Monday, March 30, 2009

Puget Sound goes to space...!

From the website collectSPACE, a list of items that went up with the most recent shuttle flight to the International Space Station included "Small Maroon and White Pennant, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA" I have no idea who was behind this, or where the pennant will go now. hmm!

Read the whole piece on the flight here.

Intern for the State Legislature in 2010

It's a ways off, but a heads-up that the Washington State Legislature runs a paid full time internship during the legislative session (January-April). It means having to take a semester off, hence the need to think ahead. But it also pays $1300 a month, and students who have done it is past have spoken highly of it.

Keep it in mind; the details are here:

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cool blog on...everything!

Hat tip: Kevin Billings '77:

You'll find an interesting debate on the future of globalization, articles biotech, healthcare, climate change and other fascinating stuff. Definitely regular-read worthy!

Talk: Correction

The CFR conference call on Latin American Policy under Obama is actually on THURSDAY, April 2 from 9-10 a.m., Wyatt 226.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Paid internship with Congressman Smith (Updated)

Internship Opportunities with Congressman Adam Smith’s

Tacoma, Washington District Office

Congressman Smith currently seeking applicants for a paid internship position in his Tacoma, Washington office.

The intern duties are mostly administrative (answering phones, data entry, copying, etc.). However, interns will have an opportunity to participate in some community relations and casework activities, depending on their interests and ability. This is a part-time position requiring approximately 15 scheduled hours per week during posted business hours (8:00am to 5:00pm). The stipend is $600 per month.

To be eligible for this opportunity, candidates should be college students in their sophomore to senior year of college, at least one term prior to graduation.

Applicants must submit an internship application packet, including a letter of interest, resume, and 2 letters of recommendation to the following address:

Congressman Adam Smith

Attn: Diane Brazell

2209 Pacific Ave, Suite B

Tacoma, WA 98402

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Publish less, teach more--

From Inside Higher Ed:

Scholarly output rises; undergraduates are disengaged. “This is the real calamity of the research mandate -- 10,000 harried professors forced to labor on disregarded print, and 100,000 unwitting students missing out on rigorous face-to-face learning,” Mark Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University, writes in a new paper on relieving research expectations in the humanities.

“I think these two trends -- to do more and more research and less academic engagement on the freshman level -- are not unrelated,” Bauerlein said in an interview about “Professors on the Production Line, Students on their Own." The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research released the paper Tuesday.

Read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Upcoming Talk: Latin America Policy in the Obama Administration

NOTE: There is an error in the poster--April 2 is a Thursday.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Waiting for Obama--our alums included

From the Washington Times (Hat tip: Ryan Dumm '07), an article about young Obamites cooling their heels in DC hoping to get a job around the new administration. Among those mentioned in Chris Pohlad '07:

Yet trying to find work in the Obama administration has been a difficult way for his loyalists to follow that dream. Many Obama enthusiasts have come to the capital hoping to help the president and, after months of trying, have wound up frustrated.

Chris Pohlad, 24, was the director of campaign operations in Minnesota for the Obama campaign for five months last year. He now spends most days writing e-mails and having lunches with former colleagues. He's hoping to find a gig in the Obama administration with either the State or Energy Department.

"It's been a little bit of a grind trying to find a job," Mr. Pohlad said. "It's really just a waiting game, and everybody's doing the same thing."

Here's a bit of video from their interview--Chris is about 45 seconds in.

Hang tight, Chris--

The Celtic Cross

This sounds interesting--

The World premier of The Celtic Cross
A New Play written and performed by Matt Jackson & Bryan Sullivan

One Weekend Only
March 26th, 27th, & 28th at 6:00pm

In Northern Ireland there are two communities at odds with each other. Their conflict is not only political, but ideological. The Protestant loyalist side believes that Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom. The Catholic nationalist side believes that Northern Ireland should become part of the Republic of Ireland. "The troubles" refer to the thirty years of violence and terrorism between these two groups. Peace resolutions in the late nineties brought an end to the sectarian violence. But the peace achieved is a shaky one.

The Celtic Cross is the story two young men in Belfast, Northern Ireland. One is from the Protestant Loyalist side and the other from the Catholic nationalist side. Set in the 1990's these two men have lived their entire life during "the troubles." Although they are conditioned to hate each other an unlikely friendship unfolds. Their circumstances force them to choose between their friendship and their beliefs.


Thursday March 26th, Friday March 27th, and Saturday March 28th
Thursday by donation, Friday and Saturday $3 pay at the door
There will be a talkback with Matt and Bryan after the show Friday
Rausch Auditorium, University of Puget Sound
1500 N Warner Tacoma, WA 98416

Intern with Senator Cantwell in Tacoma

This just in--

Please see the attached information on our internship program here in the state. We are working to update our website to reflect this information. We’ve had UPS students in our Tacoma office in the past and they have been terrific.

Best regards,

Christian Chiles
Staff Assistant
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
206.220.6400 office
206.220.6404 fax

An internship in the office of Senator Cantwell offers individuals an opportunity to serve the public through the federal government. Throughout the year, the internship programs in offices throughout Washington State allow students to work directly with congressional aides and get an inside view of the way a Congressional office operates. Internships develop professional skills and offer students the opportunity to explore future careers in public service.

In the State offices, interns have the opportunity to work directly with the public and staff members and will learn firsthand about the constituent advocacy process. Responsibilities include fielding constituent requests, communication with federal government agencies, extensive research and interaction with the public and local groups. Interns may attend briefings with concerned citizens and organizations.

QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must be motivated, organized, and able to work in a team setting. Internships are open to students of any degree program. Responsibility and flexibility are key qualifications as well as an interest in writing, research and interfacing with the public.

PROGRAM OUTLINE: Internships are available throughout the year and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Commitments based on school schedules, either semester or quarter, can be accommodated. Internships are unpaid, but available for school credit, if approved by the college/university. Hours and schedule are negotiable, but a regular weekly schedule must be arranged.

REQUIREMENTS: For consideration, please contact the intern supervisor. The application requires a cover letter, resume, a one-page writing sample detailing why you are interested in working with Senator Cantwell and two letters of recommendation. Acceptable letters might come from professors, former teachers, employers or community members who know the applicant.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Spring (break)

This week's snow has melted, flowers are popping up, which can only mean that--

students are deserting campus for spring break.

The blog, too, will go to sleep for a week. We hope that wherever you are you see signs of spring.

New faculty, new offerings for fall 2009

This morning the department was happy to host Professor Robin Jacobson and her family, who were visiting from Bucknell where she is currently a professor of political science. Professor Jacobson will join us in the fall, and bring new courses to the department. Among them will be PG 304, Race and US Politics.

In addition, the department will also be joined by Professor Rachel DeMotts, who will serve as the Mellon Assistant Professor of Global Environmental Politics, part of the university's burgeoning program in Environmental Policy and Decisionmaking. Among her course offerings in fall will be PG 325 African Politics and a course on global environmental politics in spring 2010.

Exciting offerings and additions to the PG fold.

Professor Sousa gets a handle on the economic crisis

Congratulations to Professor Sousa, who has been awarded a Burlington Northern grant for summer 2009. The grant will allow him to "tool up" on the intricacies of the current financial crisis and its implications for US politics, and then more effectively bring this material into his courses.

The department fully expects that by summer he will be able to both dissect and provide solutions to our domestic economic woes, as well as provide hot stock tips.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

March 23 Talk: "Power Relations Inside Israel"

Wesley, PhD
"Jews, Arabs, and Israeli Government Officials: Power Relations Inside Israel"
Monday March 23 Wyatt 101

Sponsored by
Politics and Government
International Political Economy
Comparative Sociology

David Wesley is an anthropologist who lived on an Israeli kibbutz for more than thirty years. He continued his studies and received his PhD in 2002 from Tel Aviv University; his book, an expanded version of his thesis, is State Practices and Zionist Images: Shaping Economic Development in Arab Towns in Israel, published in 2006 by Berghahn Books.

Matt Bai thinks political science is rubbish

Via the Monkey Cage, NYT's Matt Bai speaks the "disconnect" between political journalism and political science:

Generally speaking, political writers don’t think so much of political scientists, either, mostly because anyone who has ever actually worked in or covered politics can tell you that, whatever else it may be, a science isn’t one of them. Politics is, after all, the business of humans attempting to triumph over their own disorder, insecurity, competitiveness, arrogance, and infidelity; make all the equations you want, but a lot of politics is simply tactile and visual, rather than empirical.

Curious for me is that he uses the word empirical, which at its core is simply an emphasis on evidence. Isn't what journalists do also empirical? At least I would hope the whole discussion here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A young alum passes away

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A climbing instructor from Colorado died and two American students were injured when the ice bridge they were crossing on mountain peak broke, plunging them into a crevasse, officials of the sponsoring organization said Monday.

Aspen native Travis Matthew Lizotte, 25, died Sunday while scaling 11,411-foot Mount Tronador in Argentina's Nahuel Huapi National Park, said Whitney Montgomery, executive director of North Carolina Outward Bound School.

The whole article can be found here.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Bad times makes good pickins for Puget Sound

From Chronicle of Higher Education (hat tip: Jordan Barber '09)

The number of colleges freezing faculty hiring seems to grow each week. Yet some institutions are going against the grain of the poor economy and appointing new professors. This decision has given those campuses an edge, yielding top-quality candidates who might not have been within reach in a more-competitive job market...

The history department at the University of Puget Sound also saw some startlingly qualified candidates among the 270 applicants for its job in modern European history. The sheer number of applications was so impressive that David F. Smith, the department's chairman, called the university's academic vice president into his office one day to take a look at them.

The job's three finalists were a tenure-track professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a tenure-track professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. The department ended up hiring the postdoc, but if none of the three finalists had accepted, says Mr. Smith, "we had another three who were just terrific."

Read the whole piece here

I got my virtual degree right here..

From NPR (hat tip: former Visiting Professor Eric Williams, now of Sonoma State):

Michael Demers is a geography professor at New Mexico State University. He not only uses a standard classroom to teach his students, but also uses the online virtual world, Second Life.

Host Scott Simon speaks with Demers about how this virtual terrain helps his students learn more effectively.

Listen here.

Spring is here!

Looking south toward the Fieldhouse this morning.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Kate Trinh '10 emails from Vietnam--with a job opportunity

Kate Trinh (center, in pink) is currently on SIT's program in Vietnam and sends the following pictures and job opportunity:

Could you please add to the blog that An Giang University is looking for English Teachers. I'm in the process of working out the details with them for short term teaching contracts. Currently, they have year long programs for any interested students. Housing, local transportation (bicycle), small stipend (200USD), and language classes are provided. I haven't confirmed this with them yet, but I think that the University also has research opportunities and classes in interested topics available for their English teachers. Anyway, bottom line if anyone is interested in teaching English in VietNam and learning more about agricultural development this summer please send them my way.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

The President has a busy schedule

Financial aid holds as colleges waiver--

From the New York Times:

With the economy forcing budget cuts and layoffs in higher education, colleges and universities might be expected to be cutting financial aid. But no.

Students considering a wide range of private schools, as well as those who are already enrolled, can expect to get more aid this year, not less.

The increases highlight the hand-to-mouth existence of many of the nation’s smaller and less well-known institutions. With only tiny endowments, they need full enrollment to survive,and they are anxious to prevent top students from going elsewhere.

Falling even a few students short of expectations can mean laying off faculty, eliminating courses or shelving planned expansions...

Ithaca College, in upstate New York, is laying off faculty and cutting its 401(k) contributions as part of $4.2 million in budget cuts, but it is also offering increased tuition discounts that will make up the largest financial aid budget in its history. The college, which relies on tuition for more than 90 percent of its budget, saw the dangers of losing students last fall, when it had 240 fewer than anticipated, resulting in a $5 million decline in revenue.

Read the whole thing here.

Congrats to Professor Haltom, 2009 Passau Faculty Exchange

Congratulations to Professor Haltom, who will be spending part of his summer in lovely Passau, Germany as part of Puget Sound's long-standing academic exchange program with the University of Passau. While there he'll get the change to meet German faculty, give a talk or two, and no doubt sample the local brews (faculty from Passau similarly come over here). Several of our department members have done this exchange in past and really enjoyed it, and the university has benefited from the connection. Thanks to David Tinsley in German for creating this opportunity. Have fun, Professor Haltom--

Who's doing our new website?


They just redid Bucknell's. Pretty flashy (no pun intended there). What do you think?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Internship with Project VoteSmart

Check out this interesting opportunity:

Project Vote Smart is a national, non-partisan, non-profit political research library located in the Montana Rockies. The Project was founded by former US Presidents Carter and Ford, as well as 40 other prominent national leaders of both major political parties and funded by the Carnegie and Ford Foundations. The New York Times said that “Project Vote Smart is so good that even the Federal Government recommends it.”

We are currently accepting applications for our National Internship Program. This year we are excited to announce our new online application system where students can now submit their applications completely electronically, expediting the review and acceptance process! To apply online or to get more information about Project Vote Smart, please visit I hope you will look over our website and forward our information to any interested students. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks to the generous support of our members across the country, we are once again able to offer the Barry Goldwater scholarship to all accepted students. This scholarship provides room and board for the duration of the student’s 10 week internship at our headquarters, the Great Divide Ranch in Montana.

Through our internships, your students will have a unique opportunity to be involved with the political process, while enjoying one of the most spectacular places on earth. Our internship will give your students the chance to provide millions of people with factual, unbiased information, as well as the opportunity to stroll around pristine lakes and rivers, hike throughout the Rocky Mountains, or ski some of the best slopes in the country. During an internship with Project Vote Smart, students will work hard and learn a great deal, all in an environment defined by its beautiful scenery and the commitment of its staff and interns.

Our internships, as with all the other areas of the organization, focus on the end product: providing voters with pertinent, factual information on presidential, congressional, gubernatorial, and state legislative candidates and elected officials. For students, this means a hands-on internship with significant opportunities for learning and growth. In fact, more than 90 percent of the information that Project Vote Smart provides is researched, entered, and checked by interns and volunteers. This system has been developed and cultivated specifically to ensure that interns are primarily responsible for the research; the few staff members are here simply to train and guide interns in what needs to be accomplished.

Please ask your students to consider this opportunity and contact me with any questions at 1-888-VOTESMART (1-888-868-3762) or via email at I look forward to working together to provide your students with an unforgettable learning experience.


Tallie Spiller
Project Vote Smart
Internship Coordinator


Hat tip: Professor Weinberger via Chronicle of Higher Education:

Take a 60-minute lecture. Cut the excess verbiage, do away with most of the details, and pare it down to key concepts and themes.

What's left? A "microlecture" over in as few as 60 seconds. A course designer for San Juan College, a community college in Farmington, N.M., says that in online education, such tiny bursts can teach just as well as traditional lectures when paired with assignments and discussions.

Here's one on writing. Great idea? Silly fad?

NSA Virtual Job Fair

This is pretty cool:;F:QS!10100&ShowKey=1400
The National Security Agency (NSA) is hosting a virtual career fair! At this online fair you can view current job openings at each of our virtual booths, learn more about NSA in the resource center, and watch an informative video about NSA in the auditorium.

The event is live now until May 22, 2009. You can drop in at any time and it is absolutely free to attend. All you have to do is register below. You will receive a registration confirmation e-mail automatically which contains a link to enter the show.

And don't forget to prepare your resume! You can apply online at Please apply to the job posting titled "Virtual Career Fair Feb. 24." Job #1003950.

Professor Sousa speaks--Alum talk archived online

As many of you know, Professor Sousa has been making the rounds of alum talks around the country. And if you missed him, the university has archived a recording of one of his recent talks in San Francisco, which I've linked to here. Check it out: "Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying... What?" Lessons from the 2008 Presidential Election.

And more pictures from the event are here!

ps: Professor Sousa's voice isn't really that high.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Do SAIS in summer

SAIS Summer Programs | Overview of Summer Courses

June 1 – July 23, 2009

Click here to apply

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies is one of the world's leading graduate schools devoted to the study of international relations. Join us this summer and experience international affairs.

Summer Courses
Summer courses provide students with the opportunity to explore the world of international relations and enhance their topical, theoretical and practical knowledge of global issues. Courses are offered in international relations, economics, policy studies, development, conflict management, strategic and regional studies, and more. Structured for the working professional, classes are scheduled two evenings each week. Students can earn four graduate-level credits per course.

Summer Certificates
Summer certificates are designed to help students and professionals gain academic credentials without pursuing a full degree as they advance their careers. The Certificate in International Studies and the Certificate in International Development are offered to candidates who successfully complete a series of four Summer Courses. Students can earn a certificate in as few as two summers by working at a rigorous pace or over an extended period of time.

Summer Language Institute
The Summer Language Institute at SAIS is unique for emphasizing political, economic and international topics. Students may enroll in one intensive evening course in Arabic, Hindi-Urdu, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese or Political Russian at the beginning, intermediate and advanced level.

Tacoma: #2 in best medium sized cities

From Newgeography's best cities ranking, Tacoma comes in #2 for medium sized cities in terms of economic growth, and #14 among all cities in the US, way ahead of Seattle or Portland. See all the details here:


Hat tip: Mark Scott '74. Fun--