Sunday, March 22, 2015

Studying Terrorism and the Strategic Use of Religion as a Recruitment Tool

The History & Politics Speaker Series continues with a presentation on one of the most pressing political issues of our day: the global reach of  terrorism and the use of religion in the recruitment of militants by terrorist organizations. 

On Wednesday, April 29, Dr. Nil Satana (Bilkent University, Turkey), will examine how and why terrorist groups transnationalize (expand and recruit beyond domestic borders). The event will begin at 7:00 pm and will take place in the Wick Center Social Room on Daemen's campus, located at 4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY. 

Dr. Satana will be presenting her research from a joint project (co-authored with Dr. Joanna Birnier of the University at Maryland), funded by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) The presentation demonstrates the value of social science research in understanding and solving complex political problems. 

Dr. Santana's talk is connected to the subject of a Model U.N. simulation that will be held on April 15, 2015, as part of the Daemen College Academic Festival.  Directed by Dr. Aakriti Tandon, the Model U.N. event features more than forty students from PSC 121, International Relations and HST 106, Introduction to World History II, who will simulate a UN Security Council (UNSC) session and discuss approaches to counter terrorism and violent extremism. They will specifically focus on strategies to prevent recruitment of the youth and children into terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State, Boko Haram etc.

Members of the Daemen College Community and public are invited 
to attend both of these timely events. 

About the Speaker (April 29)

Dr. Nil S. Satana received her B.A. from the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey, and has a M.A. & Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY). Her research interests include ethnic politics, democratization and civil-military relations, third party interventions in civil conflicts and religious/ethnic extremism and terrorism. Dr. Satana is a research associate at the START Center (the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism) at the University of Maryland and currently holds a grant funded by Department of Homeland Security for her project with Dr. Johanna Birnir (University of Maryland) titled “One God For All? Fundamentalism and Group Radicalization.” She has published several book chapters as well as journal articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the Comparative Political Studies, Terrorism and Political Violence, Armed Forces and Society and Turkish Studies. Dr. Satana is currently completing a manuscript on the normalization of civil-military relations in Turkey and its implications for other countries in the Middle East.

For questions regarding the Model U.N. Simulation at the 2015 Daemen College Academic Festival, or the Daemen College History & Politics Speaker series event on April 29th, please contact Dr. Tandon ( 

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Are you looking for an internship?

The New York State Assembly Intern Committee offers internships at the State Capital in Albany every Spring semester (starts in January and ends in May). This is a paid internship; Session Interns receive a $4,900 stipend (including a book allowance) while also earning academic credit. Mr. Lamark Shaw (from Daemen's Career Services Office) writes that:

"The Assembly offers up to 150 college students an opportunity to get involved in state government and gain firsthand knowledge of the legislative process. The Assembly Intern Committee carefully balances the academic curriculum with the experiential and the theoretical aspects of the internship. In addition to daily responsibilities, Interns are also assigned research and administrative responsibilities in an Assembly office."
If you are interested in learning more, contact Lamark Shaw at the Career Services Office BY CLICKING HERE, and attend the workshop scheduled for March 3. You can also learn more about the Washington Internship Institute, which many of the students in the History & Political Science Department have had great experiences with. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Jordan Sieracki discusses her "World of Opportunity" at Scholar's Day 2015

On Saturday, Feb. 7, Daemen welcomed many high-achieving future students to campus to meet faculty, staff, alumni, and current students while competing for several major scholarships as part of Scholar's Day. 

Jordan Sieracki ('15), a History & Political Science major and Pre-Law minor, was one of two Trustee Scholarship students who spoke to the crowd of future students and their parents about her experiences in the H&P Department and beyond. As Jordan explains, her studies have opened up the "World of Opportunity" that is featured on Daemen's college emblem.  

Jordan Sieracki: 
I'm sure you have all noticed on Daemen's signage and letterhead: "Daemen College: A World of Opportunity"....Through personal reflection on my college career, I have realized how my experiences at Daemen have prepared me and how through Daemen I have been presented with incredible opportunities. Coming to college, I had specific goals I set to accomplish by graduation: I wanted to learn more about US history and government, learn more about other cultures and countries, I wanted to travel, learn languages, help others, and learn more about myself.

Through my coursework, the support and encouragement and instruction from my amazing faculty in the History Department, I have learned so much about my strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and have acquired a clearer picture of my career aspirations....
 Watch Jordan's full speech below. Her comments begin at the 11:44 point in the video clip.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

The 2015 State of the Union Address

President Obama delivers the 2015 State of the Union Address to Congress
 Photo from Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images 
A Look at Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address
 - by Dr. Jay Wendland 

On Tuesday, January 20, Barack Obama delivered his 6th State of the Union [SOTU] Address in front of both houses of Congress. The SOTU is constitutionally mandated, so every year we are given the President’s take on where he hopes Congress will focus its efforts over the following year. Usually we hear a laundry list of policies and programs the President would like to see implemented; however, this year was a bit different. While we did hear a number of policies Obama would like passed, we mostly heard a positive speech on how the United States can work together and make the country better. He went back to the speech he gave at the 2004 Democratic presidential nominating convention (Obama’s first time in the national spotlight) in which he stated that there is not a red America and a blue America, but rather the United States of America.

Obama laid out plans for what he believes will make America prosper over time. He called on Congress to focus on “middle class economics,” with the goal being to help working class families get through the economic pains many are feeling. Part of his plan is making community college free for all students who wish to attend. The goal here is to get Americans the education they need to succeed in the workplace. By ensuring everyone has access to this level of education, Obama believes this will better prepare U.S. citizens for the ever-changing workforce. Obama also called for increasing the minimum wage nationwide. Some states have already increased their minimum wage (New York increased its minimum wage from $8/hour to $8.75/hour as of Jan. 1) and Obama has issued an executive order increasing the minimum wage for federal employees to $10.10/hour. However, Obama must rely on Congress to increase national minimum wage which is currently set at $7.25/hour. In his call to Congress, Obama stated that if any Congress member believes he or she could survive on $15,000 per year (the annual salary for someone making $7.25/hour), then he or she ought to “Try it!” A final part of Obama’s call to focus on the middle class was paid maternity leave and earned sick leave. He called on Congress to pass a bill allowing for 6 weeks of paid maternity leave and the ability of any worker to earn paid sick days. We are the only democratic country in the world that does not allow for paid maternity leave, something Obama has now called on Congress to change. Further, because not all workers are able to earn paid sick leave, many are forced to choose between staying home with a sick child or going to work and forcing a sick child to go to school or daycare. 

Obviously we will see debate and argument about most of these policies and ideas throughout the upcoming year. In fact, because Obama is a Democrat and both houses of Congress are controlled by Republicans we will probably see a lot more fighting than normal. In her Republican response to the SOTU, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) reiterated that the Republicans won in the midterm elections last November (Ernst being one of these recent victors) and their ideas ought to be given attention rather than Obama’s ideas. The American public spoke in November and they voiced strong support for Republican reform, Ernst argued. Taking into account both the SOTU and the Republican response, we can see quite clearly that we are in for a lot of partisan fighting over the next two years. 

Those wanting a look at Obama’s SOTU Address can view the full transcript here.

Dr. Jay Wendland received his doctorate from the University of Arizona, School of Government and Public Policy and specializes in campaigning, elections and voter behavior. In his courses, Dr. Wendland emphasize the importance of an active, involved electorate. His blog post reminds us that elections matter, and that it is our responsibility and duty as citizens to be informed.