May 7, 2004
By Kim Hallman
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Members of Bucknell University's Global Residential College traveled to Washington, D.C., this spring to meet with a Bucknell alumnus turned White House executive, and to tackle issues of Third World relief and development.
Fifty students and two professors sat in on a two-hour session with Colby Cooper, a 1999 Bucknell graduate and director of communications for the National Security Council.
Cooper, an international relations major and economics minor at Bucknell, holds a prominent position as adviser to Condoleezza Rice. In talking with the students, he commented on the ways in which Bucknell provided a strong foundation for his professional aspirations.
"Cooper told us about how he got to where he is today, and he emphasized how important networking is to obtaining the job you really want," said Kaitlin Carleton, Global Residential College member.
During a discussion of the political implications of the United States' involvement in Iraq, Cooper was willing to answer student questions.
"He was really great with us," Carleton said. "He was impressive, and we all enjoyed talking with him."
Following the session with Cooper, the students spent the afternoon at World Vision, an international Christian relief and development organization. A presentation on efforts in West Africa revealed the organization's goals to promote self-sufficiency in underdeveloped regions of the world.
"We learned a lot about how World Vision approaches their goal of community development. Obtaining fresh water and sustainable food sources is a huge goal, as well providing an education system," noted Carleton.
"The presentation was really interesting and it dealt with something we had not discussed in depth," she said.
Carleton and other students in the Global Residential College had visited Washington, D.C., on previous occasions, but this trip proved especially enlightening.
"This time was different from before. This time I really saw D.C.," she said.
Steve Stamos, international relations professor who has been involved with the Global Residential College for a number of years, was particularly impressed with the success of this year's trip.
"This may have been the best experience I've had with a Residential College field trip ever," Stamos said. "The students had great questions all day."
This trip to Washington, D.C., and others to New York City and Quebec, serve to supplement in-class instruction on Modern World Systems provided in the students' foundation seminar. And, of course, there is an added element of fun.
The Global Residential College educates students from diverse degree programs about the evolution of the modern world system and about contemporary global issues.
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For more information on the Global Residential College, visit http://www.bucknell.edu/x1663.xml