Saturday, February 22, 2014

Spring 2014 Internships

Connecting the Classroom with Experiential Learning

The History and Political Science Department encourages our students to connect theory and practice by pursuing internship opportunities as a pathway toward individual career goals.

Check out where a few of our majors are interning this semester and watch the blog for updates and additional posts! 

Kelsey Francemone, a Political Science Major with a Criminal Justice Minor, is currently interning with the Village of Solvay Police Department in Solvay, New York. 

Kelsey writes "I grew up around police officers, but never saw the side to the job that my dad didn't bring home. Although this experience is very exciting and fun, I've also encountered some dangerous situations. Ultimately, it has taught me a lot about the field of law enforcement, and assured me that this is the field I want to enter after college. I am very glad to have the opportunity to intern for the Solvay Police Department. It has given me experience and a leg up when it comes to seeking a job in the field." Kelsey will be exploring the merger of public safety services in New York State for her Senior Thesis project. 

Kelsey Francemone (Political Science Major, 2015) is interning
with the Village of Solvay Police Department.
She is pictured here with her supervisor, Sergeant Derek Osbeck. 

Fuad Abdul, Political Science, is participating in the Washington Internship Program and is working with the U.S. Associates of Former Members of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Fuad Abdul (Political Science, 2014)

Fuad is currently serving as an intern for Congressional studies on Turkey at the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress where he "assists with planning events, including overseas study tours, community outreach, research and editing, provides translation services, [and] attends and reports on international conferences."

Elias Cobti, Political Science, is also with the Washington Internship Program, and is working at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in Washington, D.C.  
Elias Cobti (Political Science, 2014)

Elias reports that he has called up on the knowledge gained from his coursework "when engaging with my new teachers and internship advisers. I will do my best to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from this experience in order to help future students succeed. [The Washington Internship Institute Opportunity] is an extremely worthwhile program, and it has helped to reinforce all of the values that have been stressed throughout college." 

 Jessica Todd, a History Major with a Public History Minor, is currently interning at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historical Site in Buffalo, New York. 

Jessica writes:  "My experience so far is amazing!  I have met people that share my passion for history and my nerdy side. I am experiencing all of the different aspects of being a curator, including creating an event, working with volunteers and the public as well as getting to add artifacts into the collection.... I want to be a museum curator and the two career goals for which I'm aiming (I hope I will do at least one in my life time) is to work in any of the Smithsonian museums or at the Strong National Museum of Play -- because in all honesty I am a child at heart."  

Jessica Todd (History, 2015) seen here with
"Moosevelt," is interning at the TR Inaugural Site. 

To Learn more about internship opportunities and the Washington Internship Institute please contact your faculty advisor in the History & Political Science Department or visit the the Career Services Office at Daemen College.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dr. Joseph Sankoh approved for Fulbright

Dr. Joseph Sankoh
Dr. Joseph Sankoh, Associate Professor of Political Science, has been approved for the Senior Specialist Fulbright Award Roster for overseas exchange from the U.S. Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). The award will allow him to undertake short term collaborative projects with various universities overseas during the next five years. Dr. Sankoh plans to travel to Poland, Botswana, Rwanda, and Indonesia to share his expertise on service learning while conducting research in comparative genocide, among other areas. Last summer, Dr. Sankoh traveled to Poland to help initiate a service learning component focused on Jewish cemetery preservation in Przemysl, Poland, for Daemen's Polish Studies program (outlined in this blog post from July 2013). The Fulbright program is a prestigious academic award that provides funding for exchange programs for faculty, professionals, and students to undertake international study, research, and teaching. The Fulbright Senior Specialist Award program provides short-term consultation and collaboration opportunities (two to six weeks) for partnerships between scholars in the United States and their counterparts in other countries on areas such as curriculum, program development, and faculty development, as well as institutional planning, lectures, workshops, and research.

The Senior Specialist Fulbright Award will build upon Dr. Sankoh's academic training and teaching expertise in the areas of Service Learning (SL), globalization, and the African diaspora, and will enable him to extend research interests addressing refugee and immigrant communities and in comparative genocide. Dr. Sankoh was instrumental in developing the Service Learning (SL) program at Daemen and has taught many SL courses that bring Daemen students into communities and neighborhoods in the Buffalo area. His Service Learning for Refugee Studies course provides Daemen students the opportunity to examine issues facing refugees from a global perspective, with placements that allow Daemen students to work with refugee communities in the Buffalo region. Students learn from the immigrant and refugee groups while also providing them with assistance. This course has been emulated by other departments at Daemen and is a cornerstone of a new Refugee Studies proposal that Dr. Sankoh is developing. Dr. Sankoh has also collaborated on such efforts as last summer's panel discussion (among refugees) for World Refugee Day, discussed at his blog post from July 2013.

Congratulations, Joe!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Community Conversation -- W.E.B. DuBois & Service

 Members of the Daemen community discuss service on Jan. 31, 2014

On January 31, 2014, Dr. Angela Diaz, Assistant Professor of History, facilitated a discussion on "The Legacy of Civil Rights: A Conversation about Service from DuBois to King" among members of the Daemen College community. Over 50 students, faculty members, and administrative staff members took part in the discussion, which began with the reading of excerpts from a Commencement address by W.E.B. DuBois to graduates of Fisk University in 1898. The event was co-sponsored by Daemen's History & Political Science Department and the Diversity Action Committee along with the New York State Council for the Humanities as part of the "Community Conversation for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Community Service" series. 

Dr. Diaz (standing) and participants at the beginning of the discussion

Malcolm Hicks, Braxton Stinson, & Emmanuel Regis
Dr. William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B) DuBois (1868-1963) was an historian, sociologist, Pan-Africanist, and civil rights activist who helped to found the NAACP and influenced generations of African American civil rights leaders to continue fighting for the betterment of their communities. DuBois was 30 years old when he delivered the address at Fisk, at the cusp of a long and significant career as an academic and activist.
Briana Reid

In his address, DuBois asked his audience of newly-minted college graduates to contemplate the question: "What careers can you follow to realize the ideals and hopes of this day?" He urged them to direct their talents toward work that helped make "a life worth living," that is, to use their education to benefit members of their communities and society at large. 

"And with the life work chosen, remember that it can become, as you will it, drudgery or heroism, prosaic or romantic, brutal or divine," DuBois said. "If you make the object of your life calling food and drink, food and drink, food and drink it will yield you grudgingly--but if above and beyond mere existence you seek to play well your part because it is worth playing--to do your duty because the world thirsts for your service, to perform clean, honest, thorough work, not for cheap applause, but because the work needs to be done, then is all your toil and drudgery transfigured into divine service and joins the mighty lives that have swept beyond time into the everlasting world."  

"I was excited for the Community Conversation and glad to see so many students, faculty, and staff come together to talk openly and honestly about the value of community service," Dr. Diaz said. "Aside from the thoughtful comments and questions what I thought was most revealing was that so many of us from so many different backgrounds could relate to one another despite the fact that we all came from such different communities. Afterward, Dr. Lisa Parshall and I talked about how important it is to understand people from different backgrounds. Understanding the commonalities that you have with another person so seemingly unlike you is a crucial step on the long road toward becoming a global citizen and serving the global community." 

In discussing DuBois' speech and ideas, many students focused upon the needs of their home communities as well as on their experiences with Service Learning while at Daemen, emphasizing individual action and leadership. Francois Acosta, a sophomore Political Science major, said, "I certainly feel that there is a need for open-ended discussions like that on campus. It was interesting to hear other peoples' perspectives on the ever-growing issues within our communities. I was able to gain insight into the meaning of public service, which then reaffirmed my moral duty to give back to others." 

Tyler Vanice, junior History major, took inspiration from the address: "Our generation needs to strive for more community involvement and not wait for the opportunity to arise. People commonly say that 'the world is changing,' but I find that statement not true. We, the people, make the world and make it worth living in. If we don't make the changes and raise awareness of what is happening around us, then no one will." 

By Penny Messinger

**Special thanks to Dr. Serife Tekin, Adriane Williams, & Tyler Vanice for sharing their photos for this story.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pre Law Student Association holds Organization Meeting

Daemen College Pre Law Student Association (PLSA)

Hello Everyone!

Every year the Pre Law Student Association (PLSA) presents its annual Moot Court Experience at the Academic Festival. This year's case is a civil case involving a claim of work-place sexual harassment. 

 We'll be having an organization meeting on 11:30 am on Tuesday, February 11, in the History and Political Science Department (235 Duns Scotus Hall).  Students of all majors are welcome to participate. We'll organize into 2 teams -- plaintiffs and defendants -- with 3 lawyers and 3 witnesses per team. We'll be asking for volunteer jurors as well. This year we'll be coordinating our event with a Academic Festival panel sponsored by the new AAUW Affiliate Student Club (American Association of University Women). 

Please stop by our meeting to learn more about the event and how you can participate. If you are interested in taking part, but can't make the meeting, you may also email the PLSA president, Jordan Sieracki, directly ( or contact Dr. Parshall in the History & Political Science Department for further details (

And please be sure to check out the new Pre Law Student Association Website where you'll find additional information about the Annual Moot Court Experience and Pre Law Studies at Daemen College.