by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
A $400,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant is expanding a Dickinson-led program to help bridge the gap between military and civilian communities. The program fosters long-term educational partnerships among select liberal-arts colleges and military-service academies.
Bard College, Colorado College, Dickinson College, St. John's College, Union College, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Army War College, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, U.S. Naval Academy and Vassar College.
Several forums followed, and by the close of the two-year planning phase, Washington & Lee, the Virginia Military Institute and Brown University had joined the project, and initial faculty exchanges and student-faculty programs had emerged at participating institutions nationwide. Project participants also convened at an international conference for the study of political science, security and arms control and developed a model syllabus for a senior-level seminar on U.S. strategy.
According to Stuart, the most recent Mellon grant, awarded last June, will take the military-civilian initiative to the next level by expanding programming and building the infrastructure to support long-term engagement. Information-sharing platforms, such as video conferences and a military-civilian Wiki created by Associate Professor of Political Science Andy Wolff, facilitate joint student-faculty research. Outreach projects, meanwhile, deepen the pool of knowledge while strengthening inter-institutional ties.
Plans also are in the works to bring students and educators from participating institutions together next year for a civilian-military decision-making simulation that delves into issues relating to national and international diplomacy, politics, ethics and policy.
“We have excellent momentum and we want to build on that,” Stuart says. “There’s a lot of good work ahead, and Dickinson is taking the lead.”
Published August 8, 2013