The Poligon

Our mission: the many-sided study of politics

Newsletter of the Carleton College Department of Political Science, July 1999

In this issue:


Left to right: Jessica Rich '00, Victor Chedid '99, Laura Leitner '00, Pawel Konczyk '99 (Head Delegate), Ben Russell '99, Gal Maller '99

Carleton Delegation Top Rated at Harvard Model UN Conference

A six-member team from Carleton received the Outstanding Delegation award at the 8th Annual Harvard World Model United Nations conference, co-hosted with Cambridge University in Cambridge, England in February. Representing Japan, the team also won numerous individual awards, including two Best Delegate awards for individual performance in committee session. Political Science majors Laura Leitner '00, Gal Maller '99, and Jessica Rich '00 were members of the team.

The Harvard World Model United Nations conference is one of the most prestigious in the world. It is held in a different location each year and attracts around 500 delegates. While most teams come from European undergraduate and graduate institutions, a sizable portion arrives from the United States. This year, Carleton competed against schools such as Cambridge University, MIT, Brown, and William & Mary. The competition was tough and the conference schedule grueling, but the Carleton team excelled. In a year that has been dotted with success, including an Outstanding Delegation award at the Berkeley Model United Nations conference and numerous individual awards at the Harvard National Model UN conference, the team showed again that Carleton does indeed have one of the best entirely student-run Model United Nations programs in the world.

New Faculty Member Appointed

The Political Science Department is happy to announce the appointment of Kimberly K. Smith as an Assistant Professor. She will teach courses in constitutional law, the judicial process, American political thought, political theory, and environmental politics and policy. Professor Smith will join the department in the fall term of 1999.

Prof. Smith has a PhD from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the Boalt School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley. Her BA (Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude) is also from Michigan. She previously taught at the University of Michigan (where she was nominated for a departmental teaching award) and most recently at Tuskegee University in Alabama. She served as pre-law advisor and faculty advisor for the Thurgood Marshall Pre-Law Society at Tuskegee, and helped to develop a women's studies curriculum.

Her articles have been published in the California Law Review and Journal of Political Philosophy. Her book, The Dominion of Voice: Riot, Reason and Romance in Antebellum Politics, was published in June 1999 by the University Press of Kansas. She is currently working on a study of Wendell Berry and the agrarian tradition.

Professor Smith will be moving to Northfield from Auburn, Alabama in August. A native of southeast Michigan, she is looking forward to the move north and to joining the department at Carleton.

US National Interests Discussed at 41st Annual USAF Academy Assembly
by Matt Sarno, '01

Valeska Liebenow, '00 and Matt Sarno, '01

In February 140 delegates from US colleges and universities gathered in majestic Colorado Springs to engage in an academic exercise facilitated by the Air Force Academy. The Academy brings students together to discuss US policy interests. This year's topic was "US National Interests in the Western Hemisphere: The Search for Common Ground." The delegates, including Valeska Liebenow '00 and me, were grouped into 14 round table discussion groups to work toward a consensus on this issue over the four-day conference.

Ambassador Peter F. Romero, the Acting Asst. Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, presented the keynote address on the economic implications of Latin America and the importance of the drug issue for US security.

A panel discussion was presented by Ambassador Diego Arria of Venezuela, Colonel John Cope of the US Army, Margaret Popkin, a human rights monitor, and General Vernon Walters, who served as Deputy DCI at the CIA for over twenty years.

The round table groups discussed present and possible future US policy, economics, and security issues. Representatives from each group met each evening to engage in the painstaking process of coming to a consensus. The consensus tended to be fairly conservative on economic issues. Minority opinions ranged from turning up the heat on the drug war to re-appropriating land in Cuba for those landowners exiled in Miami.

Former President of Costa Rica Jose Maria Figueres gave an interesting closing presentation about the success of neo-liberalism and education reforms in his country. It was a memorable and educational trip.

Honors for the Class of '99

Three seniors were awarded Distinction for their Political Science comprehensive integrative exercises this spring. Jaynie Leung's paper was entitled "Collective Action in the Korean American Community: Imposed Grievances and the Formation of Racial Group Consciousness." This study examines structural circumstances, organizational patterns, and the ideological basis for Korean American collective action in two settings, among the first wave of Korean immigrants who came in the early 1900s and among the second wave who came after 1965.

Kelly Miller's paper was entitled "Population Is Not Enough: The Struggle for Minority Representation on Four American City Councils." It examines the rates of election of minority city council members in four cities with at-large election systems (Houston, Miami, Austin and Denver) in order to assess the impact that population and multiracial alliances have on minority representation on city councils, as well as the impact these variables might have on general minority incorporation and empowerment in these cities.

Brendan Pryor was awarded Distinction for his comprehensive exam and subsequent oral defense. He focused on the fields of International Relations and American Politics.

José Cuevas was awarded The Maria Wiese Endowed Prize, which is awarded to a graduating senior who embodies the qualities of cultural pride, kindness, perseverance, self-reliance, discipline, and respect.

Jaynie Leung received the Dacie Moses Award, established by the Alumni Association to celebrate the warmth, generosity and hospitality of Dacie Moses, who contributed so much to the lives of Carleton students.

Alden Mahler was accepted as a member of Mortar Board. This national honor society recognizes students who have combined distinguished scholarship, leadership, and service to their colleagues and the college community.

Gal Maller received Honorable Mention at the 1999 Harvard World Model United National Conference in Cambridge, England.

Jennifer McGill-Rupp was awarded the David John Field Prize, which honors a student whose activities best exhibit the qualities of imagination, ingenuity, energy, and zest for life which David Field, Class of 1964, exemplified.

Faculty Activities

Barbara Allen's book Harmonizing Earth with Heaven: Tocqueville on Covenant and the Democratic Revolution will be published this year by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Laurence Cooper delivered a paper, "Emile, or On Philosophy? Rousseau's Modified Platonism" at the biennial colloquium of the international Rousseau Association at Duke University in May. He was also elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Association. He will present a longer version of the paper at the APSA annual meeting in Atlanta (in Sept.).

His book, Rousseau, Nature, and the Problem of the Good Life (Penn State Press) has gone to press and will appear in October. It is a new interpretation of Rousseau's thought that focuses on his complex concept of nature as a major key to understanding his legacy to modern political philosophy.

Prof. Cooper's most recent project has been a study of the psychology of Plato's "Republic" and its political implications. He is now planning a book on spiritedness and its treatment in liberal thought and practice, and has also agreed to contribute a chapter to an upcoming edited volume, History of American Political Thought.

Steven Schier has signed a contract with the University of Pittsburgh Press to edit a book entitled American Politics After Clinton. It will feature assessments of the political impact of Clinton's presidency by thirteen leading scholars of American politics. It should be available in bookstores in early 2001. He also has a book on contemporary campaigns, entitled By Invitation Only, being published by Pittsburgh in the spring of 2000.

Al Montero attended a conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil in June, presenting his paper "Surviving Globalization by Remaking Developmentalism in Minas Gerais (Brazil)." The conference was sponsored by Columbia University, the Hewlett Foundation and DEBRAP, a Brazilian think-tank. He is also doing research at the National Development Bank in Rio, analyzing new market-oriented industrial policies designed by the bank in cooperation with international financial institutions (World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank).

Professor Norm Vig led a group of 20 Carleton students on the department's off-campus program on the political and economic integration of Europe based in Maastricht, the Netherlands, during spring term. Students in the program took courses on the general law and institutions of the European Union and on European environmental policy, and also completed independent study projects on topics of their choice.

At rght: Carleton students ham it up at the European Parliament (front row: Michelle Giacobbe, '01, Steve Bassi, '00, Kyle Fetherolf, '01, Dan Hiser, '00)

The group made visits to Brussels, Luxembourg, and Strasbourg for briefings on the EU, the Council of Europe, and European Court of Human Rights, and also spent several days in Prague studying preparations of the Czech Republic for accession to the Union. The students also traveled widely to other countries in Europe during the term, while Norm and his wife Carol enjoyed visits to Paris and several regions of France.


At left: Carleton students at Charles University in Prague, during Maastricht Off-Campus Seminar, Spring 1999

Rich Keiser contributed two chapters to Minority Politics at the Millennium, a forthcoming book that he coedited with Professor Katherine Underwood. The chapters are entitled "Three Decades of Changing Minority Group Opportunities" and "White Backlash, Black Power and Shades of Gray." The book will be published in 1999.

Professor Keiser also received a grant from the college to study metropolitan governance and affordable housing issues in the Twin Cities. The purpose of the grant is to incorporate these themes into the Political Science and American Studies curricula. He is scheduled to be a participant in a roundtable on "Urban Political Change: Lessons from Atlanta" at the APSA meetings in Atlanta this September.

Robert Packer (in necktie) at International Faculty Development seminar in Ghana, 1/99

Robert Packer participated in an International Faculty Development Seminar at the University of Ghana in Legon, Ghana in January, 1999. The seminar, sponsored by the Council on International Educational Exchange, was one of several intensive overseas experiences offered each year to stimulate college and university initiatives toward internationalizing curricula. The seminar topic was "Ghana and the Dynamics of Economic Development."

Roy Grow is working with American firms on an auto project that will bring the first Chinese vehicles to the USA. This will become part of Prof. Grow's larger research project on the Chinese auto industry.

Professor Grow has taught China business "modules" at three graduate business schools recently.

Most unexpectedly, son Lewis (accepted at a pile of schools across the country) decided to attend Carleton.

Faculty E-mail Addresses:

Steven Schier, Chair
Barbara Allen
Larry Cooper
Roy Grow
Richard Keiser
Al Montero
Robert Packer
Kim Smith (after 9/1)
Norm Vig

Grads Begin Advanced Study, Careers

Members of the political science class of 1999 have reported varied plans for after graduation. Some are off to graduate school: Andrew Johnson will be attending the University of Chicago's MA program in international relations. Rachel Brown is off to the University of Maryland at College Park to work on a Masters degree in public affairs reporting. Sarah Walker plans to apply to political science graduate programs, after spending the summer in Belgium with her parents and planning her wedding.

Among those starting work right away are Tonya Mykleby, who will be in management at McMaster Carr in Chicago. Kelly Miller will be with ICF Kaiser, a public policy consulting firm just outside Washington DC beginning in August. She will be with the Housing and Community Development group, doing research and analysis on urban issues, predominantly urban housing. Anetria Cabrera has been hired as a legal assistant to the International Trade Group of the law firm Baker & McKenzie in Washington, DC.

Will Slade will be an instructor in American government for The Culver Education Foundation, as well as coaching men's and women's tennis. Alden Mahler has joined Princeton in Asia's program in China. She will be teaching middle school students English in Guangzhou for the next year. Charles Moore has accepted a teaching position at La Jolla Country Day School in suburban San Diego. He will teach advanced placement US history and American government to high school juniors and seniors, and will also be the Associate Director of College Counseling and Assistant Director of Admissions. He plans to enter a joint Master's program in teaching and another field at the University of California San Diego after a year, and on to law school in 3-5 years, eventually ending up in independent school administration.

Meg Heister is looking at jobs in the fields of alumni affairs, development and admissions. Josh Carter will be working for his father's coal company in southern Illinois.

In Memoriam
Emeritus Professor of Government Ralph Fjelstad

Ralph Fjelstad, emeritus professor of government at Carleton College, died on Tuesday, March 2, 1999. He was 83.

Fjelstad was born Nov. 12, 1915 in Emmons, Minnesota. He graduated summa cum laude with a BA in economics and history from Concordia College in Moorhead. He was a graduate student at the University of Minnesota in the late 1930's and from 1939 to 1941 was a Norman Wake Harris Fellow at Northwestern University, where he earned his PhD in 1948.

Fjelstad joined the Carleton faculty in 1948 as assistant professor of government. He was promoted to associate professor in 1953 and to full professor in 1956, serving as co-chair of the department of government and international relations for over two decades. He retired from Carleton in 1981.

"Ralph was a very warm and loyal colleague and was very much loved by his students," said W. Hartley Clark, emeritus professor of international relations, and a former student and colleague of Fjelstad. "His genuine interest in politics came through in his lectures, which were always illustrated with stories."

Fjelstad taught courses in American government, state government and politics, legislatures and legislation, principles of public administration, and party and pressure politics. He was an expert on Minnesota state government and in 1952-53 took a leave of absence from Carleton to study Minnesota's legislative practices and procedures. His findings were published in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune and received an overwhelming amount of attention in the media.

Fjelstad also served as chair of the Carleton Faculty Committee on Teacher Education, which examined specialized teacher education and ways to improve it. The committee published two reports, "The Carleton Faculty Study of Teacher Education" in 1955, and "Carleton Continues to Study Teacher Education," which was authored by Fjelstad in 1957. Both reports outlined Carleton's role in preparing its graduates to teach at the secondary level.

A frequent public speaker, Fjelstad was well known in his field. He served as a consultant to the U.S. Small Business Administration and was a member of the Minnesota Governor's Tax Advisor Commission. In addition, he chaired the State Constitutional Revision Committee and was a member of the Commission on Higher Education for the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities. He was elected third vice-chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party in 1963. Locally, he served as secretary of the Northfield City Charter Commission and was a longtime member of the school board. He also chaired the United Fund and was a deacon of St. John's Lutheran Church.

Fjelstad was preceded in death by his daughter Mary, a 1971 graduate of Carleton. He is survived by his wife Margaret, and children Carol and Paul. Courtesy Carleton College News Bureau, Marla Holt, Director.

Carleton Grad Wins Pulitzer

Editorial writer Jonathan Capehart, '89, a Carleton Political Science major, and his colleagues on the editorial board of the New York Daily News were awarded the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. The board was honored for its effective campaign to rescue Harlem's historic Apollo Theatre from the financial mismanagement that threatened its survival.

Editorial page editor Michael Goodwin gave top honors to Capehart and fellow editorial writer Michael Aronson, who were responsible for the investigative work that resulted in 14 published editorials, 10 of which were submitted to the Pulitizer Board for prize consideration. The editorials were the result of months of investigative reporting and spurred an investigation by the New York Attorney General's Office. For Capehart, winning the Pulitzer Prize is "sort of like winning an Oscar. It's the gold seal of approval from colleagues in my field, and I'm told it opens all kinds of doors." Indeed, at age 32, Capehart still has plenty of time to travel through those doors. Courtesy Carleton College News Bureau, Marla Holt, Director.

If they could see me now…

Alumni News from Far and Wide

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The Poligon is a publication of the Carleton College Department of Political Science. Please submit contributions or comments on the Alumni Response Form.

or send to:
Tricia Peterson, Department Secretary
Department of Political Science
Carleton College
One North College Street
Northfield, MN 55057-4025
Phone: 507-646-4117
Fax: 507-646-5615

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Posted 7/8/99 by Tricia Peterson