May 13, 2019 Newsletter

     Opportunities and Announcements

     for the Week of May 13, 2019


Final grades are due to the Registrar today, as the 2018-19 academic year draws to a close. As faculty complete the few final tasks of the semester, and as our seniors prepare for commencement, it’s worth drawing attention to a minor entry on the Department’s homepage;

The Department of Political Science was successfully reviewed according to Ohio Department of Higher Education standards in 2019.

During the academic year, the political science faculty undertook a review of our degree programs, from our BA to our PhD, as required by the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Although the OHDE has long required a review of graduate programs, for the first time they also requested a review of undergraduate degree programs as well. Relying on our 2017 Strategic Plan, data from the Registrar’s Office, and our record of student and faculty achievement, we drafted and discussed an analysis of our degree programs. Three political scientists from other universities visited campus, speaking with our faculty and our students, and consulting with administrators in the College. As external evaluators, these political science colleagues provided a professional, and positive perspective on our degree programs and the state of the department, issuing an analysis that was clear-eyed, critical, and comprehensive. A final discussion with College administrators confirmed that the Department has successfully completed the ODHE review, a review that will permit us to move forward next year – when we hope to be able to search for additional tenure-track faculty and to review the POSC undergraduate curriculum.

Seed Sprint Proposals:  Institute for Democracy and Global Problems and a Center for Social Sciences

This semester also marked the development of several “seed sprint” proposals, in response to a call from Provost Ben Vinson. Although all proposals were intended to involve cross-department and cross-school collaboration, and hence no proposal came directly from the Department of Political Science, two proposals involving political science faculty reached the final round and were presented at the Think Big event last Friday. I look forward to seeing the results of these presentations and the response from the Provost’s Office to these and the several other proposals that were presented last week.
The first proposal involving our department is a cross-school collaboration to establish an Institute for Democracy and Global Problems, led by Professor Kelly McMann, that will address the major challenges of and to democracy, with specific regard to issues such as public health, climate change, international and cyber security, and infrastructural challenges. One of our POSC majors and one of our alumnae also joined this proposal.
The second is the proposal for a Center for Social Sciences, led by Professor Dale Dannefer, Chair of Sociology, and involving the Chairs of all social science departments (in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Weatherhead School), as well as faculty from MSASS, the School of Nursing, and the School of Medicine. A major impetus for this proposal is the need for social scientists in resolving major problems, including those that affect people worldwide. As the proposal argues, social scientists have developed the tools that are essential to understanding how to address major crucial issues that cannot be resolved by technology alone or by governments simply legislating policy. As the New York Times recently reported, “Odisha, one of India’s poorest states,” moved a million people out of the way of Cyclone Fani, averting mass casualties. As important as the massive communication and transportation efforts were, the ability of Odisha officials to persuade the population to cooperate and to evacuate peacefully is also the result of trust in government, willingness to believe government and meteorological reports, and the capacity of state actors to organize and implement the policy that kept so many people safe from what “could have been catastrophic.”  For example, as the US and other countries face suspicion about government public health policies (see here and here) and refusal to recognize climate change (see here and here), technology and science alone will not be able to provide responses to these challenges. As the Odisha example shows, only by working with social scientists to understand how citizens can be mobilized to act for the common welfare (and to ensure “herd immunity” against disease) or how democratic governments can implement crucial environmental policies that impose immediate costs upon their citizens, avoiding citizen free ridership without becoming autocratic, can these problems be addressed.

Concluding the Academic Year.
The final Newsletter of the academic year will be distributed next Friday. For now, best wishes for a happy, healthy, relaxing, and productive summer to all our POSC community. To our graduating POSC majors, I’ll look forward to seeing you at commencement.


Karen Beckwith
Flora Stone Mather Professor and Chair
Department of Political Science



For Freedoms Town Hall: Love is a Political Act
May 11, 2pm, MOCA
This townhall will emphasize the role of compassion and empathy in our democracy. Free and open to the public.

CCMV Views & Brews: Immigration Enforcement and Detention: Who’s in ICE Custody in Your Neighborhood?
May 13, 6:30pm-8:00pm, Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, Youngstown
Elizabeth Knowles, founder of the Immigration & Human Rights Clinic at the University of Akron School of Law, will discuss current immigration policies and practices, local ICE detention facilities, who they detain, the process for seeking asylum, and the effects and outcomes of detention. Free and open to the public.

Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains: What Are They, and How Are They Connected?
May 13, 7pm, Music Box Supper Club
In his talk, 
Vincenzo Liberatore, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at CWRU, will review the fundamental algorithms that underpin blockchain, their differences and their applications. He also will explore the implications of the widespread adoption of blockchain, and its possible future developments. 

Redefining National Security: Preparing for Future Foreign Policy Challenges
May 15, 5:30-7:15pm, The Union Club
This program will explore how the U.S. can develop a national security strategy to prepare for the challenges, such as climate change, infectious disease, and cyber security, which lie ahead. Student tickets are $5.

Cleveland Asian Festival
May 18-19, 11am-7pm, Asiatown Asia Plaza
The 10th annual Cleveland Asian Festival highlights Cleveland’s Asiatown and celebrates Asian culture and Cleveland’s diversity in Northeast Ohio. Free and open to the public.

Internship Opportunities

The Dialogue: Leadership for the Americas Internships
The Inter-American Dialogue offers a number of internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Fall 2019 applications are due by August 2.

Refugees International Internships
Refugees International offers internships in their Washington, D.C. office. Fall internship applications are due August 15.

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

Volunteer Opportunities

Cleveland Clinic’s College Student Volunteer Program
This program offers patient-focused volunteer opportunities that enhance the patient experience. Volunteers commit 75 minimum service hours for Summer 2019. Summer 2019 applications are due May 10.

Student Employment Opportunities

CCEL Serves Leader
Apply to be a CCEL Serves Leader for a weekly CCEL Serves program. To be considered, contact as soon as possible expressing why you are interested in one of the posted positions.

Scholarship Opportunities

Enterprise Ohio Scholarship
This scholarship is open to Undergraduate and Graduate African-American students pursuing a degree that will help them in joining or advancing in Cleveland’s community development field. Up to two scholarships will be awarded of up to $5,000 each for the 2019-2020 school year.

A Little Extra…

  • Professor Joseph White discussed how politics could muddy conversations about the debt ceiling in Congress in this Fortune article “‘Debt Ceiling’ May Become a Political Buzzword This Summer
  • Adjunct Political Science Professor Jonathan Entin explained an argument against a Cleveland ordinance that requires contractors to hire a certain percentage of local workers. Take a listen on Marketplace.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *