On August 22nd at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, I had the tremendous pleasure of welcoming 226 new students to The King’s College. That is the largest incoming class at King’s in New York City campus history! I couldn’t help but be proud as I looked out over such a large group of ambitious young minds ready to make a difference.
In the audience I saw anticipation, excitement, and a little bit of fear on the new students’ faces—well deserved emotions! In my address, I encouraged the students to pursue truth in their studies. And, speaking at such a beautiful venue in bustling New York City, I also couldn’t help but reflect about those two defining characteristics that make America exceptional: our love of free enterprise and our deep roots in Christianity.
The principles underlying our nation’s exceptionalism are critical to understand for the simple reason that they are constantly under assault. Intellectuals like David Silverman, for example, are committed to seeing faith discredited and expelled from public discourse. That’s why on October 12th I’ll be debating Silverman, who is the president of American Atheists. The debate will start at 7:00pm at the University of Pennsylvania, and I hope you can make it!
Until then, please take a moment to read about the new developments at King’s in this month’s edition of The King’s Ideas
President, The King's College
Recent Graduate Investigates Education Reform
In 2010, a report by the Programme for International Student Assessment delivered what U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called “an absolute wake-up call.” The study, which showed that, out of 34 countries, the United States ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, and a far below-average 25th in math. Rebecca King (PPE ’11) is now helping to find creative solutions to the crisis in American education at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
Established in 1943, the American Enterprise Institute is “a community of scholars and supporters committed to expanding liberty, increasing individual opportunity, and strengthening free enterprise.” King currently works in Education Policy Studies as a Program Assistant for Rick Hess. Hess, who has published works like Common Sense School Reform, Education Unbound, and Revolution on the Margins, is fast becoming a leader in education reform. King said that “in the short time that I’ve been working with Hess, I have found there are many creative options for reforming education in the U.S.”
King applied for the job at AEI shortly before graduating from King’s in May 2011. She said that she didn’t expect a phone call back, and was surprised when she received a call a few weeks later. “I had just finished a day fishing on the Potomac in West Virginia when I received a call from human resources at AEI requesting an interview.” After a series of three in-person interviews, AEI offered her a job.
Since starting work at AEI, King has had many opportunities to put her King’s education to work. King highlighted public policy courses at King’s as especially helpful. Every day on the job King sees more evidence that “every policy has unintended consequences and you have to weigh the costs versus the benefits to make sound policy.”
As for the future, King says, “although I’m not sure what I want to do in the future, career-wise, I’m in a great place to explore new ideas while making great connections.” King said she regularly interacts with professionals in journalism, government, education, and business. These contacts will undoubtedly serve her well as she looks toward future career opportunities.
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Students Reinvent the Empire State Tribune
In New York City, business moves fast. The most ambitious young adults in the world move at breakneck speed to make a difference. Creativity takes on life, and ideas become the successful organizations of tomorrow. It is this enthusiasm for creativity that inspired Tiffany Owens, Meagan Clark, and a group of like-minded students at The King’s College to reinvigorate the Empire State Tribune, the College’s student newspaper.
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In 2010, sophomore Tiffany Owens revamped the college newspaper, recruiting a handful of excited first year students. This year, Meagan, the newspaper’s new Editor-in-Chief, is picking up where Tiffany left off. A sophomore from Azle, TX studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, Meagan came to King’s in fall 2010 after Marvin Olasky, then Provost at The King’s College, recommended Meagan pursue print journalism at King’s rather than the University of Texas. Upon visiting King’s her senior year of high school, she immediately fell in the love with the vision of the college and an environment filled with students she describes as “intelligent and serious.”
Although not an entirely new organization at King’s, the Empire State Tribune has not always carried a single consistent identity. Earlier in its history, the newspaper was known as the “Student Voice,” only recently changing its name to the Empire State Tribune. At times, the newspaper struggled with consistency or lacked solid content. “The truth is,” Meagan said, “If we are to take the media seriously as a part of our mission, we need a competitive, functioning newspaper.”
Meagan is not alone in her vision for a professional caliber newspaper at The King’s College. Even before the start of the academic year, the Empire State Tribune grew to a lineup of almost 20 active members including writers, editors, advertising salesmen and technical staff. At NSO, 55 new students signed up for information, many of them with prior journalism experience.
Although the newspaper will carry the same name this year, Meagan is looking forward to making big changes. “In the past,” Meagan said, “the leadership seems to have viewed the student newspaper primarily as a tool to practice journalism. The mindset now is different from previous years. We want to view the paper as a business. The journalism experience will come naturally.” With a larger team of writers and editors and a greater division of tasks, Meagan hopes to increase the quality and consistency of the newspaper’s journalism.
The leadership at the Empire State Tribune is working on expanding in a variety of ways. Instead of producing an expensive weekly print edition of the news, the Tribune will post most of its content here and print a weekly update flyer. Meagan said that another addition to the newspaper this year will be an anonymous weekly advice column. Meagan is also excited because students who complete set requirements will also be eligible to receive academic credit. At the end of the year, Meagan said that success will come when there is “no doubt that there is a quality student paper at King’s.”
You can also connect with the Empire State Tribune on Facebook.
In late July, Assistant Professor of Business and Economics Brian Brenberg traveled to Estes Park, CO to lecture for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). Each summer, FEE runs a week-long “Liberty Academy” for roughly 200 high school students. Brenberg lectured on the topics of Knowledge, Competition, Monopoly, and Antitrust.
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David Corbin, Dean of the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, commented on the 2012 Republican Nomination race in an article from Agency French Press. Corbin was quoted saying that, “(Perry is) untested, and although we have reports out of Texas that he's a strong campaigner, you really test your mettle on the national stage." Corbin also commented on the Bachmann campaign saying, “If (Bachmann is) going to play an angle, I think it will be the angle that if you don't like Washington, DC and you don't like government so much, then why have you spent your life in government." Click here to read the full article.
Anthony Bradley, Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics, appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio program to debate Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill on a host of current events including President Barack Obama’s approval rating in the black community, the presidential campaign of Herman McCain, and recent comments by Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
During the week of July 18-22, Associate Professor of Politics David Tubbs gave a series of lectures in Lviv, Ukraine on the theme of "Law, Literature, and Human Rights." The lectures included discussions of William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and Herman Melville's Billy Budd. Tubbs's audience included university teachers, lawyers, and law professors, working throughout the former Soviet Union. As a result of his participation, legal scholars in the former Soviet Union have asked Tubbs to contribute two articles to the forthcoming Philosophic Encyclopedia of Human Rights, to be published in Russia in 2012.
Douglass Puffert, Assistant Professor of Economics, was the keynote speaker at the ‘2011 NEASCF-SSS International Symposium’, which had the theme ‘Standardization and Socio-Economic Development: Diverse Perspectives and Future Cooperation in North East Asia’. The speech, at the opening session on June 22, had the same title as Puffert’s book, Tracks Across Continents, Paths Through History: The Economic Dynamics of Standardization in Railway Gauge. The conference had over 100 participants, mostly business professionals, private-sector engineers, academics, students, and government officials.