Wes Milner to Speak at First UE Scholars for Syria Lecture Series

Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2016

University of Evansville executive director of international programs Wes Milner will be the speaker for the inaugural lecture in UE’s Scholars for Syria Lecture Series on Thursday, February 4. All the lectures in this series are at 6 p.m., in Room 162 (Harkness Hall), Schroeder Family School of Business Building. These lectures, which are being sponsored by Scholars for Syria, are free and open to the public.

The topic of Milner’s lecture will be “The Politics and History of the Syrian Conflict.” His talk will be followed by a panel discussion and an open discussion facilitated by Scholars for Syria.

“As we struggle to deal with the complexities of the current situation in Syria and the broader Middle East and North Africa,” said Milner, “we are reminded that these devastating events have not occurred in a vacuum. From a colonial past to the more recent Arab Spring and struggles among regional actors, geopolitical shifts have exacerbated an already difficult scenario.”

At UE, Milner is responsible for facilitating collaboration across academic and non-academic offices in order to advance international engagement of students, faculty and staff on campus and at international sites. Previously, he served as director of the International Studies Program and chair of the Department of Law, Politics and Society.

Other lectures in this series include:

February 18

Omar Atia, imam at the Islamic Center of Evansville, to speak on “Religion, Islam, and Syria: What are the connections?”

March 3

Derek Jones, UE assistant professor of philosophy, will discuss “Xenophobia: The power and the consequences.”

March 17

Richard Maass, UE assistant professor of political science, will speak about “The Role of Terrorism and ISIS in Syria.”

March 31

There will be a presentation from the Road to Mafraq charity about increasing access to education for Syrian refugees.

April 14

UE Syrian Stories: Humanizing the Syrian conflict with UE Syrian students and local families.

Scholars for Syria includes members from both UE and the surrounding community. It was created to help support UE’s large number of Syrian students. The University is part of a consortium of 57 colleges and universities dedicated to providing scholarship and other aid to Syrian students.

“Our Syrian scholars have enriched our campus and community tremendously,” says Gail Vignola, Scholars for Syria member and UE Intensive English Center faculty member and academic director. “Our concern is for their country's future and the welfare of their families here and back home. In this era of fear and unrest, we would like to help our community understand Syria’s rich culture, humanize the staggering numbers of dead and displaced, refute the counterproductive sweeping generalizations, and explain the complexities surrounding Syria’s current crisis.”

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