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Department of Political Science

University of Mississippi

Alumni News

Roebuck accepts Westminster position

Dr. Charles David Roebuck, Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Columbia College in Columbia has accepted a new leadership role at Westminster College. He was named in July as the new vice president of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Westminster College. Roebuck served a Columbia College dean with over 40 years of higher education experience, 17 of which are in administration. During his 22-year tenure at Columbia College, Roebuck served on 23 different academic and curriculum committees, task forces and councils; proposed and developed three different degree programs; and served as president of the Columbia College Faculty Association. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Mississippi.

Fulton Sun

Pearce Crosland

Ole Miss, Class of 2016
Federal Government Relations,
National Restaurant Association
Washington, D.C.

After graduating in 2016, I moved to Washington, D.C. to join the Federal Government Relations team at the National Restaurant Association. Our job is to represent the interests of the restaurant industry on a national level to Members of Congress, the White House, and Administration officials with two key goals: 1) Educating lawmakers on the issues vital to America’s restaurant industry, and 2) Influencing legislation and public policy in a manner that benefits and promotes restaurants, employees, owners, and operators. The National Restaurant Association represents the country’s second largest private sector employer—more than 15.1 million employees staffing over 1.1 million eating and drinking establishments—which accounts for 10 percent of the nation’s workforce and over 4% of the U.S. GDP. For the past century, the Association has been the world’s largest foodservice trade organization, earning recognition as one of the leading voices and most powerful forces on Capitol Hill.


While working closely with Members of Congress is a large focus of the job, one of the most important aspects is representing and communicating with our key stakeholders. Their needs, concerns, and issues are what drive our advocacy strategy. On a federal level, this involves working with Government Relations representatives of Association members, executives of State Restaurant Associations, as well as CEOs of national restaurant and foodservice brands. As the political landscape changes, so too do the methods by which lobbyists work. Rather than relying solely on direct, “boots-on-the-ground” lobbying, the Association has a diverse and robust grassroots infrastructure, integrated into our advocacy goals. A unique and exciting part of my job is managing the administration of the Association’s political action committee—RestaurantPAC—as well as engaging in industry and issue coalitions. Through RestaurantPAC, we are able to work closely with not only elected officials, but also third party political committees to build the key relationships on which we rely to pitch our issues to appropriate audiences. Additionally, I work closely with GR professionals in industries facing similar issues, as there’s strength in numbers and value in collaboration. Reliance on these personal connections is paramount to success of advocacy.


It is sometimes difficult to give a snapshot of a day in this job, because every day is different. Issues come and go with the wind, lending no shortage of occasional difficulties and frustration. However, at the end of the day, it’s about people—my favorite part of the job. I feel privileged to be involved with and work on the behalf the most diverse industry in the country. Restaurants and their employees are the backbone of America’s economy. They are the pillars of their communities and cornerstones of social and family life. Without the tenets of community and family embodied by every aspect of the Ole Miss experience, the frantic shuffle of Washington might have minimized my recognition of the personal, emotional aspects of the restaurant industry. I’m deeply grateful for Dr. Conor Dowling, whose courses about voter participation, political parties and interest groups sparked my interest in government relations and advocacy. His classes were not easy; however, his projects were designed to force new and creative ways of analyzing situations and thinking outside of comfort zones to successfully tackle tough issues. In the ever-evolving political landscape, this has been one of the top skills on which I’ve relied when advocating on Capitol Hill. I will forever be thankful and proud to attribute my career to the Ole Miss School of Political Science.

UM Student Awarded Grant for International Law Weekend

Crawford Moore’s interest is on issues surrounding air and space law

OXFORD, Miss. – Crawford Moore isn’t just studying the law to make a difference in his home state and country, but also the world – and beyond.

The second-year student at the University of Mississippi School of Law earned a NASA Space Law Network grant to attend the International Law Weekend conference and learn from the world’s leading practitioners and legal educators about the importance of international law.

Moore, a Meridian native, earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Ole Miss. He is pursuing a concentration in remote sensing, air and space law, which is a large part of the discussion pertaining to international legal issues.

“Space law and outer space are a large part of international law, and there were several panels throughout the weekend on space operations and rules applying to outer space, which is the field I want to pursue,” Moore said. “It also gave me the opportunity to meet people in the industry and learn more about possible career paths in international law.”

The conference was Oct. 18-20 in New York City, hosted by the American Branch of the International Law Association. Moore was among 16 students selected for the grant, which covered the cost of travel and allowed him to attend special career sessions.

“It was an honor to represent Ole Miss, but my attendance would not have been possible without the support of my family and the UM faculty,” Moore said.

Moore’s father is a recreational pilot, which sparked his interest in air and space law. His interest quickly evolved to space law once he began law school.

“With growing technological developments in outer space capabilities, many countries are having to change and update their domestic laws or even create new ones altogether,” Moore said. “Many companies are restricted in what they do with these technologies because of existing legal barriers.

“I’d like to eventually work on the government side of the issue to help streamline the launch and registration process so that it can be done more easily, but in a regulated way.”

Charles Stotler and Michelle Hanlon, UM law professors and associate directors of the air and space law program, encouraged Moore to pursue more opportunities in this rapidly evolving legal sector.

“We are delighted to help our students gain access to important conferences like the International Law Weekend so that they can contribute to the ongoing evolution of our laws, and, perhaps more important, meet peers from all over the world who will be working with them in the future to navigate so many new frontiers,” Hanlon said.

Technological advancements are bringing the world closer together, making international collaboration a necessity, she said.

“No matter what discipline our law students choose to focus on, this next generation of lawyers will work against the backdrop of an international regime,” Hanlon said.

The grant was administered through the Nebraska College of Law.

“We are extremely proud that Crawford, a student in our air and space law concentration, was able to see through this very competitive grant process,” Stotler said.

For more information about the UM air and space law program, visit