College launches World Affairs Council

Thanks to the efforts of political science professor Steve Aylward and student members of the Political Science Club, interesting speakers and discussions on global policy have come to campus as part of the newly formed World Affairs Council of the Lakes Region, sponsored by the Department of History and Political Science at the college.

As a former U.S. Army officer specializing in foreign relations, Aylward says he discovered in his duty assignments that “the World Affairs Council organization operates in many cities and provides interesting programs on issues and challenges we face as a global power.” When many of his students expressed interest in afterclass academic activities, Aylward brought forth the World Affairs Council model. “We hope to see continued interest from students and community members, because then we will be able to look at organizing more formally and affiliating officially with the national World Affairs Council,” he says.

This fall’s presentation on “Global Warming: Paths to a Solution” first shwed a short film about the Arctic glacial melting process and the implications in terms of natural resources to be found there. Marine science professor Dr. Greg Teegarden then presented an overview of approaches to address climate change and Landis Hudson, Executive Director of Maine Rivers, presented what has worked locally and federally in the past to clean up rivers. Last spring’s presentation focused on The Global Great Recession: Causes and Effects.”

The World Affairs Council of the Lakes Region hopes to do two presentations per academic year. Possible future topics include energy policy; new rising powers, such as Brazil, India and South Africa; the state of human rights internationally and American leverage to make things better; global crime and special envoys as a policy tool.