Photo above: The Hertford Bridge in Oxford, England. Used by Permission. © Tom Ley 01302 782837

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Government Students Study Immigration Policy

Oxford students and instructors at closing gala Oxford students and instructors at closing gala

Government Students Study Immigration Policy

By Amanda Morad
August 4, 2011
It was a busy afternoon in London and the train station was buzzing with activity and, unusually, piano music. Robertson School of Government (RSG) assistant professor Dr. Mary Manjikian and RSG student Dean "Trey" Ramsey gave an impromptu concert for hundreds of travelers while in England for Regent University's annual RSG Summer Oxford Program.
The two week program at Hertford College at Oxford University, July 4-16, gave students an opportunity to study international politics.

This year's featured class covered a topic that has been at the forefront of political debate all year: "Politics & Families in Immigration Law." Dr. Manjikian and School of Law professor Lynne Marie Kohm co-taught the class, which considered how states are strengthened or weakened by immigration.

"England provided an interesting place to teach the course, since we were able to compare and contrast U.S. and British immigration policy," Manjikian said. "Both countries are currently debating multiculturalism and the ways in which immigrants should or should not be required to adopt the customs and values of their new country. Both countries are struggling with the rise of anti-Islamic sentiments and both have a recent history of domestic terror attacks which have played into immigration debates."

"We tend to see immigration as being an exclusively American political issue, but it goes much deeper than that," Ramsey explained.

The course allowed students both a personal and political exposure to immigration. "Not only were they able to learn cross-culturally," said Kohm, "but what they participated in and experienced through the course policy discussions ought to be part of the current American and global debate on immigration."

Students were unanimous in identifying the highlight of the course. They were asked to debate a sensitive topic: Should multiculturalism and tolerance prevail over human rights and national sovereignty in immigration policy?

"It stretched them conceptually because they were not told in advance which side they would be arguing," Manjikian said. "This truly helped them to see both sides of the issue."

The group also visited the National Maritime Museum's exhibit, "Atlantic Worlds," which showcased Europe's long history of moving people, goods and ideas around the world. "There's something about seeing 'the real deal' instead of reading about it in a book or just looking at a small photo," law student Wayne Wallace wrote in his class journal.

When they weren't deliberating immigration law, the seven students took trips into London, experiencing England through the lens of a tourist. English cuisine, plays, bus tours and historical site visits filled their days with many multicultural experiences.

"It's like history is alive and speaking to you at every turn," said RSG student and first-time international traveler Jeandelize Burgos. "With such an obviously vibrant atmosphere of multiculturalism and immigration, Oxford set the perfect foundation for our class."

As for Manjikian and Ramsey's piano duet, Ramsey is confident they'll take London by storm. "Our 2012 tour will be announced soon!" he joked.

Learn more about RSG's Oxford Summer Program.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Panel Discusses Foreign Policy at Founders Inn

Panel Discusses Foreign Policy at Founders Inn

By Amanda Morad

August 1, 2011

Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, VP of Advocacy, World Vision USA

Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, VP of Advocacy, World Vision USA

Even with the national budget hanging in the balance, U.S. investment abroad is essential to national security and economic growth, according to a panel of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC).

Hosted by Regent University, the USGLC sponsored a foreign policy discussion on national and economic security Wednesday, July 27, at The Founders Inn. Key military and business figures joined local leaders for a dialogue about the United States' global engagement and its impact on Virginia families and businesses.

The USGLC advocates government funding for foreign assistance, which this year was $52.9 billion, or 1.4 percent of the total federal budget, according to the group.

Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, founder and chancellor of Regent, offered welcoming remarks followed by a conversation with Lt. Gen. Pete Osman, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.); former U.S. Congressman from Virginia Honorable Tom Davis; Barry DuVal, President and CEO, Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, Vice President of Advocacy at World Vision USA. The panel was moderated by Emmy-award winning journalist David Brody.

Introducing the group, George Ingram, founder and chairman emeritus of the USGLC, stressed the importance of "global development and diplomacy for U.S. economic prosperity" before handing the discussion over to Brody.

Each speaking on behalf of their respective sectors—military, government, business and aid organizations—the panel presented a comprehensive view of the United States' involvement in the global community.

"We're trying to pull back when we should be reaching out more than ever because of the instability around the world," Osman said. He emphasized pairing diplomacy and development with defense in order to achieve global stability.

But one of the major challenges in maintaining America's international engagement is rallying support. "Educating the American public on a budget is difficult," Davis said. "They don't realize that today's economy is a global economy."

The panel also addressed the United States' role in international humanitarian efforts.

"Americans are very generous, but they need to feel prosperous at home in order to feel secure in their giving," DuVal said. "The best way to build support for investing abroad is to have prosperity at home, and we don't have prosperity at home."

The overarching sentiment of the panel was that, even though the national economy is struggling, investing in international development—in trade as well as in humanitarian aid—is well worth the allocated funds.

"We recognize that this is a moment of fiscal crisis," Taylor admitted. "These [international aid] programs save lives, provide American jobs and contribute to national security. Making cuts is not smart and not just."

Regent President Carlos Campo, who attended the panel, acknowledged the value of the university's involvement. "It's important for Regent to facilitate and participate in the insightful and timely global dialogues because our mission is globally focused and leadership is at the heart of who we are."

Learn more about the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The God of Peace Will Be with You

Javkhaa Ganbaatar
Student Chaplain – Robertson School of Government

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:4-9 NIV).