Senior Blaine Ravert Wins Prestigious Robert A. Kilmarx Award for Best Military, Intelligence, or National Security Strategic Analysis

Not only did Westminster College senior Blaine Ravert recently take part in a prestigious national fellowship, but he also won an esteemed award for a paper he wrote during the experience.

Ravert, a political science and philosophy double-major from Columbia, Missouri, was a recipient of the 2021-2022 Presidential Fellowship through the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (CSPC).*

As part of his fellowship, Ravert wrote a 15-page paper examining how artificial intelligence and the presidents’ commander-in-chief powers have interacted and will continue to interact. He then presented his findings at the CSPC conference in Washington, DC, in April 2022.

Ravert’s paper won the Robert A. Kilmarx Award for Best Military, Intelligence, or National Security Strategic Analysis. In recognition, he received a $1,000 award.

“I didn’t initially believe it,” Ravert says of being notified of the award. “I’m really, really proud of it and also appreciative and grateful that other people took the time to look at my work and give it such a high honor.”

The topic for Ravert’s paper was inspired by content he learned in a previous course with Dr. Tobias T. Gibson, the Dr. John Langton Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science.

Gibson says, “When I learned that Blaine won the Robert A. Kilmarx Award for Best Military, Intelligence, or National Security Strategic Analysis during his Presidential Fellowship, I was exceptionally pleased for him — but not surprised. His writing is excellent, and he has practiced his craft diligently as a student.”

A premiere outlet for scholarship on the presidency, the CSPC has partnered for more than 50 years with institutions such as Harvard University, Stanford University, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Naval Academy. Westminster is the only college or university in Missouri affiliated with the program.

Westminster began participating in the CSPC program in 2020. The College is among only a handful of small liberal arts institutions nationwide — and the only college or university in Missouri — to be included as a participant.

Through the highly respectable and historic program, Westminster students such as Ravert are provided with the unique opportunity to engage on the national stage with policy makers and members of the U.S. Congress. His participation included monthly online meetings and a trip to Washington, DC, where he even met the Finnish ambassador.

Gibson adds, “Blaine is a testament that Westminster College’s students compare well to students at Ivy League and other colleges, universities, and service academies around the country.”

For Ravert, the fellowship experience showed him that while there are pressing challenges in the world, there are also intelligent people working to tackle the issues.

“The future isn’t as bleak as I once thought, because there are a lot of really smart and really skilled people who are working together to try to make the world a better place,” he says. “Even if you don’t agree on everything, that doesn’t mean that we can’t work together and advance those things which we can agree on.”

*Westminster’s 2022-2023 CSPC Presidential Fellow is Matthew Trout, a junior from Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Please watch this news site for more information on Trout.

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