Professor Rick Peltz-Steele was welcomed to the State University of New York (SUNY) in Oswego in March to participate in the induction of undergraduate students to Pi Sigma Alpha, a national political science association.
While visiting SUNY Oswego for two days, Peltz-Steele visited a class on civil liberties, met with political science students, delivered remarks at the Pi Sigma Alpha induction ceremony, and gave a campus-wide lecture on his research on indecency and the First Amendment.
Professor Helen Knowles, Ph.D. extended the invitation to Peltz-Steele on behalf of the student leaders of Pi Sigma Alpha. Dr. Knowles is an accomplished teacher and researcher in political science and the law. Her books include The Tie Goes to Freedom: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on Liberty (Rowman & Littlefield 2009, updated 2018) and the forthcoming Making Minimum Wage: Elsie Parrish v. The West Coast Hotel Company.
Peltz-Steele was a guest in Dr. Knowles’s civil liberties class on March 6, in which students discussed emerging issues in civil rights, such as free speech and privacy. Dr. Knowles also arranged meetings for Peltz-Steele with students and faculty in the SUNY Oswego Political Science Department. With students, Peltz-Steele discussed career paths in politics and law.
On March 7, SUNY Oswego inducted twenty undergraduate students into Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Honor Society, Nu Beta Chapter. The society is open to undergraduate and graduate students upon having taken a certain number of courses in political science and maintained a high level of academic performance. The induction ceremony was attended by students, their families, and political science faculty at SUNY Oswego.
At the induction ceremony, Peltz-Steele delivered remarks about the 1920 founding of the honor society and parallels between the politics of the 1920s and today. He encouraged students to apply the critical thinking and analytical skills of political scientists in whatever careers they pursue, combatting the problem of “poor information literacy” in contemporary America. Peltz-Steele is himself a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, inducted to the Beta Omega Chapter at Washington and Lee University 27 years ago.
In the evening of March 7, Peltz-Steele delivered a campus-wide lecture entitled, “WTF? Proliferating Profanity Under a Conservative FCC.” He discussed his research on indecent words, telecommunication regulation, and the First Amendment, particularly in the context of Trump Administration politics and burgeoning technological advances in streaming television. The talk was held in SUNY Oswego’s Marano Center, the home of Lakers Ice Hockey.