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Fellowship Empowers Critical Thinkers

An impactful gift inspires the pursuit of democratic discourse.
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Syracuse University political science professor Dennis Rasmussen challenges his students to develop their critical thinking skills and thoughtfully reflect on the issues of a democratic society.

Rasmussen’s teaching and his research at the intersection of human nature and political thought led to his being named the inaugural Hagerty Family Faculty Fellow at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The fellowship was created with a generous gift from Maxwell alumnus and advisory board member Stephen Hagerty ’91, G’93 and his wife, Lisa Altenbernd G’93. It will support Rasmussen’s work, which focuses on political theory and the history of political thought and includes books exploring the ideas of the nation’s founding fathers. Hagerty hopes Rasmussen’s students will carry their citizenship lessons and critical thinking skills with them as they take their places and make an impact in government and society.

“There’s a lack of critical thinking in America these days,” Hagerty says. “There’s no more important time than now to be doubling down on schools of citizenship and the importance of democracy. Maxwell professors are some of the very best in the country doing this teaching. It’s a worthy investment.”

Learn more about the gift.

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