Monday, May 14, 2007

IPE Seniors Honored

The IPE Program was pleased to present the awards for Honors in International Political Economy and the Susan Strange Award at its annual reception on Friday, May 11, 2007.

Honors in International Political Economy

Many people believe that the most challenging event in the Olympic games is the decathlon. In the decathlon, each athlete must run races at distances of 100 meters, 400 meters and 1500 meters, long jump, high jump, pole vault, heave the 16-pound shot, hurl the discus, toss the javelin and run a 110 meter race over 42 inch hurdles. It is a challenging test of athletic technique, physical stamina and versatility.

International Political Economy is the academic equivalent of the Olympic decathlon. IPE majors must master economics, unravel statistics, interpret foreign languages and encounter foreign cultures. IPE majors must apply history to politics and philosophy to current events and then, at the end of the contest, race to complete a senior thesis while overcoming intellectual hurdles that make the steeplechase look like a walk in the park. And, unlike the Olympic decathlon, they must learn to do it all at once, not one event at a time.

The award for Honors in IPE is given to top ten percent of this year’s graduates who have demonstrated the highest level of overall performance in all of these difficult subjects as indicated by their grade point average in the major. These are the top IPE decathletes.

  • Daniil Davydoff was born in Yekaterinburg, Russia but he now calls Boise, Idaho his home. In addition to IPE he has also majored in Music – he is concertmaster of the university orchestra – and played on the varsity tennis team. Daniil is one of two student speakers you will hear at convocation events this year – he will give the student address at the Academic Convocation tomorrow afternoon. Danill will move to Italy next year to study at the Bologna Center of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
  • Casey Dillon completed her degree in December and currently lives in Washington, DC, where works for the Center for Sustainable Communities at the National Association of Counties. At Puget Sound Casey majored in IPE and minored in Environmental Studies. Her senior thesis examined the role of non-governmental organizations in promoting corporate social responsibility.
  • Diana Hawk came to Puget Sound from Elk Grove, California. She is an IPE major with an Economics minor. Diana studied in London, where she also worked for a Member of Parliament on constituency issues. She has been active on campus and was co-founder, with Maggie Arends, of the University’s Slow Food convivium. She plans to return to Great Britain next year to pursue a Masters degree in Environmental Politics and Policy although she is also considering an executive fellowship sponsored by the Office of the Governor of the State of California.
  • Katherine Ketter has majored in IPE with a minor in Environmental Studies. She came to Puget Sound from Minneapolis, Minnesota and studied abroad in Mexico and Chile and received summer grants and internships to study sustainability and environmental issues. Upon graduation Katherine leaves for Red Lodge, Montana to work as an Outward Bound program leader. She then hopes to return to the Northwest to work with the North Cascade Institute for environmental education.

Susan Strange Award

Professor Susan Strange, who taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Warwick University, was one of the founders of the contemporary study of International Political Economy and a good friend of the IPE program at Puget Sound in its early days. Professor Strange, who died in 1998, was a strong woman with strong views.

The Susan Strange award for distinguished achievement in International Political Economy honors her achievements by recognizing a small number of our graduates who also have strong views and who have demonstrated distinct strengths in particular elements of IPE, often although not always through exceptional performance on senior thesis research. They are selected by vote of the IPE faculty.

  • Jeff Bale is an IPE and Natural Science Biology double major from Salt Lake City, Utah. Jeff studied in Chile and has been active in many campus organizations. His senior thesis examined the roles of states, markets and non-governmental organizations in environmental policies. Jeff is leaving Puget Sound to become a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, where he will teach science to secondary school children. [present certificate]
  • Steve Burckhalter came to Puget Sound from Grand Junction, Colorado. At Puget Sound he has studied IPE and Chinese and earned a designation in Asian Studies. Steve studied abroad in Taiwan and China. His senior thesis examines the domestic and international implications of Malaysia’s unorthodox responses to the Asian Financial crisis. He plans to return work in China next year.
  • Spencer Thanhouser came to Puget Sound from Portland Oregon. He has majored in IPE and minored in Spanish. His senior thesis examines the relationship between intellectual property rights regimes and economic development. Spencer will soon leave for London where he has been named a Hansard Research Scholar. Spencer will have the opportunity to study at the London School of Economics and intern in Parliament.

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