Thursday, May 22, 2014

Alumni Updates

Check out what some of our recent graduates are up to these days! 

Sarah (2013, Political Science)
Sarah Rodman (2013, Political Science) is currently a J.D. candidate at the University at Buffalo School of Law.  While at Daemen, Sarah was active in multiple campus activities (including the Pre-Law Student Association and its Annual Moot Court experience) and organized "Raise Your Voice," a musical performance to raise awareness and fight bullying. Sarah also completed an internship with the American Bar Association through the Washington Internship Institute (in 2011) and wrote her senior thesis on the crises of judicial vacancies in the U.S. district courts. Sarah is now a Summer Associate at the Law Offices of William Matar, P.C. in Buffalo, NY. 

Victoria (2011, Political Science) 

Victoria Velazquez (2011, Political Science) is currently a J.D. candidate at the Charlotte School of Law and recently completed an externship at the 6th Circuit's Public Defenders Office. While at Daemen, Victoria served in the Army National Guard and wrote her thesis on the issues facing veterans returning from the Iraq War. 

Wade (2013, Political Science) at the 2013 Academic Festival.

Wade Pietrocarlo (2013, Political Science) is currently a J.D. Candidate at the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Wade writes that his experiences at Daemen helped to prepare him for the rigors of law school: 

"My classes in judicial process, criminal law and constitutional law were immensely beneficial in preparing me for law school...having that knowledge base and foundation put me slightly ahead of other 1L law students....Our senior thesis, although unappreciated and dreaded at first, came to be an invaluable learning exercise. As a lawyer...the preponderance of your time is spent writing...Moot Court was also vital for me as I will be on the Baltimore Law Moot Court team. This transition was greatly assisted by my 3 years serving as counsel on Daemen's Mock Trial team."

Wade offers the following advice for those considering law school:

"Become an avid reader and writer. 90% percent of my time is dedicated to reading and briefing cases, and to writing and forming arguments based on my reading and research. Attending law school is essentially a full time job, so do not apply unless you are ready to commit to it entirely. However, I do still have time on the weekends to go out, grab a drink, watch a sports game or hang out with friends." 

Wade's interests are primarily focused on healthcare law and tax law, with working as hospital in-house counsel or in medical risk-management among his possible long-term career goals. While at Daemen, Wade wrote a senior thesis on medical malpractice reform in New York State.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Awards for Student Leaders and Achievers in the History & Political Science Department

The 2014 Outstanding Senior Thesis Award was given to Fuad Abdul (Political Science) for completion of his thesis, Axis of Terror: The Impact of Policy Objectives on State Willingness to Proliferate Terrorism. Fuad was the 2012 recipient of the Ruth Stratton Memorial Scholarship, presented annually to the outstanding Sophomore/Junior student in the History & Political Science Department. 

Fuad Abdul, interning at the USAFMC
Fuad recently completed an internship with the US Association of Former Members of Congress (USAFMC), which connects members of Congress with their counterparts in other countries. 

He writes: "Being at the USFMC has been an invaluable experience that exposed me to the dynamics of global and national politics. I assisted my supervisor in organizing events, including overseas study tours for US Congressmen, ambassadors, and think-tank representatives. My other duties included conducting research for the organization’s various programs as well as attending/reporting on international conferences and events on Capitol Hill. While in Washington, I also realized how skills acquired in the classroom can be applied in practice. With the guidance of the Daemen faculty, I was able to explore the realm of politics by majoring in political science and minoring in global studies. As it turned out, knowledge of both American and International politics came in handy because USAFMC simultaneously works with the national and foreign legislators. Interning in D.C. has confirmed my interest in public diplomacy and I encourage all students to seek opportunities that provide them with a real life experience in the field of their interest."

Dr. Andrew K. Wise, Chair of the History and Political Science Department
presents Fuad Abdul (2014, Political Science) with awards for the Best Senior Thesis and highest
departmental G.P.A. of the graduating seniors at the 2014 Baccalaureate Awards on May 16, 2014.

Three other students were also recognized for their leadership at the May 1 awards luncheon, hosted by the Office of Student Affairs.  

   Outstanding Student Leadership Award (Career Services): Tyler Vanice (History)

   Outstanding Student Leadership Award (Global Programs): Amber Zielinski (Political Science)

   Outstanding Student Leadership Award (Lambda Chi Lota): Jessica Todd (History) 

Congratulations to each for their outstanding accomplishment!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Dr. Jay Wendland Joins the History & Political Science Department!

Dr. Jay Wendland received his Ph.D. from the University of
Arizona, School of Government and Public Policy 

     Hi all! My name is Jay Wendland and I am excited to be joining the Political Science faculty at Daemen College next Fall! 

     I am originally from Shawano, WI but have lived in Tucson, AZ for the past 6 years where I earned my Ph.D. in May 2013 from the University of Arizona.  I specialize in American politics, specifically American political behavior.  My dissertation was focused on the role of campaign visits candidates make to the various states in presidential nomination contests.  I have taught classes on America Political Parties, Elections, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior, and Politics and Pop Culture at the University of Arizona and plan on offering similar courses at Daemen.  I also have an interest in the role of media in politics, especially with the growing prevalence and importance of the 24-hour cable news channels as well as the new media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, etc.).  I plan on developing and offering a course on this as well, as it is important to understand the role media plays in politics.  

     This Fall I will be offering the Introduction to American Politics course as well as a course on Politics and Pop Culture in America, in which we will explore various aspects of American politics through fiction and film.  I look forward to meeting all of you in the Fall! 

    The Department of History and Political Science Welcomes Dr. Jay Wendland to the Faculty! For a look at Dr. Wendland's scholarship, check out one of his co-authored papers recently presented at the State Politics & Policy Conference at the University of Indiana.  The addition of Dr. Wendland allows the History & Political Science Department to further grow its political science offerings in the fields of American Politics, including Elections and Voting Behavior.  



Thursday, May 8, 2014


Students, alumni, faculty, and friends of the History & Political Science Department celebrated the end of the 2013-14 academic year with a banquet in Alumni Lounge on Saturday, May 3.

A group of 40 students, alumni, faculty, and guests attended the banquet and heard comments from guest speaker Ms. Darcy Fargo (class of '02). Fargo explained how she had put her education as a History & Government major to work in a career in journalism and public relations.

Think creatively, Fargo urged the students in attendance, about how your skills and knowledge might be applied in a variety of careers. She advised students to consider areas beyond education and law, two leading career choices for students who major in History and Political Science. (You can find Darcy Fargo's guest blog post from earlier this year HERE.)

Guest Speaker Darcy Fargo ('02)

Students and faculty continued to socialize after dinner
In addition to students and faculty from the department, we were honored to have in attendance guest speaker Darcy Fargo (History & Government major, class of '02); Dr. Michael Brogan, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Caroline Buerk (History & Government major, class of '59 and Daemen College Trustee); Patricia Smith (Director of Leadership Giving at Daemen); Raymond Graf (History & Govenrment-Adolescent Education major, class of '03); Justin Johnston (History & Government major, class of '08 & Director of Annual Giving at Daemen); and Eric Behm (History & Government major, class of '11).

Front row (L-R): Jordan Sieracki, Zahra Nayyeri, Carla Hernandez, Caitlin Schuler, & Jessica Mark; Middle Row: Emily Kraft, Caitlyn Ebert, Shervon Weeks, and Jessica Todd; Back Row: Amy Grimes and Nicholas Paveljack

Emily Kraft, Amy Grimes, and Tyler Vanice

Francois Acosta, Dr. Joseph Sankoh, and Arthur Cruz

T is for Thesis: Some of the students in this year's Thesis Research class: Front: Tyler Vanice (History), Middle: Chris Butler (History), Back fro: Jordan Sieracki (History & Political Science), Shevon Weeks (History), and Jessica Todd (History)

Darcy Fargo with classmate Ray Graf

Left to right: Caitlin Schuler, Jessica Mark, Nicholas Paveljack, Zahra Nayyeri, and Carla Hernandez

Jessica Todd, Shevon Weeks, and Caitlyn Ebert

Jordan Sieracki, Emily Kraft, and Jessica Todd

Carla Hernandez, Zahra Nayyeri, Troy Hamlin, Shevon Weeks, Caitlyn Ebert, Jessica Todd

Special thanks to Dr. Angela Diaz and Dr. Aakriti Tandon for planning the banquet.

Photos courtesy of Angela Diaz, Penny Messinger, Zahra Nayyeri, and Aakriti Tandon.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Moderating Model UN at the International Institute at Buffalo

High school student participants pose with Daemen students Zahra Nayyeri (far left), Francois Acosta (back row, center, in blue shirt and tie), and Keyla Marte (third from right)

Francois Acosta (political science), Keyla Marte (political science) and Zahra Nayyeri (history), volunteered as committee officers for the high school Model UN Conference held at the University at Buffalo on March 18, 2014. Their involvement grew from Dr. Aakriti Tandon's International Relations class. They describe their experiences below: 


Keyla Marte:

On March 18, 2014, I was able to volunteer and participate in the International Institute at Buffalo Model UN; which involved various Western New York High schools. The experience was truly an amazing. I was assigned to the Political and Economic committee that discussed the Bitcoin regulation and alleviating the financial woes of Less Developed countries. Each country was represented by a local high school. I was able to gain firsthand experience and was impressed with the preparation and time that the high school students put into preparing for this event. Each country was well prepared and thorough with the position they held on topics in discussion. I learned about the friendly amendments and unfriendly amendments. I also learned about the overall challenging process the United Nation faces and uses in order to pass resolutions. It was a pleasure volunteering for such a positive and informational event and I hope to do it again next year!

Students display signs for their countries; Keyla Marte and Zahra Nayyeri are in the front row.

Francois Acosta:

The Model UN at The University at Buffalo was truly a wonderful opportunity to witness a cadre of high school students engage in a stimulating political debate concerning real-time issues around the globe. As rapporteur I was responsible for taking notes, processing and coding documents and amendments. I would have never expected to gain the substantive knowledge of parliamentary proceedings to international security deliberations. In fact, the event has motivated me to follow international policies in areas where there have been both political and social strife, such as the Middle East and Northern Europe.

Zahra Nayyeri and student participants


Zahra Nayyeri:

I am, also, glad that I took the opportunity to be part of the Model UN experience. It was definitely worthwhile and I'm sure I will be attending it again next year. My role in the Model United Nations simulation was vice chairing for the "Economic and Financial" committee. Our committee discussed topics like the use of Bitcoin to important yet controversial topics in Afghanistan. I truly found the entire discussion quite stimulating. At times I had a difficult time balancing between concentrating on the discussions or guiding the actual United Nations simulation. The topics were all very well researched by the students and it was amazing how well they did. It was truly inspiring to see the whole thing come together. My overall experience at the conference was definitely enlightening as far as gaining more insight pertaining to world issues and just seeing how United Nations (in real time) could potentially function. This was my first time experiencing anything related to MUN and I learned a lot. From knowing how to address the chair, making friendly amendments, knowing the difference between moderated and un-moderated caucuses. It was definitely a taxing day, but worth all the time considering how much I was able to take away from the event. With this all being said, I know I will be attending next year’s Model United Nations.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

H&G Club visits Old Fort Niagara

Students from the History & Government Club organized a field trip to Old Fort Niagara near Youngstown, NY, on Saturday, April 26, and shared photographs from the visit:

Clockwise (L-R): Jessica Mark (kneeling), Carla Hernandez, Emily Kraft, Denny Yeh, Amy Grimes, Tyler Vanice, Amanda Murphy, Scott (tour guide), Caitlin Schuler, Aman Shamaa, and Mrs.Shamaa (parent), with Zahra Nayyeri (kneeling in front).

costumed reenactor displaying musket

Standing (L-R): Amanda Murphy, Anan Shamaa, Mrs. Shamaa (parent), costumed interpreter (a Daemen alum), Amy Grimes, Carla Hernandez, Emily Kraft, Zahra Nayyeri, Jessica Mark, and Denny Yeh. Kneeling (front left): Tyler Vanice

The group prepares to enter the fort from the French entrance

Tyler Vanice & Danny Yeh view a scale plan of the fort
Photos and information courtesy of Amy Grimes