The Public Policy Program at Roosevelt House and the Departments of Economics and Political Science invite you to a Student and Faculty Teach-in: The Government Shutdown: Where do we go from here?

Lunch will be served. Please RSVP to

The world’s most powerful democracy has been closed for business since October 1st. The closure of government has sent over 800,000 federal workers on furlough, with federal agencies significantly reducing their operations. More worrisome than the shutdown is the approaching October 17th debt ceiling. A panel of Hunter College professors will discuss:

  • The roots of the crisis and its linkages to “Obamacare;”
  • Federalism, voting rights, and the current partisan political culture;
  • The budget process and its implications for domestic programs and military spending;
  • The crisis’ impact on the world economy;

and more.

Discussion will be moderated by Shyama Venkateswar and include Professors Howard Chernick, Michael Lee, Sangeeta Pratap, Sanford Schram and Charles Tien.


Shyama Venkateswar  Director of the Public Policy Program at Roosevelt House

Shyama is Distinguished Lecturer and Director of the Public Policy Program at Roosevelt House. She has over fifteen years of experience in research, policy and advocacy focusing on social justice issues, both in the U.S. and globally. Before coming to Hunter College, she worked at the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW), where she served as Director of Research & Programs, and helped provide the vision and strategic direction for the Council’s policy agenda on economic security for low-income women, diversity in higher education and the corporate arena, women’s leadership, and ending global violence against women. She is co-author of two recent NCRW reports, Caring for Our Nation’s Future; and The Challenge and the Charge: Strategies for Retaining and Advancing Women of Color in addition to numerous commentary and opinion pieces on poverty, job creation, peace-building, and immigrant rights published in The Miami Herald, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Asia Times, The Indian Express, and the Chicago Sun-Times. She has given Congressional briefings, and presented her research findings to academic, policy, advocacy and corporate communities. In addition to her work with NCRW, Shyama served as an Academic Adviser for Queens College, City University of New York, where she helped to shape the content and programs for a proposed Immigration Center, and design the structure and curriculum for the College’s Year of India Initiative. She also served as a consultant to the President of Queens College on strategies to advance gender diversity and multiculturalism among the College’s faculty and senior administration. Shyama’s previous positions include: founding Executive Director of Mercy Corps’ Action Center to End World Hunger; Director of the Asian Social Issues Program at the Asia Society; and Program Officer at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University and is a graduate of Smith College.

Howard Chernick  Hunter College Professor (Economics)

Howard Chernick is a Research Affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before coming to Hunter College in 1982, he was a senior researcher in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. From 1989-90 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation. He has been Visiting Professor at the Milano School of Public Policy at the New School for Social Research (1997-98), Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University (Fall 1999), and Invited Visiting Professor, Faculty of Political Economy, Université de Rennes 1, France (Spring 2000 and 2001). Since 1998 he has been a Research Affiliate, Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Chernick is also a Member of the Board of Directors, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy – Citizens for Tax Justice .

Professor Chernick’s research specializes in the economics of the public sector, with special attention to the distributional impacts of government spending and taxation. He is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence for Applied Scholarship, Hunter College, 2005. He is actively involved in public policy in New York, serving as a consultant to the City of New York Independent Budget Office and the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. Recent research projects study the effect of Food Stamps on the fiscal decisions of states and the effect of devolution on the finances of big cities. The Food Stamp project was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the main Joint Center for Poverty Research of the University of Chicago and Northwestern . The urban public finance study was funded by the Brookings Instiution . In 1999-2000 he served as Technical Advisor for Project 2001, Financial and Fiscal Commission of the Republic of South Africa, helping to develop intergovernmental grant formulae for funding provincial health education, and welfare services.

Michael Lee  Hunter College Professor (Political Science)

Michael Lee received his PhD from Indiana University in 2012. Before joining the faculty at Hunter College he was a visiting assistant professor at Duke University. His research and teaching includes topics in the fields of international political economy, foreign policy and conflict studies. His dissertation examined the political roots of financial regulation and deregulation from a historical perspective, while his other work looks at the political economy of foreign policy preferences and how wars spread.

Sangeeta Pratap  Hunter College Professor (Economics)

Professor Pratap joined the economics department in the Spring of 2006. She was an Assistant Professor and Fellow at Centro de Investigación Económica Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Mexico prior to joining the department. Her research and teaching interests include Macroeconomics, Development Economics and Econometrics.

Sanford Schram  Hunter College Professor (Political Science)

Sandy Schram received his PhD from SUNY-Albany (1979) and served as chair of the Department of Political Science at SUNY-Potsdam before joining the faculty at Bryn Mawr College, where from 1997 to 2013 he taught social theory and policy in the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. He now teaches political science and public policy at Hunter College.

Schram has published 12 books and over 100 scholarly articles. His first book Words of Welfare: The Poverty of Social Science and the Social Science of Poverty (1995) won the American Political Science Association’s Michael Harrington award as did his 2012 book Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race (co-authored with Joe Soss and Richard C. Fording). Schram is the 2012 recipient of the Charles McCoy Career Achievement Award from the APSA.

Charles Tien  Hunter College Professor and Department Chair (Political Science)

Charles Tien is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Hunter College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1997. His research interests include American politics, congress, quantitative research methods, and representation of minorities and women in the U.S. Congress. Tien was awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award in 1999-2000 to teach American politics at People’s University in Beijing, China. His publications have appeared in journals such as American Politics Quarterly, Public Choice, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Women and Politics.

The Government Shutdown: Where do we go from here? | Posted on October 10th, 2013 | P-cubed News, Student Events