How IHS Summer Seminars Can Change Students’ Lives

Summer Seminars

This summer, the Institute for Humane Studies will host two five-day Summer Seminars for graduate students interested in exploring classical liberal ideas. Applications for the seminars are now open.

Right away at the seminar, I felt a strong sense of community. Brilliant people, both professors and students, freely diving into discussions in the classrooms, over meals, and everywhere in between. We explored topics on what a good society was and could be.

– Chad Thevenot, IHS Executive Director

IHS has been hosting Summer Seminars for nearly 50 years, changing the lives of over 1,000 student attendees.

Chad Thevenot
Chad Thevenot, IHS Executive Director

Chad Thevenot, now IHS’s executive director, attended his first IHS Summer Seminar in 1999: Liberty, Art, and Culture at Bryn Mawr College.

“Right away at the seminar, I felt a strong sense of community,” Thevenot remembered. “Brilliant people, both professors and students, freely diving into discussions in the classrooms, over meals, and everywhere in between. We explored topics on what a good society was and could be. This seminar filled a personal void; it was a deeply intellectual, immersive week, and served to redirect my life’s path.” 

One of my favorite aspects of them is the opportunity to interact with faculty members from different universities and disciplines. Not only do they provide good substantive conversations, but they also give a lot of great career advice.

– Nicholas Jenkins, a political science PhD candidate

That tradition continues. Every year, graduate students come together with top classical liberal faculty for memorable lectures, discussions, and evening socials.

Nicholas Jenkins, a political science PhD candidate at the University of California, Riverside, attended a 2019 Summer Seminar: Civil Society in Uncivil Times at Davidson College.

“The IHS Summer Seminars are great opportunities to meet other students and think hard about important issues,” Jenkins said. “One of my favorite aspects of them is the opportunity to interact with faculty members from different universities and disciplines. Not only do they provide good substantive conversations, but they also give a lot of great career advice.”

Like many students who attend this program, Jenkins—who studies the influence of money in politics—continues to be engaged with IHS programs. In the fall, he won a 2020 Humane Studies Fellowship, which, he said, “eliminates my need to TA, thus giving me three and a half months of uninterrupted time for research.”

As another student put it after attending a Summer Seminar: “I’m pretty sure I’ll be an IHS person for life.”

Interested in our Summer Seminar program? Apply for a 2020 Summer Seminar today!

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