Ohio State's AHS Society Receives Chapter of the Year Award

June 21, 2012

Ohio State’s chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society (AHS), a student organization that explores current foreign and social policy issues, received the Chapter of the Year Award at the AHS national meeting in Washington, D.C. last weekend.

There are academic chapters at 35 top universities around the country—among them Brown, Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Vanderbilt; and two professional chapters, in New York City and in Washington, D.C.

History Associate Professor Peter Mansoor, chapter advisor said,” The Alexander Hamilton Society filled the desire of a number of students to participate in discussions of foreign policy and defense issues on a non-partisan basis. For a student organization in just its first year of existence, there was more participation in the debates at Ohio State than on any other campus nationwide. Its president Will Chou and the other chapter officers were dynamos of energy this year - they are fully deserving of this honor."

Outgoing AHS president Will Chou was thrilled to hear that his chapter was receiving the Chapter of the Year Award. “When I was asked to be president two years ago, I was very excited about this new forum for discussions related to foreign policy. I believe it gives the Ohio State community the opportunity to see debates on hot topics in foreign policy and allows students who may not have thought much about these issues before to be able to hear new approaches and examine new information. I think it’s important to keep an open mind and to constantly challenge our beliefs.

“We received terrific support from OSU students at our events and our hope is that this chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society will continue to play an active role in campus life for many years to come.”

Under normal circumstances Chou would have been in Washington to accept the award on behalf of his chapter which had an amazing inaugural year, hosting two major debates, “Defense in an Age of Austerity,” and “What is the Future of Al Qaeda?”

But Chou, a PhD student in history, specializing in diplomatic history with a focus on Japanese-American relations, was getting ready to fly to Japan for a long-awaited year of intensive Japanese language study in Yokohama.

Why an entire year? Chou believes that Japanese language studies are crucial to his future success, whether he stays in academia or seeks another profession. “I think it is important not only to be able to read and do research in Japanese, but to be able to engage with Japanese colleagues.”

It also may be another way Chou constantly challenges himself.

Will Chou will be blogging about his experiences in Japan after he gets acclimated. Look for his future blogs at: ohiostateartsandsciences.tumblr.com