Millsaps College has announced that the Department of Political Science is being renamed as the Department of Government and Politics. The name change will officially be effective at the conclusion of the current 2018-19 academic year.
“We believe this change is a more accurate reflection of our field as well as the academic, intellectual, and methodological interests of our students and faculty,” said Dr. Nathan Shrader, chair of the department.
The department has generated increased visibility on and off campus as it has focused its efforts on more experiential learning opportunities for students and worked to bring elected officials and policy experts to campus for lectures and teaching.
Shrader cited the department’s support for voter registration drives, legislative fellowships, political party internships, and the partnership with Chism Strategies on the quarterly State of the State surveys as evidence of how the department is offering students and the public greater insight into Mississippi politics.
He also noted the regular visits to political science classes by political and governmental leaders as an opportunity for students to get a rare perspective on issues of the day. State Treasurer Lynn Fitch, now a Republican candidate for Mississippi attorney general, taught a popular course on women in politics at Millsaps in the spring of 2018 as has Ryan Brown, former Deputy Public Service Commissioner. Former legislator Brandon Jones is scheduled to teach a course on Public Policy in the upcoming fall semester.
“For the past three legislative sessions, we’ve had students doing legislative fellowships with lawmakers through a partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi, and we’ve just seen a student, Fletcher Freeman, elected as the first chairman from Millsaps of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans,” Shrader said. “We are well-positioned to provide students with hands-on experiences in government and politics, and we believe it’s important for our department’s name to reflect that positioning.”