September 3, 2018 Newsletter

Opportunities and Announcements for the Week of September 3, 2018


I’m writing from Boston, where the American Political Science Association is holding its 114th annual meeting.  The APSA describes the annual meeting as “convened for the purposes of professional development and scholarly and educational interchange in the spirit of free inquiry and free expression.”  Several thousands of political scientists assemble from around the world to present and comment on scholarly papers, posters, and work in progress; to attend major lectures; to interview for jobs (and to interview candidates for jobs); to participate in research workshops; to meet with editors of the major publishing houses; and to discuss politics and political research with colleagues.  Most of our department is or will be here at the meetings, engaged in some of these professional activities.


The APSA meetings make for a hard start to the fall semester, where our faculty meet one or two classes at the beginning of the term, only to depart for APSA and to return sometimes as much as a week later.  Despite the timing complications of the APSA meetings, our faculty return refreshed and reinvigorated, and we reboot our classes. While most of us are at the meetings, there are some things for our students to consider.


Senior Capstones.  Seniors planning to complete POSC 396 and their capstone paper this fall semester should review the requirements on the Department’s webpage at  Please note that Senior Capstone Prospectuses are due no later than Friday, September 7. Note that Professors Elliot Posner and Justin Buchler are on sabbatical this term and are not available to supervise Fall 2018 Senior Capstone Projects.  For questions about the prospectus and the capstone process, please consult with your academic advisor.


For those POSC majors who intend to complete their capstone projects in the next term (Spring 2018), this is also a good time to review the capstone requirements and discuss the prospects for working with specific faculty members, in preparing for next semester.  Please remember that Professors Kelly McMann and Elliot Posner will be on sabbatical next semester (Spring 2019), and hence will not be teaching in the spring. Students who hope to work on their senior capstone project with Professor McMann in the 2018-19 academic year will have to do so this fall semester.  


For examples of the kinds of Senior Capstones our POSC majors produce, please see our Senior Capstone Archive here.


Internships and Volunteering.  The Department regularly publicizes various internships and part-time employment opportunities through this Newsletter (and we also post them on our Internships page).  I hope that you will be able to take advantage of some of these opportunities – without being taken advantage of yourselves.  Some positions are completely unpaid; others offer an hourly wage of $10/hour, compensation that strikes me as relatively low.  I urge you to consider the value of your education, the skills you have learned at the premier university in northeast Ohio (and ranked #1 in Ohio by US News & World Report), and the value of your time, when deliberating whether or not to seek an internship – both in terms of which internships, if any, to accept, and of compensation.


At the same time, there are some virtues to taking on unpaid internships, especially those associated with the political and election campaigns this fall.  The internships associated with the 2018 statewide election campaigns in Ohio are, after all, only available every four years. Many of you will have political commitments to candidates in Ohio (not to mention the 2018 midterm Congressional election campaigns), and these are worth pursuing, in principle, even unpaid, and can be considered part of one’s citizenship responsibilities.  Political campaign internships also often lead to paid employment, post-graduation.


Please note that even as the Department of Political Science alerts our students to a range of opportunities, including internships, fellowships, and jobs, we do not endorse or sponsor these.  We leave it to the judgment of our students to determine what is most useful and appropriate to them, and we urge them to do their due diligence in considering whether or not to pursue any of these opportunities.


New Building.  Alas, the Department of Political Science does not have a new building or even a renovated building, but we do have a “refreshed” or refurbished building.  I’m still moving back into my office, and have ten boxes to unpack, but I’m pleased to see fresh paint everywhere, new carpeting, excellent lighting in all offices and hallways, and a beautifully restored floor in Mather House 100, which will soon have zoom room equipment installed.  I encourage our students, friends, and alumni to drop by the building to see the changes.


With all best wishes,



Karen Beckwith

Flora Stone Mather Professor

Chair, Department of Political Science


“America is a living testimonial to what free men and women, organized in free democratic trade unions, can do to make a better life. We ought to be proud of it.”

— Hubert Humphrey, 1977

General Announcements

  • Visit the CWRU Center for Civic Engagement & Learning (CCEL) online or in person during business hours (first floor of Tinkham Veale University Center, #165) for voter registration assistance and voter registration forms (that they’ll even mail in for you)! Ohio’s voter registration deadline is October 9 and Election Day is November 6.
    • Visit to access everything you need to register, update voter registration info, request an absentee ballot, and sign-up for election reminders.
  • 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: Supreme Court Forecast and Review
August 31, 12:30-1:30p.m., KSL Dampeer Room
Join Professors Jonathan Adler J.D. and Jonathan Entin J.D. for a review of the Supreme Court’s past term and a preview of the next.
In Conversation: Danny Lyon and Barbara Tannenbaum
September 5, 6:30p.m., Cleveland Museum of Art
Join the famed artist and filmmaker as he discusses what motivated him to create the visual eulogy The Destruction of Lower Manhattan (on view in gallery 230); he also provides insight into his most recent work.
Public Health and Private Hospitals: Better Together?
September 6, 6:00-9:00p.m., Tinkham Veale University Center
While private hospitals provide individualized care to the sick, public health organizations work to reduce the number of people who get sick. Will success for one be a defeat for the other? The Weatherhead School of Management brings together a panel of distinguished experts from the academic, managerial and public policy worlds will provide insight into these questions and the future of healthcare. Tickets are $10.

Friday Lunch: “Step Therapy” to Reduce Spending on Prescription Drugs: Legal and Ethical Implications
September 7, 12:30-1:30p.m., Kelvin Smith Library LL06A-C
Join Professor Sharona Hoffman, J.D., LLM, to learn about the latest “disruptive innovation” in U.S. health care.

National Voter Registration Day
September 25, 11:00a.m. – 3:00p.m., Tinkham Veale University Center 165
The CWRU community is invited stop by the Center for Civic Engagement & Learning for a National Voter Registration Day celebration!

Internship and Fellowship Opportunities
Equality Ohio
An ongoing variety of internships are available in the areas of communications, organization, and administration. For a full listing of available internships and descriptions, see here.
Obama Foundation
The Obama Foundation Fellows are a diverse set of leaders who bring a community-centered approach to science, criminal justice, healthcare, education, the arts, and more. Together they model the powerful truth that each of us has a role to play in civic life.
Phil Robinson for State Representative
Ohio House District 6 candidate Phil Robinson is seeking both full- and part-time interns and campaign fellows for this fall who would like firsthand campaign experience in state level campaigns and politics. The positions available include Democratic Campaign Internships, Field & Organizing Fellowships, and Finance Fellowships.
Policy Matters Ohio
Policy Matters is a non-profit policy research institute, with goals to create a more vibrant, equitable, sustainable and inclusive Ohio through research, strategic communications, coalition building and policy advocacy. Year-round, unpaid internships are offered in both the Cleveland and Columbus offices. Fall, Winter and Spring applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. The application period for Summer internships begins in February and ends when all positions are filled.
Previously posted opportunities can be found on the department webpage. Please make sure to check regularly as to not miss approaching deadlines!

Employment Opportunities
Vote Everywhere Program
CCEL has partnered with the Andrew Goodman Foundation (AGF) to bring the Vote Everywhere Program to CWRU. Active on over 36 college campuses across the country, this program is a unique initiative rooted in a legacy of civil rights and social justice. The application for 2018-2019 Vote Everywhere Ambassador positions is now open. Complete the application here. Email for questions about the program or to inquire about opportunities for collaboration.

Scholarship Opportunities
CWRU Social Justice Institute
The Social Justice Institute has established a scholarship fund to help Case Western Reserve University students attend conferences to enhance their educational, professional and personal development in social justice. As limited funds are available, students interested in attending a social justice conference during the 2018-19 academic year are encouraged to complete an online application as soon as possible.

A Little Extra…
FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art 
Exhibition ends September 30, Museum of Contemporary Art
With a roster of national, international and area-based artists at all points in their career, FRONT will examine the ever-changing and politically urgent conditions of an American city. Admission is free this Saturday, September 1 (the MOCA is free every first Saturday of the month).

Jonathan Entin, David L. Brennan Professor Emeritus of Law and Adjunct Professor of Political Science, explained how Lt. Col. Oliver North’s testimony before Congress about his involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair eased concerns about former President Ronald Reagan’s connection in this article, “6 U.S. presidents before Donald Trump who faced legal trouble.”


Please note that the Department of Political Science alerts our students to a range of opportunities, including internships, fellowships, and jobs.  We do not endorse or sponsor these, and leave it to the judgment of our students what is most useful and appropriate to them.

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