Welcome to the world of Politics and International Affairs!
Our department’s focus is both domestic and international, with particular strengths in environmental politics and sustainability, political economy of development, and politics of diversity.
We offer undergraduate and graduate courses in:
- American politics
- international relations and comparative politics
- public policy
- public administration
Additionally, our department is led by dynamic faculty engaged in cutting-edge research and dedicated to teaching in a small classroom.
Congratulations Heather Farley and Jim Buthman, PhDs
During the fall semester, the Department of Politics and International Affairs hosted the defense of two dissertations. The dissertation is the final required component for the PhD in Political Science. On Friday, November 8th, Jim Buthman successfully defended his dissertation entitled, "Empowered: Renewable Energy, Western States, and the Bureau of Land Management." The project investigates the intersections among federal projects, states in the southwest, and the BLM. On Thursday, November 21st, Heather Farley successfully defended her dissertation entitled, "Interpreting Sustainability: An Analysis of Sustainable Development Narratives among Developed Nations." The dissertation project explores the ways that OECD nations interpret "sustainable development," and the policy implications of the dominant narrative(s) around sustainability. Congratulations, Professors Farley and Buthman!
Model United Nations undergraduates demonstrate excellence, bring home awards from MUN conferences
Three undergraduates representing NAU (pictured left), Rebecca Andryushchenko, Shilo Rynn, and Nick Schlegel, brought home awards from the National Model UN conference. The conference took place in Washington D.C. during the last weekend in October 2013. Of 100 universities represented at the conference, these students earned an honorable mention, placing in the top tier of delegations for the entire conference! NAU stood out as a global competitor and established themselves as a force to be reckoned with at this year's national conference. Additionally, the MUN team returned from the University of California at Santa Barbara MUN conference with excellent news. The NAU team, which includes 27 undergraduate students, received the high honor of Distinguished Delegation. The NAU team placed higher than teams from Stanford, USC, UCLA, ASU and UofA. In addition, the following students received individual awards.
- John Kelly, Outstanding Delegate
- Greg Goekler, Outstanding Delegate
- Greg Wilson, Distinguished Delegate
- Claire Bergstresser, Distinguished Delegate (first time conference attendee)
In November, at the American Model United Nations conference in Chicago, the NAU delegation won the "Exceptional Representation Award." Special recognition goes to the following undergraduates: Lauren Sharrock, John Kelly, Caitlin Rynn, Greg Wilson, and Greg Goekler. Way to go! The Model United Nations Club at NAU demonstrated excellent, professionalism, and ranks as a global competitor at MUN events this year!
Undergraduate Peplinski placed in competitive Arizona Legislative Internship
Brandi Peplinski applied for and was placed a competitive internship, beginning January 2014. Peplinski's duties, while working for the Arizona Senate, will include writing summaries of bills, attending committee hearings, presenting bills, and communicating with elected officials. The internship will complement Peplinski's undergraduate coursework, a degree in Political Science.
Undergraduates Chavez and Plonsky earn graduating senior awards
Congratulations to graduating senior Brian Plonsky (pictured left, top) for demonstrated commitment to academics and leadership. Plonsky was nominated for the distinguished senior award for the fall 2013 semester. Plonsky was selected from a competitive pool of outstanding seniors from the College of Social and Behavioral Science. The NAU Alumni Association presented the award at a recent ceremony. Congratulations to graduating senior Magalie Chavez (pictured left, bottom), an undergraduate student majoring in international relations, was awarded the golden axe award and the president's award. The golden axe award is granted to seniors each semester based on a student's outstanding contributions to academic performance, service, and activities. The president's award is given to outstanding graduating seniors who have contributed to service at NAU and demonstrated excellence in academics and leadership. Congrats on these outstanding achievements! For additional information on these student awards, check out NAU News.
Faculty named in sophomore "NAU Experience"
The recent sophomore survey named many of the faculty from Politics & International affairs. Students thanked and commended Gretchen Gee, John Hultgren, Stephen Nuno, PhDs in addition to NAU alumni Mark Montoya and Naomi Pinion, PhDs. For more information, see the NAU Experience.
Faculty news & updates
- Professor Jacqueline Vaughn, PhD will be presenting a paper, "Frosting or Cake? Philanthropy, Nonprofit Partnerships and the National Park Service" at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association in New Orleans in January. She will also be serving as a chair of a panel on Executive Powers and Executive Privilege, and as discussant on a panel on Environmental Policymaking at the Local Level.
- Professor Zach Smith, PhD is publishing two books with Routledge Press UK: Sustainability: If it is Everything it is Nothing (published with Heather Farley, PhD) and What is Water Worth? (published with Kira Russo). Professor Smith also signed a book contract with Routledge for a book tentatively titled Why REDD Will Fail (forthcoming 2014).
- Professor Zach Smith, PhD will present "Administering Public Art Programs in Arizona's Cities and Towns: Development, Operation, and Promotion" at the International Society of Management and Behavioral Sciences Conference in Montreal. A publication with the same name is currently under review for publication in the Journal of Arts Management.
- Professor Zach Smith, PhD will present "Building Civic Engagement Through Public Art" at the Southern Political Science Association Conference in New Orleans (January 2014).
- Professor Paul Lenze, PhD will present "Civil-Military Relations in the Middle East: Leadership Traits of Egyptian Military Officers" at the Southern Political Science Association Conference in New Orleans (January 2014).
- Professor Paul Lenze, PhD will present "Death Knell for Democracy?: Civil-Military Relations in 1991 Algeria and 2013 Egypt" at the Western Political Science Association Conference in Seattle (March 2014).
- Congratulations Professor Paul Lenze, PhD on forthcoming book publication Civil-Military Relations in "Islamic Democracies": Military Intervention & Withdrawal in Algeria, Egypt, Pakistan, and Turkey contracted with First Forum Press.
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Department of Politics and International Affairs
Raul H. Castro Social and Behavioral Sciences
5 E. McConnell Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ. 86011
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