Listen to Dr. Camille Burge Discuss the Democratic Presidential Debate on NPR

Democratic Presidential Debate: October Edition

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Faculty Panel – The 2020 Census: 10/23

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Join Us on 10/3 For “Election Law 2020” with FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub

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The Law School and Political Science Department are pleased to be hosting Ellen Weintraub, the Chair of the Federal Election Commission, for a visit to Villanova on  Thursday, October 3 at 12:15pm in Room 202 of the Law School. Chairwoman Weintraub will speak about the role of the FEC and election law and campaign finance issues relating to the 2020 election, and the event will be moderated by Dean Mark Alexander.

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Dr. Camille Burge discusses “Racist Rhetoric in the White House” with Marty Moss-Coane

Racist rhetoric from the White House

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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

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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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