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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Former Mershon Director James A. Robinson has passed on May 7, 2018 at the age of 85.  

He is survived by his daughter, Adelaide Robinson McCulloch (Jeffrey), and his son, Luke Robinson (Rica Kimball). Robinson served as director of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies and later vice president for academic affairs at the Ohio State University; president of Macalester College; and president of the University of West Florida.

The first child in his family to attend college, thanks to a scholarship from the American Legion, Robinson was passionate about equal access to quality higher education for all people.

Donations in his honor may be made to UWF Foundation, 11000 University Parkway Bldg. 12, Pensacola, FL 32514-5750, or by visiting https://uwf.edu/offices/foundation/.

Sarah Brooks

On Tuesday, April 10, the College of Arts and Sciences held its third annual Spring Recognition Ceremony, honoring the recipients of all endowed college awards and college-wide awards for teaching and mentoring in the Arts and Sciences. Two Mershon faculty affiliates were among those recognized.

Sarah Brooks, professor of political science, won the Joan N. Huber Huber Faculty Fellow Award for Excellence in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. This award recognizes first-rate scholarship for individuals not already so recognized by virtue of being an Eminent Scholar, holder of a chair, Distinguished University Professor or Distinguished Scholar. No more than three Huber fellowships are awarded each year to full professors.

Brooks is best known as an expert on comparative and international political economy. She has particular interests in Latin American politics and social protection and received a Fulbright Scholarship grant to conduct research in South Africa during 2014-15. She is currently bringing these interests together through a multiyear survey of the effects of economic risk and violence on political behavior in Brazil and South Africa.


The college also named Hollie Nyseth Brehm, assistant professor of sociology, with the Honors Faculty Service Award, which recognizes excellence in honors advising, honors instruction, honors committee work and other honors initiatives and responsibilities that have enhanced the quality of education to honors students in the liberal arts.

Nyseth Brehm has made significant contributions to our honors education by advising honors theses, providing in-depth research experiences for undergraduate honors students in the U.S. and abroad, supervising the Social and Behavioral Science Eminence Fellows, and advising several campus organizations led by honors students. She is an avid supporter of undergraduate research, going above and beyond to create in-depth learning experiences for her honors students.

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The Mershon Center, within the College of Arts and Sciences, seeks a Peace Studies Coordinator to join our team. The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college and the academic heart of the university. The College hosts 81 majors. With 38 departments, 20+ world-class research centers, and more than 2,000 faculty and staff members, students have the unique opportunity to study with the best artists, scholars, and scientists in their field. The College values diversity and offers a supportive, open, and inclusive community.

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Peter Shane

How presidential, judicial powers could affect Mueller investigation

If Special Counsel Robert Mueller is fired in the midst of his investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election, is it possible that the judicial branch could step in with its own special prosecutor?

Mershon affiliate Peter Shane, Jacob E. Davis and Jacob E. Davis II Chair at Moritz College of Law, is internationally recognized for his expertise on the separation of powers and our government’s system of checks and balances.

In addition to authoring multiple books on the subject, he teaches courses about constitutional and administrative law, as well as law and the presidency at Ohio State.

Once the province of dusty history books, our nation’s laws governing the separation of powers are grabbing increasing attention. Shane explains how they can be interpreted — and how Americans might consider presidential powers during such a politically charged era.

Q. You told The Washington Post that the judicial system itself might be able to act to keep the investigations going, even if Special Counsel Mueller is fired. Tell us why you believe U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell could name a new prosecutor.

A. In a situation where the firing of a prosecutor might imperil the work being done by a grand jury, the question could arise whether a court would have the authority itself to appoint a new prosecutor.

It would serve to keep the grand jury going on the theory that the grand jury is a judicial organ, and that a judge might regard the ability to appoint a prosecutor as a matter of what I would call “judicial self-defense.”

Some people will argue that the appointment of federal prosecutors must be done by the president or the attorney general, and that if a court did so, it wouldn’t be consistent with our separation of powers. I argue otherwise.

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