Category Archives: Fall 2015

Janice Weiner, Wednesday December 9, 2015

Picture1“The Collapse of the Berlin Wall; The Reunification of East & West Germany”

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Janice G. Weiner was a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service for nearly 26 years.  She then worked for two years as professional issues and policy adviser for the American Foreign Service Association.  Her first Foreign Service assignment was to the then-U.S. Embassy to the GDR where, from April 1988-June 1990, she served as a political/economic officer during a momentous period in modern German history, spanning the period of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the GDR’s only free elections.

From 1990-1992, Ms. Weiner served as a political officer at the U.S. Embassy to Belgium. From 1993-1996, she was posted to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey as embassy human rights officer, where she won AFSA’s Rivkin Award for her work.  Subsequently, Ms. Weiner was Officer-in-Charge of German Affairs in the State Department’s office of Austrian, German and Swiss affairs, where she also served as the office’s deputy. She also held posts in Warsaw and Toronto. She returned to Ankara from 2005-2008, where she worked as the U.S. Embassy’s Political Counselor.  She then served as press attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico (2008-2009), prior to her final overseas tour as Consul General in Düsseldorf, Germany (2009-2012).  She returned to Washington to work as a Legislative Management Officer in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs until her retirement in September 2013.   She speaks German, French, Turkish, Polish, and conversational Spanish and Dutch.

Ms. Weiner was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa, where she recently returned. She graduated from Princeton University Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Comparative Literature, and earned a J.D. from Stanford University Law School.

Please join us again in late January for more ICFRC programs!

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Filed under Europe, Fall 2015, Governance Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

Resmiye Oral, Tuesday December 1, 2015

Picture1“International Systems Building on Child Protection: From the University of Iowa to Turkey and Beyond…”

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This presentation will summarize the collaboration between the U of I Child Protection Program leadership and numerous universities in Turkey, multiple ministries including the Ministries of Health, Justice, Education, Interior, and Social Services, and non-governmental organizations. The positive outcomes in systems building for child protection in Turkey have been expanded to other countries including Portugal, Greece, Pakistan, and Colombia. All these efforts have been supported by the U of I International Programs that led to the second Provost’s Global Forum focusing on global child protection issues.

Resmiye Oral, MD, is a professor of pediatrics, who is a board-certified expert in child abuse pediatrics. She has completed her child abuse pediatrics fellowship at Ohio-State University and is currently working as the director of the Child Protection Program at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa. She has published numerous articles in Child Abuse and Neglect. She became involved with child abuse and neglect in 1993 and established the first multidisciplinary child abuse and neglect follow-up team in Turkey, her country of origin. She wrote a book and three book chapters on child abuse for Turkish physicians. She also co-authored two training kits published by Ohio State University on physical and sexual abuse. Her interests are international systems building to address child abuse and neglect, drug endangered children, shaken baby syndrome, and early intervention with child abuse to prevent severe and usually irreversible consequences of abuse including fatality. In order to do that, she believes that recognition of subtle findings of abuse is of utmost importance, which calls for training of all professionals involved with child abuse. She gives 50-60 lectures a year to medical and non-medical professional audiences on child abuse and neglect to regional, national and international audiences.

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Filed under Fall 2015, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, University of Iowa

Jennifer Blair, Wednesday November 18, 2015

Picture1“Crossing Cultural Lines and Changing Students’ Minds: Tippie’s International Buddies Program”

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In 2014 the Tippie College of Business was home to 498 international students, with a further 691 declared as pre-business majors.  Together, these students constitute around 22% of the business and pre-business population at the University of Iowa.  The rise in international student enrollment at the College of Business has been dramatic, with just 55 international students enrolled in 2007.   The significant international student presence in the College creates extraordinary opportunities for our domestic students to learn about the world without leaving Iowa City, but it also presents challenges that often come with cross-cultural interaction – language barriers, cultural divides, and misunderstandings.

In Spring 2014 the Undergraduate Program Office at the College of Business launched International Buddies at Tippie, a program pairing international and domestic business students for a semester-long friendship.  Since its inception the program has doubled its membership, has received positive media coverage both locally and nationally, and has succeeded person-by-person, in breaking down cultural barriers between many of our students.  Jennifer will share her insights about the program, and two buddies will also share their thoughts and experiences.

Jennifer Blair is the Assistant Director for Global Community Engagement at Tippie, where she oversees efforts to connect international and domestic students in meaningful ways.   A 1998 graduate of the University of Iowa (BA History) and 2000 graduate of Trinity  College, Dublin (M.Phil), Jennifer qualified as a lawyer (solicitor) in Ireland and practiced private client law in one of Ireland’s largest law firms.  She returned to Iowa in 2009, first overseeing international student admissions and services at St. Ambrose University in Davenport and most recently returning to her alma mater to continue her work with international students.

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Filed under Fall 2015, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, University of Iowa

Rebecca Arnold, Wednesday November 11, 2015

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 “Capacity Strengthening for Health Communication in Bangladesh”

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Rebecca Arnold is a global health professional specializing in health communication and behavior change. She works for Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs and has been based in Dhaka, Bangladesh since 2012. Currently, she is the Director of BKMI, a USAID-funded project that provides capacity strengthening and technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in Bangladesh. Rebecca previously led a global health consulting business, worked in Tanzania for a multi-media entertainment-education initiative and served as a community health volunteer for the Peace Corps. Ms. Arnold, a native of Rock Island, holds an MPH in Community and Behavioral Health from the University of Iowa College of Public Health.  She received her BA from Northwestern University. Ms. Arnold is in Iowa City to receive the University of Iowa’s International Impact Award.

In recent years, Arnold has directed the Bangladesh Knowledge Management Initiative (BKMI) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  BKMI is a USAID-funded project to strengthen the capacity of the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as it attempts to develop a national communication framework for health, population, and nutrition, which is currently absent in Bangladesh.  As part of this effort, she is developing digital resources (eHealth) for community-based, non-clinical field health workers to use in counseling at the household level.

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Filed under Fall 2015, Health & Medicine, Past Events

James D. Fielder, Wednesday November 4, 2015

Picture1“Putting Theory into Practice: Applying Political Science To Afghanistan Operations”

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In this presentation, Lieutenant Colonel James Fielder, USAF discusses how he applied two political science models to respectively improve Afghan Air Force communications and to forecast the 2014 Afghan Presidential election outcome, the latter which drove force protection decisions for fellow Airmen stationed in Kabul. In addition to a personal account of using scientific in a combat environment, his presentation also touches on debates surrounding positive and normative science.

Lieutenant Colonel James Fielder is the Assessments and Lessons Learned Division Chief at Headquarters, 25th Air Force, Lackland AFB, Texas. Lt. Col. Fielder enlisted in U.S. Army in 1994 as a Persian Linguist and electronic warfare specialist and was honorably discharged as a Sergeant in 1999 to attend the U.S. Air Force Officer Training School. Lt. Col. Fielder has served in a variety of intelligence positions and from 2006 to 2009 was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He was then sponsored for an Air Force-funded Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Iowa, graduating in 2012. From October 2013 to September 2014 Lt. Col. Fielder was the 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group Senior Intelligence Officer and Advisor to the Afghan Air Force Kabul Air Wing, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Achievement in operations against an opposing armed force.

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Filed under Fall 2015, Past Events, The Middle East, U.S. Foreign Policy, War & Conflict

Ahmed Souaiaia, Wednesday October 28, 2015

Picture1“Genealogy & Ideology of ISIL & its Future”

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The organization known today simply as the “Islamic State” has historical and ideological roots that go beyond the territories it now controls. These deep roots give ISIL confidence that it will succeed but give others reason that it will fail. Mixing a puritan religious and political discourse, ISIL managed to dominate all other armed opposition groups in conflict zones (Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya) and has inspired individuals in many other countries (Pakistan, France, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia) to carry out brutal attacks in its name. An attempt will be made to place the rise and future of ISIL in religious, historical, and political contexts.

Ahmed E. Souaiaia is an Associate Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies with join appointments in Religious Studies, History, International Studies, and College of Law at the University of Iowa. He is the author of a number of books, articles, and essays.

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Filed under Fall 2015, Past Events, The Middle East, War & Conflict

Todd J. Edwards, Tuesday October 20, 2015

Picture1“Après Paris: COP21 as the Climate Action Runway”

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Climate change is one of the most complex challenges of our time and there is no answer yet in sight for solving the global commons dilemma before it is too late, now with the critique that the formal international negotiation process reached a grid lock, a new approach is sought at the next Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December 2015. This approach allows states to submit their intended Nationally Determined Contributions rather than negotiating targets and timelines.  Unfortunately, it is already foreseen that the agreement will not produce a safe climate world from the intended Nationally Determined Contributions made by state-actors.  As time is running out, the presentation shows that progress and a chance to reform states’ positions for finding a cooperative path to safe climate world is feasible through introducing alternative pathways – the groundswell of climate actions, clubs and coalitions.  This presentation will proscribe that a secretariat function could usher the alternative pathways into a formal process as a mechanism to unlock global cooperation and what is currently being done.

Todd Edwards is the program officer for climate change at the Stanley Foundation, where he focuses on improving all levels of global climate change governance, from enhancing greater state-level ambition to building momentum for climate change action from states, regions, cities, businesses, and civil society. He has a background in energy, sustainability, and strategy consulting. Todd has a Ph.D. in political sciences from Vrije Universiteit Brussel with a focus on global climate change governance. Todd enjoys supporting farmers’ markets and local food cooperatives.

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Filed under Environmental Issues, Fall 2015, Past Events

Rachel Rose, Wednesday October 14, 2015

Picture1“Creating and Nourishing Community Through Poetry & Food”

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Food literacy is a growing concern for industrialized nations such as Canada and the U.S.  Today’s children are the first generation whose life expectancy is less than that of their parents.  According to the Harvard School of Public Health, sugary drinks such as soda “are the top calorie source in teens’ diets,” followed by pizza.  In Vancouver, a new citywide project is inviting writers of all stripes–new immigrants, students, and seniors—to focus their artistic attentions on their favorite local chefs, urban farmers, food bank workers, beer makers, bakers, café owners and beekeepers, by interviewing them, photographing them at work, and then writing poems about the experience, as well as poems about their own food legacies.  Rachel Rose will discuss how what we write and teach about food has broader implications for social well-being, and how these lessons might be transported to Iowa

Canadian poet and nonfiction writer Rachel Rose is a recipient of the 2013 and 2016 Pushcart Prize, and of the Pat Lowther Poetry Award and the Andre Lorde Poetry Award for 2013.  Her poetry books include Notes on Arrival and Departure and Song and Spectacle.  Her creative nonfiction essays have appeared in a number of anthologies, including Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood.  She regularly contributes to Malahat Review and Prism International.  She is participating in the International Writing Program’s Fall Residency Program courtesy of the British Colombia Arts Council and Canada Council.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Fall 2015, Past Events

Eric Tate, Thursday October 8, 2015

Picture1“Monsoon Harvests: Water Sustainability & Rainwater Harvesting in South India”

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Rainwater harvesting, a “soft path” approach towards water management, is increasingly recognized as a key strategy for combating food insecurity and water scarcity.  This presentation uses the South India as a case study to explore the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of rainwater harvesting systems for smallholder agriculture.  Our research team has evaluated the viability of centuries-old rainwater harvesting tanks under current climate and population pressures, culminating in a new approach for developing water sustainability indicators that better reflect interacting human and environmental processes.

Eric Tate currently serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa’s Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences. He teaches and conducts research in the areas of flood hazards, water resources and social vulnerability, primarily focusing on the development of geospatial indicators to examine environment-society interactions.  Dr. Tate earned a B.S. in Environmental Engineering at Rice University, an M.S. in Water Resources Engineering from the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of South Carolina.

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Filed under Environmental Issues, Fall 2015, Past Events, Technology

Ray McGovern & Coleen Rowley, Tuesday September 29, 2015

Picture1“Can We Wade Out of the Big Muddy and Get Back to Some Moral High Ground?”

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Ray McGovern was an Army officer in the early 60s, then a CIA analyst from the administration of John Kennedy to that of George H.W. Bush. Ray prepared the President’s Daily Brief for Nixon, Ford, and Reagan, and also chaired National Intelligence Estimates. In March 2006, in protest against CIA torture, Ray returned the Intelligence Commendation Medallion awarded to him at retirement. In January 2003, he cofounded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and began commenting publicly on intelligence and foreign policy. He also helped establish the annual Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, whose recipients include Larry Wilkerson, Thomas Drake, Thomas Fingar, and William Binney. The winner of the first Sam Adams Award was Coleen Rowley.

Picture2Coleen Rowley grew up in Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1980. She joined the FBI and served as Division Legal Counsel in the Minnesota FBI office at the time of 9-11. She wrote a whistleblower memo in May 2002 in connection with the Congressional Joint Inquiry about the FBI’s failures. This served to launch a Department of Juctice Inspector investigation. She testified to the US senate in June 2002 and was named, along with two other women, as TIME’s “Persons of the Year.” She retired from the FBI in 2004 after nearly 24 years of service and now writes and speaks on ethics and law, especially regarding the post 9-11 wars and war crimes.

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Filed under Fall 2015, Governance Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

Rochelle Potkar, Tuesday September 22, 2015

 9-22-2015 Rochelle Potkar photo“Putting Childhood Back into the Child: Rights and Realities of Children In India”

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Rochelle Potkar is the author of The Arithmetic of Breasts and Other Stories, and has three works in progress—a novel, a book of prose, and a book of poetry. Widely published online and in print, Rochelle is the co-editor of Neesah magazine, and an active member of Poetry Couture, which hosts poetry readings at cafes across India.

Her participation in the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. The International Writing Program is the oldest and largest multinational writing residency in the world. In 2015, the IWP has brought together 34 of the world’s emerging and established writers to participate in the Fall Residency’s unique intercultural experience. Over the course of 10 weeks, aside from working on their own projects, writers will give readings and lectures that share their work and cultures, collaborate with artists from other genres, and travel and interact with literary communities across the United States.

The talk will be an overview of child rights in India, through the prisms of child education, nutrition, health, development, and protection.  What is it to be an underprivileged child in India?  Readings of real-life stories will explore how the world of grownups shapes the children of India and what can be done before these children grow up, bereft of a childhood, into equally fissured adolescents.

 

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Fall 2015, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events

Andrey Sazonov, Wednesday September 16, 2015

10959533_418712668285750_1303954258318720487_n (2) “Ramzan Kadyrov, Leader of Chechnya: Putin’s Frenemy?”

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Ramzan Kadyrov is currently serving as a head of the Chechen Republic and is notorious for being the most prominent and controversial figure in the North Caucasus region of Russia and for having a very close relationship with Vladimir Putin. Over the years Chechen leader was able to rebuild Chechnya and consolidated a significant amount of influence and power thus signaling the changing status and rising importance of Chechnya. These factors have led to a renewed debate over whether the Kremlin’s political control over the region, and over the Chechen republic in particular, won back after two gruesome wars in the post-Soviet years, may be loosening.

Andrey Sazonov is a senior majoring in International Relations at the University of Iowa and is originally from the North Caucasus region of Russian Federation. In 2014 Andrey represented the University of Iowa at the prestigious conference in the U.S. Military Academy in West Point and was a part of a workshop which developed a strategy to counter Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. In 2015 he participated in European Student Conference at Yale University where he authored a paper on issues of European Identity – which was later send to the European Parliament – and took part in creation of European Student think-tank “European Horizons.” During the same month Andrey represented newly created think-tank at Harvard’s annual European Conference. Currently he is working on establishment of a “European Horizons” chapter at the University of Iowa and is largely involved in the local and the university community.

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Filed under Europe, Fall 2015, Governance Issues, Past Events, War & Conflict

Tibi Galis, Wednesday September 9, 2015

Tibi Galis

“Early Prevention of Mass Atrocities: Fulfilling Our Responsibility to Protect”

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Many scholars argue that had the world known about the horrors of the holocaust, something would have been done to stop the systematic ethnic cleansing. Today, such genocides still exist throughout the world yet it seems nothing is done to alleviate them.  This presentation will analyze the existing institutional infrastructures for mass atrocity prevention in various states and at the multilateral level. It will invite the audience to consider the effectiveness of the current arrangements and it will propose ways to continue the work that has been started in order to truly fulfill our responsibility to protect.

Tibi Galis has been the Executive Director of the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation since 2006. As a result of his efforts, AIPR, a small non-profit with the vision of making the world a better place, has developed into a major force within the international movement to combat genocide. In addition to his work for AIPR, Dr. Galis received his Ph.D., which explores the relationship between transitional justice and regime consolidation around the world, from Clark University. Dr. Galis has previously worked as an associate researcher for the UK Parliament, where he helped to develop the UK position regarding the Special Adviser on Genocide Prevention to the UN Secretary General, and also as a rapporteur for the Swedish government at the 2004 Stockholm International Forum on the Prevention of Genocide.

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Filed under Fall 2015, Governance Issues, Past Events, War & Conflict

Mariola Espinosa, Wednesday September 2, 2015

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“Cuba, US, and Public Health: A History of Strained Relations”

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As tensions between the United States and Cuba begin fitfully to subside, a better understanding of the sources of the strained relationship between the two countries can help illuminate potential stumbling blocks to further progress.  One often-overlooked point of contention over the past 150 years has been public health.  U.S. concern over disease on the island was an important cause of the Spanish-American War, and efforts to fight disease were a much-resented aspect of the U.S. domination of Cuba afterwards.  The consequent development of Cuban capabilities in medicine and health, in turn, played a crucial role in Cuban foreign policy after the Revolution, not least as a means of discrediting the U.S. government.

Mariola Espinosa, Associate Professor, History, is a historian of medicine and public health in the Caribbean.  Her 2009 book,“Epidemic Invasions: Yellow Fever and the Limits of Cuban Independence, 1878-1930”,  was awarded the 2007 Jack D. Pressman-Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Development Award of the American Association for the History of Medicine.  In 2010 she was recognized as the 2010 Virginia and Derrick Sherman Emerging Scholar.  She is currently working on a book project that looks into medical understandings of fever in the British, French, Spanish, and U.S. Caribbean empires.

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Filed under Fall 2015, Health & Medicine, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

Anne Villamil, Tuesday August 25, 2015

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“Implications of the Conflict between Greece & the EU”

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Greece’s financial woes dominate headlines across the globe, with images of angry citizens and protests across the Internet. Greece has requested a third bail out from the European Union and its creditors. How did Greece get to be in this crisis? What steps can the Greek people and state take to move forward? What steps will the European Union take following this chaos? What lessons about economic policy can we learn from this financial misfortune? These questions and others from the audience will be answered by Professor Villamil.

Anne Villamil is a Professor of Economics & Finance and a Henry B. Tippie Research Fellow at the University of Iowa. She earned her B.A. at the University of Rochester and her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on financial contracts, with emphasis on firm finance, bankruptcy and enforcement, and the quantitative effects of institutions and policies on financial markets and development. She holds recent grants from the NSF, NCSA, and the Kauffman Foundation. Villamil has been a research scholar at the IMF, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Austria, the National University of Singapore, University of Paris 1-Pantheon-Sorbonne, the Hallsworth Visiting Professor at the University of Manchester, and the Peter Moores Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. She is the Editor of the Annals of Finance, and an Associate Editor at Economic Theory and the Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance.

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Filed under Economics, Europe, Fall 2015, Past Events