Profiles of Some Past Politics & Values Students
Chloe is an active member of the George Washington community, and a student of the Elliott School of International Affairs, hailing from St. Louis, Missouri. She's involved with the Residential Advisory Council, the Black Student Union, and the International Affairs Society. As if that's not enough, Chloe has also interned for the House Committee on Homeland Security and graciously offers her time to community service by tutoring elementary school students on Saturdays. Not limiting her educational experiences to DC, Chloe participated in an alternative Spring Break trip to Atlanta.
Chloe believes that the Politics & Values program has not only been instrumental in developing her writing skills but has also allowed her to process and understand material in all of her courses (even non-political science courses) in a much more efficient manner. Her favorite memory of Politics & Values is a debate on the dropping of the atomic bomb in the context of Michael Walzer's just war theory. The debates are always fiercely competitive and an absolute blast, with the team rivalries oftentimes continuing on into Thurston Hall!
Chloe is working towards a career in international affairs and she feels that the concepts she took away from P&V will be instrumental in her understanding of this complicated and challenging field.
Michael is an active member of the George Washington University community from California. He decided to move across the country for school because of the amazing internship opportunities offered in Washington, DC. He is an active member of the College Democrats and Allied in Pride, as well as a Dean’s List recipient. He is also a founding member of the GW chapter of Students for Education Reform. Beyond school involvement, Michael works for Leadership for Educational Equity, which is a non-profit that teams with Teach for America alumni to encourage meaningful education reform.
Michael believes that Politics & Values had been beneficial in teaching him to make substantial and clear written arguments. He has learned the importance of making sure an argument is well organized and complete, and after writing several 15-page papers for Politics & Values, writing for other classes seems easy. The feedback and personalized attention he has received has enabled him to use the skills from Politics and Values to write successful papers in an array of other classes, like Archaeology or Women’s Studies. His favorite moment in Politics & Values was learning about welfare states, and being able to write a paper about the inequity faced by women who are not in countries with comprehensive welfare programs.
Michael is planning on majoring in Political Science and Women’s Studies, and appreciates the way Politics and Values has helped him see the connections between his two majors. He feels that the skills he learned in Politics & Values have enabled him to improve his writing and succeed academically in a variety of disciplines.
Anne joined the GW community all the way from the Bay Area in California (west coast, best coast!) Her decision to move across the country to George Washington University was based on her interest in international affairs and her desire to go to school in a big city. She's a member of Alpha Phi Omega (a community service fraternity) and also in Phi Sigma Pi (an honors fraternity). She's extremely involved in community service, with the soup kitchen "Charlie's Place" being her favorite place to volunteer. What she is really looking forward to as part of her GW experience is studying abroad next year, a very popular choice for GW students. She will be in Dublin, Ireland in the fall and Haifa, Israel in the spring as part of a Peace & Conflict studies program that consists of interviewing victims of wars and violence, alongside traditional coursework.
Anne remembers best some of the more light-hearted moments of Politics & Values, like Professor Kelts’s habit of incessantly flipping a pen in his hand (and sometimes throwing it to an unsuspecting student for laughs). Or there was the time when a fellow student wrote a P&V version of Kesha's Tik Tok, but when sending it to the class accidentally added the head of the Political Science Department to the recipients. Yikes! She also enjoyed the informal discussions the class would have, with the diversity of views and passions among her fellow students.
Through Politics & Values, Anne feels her critical thinking skills have developed, not to mention her paper writing. And she is further ahead than many of her peers in her classes, because of her P&V experience.
Preston is a student of the Elliot School of International Affairs and Arabic from Dallas, TX. He was involved with the Student Association, but now dedicates the majority of his time to the Army ROTC Program and his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Order. Preston plans to do research from home over the summer on the topic of the philosophy of war as well as return to serving YoungLife, an after school and summer program for high school students for which he played guitar as a leader throughout high school.
Preston believes that the Politics & Values Program has been the foremost academic experience of his freshman year. He believes that his writing skill was increased dramatically within the first semester, which then helped him get better grades in his other courses throughout the rest of the year. His favorite memory of Politics & Values is the discussion of Just War Theory, specifically the discussion of justified killing in a time of war between two states.
Preston is working towards studying abroad in Egypt to study the reformation of the Egyptian government after the revolution and he feels that the experiences of the Politics & Values Program have helped him better understand the foundation and purpose of governments in his pursuit to understand the interactions between states.
Daniel is an active member of the George Washington University community. As a first semester freshman, Daniel joined the Zeta Beta Tau (“ZBT”) Fraternity and was elected to its Executive Board as Secretary of the organization. Daniel was the first freshman in three years to be elected to the ZBT Executive Board. Additionally, he is a member of the GW College Democrats and has been active in electing local officials to public office. Daniel was elected to the Student Association Senate to represent the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and received over 1,000 votes. He currently serves on the Student Association Finance Committee, which allocates over one million dollars to student groups and organizations on campus.
Daniel believes that the Politics & Values Program has helped enhance his writing technique, and has also brought him closer to an understanding of many materials, in regards to both political science and other aspects of academic life. Daniel truly believes he is more capable of understanding and interpreting materials in many disciplines because of the lessons learned in P&V.
In the future, Daniel hopes to receive a law degree and pursue public office back in his native Chicago. He feels that the lessons learned in Politics & Values have truly shifted his perceptions on many basic elements of political life, as well as aiding him to have a more realistic expectation for himself in the context of the world around him.
Rachel followed President Obama from Chicago, Illinois to Washington D.C. She is a student in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Political Science and Music and minoring in Peace Studies. On campus she is involved with Students for Education Reform (SFER), the International Affairs Society, and the GW Catholic Newman Center.
Rachel has been involved in undergraduate research early in college, something she attributes to Politics & Values. She was initially exposed to the benefits of undergraduate research through talks organized by Professor Kelts for P&V. When thinking about a topic to research, Rachel wanted to delve deeper into concepts from P&V, such as the conflict between Western ideas of rights, and the purpose of government, and those of other cultures.
Sponsored by an award from George Washington University’s Center for Undergraduate Research, Rachel developed a project that examines the interaction of government and Islamic religion in three different predominantly Muslim countries -- Indonesia, Iran, and Turkey. Her experience in Politics & Values has proven invaluable in executing the project, where she honed writing skills, as well as reading skills. Indeed, some of her P&V work from the second semester has led to a final research paper that is informative, nuanced, and significant.
Rachel believes Politics & Values has developed her writing skills, opened the door for independent research, and broadened her mind when considering both domestic and international politics. P&V furthered her critical thinking, allowing her to challenge and engage the world around her.