Message from the Chair
One of my favorite parts of this job is my first and last meeting with my advisees. The first time I sit down with someone new to Political Science, it’s just a blur of energy and excitement about scheduling classes. With so many great courses to choose from, students are raring to go. They’ve got the world ahead of them.
In-between those first and last meetings, I see my advisees for the usual check-ups while they undertake the real work that our majors come to love: on a daily basis they are engaged on the most vital issues of the day by some of the best professors on campus (sure, I’ll admit that I’m biased, but it’s true). Over time PLS students prove themselves capable of conducting independent research as they strengthen their critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills. By the end of their time here, many of them will have interned in the Dayton area or in Washington, DC—some working in the system, some seeking to change it. Others will have honed their skills for the larger political stage, competing (and beating) the Ivy-Leaguers at the national Model United Nations simulations, attaining proficiency in a second language, and/or studying abroad.
By the time of our final meeting, when I’m clearing these students for graduation and we’re talking about the future, no visit is ever the same: everyone is headed in a different direction. Most have a plan, but on that day not every graduating senior knows exactly what his or her next step will be. What’s remarkable, though, is that they’re all just as brimming with anticipation as they were at that very first meeting. In their exit interviews they tell me, each in their own way, that their PLS experience broadened their worldviews in ways they never expected. By studying America and the world, they see everything more clearly. They know that there’s no escaping politics because everything is political. For them, politics is about government and established power, but it’s also about struggle and resistance against the status quo—and much, much more.
So, consider the value of a degree in Political Science. It’s timeless. If you decide to join us, I’ll look forward to that first meeting—and, whether you’re eventually headed to Cleveland or Katmandu—to celebrate the launch of what is sure to be a life-changing experience.
We educate our students to think critically and analytically about why government exists, how it changes, who controls it and how people behave in their relationship to the State. Our goal is to graduate students who are globally aware and are politically active as well-informed citizens that embrace their civic responsibilities. We pursue these goals in lectures, seminars, internships in local, state and federal government, and active learning opportunities such as Moot Court and Model UN.