Challenges of negotiating amid hyper-individualism: David Andrus at TEDxCollegeoftheCanyons
David C. Andrus has been a Professor of Political Science at College of the Canyons (COC) in Santa Clarita, California since 2002. At COC, Professor Andrus has served as Vice-President of the Academic Senate, Chair of the Senate’s Policy Review Committee and currently as Chair of the Department of Political Science. He has also served as the founding President of the full-time faculty association’s political action committee. Professor Andrus holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California State University, Los Angeles with an emphasis on International Affairs, as well as a Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law. He has worked for a political consulting firm where he served as a Political Organizer and Field Director for United States congressional campaigns; political researcher; and as an international election observer and poll center manager on behalf of the United States State Department for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). He has led a political/education delegation to Colombia on behalf of a non-governmental conflict resolution organization. Professor Andrus has also headed a municipal public labor association where he headed collective bargaining efforts and participated in state mediation and conflict resolution. He is a former member of the United States Army and is a native of Southern California.
Perspectives play an integral role in how we negotiate our lives personally, professionally, politically and globally. It frames the manner in which we attempt to solve problems, especially those that require interacting with other people. Individual perspectives are generally developed through one’s life experience. As a professor of Political Science, David Andrus has maintained an interest in history, government and politics since he was young. David came from a large family whose members shared strong political awareness and educational focus. His late father was an educator in the field of Political Science and International Relations and his sister also maintains a career in education with a keen knowledge of public affairs. These influences and interests developed into a professional appreciation for the psychological and sociological elements that largely color political relationships. That same perspective now shapes his approach and understanding of all relationships in his personal and professional life. As someone who studies political processes, he tends to always analyze what is before him in order to find the best solution for any scenario. Such an approach to negotiating human relationships can be very empowering, yet emotionally exhausting when coupled with an empathy beyond one’s self interest. And at times, such an analytical approach can in fact be counter-productive. Negotiating with those possessing dramatically different perspectives and goals presents unique challenges, and even more so when interacting with those having no interest or ability to further develop their own perspectives. In a democratic society especially, confronting these challenges on a day to day basis is what is required if we seek to build common ground in our work place, public policies, civil society, community, and family relations.
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