Professors in Calvin's political science department engage many types of people: our fellow scholars, civic leaders, the church and the general public. But of course, the most important group is our students.
In political science at Calvin, it is not easy to separate how we teach and advise students from our scholarship. In fact, the ideas and institutions we study as scholars—as well as how we study those ideas and institutions—are a crucial part of what we do both within and outside the classroom.
The goal of integrating teaching and inquiry is perhaps best illustrated in the unusual number of opportunities majors in political science and international relations have to work as mentored research scholars themselves. In 2013-14 alone, for example, 10 political science students were paid research assistants on projects dealing with a wide range of topics including charter schools, religious persecution, U.S. elections and international adoption. These opportunities were made possible through Calvin's McGregor Program, the Henry Institute and external grants.
One of the reasons we spend a lot of time working with students is to develop skills that matter in their own vocational paths. We also work with students to put those skills into practice, thanks in large part to the faculty-led Washington, D.C., semester and other internship programs.
It is both a joy and a challenge to think deeply about what it means to live with justice and mercy in our world. We hope you'll join us!