August 28, 2017 Newsletter


Welcome back!  The academic year begins with classes on Monday, and the faculty and staff of the Department of Political Science are looking forward to seeing you.  For our entering students, their welcome included viewing the partial eclipse here in Cleveland in the circle in front of Kelvin Smith Library.  Our CWRU colleagues from the Department of Astronomy provided telescopes, distributed eclipse glasses, and displayed pinhole box results, to the hundreds (if not thousands) of students, their parents, staff, faculty, and members from the broader University Circle and Cleveland community.  Strangers shared eclipse glasses with each other (my thanks to Daniel, an entering student from New Jersey), and waited patiently and happily in long lines to view the partial eclipse through the telescopes provided by the CWRU Astronomy faculty, who provided a running (teaching) commentary on the event and answered questions.

This event revealed and underscored the best of our community here at CWRU:  collegial, diverse, intellectually curious, and generous.  These qualities reflect and extend what President Barbara Snyder emphasized in her letter to the CWRU community:  “our university’s core values of diversity and inclusion.”  President Snyder asked us all to “consider ways to give [these values] even greater meaning across our community.  Case Western Reserve embraces people of all racial, ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, national and international backgrounds. We support diversity of thought, pedagogy, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, political affiliation and disability.”

The Department of Political Science underscores President Snyder’s message.  We welcome all CWRU students in our courses (none of which have prerequisites) and into our major (see Basic Information about the POSC Majoron the POSC webpage).  Our small classes, taught mostly as seminars, provide the context for serious intellectual and disciplinary discussion about the issues:  What constitutes justice?  Why do nations cooperate or engage in conflict?  How do people move from long-standing dictatorships to forge new democratic political systems?  How are specific public policies developed and with what consequences?  How can nations maintain international security and yet have relatively open borders?  Who is a citizen and what constitutes citizenship?  What constitutes social justice, and for whom?  Our faculty approach these, and many other questions, from a strong political science disciplinary perspective, grounded in empirical evidence and logical argumentation, and we welcome all students to engage with us in our classes and in the many events our Department will offer across the course of this year.
The first opportunity for such engagement has a social emphasis as well.  The Department is holding a “Welcome Back” event on Tuesday, August 29, from 3:30 to 4:30pm, in Mather House 100.  Our faculty are looking forward to seeing our students, to greeting new students, and to welcoming our new Visiting Assistant Professors, Girma Parris and YuJung Lee.  We’ll provide some light refreshments.  Please stop by; we look forward to seeing you.
Fall Courses.  We are offering a range of courses this fall, including three SAGES Departmental Seminars (POSC349, POSC370M, and POSC375; see the “Schedule of Classes” at  Professor Julia Lee is offering two new courses:  The Politics and Government of India and Women and Politics in Global Perspective.  Both courses are open to all students and have no prerequisites.  Professor Girma Parris is also offering new courses:  Race, Immigration, and American Political Development and POSC321 News Media and Politics; again, these courses are open to all students and have no prerequisites.  There are still openings in these courses for students.
Please note that Professors Laura Tartakoff and Joseph White will be on sabbatical next semester, and hence will not be teaching in the spring.  Students who hope to take a course with Professor Tartakoff or Professor White this year will have to do so this fall semester.  Professor Tartakoff is offering two courses this fall:  POSC326 Constitutions in Practical Politics and POSC328Topics in Civil Liberties; Professor White is offering POSC306 Interest Groups in the Policy Process and POSC383 Health Policy and Politics in the United States.
American Political Science Association Annual Meeting.  Finally, I want to alert our students to the schedule for the American Political Science Association annual meetings – the largest global convention of professional political scientists.  These are being held in San Francisco, August 31-September 3, during our first week of classes.  The meetings include short courses, workshops, panels, roundtables, and poster sessions, as well as receptions, book exhibits, and major public lectures.  At least half of the POSC faculty will be attending the meetings.  Professors Buchler, McMann, Parris, and Posner are listed in the official program.  What this means for our POSC majors and minors, and students in our courses (or hoping to add a course), is that many of us will not be widely available during the first week of classes. Nonetheless, we’ll be available by email and will respond as soon as possible.  And, of course, Ms. Jessica Jurcak, our Department Assistant, will be available to assist you.
Again, welcome back!  We’re looking forward to a rewarding, exciting, and successful academic year.
Karen Beckwith
Flora Stone Mather Professor
Chair, Department of Political Science
If we desire a society of peace, then we cannot achieve such a society through violence. If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.

  — Bayard Rustin



General Announcements


  • The Department of Political Science is looking for a sophomore or junior who can dedicate 2.5 hours per week to the department office. Primary responsibilities include: basic office duties (scanning, copying, filing, etc.), picking up materials from the library, occasional distribution of materials, and assisting with the weekly newsletter. 
  • The Center for Policy Studies is searching for a sophomore or junior who can dedicate 2.5-3 hours per week to the Friday lunch program. Responsibilities include distribution of flyers each week, and helping with the set-up and tear-down of the lecture each week. Must be available from 11:45 am-2:00 pm every Friday for help with the lecture. Distribution of marketing materials can be completed earlier in the week. 
  • Stay up to date with the department by following our Twitter feed! Check it for day to day opportunities and information!
  • Like us on Facebook! Our department will be regularly posting events, opportunities, and general information to our page!




Political Science Department Welcome Back Event
August 29, 3:30-4:30p.m., Mather House 100
The Department of Political Science is hosting a Welcome Back event for all students! The faculty would like to have a chance to catch up with students as well as introduce two new faculty members that will be with us this year. Light refreshments and beverages will be provided.

Friday Lunch: The Supreme Court: Looking Back & Looking Ahead
September 1, 12:30-1:30, KSL Dampeer Room
The Supreme Court’s new term begins on the first Monday in October. Before it begins, Professors of Law Jonathan Adler and Jonathan Entil, two of our distinguished scholars of constitutional law, will look back and forward.

2017 Cleveland Mayoral Primary Debate
August 25, 12:00p.m., Global Center for Health Innovation

Mayor Frank G. Jackson is seeking a fourth four-year term as Mayor of Cleveland and he is facing eight challengers. In keeping with City Club tradition, all mayoral candidates whose candidacy has been verified by the Board of Elections were invited to participate in this primary debate. Tickets are $50 for nonmembers.

The Bloodless Jungle
August 25 & 26, 7:30p.m., Ensemble Theatre
August 27, 2:00p.m., Ensemble Theatre
This play is about politics and the ethical dilemmas it presents, written by Cleveland actor/director/ playwright Peter Lawson Jones, a former state legislator and Cuyahoga County Commissioner. Tickets are $25.

McKinsey & Company Information Session
August 31, 1:30-2:30p.m., Strosacker Auditorium
Learn about the opportunities of working at McKinsey & Company: work in one of 22 sectors – from high tech to healthcare – and/or 12 business functions – from marketing & sales to analytics or sustainability – serving clients in all sectors.

Wellman Hill 10th Anniversary Celebration
October 14, 5:00-7:00p.m., home of Professors Elliot Posner and Gillian Weiss
Please join us for drinks and hors d’oeuvres to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Wellman Hill Political Science Internship Grants Program. RSVP to Anna Conboy by October 1.

Career Opportunities


The City Club – Content Coordinator
The Content Coordinator works as part of the Programming and Content Management Team, which is responsible for City Club content: planning and execution of forums, marketing collateral, audio and video content, digital content for the web and social medial channels, and the City Club website.


Internship and Fellowship Opportunities

Cleveland U.S. Export Assistance Center Internship
Interns will assist international trade specialists and gain experience in market research and matching local companies with international opportunities.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown
Interns have the opportunity to assist in a variety of tasks that range from answering phones and opening mail to assisting staff with constituent casework, scheduling, grant research, outreach events and special projects. Interns learn firsthand the
office functions and its importance in the overall effectiveness of a member of the U.S. Senate. Hours and duration of the internships are negotiable. The internship is unpaid, but college credit are available for participating schools. For additional information, please call Brad Deane at Senator Brown’s office at (216) 522– 3020. Or email resume to

U.S. Senator Rob Portman
Senator Rob Portman is seeking college interns for the fall of 2017 to serve in his Cleveland office.  Interns in Senator Portman’s office are given a number of responsibilities. These include, answering the phones and speaking with constituents, opening mail, assisting staff in research and event preparation, scheduling and other special projects. Interns will experience the role and importance of a senate office while working to increase the overall effectiveness of the Senator’s office. For additional questions, please contact Ray Paoletta.

Betty Sutton for Governor
Interns will assist campaign staff in the daily operations of Former U.S. Representative Betty Sutton’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign. The 2017 Betty Sutton Works for Ohio Internships are available now for the Fall 2017 semester and again for Spring 2018 and Summer 2018 through to the November 2018 election. If interested in earning course credit, students should work with advisors and campaign staff to determine how the internship might fit into curricular requirements. If interested in applying, send a resume, cover letter, and your hours of availability to Dory MacMillan.

Mike DeWine for Governor
Mike DeWine for Ohio is searching for motivated and interested interns in their Columbus office for the Fall of 2017.

G2G Consulting LLC Intern/Government Affairs Assistant
G2G is a private firm that specializes in helping clients navigate government processes, at both national and state/local levels. It has offices in Washington DC, Arlington VA, Columbus OH and Cleveland. The Cleveland office is just off-campus in the BioEnterprise building. Interns are expected to work about 10-12 hours per week.  They can be somewhat flexible with the hours, but interns must work during the business day.  Please see here for information about the internship and here for what an intern might do.
Previously posted opportunities can be found on the department webpage. Please make sure to check regularly as to not miss approaching deadlines! 

A Little Extra…


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