Tuesday, April 8, 2014

UT Dallas Student Wins ASPA Junior Asian Scholar Award

The American Society for Public Administration awarded this year’s Junior Asian Scholar Award to UT Dallas student Kwang Bin Bae.

The award, which recognizes Asian graduate students who demonstrate scholarly promise, included a cash prize and recognition at the ASPA Section on Korean Public Administration meeting on March 16.

Bae received the award in recognition of a paper that was accepted for presentation at the 2014 ASPA annual meeting. The paper, presented with Doug Goodman, Associate Professor of Public Affairs at UT Dallas,  was entitled "The Influence of Family-Friendly Policies on Turnover and Performance in South Korea."

The study investigated the relationship between family-friendly policies and organizational performance, voluntary turnover rate and labor productivity, using the Korea Workplace Panel Survey data from 2005 to 2009.  The result of the analysis suggests that the number of family-friendly policies is positively associated with labor productivity in public organizations. However, the number of family-friendly policies does not reduce the turnover rate. 

Bae is currently a teaching assistant at UT Dallas pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Affairs.

Brown Bag Lecture: The Brains of Leaders Study

On Friday, April 25, the Department of Public Affairs and Sociology will conclude this year’s Public Affairs and Sociology Brown Bag Lecture Series with a presentation by UT Dallas’s own Dr. L. Douglas Kiel.

Dr. Kiel, a professor of public affairs and administration, will be presenting a talk titled: “The Brains of Leaders Study: An Exploratory Study of the Brains of Local Leaders.”

Organized by UT Dallas Assistant Professor Dr. Young-Joo Lee, the lecture series has provided students with the opportunity to meet and connect with scholars from UT Dallas as well as universities across the United States.

Dr. Kiel’s Brown Bag Lecture will be held from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm in the Irving Hoch Seminar Room in Green Hall (GR 3.606).

Monday, March 3, 2014

UT Dallas Professor Wins Best Article Award

The Review of Public Personnel Administration has named an article co-authored by Dr. Meghna Sabharwal the best article of 2013.

The article, titled “Charting Ethics in Asia-Pacific HRM: Does East Meet West, Ethically?” was written by Dr. Sabharwal, an assistant professor of public affairs at UT Dallas, along with Dr. Jonathan West from the University of Miami and Dr. LooSee Beh from the University of Malaya.

The Review of Public Personnel Administration is the flagship journal for human resources in the field of public administration. It is published in association with the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).


Dr. Sabharwal’s award will be presented at ASPA’s annual conference in Washington D.C..

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Join Us for Our Next Brown Bag Lunch on Feb. 28

On Friday, February 28, the Department of Public Affairs and Sociology will welcome Dr. Robert Christensen from the University of Georgia for its second brown bag lecture of the semester. Dr. Christensen will be presenting a talk titled: “Justice and Public Service Motivation: A Walk on the Dark Side.”

Dr. Christensen is an Associate Professor of Public Administration and Policy. He specializes in public and nonprofit management, specifically focusing on public service employees and organizations. He researches the effects of prosocial and antisocial behavior on employees and the relationship between public law and public administration.


Dr. Christensen’s lecture will be held from 11:00am – 1:00pm in the Irving Hoch Seminar Room in Green Hall (GR 3.606).

Thursday, January 23, 2014

2014 Public Affairs and Sociology Brown Bag Series

On Friday, January 31, the Department of Public Affairs and Sociology will host its first brown bag lecture of the new year. Dr. Robert Forbis from Texas Tech University will be presenting a talk titled: “Hydraulic Fracturing and Beyond!: The Inverse Relationship Between Energy Development and Environmental Protection.”

The lecture will be held from 11:15am – 1:00pm in the Irving Hoch Seminar Room in Green Hall (GR 3.606).

Dr. Forbis is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Texas Tech who received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Utah. His research focuses on the policy nexus of environmental protection and energy development, and his lecture will address the political conflicts triggered by the rise of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

UPDATE: Due to a fire drill in Green Hall scheduled for 11:00am, Dr. Forbis' lecture will not begin until 11:15am.



Friday, January 10, 2014

Race Matters: A Preview of SOC 3325

By Raihaana Peera
“Why is race a subject most people are afraid of discussing?” I pondered this question as I spoke with Dr. Nick Vargas, an assistant professor of sociology at the UT Dallas, about the SOC 3325-Race, Ethnicity, and Community class he is teaching this spring. Dr. Vargas says he has two main goals for this class. His first goal is to make people aware of not just the historical aspects of race, but how race continues to be a major component of the structure of today’s society. “Race is not static,” Dr. Vargas clarifies. He continues to explain that race is not something that is definite; rather it is a socially constructed concept that constantly changes over time. The second goal for the class, he says, is to make people more comfortable to talk about race.
I come from a multi-racial background as a Massachusetts born Muslim, raised in eastern Saudi Arabia by my Brooklyn raised-second generation Italian mother and my Pakistani father, and thus excited to further understand the depth of the issue of race. The United States is known to be a melting pot of races from around the world. The diversity in this country is not a recent happening. This country was formed on the values and ideas that would provide all immigrants equal opportunities to pursue their “American Dream.” Ironically, history has not played out that way. Race always has been, and still is, a construct that is deeply engrossed into the American society. We might assume that having a half-black president, we are now in a post-racial era. Understandably, sociologist Dr. Vargas disagrees. His research areas include race, ethnicity, and immigration. And according to Dr. Vargas, racial inequality is more prevalent in today’s American society than people think.
The book Dr. Vargas has chosen for this class is: Racial Domination, Racial Progress: The Sociology of Race in America by Matthew Desmond and Mustafa Emirbayer.  Unlike most other books on race, he explains that he prefers this book because it does not pick apart each race to discuss separately. The various races are a system of socially related entities, and although each race has its own differences, the book discusses how race in general relates to political, economic, educational, and legal institutions. I inquired about the structure of this class to which Dr. Vargas replies that there will be weekly quizzes in class over the assigned readings, a few tests over the semester, and a lot of class discussions. He encourages students to share their thoughts and ideas over the readings and to open up on the cautiously discussed issue of race. Towards the end of the semester, after thoroughly deliberating over the issue of race, Dr. Vargas said we would discuss the approaches we can use in refining racial inequality. “This is one of my favorite classes to teach,” he admits. I have not taken the class yet, but I know it will be a favorite for me as well.

Raihaana Peera is a freshman majoring in public affairs.



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Scholarship Announced for MPA Students

The Department of Public Affairs and Sociology is pleased to announce a Student Enrichment Scholarship for Spring 2014. 

The scholarship will be awarded to students seeking a Masters of Public Affairs degree to assist with the cost of tuition, books, and other expenses associated with school attendance.  

The amount of the award varies from $1,000 to $1,500. Up to six scholarships will be awarded in Spring 2014. The deadline for submitting a scholarship application for the spring semester is January 1, 2014.

Questions about the scholarship or requests for a scholarship application form should be directed to Dr. James Harrington at james.harrington@utdallas.edu.