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Ohio State professor receives book awards

Not all professors can be award winning authors, but associate professor Alexander Thompson recently won two.  
ISA-Midwest, an affiliate of International Studies Association, awarded Thompson the J. David Singer Book Award for his book, “Channels of Power: The U.N. Security Council and U.S. Statecraft in Iraq.” The book also won the Chadwick F. Alger Prize.
“The first award (Chadwick F. Alger Prize) I knew my book was being considered for, but I was surprised I even won it. It was an exciting and low-key ceremony for the award,” Thompson said.
He said the J. David Singer Book Award was a surprise.
“I didn’t really know my book was nominated for that award, it was nominated by a former student,” he said.
“Channels of Power” is about the two-decade fight between Iraq and the United States which in various points dealt with diplomacy, economic sanctions, frequent bombing and two wars. The United Nations, with the Security Council, took the lead in facilitating this conflict, condemning Iraq’s behavior at times. But with the most recent invasion in 2003, the United States had begun to act on its own, bypassing the U.N. For Thompson this raised an interesting puzzle.
“When I was an assistant professor here, pretty new at Ohio State, the U.S. went to war for the second time in 2003 and it was done without the approval of the U.N. and the Security Council, and it’s such a nice comparison. One war had been channeled through the U.N. while one wasn’t channeled through the U.N., which raised a puzzle,” Thompson said. “I thought that would be a great topic for a book, looking at U.S. policy in Iraq.”
Originally from Washington D.C., Thompson was interested in international affairs at an early age, but it wasn’t until he was an undergraduate in college when a professor thought he had a knack for political science and recommended that he go to graduate school and study it further.
In 2005, he was a finalist for an Outstanding Teaching award from the College of Arts and Sciences at OSU, and then won an Outstanding Teaching award in 2011 from his peers in the Department of Political Science.
“As a teacher, he is clear in his expectations, provoking in his questions, and sincere in his interest to help students learn. I saw him teach in large lecture classes and more intimate graduate seminars, and in both environments he found ways to keep the material interesting, relevant, and engaging,” said Amanda Rosen, a former OSU graduate student and assistant professor of politics and international relations at Webster University.
In his 11 years at Ohio State, Thompson said he has enjoyed working with students, teaching them about the different perspectives of the world and teaching them how to critically think about the information given to them by various media outlets in the U.S. He also prides himself with the fact that many of his graduate students have found professor positions at other universities.
“Thompson is a professor who cares for his students and is very talented in pulling out the big picture for students,” said Austin Carson, OSU graduate student who worked under professor Thompson at George Washington University. “He’s very good at giving advice and sharing his own experiences with students on his career of political science. He’s one of my favorite faculty members.”

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