Clark University Educational Studies Program
950 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01610

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Welcome to Clark University Splash

Our next Splash will be November 12, 2023!

ESP Biography

BENJAMIN ROBERTS, American Politics Major, Political Science

Major: Political Science, Gender Study

College/Employer: Clark

Year of Graduation: 2016

Picture of Benjamin Roberts

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Hi, My name is Benjamin Roberts, I am currently a Student at Clark University double majoring in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies. I intern in Congressman James P. McGovern's office and I am a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician, Basic Class, working full time with the EasCare Ambulance Company here in Worcester. When in high school I attended SPLASH at MIT and I am now looking forward to teaching one of my own courses for SPLASH at Clark University!

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

H593: Women's Suffrage in the US - The Freeing of a Nation in Splash Spring 2016 (Apr. 10, 2016)
It took a much longer process for women to win the vote in the United States than most people would believe. In this class we will be learning about feminist theory, the various women's movements, and the different ways life and times were affected by these movers and shakers. Join me on a trip into the past to learn about one of the most formative and greatest emancipatory eras in the United States!

H595: Polarization - Why you aren't getting a fair shake in Splash Spring 2016 (Apr. 10, 2016)
In this course we will discuss Political Polarization in the United States. What is Polarization, you asked conveniently timed? (1) Ideological convergence of the political parties characterized by the tighter grouping of positioning on a scale of political leanings; (2) divergence between the median positioning of voters, representatives, and other party affiliates; and (3) the breakdown of government and administrations in basic function because of “gridlocked” politics. When examining political polarization there must be a multifaceted approach to discover the potential underlying cause therein. We will examine the varied degrees to which political polarization might be conceptualized in hopes of clarifying the prevailing discussion. In that exploration we will also take an in depth look at the US electoral system to show just how these polarizing factors play out in our politics. Sound like it is going to make your brain hurt? Well it sure makes mine! Come join the discussion of this cutting edge subject matter to find out more.

H612: Gender not Sex-y in Splash Spring 2016 (Apr. 10, 2016)
What is "Non-Gender-Binary"? What is Transgender and Transsexual? Why are they not the same? What is this Gender and Sex not being the same thing business? Come with an open mind to learn about the spectrum of gender and sexuality. Learn about diversity, acceptance, and understanding of the gender sexuality spectrum! We will cover differences of Gender and Sex, Sexualities, LGBTQUIA+, Sex-typing, and much much more!

H537: United States Congress, Campaigns, and Elections in Splash Fall 2015 (Nov. 15, 2015)
What is the United States Congress and what is it about? More importantly how does where it come from and how it was made effect us and the campaigns of of the representatives and senators in congress now? With this course we will be looking at the founding and theory behind the United States Congress and how representational dynamics within congress play into behavior of and the elections of those representatives.

H538: Political Polarization: Why can't we all just get along? in Splash Fall 2015 (Nov. 15, 2015)
For the bast few decades there have been minor party shifts in alignment of political views; this is a "normal" facet of politics and the change of public sentiment over time. However, in the United States during the past decade we have seen MASSIVE shifts in party alignment and a HUGE chasm of a gap separating the two parties. It seems like there is nothing they can agree on! Why is this?! What is Political Polarization?! Why is it so important?! and does it really exist...? In This course we will explore the debate of political polarization and party politics in the United States and try and make some sense of this madness!

H539: Roots of Political Philosophy: Why we politic the way we politic in Splash Fall 2015 (Nov. 15, 2015)
Even from the times of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle people have been philosophizing about the deeper meaning of government: what is the perfect society? why do we have governments? what is citizenship? what is the state of nature and what is our natural state? what motivates people do do what they do? how do we control the masses...? In this course we will be going over some brief descriptions of the major western political philosophers from Socrates to John Lock and Rousseau. This course is not for the feint of heart, we are going to be dealing with some heavy stuff. BUT! Very important and potentially life changing stuff! Any Politically minded individual should TOTALLY take this course as it will answer some of the biggest questions we have ever had to ask about government and ourselves... or will it...? dun dun dun...

H417: How to get to Congress and Stay There, 101 in Splash Spring 2015 (Apr. 25, 2015)
Ever wonder what drives congressional elections in the United States? Curious what gets people elected to congress and what keeps them there? In this course we'll be learning about the multifaceted nature of Congressional Campaigns and Elections from a ground up approach to see what really drives our nations congressional elections. Here's an article where I was grossly and repeatedly misquoted in an interview about the class when I taught it last year:

H418: Intro To Political Philosophy in Splash Spring 2015 (Apr. 25, 2015)
From Ancient Times to Modern Times - come learn about the major political thought, theory, and philosophy which has driven "western" politics for millennia. This is an intro course and will be covering the major brush strokes of what these great political minds have pontificated and pondered. No prior knowledge necessary! In this course we will be covering political theories spanning from the Ancient times to the Modern times covering material from: Socrates and Plato for the ancient's approach to government and the perfect society. Cormac the last High King of Ireland and Machiavelli for a look at how to make a great leader. Hobbes and Locke for the inquest into the State of Nature and laying the foundations for Realism and Liberalism.

H361: How to get to Congress and Stay There, 101 in Splash Fall 2014 (Nov. 16, 2014)
Ever wonder about the complexities of this our United States of America's Congressional Elections? Or why some people are elected and others are not? Why do they even run in the first place? In this course I intend to present to you the complex world of United States Congressional Elections and the influences, motives, and strategies House and Senate Candidates use to win, keep, and push out incumbents their seats. This course will touch upon some complex academic analysis so it may not be for the casual political observer; ultimately everything should be easily digestible. Not to mention this is a very important subject - knowledge of how YOUR representative and legislative bodies of government work. This will not be a course that will analyze the political parties themselves. Upmost respect for all political views and affiliations will be strictly adhered to.

X362: Intro to Morris Dancing! in Splash Fall 2014 (Nov. 16, 2014)
Morris Dancing is so old, no one knows where it came from, only where it survives today - Even Shakespeare described Morris Dancing as ancient! Morris Dance as we know it today originates from the English country side of the Cotswolds. In class we will be learning basic stepping, figures, and dancing. It is a beautiful, fun, and exhilarating dance with a rich and long culture. I cannot encourage you enough to join this class! For more information about (and to see me, Benjamin Roberts, talking about and dancing) Morris Dance follow the links below: and

X164: Saving Lives and Taking Names: Basic Frst Aid 101 in Splash Fall 2013 (Nov. 16, 2013)
This course will be an interactive training in some basic first aid skill with instructions and fun interactions with real emergency medical personnel, from Clark University Emergency Medical Squad.