Alumni Panel Shares Paths for Careers in Government and Politics

Nearly 40 graduate and undergraduate students packed a classroom for the Political Science career panel

Nearly 40 graduate and undergraduate students attended the event, which focused on practical career advice

Four alumni returned to campus to discuss careers in government and politics

VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Villanova alumni network is known for giving back, especially to current students who are trying to discern their own career paths. That generosity was on display on March 21, as four alumni returned to campus to talk about their careers in government and politics.

“A panel discussion was a great way to provide students with concrete advice about career options and paths,” said Jennifer Dixon, PhD, Assistant Professor of Political Science, who helped organize the event. “We were impressed with the range and nature of jobs among our alumni, and we were able to invite four speakers who work in distinct areas of government and politics. We really appreciated their willingness to share their experiences and advice with students.”

Nearly 40 graduate and undergraduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences packed a classroom in Bartley Hall for the evening event, which was moderated by Dr. Dixon and included a lively question-and-answer session and a networking reception. The panelists included: Cecilia M. Cardesa-Lusardi, PhD, ’03 CLAS, Executive Director, Military Assistance Project; Erik Mitz ’17 CLAS, ’18 MA, Geospatial Analyst, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency; Brian Polk ’16 CLAS, ’17 MA, Program Associate, Ukraine, International Foundation for Electoral Systems; and Ryan Shay ’15 MA, Legislative Aide, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA). The panel also included Assistant Professor of Political Science Deborah Seligsohn, PhD, who had a two-decade career in the State Department as well as experience in an environmental NGO.

Among the many themes that came out during the discussion, the panelists expressed that there is a great breadth of jobs available to students of any academic background at the federal, state and local levels of government, and that current students should take advantage of the range of curricular, professional development and networking opportunities that Villanova has to offer.

Dr. Cardesa-Lusardi encouraged students to leverage the alumni network, noting that she is “committed to helping the next generation,” while Shay echoed her sentiment, saying that he would help in any way he could to help further their careers.

All of the alumni panelists shared some insight about how Villanova prepared them for their careers. Polk related that Villanova helped develop his analytical skills, and he encouraged students to participate in the many service learning opportunities at Villanova, while Mitz noted that his coursework and a research assistantship working with Geographic Information Systems at Villanova allowed him to develop the skills that helped him land his current position. Polk and Mitz each took advantage of the Combined BA/MA program in the Political Science Department to earn their master’s degrees in five years.

The panelists not only provided a trove of practical advice for the gathering of students, but they also helped reinforce the connections among students, faculty and alumni in the Villanova community.

“For the faculty, events such as these are rewarding because they allow us to see how our students have developed,” said Professor Markus Kreuzer, PhD, Political Science Graduate Program Director. “I might add that the panelists were delighted to help, and it was gratifying to see the high regard with which they hold Villanova.”

The panel discussion was sponsored by the Political Science Department, the Career Center and of the Office of Graduate Studies.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.

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Panel Discussion:Careers in Government and Politics – Thursday, March 21st

Gov and Pol jpeg

Interested in a career in government and politics, or just wondering what to do with a political science degree?  Come to a panel discussion featuring four alumni working in government and politics, along with Assistant Professor of Political Science Deborah Seligsohn, who had a two-decade career in the State Department as well as experience in an environmental NGO.  The alumni panelists include:

  • Dr. Cecilia M. Cardesa-Lusardi, Executive Director, Military Assistance Project
  • Erik Mitz, Geospatial Analyst, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
  • Brian Polk, Program Associate, Ukraine, International Foundation for Electoral Systems
  • Ryan Shay, Legislative Aide, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), United States Senate

The panelists will discuss their current jobs, how they got into their positions/careers, and advice for students interested in a career in government or politics.  The panel will be moderated by Assistant Professor of Political Science Jennifer Dixon, and it will include time for Q&A.  The panel will be followed by a reception.

The event will be on Thursday, March 21st from 5:30 – 7:30 pm in Bartley 2045.  It is co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science, the Career Center, and the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

If you have questions about the event, please direct them to Dr. Jennifer Dixon or Dr. Marcus Kreuzer in the Department of Political Science.

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Scholarship@Villanova talk featuring Dr. Jennifer M. Dixon on Dark Pasts: Changing the State’s Story in Turkey and Japan

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019, at 12:00 PM in Room 205

Please join us on Wednesday, February 6 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library for a Scholarship@Villanova talk featuring Jennifer M. Dixon, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Political Science. Dixon will give a talk about her new book titled, Dark Pasts: Changing the State’s Story in Turkey and Japan.

When and why do states change the stories they tell about dark pasts? Over the past two decades, as international expectations about truth-telling and accountability have grown, many states have been called on to recognize and apologize for historic wrongs. While some states have apologized for past crimes, others continue to silence, deny, and relativize dark pasts. In her new book, Dark Pasts, Jennifer Dixon investigates the sources of stability and change in states’ narratives of past atrocities, arguing that international pressures increase the likelihood of change in official narratives of dark pasts, while domestic considerations determine the content of such change. Drawing on an in-depth, macro-historical analysis of the post-World War II trajectories of Turkey’s narrative of the 1915-17 Armenian Genocide and Japan’s narrative of the 1937-8 Nanjing Massacre, the book unpacks the complex processes through which international pressures and domestic dynamics shape states’ narratives and the ways in which state actors negotiate between domestic and international demands in producing and maintaining such narratives.

 

This ACS approved event, which is co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the Department of Political Science, the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies and the Center for Peace and Justice Education, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

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Villanova Political Science Professor’s New Book Sheds Light on 40-Year Debate that Began with Two Founding Fathers

Author offers a revisionist account of the national bank controversy that started with Hamilton and Jefferson

Political Science professor Eric Lomazoff is pictured on the right, and the cover of his new book is pictured on the left.

The rap duel between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway hit Hamilton popularized what is known as the national bank controversy, but the 40-year constitutional debate was much more dynamic than a two-sided argument over a single constitutional provision. In a new book, Reconstructing the National Bank Controversy (University of Chicago Press, 2018), Villanova University Political Science assistant professor Eric Lomazoff, PhD presents a more robust and nuanced account of the controversy that can help explain the roots of modern American monetary politics.

The debate between Hamilton and Jefferson was born out of conflicting interpretations of the Constitution’s Necessary and Proper Clause, which authorizes the federal government to make laws that are necessary for exercising its other powers. Dr. Lomazoff argues that the standard account of the controversy is incomplete.

“We often think of the national bank dispute as a recurring, two-sided controversy from 1791 to 1832 between those who wanted to give the Necessary and Proper Clause a broad interpretation and those who wanted to give it a narrow interpretation,” Dr. Lomazoff said. “My book offers a revisionist account designed to show that the real story is far more complicated than that.”

Dr. Lomazoff says the national bank controversy was shaped as much by politics as it was by law—a point political scientists have been stressing for decades in the context of American Constitutionalism, or public law.

“American constitutional development has been meaningfully informed not only by law but also by politics,” he said. “In that sense, my book is designed to deepen an existing line of research by extending its core claim to a major new site of controversy.”

Dr. Lomazoff’s research focuses on constitutional law and he has published articles in several academic journals including Studies in American Political Development. He is a native of Philadelphia and earned his PhD in Government from Harvard University.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.

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Histories of Democracy – A Two-Part Conversation Series

Amid concerns that democracy may be in danger in the U.S. and around the world, the Lepage Center takes a step back to examine the origins of democracy, its applications, where it has delivered on its promises, and where it has fallen short. As Americans prepare to vote in consequential midterm elections, this two-part event series will reveal how ideas about democracy and participation have changed over time, how perspectives on democracy are more nuanced and complex than we may believe, and where this leaves us today.
A two-part conversation series hosted by the
Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest
at Villanova University

Monday, October 29th
American Perspectives: Promises and Shortcomings
Driscoll Auditorium, Driscoll Hall, Villanova University (view map, bldg #15)
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Featuring:

joanne_freeman

Joanne Freeman
Professor of History and American Studies,
Yale University and co-host of Backstory Radio

jonathan_lai

Jonathan Lai
Journalist, Philadelphia Inquirer covering issues of absentee ballots, gerrymandering, & digital privacy

dorsey

Allison Dorsey
Professor of History, Swarthmore College and scholar of Reconstruction & Civil Rights

rosier

Paul Rosier
Mary M. Birle Chair in American History,
Villanova University and scholar of Native American politics & history

Moderated by Jason Steinhauer, Director, Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest, Villanova University

 

Monday, November 12th
Global Perspectives: Revolutions and Empires
Driscoll Auditorium, Driscoll Hall, Villanova University (view map, bldg #15)
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Featuring:

hibba

Hibba Abugideiri
Associate Professor of History, Villanova University and scholar of Middle East history

freinberg

Melissa Feinberg
Professor of History, Rutgers University and scholar of Communism, the Cold War & human rights

gaffield

Julia Gaffield
Assistant Professor of History, Georgia State University and scholar of the Haitian Revolution

maia

Maia Otarashvili
Deputy Director of the Eurasia Program, Foreign Policy Research Institute and co-editor of the 2017 volume Does Democracy Matter?

Moderated by Paul Steege, Faculty Director, Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest, Villanova University

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Elections 2018 Speaker Series

Join members of the Villanova University Political Science Department for the Elections 2018 Speaker Series. Topics to be discussed: Congressional Elections, Russian Meddling, Election Outcomes and their Implications, and Emotions. Each discussion will take place Sept. 24, in the Falvey Memorial Library Speakers’ Corner, 7-8 p.m., and will be followed by Q&A from the audience. Don’t miss out on this exciting series!

For more information:
https://www1.villanova.edu/dam/villanova/govtrelations/Speaker%20Series.pdf?utm_source=fsbroadcast.2018.09.24&utm_medium=newswireEmail&utm_campaign=fsbroadcast

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See what’s happening at the Lepage Center this semester!

https://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/lepage/events.html

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