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FIELD COURSE TAKES STUDENTS TO THE CENTRAL MEXICAN HIGHLANDS

September 25, 2018

FIELD COURSE TAKES STUDENTS TO THE CENTRAL MEXICAN HIGHLANDS

 

Dr. Miguel de Oliver and Dr. Richard Jones taught a Summer II (2018) course on the social and economic geography of Mexico that included a classroom portion followed by an intensive two weeks in Guanajuato, Puebla, and Mexico City. The primary focus of the field portion of the course was to bring the geography and history of Mexico to life for students—for instance, to venture deep into a Guanajuato silver mine to see how the peones managed, barefoot, to bring 120-pound loads of ore up on their backs; to proceed up the slope of an active volcano and learn how drone-monitoring of its heat and gases is pointing to additional eruptions in the near future, and later to visit a migrant village in Puebla and hear the gripping stories of death at the border; to be punted among the canals and floating gardens of an ancient lake to experience how the Aztecs farmed and ferried people and produce in pre-Columbian Mexico City.  

 

The group of eight undergraduate students and two faculty left July 24th on a circuitous Injerjet flight from San Antonio to León, Guanajuato, with stops in Monterrey and Mexico City, leaving at 11am and arriving at 11pm, only to find that their hotel reservations in downtown Guanajuato had all but evaporated, a victim of the Guanajuato International Film Festival. These things do occasionally happen in Mexico, and the professors being well-versed in such happenings, took this in stride and arranged alternate lodging for some of the party until the faux pas could be worked out the next morning with the hotel manager. This was the first of what were to be many adventures.  

 

Guanajuato is a bowl filled with jewels, a topographic basin with churches, balconied inns and businesses, the rising ramparts of the University of Guanajuato, and multi-colored homes---all strung together by streets and callejones (pedestrian alleyways) interspersed with green plazas and jardines. Four hundred years ago this valley was occupied by 50 haciendas vying for control of the richest silver vein in the world, the Veta Madre, running high along one lip of the bowl. On their first day in the city, the group surveyed this scene, ascending the opposite lip of the bowl, up to the El Pípila monument---honoring the miner who in 1810, with a slab of stone on his back as protection against Spanish guns above, ascended to the door of the Alhondiga (granary) and burned it down, allowing the peasant army of Manuel Hidalgo to stream in and kill all of the gauchupines ensconced inside---the first battle for Mexican Independence. The same day, the group visited the ex-Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera, the most famous of the early haciendas, with its patio for separating the silver from the ore, and its ornate mansion where the guide painted a picture of the patriarchal, racially-stratified society that held sway until Independence swept away the Spanish---only to install a Mexican creole society in their place. Both the Alhondiga and the hacienda emphasized various observations and questions that were points of discussion in the classroom. The second day in Guanajuato saw the group on the slope of a nearby mountain, where they were treated to an ecological farming and reforestation project, and from where they descended on bicycles to the outskirts of the city.  On the third day the students were exposed to early-morning lectures on the architecture of Guanajuato and the role of water in the economic geography of the Bajio and adjacent highlands, given by an architecture professor and a geography professor, respectively, from the University of Guanajuato. Afterwards, the group entered a silver mine, San Cayetano, and then was led by the geography professor up to the Cristo Rey de Cubilete, a church and pilgrimage site for Catholic faithful from across the country; they then descended into the Bajío, specifically the Puerto Interior, a large industrial park in Silao for TNCs such as Magna, VW, Primera Plus, Nishikawa, etc. The geography professor gave professional insights on sustainability issues---reforestation as well as the sustainability of commercial agriculture and water extraction in the Bajio---that were appreciated by the students. They emphasized sustainable development---the core of our program of Geography and Environmental Sustainability. The fourth day in Guanajuato was spent in nearby San Miguel de Allende, at the ecological farm known as Via Orgánica, and it was similarly appreciated by the students. The mission of this farm is to educate local students, international visitors, and local farmers in the practices of raising pesticide-free vegetables, free-grazing chickens, and various edible cacti. Organic fertilizers are produced using worm-composting and aromatic flowers are raised for pollination. The produce from the operation supplies the Via Orgánica Restaurant in San Miguel (where we ate lunch), which is patronized by the large American retirement community there. Our final full day in the Guanajuato area found us at a Classical Otomí ceremonial center, Canyon de la Virgen, under the tutelage of a dynamic guide and archaeologist whose description of the astronomical orientation of the center, its role as an ancient pilgrimage destination and school, and the burials found at the site, were consummately fascinating.

 

Unlike the Guanajuato portion, the Puebla portion of the field course was a “package,” including slide presentations by UPAEP professors; guides; lodging; meals; and transportation---organized by the head of short-term international student programs at the Popular Autonomous University of the State of Puebla (UPAEP). Arriving at UPAEP late on July 30th by a series of taxis and buses, we were put up in university dorms for the three nights of our stay. Our first day in Puebla took us along a jarring road up the slopes of yet another mountain, this time the active Volcano Popocatepetl (17,000 ft. +), with the professors joking about making sacrificial victims of any complaining students. This adventure (fortunately no students misbehaved) was followed immediately by a guided tour of Cholula, the prehistoric pyramid near Puebla that is the largest in volume in the world.  Benefited by another excellent, and sympathetic, guide, we questioned why this gem (and the nearby temples and burial grounds) has not been fully excavated, to learn that it has much to do with the Catholic church that graces its summit. Again, this was relevant to the classroom portion of the course, where we discussed the church’s role in the development or underdevelopment of colonial Mexico. Our final day in Puebla carried us 100km north to Preciosita, a village that provided a unique window on poverty, US migration, and how one village has responded to this migration---all extended topics of the course. Three viejitas (older women) gave harrowing accounts of the hazards and personal tragedies faced by their sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, and spouses in their attempts to cross the border and work in the United States. One of these women showed us yet another example of organic agriculture (swine biogas, worm composting, native plant medicines), funded by UPAEP and US/Mexican foundations, with the express aim to stop US migration from their town. A high point of the Puebla portion was the piñata celebration and gift-giving to the children of Preciosita, that made a lasting impression on the students for its spontaneity and uniqueness.

 

The field course finished with three days in Mexico City---another high point not least because we stayed in a towering hotel in the Zona Rosa, with a view of the new (earthquake-proof) skyscrapers that now embellish the skyline along the Paseo de la Reforma. The first morning we strolled along Insurgentes Ave. to Chapultepec Castle---a magnet since prehistoric times, the home of Mexican presidents until the 1930s, but most famous for what happened there in September 1847 as US troops were advancing on the Castle at the end of the US/Mexican War. Six cadets of the military academy at the Castle refused their commander’s order to retreat, preferring to die there instead; one (Juan Escutia) is believed to have wrapped himself in the Mexican flag before plummeting to his death from the cliff face that surrounds the castle. We dwelled for some time at the statues and monuments to Los Niños Heroes, honored throughout Mexico. After visiting the castle, our party walked to the famous Anthropology Museum in another part of Chapultepec Park. On the second day of our stay in the D.F. (Distrito Federal) we began the day at the Casa Azul, the home of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera that is now a museum devoted to the life and work of Frida. On this day we also took a launch (trajinera) on lake Xochimilco in the southern part of Mexico City, described in the first paragraph. It provided an immersion into Mexican history and popular culture not experienced elsewhere on the trip. One student took this a little too far, with a spontaneous dip in the canal. Our final day in Mexico City was marked by a relatively uneventful subway journey to the main downtown plaza (the Zócalo) with visits to the Cathedral, the National Palace, and (a few blocks away) the Palacio de Bellas Artes.

 

The group returned to San Antonio early on August 6th. The course culminated with the final exam and presentations by student duos on major questions raised during the field portion of the course.

 

Below are two students’ comments on what the course meant to them:

 

The Guanajuato-Puebla study abroad course summer 2018 was a life changing experience. Studying abroad in Mexico opened my eyes to the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone, where I learned so much about myself, others and the world. Being immersed into Mexican society was so amazing, traveling to different cultural sites, museums and experiencing life in a different culture is the best way to learn about it. After this trip I have made life long relationships with my classmates’ and professors, I appreciate the diversity of cultures, and have become a world traveler.

 

The trip had a lasting effect on my perception of Mexico as well as my perception of the United States. Through hearing stories about low factory wages or treacherous journeys across the border, I obtained a more complete understanding of the hardship of the Mexican people, especially those in rural areas, compared to the average US American. The Mexican people, despite their lower rung on the economic world ladder, were exceedingly friendly and generous. We were welcomed in and fed in several homes during our stay.  Overall my experience left me with a great admiration for the people of Mexico. 

 

Bicycle excursion, Guanajuato

Cubilete

Preciosita

Los Niños Heroes

Los Profesores Heroes

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Raven Douglas Presents at Undergraduate Research & Creativity Showcase

May 4, 2018

Honors student Raven Douglas presented this year at the Undergraduate Research & Creativity Showcase. With the help of her Faculty Supervisor Dr. Walt Wilson, she presented her thesis, "Before and After the Texas Voter ID Law. How did SB14 Impact voter turnout among communities of color during the 2014 mid-term election.  

 

 

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Model UN Society Spring Panel on Nuclear Warfare

March 30, 2018

This past Wednesday, March 28, the Model United Nations Society hosted a panel on the Politics and Science of Nuclear Warfare. Panelists included two professors from the Department of Political Science and Geography, Dr. Mathur and Dr. Thayer, and one professor from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dr. Sooby Wood. It was a great multidisciplinary event covering a wide range of topics and viewpoints on nuclear warfare and technology. The panel had a great turnout demonstrating an interest and eagerness amongst UTSA students and the community. The Model United Nations Society would like to thank everyone who came and the wonderful panelists for giving important insight on such a big topic.
 

Visit the Society Website for upcoming events & join us for our fall conference!

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UTSA Delegation @ MSC Scona 63

February 22, 2018

The weekend of February 15-17, five UTSA students had the privilege of attending the MSC Student Conference on National Affairs ‘63 at Texas A&M University in College Station. The overarching theme of this year’s conference was “New World Disorder: Reconsidering America’s Roles, Responsibilities, and Relationships”. The theme was broken down into individual “roundtable” topics, ranging anywhere from espionage to territorial conflicts in the Middle East, and drug cartels to international intelligence agreements. The purpose of each roundtable was to debate their respective topic and create an original policy paper to help negate the issue. At the end of the conference, the roundtables submitted their policy to a judge - usually a high-ranking military officer - along with a policy presentation and skit that was performed in front of the entire conference. One of the UTSA students, Sarah-Madeleine Torres, won an award with her roundtable group for ‘Best Policy Presentation’ for the topic “Sharing is Caring: The Shadowy World of Intelligence Agreements”. Throughout the conference, several influential speakers gave presentations as well. This year alone a North Korean Defector, the South Korean Consulate General, a Congressman, and retired four-star General Frank Grass all came to share their unique insights and perspectives on policies and international issues. The Department of Political Science and Geography sponsored the five students that attended MSC SCONA ‘63. It is an invaluable experience that undoubtedly helped the students learn leadership and cooperation skills, as well as afford networking opportunities that will excel in their future careers.

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Hosting the United Nations @ UTSA - The 2017 Alamo Model UN

November 9, 2017

On Friday, November 3, through Sunday, November 5, the Model United Nations Society at UTSA, graciously supported by the Department of Political Science & Geography, hosted the 2017 Alamo Model United Nations Conference. In its fourth instance, more than 110 UTSA student delegates, including international students from ITAM Mexico and local High school simulated three different UN committees, including the UN Security Council, the UN Economic and Social Council, and the UN Human Rights Council. In these committees, students of different backgrounds and majors came together for three long days, lasting from early morning hours into late evenings, to discuss global issues. This year’s topics were Climate Change, Gender Equality, and Migration.

Various global crises came up during the conference which further challenged the delegates to multilaterally come up with resolutions. As different viewpoints clashed, debates got heated yet always remained civil and appropriate to the UN framework, with lunch and dinner provided by the conference hosts to further ensure delegates working together. As resolutions were written and proposed, students developed their soft skills, moved out of their comfort zones, and shined as UN delegates. For most students involved, this was a new but also formative experience which clearly enriched their studies here at UTSA. To top things off, the event was completed by an expert presentation delivered by Prof. Jeffrey Addicot, who is currently the director at the St. Mary’s University, Center for Terrorism Law. By the end of the third day, Security Council, ECOSOC, and Human Rights Council delegates left home satisfied at the accomplishments they achieved and the many, many resolutions passed.

After this successful conference, Faculty Advisor Dr. Matthias Hofferberth is dedicated to host the 2017 Alamo Model UN Conference in the Fall next year, as well as taking the Model United Nations team to compete with other student delegates at the National Model United Nations Conference in New York. For more questions on the Model United Nations Society at UTSA or this particular conference, please contact matthias.hofferberth@utsa.edu or go to https://www.facebook.com/munsatutsa for more information.

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Constitutional Celebration

September 18, 2017

THe Undergraduate Political Science Association presents a Constitutional Celebration.

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UTSA @ ITAM 2017

September 11, 2017

Last week, ten UTSA students participated in a Model United Nations Conference hosted by ITAM (Autonomous Technology Institute of Mexico) in the heart of Mexico City. Based and structured on the actual United Nations in New York City, Model United Nations conferences simulate international diplomacy at the highest level for High school and University students across the country and even internationally.

This year's conference was special since it marked the 20th anniversary of ITAM conferences. For three days, students from universities and high schools from around the world came together to discuss pressing global issues. The UTSA delegation was sponsored by the Department of Political Science & Geography and was led by Dr. Matthias Hofferberth. The committees UTSA students participated in were the Security Council, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and the Organization of American States (OAS). Among other topics, human trafficking, women empowerment, and the situation in Venezuela were discussed.

All the delegates recognized that while they entered the room as strangers the first day, they all left as friends with a newfound appreciation of international relations in the end. In addition, Walker Adams (United States / Security Council) received the prestigious award of “Best Delegate” which is an honor given by the Committee Chairs to the delegate who showcased and represented their country to the highest standard. We congratulate him!

If you are interested in Model UN and want to participate in such great events, please reach out to Walker Adams who is currently the Secretary General for the Model United Nations Society at UTSA. The next upcoming event will be the 2017 Alamo Model United Nations Conference held November 3rd through 5th at UTSA Main Campus. This conference is open to all students and a great way to learn more about Model UN and make friends. For the application click here or visit the Society’s Facebook site to get in touch and for more information.

Jerry Sharp (UTSA Model UN Under-Secretary of Logistics)

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Summary - Frankfurt Study Abroad Summer 2017

August 28, 2017

Studying abroad is undoubtedly one of the more enriching experiences that a student can have. Our trip to Frankfurt, Germany was a remarkable experience; surrounded by breathtaking architecture, truly inspiring historical reminders, and a resolute German culture.  Not to mention, there was no better person than Dr. Matthias Hofferberth to guide this study abroad program. As a former student and teacher at Goethe-Universität, Dr. Hofferberth let his expertise and passion shine through to show us globalization from a transatlantic perspective, and not just teach it, which made all the difference. 

As a class we experienced various perspectives that allowed for a truly in depth look at the effects and the future of globalization. During the two week period we were at all times surrounded by the topics of the course. The class discussion stays with you as you walk the streets of downtown Frankfurt and even when you travel to Heidelberg and view a nearly 800-year-old castle. As Thomas Friedman once wrote, “globalization is everything and its opposite”.

This program went far beyond the classroom and suggested each student to broaden their view as the world reaches a new dimension of complexity and interconnectedness.  While exploring Frankfurt we experienced the influence of Turkish immigration on the cosmopolitan city. Most of us enjoyed more Turkish kebabs than German schnitzel. We were mostly afforded the ability to speak in English rather than communicate in the native German language. These two seemingly simple things are a part of the massive web that is globalization. The class gave an intricate and substantial meaning to these simple encounters.

The classroom itself was a setting that was more than conducive to discuss globalization, as the class was comprised of American students from UTSA and local German students from Goethe. Dr. Hofferberth provided us with the tools to consider our environment, no matter our country of origin, from a variety of theories, schools of thought, and paradigms. In the end, we were challenged to find globalization on our own as the final paper assigned each student to analyze a visualization (photo, graph, etc.) of globalization, an assignment that allowed for great creativity and permission to challenge what we had learned in class.

In addition, there were nearly daily excursions to the city of Frankfurt and neighboring cities. These field trips provided the students to not only learn about the area, but also explore the innumerable pathways to a career in Global Affairs or Political Science. For instance, we visited the U.S. Consulate, Wiesbaden U.S. Army Base Lucius Clay Kaserne, Hessischer Landtag, Frankfurt Airport, and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Just as well, we were able to learn more about higher education opportunities from Goethe University faculty.

We strongly encourage any students to explore their opportunities to study abroad, particularly with this program through the Department of Political Science and Geography. The adventure of a new country and university is worthwhile, but so is the introspection, the adventure of oneself, as the world opens itself to your imagination.

To learn more about this program, please go to studyabroad.utsa.edu or go to the UTSA Education Abroad office at Main Building 1.204.

 

Shelby Carson & Brooklyn Clow, Frankfurt Study Abroad Alumni 2017

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The Department of Political Science & Geography College Day May 11th

May 15, 2017

The Department of Political Science & Geography hosted 80 students from Memorial and Kennedy High School on May 11th  for College Day.

Matthias Hofferberth addresses high school students about college opportunities at UTSA.

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2017 Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry Showcase

April 24, 2017

April 20, 2017

2017 Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry Showcase

 

Shelby Carson (Political Science Major) presented:

Pulling Heartstrings: Moral Rhetoric and It's Influence on Partisan Journalists When Employed by the President of the United States in the State of the Union Address

Monica Pepping (Political Science and Global Affairs Major) presented:

Aging in Mexico: A Case Study of U.S. Senior Citizens and their Quality of Life in San Migual de Allende

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Campaign Bootcamp

April 17, 2017

 

 

 

Campaign Bootcamp

Friday, May 26 - Sunday, May 28

Belo Center for New Media

The University of Texas at Austin


Looking to learn what it takes to create a 

successful political campaign, advocate for a cause, 

or run for office?

 

Register to attend Campaign Bootcamp!

 

Seats are limited and will be filled on 

a first-come, first-serve basis. 

 

Don't miss this opportunity to hear from active political professionals about what it's like to work on a campaign. Republican and Democratic experts will explain the basic fundamentals of how to run a campaign, answer your questions about race strategies and tactics, and share lessons they have learned in the field.

 

Campaign Bootcamp also features a unique, interactive component where participants work together on mock campaign teams to craft a real-life campaign plan for their candidate. At the end of the weekend, teams present their plans to our mock "Texas Campaign Commission" of political professionals to try and win their endorsement.

 

Visit our website to learn more about the weekend, available scholarships and group discounts, 

and what is covered in registration.

 

 

Check out some of 

this year's Bootcamp trainers!

 

Luke Marchant (R)

Vice President at Hill + Knowlton 

& former political director for U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

 


Matt Glazer (D)

Director of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce

& former executive director for Progress Texas

 

Taylor Holden (D)

Development Director at ProgressNow Colorado

& former executive director for the Dallas County Democratic Party

 

Tyler Norris (R)

Communications Manager at Public BluePrint

& former grassroots coordinator at Texans for Ted Cruz

 

Liz Chadderdon (D)

President of the Chadderdon Group and direct mail expert

 

Pasha Moore (R)

 Founder of Holland Taucher Consulting Group 

and leading fundraising professional

 

 

Rob Johnson (R)

Founder of Johnson Strategies 

& former senior adviser to Carly Fiorina and Rick Perry

 

Chris Perkins (R)

Partner at Ragner Research Partners and expert pollster

 

Maegan Stephens

Executive Communication Coach at Quantified Communications

 

 

More speakers to be announced soon.

Register today!

 

 

If you are in need of any assistance during the event 

or have any questions about the weekend, 

please email Taylor Foody or call 512-471-2135.

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The Department of Political Science & Geography College Day

April 14, 2017

The Department of Political Science & Geography hosted over 100 students from South San High school on 4/13 for College Day.

Javier Oliva addresses high school students about college opportunities at UTSA.

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Study in Oaxaca Information Session

April 13, 2017

Study in Oaxaca Spring 2018 Information Sessions

Tuesday, April 18, Noon - 1:00

Wednesday April 19, Noon - 1:00

MH 4.04.26

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UTSA Early Voting Get Out and Vote Mixer

March 23, 2017

Get Out and Vote Mixer March 31st

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COLFA Conference

March 20, 2017

Three of our department's students are presenting at the COLFA conference:

Alejandra Munoz- Torres-

Is a Political Science Undergraduate student- Sponsored by Dr. Stefanova

Presenting- The role of domestic political economy in achieving transitional justice.
 

 

David Lawrence-

Is a Political Science Graduate student  - Sponsored by  Dr. Stefanova

Presenting- From Rus’ to Ukraine: Political Memory and Soul Searching in the Post Soviet Era

 

Javier Roman-

Is a Global Affairs Undergraduate student- Sponsored by Dr. Hofferberth

Presenting- NATO and Its Continued Presence

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John Miller Morris Student Scholarship

February 24, 2017

The UTSA community is saddened by Dr. John Miller Morris’s sudden passing.

Dr. Richard Jones, Professor in Geography, remembers on how Dr. Morris brought to UTSA students an intellectual perspective that sprang from his own consummate scholarship, and his curiosity about so many things. His rapport with students was patent, particularly his taking a personal interest in them and their careers. “Your teaching methods are amazing,” wrote one student. Another noted that Dr. Morris “is the best teacher I have had in college. He involved himself actively and took an interest in the students’ learning.” A third student offered that “I am a business student and I have taken all my electives with him…” A fourth wrote: “Professor Morris is an excellent teacher. He captivates the students’ attention from the beginning to usually a little past the end of class. His lectures provide intriguing information that is both informative and applicable to understanding past, present, and future.” A not uncommon refrain was that of a final student: “Morris is awesome! Greatest instructor at UTSA in my opinion. Major influence on my life.”

 

In 1996-97, Dr. Morris was awarded the Dean's Outstanding Teaching Award for undergraduate teaching, in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. In 2010, he won the Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Piper Professor Award, the first at UTSA in nine years and one of only nine in the history of the institution.

 

It might be imagined that someone who spoke five languages and traveled extensively (including extended time in Russia, Austria, Israel, and Mexico) would have a global perspective, and Morris did. It is interesting that he also had a Texas perspective, from his upbringing in the Texas Panhandle and his research on the area. He was involved in local planning issues, particularly environmental planning and activism in Austin. There is hardly a topic on which John did not have some degree of expertise.

 

John Miller Morris died from complications of heart bypass surgery on Thursday, February 16, 2017. He can never be replaced, and we in the department of Political Science and Geography are still mourning his death. 

Please join us in honoring John Miller Morris by helping to support the students he dedicated himself to teaching.

Donations can be made at the following link.

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Law Forum

January 31, 2017

Law forum.

 

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Forcasting the Trump Presidency (Panel Event)

January 11, 2017

A panel event featuring:

Dr. Matthew Brogdon, Dept. of Political Science and  Geography

Dr. Bryan Gervais, Dept. of Political Science and Geography

Dr. Luis Hestres, Dept. of Communication

Dr. Richard Jones, Dept. of Political Science and Geography

Dr. Ritu Mathur, Dept. of Political Science and Geography

 


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Guanajauto Field Course

November 10, 2016

PSG STUDENT/FACULTY EXCHANGE WITH MEXICAN UNIVERSITY

 

In October 2016 a Framework Agreement of Cooperation was signed between UTSA and the University of Guanajuato, Mexico.  It states that UTSA and UdeG will among other things, “Receive undergraduate and graduate students of the partner institution for periods of study and/or research; (and) Organize symposia, conferences, short courses, and meetings on research issues.”  The agreement was signed by Dr. René Zenteno, Vice-provost for International Initiatives, UTSA, and Dr. Luís Felipe Guerrero Agripino, General Rector, UdeG.

 

This agreement resulted from the summer 2016 Guanajuato field course, Geography and Social Change in Mexico (GRG 3143/4953 and GRG 6973), led by Drs. Richard Jones and Miguel de Oliver of the Department of Political Science and Geography, from July 13-August 7, 2016. After 1½ weeks in the classroom at UTSA, the group (accompanied by Dr. Nazgol Bagheri), struck out for two weeks in Guanajuato. The seven undergraduates and two graduates were exposed to a rich variety of activities. There were two classroom presentations by professors from the university. Otherwise, students had ample opportunities to investigate the historic district, its colonial buildings and monuments, its parks and plazas and markets. They visited the most famous museums of the city (Alhóndiga, Diego Rivera, Museo del Pueblo), and a hacienda. Guanajuato is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the silver-mining district of central Mexico, and has been called the most beautiful colonial city in the country. For excursions into the countryside the group rented a van, enabling them to visit Dolores Hidalgo, San Miguel Allende, a prehistoric archaeological site (Cañon de la Virgen), an organic farm, and the agro-industrial area known as the Bajío. They also off-road biked from the top of a nearby mountain into the heart of the city.

 

At the very end of the trip, the group took a bus to Mexico City for an intense two days including excursions to the Zócalo and the Parque de Chapultepec.  

 

One student’s comments summarize how much they gained from the course:

“As a student, I have gained a deeper understanding of Mexican culture, history and customs from this study abroad. I am originally from Monterrey, Mexico, but having moved to the U.S. when I was 3 years old, I never had been truly immersed in the Mexican culture growing up. Being able to go to Mexico was an experience unlike anything I could ever read in a book. Seeing so many historical sites was an incredible experience, certainly one of my most favorite aspects of the trip. Walking around the city of Guanajuato was amazing! There were so many festivals, weddings and quinceneras happening, it was truly beautiful to see. Talking with the local people was very educational because I had to speak Spanish. This trip has also helped with my career plans because I am an aspiring urban planner.”

 

 

 

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Election Party

November 2, 2016

Election Party!!!! Click HERE for more information.

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2016 Alamo Model United Nations Conference - A Big Success

November 1, 2016

On Friday, October 28, through Sunday, October 30, the Department of Political Science & Geography together with the Model United Nations Society at UTSA hosted the 2016 Alamo Model United Nations conference. In its third instance, 70 UTSA student delegates simulated the Economic and Social Council, as well as, the Security Council at this conference. This three day event, which lasted from the early morning hours into the late evening, brought together UTSA students of different backgrounds and majors to discuss world issues. This year’s topics were Non-State Terrorism, Gender Violence & Femicide, and Cyber Security and Internet Access as a Human Right. Various global crises came up during the conference which further challenged the delegates to multilaterally come up with resolutions. As different viewpoints clashed, debates got heated yet always remained civil and appropriate to the UN framework, with lunch and dinner provided by the conference hosts to further ensure delegates working together. To top things off, the event was completed by an expert presentation delivered by Laurence Vaughan, Information Communication Technology Specialist, who is currently employed at the United Nations Secretariat, Department of Information. By the end of the third day, ECOSOC and Security Council delegates left home satisfied at the accomplishments achieved and the many, many resolutions passed.

After this successful conference, Dr. Matthias Hofferberth is planning on hosting the next Alamo Model UN conference in the Fall next year, as well as taking the Model United Nations team to compete with other student delegates at the National Model United Nations Conference in New York. For more questions on the Model United Nations Society at UTSA or this particular conference, please contact matthias.hofferberth@utsa.edu or go to https://www.facebook.com/munsatutsa for more information.

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Presidential Debate Watch Party

October 17, 2016

Presidential Debate Watch Party
Panel Discussion
Featuring:
Dr. Walter Wilson
Dr. David Romero
Dr. Bryan Gervais
Dr. Stephen Amberg

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
MB 0.104
Starts at 7:00pm

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Political Science & Geography sent two teams to compete at this year’s World Quest Trivia Event

September 23, 2016

On Wednesday, September 21, the Department of Political Science & Geography sent two teams of 5 students and one professor each to participate in the World Quest Trivia Event held by the San Antonio World Affairs Council. The competition consisted of over 35 teams from a variety of backgrounds to include academic, city government, and even the food industry. Participants were given the opportunity to network with students from other academic institutions as well as employees from the government and private sectors. The questions came from a wide range of topics to include Current World News, Arts & Culture, and Food Around The World. Although the questions proved to be quite challenging, both teams were more than up to the task and powered through the total of 60 questions. Everyone had a great time and we will compete again next year!

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2016 Alamo Model United Nations Conference

September 1, 2016

Model UN

Model UN

The Department of Political Science & Geography together with the the Model United Nations Society at UTSA invite all students to participate in this year's Alamo Model UN Conference. The conference will be hosted in the UTSA University Center and will feature a simulation of the UN Security Council and the UN Economic and Social Council. It is part of the department's signature experience and will host more than 70 students!

Please find further information in the conference announcement and submit your applications here!

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Geography Masters Student Receives Over $10,000 in Scholarships

July 15, 2016

Cassandra Libhart is a first generation college graduate working on her Master of Arts Degree in Geography. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, at UTSA, in 2014. Her expected graduation term for her MA in Geography is spring 2017. Ms. Libhart recently received several scholarship awards, to include a UTSA grant, The Valero Endowed Scholarship and The Leo Block Endowed Scholarship. Cassandra decided to pursue her Masters in Geography once she learned that Geography encompasses multiple disciplines. Her research focuses on deforestation in South East Asia. The UTSA Department of Political Science and Geography is very proud of her accomplishments and expects great things from her! 

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Dr. Nazgol Bagheri featured on ESRI website

June 22, 2016

Dr. Nazgol Bagheri was featured as a GeoMentor on ESRI website.

To view Dr. Nazgol Bagheri's June 2016 GeoMentor Spotlight click here.

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