Friday, September 28, 2012

A Career in Survey Research?

At this point in the Presidential election it sometimes feels like public opinion polls will determine who the next chief executive will be.  Want to be a player in that field?  It's not a bad option for majors in History or Political Science. 

Representatives from the University of Michigan's Program in Survey Methodology will be attending the 2012 Ashland University Graduate School Van-A-Fair on Thursday, October 4, 2012, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., in the Upper Convo-Alumni Room.

The University of Michigan Program in Survey Methodology offers programs of study at the doctoral, master's, and certificate levels. The PhD and MS programs prepare students for careers in private and academic survey research firms, government agencies, and corporations. The certificate program is designed to provide students with specialized knowledge in survey methodology to enhance skills in current positions and to expand career opportunities.

If you have questions, email Patsy Gregory, the student administrative assistant of the program, t

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Internship in the US Senate

Johanna (History and Political Science, 2014) had an internship this summer in Senator John Kerry's office in Washington, D.C. She expected to be sorting mail and making copies, but things turned out much better than that.  Johanna was charged with keeping track of hearings and briefings and ended up attending quite a few Senate Foreign Relations Committee meetings, especially those at which Ambassadors were nominated.  She also got to meet and greet various visiting diplomats from foreign countries and fact checked one of the Senator's important speeches on the environment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Job Opportunity for Social Studies Teachers

The Allendale County School District in South Carolina is looking for teachers in several areas, including Secondary Social Studies.   The district's website can be seen here.  You can also contact:

Kedra A. Rivers, Ed.S.
Director of Personnel
Allendale County School District
3249 Allendale-Fairfax Highway
P.O. Box 458
Allendale, S.C. 29810
(803) 584-4603 Ext. 1115
Fax: (803) 584-5303.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Very Unusual Experience Abroad

This summer, after studying for some time in Korea, Megan (History, 2013)  volunteered to work at Elephant Nature Park ( in Thailand for two weeks.  The elephants at the park were all rescued elephants who had escaped the brutality of the logging and the tourism industries.  Elephants are considered as livestock under Thai laws, and therefore are not protected, and these  elephants could not be released into the wild.

Megan says that she "worked as an elephant volunteer: I helped build fences around the park, cleaned the elephant pens (yes, shoveling elephant poop...), picked fruit in the forest, unloaded and washed large trucks of elephant food, chopped down 10-foot bamboo grass with machetes, planted trees with the hill tribe people, etc.  ...We would only feed and bathe the elephants for about an hour each day.  At the end of my first week though, I got the unique opportunity to work with a newborn (about eight hours old when it arrived) elephant", (which had been rejected by its mother).... "It was the first time the park had rescued a newborn."  She says that "it was truly a blessing to be able to work with such a precious creature."  Sadly, due to bad health (the baby didn't get it's mother's original milk and therefore had no immune system), inadequate medical care, and lack of the proper equipment, the baby died the week after Megan left. 

"Overall," Megan says, "I would say that my experience in Thailand was extraordinary.  It had its ups and downs ... but both Thailand and the elephants themselves were absolutely beautiful.  I had the time of my life."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Who Killed the Liberal Arts?

Joseph Epstein has written a very interesting, if somewhat depressing article on the liberal arts.  It's part book review (of Andrew Delbanco's book, "College: What IT Was, IS, and Should Be") and part memoir based on 30 years of teaching, but a nice reminder of what a liberal arts education should be.   You can read the whole thing here at the Weekly Standard. A couple of useful statements from the article:

At the University of Chicago I read many books, none of them trivial, for the school in those years did not allow the work of second- or third-rate writers into its curriculum. Kurt Vonnegut, Toni Morrison, Jack Kerouac, Adrienne Rich, or their equivalents of that day, did not come close to making the cut. No textbooks were used. You didn’t read “Karl Marx postulated .  .  .”; you read Karl-bloody-Marx. The working assumption was that one’s time in college is limited, and mustn’t be spent on anything other than the first-rate, or on learning acquired (as with textbooks) at a second remove.

The death of liberal arts education would constitute a serious subtraction. Without it, we shall no longer have a segment of the population that has a proper standard with which to judge true intellectual achievement. Without it, no one can have a genuine notion of what constitutes an educated man or woman, or why one work of art is superior to another, or what in life is serious and what is trivial. The loss of liberal arts education can only result in replacing authoritative judgment with rivaling expert opinions, the vaunting of the second- and third-rate in politics and art, the supremacy of the faddish and the fashionable in all of life. Without that glimpse of the best that liberal arts education conveys, a nation might wake up living in the worst, and never notice.