Follow Benjamin’s Progress
Awards & Recognition
Benjamin Pontz, of Strasburg (17579), has been placed on the Gettysburg College Dean's Honor list for outstanding academic achievement in the Fall 2017 semester. Students with a quality point aver...Fall 2017Verified by Gettysburg College
Activities & Affiliations
Garthwait Leadership Certificate - RecipientAdded by Benjamin
Gettysburgian (Newspaper)Managing News EditorAdded by Benjamin
Bullets Marching BandDrum MajorAdded by Benjamin
Wind SymphonyEuphoniumAdded by Benjamin
Pennsylvania Department of Revenue
Finnegan Foundation InternMay 2017 - July 2017
I completed a summer internship in Strategic Planning and Performance Division of PRISM. I helped implement the department's strategic plan, specifically focusing on creating and developing a digital media presence. I designed a content calendar approach to streamline the planning process, provided input on topics and messaging strategies, and drafted an internal handbook governing social media use. I also attended meetings on implementing internal controls in key department processes and drafted more than 50 process maps to that end. Through the Finnegan Foundation, I attended weekly lunches with members of Governor Wolf's cabinet to discuss state government issues.
Managing News EditorJanuary 2017 - PresentAfter serving as a lead story news reporter during my first semester and developing an aggressive content marketing strategy on social media, I was appointed news editor during the spring semester of my freshman year. In total, I wrote 50 articles my first year. In my current role, I plan coverage, lead a team of two dozen reporters, lay out print and web editions, and contribute to long-range vision planning for the publication, which includes integrated efforts with other campus media organizations, enrichment of storytelling strategies through a variety of media, and a new podcast.
Musselman Library at Gettysburg College
Peer Research MentorAugust 2017 - PresentI staff the research help desk in the library, which entails fielding questions from students, faculty, and community patrons on a variety of research-related topics including searching for sources, locating data, and producing citations. In addition, I complete an outreach project each semester. This semester's project is developing a reference guide for contemporary news sources.
Political Science Research AssistantAugust 2017 - PresentI assist with source curation, information gathering, and manuscript development for the research program of Dr. Shirley Anne Warshaw, Professor of Political Science. In addition, I occasionally handle administrative tasks and staff the office as needed.
LNP Media Group
Reporter and ColumnistJune 2013 - PresentI write feature articles, columns, and sidebars in LNP's "Freestyle" section and subsequently "Generation Next" section on issues pertaining to young people in the Lancaster County area. In addition, my work has been featured on the main LNP editorial page five times. One piece -- expressing disappointment in President Trump's address to the Boy Scouts at the National Jamboree -- was read more than a million times (the most-read piece ever on Lancaster Online), was quoted in The Atlantic and the Memphis Daily News, and was syndicated in local newspapers throughout the country. I also was interviewed on CNN's "New Day" to discuss it.
Lampeter-Strasburg High School
Marching Band InstructorJune 2017 - PresentAssist with instruction of music and marching including winds and percussion at rehearsals mainly during band camp and performance days; provide creative input on elements of the show and wrote program notes and announcer introduction
Projects, Publications & Classwork
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has captivated the world’s attention with its brutal tactics of beheadings and burnings and its alternative Quranic teachings. Despite fixation on these tactics by the global community and repudiation of their methodology by global Islamic leaders, limited inquiry into the historical and ideological underpinnings of the group has occurred at an intergovernmental level, which has hamstrung the global response. In addition to analyzing the limited primary sources that constitute ISIS’s propaganda, this paper discusses the failure of state building after the United States’ initial invasion of Iraq, which directly fomented the rise of an insurgent group like ISIS, as well as the initial failure of the global community to understand the nature of the enemy it fought. Finally, it suggests principles for the United States to follow in future foreign engagements, particularly when fighting ideologies as insidious as that of ISIS.