April 3, 2020 Newsletter

Opportunities and Announcements

for the Week of April 3, 2020

Gratitude, at Two Weeks In.  Yesterday morning President Barbara Snyder sent an email, detailing the Health Education Center’s transition to a surge hospital.  She encouraged us to join her “in thanking all of those people staffing hospitals and other health care facilities across our region—they are our true heroes.” So I write today to thank many people. Thank you to all the nurses, doctors, patient care technicians, respiratory therapists, janitorial staff, food service staff, pharmacists, admissions staff, clerical staff, and many others who are working to protect and to restore the health of our community. 

Many people are working at CWRU to protect students currently living on campus and to provide housing to hospital workers.  Thank you to all the janitorial staff, food service staff, security staff, physical plant staff, and others who are working every day to keep our community secure and protected at every level.

Thank you to our faculty and students who, in the most unprecedented and perilous circumstances, continue the mission of CWRU and of higher education.  Thank you to our students – for showing up, for keeping their spirits up, for doing the work, for being flexible and adjusting to the new reality. And especially, thanks to our seniors.  This is not the final semester they imagined, but they are completing their work, staying focused, staying connected, and keeping their eyes on the future.  

Finally, thank you to our alumni.  Many of our alumni, from those of longest standing to our most recent graduates, have been generous to our department, providing encouragement and financial support.  The generosity of our alumni has always been recognized and appreciated. Now the generosity of our alumni is sustaining our department in these most difficult times.  I thank them, on behalf of the entire department.

Politics Continues.  The Ohio primary elections, originally scheduled for March 17, were postponed by Governor Mike DeWine, and replaced by voting by mail through April 28.  If you are already registered to vote in Ohio, but have not yet cast a ballot, you can request an absentee ballot and vote. You do not need to be currently in Ohio to cast this ballot; if you have not yet voted in the Ohio primary, you need only to be registered in Ohio to receive a ballot and vote.  See the information, below; see also the information at the Ohio Secretary of State’s webpage to request a ballot. 


From the Provost:
P/NP Option Approved: In light of the disruption the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, the Faculty Senate has approved the proposal for undergraduates to be able to choose the Pass/No Pass option for as many courses as they would like—including courses that count for degree requirements. This option applies only to this semester. As in the usual application of this option, professors are not told which students are taking their courses Pass/No Pass. 

The P/NP option is currently available only for the Spring 2020 semester.  It is available for all courses, and can be selected by students until April 27.  For further information, see https://case.edu/ugstudies/academic-policies/grades-and-credit-examination.

Choosing Pass/NoPass for Courses
For those students with questions about the P/NP grade opportunity, please note the following information from Nancy DiIulio, Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies:“For undergraduate students, a Grade of D is passing, and students with a grade of D earn credits for a course.  With respect to major requirements [in political science], a grade of D also meets degree requirements.  However, a student can not earn all D’s and graduate; they must have a minimum gpa of 2.000 to meet degree requirements.

“Finally, a grade of D or better is converted to a P if a student elects the P/NP grading option for a course.”To summarize:

  • Minimum required letter grade for passing a course with credit = D
  • Minimum required letter grade for passing a course in the POSC major with credit = D
  • Minimum required overall GPA in the POSC major = 2.000
  • Minimum required overall GPA for graduation = 2.000

P/NP grades are not part of GPA calculations.  I encourage students who are considering a P/NP grade to discuss this possibility with their academic advisor.

Honors in Political Science.  The faculty of the Department of Political Science have decided not to make any changes in the requirements for graduating with Honors in Political Science.  The requirements are:  1) an overall GPA of 3.3 or higher;
2) a GPA of 3.7 or higher in all political science courses; and
3) a grade of A in POSC396 Senior Capstone Project.Please note that a student who chooses P/NP in POSC396 will not be eligible for departmental Honors; Honors requires a letter grade of A.

Declaring a Major.  Professor Pete Moore, our Director of Undergraduate Studies, shared the following information for those who would like to declare a major in political science.

Students wishing to declare either a major or minor in Political Science should first download the proper form (https://case.edu/ugstudies/forms).

Fill out Part 1 as much as you can. Sign it, date it, and scan it. Please then send the scanned form to Professor Moore (pwm10@case.edu). He will arrange a brief zoom meeting to answer questions and to assign an advisor. Your completed form should then be sent to your navigator who will route it to Undergraduate Studies. Note that it may take a few days or up to a week for your new major status to show up in SIS.

Good News.
We continue to have some good news in the Department.  Graduating senior Gillian Prater-Lee will begin graduate study in geography at the Pennsylvania State University in the fall.  Congratulations to Gillian on admission to graduate school at Penn State!

Our alumni — Koko Etokebe (BA POSC 2019) and Jacob Sandstrom (BA POSC 2019) – have good news to share, too.  Koko, currently at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law, has accepted an offer to work for the Ohio Attorney General this summer.  Jacob, at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, will be Summer Law Clerk at The Ohio State University Office of Legal Affairs. Congratulations to Koko and to Jacob!

Timothy Sprunt, POSC major, has enrolled in the ICPSR Summer Workshop Introduction to R.  Congratulations to Tim! For others who might be interested in these workshops, see the ICPSR Summer Program Short Workshops website.

For those with other good news to share, please email your good news to me at karen.beckwith@case.edu.

As always, stay calm and study political science.

With all best wishes,

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

Virtual Events

How Cleveland is Responding to the Coronavirus Crisis
April 3, 12:30-1:30pm, Virtual Forum by the City Club
In this virtual forum, Mayor Jackson will provide updates on how the city of Cleveland is responding to the crisis and the measures taken to keep residents safe.

Maintaining Economic Health During a Crisis
April 10, 12:30-1:30pm, Virtual Forum by the City Club
Loretta J. Mester, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland will share shares the national Federal Reserve Bank’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, her economic outlook, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s continued work in the community during the crisis.

Best Practices in Applying to Graduate School 
April 14, 10-11:00am, Webinar by APSIA
The Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) is hosting an introductory webinar on best practices when applying for graduate school, including selecting a program, preparing and application, paying for school, and career opportunities.


Current Opportunities

Fall 2020 White House Internship Program
The Fall 202 White House Internship Program application is now open until 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, April 24. The White House Internship Program is a highly competitive public service leadership program providing unique and valuable experience.


Scholarship Opportunities

OCCDF Public Service Scholarship
The Ohio Conference of Community Development Public Service Scholarship is intended to help students dedicated to a career in public service.  Applications are due by April 13.

Summer Funding Opportunities
CWRU’s Baker-Nord Center offers three different grant competitions for summer funding.  Applications are due April 15, 2020.


Summer Opportunities

ICPSR Summer Program
The ICPSR Summer Program offers rigorous training in quantitative methods and data analysis.  This program offers more than 80 courses in Ann Arbor, Michigan and other cities across the U.S.

Democracy Journal Internship
The Democracy: A Journal of Ideas offers Washington, DC-based internships in writing and editing and covers foreign topics. Applications for summer are due April 30.

Department of Veteran Affairs Summer Internship
The VA National Diversity Internship Program (NDIP) provides internship opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students. Applications are open year-round.

Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
The FDD, a Washington, DC based think tank, offers a variety of unpaid internships to undergraduate students. Applications are open until all positions are filled.

Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Governmental Affairs Summer Internship
The APLU CGA internship is an unpaid opportunity for students with an interest in politics and the political process, as well as for those interested in higher education and/or science or technology policy. Applications should be submitted 2 months prior to the start date of the internship.

American Enterprise Institute Summer Internships
AEI provides various internships to undergraduate students. Internships are unpaid, but applicants can apply for a scholarship to provide a monthly stipend. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

City of Canton Mayor’s Internship Program
The City of Canton Mayor’s office provides students with real work experience, while exposing participants to the diverse functions and operations of a municipal government. Applications should be submitted 1-2 months before anticipated start date.

International Security Positions
Deadlines for international security positions beginning summer 2021 can be as early as this spring due to security clearance requirements.  If you are interested in such positions, begin to monitor usajobs.gov and U.S. federal agency web sites regularly now.


Graduating Senior Opportunities

Masters in Computational Social Science at the University of Chicago
The Masters in Computational Social Science at the University of Chicago teaches the skills of social scientific inference and the technical mastery of important computational methods. Students learn to make important contributions in Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Anthropology, and History. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until April 30.

Rotary Peace Fellowship
The Rotary Peace Fellowship program awards up to 130 fully funded fellowships for dedicated leaders to study at one of their peace centers in either their master’s degree program or professional development certificate program. Applications close July 1, 2020 for the 2021-2022 fellowship.

EPIK invites recently graduated students from English-speaking countries with a motivation to share their knowledge and language with Korean students and teachers through teaching classes. Applications are open from February to July for the Fall term.

City Year
The role of a City Year AmeriCorps member is designed to help students build the social-emotional and academic skills to achieve their goals. The next application deadline in May 29, 2020.


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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