August 27, 2018 Newsletter

Opportunities and Announcements for the Week of August 27, 2018


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 – and to welcoming you to our “refreshed” building.  With new carpeting, painting, and lighting throughout Mather House, a gorgeous refinished wood floor in Mather House 100, new bathrooms and a renovated kitchen, Mather House now presents the beautiful and professional face that reflects the quality of our Department, our faculty, and our students.  We have worked hard to move back into our offices after being exiled for the entire summer, and we have been unpacking books, files, and other materials, and getting reestablished.  We also will have our zoom room equipment installed in Mather House 100, and will be able to use it for our Election Night Watch Party on Tuesday, November 6.
We welcome all CWRU students into our courses (none of which have prerequisites) and into our major (see Basic Information about the POSC Major on 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.
New Building, New Persons.  We welcome two new persons to our Department. Matthew Hodgetts comes to us from Brown University, and has accepted a Visiting Assistant Professor position with us.  Our DA1, Brook Sabin, comes to us from Oberlin College.  Please stop by to welcome Professor Hodgetts (in Mather House 220) and Ms. Sabin (in Mather House 111).
Fall Courses.  We are offering a range of courses this fall, including Professor Pete Moore’s course on State and War in Africa and the Middle East, which is also a SAGES Departmental Seminar (POSC380A; see the “Schedule of Classes” here).  Professor Matthew Hodgetts, our new Visiting Assistant Professor, is offering two of our introductory courses:  POSC160 Introduction to Comparative Politics and POSC172 Introduction to International Relations.  All POSC courses are open to all students and have no prerequisites.  There are still openings in several of our courses for students.
Please note that Professors Justin Buchler and Elliot Posner are on sabbatical this fall term.  Professor Buchler will return for the spring semester, while Professor Posner will be on sabbatical for the entire academic year; Professor Kelly McMann will also be on sabbatical next semester, and hence will not be teaching in the spring.  Those who would like to work on their senior capstone project with Professor McMann should make arrangements to do so this fall; she will not be available to students in the spring semester.  Those students who wish to do their senior capstone work with Professor Buchler will be able to do so when he returns from his fall semester sabbatical.  All other faculty members are available this fall for senior capstone supervision in POSC396.
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 Boston, August 30-September 2, 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.  More than half of the POSC faculty will be attending the meetings.  Professors Buchler, Beckwith, Hodgetts, McMann, 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, and DA1 Brook Sabin, will be available to assist you.
Again, welcome back!  We’re looking forward to a rewarding, exciting, and successful academic year.
With all best wishes,
Karen Beckwith
Flora Stone Mather Professor
Chair, Department of Political Science
“Freedom … involves both the processes that allow freedom of actions and decisions, and the actual opportunities that people have, given their personal and social circumstances.”
– Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom

General Announcements

  • Add/Drop and Late Registration ends on September 7th!
  • 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!


“Encryption: Privacy versus Public Safety”
September 17, 4:00p.m., Moot Courtroom
The Constitution Day Student Committee is hosting a forum with Professor William Snyder of the Syracuse University School of Law and Professor Raymond Ku of the CWRU School of Law. They will answer how can the federal government strike a balance between privacy and public safety and what, if any, restrictions should be placed on the government when accessing private data during the course of a criminal investigation. A brief reception will follow.

Internship and Fellowship Opportunities

Asian Services in Action, Inc.
ASIA, Inc. is the leading health and social services organization for Ohio’s Asian American and Pacific Islander community. They are seeking two Communications and Development interns for the Fall 2018 semester in the Policy, Advocacy, and Development Department. This position focuses on the social media relations and crowdfunding efforts, offering the opportunity to learn the strategies and tactics used in fundraising and outreach for a non-profit organization.
Betsy Rader for Congress
Ohio-14 Congressional Candidate Betsy Rader is seeking interns to assist with the campaign. For additional questions or those interested in interning, please contact Devon McFedries.
Cleveland Council on World Affairs
The CCWA is offering a variety of fall, spring, and summer internship opportunities. Positions may include: International Visitors Program Intern, Model United Nations Intern, Membership & Development intern, Special Events and Marketing intern, Strategic Communications Intern, and Graphic Design Intern. For more information, click here.
DeWine Husted for Ohio
DeWine Husted for Ohio is seeking interns in their Columbus office for the Fall of 2018. If interested in interning, fill out this application. For additional questions, please contact
Ohio Republican Party
The Ohio Republican Party is seeking Regional Field interns in the Greater Cleveland area for the 2018 election cycle. Responsibilities include phone banking, door-to-door canvassing, volunteer recruitment, and performing administrative work as necessary. To apply, email your resume to Cierra Lynch with the subject line “Regional Field Internship.”
Pennsylvania Democratic Party
The PA Dems are seeking remote volunteers to make phone calls to persuade voters who represent a swing vote in Bucks County, PA. Those interested can fill out an interest form. The PA Dems are also offering a volunteer fellowship, applications will be accepted until August 24th. For additional questions, please contact Cameron Childers.
Rumi Forum
Rumi Forum was founded in 1999 with the mission to foster interfaith and intercultural dialogue. Research and Project internships are being offered this Fall for undergraduates, graduate students, and recent graduates. For additional information or further questions, see the position descriptions or email
Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
VOC is seeking undergraduate and graduate students who possess a commitment to educating people about the history of communism and the dangers of collectivism. Based in Washington, D.C., this fall 2018 internship offers a variety of roles like Digital, Events, Government Relations, Development, and much more. For those interested, please contact Ashlee Davis.

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…
  • Keep up with our own Dr. Lavelle as she joins a team of researchers to answer questions about Chinese trade patterns and how specific industries might benefit from the “Polar Silk Road” in this article from The Daily!

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