CHPA Public Affairs Activities

International Conference on “East-Central Europe at the Crossroads: Russian, American and European Union Interests and Policies.”                              

November 30-December 1, 2006

Nietzel Bulgaria

This conference, hosted by the Political Science Department and held from November 30 to December 1, was the second conference that Missouri State University co-sponsored as part of a series of three international conferences which resulted from an agreement between Missouri State and the Slavyani Foundation of Bulgaria. Dr. Beat Kernen (PLS), Political Science department head, stated that “The first conference took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2005, and was organized by the Slavyani Foundation of Bulgaria. The third conference will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, and will be organized by the Gorbachev Foundation in Moscow, Russia, and St. Petersburg State University in St. Petersburg, Russia. The main focus of the Springfield conference is to focus on global aspects affecting Eastern Europe.”

Many high-ranking government officials and academic leaders from Australia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Macedonia debated several diverse global topics during the two day conference. Topics discussed during the conference included themes that focused on America and NATO and their relationship with Russia, discussions of the European Union and Russian and European relations, as well as a central theme concerning the building of democracy and a market economy in East-Central Europe.

The government officials attending the conference included Dr. Zahari Zahariev, president of the Slavyani Foundation and former minister of culture of Bulgaria; Dr. Vanya Doreva, deputy minister of education and science of Bulgaria; and Dr. Nikola Kljusev, academician and head of the Center for Strategic Research at the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts and former defense minister of Macedonia.

Academic leaders from the global community who attended include: Dr. Peter Shearman, professor of political science at the University of Melbourne, Australia; Dr. Rayna Terzieva-Petrova, general secretary of the Slavyani Foundation of Bulgaria; and Dr. Janos Barabas, president of the Josef Attila Foundation of Hungary.

Participants from Missouri State University included: Dr. Beat Kernen, who served as the conference chair and moderator; Dr. Dennis Hickey, professor of political science and director of the Master’s in International Affairs and Administration program, who gave a presentation on U.S. foreign policy towards Russia and Europe; and Vladislava Petrova, a political science visiting faculty member, who served as the executive assistant and a presenter at the Conference.

Conference on "America, Islam and the Middle East Conference:Building Bridges Between the Great Divide" April 2-3, 2007

American IslamThis two-day conference on America, Islam and the Middle East, held on April 2-3, 2007, focused on the discussion of issues of a critical nature pertaining to America’s foreign policy toward the Middle East and the Islamic world. Dr. Muhammad Olimat, organizer of the conference, stated that "Our purpose is to discuss strategic issues as they pertain to America's foreign policy toward the Middle East." He noted that the intent of holding the conference in Springfield was to help "educate our community on issues related to America's presence in the Middle East and American, Arab, Islamic relations, as well as to promote the issue of peace in the Middle East."

 Conference participants included Imam Mahdi Bray, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation; Dr. Any David, Deputy Consul General of Israel to the Midwest; Dr. Mohamed Ben-Ruwin, Texas A & M University; and Dr. Roger Fontaine, Senior Vice President of the Choate Partners and Tom Clany International. The major topics discussed included: Islam and the West, Muslims in the American public-square, Islam and terrorism, America’s foreign policy in the Middle East, America’s presence in Iraq, war on terrorism, Islam and women, Islam and democracy, and clash of civilization. More information on the conference can be found at: http://www.missouristate.edu/aime/default.htm

2007 Public Affairs Conference “One World, Many Voices."
April 17-20, 2007

Public Affairs ConferenceMissouri State University, along with its presenting sponsor The Springfield News-Leader, will host the third annual Public Affairs Conference, themed “One World, Many Voices.” The event will be held April 17-20 and will bring a variety of noteworthy speakers from around the world to the Springfield campus. The conference is free and open to the public.

The theme of this year's annual conference is "One World, Many Voices." The conference will bring together some of the world's foremost experts to discuss issues relating to immigration, women in the Arab world, Africa in the 21st Century, Hispanic population growth in the US, China and the Global Community, American Business, Diversity in Higher Education and the Middle East and the World. The full program for this year's Public Affairs Conference at Missouri State University--the only university in Missouri with a state-wide mission in public affairs -- can be found at here.

During the conference, panels will present discussions that offer perspectives from business, entertainment, education, politics, religion, health and other subject areas. Keynote speakers scheduled at the conference include Egyptian physician and writer Nawal El Saadawi, MTV and VH1 co-founder Les Garland, and teacher/activist/author Jonathan Kozol, along with Missouri State University President Emeritus John Keiser, who will deliver his address on the West Plains campus. Keiser also serves as the Public Affairs Conference chair emeritus.

“The conference’s theme, ‘One World, Many Voices,’ is part of Missouri State’s long-range plan goal of taking the public affairs mission globally,” said Dr. Ken Rutherford, Provost Fellow for Public Affairs at Missouri State. “Over the past decade, we have done a good job of implementing the public affairs mission on campus, locally, regionally and, to some extent, statewide."

The conference is being expanded to four days to accommodate several new activities and off-campus presentations. “Immigration in a Shrinking World will be presented at 6:30 p.m. April 17 at the Greene County Library Station; Mexican musician Paco Padilla and an ensemble will perform at 6 p.m. April 18 in Plaster Student Union Theater; and “The Paradox of Globalization: Rising Global Interdependence and Rising Global Conflict” will be presented at 4 p.m. April 20 in Melton Hall Auditorium on the Missouri State University-West Plains campus.Ken Rutherford

In addition, this year’s conference will feature a “high school day” April 19, with Missouri high school students, including students from the St. Louis area, attending panel sessions and Garland’s keynote address at 12:30 p.m., as well as taking optional campus tours. New York Times foreign correspondent Robert Worth will speak to the students during lunch, which will be provided to them compliments of the New York Times.

Others scheduled to participate at the conference include: Mexican Senator Judith Martinez; Xianjian Li, the president of Henan University of Finance and Economics, the largest college in the most populated province in China; Golden Thread Theatre founder and artistic director Torange Yeghiazarian, an Iranian-born theatre artist of Armenian heritage who writes, directs and performs for the company that is dedicated to the theatre that explores Middle Eastern culture and identity; Lindsey Pollak, a writer, editor and speaker specializing in career advice for young professionals; and Annie Gill-Bloyer, the Faith Outreach Organizer for the ONE Campaign supported by Bread for the World, a nationwide Christian movement that seeks justice for the world’s hungry people by educating decision makers scheduled to participate at the conference include: Mexican Senator Judith Martinez; Xianjian Li, the president of Henan University of Finance and Economics, the largest college in the most populated province in China; Golden Thread Theatre founder and artistic director Torange Yeghiazarian, an Iranian-born theatre artist of Armenian heritage who writes, directs and performs for the company that is dedicated to the theatre that explores Middle Eastern culture and identity; Lindsey Pollak, a writer, editor and speaker specializing in career advice for young professionals; and Annie Gill-Bloyer, the Faith Outreach Organizer for the ONE Campaign supported by Bread for the World, a nationwide Christian movement that seeks justice for the world’s hungry people by educating decision makers.

African American History Month Activities 

BaumannThe department of sociology, anthropology and criminology hosted Dr. Timothy Baumann who gave a public presentation entitled “From Slavery to Freedom in Missouri’s Little Dixie: An Archaeological Perspective” at 7 p.m. on February 14, 2007 in Strong Hall.

Dr Baumann is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Missouri Valley College and President of the Missouri Association of Professional Archaeologists. He has conducted extensive research on the archaeology of African Americans in Missouri.

In 2006 he received the John L. Cotter Award from the Society for Historic Archaeology for his work at Arrow Rock State Historic Site, and he is currently engaged in a six year project on the life and neighborhood of Scott Joplin at the Scott Joplin State Historic Site in St. Louis. In his presentation, Dr. Baumann covered the history of African Americans at Arrow Rock, Missouri, from plantation slavery to the present Specializing in African American Archaeology in Missouri, Baumann is a past recipient of the Exemplary Public Service Award from the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Women’s History Month Activities

Womens History Month 2007

Missouri State University honored the past and present achievements of women during a month-long celebration of Women’s History. Throughout March, the progress of women around the world was examined in a series of films, plays, panel discussions and lectures. The month’s celebrations kicked early off with a Women’s fair (organized by the student group Jane D.O.E.), at which community and campus groups hosted tables to provide students with information and free gifts related to a range of goods and services targeted at women. The campus also saw the return of the “Vagina Monologues,” which ran in late February, followed by an open forum on the performance. Throughout the month of March, Dr. Holly Baggett (HST) hosted a weekly film series featuring films focusing on a number of different gender-related issues and follow-up discussions with experts in the area of the films’ themes.

In addition to the running engagements, many other performances and presentations took place across the campus and community, including a theatrical production celebrating the lives, times and works of four powerful African American women produced by the office of Multicultural Student Services; presentations on the topics of international sex trafficking by Vladislava Petrova (PLS), a visiting lecturer at Missouri State University, gender development, institutions, and economic development by Dr. Sharmistha Self (ECO), and media images of the female athletes by Dr. Martha Wilkerson (SOC). The full calendar of events can be found at:
http://www.missouristate.edu/gst/33251.htm.

Annual National History Day Regional Contest

History DayThe Missouri State History Department once again hosted the Region 7, 2007 History Day Contest. Co-chairs for this event were Dr. John Chuchiak and Dr. Ahmed H. Ibrahim. History Day is a national contest designed to give students in grades 6 through 12 the opportunity to research, prepare, and present projects in competition with their peers. All entries were required to relate in some way to a central theme, which changes yearly. Each year roughly 500,000 students from across the United States compete in History Day. Participants are divided into a Junior Division (grades 6-8) and Senior Division (grades 9-12). There are seven categories in each division. Categories are grouped by presentation type. Students may create individual or group (2 to 5 students per group) performances, documentaries, or exhibits, or they may submit an individual historical paper. The top three winners in each category at the regional are invited to enter the state contest, which will be held on the campus of the University of Missouri at Columbia. The theme for this year's competition was "Triumph and Tragedy in History.” Over 135 performances, video presentations, and poster displays created by area high school and middle school students were judged by the faculty.

Archaeology Challenge 2006-2007 

Arch ChallengeArchaeology Challenge is an academic competition in the field of archaeology for individual students and groups of students in Grades 4–12 in Missouri. Archaeology Challenge is not intended to involve students in doing archaeological research but rather in doing research on archaeological topics.

Each year a broad theme is selected for the Archaeology Challenge contest. Students may select any topic that relates to archaeology in Missouri or in a national or world setting. It may involve either prehistoric archaeology or historic archaeology or a combination of the two, within the limitations of that year’s theme. Regardless of the topic chosen, each entry should be presented in such a way that the student research and conclusions clearly relate to the annual theme.

From its inception, its major sponsors have been the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ State Historic Preservation Office and the Missouri Archaeological Society. Their support, as well as that of the Marshalltown Trowel Company, Eastman Kodak, and the State Historical Society of Missouri, has been greatly appreciated through the years. Dr. William C. Meadows (Anthropology) has served as the Southwest Regional Coordinator of the Competition for the last three years.

The competition recently completed its seventh year. The theme for the 2006-2007 contest was, "Archaeology: Rituals, Traditions, and Beliefs." This year 23 students from Highpoint and Latham Elementary schools participated in the Southwest Regional Competition. Several of their displays focused on aspects of Osage Indian culture. Seventeen of these individuals qualified to go on to the state competition, scheduled for April 28 in Jefferson CityThe competition recently completed its seventh year. The theme for the 2006-2007 contest was, "Archaeology: Rituals, Traditions, and Beliefs." This year 23 students from Highpoint and Latham Elementary schools participated in the Southwest Regional Competition. Several of their displays focused on aspects of Osage Indian culture. Seventeen of these individuals qualified to go on to the state competition, scheduled for April 28 in Jefferson City.