Message from Section President
Dear Section Members:
Wow, when I left Albuquerque after the Teaching and Learning Conference in February of 2020, I had no idea that it would this long before we all could see each other again. Otherwise, I would have given all of you a much bigger goodbye hug! A lot has happened in the last 18 months – the pandemic has taken a huge toll on our country, some of us were back in the classroom but many were not, we have learned new technology and new ways of teaching, and thankfully, a vaccine has gone into the arms of many. As I write this, the Delta variant is surging across the nation – but, more and more people are getting the vaccine. Even in my home state of Texas, we are seeing the vaccination rate go up! There will be light at the end of this tunnel.
The APSA Annual Meeting (September 30-October 3) with the theme of “Promoting Pluralism” will return to an in-person meeting in Seattle, but also offering a virtual option. Mark Carl Rom (Georgetown University) and Rachel Bzostek Walker (Collin College) are serving as the Program Chairs for the Political Science Education section and have worked hard to create a dynamic program for us – many thanks! The fourth “TLC at APSA,” the teaching and learning conference-within-a-conference will take place Saturday, October 2 as part of the annual meeting. In keeping with the Annual Meeting theme, this year’s TLC@APSA theme is “Teaching Pluralism through Political Science Education.” Workshops and Panel Sessions will focus on teaching pluralism to build classrooms and environments that encourage students to develop a deeper understanding along with tolerance of diverse ideological thought. Many thanks to the co-chairs for the conference, Patrick McKinlay (Morningside College) and Tavishi Bhasin (Kennesaw State University). Program co-chairs for the 2022 Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec, Canada are Bobbi Gentry (Bridgewater College) and Laura Roost (Newberry College) so thanks to them as well as they begin the job.
The Political Science Education section will hold its business meeting on Friday, September 30 at 6:30 (PST). As soon as I have the room assigned to us, I will post an announcement in APSA Connect along with a link with ZOOM for those not attending in person. Please join us for the meeting as we will have several items of interest. The highlight of the meeting is the presentation of our annual awards – Craig L. Brians Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research & Mentoring, APSA Best Conference Paper 2020, Distinguished Service Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award. Our section is also helping to sponsor the reception after TLC@APSA and the winners will also be announced there. APSA has also put out a call for a new editorial team for the Journal of Political Science Education with the deadline for application on September 1, 2021 – we encourage members of our section to consider applying.
One of the goals of our section is to have more visibility across the APSA organization. We have made great progress in helping to achieve this goal. John Ishiyama (University of North Texas) is the incoming President of APSA! Michelle Deardorff (University of Tennessee, Chattanooga) served as Vice President. 2021 APSA Council Nominations include Juan Carlos Huerta (Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi) for Vice President and Mary McHugh (Merrimack College) for council member. This is fabulous recognition for our section. In addition, Alison McCartney (Towson University) was asked to serve on the Distinguished Teaching Award Committee and Elizabeth Matto (Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University) was asked to chair the Civic Engagement Award Committee. To say that I am excited about these nominations would be an understatement! Congratulations to all.
Finally, I want to thank all of the members of the PSE section executive board who have all done an amazing job and stepped up when asked. We have voted by Doodle and talked by Zoom (who would have thought that we would be using such terms!) and somehow persevered – my utmost gratitude during these challenging times. I also want to thank Bobbi Gentry on her work these past many years as editor of our newsletter – a job well done. Bobbi is ready to turn loose of this responsibility so we will be searching for a new editor. If anyone is interested, please let me know and I will pass on to the executive board for selection.
As we begin another academic year filled with uncertainty, I again urge you to stay well, to stay safe, and to try to stay sane……
Published since 2005, The Political Science Educator is the newsletter of the Political Science Education Section of the American Political Science Association. Dr. Bobbi Gentry (Bridgewater College) was the Editor for the Fall 2021 addition. Since 2020, APSA Educate has co-published the Political Science Educator. You can see last years publication here. A curated list of select essays can be viewed here. The entire archived collection can be viewed here.