BGSU faculty to speak at Wood County Senior Center

Great Decisions, a weekly series of talks on world issues, will take place from 9:30-11 a.m. Saturdays, Jan. 26-March 1, at the Wood County Senior Center, 305 N. Main St.

“Many older citizens are very interested in world issues and would like to have the benefit of hearing from University scholars and local experts about various critical international concerns,” said Executive Vice President Linda Dobb, who is chair of the Great Decisions program. “We are very lucky that we have a diverse campus and an emphasis on internationalism in our curriculum at BGSU. It blends exceptionally well with the thrust of Great Decisions, which is examining the impact of world political situations on all countries, including the U.S.”

This year’s topics include:

“Talking to Our Enemies” on Saturday (Jan. 26) by Dr. Neil Englehart, history. How should the United States deal with countries like Cuba, North Korea and Iran? What approach should the U.S. take with groups like Hamas and Hezbollah?

“European Union at 50” on Feb. 2 by visiting lecturer Dr. Stefan Fritsch, political science. Has the European Union been successful? Should Turkey be part of the European Union?

“U.S.-China Trade Policy” on Feb. 9 by Dr. Candace Archer, political science. Recent product safety scares have thrown the spotlight on the enormous role China plays in supplying products to the U.S. Could the large and growing trade imbalance with China have an adverse effect on the U.S. economy?

“Russia” on Feb. 16 by Dr. Don Rowney, history. During his two terms as president, Vladimir Putin has attempted to remake Russia into a major, independent world power. Some of his recent policies have provoked concern in the U.S. and Europe. With a 2008 Russian presidential election expected, what course will Russia take?

“U.S. Defense and Security Policy” on Feb. 23 by Luke Nichter, graduate assistant and doctoral student in history. The U.S. military is adopting new policies and methods for defending the U.S. and its interests abroad. What should U.S. priorities be? How should its forces be structured and deployed to meet new security challenges?

“Latin America: Shift to the Left” on March 1 by Dr. Amilcar Challu, history. What factors have prevented the U.S. and Latin American countries from forging a strong relationship? What challenges confront U.S. policy in Latin America? Can the U.S. offer an alternative to the influence of left-leaning leaders like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez?

Sessions are free and open to the public; however, registration is required.

Lunch will be available after each session for those who have made reservations. The cost is a suggested donation of $2 for those 60 and over and $4 for those under 60.

For more information, call the Wood County Committee on Aging at 419-353-5661 or 800-367-4935.

January 22, 2008