Politics Ph.D. Student Presents at Texas Graduate Conference, Attends Lincoln Seminar

Pavlos Papadopolous, PhD '16, presents at Texas graduate conference, attends Lincoln seminar

October 10, 2015

Had Pavlos Papadopoulos, PhD ’16, not decided to pursue his doctorate in politics through the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts’ Institute of Philosophic Studies, he likely would have delved into the world of foreign policy, foreign affairs and think tanks. As it is, he is planting firm roots in the academic world, from presenting at the Texas Graduate Symposium in the Liberal Arts to attending a seminar on Abraham Lincoln in New York City.

The Texas Graduate Symposium in the Liberal Arts is a joint effort of SMU and Rice University, held on the Rice campus in Houston. Papadopoulos’ paper compared the philosophies of two thinkers on liberal education, Leo Strauss and Josef Pieper. According to Papadopoulos, Strauss’s philosophy is more in line with Papadopoulos’ undergraduate education at St. John’s College, which emphasizes the Great Books in a way that presents each text as equally valid and puts the responsibility on the students to determine the significance of the texts relative to each other.

Pieper, however, is more similar to UD in his focus on tradition and theology.

“Because one style is that of my undergraduate studies and the other that of my graduate, it ended up feeling a lot more personal than I’d realized it would,” Papadopoulos said.

In 2011, Papadopoulos took a class on Abraham Lincoln from UD’s Associate Professor of Politics David Upham, which sparked his interest in the 16th president. At the beginning of August of this year, Papadopoulos attended a Hertog Foundation Advanced Institute, “The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln.”

The week-long seminar took place at the New York Historical Society and was led by Allen C. Guelzo, Ph.D., who is the Henry R. Luce professor of the Civil War era and the director of Civil War era studies at Gettysburg College, as well as the author of several books concerning Lincoln. Guest lecturers included Richard Brookhiser, National Review editor and author of books on the Founding Fathers and presidents including Lincoln, and James Oakes, historian and professor at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center.

“One of my favorite parts of the seminar was meeting very interesting graduate students from other institutions,” Papadopoulos said.

Once he has received his doctorate from Braniff, Papadopoulos hopes to teach in an environment with an interdisciplinary approach, like UD. For example, at UD, although he’s working on his doctorate in politics, Papadopoulos has taught philosophy courses. He has also collaborated with Literary Tradition instructors to have discussions on, for example, Homer versus Plato.

“I believe the different disciplines should talk to each other rather than being walled off,” he said.

News

You Can Do What with a (Spanish) Degree?

His first step was to enroll in physician’s assistant school at Baylor’s College of Medicine, a career trajectory to which he had aspired since his early childhood. Nowadays, Jonathan Cunningham, BA ’17, is dedicated to the vocational pursuit of comfort and healing at MD Anderson in Houston, among the largest cancer treatment centers in the U.S., where he was once a chemotherapy patient himself.

+ Read More

History Alumnus Heads National Catholic Bioethics Center

During his Rome semester in 1991, Joseph Meaney, BA '93, with his friends (now Father) Kevin Cook, BA '94, and (now Texas State Representative and UD Trustee) Tan Parker, BA '93, attended a private Mass with Pope St. John Paul II. Several weeks earlier, they had hand-delivered a letter to the Swiss Guards outside St. Peter's requesting the Mass and including their contact information; at last, they'd received the phone call instructing them to be at the Bronze Gates at 5 a.m.

+ Read More