Political Science, International Political Economy
Political science and IPE double-major Owen Myers is here at Carthage on a generous scholarship. And he’s making the most of every day by participating in J-Term study tours, getting involved in many different student organizations, and making sure he’s forged connections with Carthage faculty and staff.
“The faculty and staff here really do care about the success of their students,” Owen says. “The view is pretty nice, too.”
He chose his majors carefully. “Both political science and international political economy provide a transformative experience,” he explains. “Immersing students into the subject matter through real world experiences brings the content of lessons and theory to life. These experiences challenge students to think about the world’s most complex and pressing issues in new light, and critically apply themselves to solving them in constructive, progressive ways.
“The professors and connections the departments have ensure that Carthage will be a first step toward a long and prosperous life incorporating the majors.”
“in March of 2016 while traveling abroad with Model United Nations, we dined on the top of a mountain in central Bogota as the sun set, giving an incredible view of city. After a meal of fine, cheap dining, the bunch of us were gazing across the city as it flickered to night life and I remember being awestruck by the enormity of the opportunity and experiences I have had because of this school.
“I am currently a member of the United States Army Reserves, and I hope to transfer into the active component upon graduation pursuing Officer Candidate School. After several years of service, I hope to retire and run for national public office, putting my degrees to work.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“Political Science Professor Jeffrey Roberg. Prof. Roberg has been one of my two mentors throughout my time at Carthage. From Bogota, Colombia, to Havana, Cuba, to the countless excursions throughout the greater Chicago area, he has enriched my views of the world and taught me the values of consideration and inclusion. The rigor of his class is matched only by the compassion he has for his student’s success.
“International Political Economy Professor Art Cyr is my second mentor. From taking his introductory class in political economy, to guiding me in the search for internships in Washington, D.C., to discussing paths of military service long after the end of the day, Prof. Cyr represents all that is good about Carthage: a professor demonstrating passion in student success, the bridging of classroom lessons to worldly experiences, and a compassion for the betterment of those around him exemplifying what every student should hope to be one day.”
“Thus far, outside of J-Term study tours, my favorite course has been the Honor’s Chinese Politics class taught my freshman year. The intensity of it shoved me into the college experience and gave me the foundational research for a thesis. The subject matter of the class also gave me insight into a topic that I never had known I was passionate about until the course.”
Owen has been involved in many things at Carthage:
- Delta Upsilon, President-Elect: “Delta Upsilon has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. Blessing me with a large group of like-minded individuals to turn to for both having fun and coping with life, while expanding my culture, and working to better campus has been incredible.”
- Carthage College Republicans, President: “Being able to define myself politically was a very important thing for me upon entering college. Joining CCR went far and beyond my expectations of any political organization by giving me a group of friends to travel and work with both here in Kenosha/Racine and as far away as Washington, D.C., while simultaneously allowing me to discover all of my opinions about complex and controversial topics and how best to articulate those.”
- Omicron Delta Epsilon, Economics Honors Fraternity, President: “ODE has allowed me to immerse myself even moreso within my majors and minors, coupling me with motivated and dedicated students to explore the complexities of economics.”
- Armed Forces of Carthage, Secretary: “Having come to Carthage a week after graduating Basic Combat Training, I recognized that there was a gap between civilian and military personnel when entering higher education. Quite frankly, it is a trying time to go from a 100 percent regimented life to a 100 percent choice-driven environment. Creating A.F.O.C. with other service members on campus allowed a bridge to be made over that divide; helping veterans maintain proficiency in military skills while also networking members together to dually enhance military careers and provide for an echo chamber to vent, talk, or whatever is needed.”
- Model United Nations, Member: “MUN has been a transformative organization for me. Joining my first week of school with no idea what it was, I quickly made my closest friends (and girlfriend) through its excursions to Chicago; Bogota, Colombia; Havana, Cuba; and soon (hopefully) Edinburgh, Scotland. Through MUN, I reinforced how to public speak with confidence, developed interpersonal skills, enriched my appreciation for the complexities of global diplomacy, and enacted knowledge from my academic courses at Carthage.”
“Introduction to International Relations. While it was taught by one of my favorite professors, Dr. Roberg, the course included an expansive paper about an international relations crisis of your choosing, a debate regarding an assigned crisis, hundreds of pages of very necessary reading, and an emphasis on in-class participation to top it off. The sheer workload combined with the debate aspect of the classroom was very challenging, but it provided for one of the most excellent opportunities to learn that I could have asked for.”
Internships or on-campus employment
“I’ve had smaller political internships. While the work in these was not complex, being able to network with local politicians was incredible. It taught me both that hard work pays off when aiming for dreams, and that I never want to work campaigns for as long as I can. The connections made through these experiences, though, have directly led to my confidence in applying for internships with places like the Department of State, the White House, Speaker Paul Ryan’s office, etc.”
Opportunities at Carthage
Owen traveled to Guatemala during J-Term in 2015, and calls it “a trip that changed my life.”
“Leaving the United States (and Canada) for the first time to a country like this; living among some of the most impoverished yet compassionate people in the world, all while being surrounded with a group of strangers-turned-best-friends is by far the most astounding and breathtaking memories I will ever have.”
In J-Term 2016, he traveled to Cuba. “Being able to visit a forbidden fruit for Americans, while traveling with amazing people to conduct interviews, experience culture, and listen to the stories and experts of the country was amazing. Havana, after this trip, is by far my favorite destination outside of the United States that I have ever visited.”
Owen is a recipient of the Ruud Academic Excellence Scholarship. “Without it, I would neither be able to attend Carthage nor make the most out of my opportunities here. For their generosity and commitment to the betterment of students, I will forever consider myself blessed and incredibly thankful.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“Three stand out to me most clearly.
“One: On the Guatemala J-Term study tour I took my freshmen year, we stayed the night on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, creating a small fire underneath the trillions of stars radiating overhead, free of light pollution. There were around 18 of us — complete strangers three weeks before, now becoming some of my best friends — and we ran down the coast with palm tree branches set alight creating a haze of little sparks floating in the black.”
“My second favorite moment, also on that trip, was 200 meters away from the top of a volcano gazing out over the hundreds of miles we could see before sprinting down the side of the mountain back towards our tour group.”
“Finally, in March of 2016 while traveling abroad with Model United Nations, we dined on the top of a mountain in central Bogota as the sun set, giving an incredible view of city. After a meal of fine, cheap dining, the bunch of us were gazing across the city as it flickered to night life and I remember being awestruck by the enormity of the opportunity and experiences I have had because of this school.”
Favorite spot on campus
“It depends entirely on the day, but overall, I enjoy the basement of the library the best. Whether it is studying or working with clubs on any number of things, it seems that the basement is always where it happens most productively or creating the most memories.”
Biggest surprise so far
“The biggest surprise for me is how quickly time flies and how little life sticks to the plans you make for it. Looking back on high school graduation, this massive event in life that we prepare 18 years for, it has already been three years. It feels like nothing! And at almost every step of the way past high school, there has been a variation on the plans I set back then. That being said, I have never been disappointed with those changes for long as at every turn, another dozen opportunities come up.”
What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?
“Not studying dinosaurs today would greatly disappoint my 2004 self. That being said, he also would not be able to imagine the complexity of the world that has been taught to me during my studies, nor would he be able to comprehend the experiences that I have gone through during college: traveling around the world, gaining confidence in all of my future plans, and so much else.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“If you are willing to work hard in classes/clubs and go out of your way to talk with professors, there are so many incredible connections and experiences you can have that will make your time here so much more worth it and give you stories that will stand the test of time.”