Our mission is to provide students and community members with educational opportunities to help them better understand the political landscape in the United States as well as New Jersey. Ocean County College’s Governmental Affairs Institute sponsors numerous events throughout the year to help foster civic engagement and provide students with the necessary skills in order to become more active political participants. The Institute facilitates film screenings, guest lectures by experts in the field and discussions by elected officials. Through hosting a diverse cross-section of events, students have been able to participate in lively discussions focusing on issues such as the First Amendment, the significance of the U.S. Census, Ask-the-Expert: COVID-19, national and state electoral analysis, political polling as well as international political issues. The Governmental Affairs institute also facilitates Ocean County College’s annual Voter Registration Drive in conjunction with the Office of Student Life, S.L.A.P (OCC’s Political Science Club) and the League of Women Voters as well as our annual Constitution Day Commemoration that is co-sponsored by the Ocean County College Library.
Past Constitution Day events featured a film screening of “The Words that Built America,” The film, originally presented by HBO, highlights the language of the United States’ founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights, as read by lawmakers, celebrities, and children. The film was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi.
The State of State Politics: New Jersey’s Race for Governor and its Implications for America
featuring Dr. Benjamin Dworkin
Dr. Dworkin presented a lecture, on October 13, 2021. Dr. Dworkin serves as the founding director of the Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship. Prior to launching the institute at Rowan University, Dr. Dworkin spent ten years as director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University. Dr. Dworkin earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science at Rutgers University and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. He has presented his research and political analysis at numerous academic conferences across the country and has had his research published in the academic press.
The First Amendment & Free Speech: Protests and Politics on the Streets and Online
featuring Professor Marny Requa
Prof. Requa’s discussion took place on April 6th at 9:30 in the Gateway Lecture Hall. Professor Requa is an Associate Professor at Georgian Court University and Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Anthropology, Sociology, and Human Rights. She is an active member of the New York City Bar’s International Human Rights Committee, currently authoring a report covering freedom of expression and the global crackdown on civil society.
featuring Kevin Bales
Kevin Bales participated in a virtual/webex discussion on April 191h at 11:00 AM for students enrolled in Global Issues courses. The discussion was facilitated by Jason Ghibesi (Lecturer of Political Science and History). All Global Issues students are required to read and analyze Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy by Bales as part of their coursework. This discussion provided students with the opportunity to interact with the author and gain valuable information to be used in their research paper. Bales is the author of several works that focus on contemporary slavery such as, The Slave Next Door, Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide and the Secret to Saving the World and Ending Slavery. The film based on Disposable People titled Slavery: A Global Investigation(TrueVision), which Bales co-wrote for HBO, won a Peabody Award and two Emmys. Bales is the Co-Founder of Free the Slaves in Washington DC and is considered the leading expert on contemporary slavery. Bales currently is a Professor of Contemporary Slavery at the University of Nottingham.
Political Polling and the 2020 Presidential Election
featuring Dr. Krista Jenkins.
Dr. Jenkins discussion took place on October 28th 2020 at 9:30 AM. Dr. Krista Jenkins is a Professor of Politics and Government at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she is also the director of FDU’s survey research center, the FDU Poll. She is the coauthor of A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life and the Changing American Citizen (Oxford University Press), the author of Mothers, Daughters, and Political Socialization: Two Generations at an American Women’s College (Temple University Press), and the coauthor of Where Have All the Heroes Gone? Changing Conceptions of American Valor (Oxford University Press).
Coordinator for the Governmental Affairs Institute
Lecturer of Political Science