Story in the College of Arts & Sciences
Michael Lynch '07
Political Science major
Political science alumnus and military veteran publishes thesis in military journal noting importance of empathy in reserves.
An Iraq War veteran, Michael Lynch arrived in Professor William Stover's international politics course with first-hand experience of one of the world's political hot spots.
It was at Santa Clara, though, that he began thinking deeply about one particular analytical point of view: "The concept of empathy in international affairs analysis," he says. "It is indispensable for accurate analysis, and something that I'll carry with me forever. Academics, diplomats, politicians, and the public in general could all use a bit more empathy."
With Stover as his advisor, Lynch wrote his honor's thesis on the current role of the U.S. National Guard and Reserves—which was later published in the Journal of Political and Military Sociology.
"For much of the nation's history, the National Guard and Reserve had been utilized only sparingly and not for prolonged periods," says Lynch. "The situation is quite different today. Many National Guardsmen and Reservists have faced long and repeat mobilizations. Today, every National Guard enhanced brigade has been mobilized at least once and a significant portion of the Army Reserve has been mobilized multiple times."
After earning a master's degree in public policy from the University of Chicago, Lynch began working on military and intelligence projects for the RAND Corporation in Washington, D.C.
He says his undergraduate education gave him "first-rate" preparation. "I really can't say enough about the courses and professors at Santa Clara. I've never met anyone who didn't describe their time at Santa Clara as anything less than outstanding. It's just a great school that deserves more recognition."