Political Science and International Relations

The Freeman Chair in China Studies is now accepting internship applications for the Fall 2015 semester


Position Title: Research Intern
Program/Dept.: Freeman Chair in China Studies
Position Location: Washington, DC
Reports To: Research Associate & Program Coordinator
Application Deadline: August 14, 2015
Internship Period: September- December (approximate)

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a Washington-based non-profit, bipartisan public policy organization established in 1962 to provide strategic insights and practical policy solutions to decision makers concerned with global security and prosperity.


CSIS is seeking several research interns to support the China studies program during the fall semester. The Freeman Chair in China Studies is dedicated to delivering informed public policy debate, expert briefings, and strategic policy recommendations on greater China and East Asia. Key research areas as they relate to the available internships include U.S.-China relations, China-North Korea relations, cross-Strait relations, U.S.-China-Taiwan relations, Asian maritime disputes, Chinese domestic politics, and regional economics. Because of the fast-paced work environment, interns should be motivated self-starters that are able to engage in a wide variety of analytic and logistical task work.

• Write for our Asia policy blog, cogitAsia
• Opportunities to co-author articles with senior scholars
• Assist in research, writing and analysis for articles, conference reports, event summaries, grant proposals, and other such projects as dictated by program needs
• Assist in spot and background research
• Monitor events in Northeast Asia and China, and reporting daily
• Provide logistical and administrative support with ongoing programs and projects
• Assist in event planning and staffing
• Assist with any special tasks, presentations, projects, reports
• Translate articles and speeches from Chinese to English and English to Chinese
• Perform a variety of other Freeman Chair related duties as assigned



• Applicants currently enrolled in or those that have recently completed a master’s degree are preferred, but undergraduates welcome to apply
• Must have at least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) from an accredited U.S. institution or equivalent from a non-U.S. institution
• Must be eligible to work in the United States
• Must be able to commit to at least 25-35 hours a week
• Must have strong writing and research skills
• Must have strong communication and interpersonal skills
• Must have strong analytical skills
• Must have the ability to work independently
• Must have the ability to manage competing priorities and multiple projects under tight deadlines
• Must demonstrate academic/professional background in Chinese foreign policy and national security issues
• Mandarin language ability not required but desirable


Interested applicants, please apply here. All applicants must submit the following:

1. A resume and cover letter in one PDF document
2. A short (no more than 5 pages) writing sample of your own or based on the following prompt:
Evaluate China’s recent bilateral relations with one of its neighbors. Has that relationship changed since Xi Jinping came to power? Why or why not? What conclusions can be drawn about Chinese foreign policy generally?
3. One letter of recommendation – submit to arued@csis.org.

If you have additional materials, please submit them to arued@csis.org.

Every Vote Counts

Voting is a way of life for most people. Regaining the right to vote poses no easy task for convicted felons who have served time in prison.

Benjamin Hermerding aims to turn that around.

A political science major at the University of Mary Washington, Hermerding interns with the Commonweath’s Restoration of Rights Department  that restores voting rights to convicted felons who have served their prison time. Within the past few years, the Richmond Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office division has granted them more rights than in any other time in Virginia’s history, according to Hermerding.

Ben2_InsideIn a given day, he looks at approximately 150 applications requesting off probation or parole, the first step in the process. The overwhelming amount of work serves only to make him more determined.

“I think the most rewarding thing, and what drives me, is that voting is such an important part of our democracy,” said Hermerding, who has been interested in political science since he was a child.

“What we’re doing is giving that right back to people who have done wrong and have done that time. Knowing I can give that back is rewarding.”

Hermerding heard about the internship from his professor and supervisor at the Center for Leadership and Media Studies, Stephen Farnsworth .

Farnsworth and Hermerding have collaborated on several projects, included a survey they created in the fall of 2014 that was featured in The Washington Post and the Daily Kos.

Hermerding’s drive still surprises Farnsworth, even after working with him the past three years.

“Ben has really taken advantage of his opportunities,” said Farnsworth, who has taught at UMW for 15 years. “He has been very thoughtful about what he wants to do. He’s also very energetic.”

Farnsworth added, “There isn’t much he hasn’t done.”

Hermerding is making the most of his last semester at UMW. In the span of one week, Hermerding organized the Virginia Young Democrats conference for college students across the state and hosted UMW’s fifth annual Arab Culture Night.

Hermerding’s ability to connect with people and bring them together has served him well across the country and across the globe. He spent six months in Jordan, Israel, in the spring and summer of 2014. The first three months were part of UMW’s Study Abroad program. The remaining 3 months he spent volunteering with Family Kitchen, an organization that provides food to residents who live on the outskirts of cities, residents that other organizations overlook.

Whether it’s at UMW, Richmond, his hometown in Minnesota, or on another continent, Hermerding plans to make an impact, not only for himself, but for those around him.

“At the end of the day, when I lay my head on the pillow I want to know I have made a difference. I did something that made a change in a community,” said Hermerding. “I’m not living an unfulfilled life.”

See link: http://www.umw.edu/greatminds/2015/05/14/every-vote-counts/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+umw-greatminds-home+%28Great+Minds+at+Work+%C2%BB+UMW+Home+Page%29

UMW Student Wins Naval Academy Essay Award

University of Mary Washington senior Christian Perkins won the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs essay competition, presented at the organization’s 55th annual conference that took place in Annapolis, Maryland in April.

Senior Christian Perkins

The essay, “Conflict and Water Scarcity,” was recognized out of more than 150 delegates’ papers representing universities from around the world. This is the seventh time that a political science or international affairs major from UMW has won the competition, and UMW is the first university worldwide to achieve this distinction, according to Jack Kramer, chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations.

“The Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference brings together many of the ‘best and brightest’ students to examine pressing contemporaneous issues in international relations,” said Kramer. “For Christian to win the highly competitive essay contest is a singularly prestigious honor both for Christian himself and the UMW academic community.”

Reflecting the conference’s theme of sustainabil

ity in a resource-restrained world, Perkins’ essay explores how water scarcity exacerbates conflict in states and regions experiencing extreme drought.

“I began looking at this issue of water scarcity and realized it was a growing global problem,” said Perkins. “It has received relatively little attention until recently.”

The senior looked to experts on water scarcity, including Thomas Homer Dixon, for information to support his research. He also ex

plored data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the United States Agency for International Development.

“Water scarcity is not particularly likely to cause wars,” said Perkins. “But it will worsen existing internal conflicts. A country is going to have a harder time suppressing a revolution if its people are dying of thirst.”

The political science major will graduate this May with experience as a media intern for the U.S. Senate Democratic Caucus and plans to pursue a career in education, law enforcement or government work.


See link: https://www.umw.edu/news/2015/04/27/umw-student-wins-naval-academy-essay-award/



Face of Feminism


Paige McKinsey was in middle school when the March for Women’s Rights played out on Capitol Hill. But there she was, rallying with her mother and tens of thousands of others.

“That was the first time I ever experienced the word ‘feminism,’ ” said McKinsey, a UMW senior majoring in women’s and gender studies and international relations. “It was a really important experience, participating in the

system at such a young age.”

She could make a difference, she realized, just by showing up. Not that McKinsey, now a full-fledged feminist, “just shows up” for anything. If she isn’t touting equal rights at Lee Hall, she’s tweeting the dangers of adopting Greek life or rallying for the ERA in D.C. She’ll take that passion with her to West Africa when she enters the Peace Corps this spring. But the strides she’s made for Feminists United

will remain at Mary Washington.

“She’s taken them out of the shadows to be a real, critical part of campus life,” said Women’s and Gender Studies Chair Allyson Poska.

Paige Heather Reese McKinsey was born with choices – her pick of two middle names – and parents who supported them. As a preschooler in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, she remembers helping label birth control at her mother’s Planned Parenthood office. Her father embraced his family’s feminist vibe.

By high school, McKinsey played harp, skied cross-country and claimed a spot on the volleyball team. That’s when she read Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns. The author’s message, about the Taliban’s rights-crushinglaws against Afghan women, shaped her senior project – a forum for girls’ education and Room to Read fundraiser.

It was 2010, the year UMW unveiled its women’s and gender studies program. That, coupled with one of her first classes, Craig Vasey’s Introduction to Feminism, created the perfect storm.


“I remember thinking, ‘This is the major I be


ng in,’ ” said McKinsey, whose short blond hair and bumper sticker-plastered minivan make a statement on campus.

A PRISM and Women’s History Month Planning Committee member, Vagina Monologues co-director and rape crisis counselor, she’s used to being quoted in The Blue & Gray Press. She was surprised, though, this fall when Ms. Magazine ran a photo of her with fellow Feminists United members at a September E

RA rally.

“We have a passionate group …,” McKinsey told The Blue & Gray Press about the club’s first visit to Capitol Hill. “[That] will allow us

to affect change.”

She spread that passion across UMW at October’s Make Noise rally, where Feminists United and other student groups urged participants to speak out against sexual assault, discrimination and all injustice.

“To have them come out and stand in solidarity with us,” said McKinsey, a former Feminist Majority Foundation intern, “demonstrates that this campus is aware that these issues aren’t happening in a vacuum.”

Her Peace Corps work in Togo, West Africa, with maternal and newborn care, STI prevention and more, will lead to grad scho

ol and beyond.

“She’s going to take what she’s learned and make a difference in the world,” Poska said. “I can’t imagine any better tribute to her education.”