The foundation of the program is its rigorous exploration into the many theories of public life.
"For me, the philosophy courses are what tie the entire program together. For us to be effective as individuals and as a society, for us to understand at any depth the questions and issues that we face, we have to understand the philosophies that have constructed and informed our world throughout history and that are still active today. I see philosophy as the great moderating force, as that which can show all of us our commonalities and help us to see past the buzz words, frustrations, and prejudices that plague our current political life, allowing us to instead see the larger trajectory and deeper reasons for what now exists. An education in philosophy does not teach us what to think, but it teaches us how to think. This thoughtfulness, as well as the critically analytical view that it helps us to take of the world, makes us significantly more effective, more dedicated, and more prepared for our political and public work."
-Alyssa Konermann, Class of 2011
Students learn beyond the classroom as they gain experiential knowledge in Cincinnati, the DC area, and even Paris.
"In the summer of 2009, I was the assistant to the campaign manager for Re-Elect Jeff Berding for Cincinnati City Council. I had the opportunity to collect petition signatures, analyze voter data, attend Cincinnati Community Council meetings, campaign at festivals and discuss and implement campaign strategies with the leadership team. There were three things that I enjoyed the most about working for the campaign: a) the operating intricacies of a political campaign, b) the social, economic and political dynamics that make up the Queen City and c) the personal leadership that is needed to be successful while working in political organizing activities. My experience in the Philosophy, Politics and the Public Honors Program gave me the necessary intellectual and operational tools to understand the intricacies of political campaigns, the dynamics of the urban communities and the personal leadership necessary to be an effective intern."
-Christopher Hale, Class of 2011
The focus on the public may be the most unique aspect of the program. The meaning of the public is continuously revisited throughout the four years. Upon graduations, students have a powerful understanding of and appreciation for the many layers and perspectives of "the public."
"When I started grad school, I was asked 'What is the most important part about public health?' My training in PPP secured that answer: the public. If we want to assure the conditions for civic participation, we must first assure a healthy public. Health can restrict or liberate our participation in public life."
-Bianca Callejas, Class of 2010
The following article discusses the importance and connection of each of the three elements within the PPP program: Honor's Program at Xavier focuses on Philosophy, Politics, and the Public.
"As a Philosophy, Politics, and the Public major, my education and experiences have provided me with the necessary tools to be successful and to make the most out of opportunities I am presented with."
-Liza Magley, '12