Pardee Times Provides Outlet for Student Creativity

December 8, 2017

Last school year, Pardee RAND students launched a quarterly student publication that is written, edited, operated, and distributed (electronically) entirely by students. The Pardee Times, which has published three issues since February 2017, features thought pieces and op-eds; human interest articles; reviews of local cuisine, books, or films; humorous lampoons, cartoons; poems; and photography.

Lead editor Luke Irwin (cohort '16) says the intent of the student paper is threefold: It aims to showcase talent, improve communication skills with non-expert audiences, and promote interdisciplinary conversations across RAND.

"Pardee RAND students have many talents beyond writing technical policy research for clients and other policy experts. Some of the most extraordinary ideas and opinions may not fall into funded projects or fit the bounds of objective research," he said. "By providing students with an opportunity to learn how to write more concisely and be given feedback from a more general audience — as many journalists are trained to do — we can be more effective leaders and community members."

Student Hilary Smith (cohort '16) has contributed to each of the issues thus far and is credited — along with Irwin, Sohaela Amiri ('16), and John Speed Meyers ('15) — with the publication's inception.

"To me, The Pardee Times is valuable because it’s another venue to think, collaborate, put ideas on paper, and work through policy problems students find interesting and might not get to tackle in class or OJT," Smith said. "It’s also a great source of humor, it builds camaraderie, and loops the school into a more tight-knit, connected culture."

Content has included

  • commentaries on topics such as immigration, displaced persons, net neutrality, and governance
  • articles on issues ranging from truth decay to tooth decay
  • so-called "advice" columns
  • student and faculty interviews
  • a review of the best burgers and cheap eats (not necessarily the same thing) near campus, and
  • a cartoon (above) that all current and former grad students can appreciate.

By exposing researchers to student perspectives that may not be necessarily in their own discipline — and by highlighting the innovative and ambitious ideas students have — the paper's creators and editors hope more connections can be built linking the graduate school and researchers, as well as between the research disciplines.

"As policy-driven change becomes more difficult to enact through traditional means, the ability to express our expertise and ideas to a non-expert audience is increasingly essential," Irwin said. "The articles in The Pardee Times can serve as catalysts and conversation-starters to bridge gaps between the subject-matter silos throughout RAND."

The December issue of Pardee Times

Content ranges from commentaries and thinkpieces... restaurant reviews and humor