Sunday, June 21, 2020

Neil's Wake and Memorial Scholarship

Last night, we held our wake for Neil Englehart.  His wife, Professor Melissa Miller, also of Bowling Green State, attended for a while.  She shared the story of how they met, what he had been up to since leaving UCSD, what his two boys were up to (the college aged one is following in Neil's footsteps both in terms of where he is going and what he is studying), and, yes, how Neil died.  His last act was to donate his organs, which went to four different people.  Melissa clearly got some much needed solace knowing that Neil helped save some lives.  So, if you have not filled out the organ donation card and told your loved ones, do so, as it will not only save lives, but be of some help to them in such a difficult time. 

About thirty of us got together on zoom last night to share stories about Neil and to be together at this time.  A zoom wake is a strange thing, but we all got a lot out of it.  I hadn't seen some of the people on it in about twenty-seven years or so, while others I have seen often.  It was great to share some time with these people, as grad school was one of the best times of my life thanks to them.  A member of our cohort put together a really terrific powerpoint of pictures of Neil and quotes from letters he had written from the field.  "Besides the leeches" will become a recurring joke now among our cohort.  Some of us then shared a few stories, toasted Neil, and then caught up with each other. 

Neil did amazing fieldwork as an undergrad, as a graduate student, as a post-doc, and as a prof.  I learned only last night that he went to North Korea in addition to Burma, Thailand, and other places.  So, it is most appropriate that they are setting up the Dr. Neil Andrew Englehart Memorial Scholarship to fund BGSU students to do fieldwork.  Here's the link and then the official description. 

The scholarship description has not yet been added to the site, but here it is:

Dr. Neil Andrew Englehart Memorial Scholarship
Bowling Green State University (BGSU)

The Dr. Neil Andrew Englehart Memorial Scholarship will provide funds to help offset the costs of study abroad for BGSU undergraduates. This scholarship will provide an ongoing source of funding for students, as well as a lasting tribute to Dr. Englehart’s vision of exposing undergraduates to international cultures, communities and challenges.

Dr. Englehart, Professor and Chair of BGSU’s Political Science Department, always displayed a love and appreciation for international cultures that began when he studied abroad in Thailand as an undergraduate. He eventually traveled to 14 countries to conduct research and strived to bring his international experiences into BGSU’s classrooms. Numerous accolades, offered by current and former students after his untimely death at age 55, attest to his unique ability to spark student curiosity and engagement with the global community. His respect for students and their ability to grapple with challenging issues of international importance was a hallmark of his teaching. In this spirit, the Dr. Neil Andrew Englehart Scholarship is being established.

Dr. Englehart taught comparative politics, international relations, and Asian Studies at Bowling Green State University from 2005 to 2020. He was an international expert on human rights, state failure and state capacity, non-state armed groups, and Southeast Asia.

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