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February 8, 2017: February Open House

Wednesday, February 8, 2017  
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Dear friends,

Each week, we do our best to include in the newsletter as many interesting opportunities as possible, both programs put on by the IRC and other events in the community. This week in particular, I hope you'll check out the community calendar, volunteer opportunities, and other announcements below, as there really is something for everyone – a Great Decisions summer training institute for teachers, a chance to host international students for a meal, and several calls for academic papers. Please continue to bring these opportunities to our attention so we can share them with IRC members and friends.

By now you know that the IRC recently moved offices. Please join us if you're able at our new office space on the afternoon of Tuesday, February 28, for a ribbon cutting and open house. Afterwards, we'll move downstairs to Milwaukee Deli for refreshments and networking. Please find more information below, and do register to help with planning. We hope to see you then!

One final call for Academic WorldQuest teams from local high schools: Registration closes this Friday, February 10. Please encourage high-school teachers and students you know to help their school's team win an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Should you wish to support the IRC's educational programs, please consider making a donation ».

We are continuing to monitor the geopolitical landscape and are finalizing spring programs to offer insight into some of topics in which individuals have expressed interest. Please share with us additional ideas for programs as you think of them, and we'll see what we can do.

Thank you for your continued support of the IRC.

Kind regards,
Matthew Hughes, Executive Director • 816-423-2632

Weekly World News Digest
Each week, the World Affairs Councils of America publishes a digest of news stories covering topics from around the world. This week's edition focuses on a major foreign-policy op-ed, Iranian missile tests and threats, ISIS under pressure, Ukraine-Russia crisis, migration policies in the EU, and French elections. Read more here »

Help Us Get to Know Our Members
IRC members are remarkable individuals and organizations who bring considerable international experience, connections, and curiosity to our network and offer unique perspectives and contributions – in some cases, for decades! To help members get to know one another and to celebrate our members' many efforts, we'd like to start highlighting individual and organizational members in the IRC newsletter and on the website. If you know someone who deserves the spotlight, or if you wish to share your own story, please submit this form ». We look forward to getting to know our IRC members!

Meet the IRC Board

Samantha Vidal, Chair, Corporate (Membership) Committee – Burns & McDonnell
Samantha is an international business specialist at Burns & McDonnell, where she is involved in business development efforts throughout multiple international markets as the company expands its global presence. Samantha has worked in international business spanning several industries for more than 10 years. She has a passion for adventure, having traveled to 36 countries and lived abroad in both Paraguay and Qatar. Samantha attained her MBA in International Business from UMKC and is fluent in Spanish.

For Samantha, the IRC matters because of the need to create global awareness in our community, learn from other people and cultures, experience that which is beyond the borders of our nation, and connect local businesses with leaders from around the world…all of which the IRC brings to Kansas City!

Meet the IRC's Spring 2017 Interns

Angela Lanza, Events Intern
Angela Lanza is a junior at the University of Kansas studying Global International Studies with an emphasis in East Asia and a minor in business. She is currently the social chair in her sorority. In her free time, Angela volunteers at the local humane society and works as a companion to individuals with special needs. Angela has always had an interest in international studies, and she is excited to see where this internship takes her!


Upcoming IRC Events

Disturbing the Peace: Creating a New Story for Conflict Resolution – Thursday, February 9 – 1:30 p.m. – WWI Museum
Filmmakers Stephen Apkon & Marcina Hale join former Israeli and Palestinian combatants turned peacemakers for a panel discussion about creating peace out of conflict. The conversation will feature clips from the award winning documentary film Disturbing the Peace. The program explores how human potential is unleashed when we stop participating in a story that no longer serves us and, with the power of our convictions, take action to create new possibilities. Brought to you by Park University, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, the National Archives at Kansas City, and Reconsider – this lively program is a timely blueprint for conflict resolution of every stripe: at home, abroad and in our communities. Register »

IRC New Office Open House – Tuesday, February 28 – 4-6 p.m. – IRC
Please join IRC members and friends as we introduce the IRC's new office to the community on the afternoon of Tuesday, February 28. We'll begin at 4:00 with a ribbon cutting by the KC Chamber and tours of the historic Cosby Building and then head downstairs to Milwaukee Deli for refreshments and networking. Whether you're a longtime IRC supporter or are just learning about the organization, we hope you'll join us for an enjoyable afternoon. The event is free, but reservations are requested for planning purposes. Register here »

High-School Students – Registration Closes February 10
Academic WorldQuest
 for high-school students – Saturday, March 4 – 12-4 p.m. – Shawnee Civic Centre
(Please note that this event is for high-schoolers only.) Each year, teams of high-schoolers from around the Kansas City metro area come together for a friendly competition of global knowledge, hoping to represent our region at the national tournament in late April. Please join the International Relations Council for the 2017 Academic WorldQuest on Saturday, March 4, at the Shawnee Civic Centre. We encourage each area high school to register one team of four students and a faculty moderator for this cost-free competition. The winning team will be rewarded with an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national tournament! Register here »

Save the Date
WorldQuest Trivia Night – Wednesday, April 26 – evening program – UMKC's Pierson Auditorium
We'd love to see you for this perennial IRC favorite where teams compete in rounds of current events and global knowledge for bragging rights, a rotating trophy, and fabulous prizes. More details to come.

Teachers Wanted: Great Decisions Summer Institute
The Foreign Policy Association seeks high-school teachers with demonstrated commitment to international education to take part in its annual Great Decisions Teacher Training Institute, June 26-30 in New York City. Teachers chosen will reflect diverse geographic and demographic high schools from around the continent and will be chosen on a competitive basis. Join for three days of strengthening skills in teaching global affairs, exploring ways to expand international studies in the classroom, building professional support networks, and developing International Studies curricula. Teachers accepted to the institute pay no fee for the program, accommodations, or meals; participants will also receive a reimbursement of up to $300 for travel expenses. Applications are due by Friday, March 31. If you do apply, please let Matthew know » so we can track interested teachers from our area. More information »

Call for Papers and Podcast Clips: Peace Journalism
The Peace Journalist magazine of the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University is seeking submissions for its April 2017 edition. The Peace Journalist is dedicated to disseminating news and information for and about teachers, students, and practitioners of peace and conflict sensitive journalism. The center is also collecting submissions for a related podcast. Submissions are welcome from all. For more information, please visit the Center's website » or contact Professor Steve Youngblood ». Deadlines are February 20 (podcast) and March 7 (journal).

Call for Papers: Ukrainian Studies
On April 22, the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Kansas will host Platforma, the first Ukrainian Studies Graduate Student Conference. This inaugural conference aims to facilitate meetings, collaborations, and the exploration of new ideas among graduate students working on Ukraine from any discipline. The Center would like to invite all interested graduate students who would like to participate to submit an abstract. We are accepting proposals for paper presentations, roundtables, and discussion panels through February 24, 2017More information »

Employers Wanted for Career Fair
UMKC Career Services is hosting an International Student Career Fair on Wednesday, March 1, 2017Although the career fair is focused toward international students, all students are invited to participate. This event will provide an opportunity for UMKC students to explore the international and local employment opportunities offered by attending employers. There is a $300 registration fee for companies. For more information, or if your company would be interested in participating, please contact Janet Dexter at 816.235.1221 or by e-mail » to learn how to register. The deadline for registration and booth payment is February 23.

Great Decisions

Great Decisions groups give internationally minded individuals throughout the metro area an opportunity to connect as they explore topics of global significance. Groups affiliated with the IRC set a regular meeting time and location, often over a meal, and use materials prepared by the Foreign Policy Association to lead dynamic discussions. More information about the Great Decisions program, including how to order materials and where and when groups meet, is available here ». Topics for 2017 include the Future of Europe, Trade and Politics, Conflict in the South China Sea, Saudi Arabia in Transition, U.S. Foreign Policy and Petroleum, Latin America’s Political Pendulum, Prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Nuclear Security.

IRC Program Suggestion Box
Have an idea for an IRC topic, program, or speaker? We'd love to hear from you! Please complete this form » as often as ideas come to you, and share it with others who might be interested. We may contact you for more information, and you may see your idea in a future IRC program or publication.

Other International Events in Kansas City
Does your business or organization have an upcoming event that could be of interest to IRC members? To have your event considered for inclusion in future IRC newsletters, please contact Matthew Hughes.

Troost: A Vision for Peace and Action », presented by the Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence
Wednesday and Thursday, February 8 and 9 – Avila University

The American Military in the Great War », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics
Thursday, February 9 – 7 p.m. – Dole Institute (Lawrence)

The Russian Church on the Hill: Holy Trinity Orthodox Church’s Immigrant Roots: 1917-2017, a free lecture presented by KU's Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies
Saturday, February 11 – 6-8 p.m. – Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Overland Park

Hana's Suitcase », a play presented by the Coterie Theatre
Playing January 4 to February 12 – The Coterie at Crown Center

The Homefront in World War I », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics
Thursday, February 16 – 7 p.m. – Dole Institute (Lawrence)

A Photo Album of Ireland », presented by the Kansas City Public Library
On display January 28 to March 16 – Central Library

International Volunteer Opportunities in Kansas City

Do you know of a volunteer opportunity that would allow IRC members to work with individuals from a variety of countries and cultures or that focuses on international topics or global issues? To have the opportunity considered for inclusion in future IRC newsletters, please contact Matthew Hughes.

Volunteer to Host a Dinner/Lunch Guest – international students from KU
In an effort to show a spirit of welcome to students no matter their nationality, KU's Office of International Programs is seeking volunteers to host international students from KU for a meal. Since it may not be convenient for some students to get to Kansas City, please consider inviting a student to lunch or dinner if you will be in the Lawrence area. For more information, please ».

Summit Technology Academy – short-term projects with students
The International Studies program (SISA) at Summit Technology Academy is looking for employees of businesses that operate internationally to volunteer a small amount of time to work with high school students on realistic, short-term projects. Your time commitment would consist of an initial meeting (virtually or in person), email correspondence, and a presentation time with you and your students, preferably at your place of business (but it can be at our building). You will determine the timeline of your project with your particular student team and will have the flexibility to work out details of the project as it fits your expertise. Summit Tech is a public high school program available to 14 school districts throughout the Metropolitan area. The International Studies Program has worked with employees from IBM, Black & Veatch, Garmin, and AEDS on past projects. For more information contact », or visit ».

Learning Through Borders: Teach English to Tajikistan – online
Today more than ever, confidence and facility with the English language is an essential key enabling students in developing countries to open doors in their own lives, in the lives of their communities, and around the world. Learning Through Borders provides teachers, student teachers, and anyone entering into teaching profession the opportunity to teach online to students across the world in Tajikistan. As a volunteer, you will gain experience in two burgeoning fields (online and international education) while you assist us in improving the lives of students and giving hope to those who need it through education. Teaching certification is not required, but we do ask that potential teachers have had some experience. We would love for you to join our team, and we will work to fit your schedule as best as we can. Time commitment is as much as you would like to provide; usually it would only be 2-4 hours a month, but it can be less or more depending on you. To volunteer, or if you have any questions about the project, please contact us ». We are looking forward to collaborating with you in this great initiative!

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