This past year I had the opportunity to represent Wake Forest as a Presidential Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. Through this fellowship I was able to join eighty other students from around the country for two conferences in Washington, DC. These conferences included presentations and panel discussions on both domestic issues and foreign affairs – everything from the midterm elections and the deficit to the war in Afghanistan. Speakers included Dr. Anne Marie Slaughter, the Director of Policy Planning for the US State Department, Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon papers, and Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Hearing such accomplished speakers offer their insight into some of the most pressing issues of our time was an incredibly enriching experience and one I will not soon forget. As part of this program, Fellows also wrote and presented papers on issues related to the presidency and congress. The topic of my paper was political polarization and its effect on presidential ability to govern. Writing this paper was an excellent opportunity for me to explore my personal research interests outside of the classroom, and helped make my experience with the Center for the Study of the Presidency even more rewarding.
NB: Caitlin’s paper “Divided Public, Divided Roles: Presidential Role Performance in a Polarized Political Climate” was published in The Fellows Review. Selected Papers of the 2010-2011 Presidential Fellows. Eds. Parry K. VanLandingham and Wuleta Endale. Washington, DC: Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, 2011, 259-78. The anthology includes the twenty best papers written by the 2010-2011 Presidential Fellows.
In 2011 I had the privilege of attending the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference as the delegate for Wake Forest University. Both military and civilian representatives from across the globe discussed the topic “People, Power, and Politics in the Internet Age.” Each delegate was assigned to a particular roundtable with about ten other delegates. I was a part of the “Homeland Cyber Security and Civil-Military Relations” roundtable, and I wrote a paper exploring the United States’ cyber security structure. For the next three days, our roundtable met and discussed subjects such as the cyber-threats the United States faces and the potential solutions which could be implemented. Among the many notable speakers were Ethan Zuckerman from Harvard, Sheryl Sandburg – the COO of Facebook, and Admiral Dennis Blair. The speakers were provided valuable insight into subjects including leadership and the impact of technology on foreign affairs today. The Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference was one of the most wonderful experiences I have had during my years as a student at Wake Forest University, and I will always remember the people I met and the time that I spent in Annapolis.
Congratulations to our Political Science majors who graduated in May!
In November 2010, I attended the Student Conference on US Affairs (SCUSA) which is held annually at West Point. During this four-day conference students from the US and several other countries discuss topics affecting US foreign policy. This year’s conference theme was “Reconsidering American Hegemony: Facing 21st Century Challenges and the Limits of the US Force and Power.” After a distinguished group of panelists opened the conference, the students were split into more than twenty round tables and assigned distinct topics. They included US-China Relations, the role of the US in the Middle East, energy security policy and climate change, and stability and human security in the developing world. Each round table had to devise a policy plan, draft a policy paper addressed to Capitol Hill, and present a policy brief at the conclusion of the conference. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed engaging with students and experts in international relations, a field which I hope to pursue in my graduate studies.
Five political science majors (Katherine Dydak, Monica Giannone, Mark Hoover, David Little, Zahir Rahman) and two political science minors (Sarah Pirovitz, Jaymi Thomas) were among the ten finalists in the 2010 Senior colloquium. Congratulations! For more information click here.
Monica and Zahir presented at the Founders’ Day Convocation, click here.
Read their orations:
“The Fear We Do Not Understand” by Monica Giannone.
“We are Wake Forest” by Zahir Rahman.
A job well done: Five of the twelve Wake Forest students who have been awarded Fulbright scholarships in 2010 graduated with a major in Political Science. For more information see:
Political science major Carlos Maza and political science minor Will Sears were invited to the 2010 National Debate tournament. Will Sears reached the “Final Four” and Carlos Maza the “Elite Eight.” Wake Forest was the only university with two teams competing in the quarter finals. See related story.
What’s it like to be part of the Obama administration while still working on your college degree? See the WFU interview with Randy Paris.