A Political Science Degree is a pathway to law school, graduate school, or employment with government agencies or private sector organizations (businesses, interest groups, research organizations). While no specific undergraduate major is required for law school, the political science program addresses the communication skills, critical understanding of institutions, behaviors and values, and analytical thinking recommended for the study of law.
Greetings From the Chair
My name is Fred Gordon and I am the Chair for the Department of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Administration. I want to welcome you to our department. As Department Chair and MPA Director, I thought I would tell a little about my experiences. I grew up in New Jersey and lived in a lot of northeastern cities like Pittsburgh and Baltimore. I earned my Masters in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. I worked seven years in non-profit management before returning back to graduate school to earn my PhD in Political Science from the University of Southern California. I like basketball and occasionally check out the Hawks in Atlanta, but always attend CSU Cougar games.
Politics has been described as the process of who gets what where and why in society. We have made every effort to bring politics to life. We are a department that touches the community in many ways. In March 2015, our department participated in the commemorative 50th anniversary of Dr. King's historic civil rights march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. One of our students, Kwane Boyd, was interviewed on national television. Faculty have participated and shared their research endeavors by presenting at local, state and national political science seminars. Many of these initiatives include student participation. Dr. Sprayberry (History Department Chair) and I are currently interviewing former Freedom Riders. We videotape the interviews. Our plan is to create a written anthology to capture the experiences of these civil rights activists. Students are also encouraged to include an internship as part of their CSU experience. Professor Bridget Downs oversees our internship program. Students have interned in a wide array of places including the District Attorney's Office, Georgia Legislature, Public Defenders, Solicitors Office, Mayors' Office, Fort Benning, and at the RiverWarden.
Politics is the means to get things done and, no surprise, we focus on elections. We frequently hold educational forums addressing political issues. Professor Tom Dolan is frequently interviewed on local television. Please be on the lookout for CSU faculty on the evening news!! We also encourage our students to study abroad. We work very closely with the Center for International Education, which includes a summer overseas class in Oxford, England. We also have a wide array of international sponsored events. Dr. Daewoo Lee runs our very popular Model United Nations program. Dr. Tom Dolan is a Korea expert and teaches several defense and national security classes.
The why in politics can be addressed by taking our political theory courses. Drs. Okura and Vidal offer a host of political theory based courses which will challenge you. You will undoubtedly gain a deeper perspective on how decisions are made by taking some of their classes. The 2016-17 academic year will be our best year yet. First, we are growing!! Philosophy recently joined our department. We have three philosophy professors (Drs. Dan Van Kley, David Wisdo, and Marcus Wiedler) who offer classes that can be applied to your political science degree. We also welcome four new Assistant Professors, Dr. Nicholas Bolden (PhD Auburn 2015). He teaches Urban Politics and State and Local Politics. Dr. Nathan Combes (MA, Iowa State, PhD University of California San Diego 2016) specializes in Comparative Politics and International Relations. Dr. Daewood Lee (MA Johns Hopkins and PhD Indiana University) specializes in education and International Relations. Dr. Jacob Holt (PhD University of Missouri 2012) specializes in American Political Institutions.
Excited? Please mark your calendars for an upcoming luncheon program at the Schwob Library in honor of Constitution Day. This program is for both graduate and undergraduate students. As the 2016 election heats up, so will we and we hope to see you in class and at events. However, we also have an open door policy, so feel free to stop by our offices as well or be on the lookout for our welcome back party. I wish all students a hearty welcome back to CSU and hope that you have a very successful year.
Chair, Department of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Administration
NEW: The Bill Chappell Memorial Scholarship will assist students in Columbus State's Master of Public Administration program. The CSU Foundation is accepting contributions to the fund. Go to http://giving.ColumbusState.edu for instructions on donating by check and credit card or call 706-507-8955 for more information.