In October 2015, the Department of Public Administration and College of Community and Public Affairs hosted a two-day conference that included scholars and nonprofit leaders from 11 countries who gathered to share research and practice experiences related to sustainability, peace and diversity and to explore opportunities for continued collaboration in the areas of research, teaching and serving communities.
More than 100 people gathered on the first day to hear presentations on topics of conservation of lands and wildlife in Belize and the Adirondacks, water quality in Brazil, social media in Mexico and Turkey, ethnic integration in Kenya, transitions to peace in Colombia, citizen protests in Taiwan, and challenges facing the nonprofit sector in Armenia. In addition to the academic presentations, the conference included a presentation on the collaborative efforts that included school children in Belize and in Milwaukee, Minnesota, under the guidance of teachers, Peace Corps volunteers, and nonprofit, governmental, and private sector leaders to save the life of a jaguar and to tell the story of the jaguar’s plight in Belize through an innovative book project known as Pat the Great Cat. The keynote speaker for lunch was Binghamton University’s Dr. Carl Lippo who enthralled the participants with a presentation about Easter Island (Rapa Nui, Chile) and how recent evidence challenges many of the earlier theories about the island’s inhabitants, their practices, and the significance and logistics of the construction and movement of the huge statues known as moai. The full conference program and links to media coverage of the event can be found on the Department of Public Administration webpage.
The conference was organized by Public Administration Associate Professor Nadia Rubaii, with assistance from SUNY Cortland Political Science Professor Thomas Pasquarello, both of whom are graduates of the doctoral program in Political Science at Binghamton University. It was paid for by a SUNY Conversations in the Disciplines grant, and support from the Binghamton University Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence for Sustainable Communities and CCPA’s Latin American Partnership Fund. Additional sponsors included the Department of Public Administration and the Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies (LACAS) program at BU, and the Department of Political Science at SUNY Cortland.