Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Students Take Political Journey in Spring 2012 Class"

Click here to see the Crow's Nest article about the Spring 2012 Road to the White House course by Amanda Pretulac:

http://crowsneststpete.com/2011/11/09/students-take-political-journey-in-spring-2012-class/

By: Amanda Pretulac
In spring 2012 students will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with presidential campaigns by registering for The Road to the White House course, POS 3931, taught by Professor Judithanne Scourfield McLauchlan. The class will offer more than traditional lessons from a textbook.

“This is a course about the history and politics of presidential campaigns and it includes a presidential campaign internship,” McLauchlan said. “We mix the actual hands-on campaign experience with the framework of a course with scholarly readings about various campaigns.”

In the past, this course has taken students to New Hampshire for their campaign internships.

“This year we’re going to do something different,” McLauchlan said. “We’re still going to include a significant campaign internship, but this time it’s going to be in Florida.”

“I would like to see students over in Tampa for the Republican National Convention,” she said. “Florida is always important in the general election. We’re a major battleground state.”

She also hopes students will get involved with the Obama state-wide headquarters located in Tampa.

“All eyes are going to be on Florida, and our students are going to be right in the heart of what’s going on,” McLauchlan said.

McLauchlan will help her students pick the proper internship that fits their political ideals.

“I’ll make sure everyone has a job that will give them experience and that will be a good learning opportunity regardless of where they’re coming from politically,” McLauchlan said.

Students may decide on a candidate using the appendix of the syllabus, which will include all the campaigns with contact information and websites. This information will also be available on the course website, www.usfsp.edu/whitehouse.

Besides completing hours with their assigned internships, students will be expected to keep a journal about their experiences, and complete papers, like one on their findings on a presidential campaign of their choice. McLauchlan brings in guest speakers and incorporates Skype lectures to allow for her students to get the most out of the course.

With the 2012 presidential election heating up, McLauchlan wants her students to have the best learning opportunity possible. She incorporates the internship into the course because she feels that students will gain more knowledge than from just reading the textbook and listening to lectures.

McLauchlan has worked on six presidential campaigns, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the White House.

Through this course “[students] are not just going to see the news, they’re going to really be the news, be living the news,” she said.

McLauchlan may be contacted at jsm2@usfsp.edu for additional information on the course.

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