Students in Anderson University’s Department of History and Political Science are preparing to be involved in the American Security Project’s (ASP) University Partnership Program. AU is one of three schools involved in the first run of this program, and it is the only private university in the United States to be chosen.
“ASP is a think tank,” said Dr. Daniel Allen, assistant professor of political science at AU. “A think tank is when you get a bunch of knowledgeable people together that think about, talk about, and research specific public policy issues. The ASP specializes in security-related issues and is based in Washington, D.C.”
[Photo: AU students working with the University Partnership Program of the American Security Project gather for one of their initial meetings.]
The American Security Project is a non-partisan program, but it conducts research for those in Congress and others who are engaged in policy making in the nation’s Capitol. The idea behind this program is to partner with schools outside of the region surrounding Washington, D.C., and to hear research from a broader range of people.
The first three schools chosen for the program were the University of Central Florida, the University of Tennessee-Martin, and Anderson University. Students have the opportunity to do research and submit articles and findings to their advisors, who will submit them to the ASP for potential publication and use. Students among the universities will also be connected and are able to share work and compile new research together as the program continues to grow.
“We don’t get opportunities like this very often,” said Allen, who is also the faculty advisor of the Model United Nations program on campus. “The campus outreach representative at ASP is looking for different voices to be heard that were not normally at the table talking about security issues.”
Students have the opportunity to join this program in its infancy. Allen has incorporated it into his foreign policy class at AU and allows his students to write their research projects in whatever format they choose (research paper, blog post, editorial, etc.). The students will be able to send their documents to be judged and reviewed by the professionals at ASP, who give feedback on the students' work and how to progress it into a research document.
“The fact that AU is being given the opportunity to work with the ASP is really exciting. It's allowing me to take my writing to a completely new level,” said Mackenzie Scholte, a junior political science major. “I'm being stretched by my professors to write papers on an even more academic level and encouraged to do further research.”
The ASP has committed to AU for at least three years. The program also provides AU political science students with greater access to internships in the Washington, D.C., area.
“Whenever I organize student organizations, I give them a lot of autonomy,” said Allen. “This is something I am going to keep a closer eye on. My first priority is developing my students. If their work gets used in Washington, D.C., that’s an added bonus, but developing my students has always been my number one policy.”
The students involved in the program are excited for the new opportunities available to them. “Knowing that I have the opportunity to have my work published on a more widely read level definitely makes me more conscious of my personal research techniques,” said Scholte. “Overall, it's just a really fantastic goal to have your work published, and I'm thankful that AU will help make it happen.”
— Cody Poor is a senior from Middletown, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in marketing. Poor is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.