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Laker Connection



 

The Laker Connection Magazine

Joshua Meddaugh



 

Dr. Joshua Meddaugh will tell you he was bit by the political bug as a young boy. The Frank Capra classic film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” of a young man fighting for his small town was intriguing to the assistant professor of political science and associate chair for the social sciences department.

“I loved the notion that if you are passionate about an idea for your community, work tirelessly to achieve your goal, and never let the naysayers thwart you from achieving your intended purpose, you can accomplish whatever you set out to do,” he says.

Dr. Josh Meddaugh  

With that ideal in mind, Meddaugh attended Elmira College in New York to major in political science and economics. Soon after earning his bachelor’s, he went on to earn a master’s and doctorate’s in political science.

“I choose to study political science because I am interested in understanding people’s voting behavior. Particularly, I am interested in understanding why citizens vote the way they do. People are fascinating, and I am always interested in what makes them decide to cast a ballot.”

Since working at Clayton State, Meddaugh has made it his mission to ensure his students are well-versed in the political system and active participants in government. Be it reading a newspaper, attending a civic event, Meddaugh combines classroom work with real-world experiences.

“It is important for our students to see government in action, regardless of which party is in charge,” he says.

Each year, he makes it a point for his students to take part in Clayton State Day at the Capitol, a university initiative that allows students to see first-hand how state government operates with a visit to the Georgia Capitol. Students get a chance to sit in the legislative chambers, as well as meet and network with lawmakers.

“I loved the notion that if you are passionate about an idea for your community, work tirelessly to achieve your goal, and never let the naysayers thwart you from achieving your intended purpose, you can accomplish whatever you set out to do,” he says.

 

Meddaugh says Capitol Day is one of his favorite events of the year because students get to see legislators in action and be introduced to careers in public service and community activism.

“In a time where being a government outsider is lauded, we need our future generations to be educated in civics in order to keep our democracy thriving,” Meddaugh says. “Regardless of partisanship and ideology, a better-informed governing body can only help our country and by promoting events like CSU Capitol Day, we as an educating body, are helping prepare our future leaders.”

Meddaugh encourages everyone to make community involvement a daily part of their lives, whether it be volunteering at a library, joining the chamber of commerce, shopping locally, or picking up trash on sidewalks. These actions, he says, ensure communities remain stable and invest in a better governmental system where democracy thrives.

“By investing in your community, you will become aware, and hopefully passionate about, the issues effecting your everyday life and will seek to find solutions to problems that will both solve the matter and support the greater goal of the community,” he says.

Back to the Spring 2019 issue

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