Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pre Law News: Dr. Parshall Attends 2013 NAPLA Conference

 Hello Everyone:
    I was fortunate enough to be awarded a grant from the Northeastern Association of Pre Law Advisors to attend their 2013 Conference hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia, PA (June 18-21). The event brought together undergraduate pre law advisors and law school representatives (faculty, deans and admissions officers) to discuss current trends in legal education and best practices for undergraduate pre law preparation. This was a tremendous opportunity to hear directly from law school personnel as to what they are looking for in prospective law school applicants. Mock admissions panels, advising workshops and multiple informational sessions yielded numerous insights into the application process, disclosure requirements and changing law school curricula. I was also able to speak directly with representatives from over 90 law schools and to tour several law schools:  University of Pennsylvania Law School, the Earle Mack School of Law (Drexel University), Temple University's James E. Beasely School of Law School and Villlanova Law School.

The statue of Benjamin Franklin resides on Locust Walk on  the University of
Pennsylvania's main campus. The pathway is lined with quotes from the Founding Father,
including his observation that "little strokes fell great oaks" -- a great reminder to aspiring law students
 that steady efforts yield big results.  
   By overwhelming consensus, law school representatives indicate that a broad-based liberal arts education, and a major which emphasizes critical thinking, logical reasoning, moral & ethical discernment, and written & oral communication skills, is the most desirable and best training for law school success. This is great news for our History & Political Science majors and may be why all 5 out of the 5 graduates from our department's class of 2013 who applied to law school were admitted!

   I will be sharing the insights learned from the 2013 NAPLA Conference with the Pre Law Student Association this fall. Watch for news on the Law School Application Process Workshop in October and contact me if you want to be added to my list of pre-law students. 

  Please be absolutely certain to notify me if you plan to take the LSAT between October 5, 2013, and October 4, 2014, as we will be awarding one student a certificate for a Kaplan Test Prep Free Course (valued at up to $1,500) that I received during the Conference. Selection criteria are TBA, but I want to start identifying potential recipients ASAP.

   As always, please contact me if you are interested in Pre Law studies, the Pre Law or Criminal Justice Minors, or if you are in need of advising assistance.   

Very Best Wishes,
Dr. Parshall

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Daemen College History & Political Science Department Blog/Newsletter

Welcome to the blog/newsletter for the History & Government Department at Daemen College.  Here, you will find news about the department, our students, and our graduates.  We hope you will become a regular visitor to the blog to keep up-to-date with departmental developments. You can access the main page from URL  There is also a link from our Daemen History & Political Science web page. And, we're on Facebook at  If you would like to receive a notice as new stories are posted, you can subscribe through the link on the bottom right side of this screen. If you're a social media user, you can share stories and posts with the buttons at the bottom of each post.   

Exciting developments are underway in the History & Political Science Department.  One change that you will notice immediately is our name change:  the History & Government Department is now the History & Political Science Department. Departmental faculty members have been discussing a name change for several years, and we think the new name will help to convey our focus more effectively.  The "rubrics" used to designate our classes will be changing as well:  GVT is changing to PSC (for Political Science courses), and HIS is changing to HST (for History courses).  Courses designated as HG will become HP, and our oldest major, History & Government (and the specializations--HG-Adolescent Education and HG-Environmental Specialization), will also be renamed as History & Political Science (and HP-Adolescent Education and HP-Environmental Specialization).

As you can see from the stories posted below, our students, alumni, and faculty have much to report.  Please contact our Contributors (listed on the right side of your screen) if you have news that you would like to share.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lilly Ledbetter's Visit to Daemen College

Lilly Ledbetter poses with students from Dr. Messinger's class in American 
Women's History after her April 22 lecture. Front row:  Lilly Ledbetter & Molly Sievenpiper; Back row: Dr. Penny Messinger, Jessica Todd, Chelsea Holtham, Chelsea Savastano, & Laura Bowman

Lilly Ledbetter at Daemen

On April 22, 2013, renowned equal pay advocate Lilly Ledbetter came to Daemen.  She talked about her experiences working at Goodyear, her court suit addressing pay discrimination, and the response to her 2007 Supreme Court case (Ledbetter v. the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company).  This case made Lilly Ledbetter "the grandmother of equal pay."  The lecture was our headline event for Daemen's celebration of Women's History Month.  

Daemen College Trustee Wayne Wisbaum talks with President Gary Olson and Lilly Ledbetter

Although Ledbetter lost her 2007 case before the Supreme Court (in a 5-4 decision), Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginzburg issued a strong dissent as a Bench Announcement, calling for Congressional action to amend the Court's interpretation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Ginzburg stated that "In our view [Ginzburg, Stevens, Souter, and Breyer], the Court does not comprehend, or is indifferent to, the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination."  Ginzburg concluded by calling for Congress to take action: "the Legislature has cause to note and correct this Court's parsimonious reading of Title VII."  Congress responded by passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.  This was the first bill signed into law by newly-inaugurated President Barack Obama, with Lilly Ledbetter standing by his side.

Daemen Student Association President Special Thompson (Psychology major, Pre-Law minor) and Lilly Ledbetter

Since her court case Ledbetter has embraced her public role as "the grandmother of equal pay," a person whose historical legacy is embodied in the 2009 law that was named in her honor.  Ledbetter's visit to Daemen coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which bans pay discrimination on the basis of gender.

Daemen student Heather Williams with Lilly Ledbetter, Adriane Williams (Academic Advisement), & AAUW member Ruby Williams (Heather's mom)

Arthur Cruz (Political Science major) with Lilly Ledbetter

After the lecture Lilly signed copies of her book, Grace and Grit, and posed for photos.  She told me that the opportunity to meet and talk with students is a favorite part of her public appearances, and that she had enjoyed her time with Daemen students.  Students in my American Women's History class described Lilly as "a real person" who was "genuine" and "down to earth," but also noted that her speech was "invigorating" and "empowering."   

In her lecture, Lilly emphasized how important the issue of pay equity is for everyone, regardless of gender, race, or age.  Lilly's speech at Daemen drew a crowd of around 400 people and was covered in this story from The Buffalo News.  Ledbetter's appearance was made possible by support from the Daemen Student Association; the Office of Academic Affairs; the Women's Studies Program; and the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Brogan, Lilly Ledbetter, Dr. Penny Messinger (History), Dr. Shirley Peterson (English)

Lilly Ledbetter wrote in her book, Grace and Grit,
After all that's happened to me, I've realized that the true test of an individual is not so much what happens to her, but how she reacts to it.  When we see an injustice, do we sit and do nothing, or do we fight back? When we experience failure, do we passively accept it, or do we learn from it and do better the next time?  When we get knocked down, do we stay down, or do we get back up?  Each of us, every day, breaks through barriers for women and girls simply because we choose to believe the future can be better.  (p. 236)

AAUW Buffalo chapter Co-Presidents Betty Preble (l) and Barb Carier (r) with Lilly Ledbetter
Next year, we will be building on the success of Lilly's appearance as we continue collaborating with the American Association of University Women (AAUW).  The AAUW has advocated gender pay equity as a signature issue for over 50 years, and support from the Buffalo Chapter of the AAUW helped to make Lilly Ledbetter's visit a reality and a success.  Plans are in the works for a workshop on salary negotiation that can help students research salary information and learn how to negotiate a higher starting salary.  I'm also working with interested students to start an AAUW student group at Daemen.  (learn more about AAUW's student affiliates here).  Because Daemen has an institutional membership in the AAUW, there is no cost for a student e-membership.

Contact Dr. Penny Messinger, director of the Women's Studies program, for more information about Women's Studies at Daemen. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Caitlin Ebert and Jordan Sieracki win scholarships to study in Poland this summer

Two of our students have won prestigious national scholarships to fund Study Abroad trips for Summer 2013

Caitlyn Ebert

Caitlyn Ebert (History major) has been selected for a Benjamin A Gilman International Scholarship to study in Poland this summer.  Caitlin is the first Daemen student to receive a Gilman Scholarship; she is participating in the Polish exchange program between Daemen College and the Panstwowa Wyzsza Szkola Wschodnioeuropejska w Przemyslu (PWSW) in Przemysl, Poland.  The student exchange, and this summer's trip, were organized by Dr. Andrew Wise.

Jordan Sieracki

Jordan Sieracki (History & Government major) has received a scholarship from the Kosciusko Foundation and a private donation from a Daemen alumnus to study Polish history, culture, and language at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, this summer.

Congratulations, Caitlyn and Jordan! 

If you're interested in Study Abroad, contact Daemen's Global Programs Office.
For more information about the exchange program with PWSW, contact Dr. Andrew Wise.   

History major Tyler Vanice's Public History Internship

In Spring 2013, Tyler Vanice (History major) completed a semester-long internship at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, VA, arranged through the Washington Internship Institute (WII).

Tyler Vanice
The Washington Internship Institute arranges internships to match a student's interests, with placements at a range of governmental, privately-run, and non-governmental organizations.  Ty described the WII from his observations as a participant:
This program places students from many regions that are looking for internships around the District of Columbia. WII can find students just about any internship experience the student is looking for, as the Capital offers a large variety of fieldwork. The possibilities are endless; all the way from working at the Human Rights Campaign to federal locations on Capitol Hill for Congressmen.
George Washington Masonic Musuem, photo credit:
Ty's internship provided the opportunity to learn a lot about the duties of a museum curator:
I was able to accomplish a lot of work that the Director could not find time to do ....I had to catalog artifacts, inventory the collection, rehouse objects, and search for lost artifacts. I was even taught the basics of book preservation techniques. Working in museums is not hard work, but it is not easy. The work is very repetitive but it’s worth all the work as I know I learned something new every day. There is always something to learn in the world of museums as each item has a story of its own and people love hearing stories.
Ty Vanice is enthusiastic about pursuing a career in public history.  Even before undertaking his internship, he had undertaken a public history project of organizing and digitizing World War II photographs for a private collector.  Ty has just finished his sophomore year, but when he completes his degree at Daemen, he will have a strong portfolio that includes both academic coursework and experience in the field of public history.

If you would like to know more about Ty's internship, you can read about it in the article about Ty published in the GWNM's Spring newsletter (see page 7); Ty also wrote about his internship in a blog post for Daemen's Career Services Office. 

If you'd like to know more about Public History at Daemen, contact Dr. Penny Messinger
For more information about internships, or about the Washington Internship Institute, contact the Career Services Center at Daemen. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Invitation to Celebrate World Refugee Day

Our Refugee Studies Program is celebrating World Refugee Day on Thursday, June 20. Hear the stories of refugees from Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burma and Somalia currently living in Buffalo, along with the presentation,"Human Rights & Refugees" by Dr. Claude Welch, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Marilee Couldron, Interdisciplinary Studies Department, both from SUNY Buffalo

Thursday, June 20, 2013 | 12 Noon
Alumni Lounge, Wick Center, Daemen College

Lunch will be served.  RSVP to Cheryl Bird at

Sponsored by the Refugee Studies Program, History and Political Science Department,
& Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement.
Supported by a grant from the NY Council for the Humanities.

For more information about Refugee Studies at Daemen, contact Dr. Joseph Sankoh at

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

2013 History and Political Science Department Awards

Congratulations to Kaeleigh Jessen (History & Government) and Kaleigh Ratliff (History & Government), who were tied for highest departmental grade point average.  Kaeleigh Jessen will be attending law school in the fall, while Kaleigh Ratliff is planning a career in public history and museum work.

Kaeleigh Jessen (2013, History & Government)

Kaleigh Ratliff (2013, History & Government)

Best Thesis Award
Congratulations to Kevin Koons (History & Government), winner of the Samuel E. Morrison Award for Best Thesis - a certificate of honor and monetary award presented annually for the best senior thesis research paper.  Kevin's thesis, Corvette Culture, traced the rise of the Chevy Corvette as an icon of American popular culture. Kevin is currently working as a Park Interpreter at the Virginia State Parks where he plans, prepares and performs educational nature programs for the public.  Great work and best wishes, Kevin!

Kevin Koons (2013, History & Government) 

Alumni Updates

Some updates on the recent accomplishments of our graduates. 

Stephanie Foreman (2006, Political Science) was named President of the Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals (BULYP) in January 2013. An affiliate of the Buffalo Urban League, the organization  engages and empowers young professionals, providing networking opportunities and service to the local community. Congratulations Stephanie! 

Justin Johnston (2008, History & Government) was named Daemen College's Director of Annual Giving in Institutional Advancement. Justin earned a Masters Degree in College Student Personnel Administration at Canisius College. He has held fund-raising positions at Hobart and William Smith College and was Associate Director of the St. Bonaventure Fund at St. Bonaventure University. We are very fortunate that Justin has returned to the Daemen community.  

Deborah Lynn Williams, CEO of the YWCA of WNY, 
and archival volunteer, Eric Behm.
Eric Behm (2011, History & Government) was honored for his contributions to the YW's Working Women exhibition on March 27, 2013. While a student at Daemen, Eric completed internships at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Libary in Hyde Park, NY and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.  Eric has been an archival volunteer with the YWCA of Western New York since November, 2011.

If you have an update or news to share please contact us

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pre Law Studies at Daemen College--11th Annual Moot Court Experience

Another Successful Event: The Pre Law Student Association's 11th Annual Moot Court Experience

     The Pre Law Student Association presented its 11th Annual Moot Court Experience at the 2013 Academic Festival back in April.  For this year's competition, the students put on a criminal case (homicide by negligent handling of fire). Since 2003, over 94 different students from a variety of majors have participated in the event. 

The Defense Team (left to right): Special Thompson (Senior-Psychology), Sarah Rodman (Senior-Political Science), Samantha Spicer (Senior-Paralegal Studies), Wade Pietrocarlo (Senior-Political Science), Mark Poblocki (Freshman-Psychology), and Amy Grimes (Junior-History & Government-Adolescent Education).

The Prosecution Team (Front row/back row): Jill Spytman (Senior-English Language and Literature), Mitchell Altman-Cosgrove (Senior-Political Science), Jordan Sieracki (Sophomore-History & Government), Emily Kraft (Sophomore-History and Government-Adolescent Education), Sarah Ramsberger (Freshman-Physician's Assistant), Thomas Aldrich (Freshman-Political Science).

Presiding over the case was guest judge, Courtney Donovan, the 2012 History and Government Department Valedictorian. Courtney will be starting her second year at the University of Buffalo School of Law in the Fall and currently holds a legal internship at New Era Cap, Inc. in Buffalo. 

If you are interested in joining the Pre Law Student Association or taking part in the 2014 Moot Court Experience, please contact the History & Political Science Department's Pre Law Advisor, Dr. Lisa Parshall at

Political Science Graduate, Mitchell Altman-Cosgrove, receives the 2013 Daemen College Alumni Senior Award

The award is given to an outstanding graduate who has made a significant contribution to the College.

Mitchell was presented with the Daemen College Alumni Senior Award by Chair of the Board of Trustees, Dale B. Demyanick (right), and Board of Trustees member, Thomas E. Brydges (left), at the 2013 Commencement Ceremony.

The many contributions for which Mitch was recognized included his service as an officer of the Pre Law Student Association, the Omega Eplison Zeta Fraternity, the Student Association and his service as Chief Student Alumni Ambassador. Mitch also served as a peer mentor, residence assistant, academic counselor and member of the peer disciplinary review board, and took part in numerous on-campus activities and charitable events.

The History and Political Science Department congratulates Mitch for this well-deserved award and wishes him continued future success!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Daemen students traveling to Poland

This story (click here) in the Am-Pol Eagle describes the new student exchange program between Daemen College and the Panstwowa Wyzsza Szkola Wschodnioeuropejska w Przemyslu (PWSW) in Przemysl, Poland. Kaleigh Ratliff (Daemen, '13) traveled to Przemysl in March 2013 and will be returning this summer with a larger group of Daemen College students and Dr. Andrew Wise.  

Daemen's Kaleigh Ratliff during her trip to Przemysl in March 2013.  The bear is the symbol of Przemysl.

News: Daemen's History & Government Department is now the History & Political Science Department

Welcome to the History & Political Science Department Blog/Newsletter!  We will be posting news and updates on this page, so check back for news about the department, our students, and our graduates.  Please contact departmental faculty if you have news that you would like to share.

As a start, you will notice that the History & Government Department has changed to the History & Political Science Department.  This is a change that departmental faculty members have been discussing for several years; as our political scientists have argued, "Political Science" is used more frequently than "Government" and we think the new name will help to convey our focus more effectively.  The "rubrics" used to designate course offerings are also changing:  GVT is changing to PSC (to designate Political Science courses), and HIS is changing to HST (for History courses).  Courses designated as HG will be renamed as HP, and our oldest major, History & Government (and the specializations--HG-Adolescent Education and HG-Environmental Specialization), will also be renamed as History & Political Science (and HP-Adolescent Education and HP-Environmental Specialization).