Conducting Public Policy Research through the Eisenhower Institute

Political Science Prof. Scott Boddery
Political Science Prof. Scott Boddery stands in front of the numerous Stoles of Gratitude that he has received from past students at Gettysburg College.

In his seventh year teaching at Gettysburg College, Political Science Prof. Scott Boddery understands the valuable opportunities and connections that our liberal arts education provides.

Boddery serves as the Director of the Eisenhower Institute’s Fielding Center. The Fielding Center offers a year long student fellowship to complete a public policy research project sponsored by the U.S. State Department. This fellowship produces unique, practical experiences that facilitate the growth of enduring skills.

“This is a real-life public policy project, and we’re presenting it to the front line. Students have their classes, and I have my classes that I teach, but this is something wholly separate,” Boddery said. “Once the fellows meet with the State Department, they are able to recognize that this is a real policy issue that is not just a professor asking them to write a paper for a grade.”

The previous project conducted by the Fielding Fellows was for the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs. A portion of their recommendations made to the State Department in April mirrored the action taken by the government in September, when Iran released five unlawfully detained U.S. citizens. This year, students are working with the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor to investigate the effectiveness of U.N. Human Rights Council practices.

Political Science Prof. Scott Boddery
Political Science Prof. Scott Boddery keeps a record of the various law schools his former students have gone to attend after Gettysburg College.

Boddery explained the role that teamwork plays in the fellowship, and he shared his strategies for facilitating collaboration.

“I think teamwork is, first and foremost, the most important factor. When teamwork isn’t there and we can’t work as a group, that poses a big obstacle for future success,” Boddery said. “Starting early, we do team building activities for the fellows and kick the program off with a trip to the JFK Presidential Library in Boston.”

Boddery values the chance that the Fielding Center offers for him to work closely with students, and he applauded the College’s commitment to faculty connection with students.

“Being able to have close relationships with students—meeting them during their first year and having those relationships build over the next three years—is something that you don’t get at most higher education institutions,” Boddery reflected. “When I was on the job market, I wanted to work at a liberal arts college for the connection with students, and I found that at Gettysburg.”

Learn more about the Eisenhower Institute and the immersive experiences it provides for Gettysburg College students.

By Laken Franchetti ’24
Photos by McKenna White ’25
Posted: 01/23/24

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