Friday, December 9, 2016

Great Graduate Fellowships in Political Economy

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has a good graduate program in political economy and economics and some great fellowships.  They are currently accepting applications for four graduate programs for students interested in political economy and public policy:

Political Economy Fellowships for PhD Students

The PhD Fellowship  is a competitive, full-time fellowship program for students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in economics at George Mason University. It includes full tuition support, a stipend, and experience as a research assistant working closely with Mercatus-affiliated Mason faculty. It is a total award of up to $200,000 over five years. Candidates must also apply to or already be participating in the PhD program in Economics at George Mason University. The application deadline is February 1, 2017.

The Adam Smith Fellowship is a one-year, competitive fellowship for graduate students attending PhD programs at any university, and in any discipline, including economics, philosophy, political science, and sociology. Adam Smith Fellows receive a stipend and attend colloquia on the Austrian, Virginia, and Bloomington schools of political economy. It is a total award of up to $10,000 for the year. The application deadline is March 15, 2017.

Economics and Public Policy Fellowships for Graduate Students

The MA Fellowship is a two-year, competitive, full-time fellowship program for students pursuing a master’s degree in economics at George Mason University who are interested in pursuing careers in public policy. It includes full tuition support, a stipend, and practical experience as a research assistant working with Mercatus scholars. It is a total award of up to $80,000 over two years. Candidates must also apply to or already be participating in the MA program in Economics at George Mason University. The application deadline is March 1, 2017.

The Frédéric Bastiat Fellowship is awarded to graduate students attending master’s, juris doctoral, and doctoral programs in a variety of fields including economics, law, political science, and public policy. Frédéric Bastiat Fellows receive a stipend and attend colloquia on public policy. It is a total award of up to $5,000 for the year. The application deadline is March 15, 2017.

For more information, contact 

Stefanie Haeffele-Balch at
Deputy Director of Academic & Student Programs
Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dr. John Moser's Op-Ed Published on

The Cleveland Plain Dealer and printed a guest column written by Dr. John Moser, AU  Professor of History and Co-Chair of the master's program in American History and Government at the Ashbrook Center. 

Dr. Moser's article, titled "Pearl Harbor at 75 -- Japan's pivotally mistaken views on how Americans would react," discusses why the Japanese made this fateful decision. 
While the United States was the only country capable of interfering with Tokyo's efforts to dominate East Asia, the chances of defeating the Americans in a war seemed pitifully small.
Even in 1941, the U.S. Navy was considerably larger, although most of its strength was based in the Atlantic. More impressive still was the United States' industrial output, which even during the worst of the Great Depression was seven times greater than that of Japan -- and by the end of 1941, it was closer to ten times greater.
These statistics were no closely guarded secret; they were common knowledge among the leadership in Tokyo. Certainly for the Japanese to initiate a war against the United States must have represented some kind of death wish.

Read the full column at to learn more, including why the Japanese attacked in spite of these odds.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Call for Submissions - Georgetown Journal of History

The Georgetown Journal of History is now accepting submissions for the 2016-2017 academic year!

The Georgetown Journal of History is an academic journal run by undergraduates at Georgetown University, and entering its second year of publication. We publish undergraduate history work covering all regions and eras. Submissions are open to all majors, but must be historically-oriented.

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm on January 15, 2017. Submissions should be emailed (in Microsoft Word format) to and adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Articles should not exceed 6,000 words, but should be no less than 2,500 words (Title Page and Bibliography included) 
  • Each submission should be accompanied by a short biography of the author of about 150 words, and a title page with the author’s name, college/university affiliation, position (undergraduate, graduate student, professor, etc.), degree(s), and contact information
  • Papers previously submitted to classes may be submitted as long as the class, professor, and date submitted are included on the title page 
  • The Georgetown Journal of History will not accept any articles currently under review from other academic journals, publications, or conferences

 Please direct any questions to

For more information about the journal, editorial board, or previous submissions, go to

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Opportunity for History majors at Historic Deerfield, MA

Historic Deerfield Now Accepting Applications for 2017 Undergraduate Summer Fellowship Program in Early American History and Material Culture
 Tuition-free program gives college students the opportunity to explore history and material culture studies, conduct original research, and experience working at a museum
Deerfield, Mass. (November 17, 2016)---Historic Deerfield, Inc., invites applications from college juniors and seniors to take part in an intensive, nine-week Summer Fellowship Program in History and Material Culture. College juniors (graduating in 2018), and seniors who expect to graduate in 2017 are eligible for 7 openings in the program, which is designed for undergraduate students in American Studies, Architecture, Archaeology, Art and Art History, Design, History, Material Culture, Preservation and Museum Studies.

This unique residential living-and-learning opportunity takes place at Historic Deerfield, in Deerfield, Massachusetts. Each participant receives a full fellowship that covers all expenses associated with the program, including tuition, room and board, and field trips. A limited number of stipends are awarded to students with demonstrated need to help cover lost summer income. Financial aid awards are need blind and application for assistance has no impact on your program application.

The 2017 program begins June 12 and ends August 14. Applications are now being accepted online at  The application deadline is February 10, 2017. Notification of acceptances will be announced in March.

For More Information:
Contact: Barbara A. Mathews, Public Historian and Director of Academic Programs

About Historic Deerfield, Inc.
Historic Deerfield, Inc., is dedicated to the heritage and preservation of Deerfield, Massachusetts, and the Connecticut River Valley. Its museums and programs provide today's audiences with experiences that create an understanding and appreciation of New England's historic villages and countryside.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bryanna Austin Co-authors Report

Political Science senior, Bryanna Austin, did an internship at the Buckeye Institute in Columbus, OH, this summer.  She worked on several projects, but one resulted in a this Policy Brief on reforming occupational licensing requirements.  Among other benefits of reform would be that it would help military families, who must move frequently. The report was co-authored with Rea S. Hederman Jr.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

WOIO Cleveland 19 News Election Coverage to Feature Dr. Sikkenga

AU Professor of Political Science Dr. Jeffrey Sikkenga will be a featured guest tonight on WOIO Cleveland 19 news as part of their election coverage.

Dr. Sikkenga will share his insights on regional ballot issues and hot button topics such as the city income tax increase as well as offer observations on trending election results throughout the night.

UPDATE: Here is a clip of Dr. Sikkenga's commentary.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Decline and Fall of History

Niall Ferguson, the Harvard Historian, gave a terrific (short) speech recently on the problem of history teaching at America's most prestigious universities.  Referring to Lin Manuel Miranda's hit musical, "Hamilton," Ferguson said that "even as history smashes the box office, it slumps where it should be best protected and promoted, at our universities."  He follows with a good discussion of what exactly passes for history today (hint: it's not what we do at AU) and why it is such a serious problem. View the speech here.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tree Carnage on Campus

Ok, this doesn't have anything directly to do with the study of History or Politics, except perhaps in the sense that "everything is history," but we couldn't help notice that a lot of trees are coming down at AU.  Here is the view looking North from Founder's Hall.  If you look closely, you can see 7 stumps, including the large one that has been standing for a couple of weeks to the left of the arch. I think we lost a couple of Catawbas, an elegant old pine, and two or three oaks.  On the bright side, Eagle Walk is finally starting to recover from the loss of a whole row of shade trees last summer: several new picnic tables have been installed, each with two or three trees around them. AU's campus is almost an arboretum, so let's hope these trees are replaced with something equally attractive.
Dr. Duncan Jamieson's review of An Alternative History of Bicycles and Motorcycles: Two-Wheeled Transportation and Material Culture appears in the November issue of Choice.  An excerpt of the review is below. 
Authors Alford and Ferriss demonstrate the connections between material culture, society and freedom/independence through a history of two-wheeled transportation. Beginning with the premise that tinkerers often create new technological developments which are not linear but result in social change. New materials (cotton which provides new clothing options, steel tubing developed for armaments, but light and strong enough for frames), and the human need for alternative, independent transportation blend the road, the machine and the rider into a continuum.

Both safety bicycles and motorcycles (a diamond frame bicycle with a motor) appear in 1885; while the bicycle is generally seen as positive and benign the motorcycle has an outlaw image that solidifies in the 1940s and 50s. The introduction of Japanese motorcycles in the 1960s creates the dual image that exists today.

Both machines invoke freedom; not only the ability to go where and when one wants (both on and off road) but also freedom from governmental and social conformity. While bicycling is seen as a choice, motorcycling represents an identity. Both bicycles and motorcycles are actants that influence and change the rider, and society, in subtle but important ways.

Dr. Jamieson is a Professor of History at Ashland University. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Doubts about Data-Driven Assessment Efforts

Inside Higher Education has just released the results of its 2016 Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology.  One interesting finding of the survey of 1,671 faculty members and 69 administrators who oversee academic technology relates to the efficacy of data-driven assessment efforts:  
Only about one-quarter of faculty members (27 percent) and one-third (34 percent) of administrators said the efforts have improved the quality of teaching and learning at their institutions. Similar proportions of respondents said the same about the impact on degree completion rates. In comparison, nearly two-thirds of faculty members (65 percent) and about half of administrators (46 percent) said the efforts are meant to placate outside groups such as accreditors and politicians. 
There is probably more nuance in the details of the survey, but those numbers reflect a very low level of support for this approach to improving the quality of teaching and learning in our institutions of higher education.  Half or more of those directly involved think this approach is a response to outside or political pressure, and more than two thirds of those most directly involved in the actual business of teaching do not think it has improved either teaching or learning. After ten or more years of this approach, it is probably time that assessment was seriously assessed for its effectiveness.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dr. Jamieson's Reviews Recently Published

The Self-Propelled Voyager, written by Dr. Duncan Jamieson, Professor of History at Ashland University, was recently reviewed by Bill Sund, Professor Emeritus of History at Stockholm University. The review is available on the Nordic Sport Science Forum, an open access web journal that publishes articles on sport studies and sport science research primarily within the social sciences and the humanities.

Dr. Jamieson's reviews of cycling-related works were also published recently.  His review of Elizabeth Robins and Joseph Pennell's A Canterbury Pilgrimage and An Italian Pilgrimage, edited by Dave Buchanan, appeared on the Sport Literature Association's website earlier this month. 

His reviews of Culture on Two Wheels The Bicycle in Literature and Film, edited by Jeremy Withers and Daniel Shea, and his review of Sarah Hallenbeck, Claiming the Bicycle: Women, Rhetoric and Technology in Nineteenth-Century America, appeared in October and September issues of Choice.  

Innovation in History (and elsewhere)

The Provost, Dr. Eun-Woo Chang, has just announce the winners of the first Innovation Grants.  As you can see, Dr. Moser in History was one of the winners:

1. The Center for Teaching Excellence, Shawn Orr

2. Engaging Students and Citizen Scientists at the Black Fork Wetlands, Dr. Jenna Dolhi

3. The Game-Based Learning Initiative, Dr. John Moser

4. The Food Truck Experience, Dr. Lance Kaltenbaugh and Dr. Dan Fox

5. Improving Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning for Nursing Students, Lisa Young

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Talk on Korean Wave Culture

The Department of Global Education is sponsoring a presentation by Dr. Young-Hwan Park on "Cultural Innovation and the Identity of China and Eastern Asian Culture, with a focus on Korean Wave Culture."  
Since the late 1990s, Korean Wave Culture has become widely popular in such Eastern Asian countries as China, Japan, and Taiwan.  Learn about how this has impacted Asian cultures and spread across the globe.
The talk will be held on October 17th @3:00pm in the Student Center Auditorium 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Brexit and the Crisis of Globalism

Dr. Gerard Alexander from the University of Virginia, and Dr. Rene Paddags from AU, will be debating "Brexit and the Crisis of Globalism" in an Alexander Hamilton Society event on Thursday, October 6th, from 5-6:30pm in the Ashbrook Center.  Oh, pizza and drinks are provided.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

AU in Germany - Information Meetings

The AU in Germany program dates for summer 2017 are May 8-June 11.  To learn more about this great opportunity to take AU Core courses in Germany (from AU profs), come to an information meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 11th or Wednesday Oct. 12th 4:00pm in Bixler 209.   Here are the courses offered: 

BIO 111: Wetlands and Waterways
Natural Science
Dr. Patricia Saunders
POLSC 3SG: Contemporary Germany
Social Sciences
Dr. Rene Paddags
REL 3SLG: Luther & the German Reformation
Dr. David Aune
BUS 439: Business Internship
Business Majors Only,
BUS 339 is a prerequisite

Dr. Khush Pittenger

· Program = CCI “Course with Study Away”
· Summer Stafford Loan Money Available
   Includes: 6 AU Credits, Flight, Housing, Excursions, and More

Thursday, September 29, 2016

New Policy Brief by Alumna Megan Gisclon

Megan Gisclon graduated from AU a couple of years ago, after writing a senior thesis on military-civilian relations in Turkey.  She then did an MA at a university in Turkey and now works as an editor at the Istanbul Policy Center, a public policy think tank there.  She lived through the recent coup attempt and has now co-authored a policy brief on its consequences.  Here is a photo of the cover:

Monday, September 26, 2016

STEM Education is Vital - but Not at the Expense of the Humanities

That is the title of an op-ed by the editors of Scientific American in the October issue. The argument is not that it is good to have around some specialists in music theory or poetry or East Asian studies, but that the dynamism of the US high tech economy and Hollywood is based on people who have both "music theory and string theory," that is, who unite the arts and sciences. Here's the column: 

Kentucky governor Matt Bevin wants students majoring in electrical engineering to receive state subsidies for their education but doesn't want to support those who study subjects such as French literature. Bevin is not alone in trying to nudge higher education toward course work that promotes better future job prospects. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a former presidential candidate, put it bluntly last year by calling for more welders and fewer philosophers.

Promoting science and technology education to the exclusion of the humanities may seem like a good idea, but it is deeply misguided.Scientific American has always been an ardent supporter of teaching STEM: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But studying the interaction of genes or engaging in a graduate-level project to develop software for self-driving cars should not edge out majoring in the classics or art history.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

New Study Questions Validity of Student Evaluations of Teaching

Student course evaluations, or Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET), which are now almost universal practice in colleges and universities, play a very important role in evaluating faculty, sometimes even for promotion and tenure.  But what if there is no relation between what students think of a course and how much they learned in it?  A new study reported on in Inside Higher Education "suggests that past analyses linking student achievement to high student teaching evaluation ratings are flawed, a mere “artifact of small sample sized studies and publication bias.” Here is a key part of the explanation:
The entire notion that we could measure professors' teaching effectiveness by simple ways such as asking students to answer a few questions about their perceptions of their course experiences, instructors' knowledge and the like seems unrealistic given well-established findings from cognitive sciences such as strong associations between learning and individual differences including prior knowledge, intelligence, motivation and interest,” the paper says. “Individual differences in knowledge and intelligence are likely to influence how much students learn in the same course taught by the same professor. 
So, apparently there is good data against the use of SETs, at least to measure teaching effectiveness (maybe they are useful for something else), and the cognitive sciences offer solid reasons why we shouldn't expect them to be a good measure of teaching effectiveness.

Here is the whole story:

Friday, September 2, 2016

Employers Seek 'Soft Skills'

Kate Davidson in the Wall Street Journal (August 30, 2016) argues that "Employers Find 'Soft Skills' Like Critical Thinking in Short Supply."  According to the article, in a "Wall Street Journal survey of nearly 900 executives last year, 92% said soft skills were equally important or more important than technical skills. But 89% said they have a very or somewhat difficult time finding people with the requisite attributes."  One reason for the problem is that "Companies have automated or outsourced many routine tasks, and the jobs that remain often require workers to take on broader responsibilities that demand critical thinking, empathy or other abilities that computers can’t easily simulate."  Similarly, a Linked In survey of 291 hiring managers, revealed that these were the most sought after "soft skills:" "The ability to communicate trumped all else, followed by organization, capacity for teamwork, punctuality, critical thinking, social savvy, creativity and adaptability."

So, "soft skills" means the basic human skills, which are the ones developed through liberal education, the kind of education you get studying history and political science.

Here is the full story:

The job market’s most sought-after skills can be tough to spot on a résumé.

Companies across the U.S. say it is becoming increasingly difficult to find applicants who can communicate clearly, take initiative, problem-solve and get along with co-workers.
Those traits, often called soft skills, can make the difference between a standout employee and one who just gets by.

While such skills have always appealed to employers, decades-long shifts in the economy have made them especially crucial now. Companies have automated or outsourced many routine tasks, and the jobs that remain often require workers to take on broader responsibilities that demand critical thinking, empathy or other abilities that computers can’t easily simulate.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Studying French in France

Ben Bilimek, Logan Alexander, and Michaela Teague, all history and/or International Political Studies majors, studied French in Annecy, France, this summer as part of the AU in France program.  Here they are hiking with another Ashland student to a spot with a great view of Mont Blanc, the second highest mountain in Europe.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Internship at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL

Maddie Emholtz did an internship this summer at the Naval Aviation Museum, working with the museum's collections. She did a little bit of everything: cataloging new collections, cataloging old collections on back log, the conservation of artifacts, the design of exhibits, the design of booths at events, the archiving of documents and pictures, and researching the history of artifacts. A good job for a History major. Maddie arranged the internship herself, but she got help to pay for it through AU's Great Lakes Internship Grant Program.  The picture below shows her at the booth at the Battle of Midway Memorial, which she helped to design. 

Summer Trips Abroad

Being the curious, adventurous people that they are, many history and political science majors studied or took trips abroad this summer.  Here is a group of them who took the AU trip to Israel.  Here they are at the Sea of Galilee.

And this one shows the group at the Israeli Parliament:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Shelby Boatman Selected for Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award

History major Shelby Boatman is one of only 15 undergraduate history majors in the country to have been chosen to receive the 2016 Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award. According to the Gilder Lehrman website, the award "recognizes outstanding college juniors and seniors who have demonstrated academic and extracurricular excellence in American history or American studies as well as a commitment to public service and community involvement." Scholars spend five days in New York City (June 6–10), during which time they participate in a program of special presentations, including meetings with eminent scholars; they experience exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of historic archives; and receive the Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award at a celebratory dinner.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Honors and Awards

This week students and faculty in History and Political Science received several honors for academic excellence, leadership, and service.  

The most important award was the Edward and Louaine Taylor Award for Excellence in Teaching, which was given to Dr. John Moser.  Dr. Moser gave a fine address titled "The Power of Play" at the Academic Honors Convocation. He is the second member of the department to receive the Taylor Award after Dr. Chris Burkett, who won it in 2011. 

In addition, three students were honored for overall academic excellence:  The Sophomore award went to Jackson Yenor; the Junior Award to Joshua Frey; and the Senior Award to James Coyne

The department also made a strong showing at the Leadership and Service Awards ceremony: 

Chris Burkett was a nominee for the Dr. Donald Rinehart Honor and Integrity award;

Chris Burkett, René Paddags, and Jeff Sikkenga were three of seven nominees for the Outstanding Male Faculty Member of the Year award;

Emily Hess was nominated for the Outstanding Female Faculty Member of the Year award;

Sara Garska was nominated for Outstanding Female Staff Member of the Year award;

Ian Kieffer won Outstanding Male Undergraduate of the Year award.  

Among history, political science, and Integrated Social Studies majors nominated for various other leadership and service awards (sometimes more than one) is this impressive group: Samantha Eron, Matt Rhyand, Caroline Toth, Nathaniel Urban, Lucas Trott, Tara Marasco, Audrey Bontempo, and Ben Bilimek. 

Finally, at a ceremony for student athletes, where the athlete in each sport with the best academic record was honored, several recognized faculty in History and Political Science for their impact: 

Emily Hess was recognized by Ali Cudworth (Volleyball)

Chris Burkett was recognized by Zach Papay (outdoor track) and David Knack (cross country). 

Congratulations to all of the above!  What a great contribution you all make to the life of the department and the university. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Three Centuries of American Prints

Joseph Phelan has written a great review of a wonderful exhibition of American prints at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  He brings out nicely how prints both reflect and comment upon American history and government.  The review is printed in TheInTowner (April 2016), starting on page 6.  More information at the National Gallery of Art.

Visit Israel?

The President of AU has announced a Tour to Israel, to take place from July 30-August 10, 2016.  The cost will be approximately $1,000, which includes airfare, hotels, meals, and local transportation - in other words, pretty much everything except souvenirs, a great deal.  This is a chance for History and Political Science majors to visit key biblical sites, get a first-hand perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and visit the only flourishing democracy in the Middle East. 

Two information meetings will be held: Monday, April 11 at 4pm in the Lower Chapel; and Tuesday, April 12 at 5pm in the HCSC Auditorium. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

New Edition of Forum Published

The new edition of "The Forum Book Review," a book review composed and edited entirely by students, has just been published.  Volume 4 was edited by Joey Barretta and Meagan Kemmerer, both History and Political Science double majors.  If you'd like a copy, ask Joey or Meagan.  Nearby are photos of the cover and of the Table of Contents.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

First Heritage Lecture at AU

The Office of Christian Ministry and the College of Arts and Sciences has scheduled the inaugural Heritage Lecture at Ashland University on Thursday, April 28 at 4:00pm in the Heritage Room in Upper Convo.

The Heritage Lecture series has been created to annually bring a scholar from the Brethren-Anabaptist tradition to campus to share a topic of relevance with our community. The idea is to articulate a Brethren understanding of the word "Christian" and to consider the original vision of Ashland College.

The lecture, titled "A College Set on a Hill: The Early History and Vision of Ashland College/University," will be given by Dale Stoffer, Professor of Historical Theology at Ashland Seminary. He will be sharing an overview of the history of the college during its challenging early years and its significant progress by the 1930s. He will then focus on the college's original vision and consider what Ashland's founding ethos means for us today.

Prof. John Moser Wins 2016 Taylor Teaching Award

The University announced on Friday that Dr. John Moser, a Professor of History, is the recipient of this year's Taylor Teaching Award, the highest award given at Ashland University for excellence in teaching.  The Department congratulates Dr. Moser on this well deserved honor and invites every one to the Honors Convocation at 2pm on April 24th, where he will receive his medallion and give an address on the subject of teaching.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Ivan Larson Presents at Pi Sigma Alpha National Conference

Ivan Larson (Political Science and History, 2016) delivered a paper on "Anti-Federalist Fears of Judicial Activism and the Federalist Response" recently at the Pi Sigma Alpha Student Research Conference in Washington, D.C. Ashland University was one of 42 schools in the country to send a student to the conference.

You can see the program for the conference here and more information is available here at the PSA Website.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

AU's Model Arab League Team Places Second at Regionals

At this year's Ohio Model Arab League competition, Ashland University's team came in second,  placing ahead of thirteen other teams, among them teams from Ohio State University, Miami University, and Centre College, KY. This year's team also won numerous individual awards. Kelly Ranttila, Joey Barretta, Jackson Yenor, James Coyne, Joshua Frey, Brianna Sargent, and Sophia Leddy all won awards for their individual performances representing Qatar. AU's team was advised by Dr. Rene Paddags, Assistant Professor of History & Political Science. This is the first time Ashland University won a team award since it began participating in Model Arab League competitions four years ago.

AU's Model Arab League Team

A Model Arab League competition resembles a summit meeting of delegations from Arab countries. Divided into different committees, the delegates represent their countries' interests and try to achieve joint resolutions according to a pre-set agenda. The students participating in the Model Arab League are judged on their knowledge of their country and the region, their knowledge of parliamentary procedures, and their persuasiveness and diplomatic skills.

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Career in Charitable Giving

According to Karl Zinsmeister (in Imprimis, January 2016), the nonprofit sector of the US economy "comprises eleven percent of the total United States workforce. It will contribute around six percent of gross domestic product this year. To put this in perspective, the charitable sector passed the national defense sector in size in 1993, and it continues to grow. And these numbers don’t take volunteering into account: charitable volunteers make up the equivalent—depending on how you count—of between four and ten million full-time employees. So philanthropy is clearly a huge force in our society." 

The rest of this article has an interesting defense of philathropy, connecting it to the kind of regime we have in the United States, one where there is "polyarchy," that is, where there are a large number of different kinds of centers of power (as opposed to a monarchy, where there is one great power).  In other words, as our students will understand, we have federalism and protections for economic (and other) freedoms and for private choices about how to live.  

The philanthropic world  doesn't spring immediately to mind as a place for history and political science majors to seek out careers, but it should.   

Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium (URCA)

History and Political Science students (and their hardworking advisors) are well represented in the College of Arts and Sciences URCA Symposium this year.  Joey Barretta, Zachary Lindesmith, James Coyne, Joshua Frey, Ivan Larson, Allison Brosky, Sophia Leddy,  Tara Marasco, and Andrew Thomas are all giving oral presentations.  The subjects range from why the Civil War came to Constitutional Interpretation to Religious liberty and the Russian threat to Europe (among other topics).  Come out to support your colleagues on April 12 in Upper Convo.  And don't forget to check out the presentations from students in other departments, many of which are giving interesting papers.  You might learn something valuable.

Update:  Click here for the URCA website, which has now posted the schedule:

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Internship Opportunity in History

Historic Lyme Village outside of Bellevue, Ohio, needs an intern:  

Lyme Village is "a reconstructed 19th Century facility looking to expand our programming and/or educational mission during 2016 in several directions.  What I am looking for is a one day a week intern to work in support of our special events during the coming season.  What I am not looking for is someone to take our garbage or run a cash register."

"Our needs require comprehension of historical accuracy and creativity along with the social skills to adapt and deal with a board of directors that considers anyone under 70 youthful."

If you are interested contact Dr. Foster.

What To Do in School to Have Success in Life?

Researchers at Gallup identified six elements of an undergraduate experience that had a significant effect on a students' post-graduation success:

1. A professor who made them excited to learn;
2.A professor who cared about them as individuals;
3. A mentor who pushed students to reach their goals;
4. Working on a long-term project;
5. Completing a job or internship related to classroom lessons;
6. Being engaged in extracurricular activities and groups.

According to the story, only 3% of students said they "strongly agree" they had all six experience that the researchers say have a "stronger relationship to long-term life outcomes... than the type of school these graduates attended."

Additionally, of graduates who strongly agree their schools prepared them well for life, 82% reported experiencing all six, compared with just 5% who say they experienced none. 

Ok, how hard can it be to make sure all six of these are at least available?  (Also, we must add that studying Aristotle's Ethics can be included in #1.)

Here is the whole story about the study.