"Gangs in Garden City" - Lecture with Sarah Garland
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
On December 7, Sarah Garland, the author of Gangs in Garden City: How Immigration, Segregation and Youth Violence are Changing America’s Suburbsvisited Adelphi to speak to us about her work reporting and researching immigration, education, crime, and politics in suburban neighborhoods. Sarah Garland is a staff writer at the Hechinger Report. She has written for The New York Times, Newsweek, Newsday, The New York Sun, The New York Post, The Village Voice, New York Magazine, and Marie Claire. She is also a 2009 recipient of the Spencer Fellowship in Education Reporting at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and received her master’s degree from New York University as a Henry M. MacCracken fellow.
When she came to Adelphi to speak about her research at Hempstead High School, not only was I fascinated by her dedication working with urban youth, but I understood how her work relates to mine and the work of my fellow classmates in Dr. Thornburg’s LGS Freshmen Seminar class. Ms. Garland spoke about her relationship with several youth in the Hempstead High School and gave us the opportunity to learn the students’ characters and backgrounds uniquely. I began to familiarize myself with every experience some of these students went through in relation to violence at their schools because I went to a high school very similar to Hempstead High School. After her lecture, I definitely have more appreciation about people like Sarah Garland who take the time out of their lives to use their careers in order to address an issue that needs to be confronted in America and in the rest of the world.
As we finish the LGS Seminar course on children, peace, and violence, I have gained an understanding on the issues of youth involved in violence and also how to potentially address this issue. I hope in the future, many children will learn and realize the value of avoiding violence and gangs and use their capabilities to reach any goal they set for themselves.
Written by Nahtahniel Reel, LGS ‘14
Food, Fun, & Festivities: LGS Potluck Dinner Reflection
Thursday, December 2, 2010
On Thursday December 2, students gathered together in the University Center to celebrate the closing of this semester as well as the beginning of the holiday season. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors came together to enjoy the variety of food and each other’s company. Even though it’s December, many students still aren’t familiar with each other. The Potluck Dinner provided LGS members with a great opportunity to become acquainted with their peers. The room was set-up with many tables, each having a “Scavenger Hunt” activity at every seat. The goal of the activity was to find out as much as you could about the other attendees. In other words, you had to try to fill in your sheet while getting to know the other members at the same time. Topics included things such as “Someone who speaks more than one language,” “Someone who went to Ellis Island,” and “Someone who has created an initiative.” By the end of the dinner, students worked their way around the room and learned a lot about their peers.
I would like to personally encourage students to attend more LGS events so interaction won’t be so scarce. Coming together as a unit will bring about more awareness to the Levermore Global Scholars Program and evidently the issues we work towards. The more students that come to our program’s events, the more responses and attention we will receive. In essence, involvement is key to change and taking part yourself is the first step in improving our own personal community. From there, we as a group can take on more complex issues with a strong foundation. Thanks for reading and hope to see you all at events soon!
Written by Nicole Lesniak, LGS ‘13
Humanitarian Engagement with Dictatorships: Speaker Alberto Turlon
Thursday, November 11, 2010
On November 11th, I attended a lecture by Alberto Turlon, UN Advocacy Coordinator of the Burma Fund, UN Office. During this speaker’s presentation, I had the opportunity to learn about how humanitarian organizations are able to interact with dictator regimes, and how it is different from the usual interaction with democratic nations. Because climate- and civilian-relation crises will grow by 50% (to 375 million people) by the year 2015 in areas ruled by dictatorships, it is becoming more and more important that aid organizations learn how to effectively deal with them.
Some of the more active organizations and donors in times of crises include, but certainly are not limited to, OCHA, Oxfam, Unicef, UNHCR, UN World Food Programme, Doctors without Borders, and the oldest, the American Red Cross. Lesser known donors include Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In order for these donors to be successful, they must demonstrate certain humanitarian principles, which are humanity: being empathetic and helping to support citizens coping with hardship; humanitarian imperative: knowing that they are there not to change lives, but to save them; impartiality: not discriminating based on class, but delegating aid based on who is most vulnerable; and independence: focusing on one goal.
These are often hard to implement with a dictatorship because it is difficult to communicate these goal with a government that may not value their citizens as individuals, and that does not recognize the principles on an everyday basis. However, UN agencies and NGOs must make use of negotiation skills to assess crises, respond adequately in terms of who to help, what can be done, and limitation set by donors, targeting specific groups, and monitoring the post-crisis situation. Turlon ended his lecture with an interactive simulation of what the UN’s negotiation would be like with a dictatorial regime, proving that it is never a simple task to help individuals under a government that targets their own people as part of a war strategy.
Written by Gabriella Ali-Marino, LGS freshman
Trends in Central Asia: Nationalism, Education, and Human Rights
Monday, November 8, 2010
On November 8th, Justin Burke – a specialist in Soviet and Eastern European Studies and managing editor of Eursianet.org, visited Adelphi to talk about one of the most misunderstood and forgotten areas of the world. The 'STAN's, as they are commonly lumped together, is comprised of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. This collectively makes up Central Asia. In international politics, as Mr. Burke explains, this has become a region of strategic importance. Due to the close proximity to Afghanistan, nations like Uzbekistan have become crucial allies to fight the 'War on Terror.' Since the collapse of Communism, these nations for the most part have struggled to get on their feet to create an economically stimulating environment that attracts outside investment. The infrastructure also remains weak, as he explained, as these nations barely have universities that provide quality education and are accessible to people. Mr. Burke explained that for this area to strive, the first step must be to create stable governments and rule of law in the region. This will then help these countries move forward.
Written by Reaz Khan, LGS ‘13
Islam in the US Lecture
Thursday, October 28, 2010
On October 28, 2010, Mr. Haroon Moghul spoke about Islam in the US in the Campbell Lounge. The lecture and discussions were very informative and powerful. Mr. Moghul led a discussion on Islam as a religion, Islamophobia, and ways for people to understand Islam better. As Executive Director of the Maydan Institute, his mission is to enhance the knowledge of Islam and of Muslims among various audiences within his reach.
During his visit to Adelphi, he attracted many listeners as he explained the history of Islam in the world and in the U.S. Mr. Moghul also spoke about the relationships between Muslims from different ethnic backgrounds and how these Muslims interact with each other. Though these topics started the discussion and were extremely interesting, the most essential discussion of the lecture respectively was how Americans view and accept Islam and the Muslim community in America, and in the world. This topic led to numerous questions that Mr. Moghul was fully equipped to address.
For the most part, the majority of Americans are skeptical of Islam and the Muslim culture, and some even fear this religion, according to Mr. Moghul. This is something that definitely needs to be improved. In his own words, “Many Americans don’t consider Muslims as a part of the country and think that the majority of Muslims have some bigger foreign agenda, whatever that is.” Though Mr. Moghul made many modest jokes, which captured the audience’s attention, by the end of his lecture, many people (including myself) left with a better understanding of the religion of Islam, the Muslim perspective, and how to become more open-minded about new people and cultures.
Written by Nahtahniel Reel, LGS ‘14
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Sunday, October 17, 2010
On Sunday, October 17, Adelphi students came together to walk for a common cause: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. This year, the Levermore Global Scholars collaborated with C.A.L.I.B.E.R., bringing approximately 20 walkers to the event at Jones Beach. Nearly 60,000 people participated in total, raising more than $2 million for cancer research.
With breast cancer having such a high prevalence on Long Island, it's no wonder that so many people are willing to help and donate to the cause. Committing themselves to a five-mile walk along the boardwalk isn't always the most attractive form of support, yet despite the tiring trek, a number of students continue to participate in the annual event. This helps to not only raise funds, but also to raise awareness of the issue, which afflicts far more people than many realize.
I would like to personally thank all who came out on the 17th, and invite everyone to come out next year. Join the LGS team, or make your own team with family and friends. Every person who attends represents one more person who has rallied to fight breast cancer. No donation is too small, and any amount of participation and leadership is greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing you all at Jones Beach next October!
Written by Rebecca Benison, LGS ‘11
LGS Welcome Dinner 2010
As a Freshman, being a part of the Levermore Global Scholars is a huge source of pride for me. It enabled me to meet great people, including freshmen- like myself, as well as upperclassmen, who are all dedicated to viewing issues from a global perspective. People like these can be hard to find, as the desire to reach out and help people all across the world is a characteristic of a few, and seen far in between. At the Levermore Global Scholars’ Welcome Dinner this year, I had the opportunity to meet with students, like myself, who not only feel the moral and civic responsibility to care for others, but genuinely love doing so, and making a big (or even a small) change in the community.
More than just the students, I was able to familiarize myself with the names and faces of the administration, faculty, and staff, who make the opportunities to travel and create initiatives that foster change possible. Seeing the excitement that they felt for the change to come (brought about by freshmen, as well as older members of LGS) was comforting because I knew that even though I didn’t know everything about how to bring about change, I would be surrounded by people who wanted to see me and my initiatives succeed.
Though we were all invited to come together to meet each other and share dinner (which was absolutely amazing), the program for the evening included messages from LGS students and their experiences working for various organizations. Some students interned with the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Lighthouse International, and the United Nations Youth Assembly. It was clear to me, by the enthusiasm heard in the presentations that I was certainly in the right place for creating the change I wanted to see in the world. Messages from two of the 2010 Community Fellows imparted information about what they did at their respective organizations and the diverse array of people that they encountered. I sincerely enjoyed attending the Levermore Global Scholars’ Welcome Dinner, and am excited to take part in future LGS events. The people I’ve met so far have already made such a wonderful impact on my life; I am enthusiastic and looking forward to my future development and growth with LGS, and I’m confident that I, too, can make a change.
Written by Gabriella Ali-Marino, LGS ‘14
LGS End of the Year Dinner 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
On May 3, 2010, LGS hosted its fourth annual End of Year Awards Ceremony Dinner. Although this dinner takes place very year, this year’s dinner was even more special than in previous years.
First off, the dinner was in the ballroom instead of the usual Alumni House, which was a nice change of place. After some behinds-the-scenes quick chair moving and program distribution LGS students from all four academic years, faculty, and administration, including President Scott, poured into the ballroom to celebrate the end of another unique and productive year in the LGS program. It was great to see some mingling between students in each of the four years. We really are like an academic family.
Nicole Rodriguez and I were co-masters of ceremony at the event. We began the dinner with a welcome, and heard from Dr. Thornburg. President Scott then presented Edwin Maldonado with the Outstanding First Year Student Award for his various achievements, including his heavy involvement in the Student Government Association, the UN club, and creating a new fraternity at Adelphi: Pi Lambda Phi. Next, Dean Rubin gave out awards to the graduating senior class- the first LGS graduating class! Dr. Thornburg and Professor DeBartolo spoke about the LGS program's overall goals and some of the specific achievements that students made this past semester. These included the Breast Cancer and Juvenile Diabetes Walks, the art initiative, NY2NO, awareness about fair trade, and many, many more.
Participants from the trip to the Dominican Republic during this past spring break showed a power point presentation about their experience. They touched on several valuable points, especially how the trip had changed each of them and gave them a new perspective on life. Each person said they would go back in a heartbeat. They highlighted the importance of these types of trips, both for the participants and those they are able to really help.
Finally, Nicole and I announced the student winners of various LGS awards for community service, civic engagement, etc. Everyone was very supportive of one another; celebrating everyone's achievements collectively, in addition to their own. An ending befitting another wonderful year in LGS. We eagerly await the arrival of the new freshman class, to make our LGS family even bigger and work towards even more and (if possible) greater goals.
Written by Michelle Consorte ‘12
Writing about Geopolitics and Conflict
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Emily Meehan—a few weeks ago I was unaware of that name, but now I could honestly say that since her lecture and her powerful story, I’ve been touched by the lives and stories of numerous people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a journalist and spokeswoman for several international humanitarian organizations, Emily traveled to devastated areas across the globe to witness firsthand how people are affected by these events. Her job was to share a story and enlighten the surrounding nations of what was truly going on. And, on April 21, 2010, Emily Meehan shared her experiences with a room filled with students and professors.
The topic of her discussion was “Writing about Geopolitics and Conflict,” and she began her lecture by providing a brief history of the Democratic Republic of Congo. As time progressed, historical references soon became personal accounts. She told the audience about the process of writing about and interviewing people in conflict areas, and about her visits to the IDP (internally displaced people) camps where she met a family with which she developed a deep relationship. In the midst of retelling the event, Emily shared with Adelphi brief words of wisdom. She told us that in order to receive, you must expect to give—whether it’s a small token of appreciation or a listening ear—nothing in her career or better yet, our world, is given for free. We must simply show how thankful we are for the assistance of others and by working with the family, she did just that. She helped the young malnourished boy become re-inspired to smile and eat once again by providing toys and better tasting foods.
Throughout the lecture, Meehan continued to tell us about the things she witnessed in the Congo and what her responsibilities entailed there. From the stories of child soldiers undergoing rehabilitation to the young kids who aspire to have a successful future and an opportunity to an education, Meehan’s accounts touched the heart. During her stay there, she accomplished a lot and she walked away with life changing experiences. And, after hearing Emily recall her past, I left the lecture enlightened, inspired, and empathetic to those impacted by the conflict in the Congo and worldwide.
Written by Akeera Peterkin ‘13
Visiting the Historical Ellis Island
April 18, 2010
On April 18, 2010, LGS embarked on a journey to discover the past. The day began with a bus ride to NYC, where the group unloaded at Battery Park, NY. There, we caught a scenic ferry ride towards our destination. On the way to Ellis Island, we traveled down the Hudson River, observing the Statue of Liberty and the surrounding buildings that lied ahead. Eventually, after a short ferry trip and several picture taking opportunities, we reached Ellis Island—the tiny island known for hosting history’s greatest influx of immigrants to the United States.
There we learned the history of the island through several exhibition displays. Out of all, my favorite was the dormitories—the actual room where the newly arrived immigrants stayed. I favored it above the rest because it wasn’t just a simple collection of portraits and facts, it was the realistic version of what the people encountered—a small room with unstable beds stacked above each other located next to three latrines for bathroom purposes. While observing, I realized what people endured in hopes of achieving the better life and the “American Dream.” At the conclusion of the trip, some members of LGS found their family members who passed through Elis Island, and I left reacquainted with America’s past and how the country as I know it today, began.
Written by Akeera Peterkin ‘13
Transformed Conversations: A Visit to the Soap Box Gallery
February 19, 2010
On February 19, 2010 we attended the “Transformed Conversation” presentation at the Soap Box Gallery. The Soap Box Gallery was the first art gallery I’ve ever attended, and I didn’t know what to expect before my arrival. At first I experienced a mixture of emotions from anxiousness to excitement, but once I stepped foot in the building I quickly felt inspiration.
The Soap Box Gallery is an art gallery located in Brooklyn, NY. It is open to various artists who wish to display their artwork for free. The owner founded it on one main concept—it is a place where creativity expresses any strong convictions an individual may hold. Within those four walls, an artist could showcase his/her inner thoughts and emotions without the feeling of criticism and pressure from society.
Nunu Hung, the curator, wanted to put on a display where artists from different backgrounds could address world-wide issues. The featured artists were Brad Darcy and Chaw Ei Thein, and before the official opening, members of LGS had an opportunity to speak to the artists about their experiences and artwork.
Through animations, Brad Darcy converted his mental images and inner thoughts of his diary into canvas paintings and video clips. All of his work represented human change and political issues. Chaw Ei Thein focused on her homeland Burma. Her works displayed the oppression and problems her nation faces today. Her display “Bed” represented the stories and abuses that people experience in Burma and places world-wide, while her piece “Space,” symbolized the imprisonment of innocent people in her country.
I left The Soap Box Gallery highly enlightened. I wasn’t aware of the issues some nations currently face. The artists also left a lasting impression of me. I learned the importance of having a word in society despite the negativity one might experience because everyone has a voice and a passion that could open the eyes of other people. For that, I am truly grateful that I’ve attended “Transformed Conversation” with LGS, and I look forward to partaking in other gallery exhibitions through the program.
Written by Akeera Peterkin ‘13