The Relevance of Area Studies

In recent weeks political and economic uprisings on several continents have captured our attention. I followed the Facebook activity from former and current Stags about the Venezuelan protests. Most news outlets have become alarmists about the potential consequences of the recent political change in Ukraine. These global stories have grabbed some attention away from other important issues in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East that also have a global impact. Fairfield faculty go to great lengths to provide courses, majors, and minors that help keep students plugged in globally including our Area Studies minors: Asian Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies.

These interdisciplinary minors are designed to enhance your understanding of a variety of regional issues that have a global effect on commerce, politics, policy, and other societal concerns. As evidenced by several International Studies and International Business majors, these minors are an excellent way to develop a regional expertise and more importantly, a deeper understanding of why, for instance, the Ukrainian protests matter here in the US. Last night, program directors for all three Area Studies minors met with students in Canisius Hall to illustrate why interdisciplinary studies matters. Below are a few pictures of what you missed:

 

Dr. David McFadden (right), professor of History and director of Russian, Central Asian and East European Studies, discussed the intrinsic value of Area Studies.

Dr. David McFadden (right), professor of History and director of Russian, Central Asian and East European Studies, discussed the intrinsic value of Area Studies.

Dr. William Vasquez Mazariegos, associate professor of Economics and co-director of Latin American Caribbean Studies program discussed benefits of the minor, including travel for student research and internships.

Dr. William Vasquez Mazariegos (center), associate professor of Economics and co-director of Latin American Caribbean Studies discussed benefits of the minor, including travel for student research and internships.

Dr. Qin Zhang, associate professor of communication, discussed the benefits of Asian Studies after graduation including job opportunities in Asia.

Dr. Qin Zhang (center), associate professor of communication, discussed the benefits of Asian Studies after graduation including job opportunities in Asia.

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Students Keeping Undergraduate Journal Alive

Since its start in Spring 2011, the Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship has been a fledgling, but active journal dedicated to publishing undergraduate research. This semester, two students are leading an effort to give the online publication some needed stability. Meghan Gallucci ’14 (English) and Courtney Carroll ’14 (International Business) are currently serving as the journal’s Editor and Marketing Manager, respectively.

Their plan includes editing recent submissions for publication and promoting the next deadline for submissions, April 30. In addition, they are looking for recruits to build on their work. They recently held an information session on Wednesday, January 29, but there was very little turn out. There are, however, plans for additional information sessions.

The journal was designed and launched by four undergraduate students with the support Dr. Janie Leatherman and me (Jermain Griffin) as part a grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities.  The journal aims to publish undergraduate research that promotes different perspectives on global citizenship. It is currently the University’s only online journal. The sustainability of the journal will largely depend on student interest and commitment to its maintenance. All queries about the journal can be sent to: globaljournal@fairfield.edu.

 

 

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Student Leadership on Display at 10th Annual Model UN Conference

Last month, the Fairfield Model United Nations club celebrated its 10th annual high school conference. On November 15, the Model UN club welcomed 200 students from 12 high schools in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. IL majors Allison Scheetz ’16 and Klevisa Kovaci ’14 were the conference organizers. Allison was the Secretary General for this year’s conference.

Miriam Boutros '15 and Klevisa Kovaci '14 while running an EU committee.

Miriam Boutros ’15 and Klevisa Kovaci ’14 while running an EU committee.

International Studies majors, Klevisa Kovaci ’14 and Mariam Boutros ’15 (pictured), ran a Model UN simulation on the Council of the European Union (EU). Their committee deliberated the prospect of Turkey joining the EU and held a debate on EU immigration policy. Carolyn Kosewski ’14, an International Business major, led the simulated UN Commission on the Status of Women. Natalie Beauparlant, an IL major, co-led a committee that simulated a committee to manage a debt crisis in Europe. Natalie and Kirk Leslie ’15, have been name co-Secretary Generals for next year’s conference, scheduled for Friday, November 14, 2014.

 

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