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Future Army Officer Learns to Look at War Differently
Michelino A. Sferra ‘16

Michelino A. Sferra '16

Among my future plans, I am going to seek commission as an officer in the United States Army. I'm involved with ROTC on campus, but in War and Politics, taught by Dr. Andrea Lopez, the concepts learned in courses I had taken before are the basis for introducing new and important ideas in an interactive way.

Simulating an ongoing war was one of the most helpful processes I've ever had when it came to learning international and political motives for states and their leaders. We simulated the Syrian civil war and were given roles to play on both sides. This was an opportunity to ask ourselves what we would do in the present situation and compare those decisions with what leaders actually did.

My biggest challenge to date would have been the paper I wrote for my research methods course spring semester of my sophomore year. The course can best be described as a pre-senior seminar class that teaches different ways of research and different styles of research. I quickly knew what style of paper I was going to write, however it was my first in-depth study of a topic of my complete choosing. While it gave the creative freedom to pick my own thesis, I also had to decide what political phenomenology I wanted to focus on and how I was going to get the necessary information. Throughout the process I changed and honed the skills necessary to properly conduct the research and ended up with a fantastic start to what I hope to research for my senior seminar project.

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