Democracy in Action

  Kerwin Swint moderates a debate between Rebecca Purvis of New Zealand, left, and …

Georgia (Feb 15, 2016) —  

Kerwin Swint moderates a debate between Rebecca Purvis of New Zealand, left, and Salma Alokozai of Afghanistan as nominees of fictional opposing parties. 

KSU professors give foreign Fulbright students a presidential election primer

It was all American-style politics for 135 international students attending a 2016 Fulbright Enrichment Seminar titled “Democracy in Action: U.S. Politics and Elections” in Atlanta this month.

A simulation workshop on the U.S. presidential election, facilitated by Kennesaw State University political science professors Kerwin Swint and Jeff Dewitt, placed the Fulbright students representing 84 countries in the center of the American electoral process, giving them a chance to experience the presidential race firsthand. In addition to actively campaigning and debating as presidential candidates, the students participated as constituents of pivotal swing states, working to determine positions on critical issues and nominate presidential candidates.

“It’s important for international students to understand how American politics really works; and these Fulbrighters not only learned a great deal, but had a great cultural experience in Atlanta as well,” said Swint, who moderated the workshop and served as a consultant for the seminar that was sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. He also moderated a panel discussion of the polarization that characterizes American politics today.

The Fulbright students also heard an analysis of the impact of the Electoral College in the American presidential elections process from Dewitt, a scholar of American political behavior, electoral politics, political communication and public opinion.

Swint said the students also were fortunate to hear an insightful analysis of the current presidential campaign by Atlanta Journal-Constitution political columnist Jim Galloway. “Just as the campaign heads south, he taught them an important lesson that all the candidates need to learn — how to say ‘Hey Y'all!’”

See more of the Fulbright students’ “Democracy in Action” experience at https://storify.com/FulbrightPrgrm/fulbright-enrichment-2016?utm_content=storify-pingback&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=sfy.co-twitter&utm_campaign=&awesm=sfy.co_w2JN.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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