Advocating for Southwest Asian, North African, and Arab (SWANA) community members in Iowa City
When: Wednesday , February 15th, @ 7:00pm
Where: in-person @ Center for Language and Culture Learning (CLCL) in Phillips Hall (room 123D)
Speaker: Yasmina Sahir ياسمينة سهير & Asel Nasr
In conjunction with the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) and with the support of numerous UI faculty members, Yasmina Sahir and Asel Nasr have spent the last two years confronting racism, xenophobia, and other forms of violence against Southwest Asian, North African, and Arab (SWANA) members of the Iowa City community. This presentation highlights the main findings of their previous research and identifies ways in which both the University of Iowa campus and Iowa City residents can better support their SWANA peers and loved ones.
Yasmina Sahir is a University of Iowa undergraduate majoring in Criminology and Social Justice. As a Moroccan American, her career focus is to advocate for the Southwest Asian, North African, Arab (SWANA) community through identifying disparities facing this group in the United States.
The research presented tonight was funded by a Summer 2022 Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) grant and advised by UI Associate Professor Yasmine Ramadan. In her years at UI, Yasmina has written and presented work on disproportionate incarceration and arrest rates, rights for immigrants, decolonization, and consequences of demographic mislabeling while highlighting the need for SWANA representation in academic discussions on these topics. She hopes her work will help bridge divides between an often-misunderstood world region and non-SWANA Americans.
Asel Nasr is a dual degree student at the University of Iowa majoring in Global Health and pursuing a Master's in Public Health. She engages with public health research with the intent to advocate for the Southwest Asian, North African, Arab (SWANA) community in the United States. Her current research is centered around maternal mental health outcomes during postpartum which will be presented in her graduation thesis this May. Asel hopes that throughout her career she can continue to promote health equity by exploring social and structural barriers that individuals from the SWANA community face in a healthcare setting.
When: Wednesday , February 8th, at 12 noon CDT
Where: Online via zoom
Speaker: Karen Edwards & Jon Edwards
Grinnell College is a highly selective liberal arts college of 1700 undergraduates, located in Grinnell, Iowa. Nearly twenty percent of Grinnell’s student body are non-U.S. citizens (350+ students from 60± countries), ranking the school 11th among U.S. Baccalaureate Colleges for international student enrollment (IIE Open Doors) and 6th among National Liberal Arts Colleges for percentage of enrollment (U.S. News and World Report). Jon and Karen Edwards have been professional colleagues and partners, in admission and international student affairs respectively, for nearly 30 years. They will talk about how their work has evolved; the valuable relationship between recruitment and retention; and current challenges and opportunities in their respective fields.
Karen Edwards, Dean of International Student Affairs at Grinnell College, has dedicated 30+ year to supporting international students. Since 2007, she has led Grinnell’s Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) -- helping students navigate and find community in a new country; managing compliance with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP); and helping to create an international-student-friendly campus infrastructure. Karen is an active leader and presenter in NAFSA: Association of International Educators and co-founder of the ACM/GLCA Advisors Roundtable. She has traveled in 30+ countries across five continents, holds a MA in Higher Education from the U Iowa, and a BA degree from Luther College.
Jon Edwards is Director of International Student Admission at Grinnell. He began his career in international education in 1995 and has 26 years of experience in the recruitment, evaluation, and selection of international applicants at highly selective liberal arts colleges. He has served as a member of the Council of International Schools’ Committee for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, organizing and leading admission recruitment trips in those regions. Over the years, Jon has led or participated in dozens of presentations at professional conferences around the world. His work with students, schools, and community-based organizations has taken him to 93 countries and counting. Jon earned his MA in German from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his BA from Luther College.
Preventing Future Fish Wars
When: Wednesday , February 1st, at 12 noon CDT
Where: Online via zoom
Speaker: Sarah Glaser
The nexus of oceans, geopolitical tension, conflict, crime, and societal instability is becoming increasingly important. World Wildlife Fund is entering this space of research and applied conservation because a robust ocean conservation agenda must include natural resource conflict resolution, peace building, and law enforcement capacity building. This talk will present the growing threat of conflict over fisheries, the consequences for geopolitical relationships between the world’s major powers, the impacts on coastal fishing communities, and the potential solutions. Seemingly small incidents (such as a recent interaction between a Chinese squid fishing vessel and the US Coast Guard off the coast of South America) can escalate unpredictably. As fish populations decline and move due to climate change, overfishing, and habitat destruction, competition and conflict over this critical blue food resource will grow. Additionally, the fisheries sector provides an attractive option for organized criminal activity at sea, including trafficking in humans, arms, drugs, and wildlife. Finally, as fish populations decline, communities are destabilized through lack of employment and food security. Fortunately, the world’s policy makers and conservation groups are increasingly paying attention to this emerging threat, and there are hopeful solutions in the novel application of satellite technology, big data analysis, interagency and international cooperation, and capacity building.
Dr. Sarah Glaser leads the newly formed Oceans Futures team for which she is developing programming around ocean and climate security. The Oceans Futures technology platform will engage maritime stakeholders around the security implications of climate change for marine ecosystems. She is interested in exploring—and preventing—conflict between marine resource users where it will be most likely or most impactful. She has experience working with a wide range of stakeholders, including those in international militaries, foreign government ministries, academic institutions, and coastal fishing communities. Her geographic expertise is in coastal East Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the California Current.
Sarah joined WWF from One Earth Future, a peacebuilding foundation, where she directed the Secure Fisheries program. Secure Fisheries worked on fisheries conflict prevention in Somalia, and Sarah led their efforts at establishing conflict-sensitive fisheries co-management, collecting fisheries data, and quantifying IUU fishing in the Horn of Africa. Her favorite accomplishment was starting a university engagement project in Somalia that brought together students at four universities for online marine science courses and field-based fisheries data collection. Before working at OEF, she had academic appointments at the University of Denver, College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the University of Kansas, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Sarah was raised in Kansas but fell in love with sharks through the books and TV series of Jacques Cousteau. She earned her PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography where she studied the food web ecology of North Pacific albacore, racking up hundreds of (seasick) hours aboard commercial and recreational fishing vessels.
When: Wednesday January 25th, 2022 at 12 noon CDT
Where: Online via Zoom
Speaker: Carrie Schuettpelz
Over the last twenty years, there’s been an explosion in the number of people who are checking the so-called “Indian box.” More than 9.7 million people in the United States self-identified as Native American or Alaska Native in the 2020 census, twice as many as in 2000 when the number was just 4.1 million. And while there have been some changes in the way things are measured or defined, nothing can explain the astronomical rise. Rather, the story over the last twenty years is one of more and more people claiming – perhaps for the first time – to be Native.
As more and more people claim Native-ness, the irony is the fewer and fewer people are able to clear the tribal membership "hurdle." That is, fewer people are able to prove either lineage or DNA that is sufficient to formally enroll in a tribe. In The Indian Card, University of Iowa Associate Professor Carrie Schuettpelz (Lumbee) explores this issue by weaving together history, policy, and storytelling.
Carrie Schuettpelz is an Associate Professor of Practice, University of Iowa School of Planning and Public Affairs, focusing primarily on social policy, homelessness, and poverty. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Balance-of-State Continuum of Care, she works with communities across the state to create plans to prevent and end homelessness. She also serves as the Vice President of the Native American Council.
Prior to joining SPPA, Carrie was a homelessness policy advisor in the Obama Administration from 2009-2016. She was a Fulbright Scholar in 2006, which was awarded by the U.S. Department of State to study the East-West divide of the European Union in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is a trained storyteller and teaches digital storytelling at a variety of levels. She is also at work on a nonfiction book about Native identity. She is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. She has a MFA degree in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison 2016, and a MPP degree from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government 2009.
The Nile is the longest river in the world. It is shared by 11 countries. For thousands of years, the river watered Egypt, the lowest riparian state in the Nile basin and one of the oldest civilizations in the world, without much competition from the upper riparian states. However, in the twentieth century things started changing. The upper riparian states started making plans to utilize the waters of the Nile River which once flowed to Egypt in its entirety. Presently, the biggest challenge for Egypt's claim to the Nile waters is coming from the largest hydro-electric dam on the African continent being built by Ethiopia, the upper riparian state providing more than three-quarters of the waters flowing into the Nile River. Egypt claims the Nile waters belong to it as a matter of historic right. Ethiopia argues the waters flowing from it to Egypt belong to Ethiopia as a matter of national sovereignty. The presentation will discuss this dispute from the perspective of international law. Specifically, it will address the issues by discussing the various treaties signed by the Nile basin states. The presentation will also discuss international law principles relevant to the dispute.
Daniel Teshome Teklu is a second-year Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) student in International and Comparative Law at the University of Iowa College of Law. He is currently writing a dissertation on the Nile water dispute. Daniel is from Ethiopia. He came to the US as a high school junior. In 2012, he graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.S. in Engineering and worked as an engineer for a few companies, including Messier Bugatti and Ford Motor Company, before turning to the study of law. In 2019, he graduated from Wayne State University Law School (Detroit) with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. In 2021, he graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University School of Law (Indianapolis) with a Master of Laws (L.L.M.) degree in International and Comparative Law. He wrote his master's thesis on the Nile water dispute.
Reflections on Sicilian Insularity – What Does It Mean to Be an Island and What Is Its Role as a Meeting Point for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East?
Professor Andò will introduce his Sicilian home to an American audience by applying his long experience as a professor of comparative law and a student of different cultures to bear on the questions of Sicily’s role in the current world. Sicily is undeniably an island and that fact entails a certain degree of insularity though modern forms of information technology may be overcoming some of the isolation due to geography. But islands can also be meeting points, and Sicily’s position in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea has made it an important meeting point throughout recorded history. It has served and will continue to serve as an important meeting point for Europeans, Africans, and Middle Easterners. It is, however, also being overwhelmed by waves of refugees fleeing Africa and the Near East. Professor Andò will seek to acquaint us with Sicily by exploring these multiple meanings of Sicilian “insularity.”
Professor Biagio Andò earned his basic law degree and his Ph.D. in law at the University of Catania. He is currently a professor of comparative law at the University of Catania and is visiting Iowa’s College of Law as a visiting research scholar during this fall semester (2022). He has deepened his understanding of islands through several stints as a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta and research stays at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. He has also conducted research at the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg, at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University.
When: Wednesday , January 18th, at 12 noon CDT
Where: Online via zoom
Speaker: Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn
In reviewing Iowa's remarkable agricultural and humanitarian heritage, 1979 stands out as a time of exceptional global moral leadership. Republican Governor Robert D. Ray was at the forefront of related efforts: to rescue the Vietnamese "Boat People" refugees who were drowning while seeking to live in freedom as well as to rush desperately needed food and medicine to starving and dying Cambodian victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide. Both humanitarian life-saving efforts featured significant involvement by Iowans and Iowa institutions across the state, thus making them a clear example of "citizen diplomacy." That same year also saw the visit of Pope John Paul II to Living History Farms in Urbandale, which provided a powerful moral underpinning to refugee assistance programs. While on "loan" from the U.S. State Department to the Governor's staff in Des Moines, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, then a young Foreign Service Officer, was directly involved in both historic endeavors, which drew Iowans together across sharp political differences just four years after the conclusion of the deeply polarizing Vietnam War
AMBASSADOR KENNETH M. QUINN President Emeritus The World Food Prize Foundation
Dr. Kenneth Quinn served for 32 years as an American diplomat, including: as ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia; as a Rural Development advisor in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam; on the National Security Council staff at the White House; and as Director of Iowa SHARES, the humanitarian campaign formed by Iowa Governor Robert D. Ray that sent lifesaving aid to Cambodian genocide victims. Following his Foreign Service career, he served for 20 years as president of the World Food Prize Foundation located in Des Moines, retiring in January of 2020. Established by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug, under the Ambassador's leadership, the World Food Prize came to be referred to by global leaders as the "Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture." During his tenure, individuals from 19 countries, including six Laureates from Africa, received the $250,000 annual award for their breakthrough achievements to reduce hunger and malnutrition. Amb. Quinn, was presented the State Department Award for Heroism and is a recipient of the Iowa Medal, that state's highest citizen honor. He served as Chair of the Iowa committee that raised the funds for, and selected the artist to create, the statue of Dr. Borlaug that stands in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol. A graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, he holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Maryland.
Participatory Storytelling and Malnutrition: Qualitative Evidence from Women's Groups in Eastern India"
When: Wednesday, November 16th, 2022 at 12 noon CST
Where: Online via Zoom
Speakers: Dr. Carly Nichols
Maternal and young child malnutrition remains a persistent problem in South Asia - most especially among small and marginal farmers. The links between gender, agriculture, and nutrition are similarly multifaceted and complex - covering social, political, and ecological aspects of everyday life. In this talk, Dr. Nichols will discuss qualitative research carried out in central India that examined the efficacy of a participatory storytelling-based intervention conducted among groups of rural women that sought to empower them to analyze and address problems of malnutrition. She will highlight how emotion, honesty, and personal testimony are key ingredients for this form of social learning and that there is a large unmet demand for safe spaces in rural India where women can collectively process their own health statuses. She will end with a tale of caution that socio-emotional learning programs must also be matched with public investment in rural communities if there is to be a true sustainable reduction in malnutrition among the most vulnerable.
Dr. Nicols is an Assistant Professor in Geographical and Sustainable Sciences at the University of Iowa. She is a broadly trained human-environment geographer with specializations in feminist, health, and agro-food geographies. She has over 7 years of research experience across northern, eastern, and central India investigating agriculture, health, gender, and food and nutrition security. Her research examines the complex interplay among processes of human health and wellbeing, ecological change, and everyday social relations, particularly in relation to food and agriculture. Her most recent project entitled “Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture, Global Nutrition Policy, and the Gendered and Affective Politics of Health in India” examines the changing political context of global health and nutrition policy in the context of agrarian India. She has received Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Geography from the University of Arizona (2019, 2014), and a BA in Economics and International Studies from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee (2010).
Election misinformation is a global problem that involves various actors and actions that contribute to both the spread of misinformation and responses to it. To better understand election misinformation requires examining the broader political and socio-cultural context as well as citizens’ “everyday” experiences with misinformation that occur outside election contexts. Looking at the case of Kenya, this presentation will contextualize election misinformation and share insights from a variety of studies conducted in the past five years.
Dr. Melissa Tully is the Interim Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, at the University of Iowa. She is also an Associate Professor and Easton Professor of Research. She studies news literacy, misinformation, global media with a particular focus on African media studies, and engagement. She has a particular interest in media produced in and about Africa and has conducted research in multiple Sub-Saharan African countries. She is currently working on research about misinformation and news literacy in Kenya and Senegal. She teaches courses that focus on social and digital media for both undergraduate and graduate students. She is also the Director of the Global Media Studies Working Group at the Obermann Center and a Senior Research Fellow in the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2011).
When: Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022 at 12 noon CDT
Where: in- person via livestream
MidWestOne Bank 102 S. Clinton St
Speaker: Dr. Peter Gross
Since 2000, the Kremlin has been waging a relentless information war against the U.S., NATO, the European Union, democracy, and liberal values. Russian disinformation and propaganda, disseminated to one extent or another on every continent, achieved hyper status as Vladimir Putin prepared to invade Ukraine. It continues in its varied, preposterous ways as the conflict endures. The presentation examines the nature, goals, and consequences of these ongoing struggles for the hearts and minds of audiences and the West’s late arrival on this bloodless, nonetheless perilous battlefield.
Peter Gross, Ph.D., is professor emeritus and former Director of the University of Tennessee’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media (2006-2019). Before his tenure at the UT, he held the Gaylord Family Endowed Chair (International Communication) at the University of Oklahoma, where he also served as Director of the Institute for Research and Training at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is now an adjunct faculty member at the University of Iowa’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Gross is a non-resident Fellow at the Center for Media, Data and Society, the Central European University (Vienna, Austria), and Co-Editor of the Journal of Romanian Studies (2020-2023). He is a long-standing columnist for Transitions Online, a Czech-based journal concentrated on East and Central European politics, economics, society, culture, and media. Multilingual, his research focus is East and Central European societies, politics, media, and cultures. He carried out multiple assessment assignments for the U.S. Information Agency (U.S.I.A.)/U.S. Department of State and Voice of America in these regions. In 1996, Gross was a research fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C. He frequently lectured at the U.S. Department of State's National Foreign Affairs Training Center and served as consultant to the International Media Fund, The Freedom Forum, the U.S.I.A. and Voice of America among other governmental and non-governmental organizations. He also served as scientific advisor to the EU-sponsored "Press Freedom and Media Systems in Europe” project at the University of Salzburg, Austria, and was a board member of the International Center for Protest Research, Martin Luther University, Halle, Germany. Among his 12 authored and co-authored scholarly books, textbooks, and co-edited book collections are, Entangled Evolutions. Media and Democratization in Eastern Europe (2002) and Media Transformations in the Post-Communist World: Eastern Europe’s Tortured Path to Change (2013), which he co-edited with Dr. Karol Jakubowicz (Poland). His forthcoming book, Focusing on the Core. A Cultural Approach to Media Systems, will be released in 2023. In addition to his book chapters in edited volumes, his scholarly and journalistic articles are published in U.S. and European academic journals and general circulation publications, respectively.