Monday, February 20, 2017

Model Arab League Overall Outstanding Delegation



Ashland's Dr. Rene Paddags led a group of students to the Model Arab League competition at Miami University of Ohio this past weekend, and the students, representing the Republic of Tunisia, returned with the award for the Overall Outstanding Delegation!  Congratulations to Jackson Yenor, Rick Platt, Josh Frey, Sophia Leddy, Bri Sargent, Katie Fossaceca, Amanda Lyon, Joey Barretta, Nick Thielman, Naomi Simms, Rene Paddags, and Tyler MacQueen.

Billionaire Predicts Liberal Arts-Driven Future

If making and having a lot of money qualifies you to prognosticate the future, liberal arts graduates have much to look forward to.  Billionaire Mark Cuban predicts that in ten years there will be much greater demand for liberal arts graduates than for programmers and maybe even engineers, because they are the ones "with true analysis skills and creativity."  The story and interview here on Inside Higher Ed.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Debate on Future of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Wednesday, February 15
6:00 pm
Ronk Lecture Hall | Schar College of Education

The Alexander Hamilton Society invites you to a debate on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict which hosts Dr. John Quigley, Professor at the Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University and Dr. Michael Singh, Senior Fellow and Managing Director at The Washington Institute.  According to Jackson Yenor, junior history major and president of the Society, "the guests represent each side of the issue and will provide new and interesting insight into the [Israeli-Palestinian Conflict]."

This event is free and open to the public. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

Ashland Ranks 4th in Nation on the AHS LeaderBoard

The Ashland chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society deserve congratulations for ranking fourth nationally on the AHS Chapter Leaderboard.  The AU chapter ranks behind (just behind) OSU, George Washington University, and Columbia University in the rankings for 2015-2016. Congratulations to The Ashland chapter and its officers: Jackson Yenor, President, Nicholas Slinger, VP of the Treasury, Jessica Frichtel, VP of Public Relations, and Delaney Jones, Secretary. The AHS is "an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting constructive debate on basic principles and contemporary issues in foreign, economic, and national security policy."

And by the way, the next meeting of the AHS is this Wednesday, February 15 at 6pm in the Ronk Lecture Hall at Ashland University. Dr. John Quigley of Ohio State Law School and Dr. Michael Singh of the Washington Institute will be debating the future of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. This event is free and open to the public; and if that isn't enough, pizza and drinks will be provided at the event as well.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dr. Emily Hess and Students at the State House

Dr. Hess spent the morning of February 8 representing the Department and Ashland University at the State House in Columbus for 2017 Independent College Day.  The photo shows her with Joey Barretta, Daivon Barrow, and Logan Alexander (all Ashland University students and two of whom are History and Political Science majors).   The students met with Statehouse Aides, Lobbyists, State Elected Officials, and Legislative Services Commission Fellows.  Of the people they met with two were AU alumni (September Long and Jenna Beadle).

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dr. David Foster Promoted to Full Professor

Dr. David Foster has been promoted to the rank of full professor here at Ashland University.

Dr. Foster, who joined AU in 1998, chairs the Department of History and Political Science. He teaches undergraduate courses in political philosophy and graduate courses on Alexis de Tocqueville, the political thought of Mark Twain and the Federalist Papers in the Masters of American History and Government program. He has published on John Locke, liberal education, Plato and Mark Twain.

He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from McMaster University and a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto.

Congratulations, Dr. Foster!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

More Good Reasons to Read Real Books

In "Are the Great Books Still Alive," an article that is mainly about how economists don't read Adam Smith, author Josh Rogers makes several good points about why reading such books is valuable.  Here are a couple: 
“It’s like saying I wish more people read the whole Iliad or the whole Odyssey,” he said. “That would be a good thing, but I wouldn’t count on it. It’s not likely. It’s hard — he’s slow going.” 
That’s how a few experts responded when asked about reading original works. N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of economics at Harvard and chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2003 to 2005, noted that Smith is the subject of one of the first lectures in freshman economics — but his full works aren’t required reading.
“Maybe you can learn geometry from the original Euclid,” he says. “But it would be a lot more challenging and a lot more demanding.”
Well, I read Euclid — along with The Wealth of Nations, the Federalist Papers and many others — in college. Relearning geometry from Euclid’s Elements taught me about logic and creative thinking. Even more importantly, it taught me to start any search for a new idea by looking for the first principles and then working forward from there. 
I learned how to think by reading the great books, boldly. It has led to financial success for me. And I’m not alone.

In a videotaped interview in 2012, billionaire inventor Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX, said a passion for original ideas was a secret to his success. Musk argued that it is essential to base one’s thoughts not on what he called “analogy” — trying to invent something new by borrowing somebody else’s ideas — but rather on “first principles.” “Boil things down to the most fundamental truths and say, ‘OK, what are we sure is true?’” he explained. Doing so, he said, provides far greater opportunity for true innovation, even if it “takes a lot more mental energy.”
And then there is this nice point: 
Elected officials or corporate leaders taking the time to read Smith, Keynes, etc., might be too much to hope for. But the argument for not requiring more core texts in college seems to imply that there is not enough time for students to read the most creative, imaginative, and disruptive ideas in the history of the world. Meanwhile, the most common and loudest complaints about our educational system are that we are not turning out students who are creative, imaginative, critical-thinking problem solvers.