Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award. The award, named after the late 1963 Keuka graduate, is supported by Brown’s family and the Class of ’63. It is designed to assist students pursuing culturally-oriented Field Periods.
For senior Diane DePrez, her interest in Germany began when she was in high school.
“We had exchange students from Germany come to our school, and I always wanted to learn more about the culture of a country that—on the outside—seems so similar to our own,” said DePrez, a resident of Fairport. “It has such a rich history and I am curious about so many things.”
DePrez is satisfying her curiosity this month during a Field Period in Deutschland.
“Many people are under the misconception that Germany is all about the two World Wars,” said DePrez before she left for Germany. “This is something I would like to dispel. As a political science and history major, I am especially interested in how Germany’s history and political system have affected its modern culture. One of the ways I will learn about these is to talk to Germans about their country’s history.”
DePrez’s itinerary called for a trip to Museum Island, so called for the complex of five internationally significant museums—all part of the Berlin State Museums—that occupy the island’s northern half.
“While in Germany, I will stay in hostels, which I have been told is a good way to meet people from all over the world,” said DePrez. “One goal while conducting my Field Period is to immerse myself in German culture and to see how it compares to America. I will travel throughout Berlin and Potsdam, and tour many sites significant to German culture and history.”
DePrez says this Field Period “will provide me with the opportunity to learn more about Germany’s history through guided tours, as well as visiting museums and historic sites,” she said. “One of the places I will visit is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, a damaged tower that is a symbol of Berlin’s resolve to rebuild the city after World War II and a reminder of the destruction of war.”
Added DePrez: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I am excited to learn all I can from the people, food, and culture of Berlin.”
Rocker Alice Cooper proclaimed those words in his 1970s hit Elected.
Some 40 years later, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are saying the same thing–in many ways to many people because the 2012 presidential election is shaping up to be one of the closest in history.
Given the expected razor-thin margin of victory that Obama or Romney will come away with Nov. 6, a lot of attention has been focused on 270: the number of electoral votes needed to win the White House.
Some people have called for abolishing the Electoral College and having the popular vote determine the election. Other contend it is the fairest way to elect the president.
Chris Leahy, associate professor of history, has been tracking the swing states, electoral votes, and other issues surrounding the Obama vs. Romney race. In this interview with Executive Director of Communications Doug Lippincott, aired recently on WFLR in Dundee, Leahy discusses the history of the Electoral College, previous close races, the possibility of an electoral vote tie, the chances of the popular vote winner losing the electoral vote, and more.
Keuka College Today airs the fourth Thursday of every month from 8:30 – 9 a.m. on WFLR (1570 AM and 96.9 FM).
Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the second in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2012.
Matt McFetridge ’12 graduated cum laude with a degree in political science and history and has been accepted to Tsinghua University (pronounced “Ching Wah”) in Beijing, China, where he will pursue a master’s degree in international relations, starting in September. Tsinghua is considered the “Harvard” of Chinese universities. The degree will be an extension of what McFetridge learned in Keuka classes, where he always tried to find a way to connect the material to China. Primary among his independent educational experiences was the semester-long study he conducted in 2010 as an exchange student at the Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (YUFE) in Kunming, one of Keuka’s partner universities.
Most doctoral history programs require some kind of “language influence,” he said, and exposure to the Chinese language as well as an up-close-and-personal view of activities in the capital city that serves as the hub of U.S.-Chinese relations will give him a distinct advantage.
“It’s a little less orthodox, but for what I want to do, it’s a step up and it may open doors not only to teach at a college, but perhaps lead to a job as an analyst, with the government or a think tank,” McFetridge said.
To explore what might be in your future with a Keuka degree, request more information.