February 18, 2017 at 3:32 pm

McCaulley on Arts & Sciences: ‘Teaches You How to Think’

Justin R. McCaulley

Justin R. McCaulley

The most important thing about the arts and sciences, says Justin R. McCaulley, is that it “teaches you how to think.”

McCaulley, who graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University in 2001 with a B.A. in Political Science, is president of McCaulley & Company, a consulting firm based in Cleveland that offers communication solutions to local governments, regulatory agencies, higher education, corporations, and nonprofit organizations.

Throughout his consulting career, McCaulley has maintained strong ties to Ohio University. He served on the Executive Advisory Board for the College of Arts & Sciences, was president of the Alumni Association in Cleveland, and is actively involved in alumni events on campus. In 2014, McCaulley was awarded the college’s Spirit Award for distinguished young alumni. Most recently, he delivered a talk on professional networking for the College of Arts & Science’s Career & Networking Week this February.

But McCaulley’s connections to Ohio University run deeper still.

“There hasn’t been a year that I haven’t returned to watch the Bobcats,” he says, adding, “People feel very, very deeply about this place. And they want to give back.”

This semester, McCaulley returned in more formal fashion to Ohio University to offer a special course in Political Science on the relationship between law, politics, and lobbying. The course takes a real-world perspective, says McCaulley, in looking at the “interconnections between business, education, policy, and politics.”

But the course also offers lessons in professionalization that are crucial to current students who soon face that real world:

  • Resume-building
  • Professional networking in our increasingly digital age
  • And how “showing up” – in one’s community as much as to professional events – can make all the difference.

As department chair Dr. Judith Grant observes, McCaulley’s is at heart a “hands-on course” that helps students integrate what they “learn in college with real world dilemmas” they will face after they graduate.

This relationship, between real-world dilemmas and the ability to think and respond critically to them, is the real gift of political science education, according to McCaulley. When students look at their coursework in Political Science upon graduation and ask themselves, “What have I done?” McCaulley explains, they will find that while they have not learned a specific vocation like engineering or nursing, they will have developed the incredibly useful skill of learning how to think, how to write, and how to interrogate the world around them.

“It’s been very gratifying,” he says of his return to the Political Science Department this term, “to help students succeed beyond classroom learning.”

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