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Ferris’ RSO FSUbuntu Awarded $2,000 Grant from the United States Institute of Peace

USIPFerris State University’s Registered Student Organization FSUbuntu has received $2,000 in funding support from the Public Education for Peacebuilding Support initiative of the United States Institute of Peace. Ferris is the only institution in Michigan to receive this grant for the Spring 2013 semester. This support will enable Ferris to bring three Fulbright Scholars to campus to speak about peace building and conflict resolution.

Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Ferris, saluted the work of Danielle Voorhies, president of FSUbuntu, and members of the student group who contributed toward securing the grant from the USIP. Through collaborative efforts, Ferris will host Veena Sriram, a doctorate student at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Md., at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28; Henry Greenspan, a psychologist and playwright at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 7; and Jimmy Gurulé, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 3. All presentations will be hosted in IRC 120.

“Through this award and the matching funds provided by Ferris’ Center for Global Studies and Engagement, our students, faculty and staff will have a truly meaningful opportunity to engage with three Fulbright scholars whose international experiences and perspectives will undoubtedly broaden our own perceptions of global initiatives and issues,” Erickson said. “However, the benefits extend beyond just developing a broad perception of global issues and the FSUbuntu student organization applied for this award to advance and promote the understanding of international conflict resolution and peace-building, so I applaud her and her group’s efforts to bring opportunities for this kind of weighty discussion to our campus.”

Ferris’ Center for Global Studies and Engagement will provide FSUbuntu (Future Scholars Ubuntu), with a $2,000 matching grant to help bring the Fulbright Scholars to campus. The goal is to strengthen awareness about the student organization’s purpose of engendering international awareness on campus and promoting student development by facilitating opportunities to receive first-hand global experiences by traveling abroad and engaging with international students and faculty on campus.

“At Ferris, we strive to develop future leaders through our curriculum that prepares our graduates to tackle the issues of tomorrow in an educated and responsible manner,” Erickson said. “The ability to deeply appreciate and understand global issues, coupled with the knowledge and sensitivity required to overcome these issues in a peaceful manner, will be some of the great benefits that the dialogue opportunities provided by this award will offer to our campus and future graduates.”

 The USIP expressed its enthusiasm to support Ferris in this effort.

“USIP is pleased to support organizations like Ferris State University and their contribution to the national conversation around international conflict – and methods for resolving those conflicts nonviolently,” said USIP President Jim Marshall.

The United States Institute of Peace is the independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence. USIP works to save lives, increase the government’s ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs, and enhance national security. USIP is headquartered in Washington, DC with offices in Baghdad, Iraq, and Kabul, Afghanistan.

 As part of its congressional mandate, USIP devotes a portion of its budget to support organizations that will advance the field of conflict management by developing new techniques, establishing best practices, and professionalizing the field through education and training. The Public Education for Peacebuilding Support is a program of USIP administered by the Institute of International Education.

 The USIP support funding will be used to cover the travel expenses of bringing the scholars to campus. The $2,000 of matching support from Ferris’ Office of International Education will be used to pay for accommodations, per diem and program promotion.

The Fulbright Scholars are:

Veena Sriram, a doctorate student at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Fulbright Student Scholar in Ghana, will discuss “Improving Women's Health by Improving Health Systems - Perspectives from Ghana and India”

Henry Greenspan, a psychologist and playwright at the University of Michigan who has been writing and teaching about the Holocaust for almost four decades. He is the author of "On Listening to Holocaust Survivors: Recounting and Life History" as well as the acclaimed play, "REMNANTS" which was originally broadcast nationally on National Public Radio and has since been performed on stage at more than 200 venues worldwide. He was the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at Concordia University in Montreal during Winter 2012. He will discuss “Listening Outside the Ears: Stories from Forty Years of Conversations with Holocaust Survivors.” 

Jimmy Gurulé, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame who is an internationally known expert in the field of international criminal law, specifically, terrorism, terrorist financing and anti-money laundering. A Fulbright scholar at Diego Portales University, Santiago, Chile March 2011 through July 2011, will discuss “Legal Response by Chile to International Crimes Committed During the Military Rule of Augusto Pinochet.

For additional information, including for students interested in getting involved or to learn how to bring such a lecture series to campus, contact Voorhies, at [email protected] or Charles Vannette, faculty advisor of FSUbuntu, at [email protected].