For the first time, the New Jersey Political Science Association (NJPSA) has selected a community college faculty member to serve as its co-president.
Throughout 2016, Brookdale political science chair Jonathan Moschberger will serve alongside Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Krista Jenkins as lead officer of the organization, networking with scholars, students, professionals and elected officials from across the state and across the nation.
In his first act as co-president, Moschberger joined Jenkins to host the NJPSA’s 2016 annual meeting at the Eagleton Institute of Politics in New Brunswick on March 4. The program featured four expert panel discussions on topics such as the 2016 presidential election, the environmental recovery from superstorm Sandy and higher education in the Garden State.
The conference began with a keynote address from U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-6th), who touched on the topics of the day and spoke to the students in attendance about congressional politics, the importance of compromise and the work being done each day to move the country forward.
“One of the examples he used was about climate change, and how Democrats and Republicans came together to pass green energy tax credits so companies would invest in cleaner technology,” said Brookdale political science major Kevin Przystawski, who attended the conference with a group of fellow students. “I
learned not to be too quick to judge every situation, because one viewpoint might not always be correct.”
The conference – which also featured Brookdale assistant English professor and Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long; professor emeritus Sherri West; New York Times reporter Kate Zernike; Rutgers University undergraduate program director William Field; and more than a dozen other visiting experts – was a rousing success, Moschberger said.
“All of the panels were truly outstanding,” said Moschberger, who also serves as assistant coordinator of the Brookdale Honors Program. “It was really a joy to put so much time and effort into this big event and see it come to fruition. And what an opportunity for our students! To have Brookdale students be able to be a part of a program like this really enhances their educational experience.
“I made our students a focal point by involving them in the conference; they got to introduce panelists, ask questions, offer comments, and more,” he added. “It was truly an immersive experience. Best of all, the students loved it! Pulling off an event of this magnitude is one of the highlights of my career.”
Despite a late winter storm that dropped more than two inches of snow on the region, the conference drew more than 50 political science scholars, experts and students from across the state. One of those attendees, Brookdale environmental science major Samantha Hymowitz, said it was well worth the trip.
“I thought this conference was really informative and insightful,” she said. “The post-Sandy panel was really interesting to me – discussing some of the progress we’ve made, but also some of the not-so-environmentally-smart decisions that have come along with it.
“It’s also really amazing to have a professor serving as president of the NJPSA,” Hymowitz added. “I’m proud of him for such an amazing accomplishment!”
Those sentiments were echoed by Przystawski, who said he was not surprised to learn Moschberger had made history as co-president of the NJPSA.
“He does a great job in the political science department,” Przystawski. “His involvement in college life, along with his passion for getting people involved in the political process, is incredible. I never see him taking a break.”
To learn more about Brookdale’s political science department, click here.