Onondaga Citizens League announced the recipient of the 2012 Levi L. Smith Civic Education Award at its annual meeting on June 6. Ralph Ketcham, professor emeritus of history, public affairs and political science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, received the annual award.
The award honors an outstanding citizen or organization that has contributed to the field and practice of civic education in Central New York. The namesake of the award is the founder and former executive vice president of the Onondaga Citizens League, who for many years exemplified good citizenship by giving much thought and effort to strengthening civic education.
Ketcham began his career at SU as a graduate fellow in 1951 and received his Ph.D. in 1956. He was named professor of American studies and public affairs at SU in 1963, professor of political science in 1965, professor of history in 1968 and Maxwell Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 1994. His specialties include American political thought, the era of the American Revolution, public policy and comparative political cultures. He is the author of numerous books and other publications including, most recently, “The Madisons at Montpelier; Reflections on the Founding Couple” (University of Virginia Press, 2009), and “The Idea of Democracy in the Modern Era” (University Press of Kansas, 2004). Ketcham is currently working on a manuscript, “The American Political Science Association and the Teaching of Democracy and Citizenship in the Twentieth Century.”
In 2003, Ketcham received the George Arents Pioneer Medal, which recognizes career accomplishment and is the highest alumni honor Syracuse University bestows.