POLS 1101, “American Government,” and POLS 2401, “Global Issues,” are prerequisites for upper-division courses in the department. Make sure to complete these introductory classes early in your academic career.

POLS 2101, “Introduction to Political Science,” is a prerequisite for POLS 3600, “Introduction to Social Science Research Methods.”  

Students who entered UNG after the fall semester 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.

Update from the Alumni Office

Political Science alumna Wendi Huguley (‘90) continues to serve as the director of alumni relations and annual giving.

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

Upcoming Alumni Events

UNG NGDA Alumni Gold Rush Reception- October 15, 2016
Alumni Weekend – April 21 - 23, 2017
Starlight Concert and Fireworks – 2017 date TBD

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


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PSSA: Updates on weekly crossfire meetings

Alumni/ Friends of Political Science & International Affairs

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THE PSIA REVIEW – October 2016   Vol. 3, No. 1

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:

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