Saturday, September 30, 2006
Professor Hendrik Hansen, Berlin, November 2005. Photo: Patrick O'Neil
For a number of years UPS has had an academic exchange program with the University of Passau, whereby faculty travel between each university during the summer. Some years ago our guest was Professor Hendrik Hansen, who specializes in political philosophy. We enjoyed his visit so much that a number of us subsequently visited him in Germany, and we also arranged for him to return on two occasions as a visiting faculty member. Professor Hansen will join us again Spring Semester 2007, offering introductory courses in political philosophy and an upper division course on the European Union.
His experiences at UPS prompted Professor Hansen to write on what he saw as some of the main differences between political cultures in the States and Europe, which was published in the German journal Merkur. This attracted the attention of the Goethe Institute, a cultural organization funded by the German government. The Goethe Institute in Chicago has invited Professor Hansen to come to the US this fall to speak on "Human Dignity and Individualism: Western Values in Europe and the USA" If you're in the Chicago, here are the details:
Thursday, October 12, 2006, 6pm
150 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60601
For the rest of us, there's an overview of the upcoming panel here, and an English translation of his article here. I'd encourage you to read his piece, as it is provocative and an interesting take on the differences between the US and Europe from the perspective of a European.
Professor Hansen was also recently in the West Bank, and has sent along photos I'll blog soon.
Friday, September 29, 2006
The Internationalist is a good place to submit an article, or do a summer internship in Seattle.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Thursday, October 19th.
Politics and Government alums (and any current majors) in the DC area!
The department is planning an alum get-together by remote control--we won't be there, but we hope our DC-area alums can carve out some time on the date above to meet their fellow grads from across the ideological, vocational, and generational spectrum.
If you can make that date, would you please RSVP our DC potentate, Andrea Tull '02 at andrea.tull[at]mail.house.gov or at (253) 228-1583. Even if you can't, would you drop her a note so we can start building an informal list of our DC alums for future events? Also, if you've got a suggestion for where best to hold such a gathering feel free to pass that along to her.
I'm hoping this can become a regular event--if we can get a good turnout, we will try to send out someone from the department next year to officially preside over the festivities and share all the campus gossip.
"My concentrations are in international relations and comparative politics, with one paper on hegemonic stability theory and another (co-authored with another member of my cohort) on rational choice decision making by groups in choosing tactics of violence against the state (in various contexts). The program here is heavily concentrated in quantitative studies and, consequently, my papers are focused on testing various theories using collected or available data.
Your prediction/experience with funding was accurate. I was able to secure a TA [teaching assistantship] position my first semester, received another TA position in the fall, worked as a RA during the summer, and now have a secure line of funding in the department. My grades here have continued to stay among the top of my cohort, and I am the President of the Political Science Graduate Student Organization for the year. It's somewhat amazing how focused one can be on academia when the snow covers the ground from October to late Spring.
Anyways, I wanted to communicate with you and let you know that I am attempting to maintain a decent name for UPS graduates of the politics and government department in academia."
By my count, we've got a good half-dozen gradutes in Political Science PhD programs right now. Either we should be proud of their following in our footsteps or ashamed that we so led them astray.
Looking pensive and professorial
Asking difficult questions and generating good discussion
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Details on these and other vertical mounting assets on Exit133 and Thrice All American.
Great to hear from you, Mark! Send a picture if you get a chance.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Meeting with a Contra, Matagalpa, Nicaragua 1992
Professor Share and Sousa in Chicastenango, 1993
El Salvador, 1994
*****ABOUT THE MPSA*****
Monday, September 25, 2006
I am teaming up with Citizens for a Better Ballot to bring former Congressman and presidential candidate John Anderson to Tacoma to discuss Pierce County Charter Amendment 3, which would implement Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) for county elections. IRV is a real – but controversial – alternative to our new “Pick-a-Party Primary.” Mr. Anderson is a strong supporter of IRV and a longtime advocate for improving American democracy.
When: Saturday October 7th, 3-5pm
Where: Home of Julie Anderson (Whitworth Literary Society Hall)
4604 North 38th Street
Tacoma WA 98407
(At the corner of North Cheyenne and North 38th, behind Sherman Elementary)
For more information, contact Ryan Griffin at (253) 228-1991 or email@example.com
John Anderson was one of the most successful independent presidential candidates in U.S. history, receiving over six million votes in 1980. Prior to his presidential run, Mr. Anderson served ten terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 16th District in Illinois. Mr. Anderson is currently a professor of constitutional law at Nova Southeastern University and Chairman of FairVote -- The Center for Voting and Democracy. He is a frequent lecturer and expert commentator on issues of electoral reform, United Nations reform, foreign affairs, American politics, and independent candidacies. He also writes regularly on the role of Congress in both domestic and international affairs.
For information about Instant Runoff Voting, visit Citizens for a Better Ballot - 1119 Pacific Ave. #1103, Tacoma, WA 98402 or www.yesonthree.com
253-761-3602 (home office)
Julie@Womens-Leadership.org new e-mail!
4604 North 38th Street new address!
Tacoma WA 98407
Council Member Julie Anderson
253-591-5108 (City Hall)
747 Market Street, Room 1200
Tacoma WA 98402-3766
Sunday, September 24, 2006
If you've got a del.icio.us site, send it along and I'll add it to our network.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Hat tip: Springwise.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
"Things have been so busy here with friends visiting, short vacations, field trips, floods, and government overthrows that it has been hard to find time to sit down and write, but since I have an unexpected day off from school, I thought that this would be the perfect time.
I was awoken from a very deep sleep last night at midnight (and two subsequent phone calls from my worried parents who forgot about the time difference…ahem…) by a phone call from Peace Corps informing me that there was a coup in Bangkok and that the new military government had declared martial law. I was put on standfast, which in PC terminology means that I am not allowed to travel anywhere until we know more about the political situation and I am to wait for the possible next step of consolidation, which I hope will not happen (because not only is it a pain in my butt, but it would mean that the political situation is not good). We all knew that the political situation was delicate when we got here, and the tension has been consistently escalating. They don’t like [Prime Minister] Thaksin. He could not handle the south and was blamed for the bombings, which were beginning to make their way to Bangkok. He appeared to be popular in the countryside, but in reality, he bought votes by the millions. For a few hundred baht, poor villagers would gladly put a check next to Thaksin’s party on the ballot. Corruption here is rampant.
I woke up this early this morning to not only find out that I have no school because of the coup (darn it, I could have slept in!), but also that every television station is playing the same exact television broadcast with the same patriotic music, which is starting to get rather annoying. The same broadcasts are on every radio station and on the overhead speakers. I am not really sure what living under martial law entails, but I guess I will find out soon enough."
We all hope that the current crisis will pass without incident, which appears to be the case. Meanwhile Jennifer Eidum '03, who witnessed the Orange Revolution in Ukraine while working there with the Peace Corps, just moved to Budapest in time for their worst violence in 50 years...who knew our alums could so destabilize their surroundings.
Are you someplace more peaceful? Send me a note and disprove my faulty logic.
I am pleased to send you information about the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, a program that provides college graduates the opportunity to work in Washington, DC, with a public-interest organization focusing on arms control and international security issues. The fellowship is offered twice yearly, in the spring and fall. It lasts from six to nine months and provides a stipend, health insurance, and travel costs to Washington. The Scoville Fellowship does not award grant or scholarship money to students.
Scoville Fellows may undertake a variety of activities, including research, writing, and advocacy in support of the goals of their host organization and may attend coalition meetings, policy briefings, and Congressional hearings. They have written fact sheets, letters to the editor, op-eds, magazine articles, briefing books and reports, organized talks and conferences, and been interviewed as experts by the media. Many former Scoville Fellows work for NGOs or the Federal Government, or attend graduate school in political science or international relations, following their fellowships.
Please encourage those interested in peace and security issues to visit our website at http://www.scoville.org. There is no application form; the application requirements are listed on the website, as are links to the websites of the participating organizations and information on the work of former Scoville Fellows. Applications may be submitted via email. A flyer about the program can be printed from http://www.clw.org/scoville/flyer.html The next application deadline is October 10 for the Spring 2007 Fellowship.
Both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals residing in the United States are eligible to apply.
Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding the Fellowship.
Paul D. Revsine
Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship
(202) 543-4100 x124
When did you graduate from UPS?
I graduated from UPS in 2005 with a BA in Politics and Government and a minor in History.
What have you been doing since graduation?
Since graduation, I have spent a year in
Pictures courtesy Julia Becker
There we worked with their clients, helping improve their quality of life while assisting the skeleton staff. I also helped gut houses and do outreach in the 9th ward and St. Bernard Parish as well as volunteered at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Aside from our work in the gulf, my team also worked at an aspiring organic farm in the Appalachians of Georgia, helped in tutoring and after school programming at the Boys and Girls Club in Brunswick, Georgia, repaired and rebuilt homes for people in poverty in Charleston, South Carolina and helped clear land at reset headstones at the South Asheville Cemetery, the first slave cemetery in Western North Carolina.
Since finishing the program at the end June, I have spent the summer at home in
Why and how did you decide to take the career path you did?
I knew I wanted to go to graduate school so that many more career opportunities could open up to me than with just a Bachelor’s degree. However, I wasn’t sure exactly what program best suited me and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to graduate school right away. I didn’t want to go into the working world and get stuck there, but I did want to experience new places and experiences.
I looked into programs like the Peace Corps, but wasn’t sure if I was ready to make a two year commitment. Then I found Americorps (only a 10 month commitment), which has literally thousands of different programs. I applied to some programs in
As my undergraduate emphasis was on International Relations, it was eye opening to personally experience some of the biggest policy problems our own country faces today through meeting the victims of Katrina. It made me wonder how I could get into a career where I could help make and change policy. This gave me direction in my graduate school search as I looked from programs in public policy. The program at Cornell is not only academically challenging, but also very flexible in that you can take courses in any subject that interests you. It is also very focused on professional development, so that I can actually work on getting jobs in public policy. What’s important here is to find a program that fits your needs and goals for the future. My specific program has an emphasis in Human Rights and Social Justice which is both my academic and life’s passion and was a huge draw for me into the program. There are so many programs, both in academia and in the real world and it’s very important to do your homework and find the one that’s right for you.
Are there any aspects of the Politics and Government major of your UPS education that have served you particularly well?
My Politics and Government major has served me well since graduation as I have been able to critically look at some of the issues I have faced in the past year. We have all heard the controversy surrounding the government’s handling of Hurricane Katrina and it was useful to have the tools to be able to rise above all of it and not only think for myself, but also to do what needs to be done. My program was also on the chopping block this year on President Bush’s budget so it was interesting to be able to exercise my political muscles with letters to Congress and for some in my program, even meetings with the president himself.
Although I have only been in classes for a week or so, I feel like the rigor of the classes in the Politics and Government department have prepared me well for the workload and expectations of graduate school at Cornell, especially in the seminar formats as well as in research and writing requirements.
Do you have any advice of what our students should (or should not) make certain to do while still in school?
STUDY ABROAD! This was one of the best things I did for myself as a UPS student. Even if your focus is on American politics, there is so much that the world can teach us and give us a new perspective on the world. Studying abroad was one of the most challenging experiences I had as an undergraduate but it really prepared me for what is beyond graduation. I also look at my colleagues in my graduate program and almost every one of them has done something abroad, whether during their undergraduate years or after graduation. It really demonstrates to grad schools and employers that you have something special to contribute to the community. Also, in my particular experience, I met some incredible people (I had an unofficial internship at the UN) and even decided what I didn’t want to do with my life, which is often more helpful than knowing exactly what you want to do.
The other piece of advice I have is somewhat cliché, but it is to make the most of the opportunities at UPS. Participate in many different activities. Utilize your resources. The professors at UPS are amazing in that they are so accessible and provide such a wealth of knowledge if you choose to explore it. Create these relationships now because it may not be so easy down the road.
Do you have any advice about what our students should be thinking about as they consider their future careers or further education?
Like I said before, I believe a true diversity of experience is important. Try new things and spend some time from familiar territory, if possible. This will make you a better prospect to schools and employers and make you a more well rounded, mature person. The more diverse your experiences are, the more marketable you become. This might mean that you should take some time off in between UPS and graduate studies, as there is so much more to life than school. Get an internship, if possible. Many internships will help you hone in on your career goals and give you some networks which might come in handy later. Many internships for undergrads are unpaid. Don’t be afraid of that. There is a ton of fellowships and scholarships and other sources of money that you can use to pay off your expenses during your internship. Do your homework; take the initiative to see what’s out there. Also, volunteer programs can be equally as beneficial, so don’t discount them. Lastly, keep working on those writing and speaking skills. Take advantage of research papers and presentations for class as an opportunity to craft some very marketable skills that you will always need after you graduate.
Cherish every moment at UPS. Since graduating, I have really come to miss the special atmosphere at UPS in the friendly and knowledgeable professors, exchanges with other students and just all of the good times. My years at UPS were four of the best years of my life and I hope that this is true for you.
Julia says that if anyone wants to know more, please feel free to email her at julianoelbecker[at]gmail.com.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Chelsea Howes '07, PG major and ASUPS Vice President, will be giving a presentation on her summer research project next Wednesday. It's the same time as the Political Science Student Association Roundtable on Lebanon, so you'll have to choose between these two interesting events (or scoot between the two, as they are both in Wyatt).
253.274.4955 or 253.861.8356.
Cascade Land Conservancy
Title: Agricultural Project Intern
Supervisor: Project Manager
Duration: 20 hours a week for 2-4 months
Start Date: Immediately
Summary of Position
The Intern will be responsible for supporting the work of the Project Manager.
This position consists of both primary (required) duties and secondary (discretionary) functions, to be carried out as time permits.
Goal of Position
Work with Project Manager to conduct a feasibility study for the development of a cooperatively-run community supported agriculture (CSA) program managed through the Tacoma Farmers Market.
- Assist with Assessing Pierce County/Tacoma food system
- Assist in researching stakeholders to be interviewed
- Interview representatives from low-income consumers, food banks and other NGOs specializing in food security/community nutrition
- Interview local businesses and local consumers to gather input on the food system
- Interview other stakeholder to gather information to assess food system
- Assist with Interviewing Community Supported Agriculture peer communities
- Assist in researching CSA peer communities to be interviewed
- Interview CSA peer communities to find successful CSA business models
- Assist with meeting preparation: PowerPoint, handouts, etc.
- Assist with preparation for Conservation Committee meetings
- Maintain spreadsheet/database of work completed
- Other project work as requested
1. Excellent verbal and written communication skills
2. Ability to communicate with courteousness and professionalism to a diverse array of people
3. Attention to detail and ability to organize and manage diverse and multiple activities, set priorities, and remain flexible under pressure.
4. Strong computer skills, including experience with database, word processing, spreadsheet, and graphics software.
5. Willingness to work some non-standard hours.
6. Enthusiasm and commitment to Cascade Land Conservancy’s mission
1. Experience in or knowledge of Pierce County/City of Tacoma agricultural or food issues.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
"I’m a Political Science graduate of 1968. and I was heavy into student government including serving as student body president in the R. Franklin Thompson days.
I spent the decade of the 90’s building a telecom business in Russia up to the point I was managing 800+ employees in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Minsk (Belarus), and Tashkent (Uzbekistan). I’ve got lots of observations from those experiences, because I went from the Soviet era through being in Moscow for the Coup. My secondary business was a FM radio station with the most powerful signal in the St. Petersburg (Russia) market."
Since then he's been involved in a new web-based service called Yodio, which allows you to make short audio tracks from anywhere and post them to the web. Clay writes that "we really need testers to help us "smooth out" the site and its functionality. There is much more to come with this site, but first we want to get it right with the recording, photo processing, and playback." So give it a spin and let them know what you think.
Being the lover of all new things techy that I am, I tried it out myself. Pretty fun--turn on your speakers and click on the button underneath the picture below.
To: Faculty Colleagues
Please announce in your classes that have seniors that the Watson application deadline is Friday, Oct 6 at noon. The applications are due in the Fellowships office in Howarth 215.
Monday, September 18, 2006
September 22, 12-1 pm
Bring your lunch
Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute at Princeton University
The goal of the program is to prepare students for graduate study and careers in public policy and international affairs. This goal is achieved by providing participants with the tools of critical thinking, speaking, writing, and quantitative reasoning and with the skills and experiences necessary to create, analyze, implement, evaluate, and affect policy in a multicultural, multiethnic society.
* Be enrolled as college juniors who will have one or two semesters remaining in an accredited college after completing the summer institute; this includes international students pursuing an undergraduate degree at an accredited U.S. four-year college or university located in the U.S.
* Demonstrate an interest in and commitment to cross-cultural and social issues and public service.
* Demonstrate an interest in and a commitment to a career in public or international affairs.
* Contribute to the diversity of perspectives in public policy or international affairs.
An applicant must submit the following materials:
* The completed PPIA JSI application (available online at http://www.ppiaprogram.org/app/).
* A résumé that includes work experience, extracurricular activities, foreign travel, language abilities, community involvement, and other experiences relevant to public affairs.
* A personal statement highlighting cultural experiences, social sensitivity, leadership skills, and a commitment to public service.
* Official academic transcripts.
* Two letters of recommendation.
* A copy of the student's financial aid award letter, Student Aid Report (SAR), and completion of the financial information section on the application. If the student is not receiving financial aid, please submit parent/guardian's income tax forms.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
To that end, if you're already on the ASK Network and need to update your information or haven't yet joined the Network and would like to do so, you can get the necessary login and password by clicking on the link above.
And students and alums, don't forget the upcoming ASK Night on campus:
ASK Night: Thursday, September 21, 2006
Marshall Hall, Wheelock Student Center
"Alumni will arrive at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments and a brief alumni gathering. Students should arrive at 7 p.m.
ASK Night provides an opportunity to talk with Puget Sound alumni and alumnae from a variety of walks of life. You share with them a common heritage in liberal arts education and their stories should provide ample examples of how life is enriched through that heritage. Pay attention not only to the measures of career success but also the broader associations in which these people may engage (i.e., professional and voluntary).
Don't miss this opportunity to mingle with alumni and hear about what others have done with their liberal arts education. Light refreshments provided."
Friday, September 15, 2006
Todd Field, looking south toward Wyatt.
Older alums will remember the small A-Frames that used to be scattered among the trees.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
CALL FOR PAPERS and PROPOSALS
The Fifteenth Annual
ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY
CONFERENCE FOR STUDENTS OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
March 23, 2007
Draft paper deadline: February 2, 2007
Final Papers due: March 4, 2007
All undergraduate and graduate political science students are invited to submit papers for the fifteenth annual Illinois State University Conference for Students of Political Science. Papers representing all subfields and political perspectives are welcome. Panelists at last years' conference included 60 students attending 24 colleges and universities.
This conference provides a rare opportunity for students of political science to present their work in a public forum and receive feedback on their ideas. All conference participants will be our guests at a catered luncheon with a keynote speaker. The best three undergraduate and graduate student papers will be awarded a cash prize. In addition, exceptional papers will be considered for publication in the Spring 2006 issue of the electronic journal, Critique: an online student journal of politics. Registration for the conference is free.
If you are interested in participating in this event, please follow the link to the online proposal submission form on the conference website:
If you would like to serve as a discussant on a panel, please send a
letter stating your interest and main areas of scholarly knowledge.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the
Dr. Gary Klass and Dr. George Kiser
4600 Department of Politics and Government
Illinois State University
Normal, IL 61790-4600.
This conference is sponsored by the Undergraduate Political Science
Association, the Graduate Student Association, Pi Sigma Alpha, and
the Department of Politics and Government at Illinois State University.
"WatchingAmerica reflects global opinion about the United States, helping Americans and non-Americans alike understand what the world thinks of current issues that involve the U.S. This is done by providing news and views about the United States published in other countries.
It is not our purpose to find favorable or unfavorable content, but to reflect as accurately as possible how others perceive the richest and most powerful country in the world. We have no political agenda.
WatchingAmerica makes available in English articles written about the U.S. by foreigners, often for foreign audiences, and often in other languages. Since WatchingAmerica offers its own translations, regular users of our site will enjoy articles not available in English anywhere else. We are a unique window into world opinion.
In addition, by integrating the latest translation technology into the site, visitors are able to surf all of the content of foreign-language news outlets at the push of a button - in English."
I've only glanced at it, but so far it looks promising as a way to find otherwise hard to access news sources. Take a look and see what you think. Who knew that, for example, according to the Chinese press "it is only America's love of Pluto that has made the study of our Solar System so complex and so absurd."
Now I feel guilty.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
That's not a corn dog, it's a vole
Now I feel like he's upped the ante, though the idea of displaying stuffed government leaders in my classes is less appealing.
It sounds like an invaluable experience.
Here are the details:
Darcy Burner is a Progressive Democrat running against Republican Congressman Dave Reichert in the 8th Congressional District. This race is top-tier and nationally targeted, ranked as one of the most winnable Republican seats in the House of Representatives by the DCCC. We are seeking interns immediately for the remaining 56 days.
Position: Field Intern
Interns will assist field organizers working in targeted legislative districts throughout King and Pierce Counties. They will assist in organizing and mobilizing constituents in the 8th district with the objective of turning the district blue in '06. Interns will assist in organizing grassroots activities such as phone banking and canvassing, as well as planning and attending community and campaign events and fundraisers. Internships are unpaid, but do offer college credit.
Good work ethic
A desire for political change
Interns must be highly motivated, driven, and willing to work directly in the field.
This internship is located in Auburn, with opportunities available for work in Tacoma.
To Apply Please Send a Resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (253) 735-0713.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
My name is Chan Pongkhamsing and I am a recruiter with the Peace Corps. I will be on campus Wednesday - Oct. 11, 2006. I am interested in letting students know about opportunities for international work with the Peace Corps.
If it isn't possible for me to talk with your class, please encourage the students to attend one of the following events:
Wednesday - Oct. 11, 2006
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Wheelock Student Center Lobby
Wednesday - Oct. 11, 2006
12:00 to 1:00 pm
Seattle Regional Office
1601 Fifth Ave, Suite 605
Seattle, WA. 98101
Direct: (206) 239-6616
Office: (206) 553-5490
Toll-free: (800) 424-8580
Monday, September 11, 2006
"Washington has one city that currently suffers from severe congestion, which this study identifies as areas with Travel Time Indices of 1.18 or higher. The Seattle-Tacoma area is tied with Detroit as the 12th most congested region in the United States, with a TTI of 1.38. This means that driving times during peak traffic hours are 38 percent longer than during off-peak times.
Unless major steps are taken to relieve congestion, drivers in this part of Washington can expect to see a TTI of 1.79 by 2030. For an idea of how severe that level of congestion would be, note that this projection is significantly worse than the traffic delays experienced today in places like Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco. Indeed, it is even higher than Los Angeles, the most congested area in the United States with a TTI of 1.75."
Yikes. Whether or not you accept the foundation's solution (build more roads), the problem itself gives one pause. Read all the gory details here.Tags:
"After several years in the Washington State Legislature working alongside policy analysts, I began to seek out my options for an advanced degree that would enable me to do more sophisticated analytical work.
I discovered the MPP degree through some research and reading and found it to be a degree more focused on the statistical and economic side of policy analysis than the administrative aspect of policy and government and thought that it would be more what I was looking for.
I chose the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard after admissions because it had the strongest faculty and core/elective classes, as well as an emphasis that interested me (national security and international political economy) for my MPP degree. The first year was generally filled with a couple of semesters of microeconomics, statistics and econometrics, ethics and leadership, several other required courses and a couple of electives. I felt like it provided a very strong base for mathematical analysis and contained options depending on whether you wanted to do things based on calculus or lower-level mathematics. The second year contains a major thesis component (at Harvard, this is done for a public or non-profit client), as well as classes to suit your interests (more stats and econ or subject matter classes). The Kennedy School also has an interesting component in the end of the first year called “Spring Exercise,” in which first year students take two weeks off classes entirely and delve into a policy problem (both individually and in groups) that is kept secret until the first day of the exercise (mine was the problem of the uninsured in America)."
Erin's now at SRA International in Virginia. Thanks for the input, Erin.
CNN has archived their live coverage from September 11 2001. It's slow, I suspect due to a lot of traffic on their site. You can find it here.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Ian Buruma, Murder In Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance. Buruma is one of my favorites, and we're reading his work Occidentalism in the course I teach on terrorism. I read part of this work earlier when it appeared in the New Yorker, and found it thought-provoking.
Michael Berube, What's Liberal about the Liberal Arts? Classroom Politics and "Bias" in Higher Education. This follows on our discussion of partisanship in the university, and is reviewed by political scientist Alan Wolfe, who is less than convinced by its argument.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
"Now, the means by which our nation disposes of elderly horses may seem like a superfluous detail in the greater scheme of politics. But after spending three days in a congressional office, I can assure you that there are countless American citizens (or at least countless citizens of he the 9th congressional district of Washington State) who feel ever so passionately about the issue. Congress was scheduled to vote on the horse slaughter ban today. This lead to a dramatic influx of calls, letters, emails and faxes over the past few days from enraged constituents.
Today Congress voted on the American Horse Slaughter prevention Act (HR 503). Over the past few days, our office has been inundated with constituent calls, emails, letters and faxes regarding this issue. There was a 4 hour period yesterday in which our office received over 400 calls in support of this bill. Many of the citizens were advocates of the humane society who wanted to make sure that “Representative Smith treated horses like cats and dogs”. On the other side there were agricultural lobbyists who called and emailed with statistics on how much the money the ban would cost the federal government due to the fact that they would have to create shelters for these horses.
After carefully listening to constituents and reading memos about the bill, I was highly curious about which way Smith would vote. I could see reasons to vote each way. The lobbyists were very convincing, but the sheer number of constituents who contacted us about supporting the bill was staggering. When we asked the legislative assistant responsible for animal issues only an hour before the vote, he told us that the congressman had not yet made up his mind.
It turns out that Smith did vote in support of the ban, and furthermore, the ban was passed in the House of Representatives. This bill entirely prohibits the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes. So don’t get any ideas.
Even though this bill seemed slightly ridiculous to me at first, it was a good example of the process by which bills are introduced, debated, voted on and passed in congress. I’m not entirely certain what exactly made Smith decide to support the bill (I'll ask a staffer tomorrow), but I’d like to think that it had something to do with the hundreds of constituents who contacted our office and voiced their opinion. Maybe answering the phone is a more valuable step in the democratic process than I had originally thought; maybe next time I see an elderly horse, it'll give me a little wink."
I look forward to sharing more observations from Cat and have already pestered Andrea for an appropriate shot of the two of them with some impressive piece of Capitol architecture as a backdrop. Once again, PG students and alums hold the reins of power in the beltway!
Friday, September 08, 2006
When it comes to graduate education, at least, many schools have sought to organize this material for their students. My graduate alma mater, Indiana, has a very good site where they organize graduate fellowships by discipline and other qualifications or pursuits. Their newsletter is regularly updated and archived. If you are in, or thinking about, graduate school, take a look here.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Topic: Muslims in Europe
Speaker: Stephanie Giry, Senior Editor at Foreign Affairs
Time and place: September 14 9-10 am, Wyatt 226 (conference room)
September 14 will be our first conference call through the Council on Foreign Relations, on the topic of Muslims in Europe. This will be an opportunity for students to talk to the guest speaker, Stephanie Giry, Senior Editor at Foreign Affairs. These conferences calls are for students, not faculty, to participate, so we encourage you to come and join the conversation with students from all over the country. I'll be there to help set up the call. Hope to see you there.
Update: Suggested reading by CFR: International Crisis Group, "France and its Muslims: Riots, Jihadism and Depoliticisation"; also, Stephanie Giry, "France and Its Muslims"
"Enter what you're reading or your whole library—it's an easy, library-quality catalog. Because everyone else is doing it too, LibraryThing connects you with people who read the same things."
The site lets you communicate with others on this and other books, see what else others are reading or what they suggest, tag books, and link out to swapping sites to trade your texts. Here's the page for James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds as one example.
I could see this as a useful research tool, to move from one book outward to find other similar work. Not unlike walking the stacks in a library, with the exception that this library is organized by what the online community is reading and how they categorize their works.
More time wasting guaranteed!
Scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich educational environment of St. John’s, which was founded in the 16th century, by reading in one of the following subjects: Archaeology and Anthropology, Classics, Economics, English, Geography, History, History of Art, Modern and Medieval Languages, Music, Philosophy, or Social and Political Sciences."
Another great opportunity, so check it out here; deadline is November 13. Let's talk if you want to pursue this further.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Main entry off of Union Avenue
Courtyard cafe, with old facade of Thompson Hall to the left
When summer is gone and most of our direct sunlight with it, I plan to move my office into the cafe--permanently.
"To be considered for publication in the Spring 2006 edition, students should submit their papers by February 8th, although we accept manuscripts on a rolling basis. The Journal welcomes submissions from undergraduates of any class or major; submissions from Pi Sigma Alpha members are especially encouraged. Our goal is to publish manuscripts of the highest quality in all areas of Political Science. In general, papers selected for publication have been well-written with a well-developed thesis, compelling argument, and original analysis. We typically publish papers approximately 15-35 pages in length that have been written for an upper level course or as an individual research project. Manuscripts should include a short abstract (roughly 150 words), and citations and references should follow the APSA Style Manual for Political Science. Please make sure that all citations and references are complete and in the APSA style. Submissions must be in the form of a Microsoft Word document and should be e-mailed to email@example.com. Please include name, university, and contact details (mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number). Students may be asked to revise their manuscript before it is accepted for publication. "
This is another great opportunity for undergraduates to get their best work published, and as we've mentioned before, this is but one of many publications out there you can submit to. If you click on the tag below you'll find another dozen journals where you might submit your work. Ask us in the department if you have questions or need advice about the whole process. Good luck!
What have you been doing since graduation?
Right after graduation I worked on Tacoma Mayor Bill Baarsma’s campaign. We won. Then I went on to do the AmeriCorps program here in Pierce County with the local United Way. I coordinated the youth program, helping to engage high school and middle school aged youth to a lifetime of service to the community.
I’ve worked in politics for a while after that, managing and consulting on political campaigns. I was the chief of staff for a legislator in Olympia for 2 years and am now the Conservation Director for the Cascade Land Conservancy – the regional land trust, responsible for preserving treasured landscapes from the slopes of Mount Rainier to downtown Tacoma.
Why and how did you decide to take the career path you did?
I really have stumbled upon it. When I entered UPS as a freshman, I thought I wanted to enter the medical field. After two semesters of Organic Chemistry, I realized that lab science was not for me and I was not happy studying those subjects so intensely. Through the course of fulfilling my cores, I stumbled upon a P&G course that really hit me. I was engaged, intense and happy.
The transition out of college was a little rough for me as I didn’t make good plans for my departure, but at the same time understood I did not want to work for “corporate America” or be stuck in a cubicle for my days.
The AmeriCorps program was quite interesting to me as it was a way to give back to my community, gain more leadership skills and earn funds for future, advanced education. It really allowed me an opportunity to transition out of college at a slower pace in a way that was meaningful to me. It allowed me the flexibility to stumble upon other civic engagement projects like running political campaigns and getting to understand civic life in Tacoma-Pierce County more thoroughly.
Are there any aspects of the Politics and Government major or your UPS education in general that have served you particularly well?
The emphasis on reading critically has been the most beneficial. The caliber of the reading has given me an advantage in the workplace because of its intensity and relevance. The rigor of the program has truly prepared me to operate at a high level in the workplace and translate the skills to political organizing, communication in professional environments and working independently as well as with others to achieve a meaningful goal.
Do you have any advice about what our students should make certain they do (or don’t do!) while still in school?
Do what makes you happy and seems meaningful in your life! Study abroad if you want to (I didn’t, but did many activities during my career that were very important to me). Don’t pursue a degree or career that seems plain uninteresting or unimportant to you. Don’t go to graduate school right after undergrad simply because you think you are out of options. There are countless things you can do to slowly transition out of college to ground yourself i.e. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, work for a non-profit, volunteer or get paid work on a political campaign.
Do whatever you can to not get stuck in a rut. Take challenging classes and take classes from a broad cross-section of professors because you will quickly learn the communication styles that resonate with you best.
Do you have any advice about what our students should be thinking about as they consider their careers or further education?
Use your time in college to weed out the experiences you like and don’t like. Join a club or organization and relate it to something you think you might want to do in the future i.e. non-profit work in a particular field, political organizing, etc.
Intern or volunteer during the summer to gain different experiences that will prepare you better for your transition out of college.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors and other mentors about all your options. I was and still am confused about what advanced degree is right for me: law school, MPA or something else. Professors have a lot of insight – ask them to discuss your options with you.
Any other words of wisdom, or important questions I haven’t asked?
Take full advantage of UPS. You or someone you know are paying a ton of cash for you to get a top-notch education. So,
• Read the most you can to be as prepared as possible for class – it will make the lecture/discussion that much more interesting.
• Participate in as many activities ASUPS or others put on – they are excellent and will broaden your horizons.
• Write a plan for attacking the writing of your thesis and stick to it – you will be much happier when you plan and execute your plan instead of crunching such an important piece of work in to 3 weeks or less because of bad procrastination.
Ryan is too modest to mention that he served as UPS Student Body President, and currently serves in elected office as one of five Commissioners for Metro Parks here in Tacoma. Ryan is a great resource if you want to know more about running campaigns, running for office, and getting involved in local politics.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Cameron Duffy, Recruitment Director with Teach For America has asked me to forward the following information to selected faculty and staff. She would be interested in speaking with you and/or your students about employment opportunities for our graduates.
Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates of all backgrounds and academic majors who commit two years of teaching in urban and rural public schools and who become lifelong advocates for change. For more information about the organization, please visit www.teachforamerica.org.
Last year 7 of Puget Sound students accepted positions with Teach For America. For the 2006-2007 academic year, TFA is hoping for a 25% increase in corps members from Puget Sound.
Cameron would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you in person to talk about Teach For America. She will be on-campus September 6 & 7 for visitations with faculty, staff and students. On September 18 & 19 she will have a table over in the Wheelock Student Center from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. If you are interested in talking with Cameron or having her come to one of your classes please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"As many of you know, I have been working as a consultant for the past year and a half since I finished graduate school at Columbia (School of Public and International Affairs--Professor O'Neil). During this time I have been looking for a full- time job that met both my desire to work with Latin America and to work with an organization that fits my values and commitment to social justice, women's empowerment and human rights. It has been a long and at times frustrating journey, but I am pleased to let you know that I have just accepted a job that I am thrilled about.
At the end of October 2006, I will begin working with Oxfam America in their regional office in San Salvador. My title will be Program Officer for Humanitarian Preparedness and Response. To translate for those of you not in the field , my job will be to work with the local organizations that Oxfam supports to help them prepare their communities for the emergencies that affect the region--earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, floods, etc. I am happy to send you more details if you are interested, but won't bore everyone with them here."
Professor Share and Karina both thought that this would be a great opportunity for an internship. Let me know if you are interested in working with Karina in San Salvador.
Monday, September 04, 2006
"a group of dedicated punk kids who have started a site to help promote everything great and wonderful about Tacoma".
Thanks to Jamie at Thrice All American for being on the cutting edge. And he's got a good restaurant list as well that is worth hanging on to.
One of the unfortunate threads running through both opinion pieces was that UPS students are given strongly negative views of the city around them, only reinforcing the sense of a "bubble" that divides the town and gown. To that end, I will try to post more on the blog about things around town that students should check out. There's more to Tacoma than the North End...
Oh, you'll also be happy to know that when you search "best politics university" on the Saudi version of Microsoft's search engine, this blog comes up third, as a recent visitor to the site from Riyadh just discovered.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Odd and wonderful stuff. Read about it in the New York Times here; and find the project itself at http://2067.hypermoi.net/.
Friday, September 01, 2006
The one not mentioned--turn off that phone! And if you didn't and it rings in a situation where it shouldn't have been on in the first place (class, a meeting, an interview, church), for goodness' sake don't answer it--just shut it off as quickly as possible.
That's why I never mention my monarchist tendencies in class.
Read the whole piece (the conclusion is probably of most interest) here.