Department mourns the loss of friend and colleague, Dr. Clyde Willis

Clyde WillisProfessor Emeritus Clyde E. Willis, age 74, peacefully passed away on July 24, 2017 surrounded by his family at his home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 

Clyde taught in the Department from 1999 until his retirement two years ago.  As much as he loved the practice of law, and as proud as he was of his 25 year career in that profession, teaching was Clyde’s clear calling.  Clyde (NOT Professor Willis or Dr. Willis, just Clyde!) was a mentor to countless students, to whom he devoted his boundless energy, leading them in mock trial and mediation competitions at a nationally competitive level.  To the end, Clyde was proudest that his students were more apt to call him friend than professor. He had a great impact on the lives of many students and was well loved.

A memorial service for Clyde will be held this fall on the campus at a date and time to be determined.  In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family requests donations be made to the Dr. Clyde Willis scholarship in the MTSU Department of Political Science and International Relations. Please send contributions to the MTSU Foundation Box 109 Murfreesboro, TN 37132.

 Clyde was a native of Rogersville, Tennessee, graduating from Rogersville High School in 1960. After completing a B.S. degree at East Tennessee State University, he received his law degree from the University of Tennessee in 1969. Clyde immediately embarked on his first career, working as an attorney for the Federal Trade Commission in Chicago before returning to Rogersville to practice law with Ed Hyder and then in solo practice.  Clyde also served as mayor of Rogersville from 1975-1977 and briefly as general manager of Holston Electric Cooperative. 

 Clyde and his family moved to Knoxville, where he continued to practice law at Harwell, Baumgardner and Willis (later Harwell and Willis).  During this time in Knoxville, Clyde decided to follow his true calling to teach.  As he practiced law, he also worked toward and completed his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee in 1991 and, thus, after 25 years of practicing law, embarked on his second career.

 Clyde taught political science and coached the mock trial team at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia for several years before joining MTSU.   In 1996 he served as Visiting Professor on the Law Faculty of Syktyvkar State University in Russia and the following year received a Fulbright Distinguished Award at the Faculty of Law at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. In that strife-torn country Clyde also served as a consultant for the Ethiopian Ministry of Justice.

Clyde is survived by his wife Irina, children John Willis (Tonya) and Amy Willis-Becker (Ben), grandchildren Colin, Harry and Leo, all of Knoxville, TN, sisters and brothers -in-law June and Larry Wagner of Mexico, MO and Margaret and Bob Phillips of Richmond, VA, and nieces and nephew Mary Beth Mitchell, Sarah Dawn Hamilton and Matthew Phillips. He was preceded in death by his parents Andy and Evelyn Willis.

Department Welcomes Incoming Chair,

Dr. Michael Federici

FedericiDr. Federici will be joining us in August  as  department chair. He brings with him over 25 years of teaching experience at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania where he also served as department chair, faculty senate president, and on the board of trustees. His. teaching and research areas include American Government, Constitutional Law, Civil Liberties, Political Theory, and American Political Thought. He received his Ph.D. in Politics from The Catholic University of American in Washington, D.C. (1990), his M.A. from CUA in 1985, and his B.S. in Economics from Elizabethtown College in 1983. Dr. Federici has published five books, The Challenge of Populism (1991), Eric Voegelin: The Restoration of Order (2002), The Political Philosophy of Alexander Hamilton published by Johns Hopkins University Press (June 2012), Rethinking the Teaching of American History, (an edited volume; Butler Books 2012), and a co-edited collection of essays entitled, The Culture of Immodesty in American Life and Politics: The Modest Republic (Palgrave Macmillan, May 2013).

Congratulations to 2017-18 Scholarship Recipients

  • Talea Rahman -- Joann Arnold Memorial Scholarship
  • Sarah Dixon -- Jane Duke Memorial Scholarship Fund 
  • Janeth Almazan -- George and Cynthia Vernardakis Scholarship
  • Gregory Stallworth -- Norman Parks Scholarship 
  • Jacob Myre -- Harry Horne International Relations Scholarship 
  • Kimora Cross -- Sloan Scholarship 
  • Devin Irish -- Kious Scholarship
  • TBD -- Ray Scholarship    

CONGRATULATIONS to the Department of Political Science and International Relations 2016-17 AWARD RECIPIENTS.

  • James Colge Hodge and Jodi Schockney  (Normal Parks Award)
  • Mitchell Brisbon and Connor McDonald  (C.C. Sims Award)
  • Agnes Porter (John W. Burgess Award)
  • Caitlin Henderson (Jack Justin Turner Award in IR)
  • Cole Hodge and Wesley Eke (Meritorious Award, Mock Trial)
  • Erika Helgelson (Meritorious Award, Model UN)
  • Jodi Schockney (Meritorious Award, Mediation)

Current and former students publish their research in the Russian Compendium the Belgorod Dialogue - 2016. The Problems of Philology, General and National History: A Compendium of Materials of the 8th Youth Academic Forum, A.I. Papkov, editor. To see their work, click here.

 Spring 2017 Newsletter
Spring Newsletter p1

 Student Handbooks for PS and IR Majors 2015 Edition

Cover page for handbook   Cover page for handbook

NEW Accelerated Bachelor to Masters Program in International Relations/International Affairs


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