Community Meeting with Kevin Kelly
14 April, 2021
For this community meeting, the quest speaker was Kevin Kelly. Kevin Kelly is the executive director of the Dayton International Peace Museum, a nonprofit museum. The Dayton International Peace Museum works to focus on issues of unrest and war and promote peace especially with issues like WWII but also police brutality around the nation and the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. This event relates to IA because the museum itself promotes awareness of what is going on around the world and trying to fix issues of inequality and injustice to promote peace and safety for all. IA works to promote awareness and fight for world issues of inequality and the International Peace Museum also works to do those same things and is working to adapt to the political atmosphere that America and the world is in right now. I learned about how nonprofits can be impactful in world issues especially through the programs that Kevin Kelly discussed that the Peace Museum had and is working on like the red line discrimination in the 1930’s through the 1960’s. This event did not necessarily relate to my current career interests, but it opened my eyes to what other options are available in my future that would still involve being active and educated on world issues. The part of the event that connected to my course work this semester was the question about his opinion on pulling troops out of Afghanistan as this is something that we discussed in my Terror and Terrorism class. After this event, I am interested in going to the International Peace Museum in Dayton when they open up in order to support this nonprofit and learn more from their different exhibits.
Final Current Event Night
5 April, 2021
IA Academic Chair, Samantha Zimmerman, hosted another current events catch up night. She created a Kahoot, testing for general knowledge of 5 news stories from around the world that she chose, but chose other news stories to provide deeper detail about in a PowerPoint after the Kahoot. In the PowerPoint, Samantha discussed Miss Grand Myanmar’s speech against the military in Myanmar in the middle of nationwide protests. She also discussed the court battle between the company, Oracle, and Google which made its way to the Supreme Court where the Court ruled in favor of Google. Other events included The Weeknd’s $1 million donation to Ethiopians in Tigray, an agreement signed between world leaders addressing future plans for any more pandemics, and the Twitter argument between a U.S. Representative and the president of El Salvador regarding tweets about the border. This event was related to the International Affairs scholars program because it involved looking at news stories from around the world and getting a sense of what is happening worldwide. This was a great way for me to be caught up on what is happening around the world as I have not been paying much attention to the news lately and I feel even more informed due to the change in the amount of stories covered. There was not a lot of intersection with my course work this semester, but the story of what is happening in Tigray reminds me of a group that I studied in the beginning of the semester, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. As always, this was a good way to get sped up on what is happening on a national stage.
Vigil for the Atlanta 8
20 March, 2021
On March 16th, a man in Atlanta, Georgia entered three massage parlors and killed eight people. Of the eight victims, six were Asians and seven were women. Although authorities claimed that this was not racially motivated, this shooting occurred in the background of other hate incidents against the AAPI community and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The organization Anakbayan not Columbus held a Vigil for the Atlanta 8 in Goodale Park on March 20th in order to honor the lives lost and to stop Asian hate. At the vigil, there were four planned speakers, all from the AAPI community who spoke about their reactions to the events in Atlanta, their identities and how the coronavirus pandemic and the rise in Asian hate has impacted their lives and their work. Then, there was the opportunity for attendees to speak in an open-mic portion, where more members of the AAPI community discussed their reactions to the shooting and their experiences in life. Finally, there was a candle lit, two minutes of silence for the eight victims of the shooting. This event relates to IA because it deals with the struggles of those that are not ethnically American and the discrimination and hate that they receive within our country due to biases related to Asian countries, and more specifically the stereotypes perpetrated about Asian women. As a white woman, it is important to educate myself on the struggle of the communities that I don’t identify as and be a strong advocate for change. Attending this vigil was a way for me to show support and to connect with more resources in order to educate myself and work for actual change within America. Asian hate is so prominent and it is important to recognize my biases and let the AAPI community speak about their experiences and amplify their voices.
Current Event Night
14 March, 2021
IA Academic Chair, Samantha Zimmerman, hosted another current events catch up night. She created a Kahoot, testing for general knowledge of 5 news stories from around the world that she chose, but chose other news stories to provide deeper detail about in a PowerPoint after the Kahoot. In the PowerPoint, Samantha discussed Switzerland’s new ban on face coverings and what that means for Muslim women living in Switzerland. She also discussed the settlement that the city of Minneapolis had reached with George Floyd’s family. The George Floyd case has been in the media and in my head over the past year. Other events included the arrest of Bolivia’s former President, the EU’s struggle with vaccine distribution, and Amazon’s banning of a book that deals with transgender individuals. This event was related to the International Affairs scholars program because it involved looking at news stories from around the world and getting a sense of what is happening worldwide. This was a great way for me to be caught up on what is happening around the world as I have not been paying much attention to the news lately and I feel even more informed due to the change in the amount of stories covered. There was not a lot of intersection with my course work this semester, but it was interesting to learn a little about the different head coverings worn by Muslim women and how legislation can apply to those garments. As always, this was a good way to get sped up on what is happening on a national stage.
Current Events Night
8 February, 2021
IA Academic Chair, Samantha Zimmerman, hosted another current events catch up night. She created a Kahoot, testing for general knowledge of 6 news stories from around the world that she chose. After the Kahoot, she presented a deeper background into the issues in a PowerPoint. Samantha discussed the recent updates from the Myanmar Coup, including the government’s shutdown of the internet in Myanmar. She also discussed Russia’s expulsion of three European diplomats for participating in opposition protests in support of Alexei Navalny. I spent a lot of time focusing on this situation in Russia last semester, but have since stopped following so I was glad to get an update on whether the protests were still occurring. Other events included the compensation to be provided by the Brazilian government after a dam disaster that took place 2 years ago, the bushfires in Perth, the conviction of an Iranian diplomat for plotting to plant a bomb in France, and the 50,000 jobs added in the US. This event was related to the International Affairs scholars program because it involved looking at news stories from around the world and getting a sense of what is happening worldwide. This was a great way for me to be caught up on what is happening around the world as I have not been paying much attention to the news lately and I feel more encouraged to keep up with the news even just by looking at the headlines every morning because some of these stories are very important. There was not a lot of intersection with my course work this semester, but I was able to connect the European diplomat’s expulsion to my course from the past semester as stated before. Overall, I feel more caught up with the good and bad parts of international news and plan to keep checking to stay up to date with what is happening.
IA Alumni Spotlight with Elena Akers
25, Jan 2021
IA Alumnus, Elena Akers talked to us about her life after graduating from Ohio State as someone who earned a Fulbright to teach English in Germany, but had to postpone those plans due to COVID-19. She discussed her current internship with START, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. This event relates to IA because she was in the program as a student at Ohio State and she was able to show how IA can stay a part of your life and how your interests in international areas can remain relevant after college. In this event, I learned a lot about START and the internships they provide. I had already been interested in START having learned about them in my Terror and Terrorism class, so it was nice to hear about what it was like actually being an intern there. This event was super relevant to my professional and academic goals as a student hoping to pursue a minor in German and majoring in Security and Intelligence. I am very interested in the study of terrorism and how terrorism is actually performed, not just in the US, but in other countries as well. This event was a nice complement to my Terror and Terrorism class that I am taking this semester and I am now very interested in pursuing an internship at START myself. Overall, this was a great event and I learned a lot about possible career paths for myself and ways to get experience in those careers before graduating.
Current Events Catch Up Night 3
15 November, 2020
IA Academic Chair, Samantha Zimmerman, hosted another current events catch up night. She created a Kahoot, testing for general knowledge of 6 news stories from around the world that she chose. After the Kahoot, she presented a deeper background into the issues in a PowerPoint. Samantha discussed the hurricanes that keep hitting the Honduras and Nicaragua, specifically how Hurricane Iota is about to hit areas already devastated by Hurricane Eta earlier this month. She also discussed the recent Diwali celebrations in India, the new agreement between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia about the Nagorno-Karabakh area, Turkmenistan’s newly revealed golden dog statue, the coup in Sudan, and how the unemployment claims in the US are going down, but are still very high. This event relates to IA because it is part of what IA scholars should do: staying up to date on the international news and things that are happening in the world. I really enjoyed this event the first time, so I returned for the third event. I thought these stories were all very interesting and a nice balance of the good and the bad going on at an international scale. The story that was of the most interest to me was the agreement between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia. My class, Introduction to Intelligence, has been following this story throughout the semester and we have had many discussions about possible outcomes of this conflict. I am not sure whether this agreement will be able to solve this conflict, but I was unaware of this new development and I want to look more into the agreement. This was a nice tie in from my class because I had prior knowledge about this conflict.
IA Alumni Panel
4 November, 2020
For this event, IA alums, Sam Harris, Alex Northrop, Brandon Hofacker, and Courtney Johnson answered a series of questions about their time as IA Scholars and how OSU and being an IA Scholar affected their career paths. Sam Harris is studying at Harvard Law School, Alex Northrop is studying at Columbia Medical School, Brandon Hofacker works for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation in Washington D.C., and Courtney Johnson works as a Communications Specialist at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C. This event relates to IA because they were a panelist of incredible alumni that were able to give us insight into how the program was beneficial for them and how to make the program beneficial for us. At this event, I learned about the different organizations that these alumni were in besides IA Scholars and how those experiences helped shape their post-graduation plans. The alumni that was of the most interest to me was Courtney Johnson because I hope to work for the Department of State or the CIA in the future. She discussed how she became a Boren Scholar, which along with IA Scholars, led her to the position she holds now. I liked being able to see someone who was once in my position, reach the place that I want to be in the future. It was also nice to hear from others like Brandon Hofacker and Alex Northrop who explored many things before reaching the place they are now. They emphasized that it is okay to search for a little bit and that sometimes the things you want will not work out, but the right thing will come along eventually. Overall, all of the alumni emphasized how pivotal being an IA Scholar was in their college experience, which makes me happy to be a scholar myself.
Current Events Catch-Up
25, Oct, 2020
Samantha Zimmerman, the Academic Chair for International Affairs Scholars this year, hosted a catch-up on current events. She created a Kahoot, testing for general knowledge of 6 news stories from around the world that she chose. After the Kahoot, she presented a deeper background into the issues. Samantha discussed the beheading of a teacher in France, protests in both Bangkok and Nigeria, the production of offspring of the endangered Loa water frogs, the start of socially distanced Sesame Street filming in Jordan, and the state of the housing market in the United States. This event was related to IA because it focused on paying attention to issues around the world. IA is about being able to see outside the United States and how other countries around the world are doing. IA encourages a more worldly view of life and in participating in this event, I am more knowledgeable about things that are happening around the world. I personally thought this was a great event to get a quick but wide reaching sum of what is happening in the world. I also thought her selection of news stories was good because there were both important issues that will surely keep developing, but there were also stories that were up-lifting. I thought it was interesting to hear more details of another country’s protest against their police because the United States has been in great turmoil with protests against police brutality. The story about Thailand was new information to me and Steven made a point about how the people leading these protests are not much older than me. The story of the beheading in France and Sesame Street filming in Jordan intersect with my study of the Arabic language and culture. On one end, the beheading in France could lead to a decrease in friendly relations with Islamic people because the issue is deeply rooted in the religion’s tradition of not having images of the Prophet Muhammad. On the other end, the start of filming of socially distant Sesame Street in Jordan shows how the Middle East has similarities to other countries and that they are struggling just as much as other countries with the effects of the pandemic. This was a great event to update my knowledge of current events and adapt to a more worldly view in the news.
Critical Language Scholarship Information Session
5 Oct, 2020
The NELC Department hosted an information session about the Critical Language Scholarship, where three students and Arabic language professor Geri Atassanova shared their personal experiences with CLS. The Critical Language Scholarship relates to IA because the scholarship sends students to different countries around the world to study a specific language, which encourages a wider view of the world. This event was very helpful and informational. The inclusion of the experiences of past recipients of the Critical Language Scholarship was particularly helpful in gaging an understanding of what the program will entail and how impactful and beneficial the experience is. This information session increased my interest in applying for the Critical Language Scholarship as I believe it will be beneficial to my studies and future career goals. I would apply for Arabic, which is the language that the past recipients studied, so I got an understanding of how this program leads to a greater understanding of Arabic. This intersects with the minor I pursue in Arabic and I hope to speak Arabic in my future career goal of working for the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer. Through this information session, I developed a wider view of the CLS and whether applying is a good idea for me.