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Alumni News

Seven SPIA Grads Named to 40 Under 40 Class of 2015

School of Public and International Affairs

Department of International Affairs

Department of Political Science

Department of Public Administration and Policy

Sep 2015

Seven SPIA Alumni have been named to the UGA 40 Under 40 class of 2015. These prominent people have made an impact in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors and have demonstrated dedication to the University of Georgia and its mission of teaching, research and service. And above all they represent the very best of UGA graduates.

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Faculty News

Remembering Dr. Howard J. Wiarda, 1939-2015

School of Public and International Affairs

Department of International Affairs

Sep 2015

Howard J. Wiarda, the Dean Rusk Professor of International Relations in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia and formerly the Leonard J. Horowitz Professor of Iberian and Latin American Studies at U-Mass died on September 12, 2015, just 2 months shy of his 76th birthday. After an illustrious career at the University of Massachusetts, at Amherst (where he still holds the unbroken record of becoming the youngest Full Professor at age 33 in the Department of Political Science), Professor Wiarda became the Founding Head in 2003 of the newly created Department of International Affairs, one of three Departments of the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia. He is survived by his wife Dr. Iêda Siqueira Wiarda, herself a professional political scientist who taught at U-Mass and who also held the positions of Research Specialist at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and taught at the Department of Political Science at the University of Georgia; and three children and five grandchildren and many nephews and nieces. He also leaves many close friends and former students in Amherst, Athens, Cambridge, Washington, and elsewhere who will miss him greatly as will his colleagues at the University of Georgia.

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Student News

Justwan Joins University of Idaho Faculty

School of Public and International Affairs

Department of International Affairs

Department of Political Science

Jun 2015

The 2014-2015 academic year was a great year for job placements by Georgia's Political Science and International Affairs Ph.D. graduates. Most recently, Florian Justwan has accepted a faculty position at the University of Idaho, starting this fall. All total, five of our Ph.D. students accepted tenure-track positions, meaning that they will have the opportunity to earn tenure after several years at their new institutions. In addition to Florian's new position, Chris Hare is joining the University of California at Davis, Sarah Fisher is joining Emory and Henry College, Melanie Kolbe will be joining the Graduate School of International and Development Study in Switzerland, and Mark Owens is joining the University of Texas at Tyler. Florian Justwan will be an assistant professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Idaho. The University of Idaho is consistently recognized as one of the best public colleges by The Princeton Review, and rated as a good value for academic strength and affordability by Kiplinger's and Newsweek. The University of Idaho is also home to the McClure Center for Public Policy Research. Florian's teaching and research focuses on the effects of generalized social trust on international and domestic politics. At Idaho, he plans to continue to teach courses that introduce the fields of International Relations and Comparative Politics, as well as a course on the Politics of Development. He has already published three peer-reviewed articles in academic journals and a trade book about U.S. foreign policy with Cuba. For more information about Florian Justwan's work, see: http://florianjustwan.com/

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Student News

PhD Student Accepts Assistant Professorship in Geneva, Switzerland

School of Public and International Affairs

Department of International Affairs

Jun 2015

SPIA doctoral candidate Melanie Kolbe has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of International and Development Study in Geneva, Switzerland. Starting in September, Kolbe will be teaching Comparative Politics and Political Economy in the school’s Department of International Relations/Political Science. Her research addresses the social, political and economic aspects of industrialized nations’ management of increased immigration. She also studies the ways in which immigrants integrate into their host-society, as well as the public policies facilitating this. Kolbe’s research in immigration studies, comparative political economy and public policy also touches on such diverse topics as immigrant public opinion, interest group politics and citizenship and multiculturalism. Kolbe credits her continued success to her time at SPIA. “The faculty at the Department of International Affairs prepared me well for my career through rigorous training in political science, through rewarding intellectual engagement and challenge, and by being extremely supportive to help me become a good scholar and instructor.”

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Faculty News

International Affairs faculty earn research awards, fellowships

Department of International Affairs

May 2015

Four International Affairs faculty members were recently announced as recipients of research grants, awards, and fellowships. Dr. Lihi Ben Shitrit was named the recipient of a 2015 Sarah H. Moss Fellowship. Administered by the Center for Teaching and Learning and funded by Mrs. Moss’ estate, this fellowship provides funds for research and travel at institutions of higher education in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Ben Shitrit will be continuing her research on the Middle East this summer. Dr. Andy Owsiak is part of a research team that was awarded a Minerva Research Initiative grant. Sponsored by the Department of Defense, the initiative “seeks to build deeper understanding of the social, cultural, and political dynamics that shape regions of strategic interest around the world.” The results of the resulting research will better able policy makers address global issues today and in the future. Dr. Cas Mudde has received the very prestigious Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, named after a German Mathematician and Astronomer and is bestowed on the basis of "outstanding accomplishments in research and teaching". Awardees come from all areas of the social sciences, the humanities, and the natural sciences and are nominated by German scholars. Dr. Mudde will spend the next three summers conducting research in Berlin with German scholars. Dr. Shane Singh was named the recipient of the 2015 SPIA Research Award. Presented by the school, this competitive award recognizes excellence in research amongst the SPIA faculty and is only given to a single recipient annually. Congratulations to all of our award-winning faculty!

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Event News

SPIA Hosts First Annual Networking Night

School of Public and International Affairs

Department of International Affairs

Department of Political Science

Department of Public Administration and Policy

May 2015

On Friday, April 10, 2015, SPIA hosted its first annual Networking Night. The event offered a unique opportunity for students to network with alumni, faculty and staff. This event was the first of its kind hosted by the School, and it attracted over 200 students, faculty, staff and alumni. The Foundry Ballroom at the Graduate Hotel Athens was packed with undergraduate and graduate students, alumni working in a variety of fields, and faculty from all departments. The room was adorned with red and black balloons, hors d’oeuvres and a live band to set the tone for a fun networking event.

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Student News

SPIA student Kathleen Wilson named 2015 Truman Scholar

School of Public and International Affairs

Department of International Affairs

Apr 2015

Kathleen Wilson, a junior majoring in international affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia, is one of 58 students nationwide to be named a 2015 Truman Scholar and is UGA’s fifth recipient of the scholarship in the past five years. Truman Scholars receive a $30,000 scholarship toward graduate school and the opportunity to participate in professional development programming to help prepare them for careers in public service leadership.

UGA Public Affairs

Faculty News

Dr. Tessman Receives First-Year Odyssey Teaching Award

School of Public and International Affairs

Department of International Affairs

Apr 2015

Dr. Brock Tessman, associate professor of international affairs, was one of six UGA faculty members to receive the 2015 First-Year Odyssey Teaching Award at a reception on April 1.

UGA Columns

Alumni News

Alumna Travels to Brussels on Fellowship with European Parliament Liaison Office

School of Public and International Affairs

Department of International Affairs

Apr 2015

For SPIA alumna Kendra Pengelly, her dreams of working in international policy have become a reality, and she has the School to thank. “I graduated in December of 2014 and started working for the European Parliament Liaison Office with US Congress at the beginning of the New Year,” said Pengelly. “ I analyze legislation and policies vital to the trans-atlantic relationship between the EU and the US.” As the Robert Schuman Fellow at the European Parliament Liaison Office with US Congress, Pengelly focuses on policy relevant to homeland security, cyber security, international trade, counterterrorism, nuclear security, international human rights, and the Middle East. She works alongside eleven European Parliament Senior staffers to encourage trans-atlantic dialogue.

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Student News

SPIA Graduate Students Win Prestigious Teaching Awards

School of Public and International Affairs

Department of International Affairs

Department of Political Science

Mar 2015

The PhD program in Political Science and International Affairs boasts three recipients of UGA’s two most prestigious teaching awards for graduate students: the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, sponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost; and the Excellence in Teaching Award, sponsored by the Graduate School. Congratulations to PhD student Sarah Fisher for receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award and congratulations to PhD students Kayce Mobley and Anthony Kreis for each receiving an Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award!

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