Laney symposium to explore graduate education and global issues

By Leslie King | Emory Report | Feb. 6, 2014

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The Laney Graduate School's inaugural symposium will examine how graduate education can advance solutions to global problems. Emory Photo/Video.

"Can graduate education solve global problems?", an inaugural symposium by Emory's Laney Graduate School (LGS), is Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 5 p.m. in the Oxford Presentation Auditorium of the Emory Bookstore. A reception will follow.

The symposium is designed to address the question of how graduate education advances the understanding of global complexities, cultural diversity, and human differences and how graduate education discovers policy solutions.

"From global health to conflict resolution, from sustainable development to human-rights advocacy – our world requires a commitment to robust inquiry as well as an understanding of global complexities, cultural diversity, and human differences. How does graduate education advance the debate and reveal/discover policy solutions?" asks Laney Graduate School Dean Lisa Tedesco.

Tedesco notes that the intellectual vigor and critical skills developed in graduate school "put us at the table for these conversations."

The symposium will feature keynote speaker George Rupp, past president of the International Rescue Committee. Rupp is president emeritus of Columbia University and board member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Featured panelists will be:

  • Emory Provost Claire Sterk
  • Morgan Mercer, graduate student in development practice
  • Manuel Montoya, LGS alumnus, Rhodes Scholar, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and professor at the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management

Tedesco will moderate the panel.

"Graduate school has allowed me to take what I've learned in the classroom and apply it to not only development issues in Atlanta but to global settings as remote as Madagascar," says Mercer. "This bridging of theory and practice, which has been the cornerstone of the MDP (Master's of Development Practice) program, is creating a whole new type of practitioner - not only do we have the skills necessary to be successful, but our practice is better informed because of a very real understanding of the contexts in which these global issues of importance play out."

The event is free and open to the public.