Southeast Students Invited to Spend Spring Break in Washington, D.C., Think Tank

Photo of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Southeast Missouri State University is sponsoring a unique opportunity for up to 30 Southeast undergraduates to participate in a five-day seminar in Washington, D.C.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Sept. 14, 2007 – Southeast Missouri State University is sponsoring a unique opportunity for up to 30 Southeast undergraduates to participate in a five-day seminar in Washington, D.C. during spring break next March, learning about global issues in business, the environment and politics at the prestigious Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Students interested in this opportunity must complete an application which is available online at http://www.semo.edu/csis. Students must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average, at least 60 and no more than 105 credit hours of completed coursework as of the start of the 2008 spring semester, and must have demonstrated leadership involvement on and off campus, academic excellence, or both.

Applicants also must submit one letter of reference and the names of two other references, one of whom must be a Southeast faculty or staff member.

Completed applications should be returned no later than Oct. 12 to: CSIS Seminar, Office of the President, MS3300, 205 Academic Hall, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701 or e-mailed to president@semo.edu.

University President Kenneth Dobbins will select four to eight students to participate in the trip. The others are being chosen by the provost, deans, and regional campus directors.

Participants will have the opportunity to examine significant social, economic, environmental and political issues from a global perspective as those issues may play out through the next 20 years and beyond. Students will discuss such topics as “Juggernaut or Juggler? The Promise and Pitfalls of China’s Rise,” “Brazil as a New Power in the Americas,” “India-U.S. Economic Relations,” “The New Russian Economy,” “Preventing International Financial Crises,” “Global Energy Futures,” “Technological Innovation and Global Competition” and “The Seven Revolutions,” including population, resource management, technology, knowledge, economic integration, conflict and governance.

“This is a remarkable opportunity for Southeast students to work with researchers and consultants who advise national leaders in the top levels of government as they develop policies and strategies that affect the United States and the global community,” said Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University.

Southeast is one of just four institutions nationally selected to partner in student seminars with CSIS. The CSIS Global Strategy Institute is a research center that focuses on longer-range forces shaping political, economic and social trends across the world. The Institute assists leadership at all levels – present and future – think through the challenges facing them, their organizations, their societies and the world in the decades ahead. Southeast’s student seminar with CSIS is planned for March 9-14.

“The several days spent studying global issues with renowned scholars at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D. C. is an opportunity of a lifetime for Southeast students,” said Dr. Fred Janzow, Southeast vice provost and dean of the School of Graduate Studies. “We are very proud that Southeast joins Pennsylvania State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Chapman University as one of only four institutions that now are involved with the CSIS.  The Southeast students who participate in the CSIS seminar will be in an elite group of young people who have learned from some of the nation’s top policy advisors about global matters that will face the leaders of our country over the next several decades.”     The CSIS is a strategic think tank in Washington, D.C., whose scholars and board members advise the federal government on significant social, economic, environmental and political global issues. The CSIS, located just two blocks from the White House, is staffed by expert scholars who research these issues. Because CSIS experts hold extensive credentials in the public and private sectors, they offer a unique perspective on global issues based on their firsthand experiences in the policy world.

A Board of Trustees and Counselors whose members have been influential national policy makers advises the Center. Board members include former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn, cochairman and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative; Anne Armstrong, former U.S. ambassador to Great Britain; Zbigniew Brzezinski, counselor and trustee of CSIS and former U.S. National Security Advisor to President Carter; Henry Kissinger, chairman and chief executive officer of Kissinger Associates, Inc., and National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State to President Nixon; and Brent Scowcroft, president of the Forum for International Policy and U.S. National Security Advisor under Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush. 

Southeast students were invited to participate in this initiative as a result of discussions between Dobbins and Dr. Erik Peterson, senior vice president of the CSIS and director of the Seven Revolutions Initiative, who spoke on campus in both 2005 and 2006. The Seven Revolutions Initiative is a broad-based effort to forecast key trends out to the year 2025. Peterson’s presentations to the University and community focused on seven profound revolutions occurring globally and the social, political, economic and environmental implications of them for international relationships.

The Seven Revolutions focus on population, resource management, technology, knowledge, economic integration, conflict and governance. More recently, Peterson has been working on defining seven solutions to the problems identified in the Seven Revolutions Initiative.

Cost of the CSIS trip totals about $2,000 per person. Students selected for the initiative, however, will be eligible for scholarships provided by Southeast’s president, provost and deans, making the students’ costs only $200 plus the cost of evening meals and incidentals, University officials say. Students will enroll for credit in UI498, Senior Seminar and will be responsible for the normal fees for that course.

Southeast will provide transportation to and from the St. Louis airport, round-trip airfare from St. Louis to Washington, D.C., and lodging at the Hotel Lombardy. Those chosen will be accompanied on the trip by five Southeast representatives, including Dobbins.

While in Washington, students will participate in two full-day seminars and two half-day seminars at the CSIS. In addition to the seminars, students will have free time to tour area attractions and to meet with congressional staff members in legislative offices.

The students will also be expected to participate and present during a seminar on the Southeast campus April 11, 2008, along with Peterson and other members of the Global Strategy Institute at CSIS.