Nitze Alumni: Where are they now?

Lisa in the Peace Corps in Kenya

The world finds Nitze Scholars in a wide range of walks of life. Cookie cutters have their place...in the kitchen.

The Nitze Experience

JaVon and Emily learning how things work in Senegal

The Paul H. Nitze Program offers:

  • three special seminars for each student
  • cultural outings to DC/Baltimore paid for by the program
  • special meetings with high-profile campus visitors
  • an international study tour paid for by the program
  • a stipend of $3000 per year for participants

Excerpts from syllabi of NITZ 180: Leadership Seminar I:

Fall 2012, The Ethics of Global Aid: Why Should We Help?, M. Taber, Philosophy
Our world is shrinking with age, due to increasing globalization of economies, communication, entertainment, and even disease vectors.  The shirt you are wearing was touched by those of many lands, and each day we (or our spam filters) receive messages from Nigerian generals and Moldovan crime syndicates.  The fact of actual relation gives rise to the possibility of moral evaluation.  Hence, we can now ask whether this government policy or that consequence of our lifestyle is morally justified in terms of its impact on those in other nations.  These questions become plentiful when asked of those in the economically developed world, since so many of the fruits of a developed lifestyle are grown in the hardscrabble soil of poor countries.  The importance of avoiding exploitation is obvious to all would-be leaders but the realpolitikers among us.  In this seminar we will explore some of the ways in which lifestyles in one country affect the well-being of those in other countries, and we will discuss various frameworks for how to provide the clearest moral evaluation of those effects.  The readings will range from the disciplines of anthropology, economics, history, literature, philosophy, and public policy.

Fall 2010, Charismatic Authority and Prophecy as Challenge to Established Order, K. von Kellenbach, Religious Studies
In this seminar, we will apply Max Weber's theory of “charismatic leadership” to look for prophetic voices that have changed prevailing paradigms in religion and politics, with special attention to the problem of violence and non-violence. Biblical prophets were divinely commissioned outsiders who were called to speak truth to power. We will examine the prophetic model that emerges from the Bible and study various revolutionary leaders, religious innovators and social critics who felt called to decry established authorities, reigning powers, and conventional practices of the day. The biographies and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Jim Jones, and Margaret Sanger, all of whose charismatic leadership proved a powerful force to change the world—for better or worse.

Fall 2009, Winston Churchill: Twentieth Century Leader, G. Savage, History
Winston Churchill's public career spanned half a century, and he played many roles in the life of his own country and in the life of the world during that period.  As a political leader, a military leader, a Parliamentary leader, a leader of the British empire, and a leader of the free world during the Cold War, Churchill left his imprint on the most important episodes of the twentieth century, until his death in 1965.  In fact, even before the twentieth century, Churchill was a military officer and reporter in Cuba, India, what is now Pakistan, Sudan, and South Africa, as well as being elected to Parliament.  Studying Churchill's career as a leader in a variety of contexts will provide opportunities to reflect on the relationship between Churchill's heroic stature on the one hand and his actual accomplishments and human failings on the other hand.  Students will learn to judge leadership styles in a more nuanced way and to better appreciate the human component in the careers of leaders by considering Churchill's character, his accomplishments and his failures in a historical context. 

Fall 2008, Military Leadership Principles and Their Application to Everyday Life, A. Miles, Political Science
The military is a unique leadership laboratory in which poor leadership can have fatal consequences.  As a result, the military takes very seriously the job of teaching leadership principles to all of its members.  The principles are not just taught in basic training; they are reinforced every few years through a system of "professional military education" requirements.  This seminar offers an in-depth look at principles taught to and practiced by aspiring leaders in the US military and a discussion of how well those principles apply to any environment in which leadership is a necessary ingredient to success.  Much of the course will involve the application of these principles to a variety of leaders to see in what ways they embody (or fail to embody) those values.  Therefore, students may pick from leaders in any area that interests them the most - education, business, politics, history, sports, and so on - to research and write about. 

Fall 2007, Why You?  Presidents and Personality in U.S. History, C. Holden, History
This seminar will focus on the representation (and self-representation) of selected U.S. political leaders in their historical context.  Throughout United States history, political leaders bidding for power have had to answer a fundamental question posed by the American people.  The question, at its core, is simple: "Why you?"  The answers to "Why you?" reveal a great deal about American views on leadership and the perceived need for a certain kind of leadership at a certain time.  The study of different leaders at different times also forces us to examine the complex relationship between the demands of "the people" coming from below, and the ability (or at times inability) of an elite to shape, manipulate, and limit the range of those demands in the first place.

Fall 2006, Responses to Leadership in Politics and Journalism, K. Norlock, Philosophy
American democratic processes require us to trust our political leaders with the power we grant them. However, our nation is founded on revolutionary, enlightenment principles which question the legitimacy of authority.  What is the right attitude to take toward leadership in this society?  Is the free press an aid in questioning leadership, or another authority to be mistrusted?  In this course we will explore the responsibilities of the led, with an emphasis on our ethical responses to the messages of the political leadership, including trust, treason, and our choices between those two.  Many of the selected readings will challenge the legitimacy of any leadership; the burden of proof is assumed to be on those who would claim authority, analysis of which will require some debate as to what we mean by authority.

Fall 2005, Chesapeake Bay Restoration:  A Question of Leadership, C. Tanner, Biology
In this seminar students will develop an understanding of ecological processes in the Bay and  how scientists are working together with communities, managers, and politicians in an effort to restore the Bay to a more natural and productive condition.  These themes will be explored through lecture, class discussion, student presentations, laboratory experiences, guest presentations, and visits to organizations involved with Bay education and/or restoration. The role of effective leadership in Bay restoration will be the central theme of the seminar.

Fall 2004, The Question of Poetry, M. Glaser, English (and Poet Laureate of the State of Maryland)
In a program that focuses on scholars and leadership, and in a country where poetry and art are often marginalized, what can we learn by examining each in light of the other?  Why is it that at St. Mary's College of Maryland, poetry, scholarship and a concern for meaningful leadership are alive and vital?  How might we define leadership?  And scholarship?  And art/poetry?  In what ways might one help us more meaningfully understand the value of the others?  In all these areas, where, as Marianne Moore suggests, is the place for the genuine?   This course will examine the complexity of such questions and their relevance and importance for our country and our world.

Fall 2003, Leadership, Freedom, and Happiness, M. Taber, Philosophy
As shape-shifting as leadership can be anywhere, there is a special problem for the notion of leadership in a democratic organization.  For in a democracy, are not the people supposed to be the determiners of policy?  Therefore, are not the so-called leaders supposed to follow-namely, follow the will of the people?  If leaders are really followers, then what sense does leadership really make in a democratic organization?  And if they are not just followers, then in what sense is it a democratic organization?
But matters get worse.  If democracy involves the leaders giving people what they want, what if what they want is not good for them?  Or what if what they want is to be taken care of, to be led, to conform to some explicit command or some implicit social norm?   Would this still be democracy?  This seminar will use writings of Thucydides, Plato, and Dostoevsky to open our discussions about these matters.

Fall 2002, Women and Leadership, L. Williams, Psychology
This seminar will provide an opportunity for students to examine concepts of leadership, particularly with respect to issues of gender.  Specifically, we will explore theories of leadership, research on women and leadership, and specific women representing diverse aspects of leadership (e.g. in business, science, politics, and education).  We will also have the opportunity to learn more about specific leaders, both information about leaders and about ways gender may or may not have impacted the leaders' unique style, approach and effect (e.g. perceptions of others).

Fall 2001, Scientists and Leadership, A. Koch, Chemistry
Do good scientists make good leaders?  During this seminar we will perform searches on various scientists looking into both their career development and their scientific contributions.  Over the course of the semester we will acquire information on given scientists, their works and achievements, and relate this to leadership qualities.  Specific attention will be given on utilizing the primary literature and incorporation of technology in developing portfolios.

Fall 2000, Leaders and Politics, S. Grogan, Political Science
This seminar will examine the concept of leadership from a variety of "social science" perspectives, with a particular focus on the potential of leadership in the political world.  While the nature of "political" will be broadly construed, many of the particular exemplars of leadership will be taken from the context of contemporary or recent American government.  Among the questions to be addressed in this seminar will be the following.  Who is a leader?  What kind or kinds of leadership are most appropriate for different needs?  How does leadership differ from holding a position of authority?  How does leadership differ from power?  How does power differ from influence?  How can an individual exercise effective leadership?  How do external forces shape the possibilities of leadership?  How do internal characteristics shape the possibilities of leadership?  What responsibilities does a leader have to those who follow her or him?  How can we evaluate leaders?  How should we evaluate leaders?

Fall 1999, Leadership and Social Change, J. Rogachevsky, Spanish
In this seminar we will explore issues regarding the nature of leadership from a moral as well as a practical perspective.  We will look at how different assumptions about leadership interact with different perspectives on society and the need and possibility for social change.  We will read texts from some of the classic authors within the Western tradition, as well as texts from social activists, and we will also explore an alternative cultural tradition, the Maya culture of Central America.

Fall 1998, Leadership In Cross Cultural Perspective, H. Rosemont, Philosophy
This seminar will be an unusual one in many respects.  First, it will consider the subject matter - leadership - from a multiplicity of disciplines, rather than just one:  history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and religious studies will permeate our discussions.  Second, the seminar will examine the subject matter from a multiplicity of cultural perspectives, and we will be asking, among other questions, what leadership qualities, if any, transcend cultural boundaries.  A third unusual feature of the seminar is that it will be strongly value-oriented.  To see why this must be done, consider two twentieth-century figures, Adolph Hitler and Mohandas Gandhi.  Both were clearly leaders, but the former is very probably the most despised of all human beings, whereas the latter is almost universally revered; we must endeavor to account for this difference between them.