|Baker Institute Student Forum evaluates President Obama's efforts on jobs
With college graduation looming, the struggling economy and soft job market are on the minds of many Rice students pondering their next steps. That includes members of the Baker Institute Student Forum (BISF).
The forum, which is funded by the Baker Institute, recently held a debate to evaluate the success of President Obama's job creation policies. A panel of students from the Rice University Young Democrats and the Rice University Conservative Forum, pictured above, presented opposing perspectives on the president's policies before an audience of more than 50 students and faculty.
The discussion, which was attended by Rice President David Leebron and Baker Institute founding director Edward P. Djerejian, covered topics including the stimulus package and the role of government in job creation.
"We had four students on the conservative side and four students on the liberal side who were examining President Obama's performance on the jobs issue," said Myles Bugbee '12, BISF events committee chair and president of the Young Democrats. "This was a really good substantive debate where you had a core values clash between one side that supports more government intervention in the economy and one side that supports less government intervention."
Following the March 22 debate, the audience had the option to vote on the impact of the president's policies. Of the 30 votes cast, 17 were in support of Obama's policies, seven were against and six were undecided.
This was the second such debate sponsored by BISF. In October, students from both sides of the aisle "graded" President Obama’s first two years in office. BISF president Lauren Baba '11 said the response has been enthusiastic, and that more debates are planned.
"The BISF is the one student organization on campus dedicated to informing the Rice student body about public policy and politics," she said. The group, which has approximately 190 members, is "nonpartisan, which allows the organization to focus on sharing public policy information with a broad, campus-wide audience. It also allows us to engage in spirited discussions and debates where a variety of opinions are represented."
BISF faculty sponsor Bonner Means Baker Fellow Joe Barnes says the student forum is a critical part of the Baker Institute's commitment to education, adding that, "The BISF is a great place to start if a student thinks he or she might be interested in public policy but doesn't know for sure yet."
The jobs debate impressed audience member Chandler Davidson, Rice's Radoslav Tsanoff Professor of Public Affairs Emeritus. He described the exchange as "two groups of students with sharply different views, well-prepared for an intellectual joust followed by intelligent, probing questions from an audience composed of students, faculty, administrators and, on this occasion, both the institute's director and the university's president.
“I hope this series continues indefinitely. In my view, it's Rice at its best."
View a video from the March 22 event, "Baker Institute Student Forum -- The Jobs Debate," and comment on the April 1, 2011, Baker Institute Blog post, "Rice students debate President Obama’s record on jobs."
For more information on student opportunities at the Baker Institute, including the Baker Institute Student Forum, internship programs and classes, please visit the Students section of the institute's website.
To support student opportunities at the Baker Institute, please contact Christene Kimmel, director of development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Panel on the nuclear aftermath of the Japanese tsunami draws 200
More than 200 people attended an April 8 lunchtime panel discussion on the aftermath of the events at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant.
The panel featured Rice University physics professor Paul Padley, Ph.D.; Amy Myers Jaffe, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow in Energy Studies and director of the Energy Forum at the Baker Institute; radiation oncologist Dr. James D. Cox, who oversees the new proton treatment center at the MD Anderson Cancer Center; and Erich A. Schneider, Ph.D., an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at The University of Texas at Austin who specializes in nuclear engineering.
Neal Lane, Ph.D., former science adviser to President Clinton and the senior fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute, moderated the discussion. The event was presented by the Baker Institute Science and Technology Policy Program and Energy Forum.
A webcast of the April 8 event "Japan: The Aftermath" is now available.
Baker Institute interns win Goldwater, Udall fellowships
Rahul Rekhi '13, a Baker Institute Student Forum member, is among 275 American students named Goldwater Scholars for 2011. The scholarship covers up to $7,500 of eligible tuition and tuition-related expenses annually.
Benjamin Chou '13 and Rebecca Jaffe '12 have been named 2011 Morris K. Udall Scholars and will each receive a $5,000 scholarship. Chou has conducted research on Chinese energy policy with Steven Lewis, Ph.D., the Baker Institute's C.V. Starr Transnational China Fellow. Jaffe joined the Baker Institute Energy Forum last year in rural Morocco, where she spent a month helping with a project that harvests potable water from fog.
This summer, Rekhi, Chou and Jaffe will intern in Washington, D.C., as part of the Baker Institute's Jesse Jones Leadership Center Summer in D.C. Policy Research Internship Program.
Events are by invitation only unless otherwise noted. For a complete list, visit our events page.
Baker Institute Student Forum -- Is Capitalism Good for the Poor? Hillsdale College economics professor and policy analyst Gary Wolfram, Ph.D., discusses capitalism with the Student Forum. April 14 at noon
The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East. Duke University professor Timur Kuran, Ph.D., addresses the historical and contemporary legacy of Islamic legal institutions in the Middle East and how they have affected the economy. April 18 at noon
The Quiet Kingdom: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom. Historian and Baker Institute fellow Douglas Brinkley, Ph.D., discusses his book on how the U.S. government worked to preserve wild Alaska from industrial expansion. Following the event, the institute will unveil a garden bench dedicated to the memories of Stone Weeks and Holt Weeks, who were killed in the summer of 2009. At the time, Stone was the assistant and researcher for Brinkley. Holt was an intern for Chris Bronk, Ph.D., Baker Institute fellow in information technology policy, and had been accepted at Rice as a transfer student. April 20 at 6:00 pm
The Future of Oil in Mexico/El Futuro del Sector Petrolero en Mexico. The Energy Forum and the University of Oxford release a joint study on the energy market in Mexico. This event will take place in Mexico City. April 29 at 11:00 am
Research & News
For a complete list of research and commentary, visit our publications page.
Baker Institute Blog
For more postings, visit the Baker Institute Blog.
Locating liberals and conservatives in the Texas House after 90 days. Mark Jones, Ph.D., fellow in politlcal science, examines the voting records of Texas State Representatives after 90 days in session. April 13
Japan: The aftermath. View a webcast of the Baker Institute's April 8 panel discussion on the repercussions of the nuclear crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant. April 12
"Environmentally Friendly" Mining Not as Benign as it Seems. Ronald Sass, Ph.D., fellow in global climate change, explains why in situ leaching uranium mines can be problematic for potable groundwater adjacent to uranium ore deposits. April 8
Why Texans Need the Federal Government to Spend Money on Research. Rice scholar Rachel Kimbro, Ph.D., discusses why federal funding of research organizations such as the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation ultimately benefits the state of Texas. April 6
Children's Play Habits and Obesity in Public Housing. In a recently published report, Rice scholar Rachel Kimbro, Ph.D., and her co-authors found that children living in public housing have lower rates of obesity than other children living in urban areas. April 4
Rice Students Debate President Obama's Record on Jobs. Myles Bugbee, president of the Rice Young Democrats, and Sean Sessel, president of the Rice Conservative Forum, recount the Student Forum debate about how President Obama's policies have affected the job market. April 1
Clearing Up Reports of Radiation in Japan. Rice physics professor Paul Padley, Ph.D., explains miscommunicated reports of radiation levels in and around Japan's Fukushima Prefecture. March 31
For a complete list, visit our webcast page.
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The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy is a nonpartisan public policy think tank located on the campus of Rice University in Houston, Texas. The institute's distinguished fellows and scholars research and collaborate with experts from academia, government, the media, business and private organizations on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy.