DEPARTMENT Of History & Political Science
History and political science courses cover a wide range of cultures, social issues, and government practices and policies, providing students with an in-depth understanding of how cultures form, develop, and function. Small class sizes allow students greater opportunities for participation and interaction with professors. Additionally, students are encouraged to conduct independent research on topics of interest to them.
The Department of History and Political Science offers personal attention while preparing students for careers in government service, law, journalism, and teaching. It not only provides students with a solid foundation for graduate studies or law school but also for a life of active citizenship.
In addition to the in-depth courses offered in history and political science, hands-on learning is highly encouraged. Depending on students’ professional career goals, internship experiences at all levels of government or in the legal profession provide invaluable opportunities to learn and become involved in the daily operations of these organizations.
- Curriculum Model. We have a uniquely designed curriculum, one that begins with the end in mind: your career. We help you identify things you can do in college that will develop your knowledge, skills, experience, network, and personal brand—all of which provide you with a wider range of career options.
- Activism marked by grace. Our program is structured to challenge your political beliefs, so you think more holistically about the issues we face and take the interests of others into consideration. You’ll be encouraged to participate actively and knowledgeably in the political process, while making sure your activism is marked by grace, hope, compassion, and respect for one another and those in authority. This atmosphere for free and open inquiry is the essence of the Anderson University story.
- Small classes. The largest class we teach enrolls around 30 students. Many of our upper-division courses for majors enroll between 10 and 15 students. Small classes permit more interaction with your peers, greater individual attention from your professors, and more feedback on your work.
- Student-Faculty contact. We schedule 10 office hours per week to meet with you and your peers. You can stop by regularly for help with your coursework, academic advising, to discuss career-oriented opportunities, or just to talk about politics.
Participating in an off-campus study program is an excellent way to enrich your undergraduate studies. Through hands-on research, cultural immersion, and foreign language training, you can develop skills helpful to your career and have the experience of a lifetime.
Off-campus study may be on a different continent, but it may be in Washington, DC or somewhere else in the United States. Your options range from one-week trips during the school year, month-long programs in the summer, or an entire semester off-campus.
Opportunities to Consider
- Tri-S provides short-term international and cross-cultural learning opportunities throughout the U.S. and across the globe. Many trips are service-oriented and feature a work or ministry project while others are primarily cultural or academic. But regardless of the location or purpose, you should try to participate frequently in the Tri-S program. Trips are scheduled over Christmas break, spring break, and May term.
- The American Studies Program combines coursework in public policy or global development with an internship in Washington, DC. You’ll live 8 blocks from the Capitol building, gain real-world experience on an internship in your chosen field, and develop your ability to think about national and international issues from a Christian faith perspective. The program is offered each fall and spring semester and is open to juniors and seniors. Watch what one of our majors has to say about the program.
- The Middle East Studies Program involves Arabic language training and courses in the history, culture, and politics of the Middle East. You’ll travel throughout the region and hear from a range of speakers who will challenge your thinking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The program is offered each fall and spring semester and is open to juniors and seniors. Watch what one of our majors has to say about the program.
- There are two Oxford Programs, a month-long summer program and a semester program. Both are academically challenging and make use of tutorials—one-on-one sessions with a professor in which you have to defend your beliefs and support your positions. If you’re interested in graduate or law school, you should consider one of these programs.
- Summer Language Training. Developing your ability in Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Persian, or another critical or “hard-target” language is excellent preparation for careers in intelligence, diplomacy, defense, and global business. Many excellent summer intensive language training programs are available. Begin the application process early as many programs are quite competitive.
Our majors have graduated from some of the top law schools and graduate schools in the nation. Many work in national, state, and local government as agents, analysts, and foreign service officers—one even was the former head of the TSA. Others work as campaign professionals or lobbyists, in non-profit organizations, and in a variety of business organizations.
Our program is excellent preparation for law school. Over the last 10 years, 93% of our majors who have applied to law school have been admitted—significantly better than the national average. And it’s not like they only get into undesirable programs. Those graduates have attended Dayton, DePaul, Duke, Georgetown, Iowa, Indiana University-Bloomington, Indiana University-Indianapolis, NYU, Ohio State, Regent, and Valparaiso. (And they’ve been admitted to a lot more!)
Over the last 10 years, our majors have earned or are earning a MA or PhD from Ball State, Denver, Indiana University-Bloomington, Indiana University-Indianapolis, Illinois, Kansas, the London School of Economics, Miami University, Regent, Southern Connecticut State, Tufts, and the University of West Indies. Others have earned or are earning a MBA from AU.
- Intelligence Analyst
- Foreign Service Officer
- Governor’s Staff
- Deputy Director of Economic Development
- Legislative Assistant
- Judge, Indiana Court of Appeals
- Mayor, Columbia City, Indiana
- Press Secretary
- Campaign Manager
- Political Consultant
- Foundation Program Director
- Development Officer
- Research Analyst
- Events Planner
- Stock Broker
- Senior Payment Services Specialist
- Fashion Industry Buyer
- Logistics Account Manager
- Director of Research
- Digital Marketing Manager
- Media and Publications Specialist
- Communications Specialist
- Case Management Specialist
History Alumni Profile
Crystal (Jones) Kulhanek
- 2013 graduate
- double major in History and English
- South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center
It has been such a blessing to be out here. Not without its challenges but definitely an awesome experience. I would love to offer a quote and have been long overdue to update you with the chaos that is my life. Since leaving the campus of AU I worked with professors of both my undergraduate departments to complete my degrees a year early and have worked full time as both a Marketing Coordinator and Leasing Consultant. I was accepted into the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Graduate School to pursue a Masters in History with a concentration in Public History. Through this program, I have worked with my cohort to create an oral history based exhibit that lays the foundation for a historical gallery that we will complete for our community partner in the spring of 2016. I have also accepted and am on the cusp of completing my summer internship with the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in the state capital of Pierre. Here I have partnered closely with the Historic Preservation Office working on a National Register Nomination for a historic district in Vermillion, SD. I have also traveled extensively to every corner of the state researching, gathering data, meeting with Certified Local Governments, and offering informational presentations to community members. I have also had the opportunity to explore the state archives, the museum collections, exhibit design, and publications. I also spent a week in the most remote county in the state on an archaeological survey and dig. This gave me the experience to later be able to lead a group of kids in a three-day archeological camp. This fall I have been offered an assistantship with the Graduate School in the Media Studies department. I have one year remaining in my program after which I sincerely hope to have accepted a position with the NPS, National Forest Service, or an interpretation ranger position for a state DNR program.
I am constantly reminded of how much I miss the history department faculty. No one can hold a candle to them. I have yet to have a professor believe in my abilities, care about my future goals, or meet me where I am at (with a challenge) the way that Shrock, Murphy, and Dirck did.
History and Political Science Testimonials
Since graduating AU, I have been working for the industry leader in fundraising and account software for non-profits. My daily responsibilities involve diagnosing, analyzing, reporting and correcting fraudulent activity. Many of my reports are sent directly to the FBI and National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to aid in on-going investigations and cases involving identity theft and malicious intent. AU’s Political Science department really helped prepare me for the writing that I do on a daily basis, including reports, client-facing alerts and bulletins, and Cease and Desist letters. One of the reasons that I received this promotion was due to my ability to express information in a concise, informative way, which is a skill that the professors in the Political Science department helped me to hone throughout my time at AU. A large portion of my client base consists of Political Action Committees and political non-profit organizations, so having the Political Science background really helps me to better understand their mission and help to meet their needs.
Kimberly Hathaway BA ’11
Through the political science program at Anderson University, I learned the ins and outs of campaigning, connecting to voters and strategies behind ‘get out the vote’ campaigns. More importantly, AU challenged my beliefs and allowed me to find my own political thoughts on the world around me. Without Anderson’s Political Science Department, I would not have even considered applying for the Governor’s Fellowship program, let alone received the position.
Ryan Daniel BA ’07, Mayor of Columbia City, Indiana
The Political Science program greatly benefited me in my current position. Even though briefings were probably one of my least favorite assignments while I was in the program, they have prepared me the most. Briefings require students to summarize information and recall it…both of which are skills I use every day as the Governor’s scheduler. The program also exposes students to a wide range of professionals. The networking that is encouraged and provided has allowed me to easily communicate with coworkers in a variety of positions. Also, I can honestly say the Political Science program led me to my current job. It is through connections I made while completing a campaign internship during my sophomore year that…led me to where I am now. The internship was arranged through the program and gave me class credit, but now I know I was gaining much more than a class credit and a slot on my resume!
Erin Norton BA ’13
Your undergraduate experience isn’t limited to your coursework. By participating in one or more student groups, you can be engaged in the campus and Anderson communities, learn about the international system or electoral politics, and make friendships that last a lifetime. Not only will you meet new people and do rewarding work, but you’ll also develop your knowledge, skills, experience, network, and personal brand. But the payoff of your participation is more than personal—it also affects the community as a whole. Keep that in mind as you learn about “social capital” in Introduction to Politics and American National Government.
Student organizations are open to all students. They provide you an opportunity to meet regularly with others who share your interests. Although there are many student organizations at AU, all Political Science majors should consider running for a position in the Student Government Association (SGA) or participating in one of the following organizations.
Center for Public Service (CPS)
The Center for Public Service (CPS) was established at AU in 1973 through a sizable grant from the Eli Lilly Endowment for the purpose of preparing outstanding students for careers in public service through experiential learning.
- Benefits. Fellows are connected to an off-campus mentor, interact with public service professionals at monthly meetings, and receive funding for membership in professional organizations, off-campus study, internships, travel to conferences, and other professional development opportunities.
- Membership Requirements. An overall GPA of at least 3.40 is required. Qualified sophomores and juniors must apply for membership, some of whom will be asked to interview for vacant positions.
Contact Dr. Frank (Director) for more information.
Alpha Chi is a national academic honor society that was established in 1922 for the purpose of promoting academic excellence and exemplary character among college and university students and to honor those who achieve such distinction.
- Benefits. In addition to being recognized as a distinguished student, membership benefits include access to scholarships and fellowships, participation in annual conventions, and access to networking and career development opportunities.
- Membership Requirements. An overall GPA of at least 3.70 and that places you in the top 10% of juniors and seniors at AU. Qualified students will be invited to apply.
Contact Dr. Janutolo (chapter advisor) for more information.
Pi Sigma Alpha
Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science honor society, was founded in 1920 at the University of Texas for the purpose of bringing together students and faculty interested in the study of government and politics. Chapters exist at accredited colleges and universities across the U.S. and actively promote extracurricular activities related to public affairs. Anderson University’s chapter, Alpha Eta Omega, was established in 2012.
- Benefits. In addition to being recognized as a distinguished political science student, members are eligible for the Nancy McManus Washington Internship Scholarship, the Howard Penniman Scholarship for Graduate Study, and discounts on LSAT and GRE test prep courses from Princeton Review. You may also publish your research in the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics.
- Membership Requirements. To be eligible for membership, you must have junior standing (completed at least 52 hours of college credit), have completed at least ten hours of Political Science coursework, have a 3.00 GPA in courses that count toward the major, and have an overall GPA that places you in the top 33% of your college class. Eligible students will be invited to apply.
College Republicans / College Democrats
At Anderson University, both the College Republicans and the College Democrats promote civic engagement and civil discourse. Members participate in voter registration drives, provide voter information during election campaigns, and regularly help educate the campus community on current issues. Meetings provide a forum to discuss issues and events from a partisan perspective. Most importantly, by working closely with one another, both College Republicans and College Democrats model the activism marked by grace, hope, compassion, and respect that is the hallmark of the Political Science program.
For more information, contact Dr. Frank (advisor).
Model United Nations
The Model United Nations team travels to national and regional conferences to compete with teams from other colleges and universities by representing a specific country or organization. The simulations at these conferences give you the chance to learn how the UN works and a forum for addressing global concerns in a real-world context. You’ll prepare position papers before the conference, draft and pass resolutions during the conference, and try to persuade others to support your position. Conferences are also great networking opportunities, as you’ll meet students, professors, and potential employers from across the US. Watch what one of our majors has to say about MUN here and here.
Let’s connect during your campus visit.
- History and Political Science
Dr. Joel Shrock serves as associate provost, the dean of the School of Humanities & Behavioral Science, and professor of history. He earned his Ph.D. from Miami University in United States History with fields in cultural, gender, and world history in 1996. He teaches courses in modern US and Middle Eastern history.
Dr. Shrock has published The Gilded Age: American Popular Culture through History with Greenwood Press in 2004 and is working on a manuscript on boyhood, youth fiction, and violence at the turn of the twentieth century. He has published various articles on topics that include rape in silent film, the Vietnam Antiwar Movement, and recently an article on print culture and crossover reading in the late nineteenth century.
Dr. Shrock maintains a presence outside of the university. He has served on two Teaching American History Grant Projects, was on the consulting committee for the What Middletown Read Project, has served as a council member, membership secretary, and past president of the Indiana Association of Historians. In 2009 Shrock studied Middle Eastern culture and politics as a Malone Fellow in Oman and the United Arab Emirates. In 2011 he won the Distinguished Scholar Award from Anderson University for his research in the What Middletown Read Project. In 2014 Dr. Shrock won a fellowship for the Council of Independent Colleges Seminar, “The Creation of the Modern American City: Chicago from 1830 to 1910” at the Newberry Library in Chicago.
Dr. Shrock has served at Anderson University since 2005.
Contact Dr. Shrock:
Decker Hall 120; (765) 641-4441
Dean, School of Humanities & Behavioral Science
Professor of History
B.S., M.A. Ball State University
Ph.D., Miami University