September 2009 (# 6)
politics.nau.edu
In This Issue
"Man in the Middle"
Free Speech Board
Alumni Update
Upcoming Events
September 30:
Health Care Reform Panel

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Julie Hammond Joins Department 

Julie Hammond

Julie Hammond has joined the Department of Politics & International Affairs as our new Administrative Assistant.

Julie comes to us with a wealth of experience at NAU. Most recently, Julie was Program Coordinator in the Office of Counseling and Testing. Before that, Julie ran the Faculty Senate office. She also has experience working with the Department of Psychology and the Distance Learning office. Julie's experience at NAU meant that she hit the ground running on September 8, her first day with the department.

Julie replaces Jeana Butler in this position. Jeana worked with the department for 19 years and retired in early June.

The department is currently engaged in a search for a new Administrative Specialist, as well. The person who takes this position will replace Kara Stone who recently took a part-time position with the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.


"Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle"

Ruben Salazar Postage Stamp Assistant Professor Stephen Nuņo is consulting on a new PBS project entitled, "Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle." The documentary tells the story of Salazar, a Los Angeles reporter, who was murdered by police during a 1970 Chicano Rights demonstration. The movie explores issues of identity, Latino media, objectivity and the state.
 
As Stephen explains, the project has taken on a personal dimension:
 
"Ruben Salazar is a local hero in Boyle Heights, where I grew up.
When I was a kid I played Pop Warner football at Salazar Park. Long before I knew who Ruben Salazar was, his name brought joy and family comfort for all the good times I had playing football there.
 
Almost every kid on that field walked home after practice and confronted problems lurked in the barrio. Problems of gangs and drugs were waiting to consume many of these kids. But Salazar Park was a brief respite they all looked forward to. It was a place where baby brothers from different gangs called each other teammates and friends, and could forget, if for a few precious hours, that soon they would again be called enemies.
 
I have many good memories of that park, and I am grateful that Ruben's name invokes this feeling in me. It is an honor to be invited to help with a new documentary about his life and his role in the development of Latino politics."
 
 "Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle" will be aired on PBS in 2010.

  You can read more about Ruben Salazar at the LA Times website.
GAPS Brings 'Free Speech Board'
to the Department

Free Speech Board "

GAPS, the Graduate Association of Political Science Students, is now sponsoring a 'Free Speech Board' in the department. Each week throughout the year, GAPS representatives will be posting a question to the board and inviting all students to submit their comments. The result is a lively debate of current issues.

The first question posted to the board on August 28 referenced the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy and his efforts to create bipartisan dialogue in government: "What do you think about our ability as citizens to participate in political discussions with others in a respectful and constructive manner, even when we disagree? Can we demand a higher level of discourse among the leaders who represent us in the halls of government."

By the end of the week, more than 15 student comments were posted to the board. Jim Buthman, PhD student and GAPS President, said he hopes that students begin looking for the weekly question and regularly engage in spirited conversation around the issues of the day. Judging by comments posted to the Free Speech Board by the end of the first week, it seems that GAPS is well on the way to realizing this goal.


Alumni Update: Dr. Greg Domin

Greg Domin

Dr. Greg Domin graduated with his Ph.D. in political science from NAU in 1998. After graduation, Greg served one year as an instructor in NAU's Honors program. From 1999-2009, he taught political science, and a variety of interdisciplinary courses, at Mercer University in Macon, GA.  In July, Greg became Chair of the Department of Political Science at Columbus State University in Columbus, GA.

He and his wife Barbara have three children, twin boys, Joseph and Joshua, aged ten, and a daughter, Javan, aged six.  They currently live in Byron, GA.
 
For regular updates, follow the department on Facebook, Twitter, and High Altitude Politics, the new department blog (see links in left column above). Check out the new department website: http://politics.nau.edu.