Students Spending Spring Break in Washington, D.C., Think Tank

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

Thirty-five Southeast students are spending their spring break this week in Washington, D.C., at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March10, 2010 – Thirty-five Southeast Missouri State University students will participate in a five-day seminar in Washington, D.C., during spring break March 15-19, learning about global issues in business, the environment, politics and cyber-security at the prestigious Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Juniors and seniors representing every college and regional campus within Southeast were nominated during the fall semester by their deans or the Office of the President for participation in the CSIS seminar.  The course has included detailed preparatory study of the Seven Revolutions, which are global trends that will profoundly affect the world by 2025; participation in the week-in-residence next week at the CSIS Global Strategy Institute; and student presentations to the campus and larger community via “Navigating a World of Accelerating Change” (CSIS /Southeast Missouri State University Campus Conference) April 20 at the River Campus.

“Southeast Missouri State University is fortunate that we have been able to develop a relationship with CSIS that puts our best students in contact with these experts for an entire week over spring break, and gives them a much better understanding of the issues they will face over the next 25 years – issues such as the rise of international competitors, the environment, international financial crises, global energy usage, population pressures, and others,” said Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University.

The students 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 “Politics and Society in Latin America:  Persistent Challenges, New Realities,” “US-Russia/Eurasia Relations,” “US-Africa Relations and the Obama Administration,” “Global Water Futures,” “Energy and Environmental Policy,” “Transnational Threats,” “Cyber-security,” “The Crisis of the 2020s:  Demographics and Geopolitics in the 21st Century,” “The Four Futures of Europe,” “Global Health Issues” 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 Dobbins.

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.

“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, and offer a unique perspective on global issues based on their firsthand experiences in the policy world, they are often asked to advise presidential administrations and congress regarding policy formation.

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, co-chairman 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.

Students selected for the initiative are eligible for scholarships provided by Southeast’s president, provost and deans. Students will be accompanied on the trip by the four Southeast faculty members who are teaching the course, as well as other Southeast officials including Dobbins. Southeast faculty members teaching the course include Dr. Willie Redmond, Department of Economics and Finance; Dr. Kevin Dickson, Department of Management and Marketing; Dr. Mark Langenfeld, Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation; and Dr. Sophia Scott, Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology.

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.