Events Archive

For the first time ever, SPIA hosted a cornhole tournament to welcome students, staff, and faculty back to campus. This friendly game provided an opportunity for mingling outside of the classroom. There was pizza, cold drinks, and plenty of spirit to go around! Congratulations to the winners Lauren Leong and Josh Huffman.

Winners Lauren and Josh
Mackenzie Collett tosses a beanbag
Lauren holding the trophy
Teams playing corn hole

Dr. Karen Mossberger, Frank and June Sackton Professor, School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University, was the 2022 Michael Margolis Lecture in Digital Citizenship speaker. 

Dr. Mossberger's research interests include local governance, urban policy, digital inequality, evaluation of broadband programs and digital government. Her most recent books are "Digital Cities: The Internet and the Geography of Opportunity" (Oxford University Press 2012, with C. Tolbert and W. Franko), as well as the "Oxford Handbook of Urban Politics" (2012, with S. Clarke and P. John). 

Celebration of the launch of the new School of Public and International Affairs, held in Nippert North Pavilion with guest lecturer Dr. Ben Buchanan of Georgetown University. 

Dr. Buchanan is on leave from his professorship at Georgetown University to serve in the Biden-Harris Administration as the Assistant Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He previously served as Senior Faculty Fellow and Director of the CyberAI Project at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) at Georgetown. He is the author of two books, The Hacker and the State and The Cybersecurity Dilemma.

Overhead view of all attendees.
Ben Buchanan Lecturing
Student Janice Rotich with Dr. Richard Harknett.

Dr. Richard Harknett’s Opening Statement on the School of Public and International Affairs - April 7, 2022

Thank you, Dean Ferme for having faith in us to accomplish great things and being with us today.

Hello everyone, I am Richard Harknett and I am incredibly excited to be named the first Director of our new School of Public and International Affairs.

So some context for today:

For a couple of millennia, who ruled over a society depended on who, frankly, their father was—bloodlines drove governance. The relationship between those ruled and those rulers was one of subservience—you served the ruler. Fairly recently in human history a revolutionary idea took root—that the people within a society should decide collectively on who should rule and that the core purpose of holding political power was in service to the people. Imperfect in implementation, this idea has blossomed and advanced humankind. But as a form of governance only around for perhaps less than 10% of human existence, we have a long way to go in understanding how to make it work in the ideal.

We have assembled an intellectual community of researchers, faculty, students, and partners interested in studying the mechanisms of good democratic governance. Our faculty study it from all aspects—why people vote, its legal structures, its identity structures, its security contexts and do so both focused on the peculiarities of the United States domestically and comparatively across the globe and how the interactions of states and non-state actors drive higher level politics.

SPIA represents a commitment to turn that intellectual energy into a purpose beyond just academic progress—we want SPIA to translate theory into real impact—it requires us therefore to be more active and more intentional in understanding how we can bring a value-add to our societies and working with our students to create the solution sets that will advance human progress.

Our ambitions, therefore, for this School are big—and given the difficult times we live in in which trust in core institutions is declining and seeking division seems to animate people more than achieving agreement seems to excite them—the purpose of SPIA is of critical importance.

Nine years ago, a small department of political science committed itself to make bigger and broader impacts and transform itself—fast forward to today and there are too many people to thank for getting us to this point—a point not of accomplishment, but rather a point of launch. While today is exciting, it is what lies ahead for us that is inspiring.

I call on all our alumni, students, community partners and university colleagues to join in supporting our mission to be the nexus of theory and action—to forge big intellectual ideas into positive public impact. As SPIA, we intend to partner with students, communities, and governments to inspire innovative ideas and action, build trust and engagement in democratic governance nationally and globally, and champion the pursuit of human progress centered on equity and justice.

We are already getting great support. I am pleased to announce that we have recently received a $75,000 gift to advance opportunities for our graduate students to learn sophisticated research methods and $50,000 annually moving forward from the state to provide undergraduates with paid internships opening up new doors to learning in action. This is just the start. We will be communicating with all of you over the next 6 months about our ambitions and have another big transition next year when we move into the new Clifton Court Hall Building

So, Thank you for joining us today. I’ll be back to introduce our wonderful new staff we have brought onto our SPIA team to support our new mission.

One reason I am confident of success in this endeavor is because of the great students we have in SPIA and now let me turn over to my colleagues to induct some of our very best of those students into our Honor Society.

The event also highlighted student inductees into Pi Sigma Alpha- the National Political Science Honor Society, see video below.

Dr. Shirin Saeidi, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Arkansas, visited UC to discuss her new book. The book, titled Women and the Islamic Republic: How Gendered Citizenship Conditions the Iranian State, was published in January 2022.

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Dr. Shirin Saeidi lecturing