International partnership sends student to Italy

CHSBS Under Discussion
Volume 10, No. 2
Fall 2007

CMU graduate student David Van Beveren (left) discusses details of his two-month trip to Italy with political science faculty member David Jesuit. Van Beveren spent two months in Italy conducting research for his thesis through a signed memorandum of understanding between CMU and the University of Macerata in Italy.

A Central Michigan University graduate student spent the summer conducting research in Italy, and two Italian faculty members are teaching a new course at CMU this fall thanks to a recently signed memorandum of understanding between CMU and the University of Macerata in Italy.

David Van Beveren, who is pursuing a master's degree in political science, spent two months at the University of Macerata conducting research for his thesis, "Sovereignty Implications of Public-Private Partnerships in Border Security Policy."

"This is a great opportunity for David and other graduate students who have similar interests in Italy or the European Union," said David Jesuit, CMU assistant professor of political science. "These types of opportunities enhance the potential for our graduate students."

In conducting research for his thesis, Van Beveren is examining the convergence of trade and border security policies, and more specifically partnership programs that are emerging between the public and the private sectors that attempt to reconcile these two interests. While in Italy, he met with public officials and private stakeholders to assess how policies of this type have been designed and implemented in the European Union.

"Learning is obviously strengthened when it incorporates varied approaches, and opportunities like this allow you to step beyond the classroom and the library and see how your ideas test against actual practices," said Van Beveren.

The two visiting faculty members from the University of Macerata will join Jesuit in teaching "Comparative Constitutional Law: the European Union and the United States." The course will be available to political science graduate students as well as qualified seniors.

The memorandum of understanding aims to enhance academic collaboration in the exchange of faculty members, the exchange of graduate students for the purpose of common research, the exploration of opportunities for undergraduate student exchanges, and consideration of other programs of common interest between the two schools.

"This is only the beginning of a partnership between CMU and the University of Macerata and the first step for our political science department," Jesuit said. "We plan to sign an agreement that will make exchanges of our faculty and graduate students regular. Both sides are very hungry for this kind of international collaboration."