Category Archives: Social Sciences

GRU explains Republican Primary

AUGUSTA, Ga. – American voters will watch the top 10 Republican presidential candidates face off in the first GOP debate at 9 p.m. Thursday on Fox News, with the remaining candidates debating four hours earlier also on Fox News.

Dr. Craig Albert, assistant professor of political science at Georgia Regents University, teaches courses on American politics, political philosophy, war and terrorism; he also directs the Model United Nations Program. In a new video, he discusses why Republicans have so many candidates and weighs in on why Donald Trump is a problem for the GOP.

“This is the largest number of candidates for a Republican Primary in about 100 years,” Albert said. “It’s been growing since 2008 this lack of identity for the Republican Party and so many different voices. They don’t know who they are; they are so fractured right now. So everybody is trying to be the new voice, the new face, trying to show to the American voters who the Republican Party actually is.”

As a leading scholar in American politics and foreign affairs, Albert’s research interests include Islamic extremism and the rise of ISIS, the Russo-Chechen conflict and the life and work of French political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville. Albert is also a political contributor to The Augusta Chronicle and a blogger for ROAR: Renaissance for American Responsibility. He’s done interviews with many different media outlets, including a live interview with Megyn Kelly for Fox News Channel about the Boston Marathon bombers. He has also testified to the U.S. Congress on Islamic Extremism.

Davies uses Love of Learning grant to learn more about homicide

While the ABC television show “How to Get Away with Murder” may have racked up an impressive audience during its first season last year, Dr. Kim Davies’ Sociology of Murder class does a pretty good job of packing them in as well.

“Last time, it had around 100 students,” Davies said. “It’s the first time I let it get that big.”

It’s so popular, she said, because homicide is all around us. On the news. In the movies. On television.

“It’s everywhere in entertainment these days,” she said. “Students flock to that class.”

Recently, Davies received a $500 Love of Learning Award from Phi Kappa Phi honor society which, combined with the in-house Pamplin Professional Impact Fund, allowed her to go to the Homicide Research Working Group conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida. There, she presented a literature review on homicide survivors, who are family members of homicide victims.

“It’s the conference I prefer to go to over any other,” she said. “It’s a group of about 50 of us, and every session it’s everybody in the room. You can’t sneak out. We are all there weighing in on each other’s work and really helping each other.”

The feedback she received at the conference is helping her decide whether to pursue what is, for her, a new line of research.

“I thought I’d be gung-ho to get into this, but as I worked with it more, I began to wonder,” she said. “We always have to be careful about our subjects, but I just want to be really careful with these particular subjects. They’ve gone through a lot, and though I think I’m a kind human being and careful not to hurt anyone, I’m a sociologist, not a psychologist.”

In fact, one of the suggestions made at the conference was to add a psychologist to her research team to monitor the effects of her questioning, which is something she says actually meshes with the overall mission of the school.

“Any time we can mix whatever we’re studying with the health sciences campus, that’s logical for the university.”

Her interest in homicide stems from her master’s thesis, where she began by studying pornography from a women’s studies perspective. When the faculty member she was working with retired, she moved to studying homicide, and now she’s become an expert in the field, someone who is not only a department chair, but a leader in research.

She’s not just a leader in research, she’s an advocate for it.

“I think good teachers need to be good researchers, or at least need to be active in researching,” she said. “I think one of the things I bring to my teaching is my research. I think students find it fascinating when you bring up something you’ve done.”

And she speaks from experience. Davies has been here since 1996.

“I didn’t think I’d stay,” she admitted. “Like lots of people, you get a job and figure you’ll move around. But for me, one of the things that’s happened is that we have changed, and that’s allowed this job to continue to stay challenging and interesting. I’m in another institution, a more challenging institution, and I’m smiling. I think it’s great.”