What’s New? POS and EUR Department
To discover what new changes are happening within the departments at the University, AUBG Daily is interviewing different department chairs. After the LIT, ECO and BUS departments, next in line is the Political Science (POS) and European Studies (EUR) Department.
There are three new courses in discussion, all electives. There is one that is already announced, a course on the theory of human rights. The Department is hoping to announce two more courses soon, the subjects of which have not yet been determined. They will be 400-level topic courses, which will be worth one credit.
According to prof. Cosmina Tanasoiu, this is something that the department discussed during orientation the previous year. The idea behind it is that it’s a way to familiarize students with specialized topics that otherwise would not be offered. For these special topic courses the department can bring in adjuncts. This way, the students have more variety. The plan is for all three of these courses to be offered in the fall 2015 semester.
Prof. Tanasoiu said that the Department has a position open for which they haven’t hired a professor for the upcoming year, but the search will be reopened next year. The position is the one previously occupied by prof. Spina.
“Although the profile of the position has been changed to try and find faculty that can give the Department more strengths and cover a couple of courses that are needed by the Department,” she said.
As for internships, prof. Tanasoiu shared that both the POS and EUR programs provide the opportunity.
Prof. Tanasoiu said that they have been working with some organizations to get some regular internships, as regularly as possible.
“We announce them when the organizations commit or say that they have internship positions. We post on the Department Facebook page,” she said.
According to prof. Tanasoiu, it is recommended to get an internship if possible, but it will not limit one’s ability to get into graduate studies. Although, she admitted that it depends where students are looking to apply. In the U.S., according to her, it will matter if students have an internship because universities there have made it a practice to look for students who have done internships.
In continental Europe it is not so important because the universities there tend to look more at one’s academic paperwork, GPA, and conference participation. If a student is planning on doing an internship, prof. Tanasoiu recommends trying to do one on a subject or in a government organization that would be linked somehow to the graduate school which the student plans to apply to.
Prof. Tanasoiu shared that now a master’s degree is almost taken as a given. She explained that it is not necessary to have a PhD to pursue a career in these fields, but a master’s degree will be necessary to advance. She also pointed out that, unless the student plans to pursue an academic career, a PhD may kill the student’s chances outside of academia because the student would be seen as too institutionalized.
An exception to this can be found in a career path devoted to international relations. Prof. Tanasoiu said that if that is a student’s goal, it is even recommended that a student does a PhD.
When talking about projects and initiatives within the Department, Prof. Tanasoiu shared that this year they have consolidated the Model European Union.
“… it started last year a little more ad-hoc. This year it was institutionalized and it grew to having about 100 participants with 40 participants from outside. So this is something that this year became consolidated and I hope it is just taking a life of its own and will just grow easily.”
Besides the Model EU, she said that there is also a project to create a centre for good governance. Such center would contribute and develop good practices in the region. The main goal of the centre, according to prof. Tanasoiu, would be to help public officials, researchers, and other local organizations to curb corruption. Students would be able to get involved by doing research, collect data or get involved in the projects that the centre would run.
Another more academic project that has been initiated in the Department, according to prof. Tanasoiu, is a pedagogical policy for every course to have a novel attached to it.
“That we somehow contribute to what students read, so that by the time students graduate, they have a bigger baggage of reading. We started this semester and I hope that it keeps on growing.”