Graduating Senior and Honors Program student worker, Jake Ward, has been an integral part of the Program for the past four years.
Graduating Senior and Honors Program student worker, Jake Ward, has been an integral part of the Program for the past four years. His involvement began as a freshman in his Honors Calculus 3 class, and he went on to hold the position of RA in both Butler and Weatherhead. He was in charge of the still running Books and Reading Society, led by Professor Mike Kuczynski, as well as Roundtables in Weatherhead. During his junior year, Jake studied abroad in Germany where he began research for Professor Mark Vail that served as the precursor to his Thesis. Ward has spent his senior year as a student worker in the Honors Program Office, interviewing faculty and students and writing articles for the newsletter, as well as serving as Chair for the inaugural Honors Thesis Forum--all while writing a senior thesis.
Jake views the thesis process, a culmination of four years of hard work and Honors involvement, as the most rewarding part of his Honors experience. “After spending so much time on it, being able to actually hold it in your hands is an incredible moment.” The topic of Ward’s research was Right Wing Populism in Germany and the UK. Through researching both parties and consulting published literature about the radical right, he was able to find both implicit and explicit connections between his findings and US politics. After analyzing whether voting tendencies were economical or cultural, Ward concluded that the dominant stereotype that radical right voters are the ones left behind is not substantiated by the evidence he uncovered. He finds that these voters are still within reach of other parties. Campaigns such as Bernie Sanders are not necessarily “silver bullets” for stereotypically radical right voters. He plans to use these lessons to work on a Democratic campaign post-graduation. As a British citizen who has been living in the US for six years now, Ward would like to be able to connect with the country, doing his part to fight injustices and issues currently presenting themselves in American politics.
As his time on the Tulane campus comes to a close, Ward offers advice to incoming students. In the academic realm, Ward encourages students to take the opportunities handed to you, and if they are not immediately apparent, seek them out. “A lot of college is self-driven. You’ll come to find you’re more qualified than you think you are, and people are happy to help you along the way.” His final word of advice was to get out of the Tulane bubble. “Walking merely 15 minutes in any direction will reveal a different, local side of New Orleans.” In a serendipitous moment, following his own advice on a campus visit over four years ago, Ward found himself on Frenchman Street surrounded by an impromptu Mardi Gras Indian performance. It was in this moment of pure New Orleans authenticity that he decided to go to Tulane. The Honors Program is so glad he did. We wish him the very best in all his future endeavors and will miss him dearly.
Quirk: “I’m a Brit who doesn’t like tea.”