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Fulbright American Security Seminar Highlights NC State Expertise

global challenges
Fulbright research scholars will learn about global challenges when NC State hosts the Fulbright American Security Seminar. Image courtesy of

NC State will welcome 90 international Fulbright research scholars in mid-December as the university hosts the Fulbright American Security Seminar.

Led by NC State sociologists, political scientists, policy experts and other authorities, the Fulbright scholars will explore how best to address such grand challenges as disaster relief, food and water insecurity, sustainable energy and inter-related security issues. And they’ll look at how to set security agendas for policy-making at the local or global level, using an integrated, multi-sector approach.

NC State political scientist Dmitri Mitin, academic director for the event, gathered faculty experts from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and its School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) to lead and facilitate many of the sessions for the research scholars.  

“Our faculty’s expertise in these areas, and our interdisciplinary approaches to addressing big issues, is well known in the region, and by the U.S. State Department, who awarded us the opportunity to host this Fulbright seminar,” says Mitin. “Hosting these Fulbright research scholars represents a huge vote of confidence in our faculty’s contributions.”

One of the central seminars in the four-day program covers the fundamentals of security at the local level. A panel of experts will explore with the scholars how security agendas and policies form at the community level, focusing on issues of energy, food insecurity and disaster relief.

“We’ll look at particular vulnerabilities small communities face, and the strengths and shortcomings of existing policy responses,” says Mitin. “We’re addressing the interconnections of security concerns as well as what local universities can contribute to issues of sustainability and safety in their communities.”

Panelists include:

  • Tom Birkland, the college’s associate dean for research and a policy expert in disasters and infrastructure.
  • Sarah Bowen, a sociologist whose expertise is in food systems, inequities, and how those issues play out through local and global institutions.  
  • Chris Galik, whose academic appointment in SPIA’s Public Administration Department dovetails with his expertise in and his work with the university’s interdisciplinary Sustainable Energy Systems and Policy faculty cluster.
  • Lada Kochtcheeva, a political scientist whose expertise centers around environmental regulatory policy issues.

The Fulbright American Security Seminar is hosted by the Global Training Initiative at NC State University and is supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State.