Christian Bionat: Day 4, JF Spring Trip

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Arkansas Political Science Conference was held at the University of Central Arkansas (For those basketball fans, thats the Alma Mater of NBA great Scottie Pippen), and we started out early to get good seats.
The first discussion I went to was about American Public Policy. The participants included professors from UCA, Western Kentucky, Arkansas State, and University of Arkansas Fayetteville. Their topics included immigration, environmental policy, and domestic policy. Most interesting to me was authored by Professor John Passe-Smith and his wife, Mary Suie Passe-Smith.

Next, Justin, Santigo and I attended the undergraduate research in international relations and comparative politics discussion. Two of the four papers involved the U.S. Military’s involvement in the Middle East. The other two papers involved Japan’s foreign policy and the predictability of revolution. And of course the two military papers were the ones I favored, especially the one done by junior Jonathan Hoskins (University of Arkansas at Monticello) regarding the theme of Nation Building and why the US continues to struggle in the modern day.

Afterward, County Judge Preston Scroggin (Faulkner County) discussed his experiences in emergency management over a lunch sponsored by the Arkansas Political Science Association Conference.  Judge Scroggins was an engaging speaker, and it was interesting to learn about county government in Arkansas, especially since the Junior Fellows administer the County U program in Walker County, Texas.

County Judge Scroggins

Following the conclusion of the conference, we visited the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library just off of Interstate 40 in Little Rock. The contemporary architecture reminded me a bit of a largish trailer.  My favorite picture was me posing as a Secret Service Agent.

Christian Bionat, Not-So-Secret Service Agent

After touring the library we had the opportunity to toboggan down a hill next to the library in our suits—thanks Professor Yawn. Although I should note that both he and our co-Advisor also tobogganed down the hill following out attempt.

After getting a quick snack from the River Market we headed to Natchitoches for our next day’s adventure.

For dinner, we ate at The Landing located about 10 minutes from our lodging at The Cabins. I am very excited for the events tomorrow such as touring the Melrose Plantation and getting on the Zip Line! Until tomorrow…

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