SUNY Oneonta

Dept. of Political Science
SUNY College at Oneonta
Oneonta, NY 13820
Schumacher Hall 10



Political Science News

-Brett Heindl, Associate Professor of Political Science, has published an article, “Muslim Immigration and Religious Human Rights,” in the February 2017 issue of International Politics. The article explores how legal and philosophical blindspots in international human rights protections created opportunities for nativist groups to target Muslim immigrants in Western Europe. The full-text of the article is available at:

-Gina Keel (Political Science) presented “Sustainability Education: Values and Methods for Student Engagementona Roundtable she developed and led at the Annual New York State Political Science Conference in Plattsburgh, April 10-11, 2015. The roundtable of SUNY professors discussed pedagogy and their use of case studies, simulations, games, creative media projects, civic and service learning projects to engage students in environmental policy and sustainability-related courses. Keel also chaired panels on Policy Evaluations & Innovations and Administrative Reform at the conference.

-Bill Wilkerson (Political Science) has presented two papers this winter. The first, titled “Using “Big Data” in a Political Science Research Methods Course: A Description and Initial Assessment of a Social Media Analysis Assignment,” was presented at the American Political Science Association’s Teaching and Learning Conference in January 2015 in Washington, DC. The second, titled “Using Wikipedia page views to measure the mass salience of US Supreme Court decisions,” was presented at the Midwest Political Science Association meetings in Chicago, IL earlier this month. In addition to presenting, Wilkerson served as a paper discussant at each conference.

-Robert Compton, (ALS and Political Science) presented a paper titled,
2015 Human Security, SADC and COMESA Regionalism: State Weakness and National Interest” at the International Studies Association (ISA) & Global South Caucus (GSCIS) Conference in Singapore, on January 8-10. The paper examines access to food and water security as one among a three-tiered structured concept of national security and evaluates the performance of SADC and COMESA in improving conditions of primary human security and the reaction of states to such initiatives. At the GSCIS Conference, Dr. Compton also served as a discussant for a panel titled, “The “Grand Challenge” of Disability and Development: Comparative Analysis of ASEAN Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPWD): Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore, and Vietnam”

-Dr. Robert Compton, ALS and Political Science, and Dr. Randy Clemons (Mercyhurst University) undertook an external review of the Buffalo State College, Department of Political Science’s undergraduate programs in Political Science and International Relations on May 7-9, 2014.  They submitted their report on June 9, 2014.

-Joshua Frye (Communications) and Gina Keel (Political Science) with Jack Byrne (-Middlebury College) co-facilitated a SUNY Faculty Senate development workshop, “Infusing Sustainability in New and Existing courses” at SUNY ESF, Syracuse, on June 2-3, 2014. Forty-one faculty from various campuses and disciplines in natural and social sciences, design and engineering, and teacher education participated in curricular discussions, shared resources, and made plans for collaboration. The group toured ESF’s LEED-certified Platinum Gateway Center, its combined heat-and-power (biomass) system and green roof, and ESF grounds, which exemplify using the campus as laboratory. In addition to facilitating breakout sessions, Keel and Frye presented Oneonta’s Sustainable Susquehanna initiative of faculty workshops and other sustainability education efforts on our campus, and Keel led a place-based teaching exercise. Peter Knuepfer, University Faculty Senate President, initiated the cross-campus effort, and Deborah Howard, SUNY Director of Sustainability, and her staff organized the conference.

-Dr. Gina Keel (Political Science) and Dr.Joshua Frye (Communication & Media) collaborated on a special issue of the Taylor & Francis journal First Amendment Studies with a focus on food and free speech. Dr. Keel examined GMO food labeling law and politics in “Commercial Free Speech Trumps the Politics of Food Labeling: The Legacy of rbST-Free Milk Mandate and Prohibition Cases for Genetic Engineering Disclosure Laws.” Dr. Frye’s article, “Big Ag Gags the Freedom of Expression” analyzes the recent focus on manipulating public communication in the political strategy of the industrial agriculture complex. Other articles in the special issue were published by faculty at Humboldt State University and Louisiana State University. A limited number of full-text copies are available at Taylor & Francis Online.
Keel’s Frye’s

-Robert Compton, Department of Africana and Latino Studies and Department of Political Science published a review essay titled “Hegemony, leadership, and integration: South Africa” in Regions and Cohesion, vol. 4 (1). The review essay examines the role of post-apartheid South African leadership in promoting social cohesion. It examines the country’s public policies and the use of political power. The 2,500-word essay relied on three books:
• The African National Congress and the regeneration of political power, S. Booysen, 2011. Wits University Press.
• Why nations fail: The origins of power, prosperity, and poverty, D. Acemoglu & J. Robinson, 2012. Crown Publishing (Random House).
• A legacy of liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the future of the South African dream, M. Gevisser, 2009. Palgrave-Macmillan.
Regions and Cohesion is the journal of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) based at the University of Luxembourg.



-Dr. Richard P. Barberio, published  The Politics of Public Policy (Pearson 2014), a text that examines public policy making in the United States as an inherently political process, something fairly uncommon in the world of texts aimed at undergraduate public policy courses.  The book uses a “policy as politics” approach to explore two related main themes:  1) How the public policy process both enhances and detracts from democratic ideals inherent in American democracy; and 2) The political nature of policy making.  Exploring public policies and the policy making process as products of politics can help students gain new insights about key facets of our democratic ethos, such as representation, legitimacy, debate, and deliberation.

New York State Senate Undergraduate Session Assistants Program

Monday, September 9, 2013.Nicholas J. Parrella, Director will visit campus on to provide the following programs: Informational Table: Mills Dining Hall11:00a.m.-1:30p.m. Information Session: Schumacher Hall-Room 100 3:00p.m.-3:30p.m. All majors are welcome to attend!

Red Dragon Theater to Feature Annenberg Films in Honor of Constitution Day

Annenberg Classroom Films in Honor of Constitution Day, Tuesday, September 17, 2013Red Dragon Theater, Hunt College Union

• 4:30 pm-5:30 pm . FILM: Key Constitutional Concepts - This three-part documentary discusses the creation of the Constitution and explores the protection of individuals’ rights (Gideon v. Wainwright) and checks and balances (Youngstown v. Sawyer).  Each segment is about 20 minutes.

• 5:45 pm-6:20 pm FILMMandate: The President and the People - The complex relationship between the presidency and public opinion is examined by leading historians, political scientists and public figures who also offer insight into the office and its occupants from George Washington to FDR. (35 min)

LEAD Credit- Critical Thinking for attending both.


November 7th at 4pm in IRC 3

On the Banks of the Zambezi River: HIV/AIDS in Rural Mozamique
Daphne Sorensen to speak about her extensive work with non-governmental organizations and humanitarian aid.


Alumni Visit

The Political Science Department is hosting an Alumni Guest Speaker on November 2nd, at Schumacher Hall Room 107, from 4pm to 5:30pm. 

Currently Heather Poole is working toward a Masters in Public Administration in the University of Albany’s MPA program. Heather will be speaking on the topics of: internships, networking, and tricks for getting through college, graduate school and applying to graduate schools, and resumes and resume building.  
We welcome all students to attend and ask plenty of questions.


New Major:

International Development Studies

Information Sessions will be in Schumacher 12 on Monday October 15th at 12:00 AND Wednesday October 17th at 3:00

"The IDS major offers an exciting way to see how politics and economics work together in the developing world. Because it draws from several difference academic disciplines, it will give students a holistic view of global problems like chronic poverty, environmental degradation, and injustice in the interdependent world we live in today. It puts a strong emphasis on developing professional skills and on applying what we learn in the classroom to the real world."


Jennifer Wlodarczyk, Dr. Cornel West, and Cristina Arboleda

"Dr. Cornel West spoke to students on September 4th; the same day that the infamous "Black List" occurred at SUNY Oneonta in 1994. He inspired students with a message of equality and remembrance, while simultaneously bringing together our college on a deeper level. Although SUNY Oneonta can never forget the events of that day, Dr. West took us one step closer toward amending past mistakes." written by Jennifer Wlodarczyk


Dr. Robert Compton Presents Paper in South Africa

September 13th, 2012

Robert Compton, ALS and Political Science, presented a paper titled, “Developmental State for Service Delivery: South Africa and the Implications for APRM and Good Governance” at the Biennial Conference of the South African Association of Political Studies (SAAPS) held at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa, on Aug. 28-31, 2012. Dr. Compton’s paper examined the role of developmental state models within the context of the South African construction of hegemony and legitimacy and the African National Congress’ (ANC) weakening authority. He concludes that the Asian developmental state models are incompatible for South Africa, and that their implementation would have negative implications for South Africa’s democracy by weakening good governance and the fragile democracy that exists in the country.


Special Programs for 2012-2013


Call for Papers.
All undergraduate students,
The SUNY Oneonta Political Science Club is hosting the 4th Annual Political Science Conference at SUNY Oneonta on March 15th. If you would like to present at this conference, or would like more information about the conference, please send your paper, along with your contact information, to the President of the Political Science Club, Jennifer Wlodarczyk (, or the Vice President of the Political Science Club, Vanessa Griffith (
Thank you,
Jennifer Wlodarczyk
President, Political Science Club


Political Science Conference
click here for "call for papers"

Model UN

Internship Opportunities


POLS 278 - Prison and Prisoners Class being offered Spring '13

POLS-PSYCH-SOCL 278 (cross-listed)
Prisons and Prisoners
will be offered during the Spring 2013 semester. The course is a one-credit, 2nd half semester, pass-fail course, which is cross-listed with PSYCH and SOCL. This course is based on 2 visits to NY state prisons. Enrollment is limited to ten (10) students who are seniors. The trips to the medium and maximum security facilities will be on two Saturdays during the semester; dates will be determined early in the spring. The course will be led by Professors Conway and Talbot. Prior to pre-enrolling for the course, interested students must see or contact Ms Bridget Kiff, the Political Science secretary, (Schumacher 10) who will place your name on the sign up list. Once you are signed up and eligible, you will be contacted to pre-enroll for the course. Early in the spring, you will attend orientation with Dr. Conway, and be required to fill out appropriate paperwork. For further questions, please contact Dr. Paul Conway at


Sara Lebowitz studies in Chile

Living and studying in Latin America is more than an amazing adventure; it is a life-changing experience. In the spring of 2012, I studied in Vina Del Mar, Chile. Vina del Mar is located on central Pacific coast with long stretches of sandy beaches and a conglomeration of shops, stores and restaurants. Vina del Mar was also located near its twin city Valparaiso (a 15 minute bus ride) and about 2 hour from the capital, Santiago. The program, which was offered by SUNY Brockport, included many Spanish courses and the option to live with a host family. I studied at the school’s international center with students from many different countries including Germany. Not only did I study, I traveled around Chile and South America, learning and opening my mind to different lifestyles and viewpoints. Studying abroad has been one the most rewarding and amazing experiences of my life. Now it’s your turn!!

Model UN receives Honorable Mention

Students Shine at the Model United Nations Conference for the Seventh Straight Year

Sixteen students from the State University, College at Oneonta participated in the National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference in New York City from April 1 to April 5, 2012. This year’s delegation, representing Ecuador, received an honorable mention from conference organizers. This is a high honor, placing the SUCO delegation in the top ten percent of participants at a conference with over 2000 students from more than 100 colleges and universities from almost 30 countries.
Over the course of the spring semester, students prepared for the simulation by learning about Ecuador’s international and domestic politics, contemporary issues like sustainable development, the small arms trade, and human trafficking, and the United Nations’ committee system and its operating procedures. As part of their preparations, they took part in a joint exercise with Hartwick College’s Model UN club. While in New York City, the students received a briefing from the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Ecuador to the United Nations. Once at the conference, they debated proposals put forth to address these issues from the perspective of diplomats of their assigned country.


Student Leader Joins the College Foundation Board of Directors


I am a senior Political Science major, and a member of the Oneonta Men's varsity tennis team. I am looking to work in political campaigns and elections, and political consulting. I am looking to acquire a job in either the Obama campaign this summer, and then hopefully get a job in either Albany or Washington D.C in the fall.
As stated in the Fall 2011 Reflections - "SUNY Oneonta is a great place to get an education because our professors are really committed to helping students to grow intellectually and emotionally. Our College allows - and encourages-open communication between students and faculty. That is something you don't see at a lot of other institutions."


POLS Student Studies Abroad in France Spring 2012
Wlodarczyk, Jennifer

Jennifer W.Here is a brief overview of the program that I am in. I am studying the French language in La Rochelle, France, through SUNY Cortland. La Rochelle is a small city on the Atlantic Coast, around the middle of France. The program that I am participating in is called Diplome Programe. It is a program that focuses on learning about the French language (grammer/oral/comprehension) and French civilization/history. The Diplome Programe is for those people who's language skills are not that advanced, but for those who really know the language there is another program called CUFLE. This program allows students who speak and understand french very well to take actual classes taught in french. One thing I do have to warn anyone who does not know French very well is that the Diplome Programe is all taught in French, so some comprehension skills are needed. Many of the professors do understand English very well, but the idea of this course is full immersion, so english is not spoken by the professors.


Vanessa Griffith Studies Abroad in Chile outside of Mendoza, Argentina in front of the El puente de Inca.

I am a dual major in Political Science and International Studies with a minor in Spanish. This semester I am studying abroad in Viña del Mar, Chile to finish my spanish minor. I am studying at La Universidad de Viña del Mar through SUNY Brockport. Viña del Mar is a city on the Pacific Coast of Chile and is approximately 1hr 40mins south of Santiago. It's twin city is Valparaiso, Chile which is just a 15 min bus ride away. I am taking classes at the international campus with other exchange students (Germans and Americans). I am taking a literature course, a political science course, a history/geography course and a international studies course. All of my classes are in spanish. When I arrived I had to take a spanish exam to see what level I needed to be put in and based on your level those were the classes you could choose from. I am living with a host family, as are most of the exchange students here. It forces you to practice the language more. I have traveled parts of Chile and Argentina and plan on going to Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil if my money hold out! I would encourage anyone to study abroad because it is a great experience.


In the NEWS January 11, 2012 Daily Star Article:

SUNY Oneonta class experiences primary up close
BY JOE MAHONEY Staff Writer The Daily Star

Twelve SUNY Oneonta political science students got an inside look at the presidential election process during a five-day trip to New Hampshire that culminated Tuesday with the first-in-the-nation primary. The group, led by SUNY Oneonta Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Gina Keel, includes 11 SUNY Oneonta students and one community member who is auditing Keel’s Presidential Election Campaigns course this spring. Read the full story here.




Esther SpindlerEsther Spindler (class of 2007 and recipient of the Department's annual Hoyt Jackson award) is spending her third year in the U.S. Peace Corps. Esther writes to us from Guatemala on her blog.

"I loved being an undergraduate student with SUNY Oneonta's Political Science department. The classes were small in size which enabled me to form great, personal relationships with professors and classmates, many of whom I still keep contact with today. The Washington Semester Internship program also allowed me to specialize in Human Rights and gave me hands-on experience with a DC-based NGO focusing in this field. This education and experience proved valuable when I quickly landed a job after graduation as a staff member with a New York City Council Member. I am currently finishing my third year with U.S. Peace Corps/Guatemala and will be starting a M.A. in International Development at the School of International Service (SIS) at American University. Thank you Political Science Department for helping me be where I am today!"


The Political Science Club won
2010-2011 Outstanding Curriculum Club!


A look at the Political Science Conference
Spring 2011