Colorado College News: Political Science, Ashley Merscher ’08 Receives Fulbright ETA to Slovakia Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:30:00 MDT <p><strong>Ashley Merscher &rsquo;08</strong> has been awarded a <a href="">Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship</a> to the Slovak Republic.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s well known that bilingualism and multilingualism can open doors; but in Eastern Europe, it can literally open up a world of opportunity,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;A&nbsp;common language is a tool that can facilitate tolerance, deeper connections, empathy, understanding and, on a higher scale, it can encourage peace. I look forward to being a part of that.&rdquo;<br /><br />Merscher, a Colorado College political science major and environmental science minor, and decided to <a href="">apply for the Fulbright</a> after teaching English abroad for 2 1/2 years.</p> <p>Her first experience as a classroom teacher was in Budapest, Hungary, where she taught in a public primary school from 2015&ndash;17. &ldquo;It was an incredibly interesting experience, using teaching tactics from American and British curricula, but implementing them into Hungarian national curriculum, which is still very much shaped by its communist past,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>She currently lives in a rural community north of Madrid, Spain, where she teaches students ranging from first-graders to adults in vocational training courses.&nbsp;Teaching is &ldquo;a challenging job, especially while transplanting yourself into a foreign culture, but it&rsquo;s also incredibly rewarding,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>Merscher notes that in Budapest and now in Spain, she&rsquo;s worked with children who have more access to learning English. &ldquo;I&rsquo;d like to be in a country and work in a school where I can make a bigger impact,&rdquo; she says of her desire to teach in Slovakia.</p> <p>Merscher, originally from Sequim, Washington, says Eastern Europe has always interested her. &ldquo;I remember hearing about conflict in that region when I was a kid, which made it more interesting to me than other areas of Europe,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Living in Hungary, every single day was a fascinating experience. I learned so much about the region, the culture, the people, the history ... you can see the remnants of communism throughout Budapest, socially, educationally, and architecturally. I became very interested in learning more about how this country, and this region, was recovering from such a recent, turbulent past, and watching reactions to new issues unfold, such as immigration. Soon enough, my interests crossed borders and I was visiting countries in the Balkans, as well as Slovakia and Romania.&rdquo;</p> <p>Prior to moving overseas, Merscher worked at the Palmer Land Trust in Colorado Springs, an organization that aims to conserve land in southeastern Colorado. She also served as assistant director of annual giving at Colorado College. Merscher is one of seven <a href="">Colorado College Fulbright semifinalists</a> this year, several of whom have been named finalists or alternates.</p> Professor Cronin on C-SPAN to Discuss Newest Book Thu, 15 Mar 2018 16:00:00 MDT ]]> <p>Retired Colorado College Professor of Political Science Tom Cronin will discuss his latest book, &ldquo;Imagining a Great Republic: Political Novels and the Idea of America,&rdquo; at 6 and 9 p.m. MDT (8 and 11 p.m. EDT), Sunday, March 18 on <a href="">C-SPAN&rsquo;s &ldquo;Q&amp;A.&rdquo;</a> The show, hosted by Brian Lamb, founder and former CEO of C-SPAN, is a weekly program aimed at &ldquo;highlighting today&rsquo;s most compelling thinkers in politics, media, education, and science.&rdquo;<br /><br />Lamb&rsquo;s interview with Cronin was taped in Washington, D.C. in late February. In the hour-long segment, they discuss Cronin&rsquo;s book, &ldquo;Imagining a Great Republic,&rdquo; which tells the story of the American political experiment through the eyes of 40 major novelists, from Harriet Beecher Stowe to Hunter S. Thompson to Edward Abbey. They have been moral and civic consciousness-raisers as the country has navigated the successes and setbacks, and the slow awkward evolution of the American political experiment.<br /><br />The book, an exploration of American political literature, is a departure from Cronin&rsquo;s previous books on politics and the presidency. Among them are &ldquo;Leadership Matters: Unleashing the Power of Paradox,&rdquo; &ldquo;Colorado Politics and Policy: Governing a Purple State,&rdquo; and &ldquo;The Paradoxes of the American Presidency.&rdquo;</p> Last Lecture: Tom Cronin Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 MST <p><em>Photos by Jennifer Coombes</em></p> <p>Political Science Professor Tom Cronin celebrated his career Dec. 12, by holding one last lecture at Tutt Library that was open to the public. Cronin responded to the prompt "If this was the last lecture you ever gave, what would you say?"</p> Tom Cronin Book Explores Political Literature Fri, 01 Dec 2017 14:30:00 MST <p>Professor of Political Science Tom Cronin has published a new book, &ldquo;Imagining a Great Republic: Political Novels and the Idea of America.&rdquo; The book explores American political literature, a departure from Cronin&rsquo;s previous books on politics and the presidency.</p> <p>In this book, the first comprehensive reading of dozens of American literary and social culture classics, Cronin, who has been called one of America&rsquo;s most astute students of the American political tradition, tells the story of the American political experiment through the eyes of 40 major novelists, from Harriet Beecher Stowe to Hunter S. Thompson. They have been moral and civic consciousness-raisers as the country has navigated the successes and setbacks, and the slow awkward evolution of the American political experiment.</p> <p>Constitutional democracy, equal justice for all, the American Dream, and American Exceptionalism are all part of the country&rsquo;s narrative. But, as &ldquo;Imagining a Great Republic&rdquo; explains, there has never been just a single American narrative &mdash; the country has competing stories, just as there are competing American Dreams and competing ways of imagining a more perfect political union. Recognizing and understanding these competing values is a key part of being American.</p> <p>Susan Page, Washington bureau chief for <em>USA Today</em>, writes &ldquo;When American political reality is confounding &mdash; like, say, today &mdash; there can be enlightenment in fiction. Tom Cronin&rsquo;s smart, engaging, expansive tour of political novels turns out to be timely in ways he couldn&rsquo;t have foreseen. Cronin shows how storytellers have long served to remind us of what America is and what we want it to be.&rdquo;</p> <p>Cronin will give a short talk and conduct a book signing on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hooked on Books, 12 E. Bijou St., in Colorado Springs.</p> Angela Cobian ’11 Wins Denver School Board Seat Thu, 09 Nov 2017 17:15:00 MST ]]> <p>Colorado College alumna <strong>Angela Cobian &rsquo;11</strong>, won a seat on the Denver School Board in the Nov. 7 election.<br /><br />Cobian was a young alumni trustee on CC&rsquo;s Board of Trustees, president of the Colorado College Student Government Association, and the recipient of a &nbsp;2013-14 Fulbright.</p> <p>During her Fulbright year, she served as a teaching assistant at a university in Mexico. In a 2013 interview Cobian, who was a political science major with a concentration in political theory and comparative politics of Latin America and a Spanish minor, said she selected Mexico for a variety of reasons. &ldquo;My parents are Mexican immigrants, and I&rsquo;ve never experienced what it&rsquo;s like to be a Mexican in Mexico. I did my best to study its history, politics, philosophy, and language at Colorado College. This is an opportunity to explore my Mexican heritage in an academic context.&rdquo;</p> <p>Following graduation, Cobian worked for Teach for America as a second- and third-grade teacher in an English-language acquisition-Spanish classroom at Cole Arts and Sciences Academy in Denver Public Schools. She earned a master&rsquo;s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis on linguistically diverse education.</p> Seniors Eva McKinsey, Lucy Marshall Named Projects for Peace Winners Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 MDT <p><strong>Eva McKinsey &rsquo;17</strong> and <strong>Lucy Marshall &rsquo;17</strong> have received a $10,000 <a href="">Davis Projects for Peace</a> award for their proposal to support education through coffee development in a small Peruvian mountain town.</p> <p>McKinsey, a political science major from Asheville, North Carolina, and Marshall, a history and political science major from Ithaca, New York, also worked extensively with <strong>Tessa Allen de Oliveira &rsquo;16</strong> in developing their project. De Oliveira, who graduated from Colorado College <em>magna cum laude</em> with a degree in English and Spanish, will be traveling with McKinsey and Marshall to Peru this summer to work on the project.</p> <p>&ldquo;<a href="">Chaupimonte Community Mill: Supporting Education Through Coffee Development in Oxapampa</a>&rdquo; has two goals. The first is to provide immediate assistance to the local school in Oxapampa, a town of about 10,000, by installing Internet and purchasing two computers. Longer-term goals include the development of a community mill to help promote economic growth and partnership between the coffee economy and the town&rsquo;s education system.<br /><br />&ldquo;We propose to work with the immediate community to develop a mill for the coffee farmers in Oxapampa. This project will empower members of the coffee industry, promote community growth and conflict resolution, and serve as a center for sustainability education both for farmers and local youth,&rdquo; McKinsey and Marshall write in their proposal.</p> <p>They plan to build a roof on an existing structure at Chaupimonte Farm, a farm owned by a woman who served as Marshall&rsquo;s host mother while she studied aboard in Peru. Additionally, they will construct solar drying beds and install washing wells.<br /><br />&ldquo;A community-based mill will allow production and processing activity to stay in the local economy and make the coffee more viable for direct trade partnerships, which will increase the value of the product and improve workers&rsquo; conditions according to direct trade standards,&rdquo; they write. &ldquo;In collaboration with the local school, the mill will also serve as a center for sustainability education and community building. We will hold workshops on sustainable growing practices, direct trade coffee standards, smallholder farm collectives, and workers&rsquo; rights and safety.&rdquo;</p> <p>The students&rsquo; long-term vision holds that improvements to the coffee operation will not only strengthen community relations but also provide a steadier and flourishing source of economic opportunity that will allow money to be reinvested in the community.</p> Oliver Ward ’17 Selected for JET Program Wed, 10 May 2017 17:30:00 MDT <p><strong>Oliver Ward &rsquo;17</strong> has been named an assistant language teacher by the <a href="">Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program</a>.</p> <p>In his role, Ward, an international political economy major from Boston, will work alongside his Japanese counterparts to teach English to children of all ages in schools. &ldquo;I am half-Japanese, which is undoubtedly a factor in my interest in Japan,&rdquo; says Ward, whose middle name is Mitsuhashi. &ldquo;I specifically want to work in Japan to learn more about my own cultural heritage.&rdquo; He also hopes to improve his Japanese, which, he says, &ldquo;admittedly, is very elementary. I&rsquo;m going to have to work very hard in the upcoming months to get where I want to be.&rdquo;</p> <p>Ward hopes to foster a positive and engaging learning environment in the classroom. &ldquo;From my time as a swim coach, assistant project manager in Boston, volunteer in Nicaragua, and student in Spain, I am well prepared for the assistant language teacher position,&rdquo; he wrote in his application. &ldquo;These valuable experiences taught me how to work well with children, adapt to become comfortable outside of my comfort zone, and be flexible in difficult situations.&rdquo;<br /><br />For the past several summers Ward has interned with a consulting company in Boston, and now wants to transition to a job that is focused on community. &ldquo;The only &lsquo;teaching&rsquo; experience I have is as a youth&nbsp;swim coach throughout high school, so I&rsquo;m aware that there&rsquo;s going to be a steep learning curve, something that the JET program takes into account,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Teaching through JET is a perfect transition job.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;m extremely proud&nbsp;that two of our 2017&nbsp;graduates have been chosen for the&nbsp;internationally competitive JET&nbsp;program,&rdquo; says Colorado College Professor of Japanese Joan Ericson. &ldquo;Oliver's past&nbsp;experience as a youth swim coach will definitely&nbsp;come in handy as he assists English language classes in a Japanese middle or high school. &nbsp;Someone with this kind of dedication and patience is highly valued in Japan, especially as a role model for youth trying to learn English, which is a compulsory subject starting in 7th grade.&rdquo;<br /><br />Ward joins <strong>Andrew Scherffius &rsquo;17</strong> in the JET Program this year. Last year, <strong>Amanda Barnstien &rsquo;16</strong>, <strong>Carlo Sangalang &rsquo;16</strong>, and <strong>Emma Schulman &rsquo;16</strong> were selected, bringing the total to five Colorado College students selected for the highly competitive program in the last two years.<br /><br />Founded in 1987, the JET Program is the only teaching exchange program managed by the Japanese government. Between 4,000 and 5,000 applications are received each year from U.S. applicants. Of these, 1,000-1,100 will be selected for participation in the JET Program.</p> Dorsa Djalilzadeh ('18) Elected CCSGA President Sun, 23 Apr 2017 15:15:00 MDT <p>On April 18, Dorsa Djalilzadeh (Feminist &amp; Gender Studies and Political Science '18) was elected to serve as President of the <a href="" target="_blank">Colorado College Student Government Association</a> (CCSGA).</p> <p>According to the CCSGA website, the organization "is comprised of members democratically elected by the Colorado College student body. CCSGA gives students a crucial role in the campus-wide development of an enriching college experience. CCSGA strives to make life at Colorado College not only intellectual, but also enjoyable and meaningful. In addition to being a source of support for student organizations and events, CCSGA is also a forum for cooperative action and provides a voice calling for progress. CCSGA is dedicated to the improvement of Colorado College and is driven by the passion and determination of its students."</p> <p>Congratulations, Dorsa!</p> Jared Russell ’18 Named Humanity in Action Fellow Wed, 19 Apr 2017 11:00:00 MDT <p><strong>Jared Russell &rsquo;18</strong> has been awarded a <a href="">Humanity in Action</a> fellowship and will study in Copenhagen, Denmark, this summer.<br /><br />The selection of Russell, a Boettcher Scholar and political science and philosophy major, marks the third consecutive year a Colorado College student has been named a Humanity in Action fellow.</p> <p>The 2017 <a href="">Humanity in Action Copenhagen Fellowship</a> &mdash; the 20th anniversary of the Copenhagen program &mdash; will explore how to bridge historical, cultural, and political divides in pursuit of an inclusive society.&nbsp;This year&rsquo;s theme, &ldquo;Towards an inclusive society,&rdquo; will set the stage for the next three Copenhagen Fellowships. The program notes that creating and maintaining an inclusive society is both a complex and demanding process in which historical, cultural, and political conditions play a pivotal role. Russell and his colleagues will study these conditions and explore methods to bridge societal divides.</p> <p>The Colorado College rising senior already has been involved in several related issues. Last summer he worked in an immigration clinic in his hometown of Pueblo, Colorado, helping low-income families achieve citizenship. In the course of the summer, he assisted 17 individuals obtain legal status within the United States. &ldquo;I found it to be an eye-opening experience, as it made me realize the fundamental aspects of life that I have started to take for granted,&rdquo; says Russell. &ldquo;After assisting people in the fight for these&nbsp;fundamental rights, I knew that I wanted to pursue the issue further to not only obtain a greater understanding, but to also make a larger impact. As such,&nbsp;I became increasingly interested in assisting with matters of human rights and the implementation of&nbsp;social justice programs.&rdquo;</p> <p>At the conclusion of his time in Copenhagen, Russell will attend a capstone conference in Berlin that incorporates all the Fellows from the various participating programs in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Sarajevo, and Warsaw). This year&rsquo;s conference will explore the rise in nationalist sentiment, xenophobic rhetoric, and political extremism across Europe and the United States, and the resultant challenges to transatlantic relations and domestic policies on both sides of the Atlantic.<br /><br />Following the Humanity in Action program, Russell will serve as a <a href="">Public Interest Fellowship Program</a> summer fellow&nbsp;at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, where most likely he will be conducting research on how the Medicare and Medicaid program can be better tailored to the low-income and immigrant populations in Colorado.&nbsp;When the eight-week fellowship ends, he will head to&nbsp;Oxford for the fall semester to study the politics of the European Union and philosophy of law.</p> Gregg Easterbrook ’76 Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences Sat, 15 Apr 2017 09:45:00 MDT <p>Colorado College alumnus <strong>Gregg Easterbrook &rsquo;76</strong> has been elected a member of the <a href="">American Academy of Arts and Sciences</a>, the esteemed society of scholars, scientists, writers, artists, as well as civic, business, and philanthropic leaders from around the world.</p> <p>Easterbrook, who graduated from CC with a degree in political science, is a contributing editor of <em>The Atlantic</em> and <em>The Washington Monthly</em>.</p> <p>He is the fourth Colorado College graduate to be elected a member the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the first in the humanities. Easterbrook, who will be teaching a course at CC during Block 2 in the fall, was elected in the Journalism and Communications category, one of only five new members elected in that category.</p> <p>Easterbrook has authored 10 books &mdash; six nonfiction, three literary novels, and one of humor &mdash;&nbsp; and writes for op-ed pages, magazines, and journals. He has written a total of 33 cover stories for <em>The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Washington Monthly, Time, Newsweek,</em> and <em>Wired</em>. He has been a politics columnist for Reuters and a sports columnist for ESPN and<em> The</em> <em>New York Times</em>. He also has been a distinguished fellow of the Fulbright Foundation, a visiting fellow of the Brookings Institution, a bartender, a bus driver and a used-car salesman. His next book, scheduled for publication in 2018, is titled &ldquo;The Arrow of History: Why a Better World Is Closer Than It Looks.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Colorado College taught me how to think in a rigorous manner,&rdquo; says Easterbrook, who received an honorary degree from Colorado College in 1992. &ldquo;A thousand times in my writing life I have felt gratitude for what I learned at a wonderful college by the foothills of a local peak.&rdquo;</p> <p>He joins CC alumni James <strong>Heckman &rsquo;65, Jane Lubchenco &rsquo;69</strong>, and <strong>Marcia McNutt &rsquo;74</strong> as members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.</p>