If youre into
international affairs - or aspire to be - this is an exciting time
to be at Howard University.
An undergraduate major is in the works; plans already have been
drawn for a certificate program at the graduate level, where there
is clamor also for masters degrees and doctorates in the field.
The first "on line" course in international affairs is
expected to be "up" and ready for the second semester.
Even as these words are being written in summer, 2002, Howard University
students are serving internships in American diplomatic missions
on five continents, and the list of Study Abroad participants was
never longer. A new record is set in this area every semester.
Trade negotiations between Chile and the U. S. were held last fall
in the new HU law school library; and the summer before, US-UNA
chose Howard as the setting for its international conference. Foreign
affairs discussions and similar programs abound, such as the symposium
just last month on the political crisis in Zimbabwe and ones earlier
on addressing World Bank issues, the Middle East, and charges of
slavery in Sudan.
Through increased faculty effort, various individuals and teams
within the departments and schools have been receiving grants for
internationalization of the curriculum here at home, for travel,
research, teaching, and service abroad. Indeed, several of the schools
and colleges - law, medicine, nursing, graduate school, engineering,
and continuing education, to name a few, have long traditions of
overseas interest and activities. Expansion is underway.
Sasakawa Fellows, all doctoral candidates in the Graduate School
of Arts and Sciences, organized a conference during the year on
racial minorities in Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa,
and the US, with participants from each of those countries presenting
scholarly papers on various aspects of the subject. There was representation
as well from India.
The seventh annual women
was held on campus in the spring; and just last week, a group of
HU professors hosted a visit of the Senegalese Minister for Democracy.
Another group of HU professors are teaching and working in Ethiopian
WITH Ethiopians to improve their curricular for the schools; and
yet another group of professors and students are doing research
in Africa and in Europe on traditional medicines.
Nothing is more exciting than the fervor among students for participation
in international affairs activities, such as the recent NATO simulation
exercises, and perhaps most of all, the growing interest among students
in careers in international affairs. In many ways, this is the focus
of this issue of The Globe, where we feature myriad activities and
projects taking place under the aegis of the newly established Charles
B. Rangel International Affairs Program at Howard University. Priorities
are engendering interest in foreign affairs among students, and
preparing larger numbers of them for diplomatic service careers.
If its foreign affairs mentors students are seeking, they cannot
do better than the two senior Foreign Service Officers who have
been posted throughout the year at the Ralph J. Bunche Internatinal
Affairs Center. One is Ambassador George E. Moose, former Assistant
Secretary of State (Africa) and a diplomat who has headed three
US missions abroad - Benin, Senegal, and the International Organizations
mission in Geneva. Underscoring the value attached to his stay at
Howard as Senior Fellow in International Affairs, the veteran diplomat
was promoted during the year to United States Ambassador, the highest
rank in diplomatic service.
Also at the Capstone - as Diplomat in Residence - is Ms. June Carter
Perry. With Foreign Service experience in three geographic areas,
including tours as Deputy Chief of Mission (Number Two) in Madagascar
and Central African Republic Ms. Perry brought
vast stores of intellect,
expertise, and energy to her assignment which focuses mainly on
the "Principles of Cooperation" between Howard and the
Department of State.
Both Department of State officers have been available throughout
the year to faculty and students, providing information about international
affairs, diplomacy, and the Foregin Service, encouraging interest,
and sharing their experiences. They also have paved the way for
numerous students to have direct experiences in Foreign Service
agencies here in the US and abroad. Although Ms. Perry will return
to the Department soon, she will be replaced as DIR by another veteran
diplomat, Nicholas Williams.
What is most telling in all of this movement at Howard is the traditional
suggestion that African Americans are not interested in international
affairs and secondly, that they are incapable of passing the State
Departments rigorous written examination, the first step in
qualifying for Foreign Service. In short order, the lie has been
given to both of these presumptions, with growing interest, as outlined
above, among students and the fact that 20 Howardites alone have
overcome this testing stumbling block in one academic year, 2001-02.
This certainly should be sufficient to warrant a "suspension
of disbelief" on all sides!
Under Rangel, we now have the responsibility not only to "make
the point" here at Howard but also to promote its realization
at other HBCUs. This is being done already.
What is different here from past efforts is the enthusiasm which
continues to be generated and, at long last, the wherewithal (thanks
to the Rangel inspired Congress and the MacArthur Foundation) to
pave the way. Vastly important also, of course, is what appears
to be finally a welcoming climate at State.
Yes, these are indeed exciting times at the Capstone!