On January 13 and 14, Dr. Joshua Shifrinson, an assistant professor in the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, took part in the Bush Library’s High School Days Program, speaking to students from Bryan and A&M Consolidated high schools. The title of his talk was “The Cold War: The Long Peace and Its Long Shadow.”
“My goal was to give the students an overview of the Cold War as well as to highlight why we still care about the US-Soviet contest years later, despite the dissolution of the former Soviet Union,” said Shifrinson. He noted that other Texas A&M faculty members, including Professor Jim Olsen from the Bush School, have also taken part in the program, which began in 2002.
Each year, the High School Days Program brings all of the Bryan-College Station high school juniors to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum for a day of wide-ranging educational experiences. It is a cooperative initiative between the high school faculty and the Library’s educational outreach.
The goal is to expand high school juniors’ educational horizons through seminars featuring outstanding experts in science and history, as well as authors and motivational speakers. The Museum’s interactive exhibits also give the students an opportunity to participate in dynamic decision-making, such as considering the issues faced by President Bush in the first Gulf War.
Through the program and interactive sessions, students are expected to gain a better understanding of President Bush’s distinguished career in public service and leadership, and understand the sacrifices often required for the greater good. The events are also specifically crafted to give high school students an idea of what it is like in an undergraduate classroom in order to better prepare them for college.
Shifrinson noted that he valued the opportunity to reach out to future college students through this program, adding that some might even be Bush School students at some point.
“The students were actively engaged in the material I presented and clearly interested in learning the “lessons” of the Cold War as they relate to world politics today. It is a privilege to work with the community in this way,” Shifrinson said.