Eisenhower Institute News Latest news coverage for the Eisenhower Institute Post-Election Panel Provides Reflections & Challenges http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=8295dc3c-770c-4d01-b7ed-544a03d466ac&pageTitle=Post-Election+Panel+Provides+Reflections+%26+Challenges http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=8295dc3c-770c-4d01-b7ed-544a03d466ac&pageTitle=Post-Election+Panel+Provides+Reflections+%26+Challenges Post-election 2016, professors encourage campus community to get out of the bubble

“There is value in trying to reflect, and this is what Gettysburg College is about,” Prof. Michael Birkner '72 P'10 said to students, faculty, and administrators gathered in the College’s Joseph Theater during a panel hosted by the Eisenhower Institute on Thursday, November 17, as part of the EI Discussions series.

Associate Provost Robert Bohrer facilitated the conversation with Gettysburg College Profs. Michael Birkner, Chipo Dendere, Bruce Larson, Shirley Anne Warshaw, and Charles Weise. The aim of the 90-minute panel was to investigate the election outcome, foster positive discussion, and bring together members of the campus community after what many have viewed as a divisive political season.

The panelists largely agreed that the economy was a focal point in the election—and an issue on which political scientists and forecasters alike did not focus enough attention when making predictions.

“If there’s one [main result] that comes out of the election in economic terms, it’s a visceral awareness that there is real pain within the middle class,” offered Weise, an economics professor.

Warshaw, a political science professor, pointed out the ways in which President-elect Donald Trump was able to address this issue: “The bottom line is that the Republican candidate may have said some [contentious remarks], the Republican candidate may have done some [controversial actions], but the bottom line is that he won the economic argument.”

Another central feature of the discussion was partisanship. Political Science Prof. Larson highlighted the continued division of Congress and the ideological split over the past 40 years, to which substantial gridlock and unexecuted policy agendas can be attributed.

“We see polarized districts, polarized states, and what that does is completely polarizes the whole system,” Larson said.

“That’s a problem when you surround yourself with people who only think like you,” Africana Studies Prof. Dendere offered. “I think a lot of us are in a bubble we self-select.”

Offering hope for the future, Dendere said there are greater opportunities post-election for Americans to engage in conversation with one another. 

Birkner advised members of the audience to engage with differing political views and to read news far outside their ideology to cross-reference beliefs.

“This is the challenge. I don’t care how you access the information: get out of the bubble,” he said. “If your side has the facts wrong, Democrat or Republican, accept that they have the facts wrong. Go where the facts are. You will gravitate, not to perfect agreement, but to points of agreement.”

Click here to view additional photos from this panel discussion.

Click here to view the original article on the Gettysburg College website.

Article by Maja Thomas ’17, The Eisenhower Institute Campus Communications Team

Photos by Charlotte Scheper '17, communications & marketing photo intern

Contact: Carina Sitkus, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Fri, 18 Nov 2016

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 11:45:52 EST
Student Spotlight: Marley Dizney Swanson '18 http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=a135bbdd-0f2d-4f37-a483-686bce892fa2&pageTitle=Student+Spotlight%3A+Marley+Dizney+Swanson+%2718 http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=a135bbdd-0f2d-4f37-a483-686bce892fa2&pageTitle=Student+Spotlight%3A+Marley+Dizney+Swanson+%2718 Marley Dizney Swanson ’18 studies immigration in Cuba and around the world

Growing up in Portland, Oregon, in a predominantly Hispanic community, Marley Dizney Swanson ’18 saw the effects of immigration policies firsthand. Her classmates’ experiences in elementary school sparked a lifelong focus to change immigration policy in the United States. And at Gettysburg, she has been able to pursue experiences that will help her accomplish that goal.

When it was time for the college search, Dizney Swanson knew she wanted to be close to Washington, D.C., major in Political Science, and have a liberal arts experience.

She was convinced that Gettysburg was the right place for her after meeting Eisenhower Institute Executive Director Jeffrey Blavatt. She participated in an overnight visit that solidified her decision—with student Maja Thomas ’17—who is one of her friends today.

Dizney Swanson, a Political Science and Public Policy major, has co-founded and served as president of the Model Arab League (MAL), earned a prestigious Critical Language Scholarship to spend a summer in Turkey immersing herself in the Turkish language and culture, led an immersion project through the Center of Public Service about immigration to the U.S.-Mexican border, and participated in the Eisenhower Institute’s Inside Politics program with Kasey Pipes. She’s also been an active member in Model United Nations (MUN). 

In the spring of 2016, she studied abroad in Cuba through the IFSA-Butler program, where she enrolled in classes at the University of Havana. All of her classes were taught in Spanish.

“Being a political science major and with the normalization process going on right now, there’s not a more exciting place in the world for me to be,” Dizney Swanson said. “I’ve never been to a country that the U.S. has so much negative history with, and it changed the way I think about immigration and politics.”

Dizney Swanson was able to see the real effects of the policies that have been enacted over the years and found many Cubans were eager to speak about politics with her. She was in Cuba when President Obama visited as well as when the Major Lazer and Rolling Stones concerts took place.

“President Obama’s visit only catalyzed more talk about political change in the country in terms of freedom of speech and leadership," she said. "Cubans are anxious to see what becomes of the Cuban government in 2018 when Raúl Castro has promised to step down.”

While in Cuba, Dizney Swanson had the opportunity to participate in an international branch of MUN. In HAVMUN, she served as a member of the Disarmament and International Security Council, with students from Mexico, Germany, and Cuba.

“The committee was just as competitive as the conferences I’ve attended in the North American circuit; they are incredibly knowledgeable in this field,” said Dizney Swanson. She will be participating in the London School of Economic’s MUN conference’s committee on the Cuban Revolution in the spring with Gettysburg’s MUN team.

Dizney Swanson took the opportunity to work on her thesis while in Cuba and earned an International Bridge Course scholarship to pursue the research.

“My thesis is about how the Castro brothers have and continue to use the legacy of Jose Martí (the leader of the revolution who is revered as a national hero), in order to further their own political agenda,” she said.

Through her research, Dizney Swanson analyzed speeches and learned more about the political system and revolution in her classes at the University of Havana.

Dizney Swanson will be participating in the Eisenhower Institute’s Inside the Middle East program in the spring. In the future, she plans to be active in immigration reform and work in immigration law.

Click here to view the original article on the Gettysburg College website.

Contact: Shawna Sherrell, associate director of creative services, 717.337.6812

Posted: Tue, 22 Nov 2016


Mon, 28 Nov 2016 11:51:54 EST
We Want You...Or Do We? A Panel on Refugees & Asylees http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=9a25c229-9b6a-403b-a97a-4c5d4772a3e7&pageTitle=We+Want+You...Or+Do+We%3F+A+Panel+on+Refugees+%26+Asylees http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=9a25c229-9b6a-403b-a97a-4c5d4772a3e7&pageTitle=We+Want+You...Or+Do+We%3F+A+Panel+on+Refugees+%26+Asylees Eisenhower Institute hosts panel on refugee policy

By Ben Pontz, Event Coverage Director, The Gettysburgian

The Eisenhower Institute hosted its second panel of the week on Thursday, November 3, in a forum produced by its Undergraduate Fellows on refugee policy around the world and specifically in the United States. Each year the Undergraduate Fellows, supervised by Professor Shirley Warshaw, study a different public policy issue; this year’s issue is refugees. Earlier in the fall, the fellows traveled to Dublin, Ireland, to study refugee policy there.

As for Thursday’s program, three panelists spoke “off the record” to ensure maximum candor throughout the discussion. The panelists were:

Jedidah Hussey, the Director of the Arlington Asylum Office, a program of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through the Department of Homeland Security. Hussey spoke broadly about the various types of refugees and ways they enter the United States as well as the screening process.

James Simpson, an investigative journalist, author and former government official who currently writes for various conservative media outlets including Breitbart and The Washington Times and the author of a book entitled The Red-Green Axis: Refugees, Immigration, and the Agenda To Erase America. Simpson shared results of his research and conversations that he has had with local officials across the country in his advocacy for a moratorium on refugee placement in the United States.

Bill Frelick, the Director of Refugee Rights for Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organization watchdog for instances of human rights violations around the world. Frelick shared insights from his experiences traveling the world to speak to refugees and hearing testimonies that are, in many cases, disturbing. He also sought to counter the notion that the refugee resettlement process is likely to harbor terrorists.

Moderated by Undergraduate Fellows Gregory Dachille ’17 and Lynn Hatcher ’17, the panel lasted 90 minutes; many audience questions went unanswered due to a lack of time. More than 100 students filled CUB 260 for the final fall panel of 2016 hosted by the Eisenhower Institute.

Click here to view additional photos from this panel discussion.

EI Undergraduate Fellows Refugee Policy Panel

This article originally appeared in The Gettysburgian on November 8, 2016. Reprinted with permission; click to view the original article.

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 04:22:51 EST
Fielding Fellows Discuss Swing Voters http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=79c95507-9c51-4565-aba6-e2ccbd7df847&pageTitle=Fielding+Fellows+Discuss+Swing+Voters http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=79c95507-9c51-4565-aba6-e2ccbd7df847&pageTitle=Fielding+Fellows+Discuss+Swing+Voters Eisenhower Institute holds Fielding Fellows panel

By Ben Pontz, Events Coverage Coordinator, The Gettysburgian

Joseph Theater could barely contain the excitement in the room. By the 7:30 p.m. start time, there were few open seats at the Eisenhower Institute’s first panel of the year, titled “Policy or Personality: The Key to Swing Voters,” which was held Tuesday, Oct. 4.  Featuring three panelists from the world of politics, an hour long panel discussion was followed by a half-hour question and answer session on issues pertaining to the upcoming election.

The panelists were: Alexis Simendinger, an experienced Washington journalist presently serving as the White House Correspondent for RealClearPolitics, who shared her experiences covering the past several presidential administrations and called this “an election unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”

John Baer, a political columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News who has won numerous statewide and national awards for political journalism. He provided insight on campaign strategy, the news cycle and political polarization.

Kat Atwater, a 2007 Gettysburg alumna who serves as the chief of staff of BlueLabs, a firm that focuses on polling, fundraising and communication. She discussed issues that drive voters to the polls, turnout and political advertisements.

The panel was conducted “off the record” to allow panelists to speak more freely about issues pertaining to the upcoming election and share uncensored opinions. Two Fielding Fellows, seniors Mariam Aghayan and Taylor Beck, moderated the discussion and the ensuing question and answer session. Topics of discussion included the enthusiasm gap between supporters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the perception that Clinton’s election is inevitable and how that can hurt her and the potential for a close election decided by voter turnout. First-year Elay Echavarria said of the panel, “I definitely was introduced to some new ideas I wasn’t thinking about before, particularly when they were talking about whether this would be a high voter turnout or low voter turnout election.”

At about 8:50 the discussion was promptly adjourned to allow the political junkies in the room to go watch the vice presidential debate.

Click here to view additional photos from this panel discussion.

Fielding Fellows Oct. 4 2016 Panel

This article originally appeared in The Gettysburgian on October 8, 2016. Reprinted with permission; click to view the original article.

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 03:56:56 EST
Fielding Fellows Discuss Clinton & Trump Prior to Election http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=c25e845d-2342-4479-8565-88d38289d38c&pageTitle=Fielding+Fellows+Discuss+Clinton+%26+Trump+Prior+to+Election http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=c25e845d-2342-4479-8565-88d38289d38c&pageTitle=Fielding+Fellows+Discuss+Clinton+%26+Trump+Prior+to+Election Eisenhower Institute Fielding Fellows discuss what Trump, Clinton stand for

By Jeremy Porter, Contributing Writer, The Gettysburgian

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, the Eisenhower Institute’s fellows of the Fielding Center for Presidential Leadership Study hosted a discussion entitled “Trump vs. Clinton: What do they really stand for?” The discussion was moderated by Fielding Fellows Taylor Beck ’17 and Rachel Haskins ’17 and featured commentary about the presidential candidates from three expert panelists: Carl Cannon, David Shribman, and Christopher Weyant ’89. Cannon is the Executive Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of RealClearPolitics. He was a fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics and has covered every presidential campaign since 1984. Shribman is currently the executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and has served as the national political correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, and studied at Dartmouth College and Cambridge University in England. Weyant is a cartoonist for The New Yorker whose works have been published in hundreds of magazines and newspapers worldwide. A Gettysburg graduate with degrees in political science and economics, Weyant is a published children’s book illustrator and a Harvard Nieman Fellow.

The discussion was divided into two sections, broken up by a brief intermission during which a sample of Weyant’s cartoons was displayed on the projection screen. The first section consisted of discussion questions generated by the Fielding fellows. When asked if they thought that Clinton and Trump were catering to party lines rather than adhering to their own beliefs, the panelists agreed that it is difficult to determine what party lines are because of demographic changes in voting records (i.e. blue collar workers voting more Republican). They also explained how some of the biggest issues of this election have been about proper courtesy, language and behavior rather than concrete issues or plans, leaving many voters in the dark about Clinton’s and Trump’s actual political beliefs. Not since the days of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the panelists said, has there been such a large emphasis on moral issues in a national election. Therefore, it is a tricky question to answer even for political experts. One of the biggest questions of the night was whether widespread distrust of Clinton and Trump is justifiable or exaggerated by political rhetoric. The panelists admitted that the distrust is largely justifiable and that the candidates’ actions have rightfully raised concern amongst voters. Regarding Trump, they explained how he has, on multiple occasions, been caught contradicting himself (i.e. falsely claiming he met Vladimir Putin; his confusingly varied stances on abortion in the past). They also explained how his involvement with controversial business ventures such as Trump University has added to voter distrust. The panelists then discussed how Clinton has her fair share of controversy, from the e-mail scandal to the Goldman Sachs speech (and suspected ties to Wall Street) to Huma Abedin and the Clinton Foundation, all of which have led some voters to lose faith in her and question her progressivism.

During the second half of the discussion, the panelists answered a few questions from audience members. When asked what the candidates must do in order to ameliorate the current political turmoil brought on by the election, they said, in essence, that the candidates must stick to their fundamental ideas and not get bogged down by the kind of controversy and questionable activity that has plagued the campaign season. Naturally, no matter who wins, a large portion of Americans will not agree with these views. However, the panelists agreed that national stability after such a wild election is essential. One student asked whether the recent resurgence in the FBI investigation of Clinton’s emails will have a significant effect on the election next week. Another question raised towards the end of the discussion was about neither Trump nor Clinton, but instead referred to third party candidates such as Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. A student asked the panelists if a third party “protest vote” is a waste of time. All three agreed that third party support has tanked in the past month (despite the fact that these candidates are generally more likeable than Clinton and Trump), and that “protest nominees” only take away votes from the Democratic or Republican candidate with whom they align politically.

The panelists expressed sympathy for college students because the candidates who will have a significant effect on students’ futures have run campaigns mired in scandal and controversy. One thing the panelists know is that our nation must not be crippled by this election season. Americans, and specifically the generation of budding professionals soon to enter the workforce, must remain optimistic and continue to fight for what they believe in.

Following the conclusion of the discussion, the EI Fielding Fellows invited students to join them in the Junction at 8:00 p.m. on election night to watch live coverage of the results.

Click here to view additional photos from this panel discussion.

Fielding Fellows

This article originally appeared in The Gettysburgian on November 5, 2016. Reprinted with permission; click to view the original article.

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 04:09:34 EST
Student Spotlight: Maihan Wali '18 http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=f39add7b-1a81-4358-9369-8c0b84af61c6&pageTitle=Student+Spotlight%3A+Maihan+Wali+%2718 http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=f39add7b-1a81-4358-9369-8c0b84af61c6&pageTitle=Student+Spotlight%3A+Maihan+Wali+%2718 Maihan Wali ’18 asks “why not me?” and empowers women in Afghanistan

The year was 2002. It was the year following the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Maihan Wali ’18 was eight years old. As she sat in the classroom surrounded by her classmates she realized something unnerving: her peers were having difficulty reading and writing, and in some cases, her classmates couldn’t write their names. Wali decided to act. She looked for empty classrooms and after school, established a peer-to-peer literacy program.

At ten, she had her next idea. After watching men playing sports on the news she turned to her sister and said “we should do that!”

Despite never playing a sport in her life, she spoke to her principal about starting an afterschool basketball program for girls.

But the principal warned her it wouldn’t be easy and the program was not without its challenges or risks. She was told it defied cultural and social norms in Afghanistan and that the Minister of Education, who oversees all schools in Afghanistan, would never allow the program in their school.

But Wali was persistent, and the principal allowed her and six of her friends to quietly start a program. They used a basketball that was donated by a local organization and played in the school’s outdoor court.

“It was challenging finding players. Families weren’t ready to let their daughters play sports,” said Wali. “People still had fear from extremists, such as the Taliban, and were afraid.”

By creating the program and actively promoting it in their school, they motivated many other students to join. Two years later, Wali’s program caught the attention of the Afghan Women’s Network, whose mission was to ensure men and women in Afghanistan live in a justice and discrimination free society.

“Through their connections, we were able to get approval through the Minister of Education for the sports program and we also created volleyball teams in Kabul schools,” said Wali. In 2008, she was nominated via a YouTube contest to attend the British Council’s Global Changemakers Conference in London.  

“The conference empowered me; I learned I was not alone and not the only one who faced challenges,” said Wali.

Afterwards, she was able to network with other global changemakers through Facebook and her sports program was officially established as a non-profit organization, Women Empowerment Through Sport (WETS). Wali had expanded the program to include basketball, volleyball, and soccer, with over 700 participants across Afghanistan.

“Playing basketball makes me happy,” said Wali. “It teaches women they are not alone.  As part of a team, you have the same goals. I have seen the positive changes in participants’ lives. I have personally witnessed their smiles and happiness daily.”

Her family supported her venture, but was concerned about her safety. As a founder of WETS, Wali spends time fundraising, building connections through networking, and being interviewed in the news. At one point, she had received threats to her personal safety.

“My mom would ask, ‘Why you? Why not someone else?’” said Wali. “Why not me?” she would ask her mom.  “If I give up, I don’t think anyone would dare to do it.”

Her persistence and motivation have presented global opportunities for Wali and the girls in the program. She’s traveled internationally to speak about WETS and has met organizations that have donated resources, such as uniforms, for all the girls. She was recently invited to represent WETS in the category of Peace and Human Rights at the 2016 Clinton Global Initiative University in April. This summer, WETS is working with orphanages in Afghanistan to empower them through sport.

At Gettysburg, Wali is a political science major and Middle East & Islamic Studies minor. She regularly plays intramural sports such as basketball and soccer. She also participated in the Eisenhower Institute's Inside the Middle East program.

Her advice to others wanting to create change?

“If you think something can happen in a better way, fight for it. Bring positive change, work hard for change. Don’t wait for someone else to do it.”

 Contact: Shawna Sherrell, associate director of creative services, 717.337.6812

Posted: Sun, 23 Oct 2016


Fri, 28 Oct 2016 03:28:10 EDT
Inside Politics Alumni Impact National Election http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=850c7ebb-2686-443d-b2e3-a139d2bff008&pageTitle=Inside+Politics+Alumni+Impact+National+Election http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=850c7ebb-2686-443d-b2e3-a139d2bff008&pageTitle=Inside+Politics+Alumni+Impact+National+Election Impacting national elections: Three alums work for the RNC (including two past Inside Politics participants!)

When envisioning a dream career, most college students have one thing in common: they want their work to matter.

They want to have an impact, speak up about causes that are important to them, and stand for something meaningful—no matter if it helps one person or one million.

So imagine being fresh out of College and having the ability to impact millions, if not billions, of people through a cause that is important to you.

For three Gettysburgians, that is exactly what they are doing. Harry Fones ’15, Liz Oberg ’15, and Mia Phillips ’16 are currently working for the Republican National Committee (RNC), creating media strategy and analyzing data for political races at the national level.

Working in the field

Both Oberg and Fones work in the same department as research analysts. It was Oberg who connected Fones with his position after bumping into him on the Metro.

“So much of D.C. is being in the right place at the right time,” Fones said.

No two days are the same, he explained, as breaking news and developing events can shift their priorities in an instant.

The excitement of working at the RNC during a presidential election year is contagious, too.

“The Convention in Cleveland was hands down the thing I enjoyed the most,” Oberg said. “Not only was it a remarkable experience to be part of, it was also a total blast.”

Phillips works as a data analyst, and while she loves her day to day routine, the aspect of her work that appeals to her the most is the organization she is a part of and the values it represents.

“Everyone at the RNC is working towards the same goal, and everyday, I am surrounded by passionate, intelligent, and very hard working people,” said Phillips, who works as a data analyst. “It’s such an awesome environment to work in, and it’s what really drew me to working for the RNC after my internship.”

Personalizing politics

While their studies varied, they all cite the political science department as being instrumental in expanding their civic activism.

 “I always had an interest in politics, and had volunteered on campaigns in high school, so I jumped at the opportunity to take Dr. Shirley Anne Warshaw’s American Government course my freshman year,” said Oberg.

“From there, I was hooked.”

The political science major and Spanish minor took every course she could, avidly supplementing her classroom learning with programming offered by the Eisenhower Institute.

“The caliber of the professors that students are fortunate enough to interact with on an “open door” daily basis is incredible,” Oberg said. “They are dedicated to connecting students with alumni who work in DC to be sure that they leave the College ready to understand their options after school.”

Phillips agrees, citing the commitment of her professors to her educational and professional success as nothing short of transformational. Her advisor, Prof. Bruce Larson, was particularly influential, helping her to pursue new opportunities and tackle new challenges.

“Dr. Larson really encouraged me to go after what I wanted,” the history and public policy double major and political science minor said. “I would talk to him about the opportunities I would find online or through the Gettysburg network, and he would share ideas for how we could turn that work into research for my classes. It really shaped how I ended up at the RNC.”

For Fones, his professors became his greatest mentors—not because they shared similar political beliefs, but because they disagreed—respectfully—more than they agreed. In fact, his greatest mentors at Gettysburg—Profs. Don Tannenbaum and Ken Mott, to name a few—all fell on different ends of the political spectrum. Some of his favorite moments were the debates they would get into.

“No one cared what I thought as long as I could explain why,” Fones said.

It’s that foundation that Fones has found the most useful when speaking with voters, political field organizers, and more. A history and political science double major, Fones is not only familiar with the issues, but he also knows their historical roots, can look at them from multiple perspectives, and can explain why they are important, too.

“Iron sharpens iron,” Fones explained. “I’ve been able to put the knowledge and the skills I’ve learned to practical use.”

Enhancing their experience

Of course, there is so much more to a Gettysburg education than what takes place in the classroom.

Both Phillips and Oberg participated in the Eisenhower Institute’s Inside Politics program with renowned political expert and Bush speechwriter Kasey Pipes. Oberg calls her involvement with the Institute the “best decision I’ve ever made.”

“For me, it was more than just panel discussions, experts in residence, fellowship opportunities and networking,” said Oberg, who later became one of the Undergraduate Fellows and headed up the Campus Communications team at the Institute. “Having the opportunity as an undergraduate to see projects through with a team of motivated peers under the leadership and guidance of the Institute’s Executive Director Jeffrey Blavatt ’88 makes it a treasure for students.”

The Institute’s unparalleled networking opportunities did more than just provide Phillips with an insider’s look at the complexities of policy making. It was also how she first learned of the internships that would propel her political career.

“I had connected with Matt Kirincic ’13 and Jim Fellinger ’14 at an event held by the Institute,” the Tri Sigma sister and active College Choir member explained. “After my first internship with the Republican Party of Pennsylvania during the midterm elections, I wanted to expand my experience working with campaigns. They were able to connect me with the program at the RNC.”

Phillips’s connections to the Republican party extended beyond her state- and national-level internships, though. She also served as the Gettysburg College Republicans secretary her junior year—an organization that Fones was deeply committed to during his collegiate years as well.

“College Republicans was one of the biggest things that I was involved in at Gettysburg. It really meant a lot to me,” the Lambda Chi Alpha brother said.

Through the College’s support of College Republicans, he was able to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)—the “birthplace of modern conservatism” and one of Fones’s more formative experiences as a student.

“That’s where I really started to dip my toe into the political arena,” Fones said. “I got to meet all of the big names—Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, FOX News personalities and presidential candidates—and that’s when I really started to get involved.”

Just a few short years later, Fones is doing more than rubbing elbows with the “big names.” Instead, he is working on the strategy that advances their party.

“If you had told me when I first got to Gettysburg that I would end up working for the RNC, I never would have believed you,” Fones said. “Now, I get to do what I love. And that’s a really neat feeling—to be 23 and to be doing something I love.”

Contact: Kasey Varner, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6806

Posted: Wed, 26 Oct 2016


Fri, 18 Nov 2016 03:07:36 EST
Student Spolight: Spencer King '19 http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=40dbc5e3-bbb9-497c-a5c3-76ba89cc96cf&pageTitle=Student+Spolight%3A+Spencer+King+%2719 http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=40dbc5e3-bbb9-497c-a5c3-76ba89cc96cf&pageTitle=Student+Spolight%3A+Spencer+King+%2719 “I remember after my first Arabic class at Gettysburg, I called my mom and dad and said, ‘this is what I want to do for the rest of my life—speak this language.’ ”

You could say the linguistic passion was instantaneous for Spencer King ’19. King is already fluent in English and Swahili. That makes Arabic his third language—and possibly the toughest to learn.

“The thing about Arabic is that it takes three times longer for an English speaker to learn than any other language,” King explained.

King’s appreciation of international culture and language stems from his upbringing. He was raised in Kijabe, Kenya, where he lived since he was eleven months old. In his college search, he was looking for a school in the United States where he would be able to thrive in small classes and establish strong relationships with professors and peers—so he chose Gettysburg. With varied coursework focused in Economics, International Affairs, and Islamic Studies, King has quickly become an inquisitive and inspired Gettysburgian.

International Background

“I grew up in Kenya speaking Swahili and English,” King said. “When I came to the US, I realized that I couldn’t speak Swahili anymore. I found that I’m not interested in German, French, or Spanish, but I value language because of communication—and I thought that Arabic looked fun.”

After his two subsequent semesters of Arabic at Gettysburg, King was hooked on the language and applied for the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS).

“I applied for the CLS after only taking one year of Arabic, but they accepted me into the program,“ he said.

King was thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to Ibri, Oman, for an 8-week, full-immersion into Arab culture for the summer of 2016.

Traveling to the Arab World

Despite being a quick and eager learner, King explained that the initial communication barrier was hard to overcome.

“The first two weeks were tough. I sat in class and felt so lost because I didn't know the language as well as most of the other people in the program who had taken four or five years of Arabic.

“After about two weeks, I started getting in the mode and I could understand the dialect; everything got easier.”

Once King gained confidence though practicing his Arabic, he was better able to participate in the Arab culture in Oman while making important cross-cultural comparisons.

“The culture of Oman was especially interesting for me because I found it to be very similar to the culture in which I grew up, in Kenya,” King explained. “It makes sense because historically Oman actually ruled a portion of the Kenyan coast; during that time we actually adopted a lot of their culture, including a good portion of their language.”

Despite the linguistic similarities, King was unfamiliar with the dry heat and religious practices of the Arab culture.

“I was living on the edge of the largest sand desert in the world,” King said. “It would regularly hit 122 degrees! For cultural appropriateness, I had to cover my whole body most of the time,” he said. “I wore a dishdasha, an Arab garment similar to a robe, as so that I stayed covered and modest.”

With the religious focus, King experienced a strong sense of cultural affiliation in Ibri. Even as a non-fluent speaker of Arabic from a western society, King was treated as a member of the community.

“It was cool because as long as you somehow knew someone who was invited to a party or an event, you were invited,” King revealed. “I actually went to three weddings during my time in Ibri, and people who I didn't even know invited me to stay in their homes.”

Considering the Future

Even though he is only a sophomore, King has some ideas about how he will take his cultural and linguistic passions into his post-grad life.

“In the future, I would like to work in the Arab world or for the US Foreign Service,” he said. “I think it'd be fun to live like a nomad and travel around for the rest of my life, using my language skills and experiencing new things.”

First Swahili, now Arabic: Spencer King ’19 is passionate about language

Article by Megan Decker, communications and marketing intern

Contact: Carina Sitkus, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Wed, 19 Oct 2016

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 03:33:27 EDT
Susan Eisenhower Meets African Leaders http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=428990fa-fbc9-4428-bc98-73f31554a777&pageTitle=Susan+Eisenhower+Meets+African+Leaders http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=428990fa-fbc9-4428-bc98-73f31554a777&pageTitle=Susan+Eisenhower+Meets+African+Leaders On October 10, 2016, Chairman Emeritus Susan Eisenhower had the opportunity to speak to the Eisenhower Fellows from Africa during the Eisenhower Fellowship's 2016 Africa Program.

The Eisenhower Fellowships, based in Philadelphia, is an Eisenhower Legacy organization. Eisenhower Fellowships identifies, empowers and connects innovative leaders through a transformative fellowship experience and lifelong engagement in a global network of dynamic change agents committed to creating a world more peaceful, prosperous and just. Fellowships are offered both domestically and internationally. Eisenhower Fellows are exceptional leaders in their countries, representing a diverse mix of private, public and NGO sectors. Although diverse in background and interests, each of them has demonstrated leadership ability and a commitment to better their communities and advance their professional disciplines as a result of the fellowship. Eisenhower Fellows are mid-career professionals, typically 32 to 45 years old.

Although part of a cohort of approximately 25 people, each International Eisenhower Fellow travels independently around the United States following an individualized itinerary, meeting with relevant experts, professionals and leaders to help them identify and take steps to implement concrete ways in which they can increase their impact once they return home. The cohort is together at the beginning of the fellowship, at a midpoint retreat and at the end of the fellowship for organized activities and sessions. Throughout the program, Eisenhower Fellowships’(EF) sponsors, Trustees and supporters also provide the Fellows with unique opportunities to further their fellowship objectives.

As many African countries undergo seismic transitions, with unprecedented population growth bringing new demands for sustainable economic development, in 20116, Eisenhower Fellowships hosted the first program dedicated exclusively to Sub-Saharan Africa in EF’s 63-year history. The 24 Fellows work in fields ranging from agriculture, education and women’s leadership to banking, climate change, health and housing. They include social entrepreneurs seeking to strengthen the ecosystem for the growth of small and medium-size enterprises in the region. Since its founding, EF has hosted a total of 182 African Fellows, the first one a Ghanaian diplomat, Frederick Arkhurst, in the very first class of Fellows in 1954. 

The Africa Fellows launched their program with a week of activities in Philadelphia starting October 2, 2016, then proceed on individual journeys throughout the country visiting approximately 8 to10 cities and towns throughout the U.S. Their fellowship culminates with a series of public events in New York City the week of November 14.  

Click here to learn more about the Eisenhower Fellowships and their 2016 Africa Program.

Eisenhower Fellow Edward Mbucho Mungai of Kenya shares his thoughts on Susan's remarks:

Yesterday, the 2016 Eisenhower African fellows had another inspiring speaker. This time it was Susan Elaine Eisenhower who is a consultant, author, and expert on international security, space policy, energy, and relations between the Russian Federation and the United States of America. As the name suggest she is a granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and sister to David who we met last week. One takeaway from her speech is that in leadership we should avoid excuses. She reminded us that everyday people make excuses mistakenly for challenges that are presented to them. She was quick to add that excuses don’t help in any way and after a while people get tired of hearing them. Putting this in to perspective, it got me thinking what reduction of excuses can mean to all of us…. It will mean

More focus and hence more results as there is reduced waste of time complaining and giving excuses, it will make people to appreciate us more as we will take more responsibility and it will also transform negative thoughts into positive ones and hence reduce our stress level.
A key learning shared by her was in regards to the military… please note that when Susan was growing up she was surrounded by “military personnel’s” her grandfather, her father and other people in the family. One of the takeaway from this background is that there are only four answers to a question;

1. Yes Sir!
2. No Sir!
3. No excuses Sir!
4. Have no information and I will get back to you sir!

This is kind of the altitude that we should have in life to always take responsibility as illustrated by the 4 answers.
As an advice, I think we should avoid the following statements at all cost in our lives;

• I could if …
• I can’t because …
• If I had … I could do it.
• … happened to me.
• … isn’t fair.
• … has an advantage.
• Let me explain why I can’t.
• I don’t have enough time.
• I don’t have enough money.
• I don’t know how to do

Trying this will definitely secure a better life for us…..

#EFFELLOWS Eisenhower Fellowships

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:02:36 EDT
EI Students Play Hardball http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=7d3ad4d1-9e20-4de4-818a-428364e6e449&pageTitle=EI+Students+Play+Hardball http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=7d3ad4d1-9e20-4de4-818a-428364e6e449&pageTitle=EI+Students+Play+Hardball “This conversation is the best in the country. You don’t get this kind of exposure anywhere else,” said Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball, while at Gettysburg College with Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post.

The hour-long conversation, held in the College’s Alumni House, provided 15 Gettysburg students with the opportunity to bring their political passions into a real-world discussion with the experts, as well as for the experts to learn more about the millennial vote this election season.

Matthews and Fineman facilitated a lively conversation with students from a variety of campus organizations—from College Republicans, College Democrats, and College Independents to nonpartisan affiliated students with Students for Sanders, Gettysburg Anti-Capitalist Collective, Young Americans for Liberty, Student Senate, Students for Hillary, and The Eisenhower Institute.

Howard Fineman with Gettysburg students

View all of the photos from Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman's visit on Flickr

The main topic of discussion was the current presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Students respectfully debated both sides of the coin on a variety of issues—citing differences in experience, domestic and foreign policy, and leadership style.

Piper O’Keefe ’17 explained her reasoning for supporting the Clinton campaign:

“Her experienced role within the international community is what’s drawing me to vote for her. I can also appreciate that in my first presidential voting year, my vote will be cast for a woman.”

Opinions were heard from the opposing side as well:

“I think that people are afraid to say that they’re voting for Trump. Clinton fails to capture millennial votes because many feel that she’s disingenuous,” voiced Zach Bartman ’18.

During the discussion, students quoted current polling numbers and identified the regions of Pennsylvania that could swing to either the Republican or Democratic side in the upcoming month.

“You guys really know your stuff,” said Matthews.

Fineman echoed that sentiment: “Here at Gettysburg, a liberal arts institution, you all have been taught to understand and appreciate facts and analyses that bolster a great argument.”

Watch Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman discuss their visit on Hardball at the 2:20 mark.

The students’ reflections post-discussion were inspired, with a buzzing sense of excitement for the upcoming election. Amelia Smith ’17 explained her personal insights after the conversation with the political professionals:

“I have been lucky enough to meet Chris Matthews before this event through a program with The Eisenhower Institute. I remember at that meeting, he was asking us whether or not we thought that Hillary Clinton would run for president in 2016.

“Now, here we are three years later, actually talking about the Clinton campaign. Having such a casual setting created great conversations that really made me think about my own personal opinions about this election!”

To sign off, Matthews left his captivated audience of young Gettysburgians with a few words of advice— and some hope for the future of the United States political system.

“Please run for office. Go into politics in the future because you all will have the experience and the passion to lead.”
CM, JMR, HF and students at Gettysburg

Read about Chris Matthews’ visit to Gettysburg in 2011; he also spoke in 2008. Howard Fineman participated in a panel discussion on campus in 2012.

Talking politics with the pros: Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman visit Gettysburg to speak with students

Article by Megan Decker ’17, communications and marketing intern

Contact: Jamie Yates, director of communications and media relations, 717.337.6801.

Posted: Fri, 7 Oct 2016


Wed, 26 Oct 2016 03:36:55 EDT
Normandy Invades Gettysburg http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=1a0033eb-ef42-4c9b-9d2b-2d207b88a03f&pageTitle=Normandy+Invades+Gettysburg http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=1a0033eb-ef42-4c9b-9d2b-2d207b88a03f&pageTitle=Normandy+Invades+Gettysburg During the summer of 2016, The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College had the opportunity to host two very special guests with ties to the 1944 D-Day invasion.

In June, the Institute proudly welcomed Jean Quétier, mayor of Sainte-Mère-Église, France to Gettysburg. Sainte-Mère-Église is the sister city of Gettysburg, PA, and during his visit, Mayor Quétier explored ways to enhance the relationship between these two historic towns.  Just prior to his visit, Mayor Quétier had welcomed Chairman Emeritus Susan Eisenhower to Normandy and Sainte-Mère-Église for the 72nd Anniversary of D-Day (where she was awarded the French Legion of Honor).  The Institute doubly appreciated the opportunity to return the favor as host as Mayor Quétier had also met with ¿‎Strategy & Leadership in Transformation Times (SALTT) program participants during their visits to Normandy.

Isherwood shows Mayor of SME Gettysburg College

The Mayor’s visit included a visit to the Eisenhower home and farm with the National Park Service and a Gettysburg Battlefield tour with then-Assistant Director of Gettysburg College’s Civil War Institute, Dr. Ian Isherwood. He also had the opportunity to explore the Gettysburg Museum of History and its newly unveiled Maj. Dick Winters exhibit.  Mayor Quétier enjoyed dinners with Gettysburg Borough Council Members, Institute National Advisory Council member Ambassador Larry Taylor, and Institute staff.

Click here to view photos from Mayor Quétier’s visit to Gettysburg.

Shortly after the Mayor’s visit, Institute staff members were contacted by Erik Dorr, curator and owner of the Gettysburg Museum of History. Dorr indicated that Pvt. Jim “Pee Wee” Martin would be visiting Gettysburg and his museum to do some filming for the Smithsonian Channel.  He inquired if the Institute would be willing and able to assist with Jim’s visit, as Martin had expressed interest in visiting his commander's homes while in Gettysburg. 

On June 6, 1944 Pvt. Jim "Pee Wee" Martin parachuted inton Normandy with G Company of the 101st Airborne's 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He later participated in Operation arket Garden and was in Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. He would make it all the way to Berchtesgaden, Germany, the home of Hitler's Eagle's Nest.

Pvt. Martin also jumped into Normandy on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 2014 at the young age of 93.

On July 26, Executive Director Jeffrey Blavatt welcomed Jim Martin, his colleague Doug Barber, and Erik Dorr to the Institute’s office on the Gettysburg College campus.  Following a brief visit and tour, the group traveled to the Eisenhower Farm where Martin was personally greeted by Chairman Emeritus Susan Eisenhower. Eisenhower had met Martin on previous visits to Normandy and made a point to provide a personal tour of her grandparent’s home. 

Video by Doug Barber. Used with permission.

Following the tour of the Eisenhower Farm, Martin and his colleagues traveled to the Gettysburg Visitor’s Center and concluded his day with a tour of the battlefield.

Click here to view photos from Pvt. Jim “Pee Wee” Martin’s visit to Gettysburg.

The Institute was tremendously honored to host both gentleman and thank them for their service and dedication to honoring the memory of Dwight D. Eisenhower.   

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 03:32:32 EDT
Ambassador of Liberty Returns to Alma Mater http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=5c380492-6871-449c-88c5-d3adcd7d1392&pageTitle=Ambassador+of+Liberty+Returns+to+Alma+Mater http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=5c380492-6871-449c-88c5-d3adcd7d1392&pageTitle=Ambassador+of+Liberty+Returns+to+Alma+Mater (Editor’s Note: This article was originally featured on the homepage of the Gettysburg College website.)

Ron Paul ’57 delivers Constitution Day lecture, meets with students

Former presidential candidate and congressman Dr. Ron Paul ’57 returned to campus on September 29 to deliver the annual Constitution Day lecture, which was sponsored by The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, the Political Science Department, and the Alumni Office. During Paul’s three-day visit over Homecoming Weekend, he also met with students and celebrated the 100th anniversary of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, of which he was a member.

Paul last spoke at Gettysburg in 2008 to a capacity crowd at the Majestic Theater. This year, he delivered his lecture, called “Try Liberty for a Change,” to another full and energetic audience in the College Union Building ballroom, followed by a question and answer session. Over 800 members of the College and greater Gettysburg community attended the discussion, which was moderated by political science Prof. Kenneth Mott.

“I want to get people interested enough to look at a message that I’ve worked on for a long time,” he said. “Politicians are always talking about change but nothing ever really changes.”

Recalling how one Gettysburg professor sparked his interest, Paul said he hopes his talk motivates people to become more inquisitive in their own search for knowledge.

“I remember I had a professor by the name of Robert Bloom, and about three or four years after I was out of college, I remember writing to him and asking for some books to read because I had become fascinated in learning more about history,” Paul said. “I remember him acknowledging this, and he sent me back some suggestions. You don't finish your education when you walk out the door.”

On the Friday following the lecture, Paul visited Prof. Bruce Larson’s public policy class and spoke with several student groups, including Fielding and Undergraduate Fellows from the Eisenhower Institute, and The Young Americans for Liberty, which is a national student organization that was founded after, and inspired in part by, Paul’s presidential campaign in 2008.

Dr. & Mrs. Ron Paul meet with EIUF & EIFF

Eisenhower Institute Undergraduate Fellows and Fielding Fellows enjoy lunch with Dr. & Mrs. Ron Paul.

Dr. Ron Paul and EI Undergraduate Fellows and Fielding Fellows

Undergraduate Fellows and Fielding Fellows with Dr. Ron Paul '57.

Emily Keyser ’19, an economics and public policy double major and the public relations chair of the Gettysburg College Democrats, said she appreciated hearing Paul’s perspective.

“I like hearing different sides of political issues, especially since [Paul] is a libertarian,” said Keyser. “Libertarians have some ideals that align with both the Republican and Democratic parties. It’s healthy to disagree with people in politics, and it was interesting and refreshing to hear his viewpoint."

On campus, Paul was joined by his wife, Carolyn, whom he married during his senior year at Gettysburg. The couple lived in an apartment on Carlisle Street, and Carolyn worked as a faculty assistant in Glatfelter Hall while Paul finished his senior year before attending medical school at Duke University. At Gettysburg, Paul was a biology major, a member of the swimming and track teams, and held various positions in his fraternity and on campus (including manager of the Bullet Hole).

After graduating from the Duke University School of Medicine in 1961, he served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force and started his own medical practice in Texas in 1968 before entering politics. Paul sought the 2008 and 2012 Republican presidential nomination and was the Libertarian candidate on the national ballot in 1988. He also served 12 terms in Congress (R-Tex.).

View the slideshow from Paul’s visit to campus.

Watch the live recording of Paul’s remarks.

Read about the Constitution Day lecture in the York Daily Record.

Listen to Scott LaMar’s interview with Paul on Smart Talk.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,700 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.


Tue, 18 Oct 2016 04:20:11 EDT
Developing Intelligence http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=86740c8d-3484-4bd1-8484-a1923cf8aac2&pageTitle=Developing+Intelligence http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=86740c8d-3484-4bd1-8484-a1923cf8aac2&pageTitle=Developing+Intelligence Editor's Note: During Summer 2016, Fielding Fellow Taylor Beck '17 had the opportunity to attend the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation annual GEOINT Symposium to assist and support USGIF CEO, Keith Masback '87. The following articles share highlights from Taylor's experience.

How many students get to casually sit and talk with General James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, for an hour? According to Keith Masback ’87, only General Clapper’s grandkids…and now Fielding Fellow Taylor Beck ’17.

This past summer, the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) hosted the annual GEOINT Symposium in Orlando, Florida. Keith Masback, CEO of the USGIF, needed a student assistant during the week of the conference. That opportunity fell to Beck.

Beck was Masback’s shadow during the week-long conference, following him from breakfast, to the exhibit hall, to meetings with some of the nation’s top intelligence experts. These experts included, among others, General Clapper, Robert Cardillo, Director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), and Letia Long, former director of the NGA. It sounds nerve-wracking, but Beck, a political science major interested in national security law, took it in stride. Masback said of Beck, “She is now the most well-known Gettysburg College student in the U.S. Intelligence community.”

Beck discussed her week at the symposium saying, “One of my biggest takeaways from GEOINT is how much the intelligence field is evolving and how important it is to national security. In the 1960s we were using U-2 planes to take pictures from 70,000 feet and now we're utilizing satellites to do reconnaissance from space.”

But she came away with more than an appreciation for intelligence technology. In one conversation during the week, senior members of the intelligence community expressed concern about the millennial generation and the future of government work. Beck defended herself and her peers, sighting the impressive work ethic and inherent curiosity she witnesses at Gettysburg. She made an impression. At the end of the conversation, an agent walked over to her, shook her hand, and said, “Don't let them get you down, with that attitude you're going to do great things.”

This article was written by Fielding Fellow Rachel Haskins ‘17, a political science major with minors in Religious Studies and Middle East andn Islamic Studies.

(Editors Note: This article was originally featured on the Gettysburg College website.)

Collaborating with the Intelligence Community

Taylor Beck ’17 was walking around a conference for the U.S. intelligence community when she bumped into CNN’s Jim Sciutto preparing a Facebook Live broadcast from the exhibit floor. She was attending the conference as the personal assistant for Keith Masback ’87, the CEO of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, who encouraged her to introduce herself.

Minutes later, she was behind the scenes, filming a broadcast to over 100,000 live viewers. No pressure.

“No one was there begging to hear my opinions as an undergraduate student, but I was still encouraged to speak up and connect with some of the most important people in the intelligence field,” Beck said. “It was a little overwhelming at first, but I was able to hold my own and network with some of the biggest names in the intelligence community.”

The week-long job shadowing experience came together rather quickly. Masback reached out to political science Prof. Shirley Anne Warshaw in need of an assistant, who’s first thought to fill the position was Beck.

“She emailed me, asking if I might be interested in attending this national symposium,” Beck said. “I emailed her back within minutes saying yes!”

Finding a mentor

Beck’s relationship with Warshaw dates back to her first days on campus. In fact, Beck enrolled in Warshaw’s First-Year Seminar on the Bush Administration and was inspired to declare a major in political science with Warshaw as her academic advisor.

“I found the whole idea of the constitutionality of the Bush presidency fascinating. I liked the idea of having a classroom debate,” Beck said. “It made me realize that this is a school that values free speech as long as you have the facts to back it up.”

After starting the course, Beck was impressed with how Warshaw conducted the class, from challenging students’ ideas to encouraging them to speak up.

“I’ll admit I was a little intimidated taking that class, but once I realized how much hard work pays off, it was one of my most rewarding courses,” Beck said. “It forces you to think outside of the box and make connections outside of class, which is what Gettysburg is all about.”

According to Warshaw, it was Beck’s hard work in the classroom that first stood out to her.

“In every course that Taylor has taken with me, and in every situation that I have worked with her, she has been a dominant presence,” Warshaw said. “She is smart, hardworking, and always goes the extra mile. She is deeply engaged across campus and I know can easily multi-task at the highest level. When Keith sought a recommendation for an assistant at the annual Geospatial intelligence conference, Taylor was the first person I thought of.”  

Beck also applied to various programs offered by the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College, of which Warshaw is heavily involved. She was accepted into the Inside Politics program with Bush speechwriter Kasey Pipes and the Strategy and Leadership in Transformational Times program with international security and U.S./Russian relations expert Susan Eisenhower.

Outside of her love of politics, Beck began to explore other academic and social interests. She declared a minor in history, became involved in Student Senate, joined Alpha Delta Pi, and was on the student committee engaged in issues of political discourse on campus.

“The entire Gettysburg experience melts together,” Beck explained. “It taught me that it’s okay to try different things and to take an interest outside of your major, to make connections to other courses and experiences.”

Identifying a career direction

With this as her foundation, Beck accepted a week-long position with Masback at the largest gathering of intelligence professionals in the country.

“I had breakfast with the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, chatted with the Former Director of National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Letitia Long, and worked a Facebook Live broadcast with CNN’s National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto,” Beck recalled. “I was keeping Keith’s schedule for the week because he is a very in-demand guy at his own symposium, but he made sure to introduce me to everyone we were meeting with, as well. It was amazing.”

According to Masback, Beck was the right student for the job.

“She handled it well, with flexibility and a great sense of humor,” Masback said. “She is now the most well known Gettysburg College student in the U.S. intelligence community.”

As she heads into her senior year at Gettysburg, this experience has had a big impact on her future plans, too.

“I went into that symposium not knowing much about the intelligence field and left realized that I wanted to go into national security law. It really showed me how important this field is and how it is shaping U.S. national security in the future,” Beck said.

She is now studying for the LSAT and looking into law schools in Washington, D.C. At the same time, she is also reflecting on the impact alums can have and is looking forward to being able to help a student the way that Masback helped her.

“Keith’s ability to give back to the school is the epitome of what Gettysburg does best,” Beck said. “With alumni help, Gettysburg is creating future leaders who want to build up the next generation. It’s a really special thing to do, and I really can’t wait until I am in the position to help other Gettysburg students.”

Posted: Wed, 21 Sep 2016


Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:47:35 EDT
Susan Eisenhower Honored in France http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=c06239e0-96a6-4231-b715-8be8b07aea8a&pageTitle=Susan+Eisenhower+Honored+in+France http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=c06239e0-96a6-4231-b715-8be8b07aea8a&pageTitle=Susan+Eisenhower+Honored+in+France On June 5, 2016, Eisenhower Institute Chairman Emeritus Susan Eisenhower was presented the French Legion of Honor during a trip to Normandy for the 72nd Anniversary of D-Day. Established in 1802 by Napoleon, the Légion d'honneur is the highest French order for military and civil merits. Eisenhower was cited for her founding role as first president of the Eisenhower Institute and for her many years of work in the policy arena, especially in US-Russian relations. Eisenhower has also had many decades of interaction with her French counterparts on energy issues and during D-Day commemorations.

The Legion of Honor was presented at La Fiere Bridge, not far from the village of Sainte-Mère-Église. Ms. Eisenhower was joined by two additional recipients: General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan (and a former commander of the 82nd Airborne) and Ralph Ticcioni, a WWII paratrooper who was part of the 573rd Signal Air Warning Battalion assigned to the 82nd Airborne.  

For the last two years, Susan Eisenhower’s Strategy and Leadership in Transformational Times program has explored the concepts of leadership and strategy through the lens of the D-Day invasion. Eisenhower and SALTT student participants have made the trip to Normandy to see where the liberation of Europe began, after months of intensive planning. Throughout the years, students met with veterans, experts and local French villagers for many vivid accounts what happened on June 6, 1944.
Susan Eisenhower French Legion of Honor. Photo by Kristian NiemiClick here to view a quick video of Susan Eisenhower commenting on her award.
(Video courtesy of Kristian Niemi. Used with permission.)

To view additional photos, click here.

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 10:59:07 EDT
EIUF & EIFF awarded three projects from State Department’s Diplomacy Lab http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=628b5060-b976-4d9a-a1de-507853c40fd9&pageTitle=EIUF+%26+EIFF+awarded+three+projects+from+State+Department%E2%80%99s+Diplomacy+Lab http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=628b5060-b976-4d9a-a1de-507853c40fd9&pageTitle=EIUF+%26+EIFF+awarded+three+projects+from+State+Department%E2%80%99s+Diplomacy+Lab On behalf of Gettysburg College and The Eisenhower Institute, Harold G. Evans Chair of Eisenhower Leadership Studies Dr. Shirley Anne Warshaw was recently awarded three student-research projects from the United States State Department’s Diplomacy Labs initiative. 

The Diplomacy Lab was established in 2013 by Secretary of State John Kerry and is a vehicle that aids the State Department in researching various public policy topics by partnering and utilizing assistance from students at top colleges and universities throughout the United States.  Faculty members apply to work on specific projects or topics and ultimately select their student researchers. While conducting their research and completing the goals of their assignment, students have the opportunity to discuss and receive input from officials working in the State Department. 

Gettysburg College is part of a group of eight new colleges and universities that will join Diplomacy Lab’s current list of 20 partner institutions. Out of the 28 partner institutions, Gettysburg is the sole private, four-year liberal arts college. To view a list of partner institutions, click here.

Sixteen Gettysburg seniors – The EisenhowerShirley Anne Warshaw Institute’s Undergraduate Fellows and the Fellows from the Fielding Center for Presidential Leadership Study – will be tapped by Dr. Warshaw to complete the three projects.  Dr. Warshaw notes that she is particularly proud “because nearly all of the research proposals are for graduate students. It is very impressive that [Gettysburg] can compete and win.”

While this year’s group of Eisenhower Institute Undergraduate Fellows will be working on their topic of Refugee Policy, they will also work on two projects from the Diplomacy Lab.

Their first project, “Delivery of Health Care and Other Services in Mixed Migration Emergencies: Lessons from History for the Current Crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean Region,” ties directly to their study of Refugee Policy.  Undergraduate Fellows will look at how governments have kept health care records on refugees and how those records are transported across governments, especially for the very ill, including those with communicable diseases. Ultimately, governments must have proper records to prevent the spread of communicable disease among the refugee and host population. 

Their second project, “The Influence of Student Activism on Domestic and Foreign Policy,” will seek to help the State Department to understand how student activism influences governments and government policy. Recent examples of student activism occurred during the Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis (and later in 1999), in China at Tiananmen Square, and during the Arab Spring. EI’s Undergraduate Fellows will research for a common denominator in what leads to student unrest and pinpoint how it leads to anger and action.

The 2016-2017 Fielding Fellows will work on a project entitled “Tackling the Corruption Conundrum: Successful Strategies from a U.S. Foreign Policy Perspective. Their work and research on foreign corruption will tie into Fielding Fellow Will Essigs ’17 research from the 2015-2016 school year.  Their project calls for an analysis of anti-corruption efforts which highlight successful policies and lists pitfalls to avoid.

Congratulations to Dr. Warshaw and Gettysburg College and best of luck to our Undergraduate Fellows and Fielding Fellows as they begin their research!

To learn more about Diplomacy Lab, visit their website by clicking here

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 10:26:14 EDT
An Evening of Honor http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=1b123d43-2df8-4f2d-9692-4ccecef4f288&pageTitle=An+Evening+of+Honor http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=1b123d43-2df8-4f2d-9692-4ccecef4f288&pageTitle=An+Evening+of+Honor By Giulia DiGuglielmo ‘18

On Wednesday, April 13, the Eisenhower Institute, in collaboration with Gettysburg College, Lockheed Martin, and the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, celebrated the achievements of three Medal of Honor winners at the Army and Navy Club on Farragut Square in Washington, D.C. Moderated by Ronald T. Rand, the president and CEO of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, the three honored veterans shared stories about their experiences in service, importance of patriotism, and the values they developed from their careers in the military. Two of the veterans on the panel fought in the Vietnam War, and one, more recently, in Afghanistan.

After welcoming remarks from Gettysburg alumnus Richard H. Edward ’78, Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business area, Mr. Rand introduced the three heroes to the audience: Lt. Thomas G. Kelley served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, 1st Lt. Brian Miles Thatcher served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, and SSgt. Clinton L. Romesha served in the U.S. Army during the War in Afghanistan.

All three decorated veterans shared the sentiment that they were honored to have risked their lives for the freedom of the American people and were eternally grateful for the strong bonds forged with their fellow soldiers. Furthermore, the panelists highlighted the importance of patriotism and service. They were in accord in saying that donning a uniform and fighting in a war isn’t the only way to serve the United States; service is imperative, but everyone can contribute in a different way. Lastly, the Medal of Honor recipients expressed what an honor it was to speak to groups, such as this, and especially to young school children and veterans, about their service.

A question and answer session was held following the official session and SSgt. Romesha provided some perspective that comes as a recipient when he noted, “These things aren’t given out when something’s going right. We got these things because something went wrong…a lot of stuff went wrong. And it’s a heavy weight sometimes.”

After the panel, a reception was held outside of the ballroom, and the Medal of Honor recipients signed copies of Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty, an anthology by author Peter Collier and photographer Nick Del Calzo containing stories of Medal of Honor recipients. Among the guests were Gettysburg alumni, current students, administrators, and staff.

Senior Frank Arbogast ’16 noted, “I am so grateful to be have been able to attend the Medal of Honor reception. As a student at Gettysburg College, I am often reminded of how young scholars attending this very same institution over 150 years ago left their personal ambitions, safety, and regular lives to fight for a cause they believed in in the Battle of Gettysburg. To be able to hear firsthand from the courageous Medal of Honor recipients granted me a new perspective on the complexities of making such a decision, particularly how the decision to serve one's country in combat has changed over time.”

Click here to view photos from the event.

Our thanks to Richard Edwards ’78 and Lockheed Martin, Ron Rand and the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, and Lt. Thomas G. Kelley, 1st Lt. Brian Miles Thatcher, and SSgt. Clinton L. Romesha for joining us.  We appreciate your willingness to share these important stories.

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 11:03:09 EDT
EI's Participants Involved on Campus http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=41aa0e0e-f672-4db7-94c1-236d72bfb940&pageTitle=EI%27s+Participants+Involved+on+Campus http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=41aa0e0e-f672-4db7-94c1-236d72bfb940&pageTitle=EI%27s+Participants+Involved+on+Campus (Editors Note: This article on Elizabeth Miller '19 was originally featured on the homepage of the Gettysburg College website. Liz is a Fall 2015 participant in our Inside Politics program and works at EI as an Office Assistant.)

Reaching Your Personal Mountaintops through Ascent

“When I think of Gettysburg, I think of all of the connections I’ve been able to make over the past year,” said Elizabeth Miller ’19.

Specifically, she mentions the friendships she made during her five-day pre-Orientation Ascent trip less than a year ago and the connections she felt compelled to make as a result. At the same time, building those relationships was one of the aspects of college life that she was most wary of as an incoming student.

“When you first come in to college, you are worried about finding friends, getting involved, and feeling comfortable on campus,” Miller recalled. “Signing up for Ascent has definitely played a huge factor in my ability to make connections with many different people across campus who I may not have met otherwise. It set up a strong foundation for me to build on over the next four years.”

Ascent is the pre-Orientation leadership initiative coordinated by the Office of Experiential Education. Facilitated by student leaders from the Gettysburg Recreational Adventure Board (GRAB), the Center for PublicLiz Miller Service (CPS), and the Garthwait Leadership Center (GLC), these programs integrate wilderness education, leadership, and service initiatives to provide a unique introduction to life at Gettysburg.

Miller became interested in the program after hearing members of GRAB discuss it during a Get Acquainted Day event. The emphasis on experiential education with an adventure component appealed to her, and she signed up for a backpacking trip in the Shenandoah Valley right away—despite her lack of backpacking experience.

She found the adjustment easy enough, though, thanks to a quick training session before her group embarked for the Shenandoah Valley, and help from other incoming students and GRAB student facilitators.

“It was hard, but it ended up paying off in a big way,” Miller said. “The most challenging day of the trip was also my favorite. We climbed a mountain that was so steep, at one point, there wasn’t even a trail—just rocks and boulders.”

The climb took place less than a day into the trip, with Miller and the other students working together in order to make it to the top.

“When we finally got to the top, we were more of a team than we were the day before,” Miller stated. “We were all sore and tired and thirsty, but when you have to rely on these people you didn’t know 24 hours ago in order to hike up a mountain, you feel like you’ve really accomplished something together.”

Miller has continued to build on this experience and the connections she gained from it by pursuing other formative opportunities across campus, including becoming a GRAB student facilitator and participating in the Gettysburg College Leadership Certificate Program. In fact, after a year of developing, reflecting, and refining her leadership style, Miller was invited to participate in the program’s public showcase, where she discussed the leadership lessons she’s learned from her GRAB trips.

“Through all of these programs, I realized that leadership—no matter what role or program you are in—is about surrounding yourself with people who encourage you to be your best.”
According to Tucker Little ’13, Director of the Office of Experiential Education, building this type of supportive, motivated networks is one of the natural outcomes of Ascent.

“These trips aren’t just about backpacking or service or leadership,” Little explained. “Ascent is about making connections, challenging expectations, and setting college off on the right foot. If you start your first year with a strong network of people who push you to succeed and support you when you struggle, you’re going to continue to excel long after Ascent has concluded.”

One of the ways Ascent does this is by balancing high-impact wilderness, service, or leadership experiences with hands-on learning, reflection, and an essay series to create connections that extend well beyond the trip.

For Miller, building on the lessons she learned through Ascent means starting a position with the Residence Life student staff as a Resident Assistant and expanding her involvement across campus.

“I hope to continue to maximize my Gettysburg experience,” Miller stated. “It has so much to offer, and I hope that each year continues to bring the same kind of challenges and rewards that I have been able to enjoy as a first-year.”

Fri, 12 Aug 2016 11:23:04 EDT
2016-2017 Roberts Fellowships Awarded http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=f77dc41c-fe7a-4a91-aa1d-465d7b6419c6&pageTitle=2016-2017+Roberts+Fellowships+Awarded http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=f77dc41c-fe7a-4a91-aa1d-465d7b6419c6&pageTitle=2016-2017+Roberts+Fellowships+Awarded The Eisenhower Institute has awarded its 2016-2017 Eisenhower/Roberts Graduate Fellowships to doctoral candidates Taylor H. Desloge (Washington University in St. Louis), Guy E. Mount (University of Chicago), and Samuel H. Plapinger (University of Virginia). 

The Eisenhower/Roberts Graduate Fellowships are awarded each year to advanced doctoral candidates in fields dealing with the role of government in a free society, citizen public service, public policy, and an improved understanding of America's role in world affairs. The Institute desires to encourage and assist promising individuals to pursue studies and research in fields such as history, government, economics, business administration, and international affairs, so they may provide informed leadership in the conduct of our national life.


Taylor Desloge

Taylor H. Desloge is a doctoral candidate in History and a Lynne Cooper Harvey Fellow in American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He studies modern American urban history, with an emphasis on race, property relations, and urban reform movements in the early 20th-century American city. His dissertation examines the problem of tuberculosis in early 20th century St. Louis, focusing on how diverse groups within the city responded to and interpreted the prevalence of the disease among black St. Louisans, often linking it to wider local and national debates over race, health, poverty, property and the future of the city. Critically, he roots these debates within the political economy of the city, particularly its developing real estate market, and draws attention to the vital ways in which understandings of and responses to disease have historically intersected with the evolution of racial and class segregation in housing.

Taylor is a St. Louis native and a 2011 graduate of Princeton University with a B.A. in History and a certificate in Urban Studies. He intends to pursue an academic career and produce research that will properly historicize and interrogate the ideas, policies and people that have worked to imprint segregation—and its enduring impact on health—into the American urban landscape.


Guy Mount

Guy Emerson Mount is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago. His forthcoming dissertation examines black colonization to Hawai'i and the Philippines. Combining political, intellectual, and culture history this project will follow African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans in their migrations to the Pacific while examining the various levels of state support explored by the U.S. government to encourage such colonization on an even larger scale between 1880 and 1914. He is interested primarily in the end of American slavery and what his advisor Thomas Holt has called “The Problem of Freedom” in a postemancipation era of global capitalism and expanding American influence. In a recent article published as part of an edited volume by Palgrave MacMillian, Mr. Mount continued this theme of black internationalism by chronicling W.E.B. Du Bois’s encounters with Eastern spirituality and racial theology. He is currently under contract with Northwestern University Press for another article, on the postemancipation formation of ‘the black family’ through the 1884 interracial marriage of Frederick Douglass and Helen Pitts. Mr. Mount is also a regular essayist for the African American Intellectual History Society. His academic awards include the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Award given by California State University, the John Hope Franklin Award at the University of Chicago, and the Bessie Pierce Prize Preceptorship. His work has also received funding from the National Science Foundation and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago. He has recently been a fellow at the Ateneo Center for Asian Studies at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines where he conducted archival research. He is currently in the process of finalizing his dissertation with the support of a fellowship from the Mellon Foundation.  

Guy received a BA from the University of California at San Diego and an MA from San Diego State University, both in History. Guy intends to pursue a tenure track position at a major American research university to continue to integrate African American and Southeast Asian history with one another as well as with the larger America in the World historiography. He also aims to serve as a resource for American diplomats, government officials, and others. 


Sam Plapinger

Samuel Henry Plapinger is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. His primary research interests concern civil wars, with a particular focus on armed group behavior and the conduct of conflict. He also has secondary interests in political development and the etiology and survival of political regimes. His dissertation investigates the critically important yet under-studied topic of insurgent effectiveness, asking what makes particular insurgent groups more effective than others during civil war.

In 2012, Sam graduated with honors from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Government and Economics. He received an M.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 2014. Sam intends to pursue a career in academia engaging in research and teaching on topics pertaining to civil wars, security studies, and Middle East politics.


Grounded in President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s legacy of leadership, The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College promotes nonpartisan discourse and critical analysis of issues of long-term importance through competitive fellowships, access to renowned experts, and symposia.

The Institute prepares undergraduates to assume their responsibility as global citizens in public, private, and nonprofit sectors—students learn how to lead with integrity, build capital to garner influence, and translate knowledge into action.


Tue, 28 Jun 2016 12:25:50 EDT
Zombies, Jefferson, and the Environment http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=e4e4e085-bc89-4c5b-b54c-27cbd7df4398&pageTitle=Zombies%2C+Jefferson%2C+and+the+Environment http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=e4e4e085-bc89-4c5b-b54c-27cbd7df4398&pageTitle=Zombies%2C+Jefferson%2C+and+the+Environment During the spring 2016 semester, The Eisenhower Institute’s Seiden-Levi Fellow and Environmental Leadership expert Dr. Howard Ernst presented “Zombies, Jefferson, and the Environment” at an event hosted by TEDxGettysburg College.  

From "Frankenstein" to "The Walking Dead," America is obsessed with zombies. Professor Howard Ernst argues that the zombies we should be most concerned with are the political "zombies" left by the policies of past generations. Drawing inspiration from Thomas Jefferson's "Life is for the Living" letter, Ernst presents a case for challenging outdated environmental policies that afflict our world and creating new ones designed to avoid haunting our descendants from beyond the grave.

Howard R. Ernst serves as a professor of political science at the United States Naval Academy and as Senior Scholar at University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. Dr. Ernst’s research and teaching areas include environmental policy, energy policy, environmental thought, and American government. He has published six books and numerous articles. He is currently researching the determinants of environmental behavior and energy conservation, the radical environmental movement in the United States, and public opinion regarding sea-level rise. His work has been highlighted in the Washington Post, National Public Radio, C-SPAN, and Voice of America. Ernst’s work has resulted in invitations to testify before Congress and to guest lecture at numerous institutions.

Dr. Ernst’s presentation was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format, but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx and visit TEDxGettysburgCollege at http://www.gettysburg.edu/tedx/.

Wed, 22 Jun 2016 05:00:49 EDT
Students ask: Would this make you drive differently? http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=b58bad11-be57-4217-a87c-2b55402f6b66&pageTitle=Students+ask%3A+Would+this+make+you+drive+differently%3F http://eisenhowerinstitute.org/news/news_detail.dot?inode=b58bad11-be57-4217-a87c-2b55402f6b66&pageTitle=Students+ask%3A+Would+this+make+you+drive+differently%3F Picture this: you’re late for work and stuck in morning rush hour. There’s a break in the traffic, so you step on the gas before slamming the brakes when movement completely stops. You idle for what feels like 10 solid minutes while sipping a cup of coffee and wishing you’d left your house earlier.

Now, imagine you knew every brake and step on the gas was being monitored by computer software. Would you drive any differently?

Maybe, a group of Gettysburg students say.

As part of an energy challenge posed and funded by trustees emeriti MacGregor, “Mac,” ’68 and Kathy ’70 Jones, students were tasked with pinpointing the behaviors of environmentally friendly driving as well as providing recommendations to the College for reducing fuel costs, lowering the College’s transportation-related carbon dioxide emissions, and improving driving safety. The students who participated in the challenge were part of the public policy capstone course, taught this year by Prof. Howard Ernst, The Eisenhower Institute’s Seiden-Levi Fellow of Public Policy as well as its Environmental Leadership expert.

“I’m impressed with this different approach,” said Mac Jones, reflecting on the students’ findings, which they presented at a symposium called The Holuba Forum, named after Stanley J. Holuba ’68, an alumnus who was passionate about environmental conservation.

Public Policy Seminar

Mac and his wife, Kathy, have their own personal connection to and interest in the topic, having owned Mac Jones Ford and Mac Jones Chevrolet. “I was looking at the performance of the fuel and the mechanics of a vehicle and you’re looking at the behavior of the driver. Thank you for a whole new perspective on this,” Mac told students.

Transportation studies have shown that when drivers avoid rapid acceleration, braking, and speeding and practice other environmental friendly driving practices, they can reduce their fuel consumption by 10-20 percent. In the past, data had been self-reported or collected from simulations, making it unreliable. But with new technology, it’s becoming easier to test the environmental efficiency of different driving practices.

In this case, students used data collected from On Board Dash (OBD) devices installed in the Gettysburg College vehicle fleet. The devices were left in the vehicles for one month, recording information from more than 800 individual trips made by College drivers, students, and staff. One group—a control group—was unaware the devices had been installed while another—the treatment group—was informed that their driving was being observed.

“I was really interested in looking at the effect of gender on eco-driving, especially speeding,” said one student researcher, Sarah Roessler ’16. “What I found was pretty much the opposite. Females sped more than males. But females who knew they were being watched drove differently whereas males did not change their behavior even when they knew they were being watched.”

Roessler said the findings show that something as simple as telling women they are being watched can make them drive more safely—and environmentally efficient.

Other students asked different research questions, but all of the projects focused on eco-driving. Student recommendations to the College included implementing incentives for drivers to reduce their speed and idling times, buying fleet vehicles that were shown to facilitate safer driving, and creating educational programs.

Maggie Baldwin, the assistant director of service and communication for facilities at the College, said the recommendations help the College continue to look for ways to provide economically and environmentally sustainable transportation services to the campus community.

“We are very excited to incorporate these results into our planning processes,” she said.  “The vast range of recommendations allows for the opportunity to work on both short- and long-term goals to create more eco-driving practices in the services we provide.  We are grateful for the opportunity to have partnered with Prof. Ernst and these students on this valuable project.”

Ernst said, “These projects were the culmination of a semester, and it’s exciting to see the students bring all these pieces together and present their findings succinctly and accurately.”

In addition to teaching classes at Gettysburg College, Ernst is a political science professor at the United States Naval Academy and an expert on environmental policy and natural resource management. His ongoing research includes the environmental movement in the United States and the influence of negative elite cues on public opinion regarding environmental issues.

A few of Ernst’s public policy students also participated in The Eisenhower Institute’s environmental leadership program, which he also leads. The group went on several learning trips to places like Irvine, CA, to visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon and Washington, DC, to attend the U.S. Green Building Council’s International Green Building Conference. Students even presented their research at the Pennsylvania Power Dialog in Harrisburg, PA.

“The program melds academic rigor with leadership experiences, and to accomplish that we do a series of student-led studies,” said Ernst. “The beauty of the program is we give students the leeway to succeed and sometimes even fail. What people didn’t see [from the students’ presentations] is where we stumbled and challenged each other, which is where most of the leadership growth happened. Through both programs we give these students opportunities to lead and succeed—and learn when they fall short.”

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 09:58:30 EDT