Please feel free to visit our department website and our Facebook page for more information about us, including our MA program for those interested. Please also consider donating to the Political Science program to help us for the coming year. We look forward to seeing you at future events and wish you all the very best.
--Dr. Charles Boehmer, Chair of Political Science
A full transcript of Dr. Kruszewski's "State of the University" address is available HERE.
Our longtime dear friend and colleague, Anne Crowther, has also recently retired as of January 2014. For many years she brightened everyone's days with her kindness and stories of the great Elvis Presley in her position as assistant clerk in Benedict Hall. She was our Elvis here in Political Science and though Elvis has left the building, she leaves us with a wonderful retrospective interview you can read in full HERE.
Last fall, as is often the case for the graduate students in our MA program, David Uresti and Alexandra Infanzon began to receive a lot of attention from outside recruiters hoping for them to apply to various programs and other career opportunities before graduation. This led David and Alexandra to embark on what one might call a series of “whistle stop tours” along the countryside to assess their options moving forward.
Having two of our students so highly sought after provides a moment of great pride for us but also comes as no surprise. In the past, we’ve often witnessed active recruitment of many of our students who have been recognized as emerging scholars. This has led to their placement at numerous top tier programs, such as the University of Washington and University of Chicago, as well as job offerings at the local, state, and national level all the way to the nation’s capital and beyond. So what was the story here?
To give you an idea... Last summer, David was awarded a scholarship to attend the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) summer program, the leading program for advanced training of methodologies and technologies for social science research. In attending second of two summer sessions held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, David took intense courses in time-series, advanced Bayesian statistics, calculus, and matrix algebra. While there, one of David’s colleagues from Texas A&M immediately took notice. Later in the fall, a TAMU faculty member, Dr. Angel Molina (a UTEP graduate from economics!) arrived to speak with our current students and was very impressed with both David and Alexandra's research and analytic skills. He also brought news of good progress about our prior student, Josiah Barrett, who had already joined the doctoral program at Texas A&M the previous year (still another of our students, Richard Flores, had similarly been recruited and ultimately decided on the University of Chicago as his destination—and the list goes on...). As David and Alexandra attest, these types of opportunities are great because they provide our students with insights into different possible career paths and allow them to meet with key individuals they are interested in collaborating with. And so it was that they made the most of their visit, later arriving back in El Paso to mull over their options well ahead of graduation…
As of the publication of this newsletter, David continues to ponder over a variety of choices, which now also include some programs leaning more towards economics (very appropriate given his exemplary statistical skills). Meanwhile, Alexandra has decided on attending a top doctoral program in Political Science at the University of Tennessee (congratulations!). We are so proud of them and all the rest of our very talented students who continue to set the bar high as UTEP moves forward into the new Centennial!
Learn more about the GRO HERE.
FACULTY ACTIVITIES: TRAIN KEEPS A-ROLLIN'
Dr. Charles Boehmer became Chairperson of the Department of Political Science as of September 1, 2014. Prior to this assignment, he completed his term as Chair of Graduate Council, which is the university faculty governance body that oversees graduate curriculum and policies. He also complete a three-year term as a fellow at UTEP’s Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning. And last but not least, he continued as co-advisor of the Global Relations Organization.
Dr. Todd Curry published a journal article entitled "A Look at the Bureaucratic Nature of the Office of the Solicitor General" in the Justice Systems Journal. The Office of the Solicitor General is internally structured as a bureaucracy, and it also functions as part of the greater bureaucracy of the Department of Justice. Members of the Office of the Solicitor General have one of three designations: solicitor general, deputy solicitor general, or assistant to the solicitor general. These individuals who hold these titles are subject to varying political and bureaucratic pressures. Taking into account this internal variation to the OSG, Dr. Curry finds that different variables predict success for each type of attorney. By examining the marginal effects of each of the variables depending on the type of attorney, Dr. Curry paints a clearer picture of the bureaucratic determinants of success for the attorneys before the Supreme Court. Aside from his research and other activities, Dr. Curry also became affiliated with the Center for Law & Human Behavior at UTEP.
Dr. Gaspare M. Genna published a co-authored book with Dr. Taeko Hiroi entitled Regional Integration and Democratic Conditionality: How Democracy Clauses Help Democratic Consolidation and Deepening (Routledge). He also published a journal article in Revista Conexão Política in which he explains that a European Union wide immigration policy is unlikely due to intergroup competition among EU citizens and non-citizens. The finding holds true even among individuals that hold a strong European identity. This is a surprising because European identity holders have traditionally been pro-immigration for non-EU citizens. Last, he published a book chapter in Remapping the Americas (Ashgate). The chapter explains that the growing economic influence of China in Latin America continues to prevent both the US and the European Union from being able to sign free trade agreements with the large Latin American economies.
Dr. Taeko Hiroi published Obstrução e Processo Decisório na Câmara dos Deputados: 1991 a 2010 in a monograph series published by the Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada in Brazil, a leading think tank linked to the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil. Dr. Hiroi also published two articles titled “Dimensions of Legislative Conflict: Coalitions, Obstructionism, and Lawmaking in Multiparty Presidential Regimes” (Legislative Studies Quarterly) and “Institutional and Partisan Sources of Legislative Conflict: The Brazilian Case” (Revista Ibero-Americana de Estudos Legislativos), and her article, “Policy Change and Coups: The Role of Income Inequality and Asset Specificity,” was published online first by International Political Science Review, with its paper publication scheduled for 2015. In addition, Drs. Genna and Hiroi’s new book, Regional Integration and Democratic Conditionality: How Democracy Clauses Help Democratic Consolidation and Deepening (Routledge) was published in January 2015. Dr. Hiroi also successfully secured extramural grants for her research on legislative malapportionment. With the grant from the Center for Global Partnership, she organized a workshop on comparative malapportionment in Washington, D.C. in August. Dr. Hiroi continues to serve as Director for Graduate Studies and faculty advisor for Pi Sigma Alpha, Political Science Honor Society. In 2014, Pi Sigma Alpha won yet another Best Chapter Award from the national office, two years in a row!
Dr. Greg Schmidt authored a chapter, “Disparidad de género en las reelecciones: Los ciclos electorales 2006 y 2010-11 en el Perú” in a book published in Buenos Aires, La representación imperfecta. Logros y desafíos de las mujeres políticas. He also taught overloads of the introductory American politics class in Spanish and presented papers at academic conferences in Chicago; Panama City, Panama; and Lima, Peru.
Dr. Cigdem Sirin published a book chapter (solo-authored) in an edited book by Routledge. She presented papers at the annual meetings of the Southern Political Science Association (SPSA), Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA), Western Political Science Association (WPSA), and American Political Science Association (APSA). Dr. Sirin was selected as Next Generation Project Texas Fellow by The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin (2014-2015) and participated in the Next Generation Project Texas Assembly on “Surveillance, Security, and Privacy from a Texas Perspective” held in Houston in January 2014. In addition to her research activities, Dr. Sirin served as Section Chair and Program Planning Committee Member for the “International Politics: Conflict and Security” section for the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association. Besides her various committee work and other professional service, she has also been serving as a faculty co-advisor (with Dr. Charles R. Boehmer) for the Global Relations Organization (GRO). Dr. Sirin was a recipient of UTEP’s 2014 Most Distinguished Faculty Member Award for commitment to teaching excellence.
Dr. Kathleen Staudt, the Endowed Professor of Western Hemispheric Trade Policy Studies, has been able to expand expertise to borders in other parts of the world. Thanks to her endowed professorship, she was able to travel to the Association of Borderlands Studies/World meeting in the Finland-Russia borderlands in June 2014 where she presented her paper with Pamela Cruz, MA (2014) on business people, their non-government organizations, and local public officials in the Paso del Norte region. Cruz was a Research Assistant with the 8-site cross-border governance research project in North America and Europe, funded by the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council. In late January, Dr. Staudt also helped UTEP host two visitors from the European University Viadrina, on the border of Germany and Poland. Last, Dr. Staudt and her co-author, Zulma Méndez, recently published Courage, Resistance, and Women in Ciudad Juárez: Transnational Challenges to Militarization (University of Texas Press 2015)
Dr. José Villalobos was chosen as a 2014 recipient of the University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award and UTEP’s Most Distinguished Faculty Member Award for commitment to teaching excellence. He was appointed as the Provost’s Faculty Fellow-in-Residence in UTEP’s Center for Civic Engagement and as a Fellow for the UTEP’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETaL). For his research, Dr. Villalobos was lead author for a journal article on White House chief of staff influence published in Public Administration (#4 in PA with a 1.863 Impact Factor), a co-author for journal article on the invocation of emotion in presidential speeches (Contemporary Politics), and a co-author for a book chapter on presidential policy czars (Congressional Quarterly Press). He also recently completed a co-authored book project entitled Czars in the White House: The Rise of Policy Czars as Presidential Managerial Tools (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming 2015). Among other things, Dr. Villalobos served as board member for the Presidents & Executive Politics section of the American Political Science Association, member of the Community Engagement Council of the Provost’s Office, executive member of the Community of Engaged Scholars (CES) initiative, director of Student Enhancement and External Relations for Political Science, and faculty advisor for the University Democrats. The University Democrats helped register over 3,170 new voters and were recognized as UTEP’s 2014 RSOlympics Champions!