Two Political Science and Great Books students explored new perspectives on influential texts through the Hertog program in Washington, DC.
 
Jonathan Taylor, of Saint John, NB, and Abbie LeBlanc, of Fredericton, NB, each earned a spot in the competitive two-week seminar program, which brings top students to the US capital to explore the theory and practice of politics.

Taylor was part of the Literature and Politics program that focused on Shakespeare and Plato—two writers he’s encountered through his studies at STU.

“I was really drawn toward the books,” he said. “The Roman Plays were a section of Shakespeare’s catalogue that I hadn't ever had the opportunity to explore. Being able to look at those texts was something I wanted to do for a long time.”

The fourth-year student was surprised to discover the different backgrounds and perspectives other participants brought to the program.

“They had engineering students, economics students, and someone who is now pursuing a doctorate in Psychology,” he said. “The mix of people and the mix of assumptions brought to the table were quite different and they have given me a greater appreciation for new perspectives.”

LeBlanc, who was part of the Great Debates: Ancient and Moderns section that focused on Aristotle and Machiavelli, is looking forward to working through the new ideas brought up during the seminar.

“The program has made me really excited to get back into my classes at STU, and to get back to chewing over complicated texts,” she said. “I’m looking forward to bringing the perspectives I encountered in Washington to the texts I read this year.”

Although the majority of their time was spent in class or at evening lectures from prominent speakers, Taylor and LeBlanc each had an opportunity to experience Washington.

“We went to the National Art Gallery and the Shakespeare Library,” Taylor said.

“A highlight of the trip for me was getting to see the Supreme Court,” LeBlanc said. “Having participated in Moot Court and simulated Supreme Court proceedings, it was really exciting to see the building where it actually happens.”

For Taylor and LeBlanc, this experience has cemented the decision to pursue graduate school following the completion of their Bachelor of Arts degrees.

“Grad school is the path I want to pursue,” LeBlanc said. “Having taken classes with students with similar intentions, I now know through experience that STU has prepared me for academia just as well as any big name school in the states—if not better.”