Department of Political Science

What is Political Science?

Political science is the study of constitutions, law, and government, at the local, national, and international levels, and of those things that influence the exercise of political power, such as individual interests and attitudes, norms, institutions, and culture.

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Alumni Night 2024

March 4, 2024

On Wednesday, February 21st, Discourse in Democracy hosted the department’s annual Alumni Night. A panel of alumni shared their post-graduation experiences with an audience of more than 50 students. The alumni discussed their careers and advised attendees on several topics of professional interest, including developing relationships with faculty members, internships, and curating resumes to their benefit.

The panel consisted of three alumni:

  • Stephanie Luna (MA Legal Studies 2022), a legal assistant for SWBC (Southwest Business Corporation) in San Antonio.
  • Kate Moriarty (BA 2019), a Management Analyst with the City of Hutto’s City Manager’s Office.
  • Larry Gonzales (MPA 2014), former Texas state legislator and current lobbyist.

A question-and-answer session and informal conversations between the students and alumni over refreshments and pizza followed the presentations. Students who attended the event were given department swag which included t-shirts, hats, USB drives, and beanies.

Mackenzie Rothrock, a public administration student who attended the event, said that it was “very insightful to hear from people who have had success in the political science and public administration fields. Being able to chat with the alumni afterward was also a great opportunity to get one-on-one advice about the hiring process and various jobs available upon graduating.”

SWIPS Hosts Dr. Lauren Rowlands

February 29, 2024

On Thursday, February 22nd, Supporting Women in Political Science (SWIPS) hosted their second meeting of the semester featuring Dr. Lauren Rowlands. Dr. Rowlands, a lecturer who joined the department in the fall of 2022, spoke to the group about what kind of jobs are available after obtaining a Political Science/Public Administration degree. She also discussed internships and many other opportunities that members could seek in the field of Political Science.

Following the discussion, the vice president of SWIPS shared information about the upcoming election and discussed future department events. Students and attendees were then able to enjoy the provided food and drink while planning their next meeting.

This meeting ended with a series of questions, and officers encouraged members to attend a workshop day designed for members to get a better feel for what they would like to pursue in the future.

SWIPS is a nonpartisan women’s organization at Texas State University. They are a professional education and development organization centered around aiding political science majors and other students with exploring all facets of political science so they may discover their professional and academic interests. SWIPS meets every other Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

If you’d like to learn more information about this organization, you can contact SWIPS President Myleen Gamez at mlg269@txstate.edu.

Dr. Helen Lowman Featured in Inklings Presentation

February 15, 2024

On Tuesday, February 13th, the department’s Dr. Helen Lowman delivered the first Inklings talk of the spring semester. Entitled “National Service Models: Exploring Options,” the talk explore various forms of national service including the military, the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. After the presentation, Dr. Lowman opened the floor for participants to ask questions about her experience in the Peace Corps and national service.

A former Peace Corps volunteer, Dr. Lowman was the organization’s Director for Volunteer Recruitment and Selection from August 2013 to October 2015, and as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s associate director for individual and community preparedness from November 2015 to January 2017.

Brandon Bain, a graduate student in the department who attended the event, said that “Dr. Lowman’s perspective on National Service provided valuable insight into the different service models and interesting information about potential future career options.” Kyle Turner, another graduate student who participated in the conversations following the presentation, said that “as a veteran, I found her discussion of selective service and how it works very interesting.”

The original Inklings consisted of a small group of intellectuals (whose ranks included J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis) who met weekly at Oxford University to read aloud and discuss their works in a spirit of fellowship and civil conversation. In the spirit of these Inklings, the Department of Political Science at Texas State University has held similar gatherings for more than two decades.

For more information on the series, please contact Dr. Arnold Leder at al04@txstate.edu.

Visiting Professor Recognized in Nigerian Newspapers

February 15, 2024

Sheriff F. Folarin, a leading African academic who will be a visiting professor at Texas State this fall, was the subject of profiles in two major Nigerian newspapers, P.M News and The Nation.

Folarin received his Ph.D. from Covenant University in Nigeria where he later taught for many years. He has previously taught at several American institutions including Ithaca College and the University of South Carolina. His publications include The United Nations and Sustainable Development Goals (Palgrave Macmillan), Religion and Global Politics: Soft Power in Africa (Lexington Books), and Rwanda’s Radical Transformation Since the End of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi (Palgrave Macmillan). He is a former Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow and United States Institute Fellow, he currently serves as Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Good Governance Worldwide. He was a visiting scholar at Texas State during the fall of 2022.

PM News described him as “a beacon of knowledge, an advocate for unity, and a leader shaping the discourse on a global scale. His journey is not just academic; it is a testament to resilience, leadership, and a commitment to making a lasting impact in the world of education and beyond.”

While at Texas State, he will be teaching courses in public administration and international relations.

MOAS/MUN Teams Meet with University President

February 2, 2024

Texas State President Kelly Damphousse visited the department on January 22nd to meet with the Model United Nations (MUN) and Model Organization of American States (MOAS) students. After a discussion of the awards won by the respective teams and individual students at competitions in 2023, the conversation explored the benefits that students can receive from participating (such as the development of diplomatic and leadership skills). President Damphousse thanked the students and spoke about how activities like this contribute to the overall success of the university.

The following students attended the meeting with President Damphousse:  Sarah Benitz,  Madison Buchanan, Isabel Durate, Zack Estrada, Maddie Gau, Mike Grubbs, Ethan Guinn, Emily Hanna, Sofia Hernandez, Simon Kinski, Robert Mancha, Lillian Martinez, Reme Okasheh, Cadi Powers, Thiago Rocha Leite, Nolan Ruhland, Isabella Snyder, Jorge Tamayo, Braiden Touchette, Sandra Trujillo Gaytan, Justin Williams, and Austin Wright.

Political Science Open House

January 23, 2024

On Friday, January 19th, the Department of Political Science held an Open House for incoming freshmen and transfer students. The event allowed attendees to learn about the department and to make connections with faculty, staff, and fellow students as they begin classes. Around 35 students attended the event, and they were able to get information on degrees offered by Political Science, get advice for degree planning, and spin the wheel for department swag such as t-shirts, lanyards, hats, and water bottles.

David Rodriguez, a political science graduate student who assisted at the event, said that he “met a lot of fascinating new students who are very passionate about their studies, including some who were thinking about switching their major to political science.”

Department Publications

The Department of Political Science houses two academic journals, an international mediation newsletter, and two program magazines - Political Science's Alumni NewsWire and Public Administration's Public Matters.