Saturday, November 18, 2017

Update from Brian Le in South Korea

Brian Le's study abroad experience in South Korea is turning out to be more interesting perhaps than he expected.  One of the two photos below shows him at an historical site in Seoul, and the other is a picture he took of a South Korean border guard in the DMZ between the South and the North; two North Korean border guards peer into the room through the window, trying to intimidate the visitors inside.

He also wrote this on Friday:  "If you have not heard by now, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck the southeastern coast of South Korea with its epicenter a mere 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) away from my school on Wednesday afternoon. By Wednesday night, all of the international students had been moved to a nearby church where we rested and were fed. On Thursday morning, state officials inspected the buildings and declared all the dormitory buildings to be safe to enter, and Thursday night, we returned to our dorms. There is supposed news that a larger, magnitude 7-8 earthquake will hit, but only time will tell. Until then, the school has officially paused all campus activities and classes, to be resumed on December 4th, the last week of classes, and then finals week. My credits will still be viable, but in regards to what I will be doing in class those last two weeks, I have no idea. I wanted to let you and the other History/Poli-Sci professors and the Ashbrookers know that Jakson Kennedy and myself are safe, and that as of right now, I am taking advantage of our two week break to go to Seoul and obtain a visa to go to China and visit Beijing on an impromptu solo trip."





Monday, October 30, 2017

Brian Kilmeade Lectures on Andrew Jackson


Brian Kilmeade, the co-host of Fox and Friends and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, “The Brian Kilmeade Show”, will deliver the second Peter W. Schramm Memorial Lecture on Friday, November 3, 2017 at 7:30 PM, at the beautiful Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield, Ohio.  The title of the lecture is "Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans."

Peter W. Schramm, was a long-time member of the Department of Political Science and Executive Director of the John M. Ashbrook Center.  The Lecture is sponsored by Samuel H. and Maria Miller. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact
Carrie Clever at cclever@ashbrook.org or call toll-free 877-289-5411.

Brian has written 4 books, 3 of which were New York Times best sellers: ”The Games Do Count”, “It’s How You Play the Game” and more recently, “George Washington’s Secret Six” and “Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates” cowritten with Don Yaeger. His fifth book “Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans” is due out in the fall of 2017, again teaming up with Yaeger with the hope of mirroring their previous success.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Introducing New Faculty: Gregory McBrayer


The Department is extremely pleased to welcome three new faculty members this year.  One of them is Dr. Gregory A. McBrayer, Assistant Professor of political science and Director of the AU Core Curriculum (the others will be introduced in subsequent posts).  Dr. McBrayer teaches courses in political philosophy and international relations.  Prior to Ashland, he taught at Morehead State University and Gettysburg College and was a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University.  His research interests are primarily in Classical Political Thought with a secondary interest in Medieval Political Thought, especially Arabic or Islamic Political Thought. He has published articles in Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy and Kentron: Revue Pluridisciplinaire du Monde Antique, and reviews in a variety of professional journals.  He is the author (with Mary Nichols and Denise Schaeffer) of Plato’s Euthydemus (Focus, 2011) and is the editor of Xenophon: The Shorter Writings (forthcoming from Cornell University Press). 

Dr. McBrayer was educated at Emory University (B.A.), the University of Georgia (M.A.), and the University of Maryland (Ph.D.).  

An Air Force brat, Dr. McBrayer grew up all over the world, including Colorado Springs, CO, and Berlin, Germany, when the Berlin Wall was still standing.  Some of his earliest reflections on politics came from pondering this enormous edifice that separated peoples and, to his mind, held citizens hostage by refusing to let them leave.  But he’s always called Georgia home, and his parents, sister, and extended family still reside there.

Dr. McBrayer says that his interest in liberal education was sparked in large part by accident.  He was fulfilling a humanities requirement by taking a class called “Classical Political Thought,” and he can remember saying to himself, “This will be the most boring class you take in college.” Instead, an outrageous claim made by the philosopher Socrates in Plato’s dialogue Protagoras that no one voluntarily does wrong left him at a loss, and he began his studies of the liberal arts in earnest. His interest in precisely this question carried all the way through to his doctoral studies: he wrote his dissertation on Aristotle’s treatment of Socrates’s claim, often called the Socratic Paradox, in the Nicomachean Ethics

Among his hobbies are working out, playing and watching baseball (he’s a big Braves fan), reading, writing, and traveling. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Return of the Polis, Starring History and Polsc Faculty

Department Faculty and Ben Kunkel star in a new feature in the Star Wars series: "Return of the Polis." Here's the poster (created by a freshman Ashbrook Scholar, who has been studying Xenophon's Education of Cyrus).

Friday, October 6, 2017

Brian Le Studies Abroad in Seoul, South Korea

Brian Le is a History, Political Science, and International Political Studies triple major (!), as well as an Ashbrook Scholar, who is studying abroad this semester at Handong Global University in South Korea.  He’s studying lots of American legal and constitutional thought as well as Korean foreign policy and even some Chinese political theory.  Happily, he says that South Koreans are less worried about North Korea than Americans seem to be.  

He recently spent a week in Seoul, where he visited gates and palaces from the Chosun (Joseon) Dynasty, which ruled for five centuries from the late 14th Century until 1897.  One of the nearby photos shows Brian at the inner gate to the throne plaza at the Gyeongbokgung Palace. The large statue of a golden man is King Sejong (the Great), the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, who is credited with the creation of the modern day Korean language and the Hangul alphabet. 


Brian says he’s signed up for a trip to the DMZ and will send pictures when that happens. 



Thursday, October 5, 2017

New Ashland Prof Quoted in Forbes Magazine

We're a little late getting to this, but Dr. Greg McBrayer, who joined the Department this year, was quoted by David Bahr in Forbes Magazine in May.  Mr. Bahr writes a weekly profile on the classics of the Western Canon for the business magazine and this article was on Xenophon.  Here is what he quoted Dr. McBrayer as saying:
Insofar as Xenophon was a student of the philosopher Socrates, the Anabasis shows the practical benefits of a philosophic education. Indeed, Xenophon seems to indicate his success depended on the education he received from Socrates. But I enjoy the book, above all, because it shows us that philosophers can be more than just pasty-faced wastrels!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

AU Students Partner with Ashland Middle School to Launch 1girl Chapter

On October 10, AU History Visiting Instructor Dr. Emily Hess and AU students Halle Hershberger, Katie Fossaceca, and Morgan Miller, will launch a local chapter of the afterschool program 1girl at Ashland Middle School.  Lead by facilitators like Halle (also chapter president), Katie and Morgan, 1girl "empowers middle school girls to develop the skills they need to be successful" including public speaking, creative problem solving, critical thinking, goal setting, and conflict resolution skills. 

In the words of Dr. Hess, "1girl is an incredible organization that not only pours into young, undergraduate women, but equips them to facilitate a leadership program for middle school girls.  I'm very excited to see how this intergenerational mentorship program will change the lives of middle school girls and undergraduate women this fall."

From Left to Right:
   Katie Fossaceca (junior political science major)
   Morgan Miller (junior political science and philosophy major)
   Halle Hershberger (senior history and political science major)
   History Visiting Instructor Dr. Emily Hess
   Ashland Middle School Counselors Wendy Packard and Kymberle Irwin

Ashland's is the only college chapter in Ohio outside of The Ohio State University.  To learn more about the unique opportunities AU's History and Political Science Program provides, visit our website.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Study Tour to Israel

 
ABOUT THE ISRAEL STUDY TOUR
HIST/POLSC 341 Modern Middle East is a multidisciplinary course offered in conjunction with a trip to Israel in 2018. The course features the study of the region as a whole, trying to grasp its historical and political development and current character. Geography, political history, religion, and natural resources all play an important role. The course will emphasize the emergence of the modern state of Israel and its diplomatic, military, and cultural relations with other countries in the region. Students enrolled in HIS/POLSC 341 (offered spring of even years) or REL 375OLB (offered spring of odd years) will be given priority for the limited seats available on the tour.

The tour features the study of biblical geography; biblical history; the story of Christianity, Judaism and Islam in what is now the modern State of Israel. Students will have the opportunity to spend time at significant biblical sites while studying the relevant texts and concepts. The program also features lectures by prominent Israeli and Palestinian scholars, politicians, religious, and business figures followed by times of discussion and Q & A. Students will participate in home visits, dine with an Israeli family, visit a Kibbutz, and engage in conversation with Israeli and Palestinian university students.

TENTATIVE ITINERARY LOCATIONS (subject to change)
Biblical Highlights: Nazareth, Mount of Beatitudes, Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem, City of David, Western Wall, Garden of Gethsemane, The Way of the Cross, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Dead Sea
Additional Locations: Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Mount Precipice, Aramaic Village, site of the Temple of Pan, Mount Scopus, Israeli Kibbutz, Hezekiah's Tunnel, Site of the Temple Courts, Bethesda Pools, Garden Tomb, Masada, Holocaust Museum, Keenest, Independence Hall, Tel Aviv markets, Caesarea

ESTIMATED PROGRAM COST
Approximately $1,057
INCLUDED: Airfare from departure city to Tel Aviv, lodging, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), transportation in-country by charter bus, all exhibit and entrance fees, international health insurance, and tips for tour guide, medic/security guard, and bus driver. Included in the price above, but paid for by participants are round-trip transportation from home to departure city (probably JFK or Newark airport, estimated $300) and Passages fee ($600)
NOT INCLUDED: Expense for passport ($135) and personal expenses (est. $100$200)

SPONSORING ORGANIZATION
The generous financial support and trip coordination are provided by Passages.
DEADLINES & PAYMENTS
February 1
Apply through Abroad Office and complete required AU paperwork

April
1 $600 Non-refundable deposit due with Passages on-line application
 
HOW TO APPLY
1. Create an account on Abroad Officehttp://ashland.abroadoffice.net
2. On the left, choose 2018 AU Programs, then Israel Study Tour page. Click Apply to Program and complete application information.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Eagle Emerges with Spring

A new eagle has emerged fully grown from the ground, or rather, from the tree stump at the pedestrian entrance to AU on College Ave.  Thanks to the person who thought of this; what a wonderful idea!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Two Week Tour of the Eastern Front in WWII

The Battle of Stalingrad

Dr. John Moser is leading a 14 day tour of the Russian Front in WWII next spring, in conjunction with his course HIST 364: World War II (you do not need to take the course in order to go on the trip, or vice versa). This trip will focus on the Eastern Front, so there will be visits to St. Petersburg, Moscow, Minsk, Poland, Germany, and more.

An information meeting is scheduled for next Thursday, April 20, at 4:30 pm in Andrews 102. Dr. Moser says "this is going to be an incredible event, and I hope you will join us."

Thursday, April 6, 2017

History and Political Science Students Participate in URCA Symposium

Each year, the Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences hosts the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Symposium.  According to Dr. Dawn Weber, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Symposium, provides students the opportunity to "present original research, perform theatrical and musical selections, read original creative writing, and exhibit their artwork." 

The following students studying in the History & Political Science Department will be presenting at the 2017 URCA Symposium on Tuesday, April 11:

Joey Barretta: 
Was Martin Luther King Jr. the Frederick Douglass of the Twentieth-Century;
Liberal Education in a STEM World

Kayla Gowdy: 
How Marco Rubio Won in 2010 and Its Relevance to Future Elections

Delaney Jones: 
The Survival and Maintenance of Minority Languages in Spain

Bryanna Austin: 
The Need for Criminal Justice Reform in Ohio

Mykenna Schlorb: 
Civilized Society in Agatha Christie’s Poirot

For a full list of presentations, abstracts, and the Symposium schedule, check out the URCA blog.

All presentations are free and open to the public. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Ohio Senate President on Ohio's Drug Epidemic

Larry Obhof, President of the Ohio Senate, will discuss Ohio's Drug Epidemic and how the state government is responding to it on Thursday, March 30th at 6:30 PM in the Student Center Auditorium.

This event is free and open to the public. Food and Drinks will be provided.

Sponsored by College Republicans, the History and Political Science Department, Young Americans for Liberty, the Pre-law Society, and the Criminal Justice Club.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

College Republicans Hold Event on State and Local Government


The Ashland University College Republicans are hosting a series of events on the importance of state and local governments at a time when the focus is on the Presidency. The first speaker will be Matt Miller, a former Political Science major and Ashbrook Scholar who has held several offices in county government and is now running for mayor of Ashland. He will speak on the importance of local government on Thursday, March 16th from 7:00-8:00 pm in the Student Center Auditorium. Light refreshments will be provided. The event is free and open to the public.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Joey Barretta to Intern at ACTA

Congratulations to senior Joey Barretta, who will be interning this summer at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni in Washington D.C. His primary job will be to assist with the "What Will They Learn?" project, which evaluates the core curricula at universities throughout the country and provides a grade based on meeting certain requirements for a well-rounded liberal arts education.

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.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Undergraduate Political Science Conference

If you are writing a senior thesis or just have an essay that you'd like to get some feedback on, you should think about presenting it at the 14th annual All Politics is Local Conference for undergraduate students.  The conference is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, 2017 at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio.  The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. 

This is an opportunity for students to present one of their papers or posters in any area of our discipline.  You will also have the opportunity to attend sessions on “What to Expect in Graduate School” and “What to Expect in Law School.”   

Registration for those presenting papers is due by April 7, 2017.  The organizers encourage registration as soon as possible so that they may begin forming panels.  Papers are due by April 13.  

Information and electronic registration is available at: http://www.walsh.edu/all-politics-is-local-conference

Some unusual things about this conference: lodging will be provided free the night before, April 22, for students who need it.  Lunch and a continental breakfast will be provided.  There is no fee for this conference.  Students do not have to present a paper or poster to attend.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Koop Berry at (330) 490-7058 or at kberry@walsh.edu



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Professor Sikkenga Shares Expert Insight on Supreme Court Justice Nomination

Dr. Jeff Sikkenga, AU Political Science Professor and Co-Director of the Ashbrook Scholar Program, was featured last night on Cincinnati's News Radio 700WLW Rocky Boiman Radio Show.  During the show, Dr. Sikkenga offered expert insight and comments on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch as the next Supreme Court Justice.
 
A podcast of the interview can be found here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Emily Hess Produces Quiz for Martin Luther King Jr. Day


A number of media, including Newsweek, ran an op-ed that featured a Martin Luther King Day quiz by Emily Hess, visiting assistant professor of history and academic adviser for the Ashbrook Center's Master of Arts in American History and Government program. 
The quiz provided an opportunity for people to test their knowledge of Dr. King and the modern Civil Rights Movement as the nation observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 16.
Some of the media that published the quiz were: