For sophomore Alex Blecker ’23, writing about law and politics had always been an interest, but never more than that. Then, his first op-ed was published in the Atlanta Jewish Times during his first semester of college. It was the first of many more pieces he would write and have published while at Oglethorpe — and he is just getting started.
Blecker is an economics and politics double-major, who plans to attend law school and start a career in politics and “make a difference to better this nation.” So, writing on important social issues was always in the cards. But getting published awakened a new passion.
“When I first started writing, I did it for myself only as a way to organize and articulate my thoughts,” recalls Blecker. “Now, my greatest excitement is having an article published and reading the comments that follow.”
His first piece in the Atlanta Jewish Times, “Don’t Bring Your Anti-Semitism on My College Campus,” analyzed the impact of the BDS movement on college environments. About a month later, he again explored the BDS movement for The Jewish Voice in “Has the BDS Movement Caused Jewish Students to Call for University Protection?”
Since then, he has examined a variety of political topics, earning him several more credits in high-profile publications like The Washington Examiner, The Washington Times and even The Wall Street Journal.
His latest article, published on Jan. 11, caught the attention of Indiana radio show The Pat Miller Program. Blecker was invited to discuss his latest editorial, “How to Save the Republican Party,” live on air, which he embraced as “good public speaking practice.” A recording of the interview is available on program’s website.
In his first semester at Oglethorpe, Blecker took Constitutional Law with Professor of Politics Dr. Joseph Knippenberg. The class, recalls Blecker, challenged his way of thinking and helped him to better articulate his arguments. Since that class, Dr. Knippenberg has become a mentor and advisor for Blecker. Whenever a new article is published, Dr. Knippenberg is Blecker’s first stop for feedback.
“I’m very proud of him,” says Dr. Knippenberg, “He is industrious, self-disciplined, well-informed, and a gifted writer. He was all those things before he showed up in my classes.”
“His courses have challenged me and forced me to see current issues from multiple perspectives,” Blecker says. “I lean on Dr. Knippenberg for his expertise and vast knowledge of American politics, and I always look forward to class with him.
Learning to clearly express ideas through writing is a primary focus of Oglethorpe’s Core curriculum, for which Blecker is grateful. Through Core, he has been exposed to a variety of viewpoints in his readings.
“Oglethorpe has allowed me to explore literature I never even knew existed deeply. The smaller class sizes have also led to excellent discussions on the material, which I wouldn’t necessarily find at a different university,” says Blecker.
With no signs of slowing down, Blecker has set up a personal website to collect and share his growing portfolio of published work.