Athens, Ga. – Beginning in fall semester, former U.S. Rep. John Barrow will become a Scholar in Residence at the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs. Barrow is an Athens resident with strong ties to UGA and to the Athens the community.
After receiving his degree in political science from UGA in 1976, Barrow went on to earn his law degree from Harvard Law School. In 2004, he was elected to Georgia’s 12th District in the U.S. House of Representatives where he represented portions of eastern and Georgia until 2015. Previously, Barrow served for 14 years on the Athens-Clarke County Commission as the commissioner for the district that included UGA.
Barrow will be teaching one class in the fall and two classes in the spring semester. The classes will focus primarily on factors that lead to political polarization in government today. Students will explore the impact of partisan gerrymandering, party caucuses, party leaders and legislative policy on party and ideological polarization.
“Congressman Barrow has an outstanding educational background, a depth of experience in politics at the local and federal level, and a steel-trap mind on matters related to Georgia history, public policy and American politics,” said Stefanie Lindquist, dean of the School of Public and International Affairs. “The students and faculty are very excited that he is joining us this fall as our Scholar in Residence.”
In addition to his time in the classroom, Barrow will serve as an adviser on an interdisciplinary effort between SPIA and the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication to create a certificate in applied politics. The program, slated to begin in 2016, is being created to provide students with practical and analytical skills for careers in politics and political communication, including campaign management, lobbying, legislative affairs, issue advocacy, grass-roots organizing and government relations.
“It will directly further the university’s recent initiative to provide students with experiential learning opportunities and to enhance interactions with partners in other organizations and that increase student success and readiness for careers or graduate school,” said John Maltese, head of the department of political science.
Barrow says he is excited to provide students with a unique learning experience throughout his time as a Scholar in Residence.
“While I was in Congress, I was incredibly impressed by the caliber of UGA students who were willing to get involved in the political process,” Barrow said. “I’m excited about this class because it’ll give me the opportunity to share that experience—which up until now has been reserved for only a handful of congressional interns—with an even larger number of students. But for me, the most exciting thing is coming back to my alma mater and spending time with a bunch of smart young people who are open to new ideas and experiences.”