AU Press Releases

AU to commemorate Constitution Day with faculty panel addressing the Syrian conflict

In honor of Constitution Day, five Alfred University (AU) professors will participate in a panel discussion about the current Syrian conflict on Thursday, Sep. 19 at 5:30 p.m. in Nevins Theater. The panel, titled “The President’s Power to Commit America to Combat: Constitutional, Moral, and Practical Considerations,” is free and open to the public. 

AU professors Christopher Churchill, Robert Heineman, Gary Ostrower, Jeff Sluyter-Beltrao, and Emrys Westacott will participate, offering insights from their respective areas of expertise.

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.

Churchill is an assistant professor of history and global studies. He holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in history from Queen’s University in Canada as well as a bachelor of arts in history from Concordia University. Churchill’s studies have focused primarily on the modern Mediterranean, especially France and Algeria, and he has had his work featured is such publications as Modern Intellectual History, Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Ideas and Action, and World History Encyclopedia.

Heineman, a professor of political science, earned his bachelor of arts degree in political science from Bradley University, followed by a master of arts degree in government and a Ph.D. in school of government and public administration from The American University. He has published articles and reviews in dozens of political science journals as well as written several books, including “Ethics and Public Policy” (Prentice-Hall, 2006), “The World of the Policy Analyst” (Chatham House, 2002) and “Political Science: An Introduction” (McGraw Hill, 1995).

Professor of history Ostrower holds a bachelor of arts degree from Alfred University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in history from the University of Rochester. He has taught at Alfred University since 1969 and is the Joseph K. Kruson Distinguished Professor. In addition to publishing three books on the history of international organization, Ostrower has lectured nationally on C-Span about World War II. He has been active in the local community and government, serving as mayor of Alfred from 1999 to 2005.

Sluyter-Beltrao is an associate professor of political science. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from the College of William and Mary, a master’s degree in international relations from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. He has taught courses in comparative politics, Latin American politics, international relations, and political communication and theory at Whitman College and Wayne State University as well as at AU, and he has published numerous works on these topics.

Westacott, professor of philosophy, obtained his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom as well as a master of arts degree in philosophy from McGill University and Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin. His areas of specialization include ethics, history of philosophy and metaphysics. In addition to dozens of scholarly articles and reviews, Westacott has published two books, “The Virtues of our Vices” (Princeton University Press, 2011) and “Thinking Through Philosophy” (Cambridge University Press, 2000).