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Since its establishment in 2013, ASU’s Political Thought and Leadership Program has offered hundreds of students the opportunity to explore the complexities of democracy by studying civic communities from ancient city states to modern nations.
Now called the Program in Political History and Leadership and housed in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, its certification program is available to all majors at Arizona State University. The program extends the opportunity to learn vital lessons about leadership in any discipline through the study of classical philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, along with the exploration of current issues in business and the humanities.
The program teaches foundational principles about the nature of democracy and constitutional governments through events, internships, scholarship opportunities and robust undergraduate courses. Bolstered by an understanding of the complexities of real decision-making, students are able to lead with confidence in their chosen fields.
Led by professors Donald Critchlow, Jonathan Barth and administrative manager, Roxane Barwick, course loads examine the fundamentals of democratic thought and governance, and how those principles relate to fields spanning business, science and community action.
“Program faculty have helped me think critically and they care about the futures of their students,” said ASU student, Felix Santoyo.
Through initiatives like Monday Dialogues, students also get the chance to engage with community leaders and activists working today to make a difference. The program currently offers five to six scholarships each year and brings notable speakers to campus. Past speakers have ranged from national media leaders such as Adrian Wooldridge, Managing Editor of The Economist, to local community leaders such as Arizona Senator Juan Mendez, among others.
“The Foundations of Democracy course I took in fall 2014 had a great impact on me,” said program graduate, Johnny Coronel. “As a freshman, I found this class challenging and yet very entertaining. This course also cemented my interest in history as well as political thought, and convinced me to change my major to history. I would, and do, certainly recommend the program to incoming ASU students. Each day at a program class my beliefs are challenged and I am forced to think critically – a vital skill in any career field.”
Made possible with support from the Charles Koch Foundation, as well as community donors, the program will develop students into thriving leaders.
For more information about the program visit here.