Daniel S. Lev
On the first day of Professor Daniel Lev's Introduction to Comparative Politics class, he would hand out a syllabus in which each week of class was meticulously assigned to the study of a particular country's political system. By the second week of the course, we were already hopelessly off schedule and would remain so for the rest of the quarter.
But that didn't really matter. What made Professor Lev stand out from his colleagues was his willingness to spend class time discussing current events regardless of how much it diverted from his set agenda. He provided us with copies of the Manchester Guardian and compelled us to think and to analyze contemporary political developments throughout the world.
Perhaps it kept us from covering the course material in a more detailed or organized way. But Professor Lev's students nevertheless were instilled with two, very valuable concepts: the responsibility of the electorate in a democracy to be informed, and the dangers which an ignorant populace faces when it fails to scrutinize its leaders. By learning about comparative politics, we discovered the stark contrasts between a political system in which a conscious public serves as a watchdog against the potential excesses of those in power, and one where an indifferent public is controlled by the corrupt few.
With his emphasis on current affairs, Professor Lev did his utmost to prevent the latter from happening. Since attending his class 16 years ago, I have read two newspapers every day, all because he compelled me to heed my responsibility as a citizen of a political system which allows me the luxury of partaking in it. It is a valuable legacy which will remain with me for the rest of my life.
Gregory Dziekonski, '85, '89
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