Professor Schrad Discusses Syria Following the Obama-Putin UN Meeting

Courtesy of the Kathleen Dunn Show on Wisconsin Public Radio. Access the interview here.

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Dr. Mark Schrad’s Very Personal Take on Ohio’s Down-Syndrome Abortion Debate in the New York Times

The state of Ohio is currently debating legislation that would outlaw abortion in the case of an in-utero diagnosis of Down syndrome. Since Professor Schrad and his wife, Jennifer, have encountered the heart-wrenching decisions associated with that situation firsthand, their experiences and insights–published in The New York Times–are especially relevant to contemporary debates.

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Dr. Jennifer Dixon comments on genocide survivor’s testimony

The Shoah Foundation is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide by showcasing, over thirty days, some of the hundreds of survivor testimonies. Prof. Jennifer Dixon, an expert on the politics of genocide and mass killings, was invited by the Shoah Foundation to write an introduction for the testimony of Haig Baronian. Read her introduction and Mr. Baronian’s video testimony.

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Dr. Kunle Owolabi awarded prestigious fellowship

Dr. Olukunle P. Owolabi (Department of Political Science) has been awarded a visiting fellowship by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. The Kellogg Institute is an interdisciplinary research institute that sponsors scholarship on democracy and human development, linking University of Notre Dame faculty from various departments with researchers and scholars from across the globe.

As a visiting fellow, Dr. Owolabi will spend one semester (either Fall 2015 or Spring 2016) at the Kellogg Institute, completing his book manuscript entitled, “The Colonial Origins of (Under)development, Dictatorship, and Democracy: West Africa and the West Indies in Comparative Perspective.” A recipient of various Kellogg grants and fellowships during his doctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Owolabi is excited for the opportunity to complete his book manuscript as a visiting fellow at the Kellogg Institute.

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What does the Middle States Commission do?

In this post, we explain the role of Middle States, which accredits institutions such as Villanova University. We often hear mentioned the name, ‘Middle States,’ in various contexts but many students and faculty pay very little attention to it most of the time. Prof. Johannes is, by our knowledge, the only Villanova professor who has been appointed an MS Commissioner. His most recent external review of a political science department was conducted at DePaul University in Chicago.

The Middle States Commission is a member organization of over 500 colleges and universities from New York to Maryland and the District of Columbia, plus Puerto Rico.  The Commission’s mission is to assist these schools maintain high quality educational programs and to improve their operations, and it does so through an accreditation process, itself regulated by the U.S. Department of Education, involving  regularly scheduled reviews of and visits to those institutions. Accreditation is important, not only for what it says about the institution (that it is on solid footing, delivering a quality education to its students) but because only if accredited may a college’s students receive federal financial aid.  There are 25 commissioners including  academic administrators such as college presidents and vice presidents, faculty members of various colleges and universities, and three “public” members.  As a Commissioner, Dr. Johannes sits with the other commissioners at a total of six Commission and committee meetings each year to evaluate the reports issued by the teams that visit the institutions,  to review follow-up reports those institutions may be required to make,  to understand the strengths and perhaps weaknesses of the schools, and then to render judgments as to whether or not they have meet the Commission’s fourteen standards and are worthy of Middle States accreditation.  Dr. Johannes has served as a Commissioner since 2012.

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Matt Kerbel on Radio Times

Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane hosted Matt Kerbel and NY Times columnist, Frank Bruni, last week to talk about political dynasties.

Listen here:

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VU PSC a Top Ten Program

Our political science department was just named a top ten department in the country by College Factual, a USA Today project that determined its rankings on the basis of a number of factors.

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