May 1, 2020 Newsletter

Opportunities and Announcements

for the Week of May 1, 2020

Finals Week.  Classes concluded on Monday, and final exams began yesterday.  Remote teaching and learning were not what any of us anticipated at the beginning of the spring semester, and this finals week is not what we would typically expect.  Students in our courses have been remarkable in their adjustment, at short notice, to the massive disruption of canceled in-class teaching, inability to return to campus, isolation at home or with roommates or in solitary lockdown, and away from friends and faculty.  As our students complete their coursework, and as our senior majors conclude their undergraduate careers, I thank them for bearing with us, for coming to virtual class meetings, for continuing with and completing their academic work, and for persisting in such unprecedented and difficult times.  I wish all our students all the best for finals week and, for our seniors, in their future endeavors.  And I’ll look forward to seeing our sophomores and juniors when we return in the fall, and to meeting the incoming first-year students (and encouraging them to major in political science).

Senior Capstone Process Meeting.  Several members of the POSC faculty met via zoom with rising juniors and seniors this week to discuss the process of POSC396 Senior Capstone Project, required by the POSC major and by the SAGES Program.  Thanks to our faculty who spoke about their experiences and foci regarding POSC396 and for the thoughtful students who asked insightful questions.  Our faculty look forward to working with you next year.

More News about the P/NP Option Dean Jeff Wolcowitz sent an email earlier this week in regard to the Faculty Senate vote to “extend the period of time for undergraduates to decide whether to choose letter grades or P/NP grading for this unusual semester until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, May 11. This will apply to all courses that had an end date of March 16 or later.”

As a result, we will cancel all P/NP elections that were made by the earlier April 27 deadline. This will allow all letter grades submitted by your instructors to post in the Student Information System for you to review before the new deadline.  Once you have seen your grades for this semester, you will have a new opportunity to decide for each course whether you wish to keep the grade that has been posted or choose to convert it to P/NP grading.  All undergraduates who want to select P/NP options will need to do so again. Specific information about how to indicate that you wish to opt for P/NP grading will be sent early next week. If you do nothing, the letter grade will stand.  As you make your decisions, you should remember that grades of P for Spring 2020 courses will count toward major, minor, and general education requirements. You will also want to review the special rules about academic standing that were adopted for this semester. Your navigator will be able to answer any questions that you may have about this policy change.”  This information is also available here.

Please note:  students who choose a P grade for POSC396 will not be eligible for departmental honors in political science.  The political science faculty have not changed the criteria for departmental honors, information about which is available here.  If you have any questions, please talk with your academic advisor or email me at

If You Need Help.  CWRU students have organized the Student Activities Fee COVID-19 Emergency Fund (SAF-CEF), to provide emergency assistance funding for their peers, to help CWRU undergraduates manage the changes created by the COVID-19 pandemic. See here for the article in this week’s Observer; students can submit a request for assistance to the Student Activities Fee COVID-19 Emergency Fund in CampusGroups.

Good News.  See POSC major Henry Bendon’s excellent and concluding article in this week’s Observer.  Congratulations to Henry and thanks for all his good writing across the past four years!

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

2020 Law Day: The 19th Amendment at 100
May 1, 12:30-1:30pm, Virtual Forum from the City Club
Virgina Kase, CEO of the League of Women Voters, will discuss the 19th Amendment at 100, including the enduring challenges to equal access to voting, especially during the corona virus pandemic.

Happy Dog Takes on the World: How Will Coronavirus Change the World? How Should We Change It?
May 5, 7:30-8:30pm, Virtual Forum Available at here
A panel of experts will discuss the effect the coronavirus might have on the world, answering such questions as: What kind of world can we expect post-crisis? Will authoritarian regimes thrive or fail? What will become of the many conflicts in the Middle East? Perhaps, more importantly, what kind of world should we envision and work towards?

Coronavirus in Conflict Zones
May 7, 4:00-5:00pm, Virtual Forum from the CCWA
The Cleveland Council on World Affairs will host Jarrett Blanc, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Pease, to discuss the realities of coronavirus in conflict-afflicted nations with high levels of displacement and low levels of state capacity.


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, May 1. The White House Internship Program is a highly competitive public service leadership program providing unique and valuable experience.

Virtual Volunteering Opportunities
The CWRU Center for Civic Engagement and Learning has compiled a list of virtual volunteering opportunities, several of which are political science related.


Summer Opportunities

Progressive Policy Institute Internships
PPI offers a range of internships, including the possibility of remote internships during the COVID-19 crisis. Summer internship applications are due May 15. Fall internship applications will be accepted starting July 1.

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.

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 and U.S. federal agency web sites regularly now.


Graduating Senior Opportunities

Graduate Public Policy & Management Program 
The Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University, offering graduate degrees in Public Policy and Management has reopened their Fall 2020 Graduate Applications.  The GRE/GMAT requirement has been waived for new applicants.

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 is 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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