Dr. Robert H. Swansbrough Endowed Scholarship

About Dr. Swansbrough

Dr. Robert Swansbrough

The Dr. Robert H. Swansbrough Endowed Scholarship in Political Science is named in honor of a longtime professor of political science and administrator at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dr. Swansbrough joined the UTC faculty in 1971, serving as the head of the Department of Political Science at UTC from 1981-1991 and as the Associate Dean of The College of Arts and Sciences from 1992 until his death in 2011. Dr. Swansbrough received the Ph.D. (Political Science) from the University of California at Santa Barbara, 1972; the M.A. (Political Science) from UCSB, 1967; and the B.A. (History) from California State University at Long Beach, 1961. In 1993, he completed the Harvard University Management Development Program, Graduate School of Education.

His research focused on electoral politics in Tennessee and in the South, American foreign policy, party realignment and realignment in Tennessee, and political psychology as applied to Presidential decision making. Dr. Swansbrough’s book Test by Fire: The War Presidency of George W. Bush was published in 2008 (Palgrave Macmillan). He taught courses on American Government, World Politics, International Relations, The Presidency, American Foreign Policy, Political Leadership, Presidential Personality, and Congress. Dr. Swansbrough was selected as a 2009-2010 Fulbright Scholar to China where he taught an undergraduate course in American Government and a graduate seminar on US Foreign Policy at Sichuan University, a campus with 60,000 students in Chengdu, a city of 12 million in southwest China. He was asked to visit numerous university campuses in China to present Fulbright guest lectures. Additionally, Swansbrough was asked to be a scholarly participant in a conference organized by the Center for American Studies in Guangzhou entitled “China-US Relations under the Obama Administration: Theory & Policy.”

Beginning in 2006, Dr. Swansbrough was appointed to head a UTC faculty committee to determine the feasibility and academic requirements of re-establishing ROTC and creating a Department of Military Science on campus. ROTC was initially established in 1950. It was selected for closure in 1994 due to national budgetary cuts. By 1997, the ROTC program had been shut down. In 2007, the ROTC unit was activated once again. For his tireless efforts in establishing the UTC Department of Military Science, Dr. Swansbrough was presented the General William E. DePuy Award by the U.S. Army Cadet Command (USACC) at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. The DePuy Award is considered the most prestigious award bestowed by Cadet Command, the parent organization of the Army ROTC program. Dr. Swansbrough was selected from 11 other nominees from around the country. Dr. Swansbrough himself served in the military as a Division Officer, US Navy from 1961 to 1965. He served as a commissioned line officer with management responsibilities on the U.S.S. Brain and U.S.N.S. Sultan. He attended naval Justice School and served as Legal Officer on both vessels.

Dr. Robert Swansbrough was also known for his engagement in applied politics throughout the region. He was often asked to offer his views as a political analyst for Tennessee television stations and print publications. In 1974, Dr. Swansbrough served as 3rd District campaign coordinator for Congresswoman Marilyn Lloyd and then as her administrative assistant from 1975-77. He was a delegate to the 1972 Hamilton County and 3rd District Democratic conventions. He had also served as president of the Hamilton County Young Democrats and worked in local campaigns. Before coming to the Chattanooga area, he worked in the Washington offices of Oklahoma Senator Fred Harris and California Senator John Tunney. He previously served as Legislative Assistant to California State Senator Alvin C. Weingand in Santa Barbara.

We honor the memory of Dr. Robert H. Swansbrough each year through the awarding of this scholarship to an undergraduate student who demonstrates commitment to scholarship and community.

Scholarship Requirements

The Political Science Scholarship Committee will select recipients of this scholarship no later than April 1 of each year and will coordinate that selection with the Scholarship Director in the Office of Financial Aid.  This scholarship shall be open to all applicants regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, disability, age, or veteran status, subject to the following restrictions:

1.     Applicants must be currently enrolled at or admitted to attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

2.     Applicants must demonstrate successful academic performance.

3.     The scholarship will be awarded to students in the junior and senior classes who need scholarship assistance to complete their degree.

4.     A student holding the Swansbrough Scholarship in one year shall have preference in subsequent years.

5.     Financial need (in the broadest sense) may be considered.

If you are interested in applying, please send to Dr. Deardorff (Michelle-Deardorff@utc.edu) by March 20th, a copy of your resume, a writing sample, and the names of the political science faculty who know you the best. Contact Dr. Deardorff with any questions.