When: Wednesday, Feb 2, 2022 @12pm-1pm
Where: Online via Zoom
Speakers: Dr. William Reisinger, Dr. Sara Mitchell, Dr. Paul van Hooft
William M. Reisinger is Professor of Political Science at The University of Iowa. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1985. His research concerns politics in the former communist states, especially Russia. His publications include Energy and the Soviet Bloc (Cornell University Press, 1992), Can Democracy Take Root in Post-Soviet Russia? (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998), Constitutional Dialogues in Comparative Perspective (Macmillan, 1999), The 1999-2000 Elections in Russia (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Russia’s Regions and Comparative Subnational Politics (Routledge 2012), as well as over 50 articles or book chapters. He travels frequently to Russia and has conducted research as well in China, Georgia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. He teaches courses on democratization, authoritarian politics and the politics of the post-communist countries. He is a former chair of the Political Science Department and, from 2003-2008, served as The University of Iowa’s Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs.
Sara McLaughlin Mitchell is the F. Wendell Miller Professor in the University of Iowa Department of Political Science She received her Ph.D. in Political Science at Michigan State University in 1997. She is Co-Director of the Issue Correlates of War Project (http://www.paulhensel.org/icow.html) and an Associate Editor of Foreign Policy Analysis and Research & Politics. She is coauthor of Domestic Law Goes Global: Legal Traditions and International Courts (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Guide to the Scientific Study of International Processes (Wiley-Blackwell 2012), The Triumph of Democracy and the Eclipse of the West (Palgrave Macmillan 2013), and Conflict, War, and Peace: An Introduction to Scientific Research (CQ Press/Sage 2013), she has edited several special journal issues, and she has published more than thirty journal articles and book chapters. She is the recipient of several major research awards from the National Science Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development, as well as numerous research grants from the University of Iowa and Florida State University. Her areas of expertise include international conflict, democratic peace, international organizations, diversionary theory, international courts, conflict management, territorial, maritime, and river issues, and time series analysis.
Professor Mitchell is co-founder of the Journeys in World Politics workshop, a mentoring workshop for junior women studying international relations (http://www.saramitchell.org/journeys.html). Mitchell serves on the editorial boards of a number of academic journals including American Political Science Review, Conflict Management and Peace Science, Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, International Interactions, and Political Analysis. She received the Faculty Scholar Award (2007-2010) and the Collegiate Scholar Award (2011) from the University of Iowa.
Paul van Hooft is a Senior Strategic Analyst at HCSS and the Co-Chair of The Initiative on the Future of Transatlantic Relations. He was a postdoctoral fellow from 2018 to 2020 at the Security Studies Program (SSP) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), including as a 2018-2019 Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow. His work focuses on: the origins and logic of American grand strategy; European grand strategy and security; nuclear strategy; Indo-Pacific security, transatlantic relations; alliances; and extended deterrence. Paul attained his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Amsterdam (UVA) and was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI) from 2016 to 2018. Paul received the 2016 prize from the Dutch and Flemish political science associations for his dissertation on the impact of experiences with war on postwar grand strategy.
When: Wednesday,January 26th, @12pm-1:00
Where: Online-via Zoom
Speakers: Erin C. Johnson, Hannah Gorsline, Grace Nelson, Allie Zucker
Podcast Creation as a Mechanism to Explore and Expand UI Students’ Cultural Intelligence
Change is a ubiquitous in the international business environment and reflected in the increasing number of employees embarking on international assignments, and the high-paced flow of information around the globe spurring innovation that connects business partners across national borders.
The increasing complexity and dynamism of the international environment requires that future business leaders develop cultural intelligence (CQ) in order to successfully establish relationships and accomplish their goals. Cultural intelligence is defined as “a person’s ability to function effectively in a variety of contexts – both internationally and domestically” (Cultural Intelligence Center, 2022). Study abroad programs have long been a preferred mechanism by which many university students were able to develop CQ. However, even before the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of study abroad programs, rising costs and other factors prevented a large number of students from pursuing these opportunities. Through a project of creating podcasts in her International Business Environment course (IBE), Professor Erin Johnson fosters the development of her students’ cultural intelligence by leveraging technology to engage students with this experience. Working in small groups, students conducted field research and interviews, analyzed their findings, and crafted a series of persuasive podcasts .In this session, Professor Johnson and her students will share their experiences with this project. Specifically, Professor Johnson describe the structure and goals for the IBE podcast project followed by a student presentation of podcast excerpts. Students will reflect on the process of podcast creation and answer the question of whether participating in this project did, in fact, increase their CQ.
Dr. Erin Johnson is an Associate Professor of Instruction at the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. Dr. Johnson teaches courses on negotiation, leadership and international business. She has a long-standing interest in global business and cross-cultural collaborations. She has partnered with universities in Poland, China, and Kosovo to create global virtual collaborations for her students in the context of their coursework. Most recently, students in her International Business Environment course participated in a short-term global virtual teams projects with students at the University of Business and Technology (UBT) in Pristina, Kosovo. Professor Johnson plans to continue this collaboration in the Spring 2022 semester and is hoping to travel to Kosovo to meet her colleagues later this year.
My name is Hannah Gorsline, and I am a senior at the University of Iowa studying Marketing, with a minor in Rhetoric and an International Business Certificate. I am involved in various student organizations on campus, including Delta Sigma Pi, the Professional Business Fraternity, Women in Business, and the Marketing Institute. I also serve as a Senator within Tippie Senate, alongside a dozen other Tippie students. I am passionate about finding ways to increase my cultural intelligence and am very grateful for the opportunity to share our findings from our podcast in Professor Johnson's course.
My name is Allie Zucker and I am a Marketing Management major at the University of Iowa with a physical activity and nutrition science minor as well as an international business certificate. I am also involved in multiple organizations on campus such as Women in Business, American Marketing Association, and Marketing Institute. I have a love for traveling and enjoyed learning how to enhance my cultural intelligence this past semester!
When: Wednesday, April 13th,2022 @12pm
Where: Online via zoom
Speakers: Andrea Wilson, and other refugee writers TBD
Reading, for people around the world, has been one of the primary ways to better understand the vast, complex, and uneven global landscape of immigration. Yet, immigration is not simply an abstract subject of study, not simply headlines flashing on our smartphone screens about distant events, not simply a topic for (often heated) policy debates. When it is, empathy and our ability to understand and appreciate the ways in which we are all interconnected are lost or diminished. Immigration, we cannot forget, is peoples’ lives. And the experiences of refugees, immigrants, asylees—their journeys, fears, and hopes—are as varied and complicated as the individuals living them. Books like The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives, edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen and We the Interwoven: An Anthology of Bicultural Iowa, Vols. I, II, and III, edited by Andrea Wilson, are important and necessary counterweights. In them, refugee and immigrant writers bind us together through the power of storytelling and the sharing of personal experiences. They imbue personality, nuance, and contradiction—humanity—to that vast, complex, and uneven subject. Through their words, we see each other with our many similarities and differences, anew. Empathy deepens and understanding grows. Perhaps, too, a call to action—for us, the impetus to welcome and support new neighbors to Iowa. In this session, the panel will discuss what it has been like for them to write and share their migration stories, why they chose to do so, and maybe offer some insights about the craft of writing personal narratives. They will reveal what it has been like to receive readers’ feedback. And they will share their views on what the publication of refugee and immigrant firsthand accounts, theirs and others, offer readers and society and why such voices are so very important today.
When: Wednesday, March 23rd,2022 @12pm
Where: Online via zoom
Speakers: Vinh Nguyen (Vietnam), Anne Kiche (Kenya), Mallory Petsche
Across the globe and here in Iowa, education is seen as a ticket to a better future. The knowledge one acquires and the credentials a degree confers have the power to open previously closed doors and lead to opportunities previously not possible. For refugees and immigrants, navigating the complex systems of higher education in the US are overwhelming and promising. In some ways, the realities are akin to most first-generation families. There may be a steep learning curve about school types and the similarities and differences between them, about the FAFSA, applications, and costs for each school, about existing scholarships and other funding sources, and about the resources available to students new to the tertiary landscape. In other ways, there are realities which are unique to first-generation families newer to the US. For example, comparisons are made to higher education systems in home countries, mostly English-only information makes reading about and understanding the many college options and their requirements challenging, and once enrolled, lines might be blurred between home and school life. Attending all first-gen students are aspirations and pressures both intrinsic and those from the hopes and expectations of not just their parents but of the larger communities from which they hail. In this session, the panel will discuss the lived experiences of refugee and immigrant students and their families as they pursue admission to and persist through Iowa’s colleges and universities. They will explain some of the support programs and resources available in the state. And they will share how increasingly diversifying campuses of all types are more vibrant for everyone, particularly in learning spaces, with the inclusion of the voices, ideas, and contributions of students from all cultural and national backgrounds.
When: Wednesday, February 9th,2022 @12pm
Where: Online via zoom
Speakers: Dr. Erin Hayward, Adrian Silva (Mexico), Lata D’Mello (India), Alyssa Clayden
Since early 2020, the pandemic has had wide-ranging effects on communities across Iowa. A confluence of factors related to the Covid-19 virus have created particular health and wellness challenges for refugees and immigrants in the state. Early during the pandemic, limited reliable information was available to newer Iowans in languages other than English about how to prevent exposure to and spreading of the virus, creating uncertainties about staying safe and protecting others. Along with the destruction from and chaos due to the derecho storm of summer 2020, individuals and families have been faced with new and compounding hardships: dire employment, financial, and childcare concerns, requirements to restrict contact with family, friends, and others in their communities, as well as increasing and often unaddressed mental health stressors related to and separate from the ongoing pandemic. This year, abundant misinformation about vaccine safety and efficacy have resulted in vaccination hesitancy and mistrust in public health officials. In this session, the panel will discuss the health impacts born over the last two years and those which predate them and were exacerbated by the pandemic. Panelists will also share how refugee and immigrant communities have found resilience and strength during these difficult times. And insights will be offered into the ways in which healthy Iowa communities, broadly speaking, are those which listen to, learn from, and support one another across neighborhoods, cultures, and affinity groups.
Erin Hayward, MD is a clinical assistant professor of Family Medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the medical director of the International Family Medicine Clinic. Prior to obtaining a medical degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completion of her Family Medicine residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Dr. Hayward completed an undergraduate degree in International Studies at Kenyon College. She has been employed by Lutheran World Relief and was involved at the inception of Tiyatien Health (now known as Last Mile Health), organizations that are active across the continent of Africa in developing sustainable economic and healthcare models to promote health and bring rural Africans out of poverty. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, West Africa. Dr. Hayward practices outpatient family medicine at the Scott Boulevard Clinic of UICOM and is a rotating faculty member on the family medicine inpatient service at UIHC. She currently serves on the board of the Congolese Health Partnership of Johnson County.
Adrián Silva is the lead medical interpreter at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Stead Family Children’s Hospital. He has been interpreting for Spanish-speaking patients and families for the last 11 years and as such, has been in thousands of medical encounters spanning all aspects of patient care. An immigrant himself, his family moved to the United States from Mexico when he was 8 years old, Adrián can relate closely to the struggles many of his patients deal with as Limited-English and non-English speakers. Throughout his career as a medical interpreter, he has experienced both the joy and wonders of medical care: the curing of a cancer, the birth of a healthy baby, as well as the saddest of circumstances for many patients and their loved ones. He comes to us today with a unique perspective as one of the only staff in a healthcare team that truly gets to see a patient’s full scope of care from beginning to end.
Lata D’Mello (she/her) is a Director of Programs at Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity, an organization serving victims/survivors of gender-based violence in Iowa. She is based in Iowa City and oversees victim services in the Eastern, Northeastern and Southern parts of the state; trains and supervises advocates; edits Monsoon’s communication materials; and conducts outreach and education. Lata was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She has had about 22 years of experience as a journalist in newspapers in India, Singapore and the United States. Her interests are social and economic justice, gender studies, community health, and arts and culture.
Alyssa Clayden is a mental health therapist, community educator and doctoral level researcher who specifically focuses on decreasing mental health inequities in refugee and immigrant communities. Alyssa has more than two decades of professional experience living on five continents supporting innovative curriculum and best practice interventions for displaced individuals, families and communities. She runs her own community agency and supports refugee and immigrant mental health locally, nationally and internationally through telehealth services.
When: Wednesday, January 19th,2022 @12pm
Where: Online via zoom
Speakers: Zalmay Niazy (Afghanistan), Elizabeth Bernal (Mexico), Ines Pecuvcic-Jasarovic (Bosnia),
Rex Mwamba (DRC)
Moving to a new country involves many changes and new sets of priorities, challenges, and rewards. The realities of building a life—finding a home, securing employment, and developing relationships, to name just a few—vary for each person, for each family. Some carry with them traumas from the circumstances which led to their displacement from their home countries. Most are motivated by the promise of new opportunities for their own careers or the educational aspirations of their children. Many are confronted with the need to learn English as a primary language and the challenges that come with navigating complex legal, social, and service systems in that new language. And, of course, new Iowans must engage with neighbors and community members unfamiliar with their lived experiences and often long journeys to the US—not to mention their daily habits, religious practices, accents, and their hopes, fears, and desires. In this session, the panel will discuss how the experience of moving to Iowa differs for people from different walks of life—refugee, immigrant, documented, undocumented, with familial ties in the area, without familial ties. They will share how local nonprofits, especially ethnic community-based organizations (ECBOs), support new Iowans. And they will offer insights into what Iowans, born and raised in the state or elsewhere in the US, should know about their neighbors who have just arrived, those who have been here a longer period, and how we can be welcoming and supportive of both groups.
Ines Pecuvcic-Jasarovic is a Refugee Specialist for the Bureau of Refugee Services in Des Moines, where she has worked for 26 years. Before that, she worked for Interchurch Refugee and Immigration Services in Chicago. She provides various services targeted to prepare clients for employment and education goals. She was born and raised in Sibenik, Croatia and graduated from the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Hercegovina in 1988 with a degree in teaching. There she met Semsudin James, a young Bosnian mathematician/computer programmer. Coming from two different backgrounds (Ines as Croatian Catholic and Semsudin as Bosnian Muslim) was not a highly accepted relationship. They married anyway and had a daughter, Suncica. Due to the conflict in former Yugoslavia, Ines and Suncica had to flee Bosnia in early 1992 and started a refugee journey through different locations in Croatia and resettled in Chicago in December of 1993. James reunited with them on Valentine’s Day in 1995.
Elizabeth Bernal lives in Iowa City, where she is involved with multiple community organizations that promote inclusion and wellbeing for immigrant communities. She is co-founder of Open Heartland, a nonprofit serving families in five mobile home communities in Johnson County whose residents are mainly Hispanic immigrants. Elizabeth is also a founding member of the board of directors of the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project, a local community organization that pays immigration bond for incarcerated Iowa immigrants who cannot afford their immigration bond. Elizabeth also serves on the board of the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa, and last October she was awarded the Rick Graf award from the Iowa City Human Rights Commission.
Rex Mwamba (DRC), Employment Services Case Manager, Catherine McAuley Center, Cedar Rapids. Born in and originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rex Mwamba arrived in the United States in the state of Iowa in August 2013. Rex has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Telecommunication and Network Administration from the DRC. After he completed the English program at Kirkwood Community College for 2 years, Rex obtained an IT certificate and an associate degree in Network and System Administration at the same institution. Today, Rex works as an Employment Services Case Manager at Catherine McAuley Center, where he attends daily work to settle and integrate refugees from all over the world into the Cedar Rapids community in Iowa.
Zalmay Niazy was born in a rural village in the Urozgan province of Afghanistan. He learned to speak fluent English at the age of thirteen and later worked as an interpreter for several branches of the United States armed forces upon graduating from high school. Mr. Niazy has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kardan University in Kabul and he has worked for different national and international organizations, including Titan Linguists, Red Orange International, and Qabaiel General Supplies. He moved to Iowa in the United States in 2015 and, based on the community desire, decided to establish a small business, Zee’s Handyman Services, LLC, which he now owns and operates in Iowa Falls.
When: Thursday, December 16th @ 12pm
Where: Online via zoom
Speakers: Mak Suceska and Sara Zejnic
Since 1975, when Governor Robert Roy facilitated the resettlement of thousands displaced by the Vietnam War, Iowa has been a welcoming new home for refugees. Today, the crisis in Afghanistan requires Iowa’s continued leadership to resettle 695 people from the war-torn Middle Eastern country. In partnership with agencies and nonprofits across the state, this effort will also require the support of individuals, organizations, and communities to receive these newest Iowans and to help them feel at home in their new neighborhoods. Today’s talk will explain the complex global process of refugee resettlement, offer historical context about immigration to the state, as well as provide an insider’s perspective on and an update about how the State of Iowa is responding to the Afghan crisis. Attendees will hopefully see the talk as a call to action, with insights offered about next steps and encouragement given to enlist others to get involved. Questions about how to welcome and support refugees from Afghanistan and countries around the world are most welcome, both during and after the presentation.
Mak Suceska serves as the Bureau Chief for the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services alongside his role as the State of Iowa Refugee Coordinator through ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement). Mak originates from Sarajevo, Bosnia and was transplanted to Des Moines, Iowa in 1993 as a refugee, fleeing from war-torn Yugoslavia with his family. Mak's professional career has been devoted to advocating and supporting refugees across the state in an effort to promote a more equitable community for all. With over 12 years of experience in non-profits and state government, it's Mak's life journey that has provided a unique and necessary perspective in guiding his work. Mak completed his political science undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa with a double minor in religion and history. He achieved his MPA degree through Drake University with an emphasis on public policy, and will pursue his doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at Drake University. In Mak's words, "Education, Accessibility and Opportunity are the keys to success".
Sara Zejnic is Director of Refugee & Immigrant Services at Catherine McCauley Center (CMC) in Cedar Rapids. After obtaining a B.A. in International Relations and Religion from Wartburg College and a M.A. in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management from SIT Graduate Institute, Sara has dedicated her career to providing and leading supportive services to refugees as they work to find stability and safety in their new communities. In her role at the CMC, Sara is committed to ensuring that community members, partners, and local employers have the information and resources necessary to work effectively with diverse populations.
When: Wednesday, November 17th @ 4pm
Where: Online via zoom
Dr. Marcella David will talk about how the Black Lives Matter movement can be understood through the lens of international human rights, and how the global response shows how connected we are.
Dr. Marcella David is senior vice president and provost and professor in the Business and Entrepreneurship Department at Columbia College Chicago. In her role as senior vice president and provost, David serves as the college's chief academic officer and provides leadership for all academic planning and review including academic diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, advancement of faculty scholarship, research, and creative work, global education, online learning, student retention and persistence initiatives, and the allocation of financial resources in accordance with academic priorities.
Before joining Columbia in 2019, David was a visiting professor of Law at Florida State University and previously served as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), one of the nation’s top historically black colleges and universities with almost 10,000 students across a broad range of disciplines. Prior to FAMU, David held administrative leadership roles at the University of Iowa, including associate dean of the College of Law and special assistant to the president for equal opportunity and diversity. Her research interests include the use of economic and other sanctions, international criminal law, and questions related to international organizations. David received her BS in Computer Science and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and her JD magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School.
*Please note, you only need to register if you plan to attend in-person
When: Thursday, October 14th @ 12pm
Where: In Person at MidWest One Bank (across from the Pentacrest, University of Iowa)
Journalist Sanam Maher spent several years investigating the murder of Pakistan’s first social media celebrity, Qandeel Baloch. Questions arising from Maher’s investigation—What kind of woman is the country’s culture willing to tolerate? And how did Qandeel encourage a generation of Pakistani women to inhabit the same online spaces she was viciously trolled in—broaden into larger questions of how sex is being talked about, and, as importantly, how it isn’t. To censor those discussions is to refuse to have a conversation about one’s own culture and society. If instead we invited those conversations, what is the worst that could happen?
Sanam Maher covers stories on Pakistan’s art and culture, business, politics, religious minorities, and women. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Caravan, Roads & Kingdoms, and The Times Literary Supplement, amongst others. Her first book, A Woman Like Her: The Short Life of Qandeel Baloch, appeared in 2018. She participates in the International Writing Program’s Fall Residency courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.