Opportunities and Announcements for the Week of March 12, 2018


Registration for Fall Courses.
Spring semester is now at midterm, and students should be consolidating their plans for the summer and preparing for the coming academic year (or for commencement).  Here is some information that may be useful as students conclude their spring semester.
First, please note the March 30 deadline for upperclass students to withdraw from a course or choose the P/NP grading option; first-year students have until April 30.  By March 30, all second-year students and beyond, including all transfer students, must decide whether to complete their courses for regular letter-grades, choose the P/NP grading option, or withdraw from a course.  After that date, they will continue to have the option of doing a complete withdrawal from all of their courses for the semester until the last day of classes.  While first-year students have more time to decide about P/NP and course withdrawals, it is better for them to make these decisions sooner rather than later so they can allocate time to their remaining letter-graded courses appropriately.  I strongly encourage students to discuss any of these possibilities with their academic advisor before they make any final decisions.
Second, Fall Term course registration begins April 9.  The full registration schedule is available here.   Summer Term course registration begins April 2.  
Please note that the following faculty members will not be offering POSC courses in the 2018 fall term:  Professors Justin Buchler (to be confirmed), Kelly McMann, and Elliot Posner.  Professors Laura Tartakoff and Joseph White will be returning from sabbatical, and will again be offering courses in our department.
To reiterate, I strongly encourage our POSC majors and minors to meet with their advisors in our department.  Most of our faculty treat these meetings as a condition for lifting advising holds in SIS, but more importantly, advising in our department is taken seriously.  Our faculty discuss with each student their past course history, the trajectory of their future courses, across more than just one semester, and provide detailed advising about off-campus study (e.g. in the Washington Semester Program), study abroad, and internship and research assistantship opportunities.  For POSC majors with an additional major, our faculty help those students map out future semesters to meet requirements for both majors.  For those students who would like additional advising, I am always available, as Department Chair, to discuss their courses and future plans.  Students can easily sign up for an appointment with me by clicking on the link on my webpage.
Letters of Recommendation.  By this time of year, students are applying for internships, employment, scholarships, and other opportunities that require letters of recommendation.  To students seeking letters of recommendation from POSC faculty, I make the following suggestions. 
First, students should think about the purpose of the specific letter they are requesting and who, among the faculty, might be the most appropriate person to write that specific letter.  Generally, the best person will be one’s academic advisor or a faculty member with whom the student has had one or more courses and where the student has been successful in the course. 
Second, requests that a faculty member write a letter of recommendation should be made in person, face-to-face, rather than as an email message.  A discussion about a letter of recommendation can be very helpful to the faculty member who agrees to write the letter.  It helps a faculty member to understand how to craft the letter and how best to leverage the student’s strengths for a positive (and ultimately helpful) letter.
Third, faculty members are free to decline requests to write letters of recommendation.  We do not decline on the basis of disinterest, but primarily on the basis that, as individuals, we may not be the most appropriate person to write the letter.  Again, a face-to-face discussion will help clarify who might be a better alternative referee for a student seeking a letter of recommendation.
Fourth, faculty members are busy persons.  We have papers and exams to grade, other letters of recommendation to write, manuscripts to review for journals and presses, meetings to attend, reports to write, articles to submit or to revise and resubmit to scholarly journals – all of these tasks (and more) are routine, perpetual, and have serious deadlines.  So:  students should anticipate well in advance the need for a letter of recommendation and the deadline for such letters.  Provide our faculty with at least two weeks’ notice of the need for a letter.  This is not only a professional courtesy; it increases the likelihood that the faculty member will be able to write a letter of recommendation and will be willing to do so.
Finally, speaking only for myself (and as most of my students know), I require substantial information about each application for which a student is requesting a letter.  This information includes 1) the student’s application (or personal) statement, 2) the requirements of the position or school, 3) a copy of the student’s résumé, and 4) the student’s unofficial transcript (as Chair, I can find these for all POSC majors through SIS; this is not the case for our faculty, who can only see such information for their advisees).  This information allows me to write the strongest possible letter of recommendation.  The strongest letters are those that “sing in harmony” with the student’s application (for a job, for admission to graduate or law school, for an internship).  General “all-purpose” letters of recommendation are, generally, not helpful, and certainly not as powerful as the kind of carefully crafted, targeted letters that our faculty can write when we have full information well in advance of a deadline.   Providing such information to a faculty member from whom a student is requesting a letter of recommendation is also, again, a professional courtesy.
Spring Break.  Today is the last day of classes until Monday, March 19.  Jessica Jurcak and Anna Conboy will continue to staff the Political Science office.  I wish everyone a safe and happy Spring Break.
With all best wishes,
Karen Beckwith
Flora Stone Mather Professor
Chair, Department of Political Science
“I believe the women.” 

– Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader, US Senate

General Announcements

  • Undergraduate students are encouraged to apply for the second annual Arnaud Gelb Journalism Awards and Internship Grants, featuring up to $2,000 in prize money and internship funding. Applications are due March 19.
  • 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!


Friday Lunch: Law Enforcement and the Opioid Crisis
March 9, 12:30-1:30p.m., KSL Dampeer Room
Join David Flannery, Professor and Director of Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education, to discuss his research on how deaths from drug use became a medical and public health, rather than a law enforcement, issue.

The New Afghanistan Policy: How New and What’s it Worth?
March 15, 5:30-7:15p.m., The Union Club
Join former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Ronald E. Neumann for a discussion on U.S. policy on Afghanistan and the risks of staying in an unstable Afghanistan. Student tickets are $5.

CCMV Views & Brews: Stalemate – DACA, the Dreamers, and the Future of Immigration Reform
March 19, 7:00-8:00p.m., Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, Youngstown
Join the City Club of Cleveland for a conversation with Donna M. DeBlasio, Ph.D., Professor of History and Director for the Center for Applied History at Youngstown State University, and Richard H. Drucker, Attorney for Margaret W. Wong & Associates, on the future of immigration reform in the U.S.

A Different PoV: Plea for Academic Rigor on North Korea
March 20, 11:30a.m.-12:45p.m., Crawford Hall A13
In this presentation, Merose Hwang, an associate professor at Hiram College, advises to look beyond an enemy lens to find a better way of understanding North Korea. As a part of the Social Justice Research Lunch Series, attendees should bring their lunch; drinks and desserts will be provided. RSVP to socialjustice@case.edu.

“Redistricting and Gerrymandering in America and Ohio: The Effort to Reform How Districts Are Drawn”
March 20, 7:00-8:30p.m., Landmark Centre, Beachwood
This forum will feature expert discussion on gerrymandering and redistricting from local and national perspectives and discuss future expectations on the issue.

The Ethics of Hospitality and the Question of the Refugee
March 21, 5:00-7:00p.m., Dolan Science Center, John Carroll University
This event will feature presentations by professors from Penn State University, John Carroll University and CWRU. Presentations will explore how the idea of health extends to the well-being of the environment, and extends the meaning of the environment to include social institutions and forms of thinking. This is a part of the 2018 Cleveland Humanities Festival.

How the Tax Law Reinforces Economic and Other Policies
March 22, 4:30-5:30p.m., Moot Courtroom
The conventional wisdom about the relationship between taxes and budgets is backward: The tax code is more an instrument of social and industrial policy than a way to raise revenue. Tax Notes contributing editor Lee Sheppard, one of the most widely read and respected tax commentators in the world, explains how to think more clearly about the tax system.

Abstinence-Only-Until Marriage: The Politics of Contraception and Sex Education
March 22, 6:00-7:00p.m., Ford Auditorium, Allen Medical Library
Join Iris Harvey, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio for her talk on the basis for and effects of sex education public policy. This is a part of the 2018 Cleveland Humanities Festival.

A Day in the Life of a Common Pleas Judge
March 23, 12:45-2:00p.m., Sears 356
Judge Kathleen Sutula will talk about her experience working in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

Food Politics in 2018: A Humanities Perspective
March 23, 4:30-5:30p.m., TVUC Ballroom A
In this Lecture, the NYU Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, Marion Nestle, will discuss today’s paradox of a globalized food system threatened by both food insecurity and obesity. This is a part of the 2018 Cleveland Humanities Festival.

International Conference on Conflict Resolution
May 22-25, CWRU Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
The International Conference on Conflict Resolution Education (CRE) is an opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration and research. Presentations will focus on innovations in the field that are making broad impacts in local, state, national, and international communities. Students can attend for $35/day but must register before March 15.

Internship and Fellowship Opportunities

City of University Heights Mayoral Internship
The University Heights Mayoral Internship Program offers college students unique experiential learning opportunities in local government. Selected participants will work closely with the Mayor and Department Directors. Placement will be based on a number of factors, including the student’s interests, experience/skills, as well as the City’s needs.

Cleveland Council on World Affairs
CCWA offers a variety of internship opportunities during the Spring, Summer and Fall. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge
Unpaid internship opportunities are available at Congresswoman Fudge’s Washington, D.C. and Warrensville Heights, OH offices. There is no application deadline; interns are accepted throughout the year.

Department of Agriculture Student Trainee
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking energetic college students who are looking to contribute to Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA) activities while developing their professional communication skills. The deadline has been extended to Friday, March 16.

FairVote Legal Fellow
FairVote is the nation’s leading advocate of better voting methods. The Legal Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for those with an interest in election reform to work on substantive projects while building valuable skills and networking with others in the field. Applicants must have a J.D.

The Fund for American Studies
The Fund for American Studies runs several internship programs in Washington D.C. and abroad throughout the year. During D.C. programs, students live on campus at George Washington University and take between 3-12 credit hours of courses and intern 30-35 hours per week at government agencies, Congressional offices, policy groups, think tanks, media outlets, or nonprofit organizations.  Applications are due March 13.

Goodrich for Congress Campaign
Want to help turn a red Congressional seat blue here in Ohio? Ohio 16th Congressional District is now an OPEN Seat thanks to Rep. Jim Renacci choosing to challenge Senator Sherrod Brown.  Grant Goodrich is a former Marine, farm-owner and heads up the Great Lakes Energy Institute here at Case Western. He cares deeply about finding common sense solutions to climate change, rising higher education costs and helping to stop gun violence. If you’d like to intern with the campaign, please send a resume to Irene@goodrichforcongress.com.

Latin American News Digest
Summer 2018 internships are available for student writers and researchers to translate and condense articles from Latin American sources for weekly publications. 

Legal Momentum Social Media/Research Intern
Legal Momentum is searching for a talented social media/research intern who can work in our communications department. We offer a very flexible schedule. Graduate or undergraduate students are welcome.

Mann Child Policy Externships
The Schubert Center for Child Studies and the Childhood Studies Program at Case Western Reserve University collaborate with public and non-profit community organizations to offer Mann Child Policy Externships. Students gain first-hand perspectives on the policy process by engaging in planning, research, analysis, and/or advocacy activities emphasizing policy related to children and childhood. Applications are due March 30.

Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowships
The American Bar Foundation is pleased to sponsor an annual summer research fellowship for undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds interested in pursuing graduate studies in the social sciences. This summer program is designed to introduce students to the rewards and demands of a research-oriented career in the field of law and social science. Applications are due March 20.

Ohio Environmental Council
The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) Action Fund is looking for an intern to help with government affairs research and writing in Columbus. Applications are due March 30.

The Ohio Legislative Service Commission: 2019 Legislative Fellowship Program 
The LSC Legislative Fellowship Program is a paid, full-time, professional, 13-month experience for college graduates who will have completed their bachelor’s degree by December 2018. This program provides practical experience in the legislative process and in legislative research. Applications must be postmarked by April 1.

Post Baccalaureate Fellowship for Study Abroad
The Wright Plaisance fellowship in the amount of $20,000 will be awarded to a student planning to study at a European or South American university after graduation. Applications are due May 1.

Senator Sherrod Brown Fellowship
Senator Sherrod Brown is running for re-election in 2018 and
his campaign is seeking motivated and enthusiastic students to
become fellows on his fundraising and field teams. This fellowship will have two parts: one in Columbus during
summer 2018, and one at the fellow’s college campus during
the fall semester. If interested in a position, please send a copy of your resume and cover letter to Caroline Gonzalez.

Victims of Communism
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) is an educational and human rights nonprofit organization devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes. The Academic Programs intern will assist the Director of Academic Program’s mission to educate the public on the history, ideology, and legacy of communism. 


Previously posted opportunities can be found on the department webpage. Please make sure to check regularly as to not miss approaching deadlines! 

Scholarship Opportunities

The Left Forum Conference and Scholarships
Undergraduate students are encouraged to apply to attend this year’s Left Forum.This year’s conference theme is “Toward a Winning Strategy for the Left.” (Click here for full conference details.)  Volunteer and internship opportunities are also available. Scholarships to attend will be up to $1000. All applications should be submitted to socialjustice@case.edu as a PDF before April 2, 2018.

Alexandra Piepho Learning and Life Scholarship Fund
This scholarship was established to honor Alexandra Piepho, a promising member of the class of 2016, and her passion for exploration and learning with a variety of enriching interests in both the sciences and the arts. Applications are due March 12.

Study Abroad Scholarships
The College of Arts and Sciences and the Eirik Borve Fund for Foreign Language Instruction will award 40 $1,000 scholarships to undergraduates enrolled in CWRU courses abroad in the summer of 2018.

Public Service Scholarship
The B.A. Rudolph Foundation Public Service Scholarship supports female undergraduate students who are applying to or have secured an unpaid internship in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Internships in Maryland and Virginia are fine, as long as they are generally near Washington, D.C. Applications are due April 11.

Ohio Conference of Community Development Foundation Public Service Scholarship
Through the generosity of the OCCD membership and friends our organization has been able to offer scholarships of up to $2000 to students and young professionals pursuing advanced degrees in the profession of community and economic development. The scholarship fund was established to honor two men who dedicated their careers to public service. Applications are due April 13.

Career Opportunities

Cleveland Zoological Society
The Manager of Data & Analytics position is a service-oriented role that supplies the management, fundraising and membership teams with timely and relevant information and is a trusted resource for the entire organization. Applications are due April 2.

Cleveland Council on World Affiars
CCWA is now hiring energetic and creative people to join their team. Current open positions include Manager of Student Education Programs and Administrative Coordinator (full-time).

Volunteer Opportunities

Ohio Congressional Candidate Grant Goodrich
Grant Goodrich, CWRU Director of The Great Lakes Energy Institute, is running for Congress in Ohio’s 16th District. Marine Corps veteran, farm-owner, and energy leader, Grant is running on a platform of better governance and more responsible politics, and he is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to support his efforts. Please visit his website for more information.

A Little Extra…

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