Friday, November 30, 2007

Your Friday Roundup of Opportunities

Don't forget that there are lots of internships in DC and elsewhere at Hillzoo, and Idealist, and
  • Summer Internships in Alaska
  • Internships, Pulitzer Center, DC
  • Internship, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Washington, DC
Summer of 2008 Internships in Alaska
The Alaska Conservation Foundation (ACF) has 18 paid internships
available for the summer of 2008. The internships cover a number of
different topics and take place all over the state. Its a great job
opportunity as well as a great way to experience Alaska. Follow the
link below to learn more!

Internship, Pulitzer Center, Washington, D.C.

Organization: Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Area of Focus: International Relations, Media and Journalism
Paid or unpaid: Paid

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting seeks an intern for the spring semester, preferably starting January 3, 2008. We are especially interested in web-savvy applicants eager to get the word out about our international reporting projects through the Internet and special events.

The Pulitzer Center is a non-profit leader in sponsoring the independent journalism that media organizations are increasingly less willing to undertake on their own. Pulitzer Center-funded stories shed light on underreported issues and regions around the globe. Our Global Gateway education initiative then brings those stories and the journalists into high schools and universities.

For information on our reporting projects and outreach efforts please see our website, at The Pulitzer Center is located in the heart of Washington, D.C., near Dupont Circle.

The internship pays $1,000 per month.
End date may be negotiable so long as there can be overlap with the summer intern.
Application instructions:

Send letter telling us where your interests lie, and what talents you can bring to the Pulitzer Center. Please include a resume, brief writing sample, and list of references.

Applications should be sent to Ann Peters, director of development and outreach, at

Internship, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Washington, DC
Communications Department Intern:
Creates daily press clips for distribution to USCIRF Commissioners and staff, as well as to select individuals at the White House and State Department.
. Maintains and expands database of media, public, NGO, religious leaders, think tank, and academia contacts.
. Compiles material for, creates, and distributes "First Freedom Watch," USCIRF's electronic newsletter.
. Organizes and distributes materials for distribution to the public and press. This includes press releases, policy briefs, USCIRF's printed newsletter, and reports.
. Helps organize and provide logistical support for events such as press conferences, public hearings, and speaking engagements.
. Provides general office administrative support such as photocopying, data entry, and other support as needed.

Eligible candidates should have:
. At least two years of undergraduate study completed
. Strong people skills
. Willingness to do administrative work
. Desire to be a team player
. Attention to detail and strong organizational skills
. Interest in human rights and foreign policy a plus

Government Affairs Department Intern:
. Monitors foreign policy statements, human rights legislation and relevant policy publications
. Attends and reports on hearings
. Reviews relevant government agency websites and publications daily
. Maintains Washington Update page on USCIRF website
. Provides general office administrative support

Eligible candidates should be:
. Recent college graduates, college seniors or students enrolled in a graduate program, with interest in government affairs, foreign policy or a related field.
. Equipped with good writing and comprehension skills
. Familiar with Microsoft Office and the Internet. Knowledge of Lotus Notes and Microsoft Excel is a plus.

Immigration Law Department Intern:

Minimum time commitment: 8 hours weekly
. Conducts legal research and writes on issues relating to refugee and asylum law and policy. Areas of likely research include the access to procedures and reception standards for asylum seekers arriving in the United States, as well as issues relating to the protection of refugees who have fled religious persecution abroad.

Eligible candidates should have:
. At least two years of undergraduate study completed
. Interest in law, human rights, policy, religious affairs, or a related field.
. Familiarity with Microsoft Office and the Internet. Knowledge of Lotus Notes is a plus.

Outreach Department Intern:
. Organizes and distributes materials for distribution to the public NGO, religious leaders, and think tanks. This includes policy briefs, USCIRF's printed newsletter, and reports.
. Helps organize and provide logistical support for public events.
. Provides general office administrative support such as photocopying, data entry, and other support as needed.

Eligible candidates should have:
. At least two years of undergraduate study completed
. Strong people skills
. Willingness to do administrative work
. Desire to be a team player
. Attention to detail and strong organizational skills
. Interest in human rights a plus

General Research Intern:
o Researches a variety of international religious freedom and human rights issues
o Assists in preparations for meetings, roundtables and/or Commission travel
o Attends and reports on public hearings and other events around D.C. on issues relevant to the Commission's work
o Attends meetings and roundtables at the Commission with international visitors and other groups interested in the Commission's work
o Is able to focus on a particular region
o Assists with other general office duties

Eligible candidates should have:

. At least two years of undergraduate study completed with coursework or experience in public policy, international affairs, political sciences, human rights, religious affairs, government affairs, or a related field.
. Willingness to do administrative work.
. Familiarity with Microsoft Office Applications and the Internet. Knowledge of Microsoft Access is a plus.
. Knowledge of foreign language useful, but not necessary.

All internships are part-time (15-20 hours) and unpaid. Course credit is available. The Commission does not provide housing or pay moving expenses, however, will cover metro transportation expenses.

To apply for an internship, please E-mail, fax or mail a resume with references and a cover letter explaining your qualifications and why you would like to intern at the Commission to the address below. Please specify for which internship you are applying.

Internship Program c/o Danielle Simms
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
800 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 790
Washington, DC 20002
(PH) 202-523-3240; (FAX) 202-523-5020; (EMAIL)

The application deadlines for each semester are as follows:

Fall/Winter Semester: September - December Application Deadline: August 15th
Spring Semester: January- May Application Deadline: December 15th
Summer Semester: June - August Application Deadline: April 15th

Congratulations Doctor Eric Williams!

Many congratulations to visiting Professor Eric Williams, who recently crossed over from the land of ABD (All But Dissertation) to a fully-fledged PhD from Rutgers University. Students and faculty are hereby informed that from this day on he must be referred to at all times as Mister Doctor Professor Williams or face severe sanction. He can now also prescribe medications and diagnose back pain, so the next time you see him please make certain to share with him your aches and pains.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Students: Brand U?

From the New York Times, an article about the growing business in student packaging to better sell themselves to top colleges:

Many colleges engage in Orwell-speak about assembling congenial communities with a variety of backgrounds and talents. Academic feats, they also insist, must be abetted with good works and evidence of leadership. And so applicants end up in activities they may not care about. At the same time, admissions officers seldom meet the flesh-and-blood students they are evaluating, basing decisions on fleeting reviews of paper. Students are distilled to slogans like “the Greenwich ballerina who mentored students in the South Bronx.”

...Colleges say they are getting wise to students who dress up a privileged background with a benevolent sheen. The shame is that in a world where students are compelled to game the system, probably more than a few genuinely good souls are thrown away along with the counterfeits. Meanwhile, children are being subjected to pressures they may not be ready for. After all, why should a teenager be penalized for wanting to spend the summer as a camp counselor?

Read the whole story here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jenni Swift '07 AmeriCorps update

The other day Jenni Swift '07 dropped by and we had a moment to chat. I asked her if she'd update us all for the blog on life since graduation, especially her work with AmeriCorps. Read on--good stuff:

Professor O'Neil,

It was nice to see you last week. I can't believe that mid-terms are over already! I'd like to tell you a little about how I came to my AmeriCorps program, as well as what it is. It's a really interesting program that I believe is unique in many ways.

After graduation and time traveling, I came back to Seattle jobless. I took an internship at the Rural Development Institute, an incredible non-profit international law firm whose charge is advocating land rights for the worlds poorest. As an intern I researched other firms who might have goals in common with RDI, as well as helped prepare for meetings with documentary film makers and authors. I realized while working there that I didn't enjoy working on the communications and development side and didn't have access to the program development and work of the attorneys as much as I had hoped. It was still a fun place to be, and if anyone is interested in international law and development, they take volunteers, interns and research assistants.

Near the end of my time at RDI I began interning at the district office of Congressman Dave Reichert of the 8th District. Because I was interning during recess, the Congressman was in the district office, which turned out to be an incredible experience! I enjoyed working with someone who, despite our differing views on many policy choices, really cared about the political process and his district. It renewed my faith in the process. At the end of August, President Bush came to endorse Congressman Reichert's 2008 reelection campaign. As the only 'staff member' not attending the event in Bellevue, I got the awesome job of driving the congressman to SeaTac to drop him off with the President and his motorcade. I have attached a picture from this event, however it's of poor quality because all I had was my cell phone. While interning I began to realize that I couldn't work for nothing forever. As I looked at community development programs within the city of Seattle, I realized that most of the 'paid' positions were offered through AmeriCorps, which conveniently began around September 1. There are about a zillion different programs in Seattle, let alone the Puget Sound region. I applied to Solid Ground, formerly the Freemont Public Association. They had 35 positions, about 17 to chose from. These programs range from YMCA after school programs to being an advocate in the Prosecuting Attorney's Office. In fact, a great program within the City Attorney's office is called Community Court where low-level offenders are given the option to do community service instead of serving time in jail! There are four AmeriCorps folks who work in the office and out of the Millionaires Club downtown with this program.

The program I ended up in is within the Seattle Police Department. I am a Victim Support Team advocate for victims of domestic violence. I also help to manage about 80 volunteers who do 8 hour shifts from Friday to Sunday every weekend. These volunteers (as well as myself occasionally) respond to a secured DV scene where the police have been called to do crisis intervention, as well as give out community resources to victims and their families. My everyday job at police headquarters consists of maintaining these resources including Hopeline Cell Phones through Verizon Wireless (great program!!), homeless and battered women's shelter information, food bank information, and information on the criminal justice system (as a brief example). I also make follow up calls with victims who's cases we received over the weekend. Our program not only serves the victims directly but we are often better received because we are civilians, not officers. Domestic violence is a truly complicated subject that isn't fully understood, let alone acknowledged by the general public, so I could go on forever!

It has been such an interesting three months so far. At Solid Ground our team meets once a week to work on other topics surrounding racism, oppression, and violence in society. We have trainings on undoing racism and the history of systemized oppression, to name a few. I can say it has been quite an experience working dually between a liberal non-profit and the police department that is often seen as a source of oppression, hatred and racism in society. As a civilian I have a unique job to wear different 'hats' while at work, representing all the different groups I work with.

I apologize this is long, but I suppose there is no short way to explain the path to AmeriCorps and a year of service. Hopefully this does shed light on the different and unique things that a UPS Alum can do after graduation. I think that UPS students stand to gain a lot from an AmeriCorps year: from day one my expectations about those who serve and those who are served have been challenged. I've been told, and I'm coming to learn, this might be the hardest and most educational year of my life. I couldn't ask for much more.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How to get a job in the foreign policy world?

An article, with just that title, can be found over at Foreign Policy; it's an interview with Peter W. Singer, a military expert at the Brookings Institution and the author of Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry . Many thanks to Bill Bockman '06 for the hat tip; Bill is is currently working on an MA at the Jackson School of International Studies at UW.


What is the best advice you could give to a job hunter just out of college?

I believe in what could be called "forensic backtracking." Here's how it works: Identify people that have jobs that you might want one day. Then, backtrack what they did to get there. What are the kind of experiences that they had under their belt, the sort of publications they published in, etc....

This leads to more backwards advice about interviews: Game out your interviews and practice them. Your résumé gets you onto the short list; your interview gets you the job. Prepare your answers to the most likely questions beforehand, so that you can have them ready at the front of your brain, rather than scrambling for them when it matters most. As part of this, start out with the key things that you want that interviewer to know about you by the end of that meeting and ensure that you weave them into answers. That is, work backwards: Decide the elements of your answers first and then use these to prepare for the potential questions.

Read the whole thing here.

Chelsea Waliser '04, Obama, and the New Yorker

Kudos to Professor Share for spotting this rather lengthy mention of PG alum Chelsea Waliser '04 in New Yorker magazine's profile of Barack Obama. As you'll read, Chelsea is working on Obama's campaign in Iowa, and whatever the outcome, it sounds like we trained her well:

At a recent training session, Chelsea Waliser, an energetic twenty-five-year-old from Washington state, was explaining the byzantine rules of the caucuses—how to win the most delegates for your candidate—to nine women and eight men sitting in a semicircle on mismatched chairs and couches. Waliser, who has long curly red hair, stood before a large pad of paper filled with equations, the sort of thing that sometimes makes the Iowa caucuses seem designed to alienate ordinary people and prevent them from participating....

Unlike the Republican caucuses in Iowa, which are fairly simple, akin to a straw poll, the Democratic caucuses are arcane, rule-bound Party meetings where members are not picking Presidential candidates but choosing delegates to their county conventions. Winning the most delegates for your favored candidate requires not only a sure grasp of mathematics but a keen understanding of group dynamics. In 2004, John Kerry’s precinct captains were generally professionals who knew how to use caucus arithmetic to get more delegates for their candidate, while Howard Dean’s captains were young and poorly trained newcomers who were outmaneuvered in caucus rooms across the state. Waliser is training her captains to be disciplined. Within each precinct, she counselled, an Obama team had to include people responsible for specific tasks, including a “host,” a “greeter,” a “checker,” and a “persuader.” And then there’s the “corraller.” At each caucus, any candidate who does not gain the support of a certain percentage of the attendees—typically, fifteen per cent—is considered nonviable, and supporters may disband and align with other candidates. “Realignment” is a chaotic moment when campaigns descend on each other’s groups and try to poach from them. The arguments used during realignment are notoriously haphazard, ranging from the high-minded (“Join my group because my candidate opposed the war”) to the pedestrian (“Join my group because I loaned you a snow shovel last week”). This, Waliser explained, is why every Obama group needed a corraller—to ward off the poachers. “This person will in a polite and respectful manner physically contain the Obama group and ask them to stay in their place,” she told her precinct captains. She suggested feeding them in case they got restless. “The name of the game on caucus night is stand and stay, so this is where the chocolate-chip cookies are crucial.”

I'm not certain in which class she learned about the power of cookies, however. Read the whole piece here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Working in development talk tonight

The folks over at IPE are sponsoring this valuable talk--go if you've got the time. PG is also planning to bring out a representative from Mercy Corps early next semester to meet with PG students, so I will keep you all posted on that.

Pursuing Careers in Humanitarian Aid and Development

Interested in a career in the fields of humanitarian aid and development? Don't know where to start?
What academic programs are out there?

What kind of career experience is needed?
What is this lifestyle like?

Come learn how to start a career and get paid to do humanitarian aid!

Mon., Nov. 26, 5-6 p.m.

Murray Boardroom


• Prof. Monica Dehart: Comparative Sociology
• Andrew Sherriff: Peace and Development Consultant; Development and Peacebuilding Programme at International Alert
• Leslie Sherriff: Learning for International Non-Governmental Organizations; Catholic Relief Services for Bosnia & Serbia
• Erica Nelson: 2004 UPS Alum; MPhil in International Peace Studies at Trinity College, Dublin

Pizza and drinks will be provided.

Hosted by the International Political Economy department.

Political Science Association Internship Night Thursday

Dear Professor O'Neil,

I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving weekend! I just wanted to give you some information about the internship information session that I have been helping Julie Housh organize on behalf of PSA. The details are as follows:

UPS Alum Julie Housh will be on campus to answer questions about congressional internships and provide information about internship opportunities with Washington State Rep. Rick Larsen.

Thursday November 29, 7pm, Wheelock Student Center 201

We will also be publicizing it at our open PSA meeting tomorrow night.

Thank you!


Ashley Mills '05 is in Thailand and needs your help!

Got this email and am passing it along. She gives the link where you can donate below, or you can click here. A story worth reading--and, I hope, worth giving, too.


If anyone still wants to donate (it's tax-deductible!) to my Thai Youth Theater Project it definitely is not too late. We can use ANY and ALL donations.

Just to remind you guys, the festival is completely free for all the kids from all over Thailand who want to come- we provide all of the housing, their meals, even the t-shirts that they get when they come. We want to make sure that no child is turned away due to lack of money. The festival itself is a 2 day event full of everything to do with theater- workshops in stage-fighting, stage makeup, costumes- the works. Then, at the end, all of the kids get to perform their plays, all in English, on the national Thai theater stage. It's an event of a lifetime for some kids who are so poor that they only own one pair of shoes. We have one group who, despite the fact that their Peace Corps volunteer left 6 years ago, continues to come year after year and performs Shakespeare (seriously- I saw them perform the Tempest. It was intense). That group now travels all over the country and performs for different groups. We have some groups who choose to perform about issues such as HIV/AIDS. Right now we have 480 kids signed up and I think we are going to have to cap it pretty soon because of the capacity of our accommodations.

We think that this is a great project- not only for building English skills, but also for team building and for giving kids confidence that they might have never gained otherwise. Plus, the memories are priceless. You could make a 'Mastercard' commercial out of this. Really, the festival isn't possible unless the grant goes through, so
we're crossing our fingers.

So, if you can donate anything at all, that would be great. If you can't, that's fine. Your support during these two years has meant the world to me.

Thanks again!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all our students, alums, and readers near and far. We'll be back in action on the blog after the holidays.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Every-ware: Open Courseware

From Jordan Barber '09:

As an academic you're likely already aware of this, but I was so interested I figured I would share (for your blog).

MIT has uploaded a huge number (some 1700) of their courses online into a website called "MIT Open Courseware," with many featuring video/audio lectures for each day. Some of the courses contain little information, but many have lectures notes/videos for every class period. The course readings are all in PDF form (except for the books), and they have discussion forums for the individual courses.

Here's the link:
And the article that led me to it:

Cool--here's Introduction to Copyright Law with video lectures.

The decline of tenure?

From the New York Times:

...Three decades ago, adjuncts — both part-timers and full-timers not on a tenure track — represented only 43 percent of professors, according to the professors association, which has studied data reported to the federal Education Department. Currently, the association says, they account for nearly 70 percent of professors at colleges and universities, both public and private.

John W. Curtis, the union’s director of research and public policy, said that while the number of tenured and tenure-track professors has increased by about 25 percent over the past 30 years, they have been swamped by the growth in adjunct faculty. Over all, the number of people teaching at colleges and universities has doubled since 1975.

University officials agree that the use of nontraditional faculty is soaring. But some contest the professors association’s calculation, saying that definitions of part-time and full-time professors vary, and that it is not possible to determine how many courses, on average, each category of professor actually teaches.

Many state university presidents say tight budgets have made it inevitable that they turn to adjuncts to save money.

Read the whole article here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rachel Little '97 talk--tomorrow!

Professor Share writes:

I’m having a last-minute guess speaker in my LAS 100 class tomorrow (Tuesday, 11/20, 2-2:45 Wyatt 301) to discuss Latin American immigration from a legal perspective, and all are welcome to attend that portion of the class.

Rachel Little '97, is a lawyer with extensive experience in the area of immigration. She has worked as a policy assistant for Ayuda, Inc in Washington D.C, writing on issues related to the abuse of immigrant women, and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in Texas. She served as a law clerk for the Political Asylum Project of Austin, and now practices law at Tindall & Foster, P.C., focusing on a variety of immigration matters.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Your Friday Roundup of Opportunities

Don't forget that there are lots of internships in DC and elsewhere at Hillzoo, and Idealist, and
  • Internship, The Office of Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA-02), DC
  • Internship, Institute for Community Justice, Kent, WA
Internship, The Office of Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA-02), DC
Julie Housh '06 writes:
As I don’t want there to be a lapse in the daily mentions of DC on the UPS politics blog, would you mind passing along some information? Our office, Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA-02) is seeking spring interns. I know that students haven’t yet committed for the spring semester and so there’s still time to make arrangements to come out to DC!

If you could post the internship announcement, I’ve attached the description.

I’ll also be back in Washington the last week in November for interviews or general intern/DC informational purposes. If anyone is interested in talking about internships, living/working in DC, or general life-after-P&G I’m happy to sit down with them, just have them drop me an e-mail.

Thank you for your help!
Kind regards,

The Office of Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA-02) is seeking to hire an intern in the Washington DC office for winter/spring terms. Candidates should have an interest in and knowledge of the legislative process, possess excellent writing and communication skills, and have an understanding of the American political system.

Interns will be responsible for projects such as writing congressional correspondence, working with federal agencies, fielding constituent phone calls and other requests. Other duties include leading Capitol building tours and providing staff with general office support. During their term, interns are encouraged to attend briefings and committee hearings of personal interest and complete individual and team goals.

If you would like to be considered for an internship, please fax your resume and cover letter to (202) 225-4420 or email If you have questions about an internship, please contact Julie Housh by email or by phone at (202)225-2605.

Internship, Institute for Community Justice, Kent, WA
Work for Justice! Stand against the disparities in our communities and schools. Arouse, Educate and Organize yourself and others. Develop your ability to change yourself.

The Institute for Community Leadership commits to the integration of individuals into the movement for social justice, peace, civil and human rights in their local communities, nationwide and internationally. We seek individuals committed to personal transformation and social justice.

Intern & Volunteer Requirements

All interns and volunteers will be selected based on their proven ability and capacity to receive coaching, get outside of their comfort zones and organize others. Interns and volunteers will demonstrate experience and course of study in Nonviolence Organizing, Personal Transformation through Social Participation, and Coaching Peace with Justice. In addition, individuals must actively pursue the following:

  • Humility
  • Listening power
  • Intuitive learning
  • Gratitude
  • Courage
  • Dedication to the constant renewal of the mind
  • Commitment to self control
  • Making a vow to truth

Internship and Volunteer positions are available throughout the year ranging from 5-40 hours a week.

ICL is pleased to work with colleges and universities to assist in earning academic credit for internship and volunteer experience.

Basic Responsibilities

  • Organize families, youth, educators and community members in support of social justice.
  • Receive training in organizing from ICL as a cadre for peace with justice.
  • Study, read, and write on issues of concern to their communities and to civil, human, environmental rights movement and the peace & justice movement.
  • Reflect and practice reflection as a method of organizing others and becoming noble warriors for justice.

Areas of Work for Interns & Volunteers

Assistant Facilitator: Join certified ICL facilitators in local schools utilizing the ICL Leadership-Poetry Workshop curriculum. Engage young people in transformational leadership opportunities, organize community events, build ties to local community organization and relate to families and teachers.

Jack Hunter O'Dell Reflection & Education Center Outreach Coordinator: Research and Outreach to environmental justice organizations and businesses in support of JHOREC work. Donations of products and resources for projects, volunteer coordination, etc.

Youth Coordinator: Relate to families, visit homes, organize for events, edit poems, outreach and general follow-up with youth and families.

Grant Writer: Research and write grants, assist in the growth and development of the ICL Fund Development Department. Participate in the Jack Hunter O'Dell Reflection and Education Center Capital Campaign working with national and international donors, foundation and others.

Publications & Public Relations: Research and outreach to media and publishing companies regarding ICL work. Create ICL press kit for long term use.

Democracy Education Researcher: Areas of further research- Record the impact of war on education development; Sociological impacts of prisons on schools; Methods & pedagogy of education internationally (Vietnam, Cuba, S. Africa, Japan, etc.), democracy education.

Multimedia Projects: Capture through video, audio and photographs the essence of nonviolence and transformation in ICL workshops and the O’Dell Center. Assist in creation of multimedia tools for promoting nonviolence, leadership, social justice and peace.

Events & Activities: Organize events and build relationships with community businesses and organization, set up and take down during ICL LPW and other activities, hosting at ICL events, event volunteer coordination.

Office Management: Assist in the management of the ICL office, answer phones, database work and outreach.

Please contact ICL to apply for an Internship or Volunteer Position today!

ICL Phone: 253-872-3612
Address: 8209 S. 222nd St., Kent, WA 98032

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Why an MA in IR?

From Tufts Professor Dan Drezner's blog, a round-up of some varied discussion on whether it's worth getting an MA (or PhD) in international relations. Lots of debate and good points to consider that apply more broadly to the utility of graduate degrees. Find the piece here.

I am Millennial, see me engage

Hat tip: Professor Bass--

College students in the United States are hungry for political conversation that is authentic, involves diverse views and is free of manipulation and “spin,” according to a new report released on November 7th, 2007 by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) and The Charles F. Kettering Foundation.

Today’s students—part of the Millennial Generation born between 1985 and 2004— are more engaged in their communities and feel responsible to become civically involved. They recognize the importance of being educated and involved citizens, but discard much of the information available to them because of its polarizing and partisan nature. They are turned off by intensely combative political debate, the report says. We also find that colleges and universities are providing very unequal opportunities for civic participation and learning.

The report follows up on a 1993 study published by the Kettering Foundation that found students considered politics “irrelevant” to their lives and they saw little purpose in actively participating in politics.

Find out more, and read the whole report, here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Crossing Borders Student Conference, Seattle

So I'm always saying "students, this is a great opportunity!" This time it's a GREAT opportunity!!! Note the capitalization and extra exclamation marks. Conference is international, yet nearby (Seattle), select, completely funded, and last year they gave out $7000 in scholarships to participants.
As Professor Haltom would say: Conferences good!

'Crossing Borders - Issues & Resolutions' A Conference & Debate
for U.S. & Canadian University Students (WA, OR, ID, BC, AB)
Seattle WA 6-7 March 2008

Sponsored & Organized by
Consulate General of Canada

Canada and the United States share one of the world's longest borders and are each others largest trading partners. Canada is America's largest supplier of crude oil, natural gas and electricity. The U.S. and Canada are allies in the War on Terror and partners in NORAD for decades. However, as in most relationships, challenges and differences do exist.


The Consulate General of Canada Seattle, in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies Consortium, is organizing a two-day Student Conference to focus on the US-Canada border and issues of importance in the bi-lateral relationship.

After arrival in Seattle on Thursday 6 March, the students will travel to the US-Canada border Port of Entry at Blaine WA / Surrey BC for presentations and tours organized by the Canada Border Services Agency and US Customs and Border Protection. Students will learn about the operations of both agencies and how they partner to secure the border against threats while expediting travel for legitimate trade and commerce. The day will conclude with a Welcome Dinner in Bellingham, Washington and return to Seattle.

On Friday 7 March the Conference will entail 4 panel presentations. Each panel will focus on an issue of importance to Canada and the United States and last 90 minutes. Each panel will have two teams. Each team will be composed of one American and one Canadian student. Each team will be tasked with researching, presenting and explaining the issue assigned (the American student will present the American position and the Canadian student will present the Canadian position). Each team will suggest a resolution / solution. A moderator and members of the audience will be invited to ask questions and / or challenge the presentations and resolutions of two teams. A team of judges will select the team deemed to have made the best presentation and proffering the most convincing resolution / solution. The day will conclude with an Awards Dinner.


A total of 16 students will be selected. Eight American and eight Canadian. Students must be full-time undergraduates attending a university in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, British Columbia or Alberta that is a member of the Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies Consortium. No more than two students will be selected from any one university.

Interested students must complete the attached application and mail / fax no later than 15 January 2008. Successful applicants will be notified by 1 February. Students will be paired (one American and one Canadian for each of the 8 teams) and assigned their issue upon notification. Students are invited to work with their faculty advisors to see if this may qualify as an independent study to earn course credit.


The American students will present the American position and the Canadian students will present the Canadian position. Not personal opinions or beliefs! Each team will need to communicate and work together beforehand to organize their presentations and agree upon a resolution / solution.

The issues to be assigned will be one of the following:

1. Border Security: Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative; PASS cards; Enhanced Drivers Licenses; Perimeter Clearance, Visa harmonization
2. Northwest Passage: Sovereign Canadian waters or International waters
3. Multi-Lateral Diplomacy: Role of the United Nations
4. Gun Control
5. Capital Punishment
6. Gay Marriage / Gays in Military


The Canadian Consulate General is the principal sponsor of the conference. Students will be provided with travel funds (airplane ticket or mileage), two nights shared accommodation in Seattle, ground transportation for the Border Tour and meals.


One team from each panel will be selected for making the best presentation and proffering the best resolution. From those four teams one team will be selected as the overall top presenter. One individual student for best performance will be selected. Awards and prizes to be confirmed. $7000 in scholarships were awarded in 2007.


You can find complete details and the application and contact info here.

Tech Fetish Object

I have a burning desire to have something ultraportable to do basic web and textwork, and not be a tied to a cellphone on steroids or pay big bucks for a tablet PC or Sony Vaio.

So I've gone for this. Linux over Windows, flash hard drive, very small screen and keyboard. 2 pounds. It's also 400 bucks. En route; I'll let you know how it is--a worthy complement to your regular PC or just a toy I shouldn't have spent my money on?

Caitlin McGrane '10: Semester "Abroad" in DC

A note from Caitlin McGrane '10 that she has been accepted to the American University Washington Semester American Politics program for Fall 2008. Caitlin's excited to be in DC in the midst of the campaign, and is working with the university to figure out credit transfers and financial issues. I think this is a great opportunity for students who want to "study abroad" inside the US, and Kathleen Campbell in the registrar's office was so good as to write up a short document on things students need to consider if they're interested in this kind of opportunity. You can find that here.

DC alums, we might call on you if Caitlin would like to meet you and know more about you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Eric Carlson '92 in the NYT

Sunday I'm reading the New York Times come across an article titled "Undoing Your Daily Damage to the Earth, for a Price" which talks about offsetting one's carbon footprint. And who is quoted but none other than '92 alum Eric Carlson, founder of

“The easy way out is to do nothing,” said Eric Carlson, executive director of the offset retailer “Carbon offsets are a self-imposed tax, which gives you the financial incentive to reduce your emissions as much as economically feasible.”

Read the whole piece here; and an interview with Eric in Arches in Spring 2006 here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

ISU Political Science Student Conference

Offer stands as always--if you're interested in going, let me know and we'll see how we might help to defray costs. Going to a conference is a nice thing to put on the resume, especially if you were thinking about graduate school down the road.

The Sixteenth Annual
Conference website (and paper submission page):
Bone Student Center
Normal, Illinois
April 4, 2008

Draft paper deadline: February 17, 2008
Final Papers due: March 17, 2008

All undergraduate and graduate students are invited to submit papers for the sixteenth annual Illinois Conference for Students of Political Science. We welcome papers on any topic related to
government and/or politics. All subfields and political perspectives are welcome.

Panelists at the previous conferences included 750 students attending
100 colleges and universities.

If you are interested in participating in this exciting event, please
complete the online proposal
submission form or submit a cover letter, containing your contact
information (including email address),
your school, and the name of the faculty member with whom you are
working, and a draft copy of your paper
(or the actual paper) by February 17, 2008 to:

Dr. Gary Klass and Dr. George Kiser
4600 Department of Politics and Government
Illinois State University
Normal, IL 61790-4600.

Conference website (and submission page):

Alums: DC and NYC Events!

Got this note from Ned Culhane 06. If you're out that way we hope you go and please send us a picture or two--

I just wanted to forward information about the DC and NYC UPS Alum events in December. I spoke with someone from the Alumni Office during my trip and it appears that invites will be sent to people in these cities but thought posting this information to the blog would help spread the word. I just registered for the DC event online and it was quite simple.

Washington, DC Regional Event
Hotel Washington, Sky Room
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
6 - 8:30 p.m.
For more information and to register

New York Regional Event
Residence of Leslie Powell '76
Muscial performance by alum Robert McPherson '91
Thursday, December 6, 2007
6 - 8:30 p.m.
For more information and to register

Address of Alumni Events in DC & NYC:

Friday, November 09, 2007

Your Friday Roundup of Opportunities

Don't forget that there are lots of internships in DC and elsewhere at Hillzoo, and Idealist, and

In this post:
  • Internship (stipend) Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, D.C.
  • Internships, Search for Common Ground, DC
Internship (stipend) Alliance for Nuclear Accountability- Intern- Washington, D.C.
ANA is a progressive network of 35 organizations working in the shadows of the nuclear weapons complex to protect public health and the environment by addressing nuclear weapons and waste issues. The Intern's primary responsibility will be to support ANA in the organizing of its annual DC Days advocacy program, making arrangements for congressional visits, organizational meetings ! and receptions. Additionally, the intern's responsibilities will be to support the work of ANA and its member organizations and assist the Program Director in the daily and program operations of the DC office. The Intern will work under the direct supervision of the Program Director, and will make periodic reports to the Director.

Key Responsibilities
DC Days (65-70%). Working with the DC Days planning committee, the Intern will be given extensive responsibilities for organizing ANA's annual DC Days, including:

* All logistical arrangements for this five day event
* Facilitate grassroots activists' participation
* Arrange congressional and administrative meetings
* Organize Congressional reception
* Organize educational training event

Issue Work (15-20%)
* Attend DC meetings and hearings for informational, coordination, and research purposes
* Assist in tracking legislation and reporting to ANA members
* Assist with maintenance of ANA website
* Conduct research and write reports, as needed

Administrative Work (10-15%)
* General office administration tasks, including: answering phones, copying, filing
* Help maintain office supplies
* Backup of computer files

$1,600 per month stipend.
Alfred Meyer, Program Director
202-544-0217 x 180

Internships, Search for Common Ground, DC

Search for Common Ground is frequently looking for people with the right skills and a willingness to work hard to make a difference in the world. Our current internship vacancies are listed below.
Africa Program
Partners in Humanity Program
International Development Team
Institutional Learning Team
Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum

To find out more, check Common Ground's website at

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Select Your Candidate!

From Professor Bass, Minnesota Public Radio has an online survey where you can answer questions on such things as Iraq, immigration, and taxes; the survey then selects the presidential candidate they think best represents your interests. Take the survey here.

Here's who turned out to be my ideal candidate.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Koch Summer Paid Internship DC

Too good an opportunity to relegate to the Friday roundup:

No doubt you and your students are bombarded with summer opportunities, but I want to draw your attention to a great summer internship program called the Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program. This program is an intensive ten-week paid summer internship program in public policy or nonprofit leadership.

The 2008 program offers three types of internships: policy internships in Washington, DC, policy positions at state-based think tanks, and nonprofit leadership/management. IHS places fellows in internships at think tanks and nonprofits and provides a $1,500 stipend, furnished housing (or a housing stipend for state-based fellows), and travel reimbursement. Fellows also attend educational seminars, weekly presentations on current policy issues, and career workshops.

The deadline to apply is January 31, 2008. More information can be found at For a list of available internship placements, click on the "Internship Placements" link.

Please pass this information along to any students who would find it of interest.

Thank you for your time,

Keri Anderson
Student Coordinator
Institute for Humane Studies

Who goes on to grad schoool?

From the New York Times on Sunday, a graphic showing what percentage of students from different universities go on to graduate school right after graduation. I can't really draw any conclusions from the data (is it good or bad that so many students go to grad school right away?), but it was interesting to see Puget Sound in the mix since it's a rather limited range of schools. Make of it what you will. The whole article is here.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

PG Student Association Social

I have no idea what magical sandwiches are (sounds like a euphemism for something you'd get in Amsterdam). Students, take note!
psa reg and social

Altruism, hard work, and what reward?

Professors Bass and Ferrari sent this article along from the Washington Post. Rough sailing ahead for our young idealists? This is a worthy read for any majors thinking about a career in the NGO field and/or graduate education. It's not the whole story, of course, but it's not to be dismissed out of hand:

Fulfillment Elusive for Young Altruists In the Crowded Field of Public Interest
By Ian Shapira

Armed with a Georgetown University diploma, Beth Hanley embarked in her 20s on a path hoping to become a professional world-saver. First she worked at nonprofit Bread for the World. Then she taught middle school English in central Africa with the Peace Corps. Finally, to certify her idealism, she graduated last spring with a master's degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University.

But now the 29-year-old faces a predicament shared by many young strivers in Washington's public interest field. After years of amassing so many achievements, they struggle to find full-time employment with decent pay and realize they might not get exactly what they set out for. Hanley, a think tank temp who dreams of aiding the impoverished and reducing gender discrimination in developing countries, is stuck.

"I knew this would be difficult," said Hanley, an Illinois native who lives in Adams Morgan. "A lot of people say, 'At some point, you're going to have to decide to explore other options,' and I guess I would start applying for jobs in other fields I don't care so much about. But I haven't gotten at all to that point..."

Read the whole piece here.

Except You

Darrel Frost '04 sent along this great marriage of graphic design and political content. The backstory, from Design Observer:

"...Seven young designers from around the country were chosen to compete in a real-time design competition, taking on a series of assignments and risking elimination in the manner of "Project Runway" and any number of other television reality shows....

The last of the three challenges was the most serious: propose a strategy to raise the turnout of voters between 18 and 24. With less than 24 hours to work, each of the finalists came up with a provocative response. But it was Nichelle Narcisi's all-text solution that caught the enthusiasm of the visually-biased 2000-plus audience, gaining her the only standing ovation of the entire three-day conference."

The article has an interesting discussion both about the logic behind the design and content, with some interesting observations on what does and doesn't motivate 18-24 year olds.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Scoop is launched

This in from Josh Cole '09. Some months back we blogged about this online student publication focused on the upcoming presidential election, and Josh joined their team. Check it out. Josh writes:


You told me to shoot you an email when the Scoop 08 launched. Well it launched today! Technically it launched yesterday, but I take more iconoclastic glee in having it start up on November the fifth. The link is this:

I always try to remember the 5th of November.

The Scoop '08 is a student driven news source. It's dedicated not only to coverage of current events, but insightful analysis of the 2008 election as a whole. While it has a regular group of columnists, beat reporters, and editors it also accepts contributions. In fact, the Scoop is going to rely on readers to contribute perspective.

On a personal note, I think it's becoming a more interesting experiment. I didn't know it was going to be as reader-oriented as its seems to be. Wikipedia as journalism? Political participation as journalism? It's never been done before, at least not so expressly. My thoughts range from, "This is great!" to, "This is a strange Orwellian situation!" It's exciting to say the least.

--josh cole, columnist

Professor Sousa's new book is (almost) here--


After much effort and struggles with copyeditors (don't get him started), Professor Sousa and his co-author, Professor Christopher Klyza (Middlebury) have just released American Environmental Policy, 1990-2006: Beyond Gridlock through MIT press. Pre-released it, anyway; it's due to come out at the end of the year, but you can preorder your copy on Amazon now. And the reviews:

"Quite simply, this is the best book on environmental politics and American politics I have read in some time."

Congratulations to Professor Sousa for this important accomplishment.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Political Science Student Association Member Information Night

PSA info night

Your Friday Roundup of Opportunities

Don't forget that there are lots of internships in DC and elsewhere at Hillzoo, and Idealist, and

In this post:
  • Intern (stipend), Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, DC
  • Intern (stipend), 2008 Presidential Classroom Program WINTER & SUMMER, Alexandria VA
Intern, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, DC
The Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation offers full-time internship opportunities for students of political science, international relations, peace studies, or related fields. Founded in 1980, the Center was established to educate policy makers, the media, and the public about weapons of mass destruction, conventional arms sales, military spending and arms control alternatives. The Center supports projects researching various aspects of U.S. national security, including: military spending, missile defense, non-proliferation, and chemical and biological weapons control.

Office environment: Located on Capitol hill, our office environment is intimate and fast-paced. Project analysts work regularly with interns and encourage contact with other organizations in Washington DC. The atmosphere is casual, dress is professional.

Intern responsibilities: The Center staff seeks to assign interns projects to suit their interests. The internships are a mixture of substantive responsibilities and light administrative tasks and may include activities such as:

* Attending Congressional hearings;
* Attending meetings with members of the arms control community;
* Analyzing pending legislation or timely international issues;
* Assisting with administrative tasks which may include updating databases or assembling large mailings;
* Helping to maintain the Center's website

Requirements/ Qualifications: Prospective candidates should be college juniors or seniors, recent graduates, and graduate students, who share an interest in the Center's goals and objectives. Strong academic background, good writing and research skills, and computer and internet familiarity are a must.

Compensation: Usually $500 a month, based on a 40 hour work week.
Academic credit: Yes, if qualified.
Hours: Full or part time, 3-4 months in duration. In general, the Fall Internship is September-December, the Spring Internship is January-May, and the Summer Internship is June-August.

Deadline: the next Internship deadline is November 15, 2007 for SPRING 2008 internships.

Application: Send the following to the e-mail, fax, or mailing address below:

* A cover letter explaining why you are interested in working for a DC-based non-profit arms control organization, and the dates of your availability;
* Resume;
* Brief writing sample on a related issue (1-3 pages is sufficient);
* Two references or letters of recommendation.
* No transcripts, please.

Katie Mounts
Internship Coordinator
Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
322 Fourth Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Intern, 2008 Presidential Classroom Program WINTER & SUMMER, Alexandria VA

For 2008 Winter and Summer Internships:
Carefully selected from colleges and universities from across the United States and around the world, PC interns gain valuable work experience in a fast-paced and challenging environment that places them in direct contact with students, Volunteer Instructors and dynamic speakers all in the epicenter of American politics, Washington, D.C. for an 8-WEEK INTERNSHIP either during our WINTER or SUMMER programs.

These hardworking interns manage the Student Services Office, facilitate logistics of the program, arrange congressional appointments, manage seminars and introduce speakers.

Recent speakers have included:
The program has also visited:
The Secret Service, CIA, Pentagon & The World Bank

-Room & Board
-Weekly CASH stipend for additional expenses
-Travel covered once working during in Washington
-Eligible for college credit (up to 14 credits) from your institution

-Experience working with high school students
-Completed at least 2 semesters of college by January 2008 (for Winter applicants) by May 2008 (for Summer applicants)
-Cumulative GPA of a minimum 3.0
**We also EXTEND the application out to 2007 DECEMBER GRADUATES to apply for our 2008 WINTER internship program.
**Winter Intern Duration:
Feb. 11, 2008 to April 7, 2008
Summer Intern Duration:
June 2, 2008 to July 29, 2008
Application instructions:
Apply ONLINE at:

DEADLINES (applications received by):
Winter - November 23, 2007
Summer - April 4, 2008
**With the 2008 Presidential Election, it is surely an exciting time to be in Washington, we hope that you take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and apply to become a 2008 Presidential Classroom Intern!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Josh McDonald '02 visits and imparts wisdom


I feel lucky. This semester I've had two great alums come into the department's required course on writing and research in the major and speak about what they've done since graduation. Matt Perry '05 was in a month or so ago and talked about how interning and networking led him to become the local political director for Congressman Adam Smith. And last week Josh McDonald '02 came by.


Since graduating Josh worked on local campaigns, served as a lobbyist in Olympia, and is now an in-house lobbyist with the Washington Restaurant Association. He gave the students a number of great ideas and opportunities, including a great internship with the WRA itself that would give students exposure to lobbying and getting legislation passed in the state capitol. What I took away from his presentation was what I heard from Matt and indeed, many of our alums--you need to make and extend connections, get experience, get to know people and those will help open all kinds of doors. Josh is a great contact and any of our students who want to know more about working in Olympia should contact him--just email me and I can help put you in touch. Thanks again, Josh, it was great to see you again after all these years.

Course set asides for PG Majors and Minors

PG majors and minors, if you are thinking about taking any of Professor Weinberger's offerings next semester: PG 103 Intro to IR, PG 335 Global Security, or PG 338 Constitutional Law of National Security, the department has set aside a number of seats for majors on a preferential basis. Those can be released to you in advance of registration, but you'll need to contact Professor Weinberger for the codes. These codes will work during the period Nov 9-16, then expire.

Also, if you find yourself shut out of another course in the major, please do contact the professor immediately and let them know that you're a major or minor so we can make every effort to get you into the class. Happy registering...

The Political Science Association wants you--

Students, take note:

Attention all current/prospective PG major and minors! Join the Political Science Association for our first meeting of the year this coming

Tuesday, November 6 in Wheelock 202 at 8pm.

The PSA aims tocreate a sense of community among students across the major and to serve as a valuable resource for your post-graduation plans. You have a chance to be a part of something big - with the PSA working hard to become a more prominent organization, students will be able to shape it into whatever they envision a strong organization would be. We look forward to seeing you at our first meeting!

Congrats to Professor Ferrari, new Associate Dean!

The department loses a talented teacher but the administration gains an outstanding leader--so we can't be too begrudging. Congratulations, Professor Ferrari, and best wishes from everyone in the department in your new position! The formal notice from Dean Bartanen is below.

I am very pleased to announce that Lisa Ferrari has accepted appointment as Associate Dean, effective January 14, 2008. Lisa is associate professor of Politics and Government with specialty in international relations. She taught at Georgetown University and Hamilton College prior to joining the Puget Sound faculty in 1999. She was recognized fr excellence in teaching by a Thomas A. Davis Award in 2005.

Lisa is a graduate of Williams College, where she majored in psychology; she earned her master's degree at Boston University and Ph.D. at Georgetown, both in international relations. More recently, she studied at the Hague Academy of International Law. She has an active research program focused on the Catholic Church as an international actor and on Canadian Studies.

The Prelude Committee, Institutional Review Board, Watson Fellowship Committee, IPE Advisory Committee, and Study Abroad Work Group are among the groups that have benefited from her service. She has also advised theme houses and student organizations, served three years on Honor Court, and participated in the work of the Sexual Assault Task Force.

Lisa's responsibilities as associate dean will include coordinating the course schedule, directing summer session, overseeing print and web academic publications (e.g., The Bulletin), working with the Civic Scholarship Initiative, and the serving as the academic division's point person for several collaborative endeavors with Student Affairs, including the Year Two Initiative, Orientation, and the Freshman Residential Seminar Program.

Given that Lisa's appointment is the final component of reorganization in the dean's office, I trust you will continue to extend to us some latitude as we adjust responsibilities to best tap the talents of a strong team and to best serve colleagues and students. I'll keep you updated. I also want to thank those who contributed nominations for and expressions of interest in the associate dean position.

Please join me in extending congratulations.


Institute for Humane Studies Academic Writing Competition

Four grand. Not shabby.

I'm excited to announce that the Institute for Humane Studies has just created two academic writing competitions with $4,000 in prizes to recognize the work of outstanding graduate and undergraduate students. Select finalists will receive travel reimbursements to attend and present their work at the 2008 Social Change Workshop. The submission deadline is January 31, 2008.

If you, or someone you know, will be a full-time student during the 2007-08 academic year, I encourage you to check it out. I’ve included some details below and more information is available online at

Keri Anderson
Student Coordinator
Institute for Humane Studies

What: $4,000 writing competition with awards for both graduate and undergraduate submissions. The topic this year addresses prosperity, progress, and human flourishing.

Who: Full-time graduate and undergraduate students in the 2007-08 school year. We welcome submissions from all disciplines.

When: Submissions must be received online by January 31.

How: Details, PDF flyers, and the online submission forms are available at