A team of CIB delegates traveled to the University of North Carolina Wilmington on January 26, to attend a talk about the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The talk, which was part of the United States Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions series, was given by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis, who is CIB’s faculty mentor at Coastal Carolina University. Based in New York since its founding in 1918, the Foreign Policy Association aims to inspire the American public to learn about the world, and to spread global awareness and understanding of foreign policy issues. Its Great Decisions program, which is also one of the five Flagship Programs of the World Affairs Councils of America, is considered America’s largest grassroots educational program on world issues and attracts over 350,000 participants each year.
Over 150 people gathered in Morton Hall on UNCW’s beautiful campus for the lecture, which lasted for an hour, followed by another 30 minutes of questions and answers. Many in the audience were members of the school’s “Great Decisions” course, taught by Professor Remonda Kleinberg, a specialist in international and comparative politics who also directs UNCW’s graduate program in Conflict Management and Resolution. Dr. Fitsanakis and the CIB delegates were hosted by UNCW student leaders Christen Jones and Glenn Hartzog. CIB member Amanda Corona said of the experience: “The topic of the talk was extremely timely, and the experience was extremely valuable. We made connections with students at UNCW who are interested in security issues and networked extensively, which is what being a successful student is all about”. Another member of the group, CIB Communications Officer Diana Evans, said: “the entire trip was a quality bonding experience with fellow CIB classmates, and the turnout for the talk was exceptional”.
The CIB wishes to thank its gracious hosts, Christen Jones, Glenn Hartzon, Dr. Kleinberg, as well as the members of the audience whose presence at the lecture added to the overall positive experience at UNCW.