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Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center

Levitt Center
315-859-4451 or 315-859-4894

Student-Led Activities

Levitt Scholar Program

Every semester since 1993, the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center sends Hamilton students to area high schools to speak on a wide variety of topics. These Levitt Scholars are juniors and seniors selected by faculty members for their outstanding research and communication skills. Scholars from all majors and can be nominated by any member of the faculty.

Levitt Scholars first complete an Oral Communications course taught by Professor Susan Mason.  During this class, they hone their public speaking skills and learn to tailor their presentation to a high school audience.

Scholars generally speak about research they are conducting, major projects or papers, study abroad experience, or specific skills they have learned.  Their presentations are designed to fit into a normal class period, with time for a question and answer session following their talk.  Scholars may also present to combined classes, assemblies or youth groups.  Local educators participating in the program consistently comment on the high quality of the students' presentations.

Who Benefits?

Hamilton students and the off-campus community all benefit when Scholars present their work:

  • High school students learn something interesting from a speaker who is not much older than they.
  • Teachers have the opportunity to learn more about an interesting topic
  • High school students get a glimpse of college academic life, gain a better understanding of the challenges and benefits of attending college, and the inspiration to follow their own scholarly interests as undergraduates
  • Teachers and mentors can see how their influence can lead a student to success
  • Scholars have the opportunity to practice their communication skills, see what it takes to adapt their message to a large and varied audience, gain some valuable teaching experience (and a greater appreciation of the job), and become an inspiration to younger teens