April 17, 2020 Newsletter

Opportunities and Announcements

for the Week of April 17, 2020

Senior Capstone Presentations.  This year’s senior capstone presentations will be held virtually, in zoom meetings.  These will be held in three separate capstone sessions, on Monday, April 20, and Wednesday, April 22, each starting at 5:00pm.  Please add these events to your calendars now.  Two sessions include seniors whose work can be identified as involving US politics; a third session includes capstones in the subfields of comparative politics and international relations.  Details of the presentations are being sent to all presenters, faculty members, and political science majors. Chaired by our faculty, the meetings will be convened by individual faculty members responsible for chairing each session.  Senior capstone students and junior and senior political science majors will receive zoom invitations, and can join the presentation sessions as they prefer. Zoom invitations will be sent on the day, shortly before each session begins.  Invitations are not to be shared publicly.

Senior capstone presentations are a signature event of the political science department.  As in years past, the Spring 2020 capstone presentations model the process at professional political science meetings.  Each capstone student will have the responsibility of presenting the capstone work in progress to the virtually assembled group, followed by a question-and-answer session.  Our students shine during these sessions, suiting up to share their completed work, presenting their work in an engaging and professional manner, and handling questions from faculty and their peers. I’m looking forward to the presentations and to learning about student research in their capstone work.

Under normal circumstances, senior capstone presentations would be followed by a buffet dinner, when we all convene from our separate sessions to dine together and to engage in further discussion and general conversation (and we send our students home with all the leftovers).  It is a little heartbreaking that we will not be able to celebrate those students who are completing their capstones this semester at a dinner, but the faculty have been discussing alternative ways to recognize those who will be presenting their work this month. We also have the convention of photographing capstone students with their faculty advisor; we’ll have to settle for some screen shots this time.

Registering for Courses.  Course registration is moving ahead apace, and we look forward to seeing many of you in our courses in the fall.  The Department is also offering a course in the May term: POSC 334 Comparative Political Violence, offered by Professor Pete Moore.  This course has no prerequisites, and it serves to fulfill a GER social science requirement and a POSC major/minor requirement. Professor Moore writes, “This is a non-standard, simulation based course analyzing the causes and processes of political violence in comparative perspective. The course begins by engaging some classic philosophical work on power, conflict, and violence. It then moves to specific cases drawn at different historical periods and from across the world. For each case, students are organized into groups representing political actors. Collaborative research and written assignments serve to prepare each group for an in-class simulation exercise. Simulations vary in format and goals but each comprises a group grade and an individual written project. This Maymester the course will investigate three cases: 19th century rural American conflict, international organized crime, and international intervention.”  Professor Moore is an excellent teacher, recently nominated (again) for the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and I encourage interested students to consider enrolling in this course.

The Department is offering a range of interesting and pertinent courses in the Fall 2020 term, and we are preparing to them remotely as well as on campus.  Several were listed in last week’s Newsletter. Let me add two more. Professor Matthew Hodgetts is offering POSC351 Modern Political Thought, which will focus on dystopias, perhaps more timely than we would like (!), and Professor Girma Parris is offering POSC321 News Media and Politics.  Please see the full range of the POSC course offerings in SIS. And please note the correct number of Professor Tartakoff’s POSC327 Civil Liberties in America; it was mistakenly listed with a wrong number in the previous newsletter.  

To reiterate, this is a crucial time for students, and everyone generally, to understand politics and government, here in the US and around the world.  All of our courses address the important issues of our times, and are well taught and engaging. None of our courses have prerequisites, and we are happy to welcome all students into our courses.

Meetings with Majors. Thanks to the four POSC junior majors (and one senior major) who met virtually with me on Monday to discuss their experiences as political science majors and to make suggestions for our department moving forward.  I am always impressed by how insightful and committed our political science majors are, and these strengths were clearly evident during this meeting. Like the senior majors, our junior majors raised concerns about senior capstone processes, introducing concentrations within the major, and additional courses they would like us to offer.  The faculty discussed some of these issues in our department meeting on Wednesday (see the screen shot of us, below). I’ll offer additional opportunities for our majors to meet again in the next several weeks. The next step: I will be convening our sophomore (and first-year) POSC majors.


TIME IS RUNING OUT FOR VOTING IN THE OHIO PRIMARY ELECTIONS.  You Can Still Vote BUT YOU HAVE TO REQUEST A BALLOT. Here’s How.  Here is the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.

In order to be able to vote, you must apply for an absentee ballot by noon on Saturday, April 25th. Use one of these three methods to get an application form or create your own application:
1) Print an absentee ballot application, fill it out, and mail it in to your County Board of Elections.

2) Call your Board of Elections to ask them to send you an absentee ballot application. Complete the application and mail it back to the Board.

3) Create your own application: If you do not have a printer, write your own ballot application on a blank sheet of paper and mail it to your Board of Elections. Your application should include:

  • Your full name.
  • Your birthdate.
  • Your full residence address including county.
  • The address where the ballot should be mailed if different from your registration address.
  • One of these forms of ID:
  • Write: “I’m a qualified elector and I’m requesting an absentee ballot for the March 17th Ohio Primary.”
  • Indicate which type of ballot you want (choose one):
    • Democratic,
    • Or Republican,
    • Or Libertarian,
    • Or Issues only ballot.
  • Your signature.
  • Include today’s date.
  • Phone number (optional, but suggested).
  • E-mail address (optional but suggested).

Once you receive your ballot and fill it out carefully, you have two ways to return it:1) By mail. If you’re mailing your ballot back in, it needs to be postmarked by Monday, April 27th.

2) Drop it off. You can also drop off your ballot to your local Board of Elections by 7:30PM Tuesday, April 28th. 

We’re Still Here and We’re Still Teaching.  As we conclude our fourth week of remote teaching, political science courses are functioning well.  Faculty are advising our students via zoom and other means; courses are meeting regularly; our students are doing their best, as are the faculty.  The faculty have agreed to consult on a regular basis about teaching challenges and innovation opportunities for remote teaching. Thanks to everyone for pulling together so quickly and so successfully under such difficult circumstances.  As always, to our students, if you need me for anything, please email me at karen.beckwith@case.edu.

Good News.  Our senior POSC major, Jacob Roth, has long worked as an EMT volunteer.  He is currently at home in Rockland County, New York. Recently, his local hospital sent out a “Bat Signal,” asking for volunteers, and so Jacob jumped in.  He has working as a “EMT- Basic” (Emergency Medical Technician). Congratulations to Jacob! We’re impressed (but not surprised), and we wish Jacob all the best, including keeping safe and healthy.  

Many of us have family members and friends working in health care during this pandemic crisis, and it’s stressful and worrying for all of us.  We are so thankful for all those on the front lines against this pandemic – those in health care, those in delivery services, those in our US Postal System, those in food preparation, those in care work, and those who are simply staying safe and out of the way so that everyone else can do their crucial work.

I hope everyone will be able to enjoy the weekend.  Spring weather is coming. As always, stay calm, stay connected, and study political science.

With all best wishes,

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

Virtual Events

How Will the Coronavirus Reshape Democracy?
April 17, 12:30-1:30pm, Virtual Forum by the City Club
Yascha Mounk, Ph.D., a political scientist known for his work on the rise of populism and the crisis of liberal democracy, will discuss how the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted democracy and governance at a time when liberal democracy was under threat from a worldwide rise in authoritarianism.


Current Opportunities

Fall 2020 White House Internship Program
The Fall 2020 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.


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.

The National Endowment for Democracy
The National Endowment for Democracy offers a number of internship opportunities to undergraduate students. Summer 2020 are being accepted now.  Fall 2020 applications will be accepted beginning on April 20.

The Borgen Project
The Borgen Project, a non-profit organization aiming to end global poverty, offers telecommute internships in journalism, political affairs, and human resources.

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.

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.

Ohio Legislative Service Commission Legislative Fellowship Program
The LSC sponsors 23 – 24 paid thirteen-month legislative fellowship positions designed to provide college graduates with practical experience in the legislative process. The fellowship program begins the first week in December of each year and continues through December 31 of the following year. Applications for legislative fellowship positions are due May 1. Applications for media production fellowship positions are due May 31.

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.


Job Opportunities

APSR Managing Editor
The American Political Science Association is seeking a candidate to fill a full-timeManaging Editor Position in its publication department. Applications will remain open until position is filled.

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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