Patricia Weitsman,recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Graduate Teacher Award, is excited to give the keynote address at Friday's graduate student commencement ceremony.
"Students at Ohio University have meant so much to me over the years that it is really important for me to give back and do a good job," she said. "I hope that the students will have a takeaway that is meaningful to them and it will be something they can look back on as emblematic of their time at Ohio University."
Weitsman, who did her undergraduate work at Indiana University -- spending one year at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem -- and received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, teaches at Ohio University in the political science department. Her areas of research and specialization are in international relations, with an emphasis on international security and international relations theory.
She has held fellowships at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Switzerland, and was a Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. She is co-author of "The Politics of Policy Making in Defense and Foreign Affairs" (1993), co-editor of "Towards a New Europe " (1995) and "Enforcing Cooperation" (1997). Her last book, "Dangerous Alliances: Proponents of Peace, Weapons of War," Stanford University Press, 2004, was a finalist for several major book awards.
Her work has been published in numerous edited volumes as well as journals in the field and in a number of newspapers, including The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, The Guardian and the Columbus Dispatch. She is currently working on a short monograph on coalition warfare, as well as a larger project on war and identity.
Given the emotionally draining nature of her areas of study, Weitsman insists that students are essential to fueling her enthusiasm and passion for her research. As recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award and a two-time University Professor, in addition to her recent honor as Outstanding Graduate Teacher, that dedication to her students is apparent.
"My work is very dark -- I work on war, genocide and violent conflict," she said. "What fills my tank are the students. What gives me light and joy is knowing that students are going to go out and make a difference in the world... They really give me hope for the future."