World-changing political science education, made accessible

Photo: Nicola Betts 2013A funny thing happened on the way to the student loans office.  Brooker Buckingham discovered part of his tuition had been unexpectedly paid. Nice surprise.

A financial award had been applied to his account. The Rudolph Family Award is given annually to a first-year student who has the highest grade in the Introduction to Political Science course and shows financial need.

Brooker Buckingham

“Getting an award of that nature really takes the pressure off and lets you focus on the readings and learning,” says Buckingham.

A mature student, he has been trying to balance the need for paid work with a desire to focus fully on his studies. So he appreciates the financial component of the award. He also sees high value in the recognition of his academic achievement.

It felt like a big leap when he left an established career in online marketing and communications to return to school. Receiving the award validated his choice, for both Buckingham and his family.

The son of a social studies teacher, Buckingham grew up in a home where everyone was expected to read, learn about the world, and think about the greater good. But he felt he was losing touch with that approach while managing day-to-day pressures.

Political science studies are Buckingham’s way to reclaim those ideals.

He speaks passionately about the joy of learning and the importance of education that isn’t tied to a specific career opportunity – education that improves your overall understanding of how the world works, and how you can make it work better.

To the Rudolph family Buckingham says, “Thank you so much for creating the Rudolph Family Award. I am honoured to receive it. Rewarding students for studying political science at York can truly change the world for the better.”

Buckingham moved from Calgary to attend the Political Science program at York University because of its good reputation. After reading information and comments online, he felt the York program would offer a critical perspective and an interdisciplinary approach that appealed to him. He hasn’t been disappointed.

“[The program] looks not just at what the world is, but what it could and should be. You’re looking behind the veils of ideology and power,” says Buckingham.

His favourite part has been the chance to share ideas and discuss the readings with people truly interested in learning. He also enjoys the library, where he says he can find almost any book he might need.

To students considering York’s Political Science program, Buckingham says, “It’s a very diverse program. The caliber of the instructors has been high and there are a lot of people who are very passionate about their specialties and creating an open environment for discussion.”

His plans for the future?

After he finishes his political science degree, Buckingham wants to pursue graduate studies. He’s staying open-minded about the possibilities that political science will open up for him.

The generosity of University Professor Emeritus Ross Rudolph made the award that Buckingham received possible.

Gifts from York faculty, staff and retirees help provide top-quality, world-changing education and make that education accessible to people, like Buckingham, who are sure to pay the favour forward to everyone’s benefit.

That is why each year York reaches out to its faculty, staff and retirees to ask for support of student awards and other pressing initiatives of the University.

Faculty and staff can expect to receive a personal package in the mail soon, or if they wish to make a gift to the York Family Campaign right now, they should contact the Division of Advancement at 416-650-8210 or visit the York Family Campaign website.