Friday, January 30, 2009

Freshman: politically engaged (and worried about money)

From the Boston Globe:

More than ever, politics and money are on the minds of new college students. The latest installment of a giant annual survey of college freshmen shows political engagement at a 40-year high, and more students than ever planning to take jobs on the side and settling for second-choice schools.

With last year's historic election heating up, nearly 36 percent of freshmen starting last fall reported frequently discussing politics in the last year, according to the survey by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute. That surpassed the previous high of 34 percent recorded in 1968.

Read more here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

USAID paid internships: deadline 2/17

USAID Paid Student Intern Program Information

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead agency for the U.S. Government providing economic development and humanitarian assistance to people around the world. By creating the conditions to help countries move from poverty to prosperity, we serve both the American public and millions of people living in countries in development and transition.

The agency will be sponsoring paid internships throughout the academic year. We seek highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students studying a wide variety of fields, including engineering, computer science, mathematics, economics, foreign languages, area studies, business administration, accounting, international relations, finance, logistics, human resources, geography, public health, national security studies, military and foreign affairs, political science and public administration.

While working, an intern can expect to have a substantive and rewarding experience conducting work that is related to his/her major. Once on board, interns are treated as full staff members and are expected to perform as such. There are two types of internships:

* SCEPs (Student Career Experience Program)-this component offers you valuable work experience directly related to your academic field of study. It provides formal periods of work and study while you are attending school. It requires a commitment from you, your school, and the employing Federal agency. You may be eligible for permanent employment conversion under this program after successfully completing your education and meeting work requirements.
* STEP (Student Temporary Experience Program)-this component offers temporary employment that will enable you to earn a salary while continuing your studies. Appointments to jobs under this program can range from summer jobs to positions that can last for as long as you are a student. An agency, at their discretion, may establish academic and job performance standards that students must meet to continue in the program. There is no permanent employment conversion element under this program.

The basic qualifying factors to be eligible to participate in this program are:

* U.S. Citizenship (does not include "permanent resident")
* Current Enrollment in an accredited college or university;
* In good academic standing with an accredited institution
* A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0
* A transcript indicating a student's major and GPA.
* An unofficial transcript is acceptable during the application process; however an official transcript must be submitted upon hire.

Other Significant Facts:

* These are Testing Designated Positions (TDPs) under the Agency's approved Drug-Free Work Place Program. Applicants selected for this position will be subject to random drug testing once they begin working.
* As a condition of employment, all male applicants born after December 31, 1959 must have registered for the selective service. If selected for this position, the applicant must sign a statement certifying his registration or the applicant must demonstrate exempt status under the Selective Service Law.
* DIRECT DEPOSIT: All Federal employees are required to have federal salary payments by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.

Students tentatively selected for the internship program must undergo a background investigation and receive a security clearance. The clearance process takes approximately 90-120 days to complete from the time the forms are received by our Office of Security. Failure to obtain a security clearance will preclude candidates from obtaining an internship.

If interested, please submit a cover letter, resume and transcripts to the Internship Coordinator via email at or by fax at 202.216.3031. Applicants should also specify the dates they are available to work in their cover letter. Due to the large number of applications received, we are unable to respond to all of the applicants individually. Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted.

Deadline for application is February 17th.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Puget Sound rocks Peace Corps yet again

For 2009, Puget Sound again ranks in the top three liberal arts schools sending graduates to the Peace Corps. As I've mentioned before, what is interesting is how many of the major contributors are in the Pacific NW--UW, Western Washington, UOregon, Gonzaga, Willamette, Reed, Lewis and Clark, Whitman. What would explain this?

See the PC press release here.

Scoville Peace Fellowship for recent grads--deadline 2/9

The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, established in 1987, is a competitive national fellowship program that provides college graduates with the opportunity to gain a Washington perspective on key issues of peace and security. Twice yearly, the Fellowship's Board of Directors selects a group of outstanding individuals to spend six to nine months in Washington. Supported by a stipend, the Fellows serve as full-time junior staff members at the participating organization of their choice. The program also arranges meetings for the Fellows with policy experts. Many former Scoville Fellows have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in international relations and related fields and taken prominent positions in the field of peace and security with public-interest organizations, the Federal Government, and in academia. To date, 115 Fellowships have been awarded.

The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2009 semester. Application requirements may be found here. The deadline for submitting all materials has been extended to February 9, 2009. Click here for answers to frequently asked questions.

Study abroad--where do our students go?

Just to give you a sense of where Puget Sound go on study abroad, here's the breakdown from last semester across campus. Some of the traditional programs seem less popular than past (Germany), those these appear to be replaced by other English-speaking countries in Asia (NZ, Australia). Lots of students going to China, a fair number to Africa (5) and Latin America (10). It's just one semester's worth of data, but interesting nevertheless. We see a very few students going to the Middle East (we have programs to Oman and Morocco), and one wonders whether that will increase in numbers. In general the largest share of students continue to go to places where English is widely spoken and the culture and standard of living similar to the US (read: Europe). At the same time, I suspect that where our students go is more diverse than twenty years ago. Are there important parts of the world our students are missing? Russia? Indonesia? Egypt? What do you think?

New Zealand 7
Spain 5
Australia 5
Netherlands 4
Brazil 4
Italy 6
India 2
Germany 3
France 5
China 10
Denmark 3
Czech Republic 2
Austria 2
UK 6
Ecuador 2
Tanzania 3
Ireland 3
Costa Rica
Chile 2

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Idealism and landing a job

From the Wall Street Journal:

Together, the weak economy and increasing civic mindedness are driving grads to work for social causes. Teach for America, the nonprofit organization that sends college graduates to work in low-income public schools, saw applications jump 36% to 24,718 from 18,172 a year ago. Of those, about 3,700 are selected to teach in more than 100 school districts next fall, up more than one-fourth over the year before....

The Peace Corps is expecting a 16% increase in applications for the fiscal year ending Oct. 1. Established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, the Peace Corps sends volunteers to developing countries to work on education, agriculture and other projects. Enthusiasm for the program reached a peak of more than 15,000 volunteers in 1967 before spiraling downward, bottoming out at 5,219 in 1987. But participation has been climbing again in recent years: Fiscal 2007 saw more than 8,000 volunteers -- a level not seen since the 1970s.

Read the whole thing here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Iran update

I was back in Iran in January for a week and a half, staying in Tehran. I was there both for Ashura (the main religious holiday, commemorating the death of Hussein, descendant of the Prophet) and also to meet with folks at Tehran University (not easily done). Here are a few random shots from the trip.

The view out my hotel balcony

Ashura--a re-enactment of the death of Hussein, culminating in the burning of his tent.

The old American Embassy, now controlled by the Revolutionary Guard. They let me snap a couple of pictures of the exterior wall, which includes the national seal, methodically chipped away.

American Embassy

My hotel lobby

Tehran University--there was a burial underway for individuals who had fought in the Iran-Iraq War (why they were being buried on the university campus, to which they had no connection, is a discussion in itself)

Bookstore of the Political Science and Law Department. I was surprised by the degree of reference material in translation from and in English, including the Oxford Dictionary of Politics.

Summer Interships in CA

I just received this tip from Melanie Choy '98 about some interesting looking internship opportunities this summer at the Public Policy Institute of California. Check it out:

Application Deadline: March 13, 2009

The Richard J. Riordan Summer Intern Program at PPIC provides an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students interested in a public policy career to work in a policy research environment. Intern projects are proposed by PPIC researchers and designed around a specific set of tasks and deliverables that can be accomplished within the term of the internship.

Interns are asked to select one of the following projects to work on during the summer of 2009:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Principia College Student Conference

PG majors: if you want to go, let me know and I'll see what I can do to help defray the cost--

We write to inform you of Principia College's 2009 Public Affairs Conference (PAC) on China Rising, which will take place April 2-4, 2009. Principia College, located in Elsah, Illinois, has held a conference annually since 1939. Now in its 60th year, Principia's Public Affairs Conference continues to offer a forum for student delegates to examine contemporary issues by participating in policy workshops, attending talks, and having discussions with distinguished scholars, professionals, and their peers.

Speakers confirmed for this year's PAC include Jonathan Spence, Sterling Professor of History at Yale University and recent lecturer for the BBC Reith Lecture Series; Minxin Pei, senior associate in the China Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Cheng Li, senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution's John L. Thornton China Center and the William R. Kenan Professor of Government at Hamilton College. Other speakers will include Elizabeth Economy, David Michael Lampton and Nicholas Lardy.

The PAC Executive Board would like to invite undergraduate students from your school to attend this year's conference on China Rising. We encourage you to attend the conference with student delegates, or to share information about PAC with your students. The conference fee is waived for professors who attend PAC with students from their institution.

For more information on the conference, please visit our website at or email us at Additionally, a Public Affairs conference pdf brochure has been attached to this with information about the conference and is free for your use to give information on the conference to others.

Online registration for the conference is now open.

All the best,
Brian Swanson, and James Poindexter
PAC Directors of Off-Campus Delegates
(618) 374-4938

Some more random inauguration shots

Campus photographer Ross Mulhausen shot this picture inside the SUB during the inauguration. Down in the right hand corner up against the stairwell you'll see a gaggle of the PG related: Me (red hair and coffee cup, of course), Professor Alisa Kessel (seated to my left); to my right Justin Canny, Assistant Director of Student Activities for Outdoor Programs and PG class of '91, and to his right, Jonathan Roberts, PG class of '10 who is headed to Latin America next month for the semester. Politics and Government--we congregate.

Family with Secret Service
And here's a picture sent to Professor Kessel by one of her friends in DC; they are posing on the balcony of their apartment building--and who's that on the right? Secret Service, armed and on the lookout.

Class of '07 updates

Hart Edmonson has been hired to do consulting and fundraising for the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center, and in fall will move to Baltimore to teach 7th-12th Grade English through Teach for America.

Parker Sammons has landed a position in communications department at M&R Strategic Services in DC, a political consulting and marketing firm that counts as clients such groups as Oxfam, ACLU, and Save Darfur.

Other '07 alums, if you're reading this, drop in a comment below and let us know what you are up to!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tacoma's White Christmas

Tacoma Snow!
In case you weren't here, we had a lot of snow over the holidays. First it was fun. Then not so much. And then it rained. A lot.

Student Political Science Conference, NY

The State University of New York College at Oneonta will be holding its first annual Political Science Conference on March 20th and 21st, 2009. The general website and call for papers can be found at Students are urged to attend and participate.

The Keynote Speaker for the Spring, 2009 Undergraduate Political Science Conference at the Oneonta State College will be Professor Alan Chartock. Dr. Chartock is Professor Emeritus, at the University at Albany and winner of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is also well known for his service to national public radio. Awards

Professor Alan Chartock has won numerous awards at the State University of New York (SUNY), Albany, including the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and the SUNY Council of University Affairs and Development Award for Educational achievement. He was one of the first recipients of the SUNY Award for Excellence.

Alan Chartock is the author of Me and Mario Cuomo: Conversations in Candor, published by Barricade Books. He is host of The Capitol Connection[1], a weekly program of interviews with New York State politicians. He appears each week on The Media Project[2], a show in which he and other local journalism professionals discuss topical media issues. He regularly hosts the call-in talk show Vox Pop[3] (especially on "Medical Mondays"). He holds the title of Political Observer at WAMC. In this capacity, Chartock can be heard on news programs including The Legislative Gazette[4], Midday Magazine[5], and Northeast Report[6]. He hosts the "Congressional Corner," a daily interview segment of The RoundTable[7].

NOTE to Political Science, Social Science and Philosophy professors: Please inform and encourage your students who are now working on promising research papers and those who have already completed excellent papers to apply for the conference. It will be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for those who attend! We request that Chairs and faculty announce and perhaps reproduce our call for student papers with information about the March conference. Thank you in advance for your assistance!

Dr. Paul Conway Thor Kasenko
607-436-3923 518-542-1886

Charles Koch Summer Fellowship deadline 1/31

I want to remind you about a great summer internship program -- the Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program, an intensive ten-week paid summer internship program in public policy. The program is open to undergraduates, graduate students and recent graduates and offers placements in two public policy tracks:

The state-based policy track offers interns the opportunity to gain experience with effecting change at the state-level. Interns can select from policy organizations in over 40 states.

The DC policy track provides the opportunity to work on various policy issues at think tanks and nonprofit organizations around the Washington, DC area, gaining experience in public policy at the federal level.

All placements offer participation in (and travel to) the Washington, DC opening and closing workshops, a $1,500 stipend, travel reimbursement, and housing (or a housing allowance). DC based interns will attend weekly lectures, panels, and small group discussions on current policy topics.

The deadline to apply is January 31, 2009, less than a month away. 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

Institute for Humane Studies - 3301 N Fairfax Drive - Suite 440 - Arlington, VA 22201-4432

Reminder: Writing Excellence Awards: Deadline 1/29

Any student who has written a paper for a Puget Sound course during the spring, summer, and fall 2008 semesters is eligible to enter the Writing Excellence Awards contest. Prizes of $250 each will be awarded in 6 categories: Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences, Connections Core, Freshman Seminars, and Graduate Programs.

Entry forms are available in the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching, Howarth 105/109 and on the web site

Entry papers must be submitted to The Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching by 5:00 p.m., Thursday, January 29, 2009.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Welcome Back and welcome President Obama--

What a start to the new semester and year. I was just over at the Student Union watching the inauguration with Professor Kessel and took a few pictures. If you look down in the lower right hand corner you'll see President Thomas and Dean Bartanen sitting up front (in the SUB, not in DC).

Hope you are well and happy new year!

Summit of the Americas Essay Contest

Thanks to Michelle Lai Fook '00 who sent this along. Deadline is soon, but the prize is very cool--a trip the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.



The organizers of the “Third Summit of the Americas Essay Contest”, within the framework of the Fifth Summit of the Americas to will be held in Trinidad and Tobago on April 17-19, 2009, are the Summits of the Americas Secretariat of the Organization of the American States (OAS) and the National Secretariat for the Fifth Summit of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (the “Summits Secretariat” and the “National Secretariat”).

This contest is open to anyone enrolled as a student in an undergraduate or graduate course at any recognized college or university of the OAS Member States (Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela).

This contest is not open to employees or contractors of the Summits Secretariat and the National Secretariat or their direct family members. Participants will be required to provide proof of enrolment as a student in an undergraduate or graduate course at any recognized college or university of the OAS Member States.

The essays must be developed on the theme of the Fifth Summit “Securing Our Citizens’ Future by Promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability”. Essays may address any of the sub-topics pertaining to the Summit theme:

· Promoting Human Prosperity
· Promoting Energy Security
· Promoting Environmental Sustainability
· Strengthening Public Security
· Strengthening Democratic Governance
· Strengthening the Summit of the Americas, Follow-up and Implementation Effectiveness

Sources of important information regarding the topic and sub-topics can be found on the following site:

In order to be considered by the international jury, all essays must meet the following criteria:
· Original work and authored individually. By submitting an article, authors attest, acknowledge and warrant that it is an original work created by the applicant and that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in it.
· Written in one of the OAS official languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese or French
· Written in Microsoft Word format, no longer than 2000 words, double-spaced in 11-point Times New Roman font, including an abstract of no more than 200 words, citations and bibliography.
· Work must not infringe any party’s intellectual property rights
· Only one essay per author will be considered
· Essay must be submitted electronically as an attachment to

In addition, all participants must fill out a form available on: providing the following information:

· Full name of the author (first name and surname)
· Title of essay
· Name of author’s academic institution and complete address (including country and zip code, if applicable)
· Contact details of academic supervisor or advisor
· Author’s telephone number (including country code)
· Author’s e-mail address
· Author’s proof of enrolment as a student in an undergraduate or graduate program at any recognized college or university located in an OAS Member State

Furthermore, all essays must be submitted before 5pm Eastern Standard Time (Washington, D.C. time) on January 31, 2009. It is the responsibility of the participants to ensure that the essay arrives on time to the Summits of the Americas Secretariat. Essays received after the deadline will not be considered. The international jury will make a final decision of the winning essays on February 13, 2009. The decision of the jury will be incontestable.
The organizers reserve the right at any time to cancel or modify the competition (including altering the prize) if, in their sole discretion, the competition is not capable of being conducted as specified.

For additional information, please contact the Summits of the Americas Secretariat at:
Summits of the Americas Secretariat- Essay Contest
Organization of American States
19th Street & Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20006, USA
Telephone: (202) 458-3456
Fax: (202) 458-3665
Web Page:

The Summits of the Americas Secretariat will work in collaboration with other OAS Departments, and the National Secretariat of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, to identify a qualified and competent group of individuals from among academics, high level specialists and experts of the member institutions of the Joint Summit Working Group, to compose a qualified jury with language skills (English/Spanish/Portuguese/French) that will evaluate the essays and determine the winners.

The competition judges will review essays according to the following criteria:

· Relevance of the essay content with the theme of the Fifth Summit: “Securing Our Citizens’ Future by Promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability”
· Originality
· Recommendations and proposed solutions to the thematic challenges
· Essay structure (introduction, body, and conclusion), punctuation and spelling
· Proper use of grammar, syntax, quality and precision of vocabulary
· Essay should demonstrate the student's reflection and understanding of the topic
· Development of recommendations and conclusions consistent with presented proposals
· Ability to produce critical and creative thinking and capacity to support points of view and conclusions
· Use of examples and reliable resources to explain ideas

· Knowledge and understanding of the theme, variables and concepts related to it
· Essay should not have been previously published, nor have been submitted in previous contests
· Include standardized citations and a bibliography
· The essay will be disqualified if it relies solely on Internet research, or if it plagiarizes ideas – i.e. uses someone else’s ideas or text as one’s own

The decision of the jury will be incontestable. The jury reserves the right to award prizes only to those essays which meet the criteria; therefore, in the case that less than seven essays meet the standard criteria, the panel may choose not to award up to five prizes. In addition, in the case of absolute discrepancy of opinions among the panel members, the Summits of the Americas Secretariat will make the final decision. Finally, the jury may award honorable mentions for those essays which will not receive the grand prize of attending the Fifth Summit but will still be published on the Summits of the Americas website.

The authors of up to the 7 best essays (ensuring geographical equity) will be awarded a plane ticket in economy class from their city of origin to the Fifth Summit of the Americas, which will take place on April 17-19 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Lodging and per diem expenses will also be covered. Paperwork and costs for passports or entry visas that may be required are the sole responsibility of the winners.

The winners will participate as observers in the Summit and will have access to public activities taking place.

The National Secretariat for the Fifth Summit of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago will facilitate an appropriate occasion for presentation of the essays at the Fifth Summits and the OAS Secretary General and a high ranking government official from the Trinidad and Tobago Government will hand out complimentary awards and recognition certificates to the essay winners.

Winners will also be able to attend and participate in the “Young Americas Forum”, organized by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) in collaboration with the OAS and the National Secretariat, to be held immediately prior to the Summit, on April 15-16, 2009 (tentative dates).

The prize-winning essays will be published on the Summits of the Americas Secretariat website ( and the National Secretariat’s website for the Fifth Summit of the Americas ( and be distributed to OAS Member States during the Summit.

Depending on the quality of essays submitted, other essays may be listed as “specially commended” and published on the Summits of the Americas Secretariat website and the National Secretariat’s Fifth Summit website.

By entering into this contest, participants hereby certify that the information provided is true and understand that any false information presented in your application, or in its annexes, will result in the disqualification of the application to participate in this.

By entering into this contest, participants grant the Summits of the Americas Secretariat of the OAS a worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual transferable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, play and make available to the public the submitted essays in whole or part, including for internal purposes or for institutional purposes.

18th Annual International Youth Conference, Prague

This email brings you information about an interesting educational opportunity – the 18th International Youth Leadership Conference, July 19th – 24th, 2009. This week-long forum on world politics, international relations, business, media and law held in Prague is officially recognized and accredited by the Anglo-American University (

I am the Conference Director of the 18th IYLC and I would like to make sure that your students are informed about this international event. We believe that our conference is a unique opportunity for all those, who wish to enrich their academic and cross-cultural experiences and to challenge their leadership skills.

The 18th IYLC will be welcoming over 100 top university students from around the world. We would be honoured to have best of your students among our participants, as they will contribute to the cultural diversity and higher academic level of this event.

We would like to post you a package with posters and other conference related materials, and would kindly request you to consent this by writing us a short email.

Please take a minute to visit our web-site at There you will find relevant information about the conference related activities, including the conference schedule ( and the agenda of the previous conference (

We would appreciate, if you could invite your students to visit our web-site and forward them the following information:


18th International Youth Leadership Conference

July 19th – 24th, 2009

Prague, Czech Republic

Join prominent university students from 40 different countries for an experience of a lifetime!

The theme of the conference is “a cross-cultural exchange of ideas concerning the future of world leadership” and the main objective of the IYLC is to blend educational activities and social interaction using a number of inter-related events, such as:
* Simulation of the United Nations Security Council Emergency Meeting
* International Criminal Court Mock Pre-Trial
* Model European Parliament Proceedings
* Visits to foreign embassies, Senate of the Czech Republic, European Commission, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, PricewaterhouseCoopers
* Group debates and panel discussions on international security, environmental sustainability, rule of law, responsible leadership and mass media
* Meetings and banquet dinners with leading experts, diplomats, politicians and businessmen

For more information and application, please visit

Apply early to take advantage of the Early Bird discounts:

30% before February 10th, 20% before February 28th, 15% before March 15th, 10% before March 31st, and 5% before April 15th.

We welcome university professors and staff to join the conference as observers. If you or your colleagues are interested in becoming observers, please send us a note expressing your interest. We are planning a special program for observers, and hope to implement it in case of adequate number of interested stakeholders.

I thank you for your time, and please accept my apologies if this email is irrelevant to you. I will be looking forward to hearing from your students. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Yours faithfully,

Ismayil Khayredinov
Conference Director
18th International Youth Leadership Conference
Civic Concepts International
tel: +420 272 730 897