Here’s a sign of our times:
Northwestern University has hired an attorney from Michigan to the newly created position of associate director for international safety and security in its Study Abroad Office.
The new administrator, Julie Friend, comes to Northwestern from Michigan State University, where she helped develop its risk management approach to study-abroad administration with a focus on risk education, emergency planning, and crisis response, according to a news release.
At Northwestern, she will chair the university’s Risk Assessment Committee, collaborate with colleagues across campus, and monitor international developments. In addition, she will help develop and implement a more flexible study-abroad policy and serve as the university’s first-responder to all crises abroad.
Friend holds a law degree from MSU and is a licensed attorney in Michigan. She is one of three representatives from higher education appointed to the executive board of the Department of State Security Advisory Council.
Is fear of the foreign justified?
I've talked to Americans who have been to Palestine, most more than once, a place that some might think would be dangerous for Americans, particularly Jewish Americans as these folks happened to be. Telling Americans to fear for their lives in the West Bank and Gaza is standard Israeli talk; that every Palestinian is a terrorist. Yet not one of the Americans I've spoken with has reported even the most minor incident, nor have I read of any in the news from the region…quite the opposite, the natives are friendly, gracious and welcoming. The biggest problem is how to handle the quantity of tea and coffee that is offered in private homes.
So what about the current bogeyman – Iran? Check out this hour long tour of Iran by Rick Steves done last spring. It looks pretty inviting and incredible to imagine our launching a war against those people. I started watching out of curiosity and spent the hour transfixed…the sights were all new to me.
After a couple of years on her own in South America, my daugher has nothing but good things to say about the natives in both Ecuador, Peru and Argentina (except for opportunity theft – you need to watch your stuff).
Americans are, from all evidence, very welcomed abroad except where we are militarily engaged. People make a distinction between citizens and the policies of their government and so should we.
Leave a comment