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.