University Lectures and Events
Focus 2011-12 AY. The Partnership programming focused on two issues, the “Arab Spring” and Gender and Justice from a development and humanitarian perspective.
Symposia. We organized two very successful symposia, one in the fall and another in the spring, drawing on CRS’ top field and policy staff and Villanova faculty with expertise in these areas. We reached out to three key university programs, the Global Interdisciplinary Studies Program, the Arab and Islamic Studies Program and the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, for assistance with planning the symposia, recommending resources for further study, and for conveners and respondents. The turnout for the “Arab Spring” symposia was approximately 350, and the combined turnout for the two sessions of the Gender and Justice symposium was 375.
Faculty Curriculum Development Workshop, Global Solidarity Network (GSN). Approximately 35 faculty from a variety of disciplines participated in the Faculty Curriculum Workshop, “On Teaching the Arab Spring.”
The fall GSN addressed “Transitions in the Middle East.” In place of the live web-cast, the GSN piloted a Town Hall located at Villanova and featuring Professor Catherine Warrick (Political Science) in conversation with Mark Schnellbaecher (CRS Regional Director for the Middle East and Europe). Warrick and Schnellbaecher took questions from a live audience and pre-recorded questions via YouTube from students across the country. One hundred-fifty students participated in the Town Hall, and 22 Villanova classes participated in the GSN sessions. The spring semester’s GSN addressed Gender and Justice. Again, using YouTube, Bridget Fednik Bucardo-Rivera (’02 Villanova), CRS’ Business Development and Strategy Manager in Zambia answered student questions from across the U.S. Ten Villanova classes participated.
CRS Sabbatical. Villanova University was the first university to host a sabbatical for a CRS staff person. Vivian Mennah, CRS’ Middle East and Europe Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager, spent October 17-November 13 on campus researching the repatriation and support services for Iraqi refugees in the U.S.
Villanova Engineering/ French and Francophone Studies/CRS Haiti Collaboration. The CRS Haiti Villanova Engineering Workshop was one of direct the outcomes of the November 2010 Partnership-sponsored symposium on Water, Conflict and Cooperation. A year of intensive discussion, study, and collaboration among CRS headquarters’ and Haiti staff, Villanova’s engineering faculty, the director of Villanova’s French and Francophone program, and Villanova’s engineering and French studies students resulted in a week-long capacity building workshop on infrastructure and management of water supply systems for CRS Haitian engineers in May.
(It should also be noted that Professor Frank Galgano is publishing a paper on water and conflict—another outcome of the Water, Conflict, and Cooperation symposium)
CRS/VSB Explore Potential for Collaboration.
Approximately 20 VSB faculty attended a seminar given by Shaun Ferris, Ph.D. (CRS’ Senior Technical Advisor for Agriculture & the Environment) and Rupert Best, Ph.D. (CRS’ Rural Agro-enterprise Development Specialist) on “Developing New Business Tools for Smallholder Business Planning and Investment in Poor Regions of the World.” Its purpose was to explore the possibility of VSB collaboration with CRS in the design, testing, analysis and refinement of a set of business methods and ICT-enabled tools that would support the business needs of smallholder farmers. Professor Klingler piloted a Tanzanian, in-time, agro-enterprise case study in his Social Entrepreneurship class. Further collaboration is on hold awaiting further study from CRS headquarters.
CRS Ambassadors. The CRS Ambassadors seem to be growing in number and strength, largely due to Will Stehl’s intensive mentoring of the sector leaders.
Playing for Peace: Stay With Sudan Build a Future – Villanova and Seton Hall Men’s Basketball – January 18, 2012. The Center for Peace and Justice Education, the Villanova Athletic Department, and the CRS Partnership collaborated on the January 18 “Playing for Peace” event to harness the power of the Villanova University and Seton Hall University basketball teams to shine a light on the people of Sudan at risk of violence, displacement, hunger, and poverty. The event received excellent press coverage.