UC Blue Ash College

History, Philosophy & Political Science Department

Professor Rob Gioielli teaching class

The History, Philosophy and Political Science Department at UC Blue Ash College offers a variety of courses – such as Latin American History, Environmental, Women’s and Civil War History and European studies – for students to take throughout the academic year. 

Students interested in history are now able to complete the associate’s degree in History or major in Liberal Arts. 

Academic Programs

Transition-Oriented Associate Degree Programs

  • History: The new AA Degree in History is designed to allow seamless transition into the History Bachelor of Arts at UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, but can be used as the building block for other majors as well.
  • Liberal Arts: The Liberal Arts program is designed for students who want to start their education at UC Blue Ash, but complete their Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences from UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S).

One-Year Certificate Program

  • European Studies: The European Studies certificate is recommended for all Liberal Arts students. This certificate can be a great path for many students, and aligns well with many transition programs.

History Overview

History as a discipline is the interpretation of the past and its ongoing connection to the present. Through our use of sources to understand the past, students learn to practice historical thinking, which requires we understand cultures, events, and peoples within the changing context of their times. The job of the historian therefore trains students to have a more layered understanding of the past and present, to have an ability to draw conclusions from many types of data and perspectives, and to be able to articulate those conclusions for the public. Students of history are typically employed in education, law and government, archives and libraries, museums, and any position requiring analysis and interpretation. 

At UCBA, we regularly offer introductory surveys on US, World, and European History. In addition, every term we offer focused courses on the research specialties of our world-class faculty, including the Civil War, Women’s History, Environmental History, the British Empire, Russia, and World War II. Students interested in History courses or careers can reach out to Dr. Krista Sigler at krista.sigler@uc.edu.

Philosophy Overview

What does it mean to live well? Can we know anything? Does justice require universal access to healthcare? What makes an activity a sport? Can judgments of artistic merit be objective? When, if at all, is it morally okay to lie? These are all philosophical questions-- questions that are about foundational, fundamental matters; questions that cannot be answered by observation or measurement. In the discipline of philosophy, we apply reasoning to these questions, analyzing concepts and constructing sound arguments. Students of philosophy develop skills in critical thinking and clear communication that they can fruitfully apply in their personal, professional, and social lives and this makes philosophy a particularly versatile major. Philosophy is widely regarded to be an excellent preparation for law school and graduate study in humanities, but it also provides a firm foundation for any career requiring sharp analytical and writing skills and an ability to "think outside the box."

At UC Blue Ash, we offer four philosophy courses on an ongoing basis: Introduction to Philosophy, Business Ethics, Contemporary Moral Issues, and Medical Ethics. Students interested in taking a philosophy course at UCBA are encouraged to reach out to Professor Ornaith O'dowd (ornaith.odowd@uc.edu).

Political Science Overview

Political Science studies social phenomena or people. It explores domestic and international politics, policies and political power. Its four major fields are American Politics, International Relations, Comparative Politics and Political Theory.

At UC Blue Ash, we offer a survey course on American Politics called Introduction to American Politics (POL 1010), three to four sections of which are taught every fall and every spring semester. Occasionally a section is offered during the summer. Introduction to International Relations (POL 1080) is taught once every school year. Introduction to Comparative Politics (POL 1060) is taught during the other semester of the year.

Our courses provide a solid foundation in Political Science (POL). We also offer extensive mentoring and assistance in preparing our students to transition to the main campus where they can complete degrees in Political Science (major, minor) and International Affairs (INTA) offered in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati. Additionally, students have an opportunity to complete interdisciplinary certificates in Security Studies, International Human Rights, Legal Studies and Cybersecurity. The students who transition to the Department of Political Science from UC Blue Ash excel in their undergraduate studies and, upon graduation with a BA degree, on average have a higher overall Grade Point Average (GPA) than those who start out on the main campus.

Numerous students who have completed the Political Science classes at UC Blue Ash and have graduated with degrees in Political Science or International Affairs on the main campus have gone to law school and occasionally to graduate school, including to top institutions. More than a dozen currently work for the federal government or political campaigns. Many more have successfully gained employment in the financial sector (e.g. loans, insurance, etc.) and the non-profit sector; many of them have also landed managerial positions. The students who are interested in taking Political Science courses at UC Blue Ash or in mentoring related to the discipline and related job opportunities are encouraged to contact Dr. Ionas Rus, Associate Professor of Political Science, at Ionas.Rus@uc.edu.

Faculty Spotlight

Rob Gioielli, PhD

American and Environmental History

Dr. Rob Gioielli teaches courses on general American history, as well as environmental history, which is the exploration of the relationship between humans and the natural world, over time. These include Global Environmental History, Race and the Environment in American History, and Environmental Activism. His research explores the American urban environment, race and the environment, and critical histories of the American environmental movement. He is also the director of the UC Blue Ash Honors program, and is an affiliate faculty of the Environmental Studies program at UC and UC Blue Ash.

Julie Turner, PhD

American History

Dr. Julie Turner earned her BA and MA from the University of Cincinnati, and her PhD from Miami University. Her research is focused on social and cultural history in the first half of the twentieth century, and she also has an interest in the history of technology and design. She is looking forward to the publication of her first book, a study of the US mood in the 1920s and 1930s, and how this mood influenced the design of the Depression-era Greenbelt towns (Greenhills, Ohio; Greendale, Wisconsin; and Greenbelt, Maryland).

Kelly Edmondson

Exploratory Studies

Professor Kelly Hartoin Edmondson graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a Bachelor's degree in English and Psychology.  In order to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher, she then earned her Master's of Education in English at The Ohio State University.  After graduating, Professor Edmondson taught high school English in the Washington DC Public Schools for five years.  She then returned to Cincinnati, where she was born, and transitioned to the college level.  Professor Edmondson has been teaching English and Student Success (MLTI) for Exploratory Studies the past several years.  When Professor Edmondson is not reading and grading her students’ essays, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four children; traveling; and running, particularly marathons.

Robert Meyer, PhD

Exploratory Studies

Dr. Robert Meyer is an Exploratory Studies program instructor since joining the HPPS department in 2017. Prior to coming to UCBA, Dr. Meyer worked at Boise State University and Indiana University - Bloomington. He has published articles on a variety of student affairs topics such as student organization, advisor motivation, student internships, student events at a commuter campus, and the college union.  Dr. Meyer is an editor for the text The College Union Idea (Second Edition) and continues to study the topics of community building, and student activities.

Interested in History?

Want to see some of it up-close and personal?

Consider applying for the UC Blue Ash College Study Abroad Program, and join UCBA students and faculty in traveling internationally and witnessing many fascinating historical sites in-person! Study Abroad trips have been led in the past by our professors John McNay and Tim Forest.

Resources

Contact Information

History, Philosophy, & Political Science Department
Progress Hall | Room 120B
Program Coordinator
Phone: 513-745-5645
Email: amber.kuftic@uc.edu