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Great Decisions lectures to discuss issues that transcend borders

Sally Kershner
Features Editor

Returning this spring, the Great Decisions lecture series will be hosting four highly regarded speakers and a film screening starting on Feb. 1. The Great Decisions series is a joint effort between The College of Wooster and the local Wooster community to shed light on national issues that are impacting the world beyond our borders.

John Rudisill, the executive director of Great Decisions and chair of the philosophy department at the College, highlights the questions that need to be considered when choosing a theme.

“What are really important issues? With Great Decisions, it is a series of global international policy and issues. What are the big issues that face the world today?” said Rudisill.

Determined by the Great Decisions board and planning committee, the series’ theme this year is “Resurgent Nationalism and Borderless Problems,” with lecture topics addressing issues such as cybersecurity, immigration policy, the current presidential administration and the disappearing of the world’s coral reefs.

“Whether nations choose to put themselves first and focus on their own issues, there are problems that face us all and aren’t bounded by any geographic or political border. The theme really is a series of problems that just don’t stop at your political borders or otherwise,” said Rudisill.

“These are the topics that all point out the semi-permeability of borders and how, although there is a protection policy and resurgence of nationalism, there are a lot of issues that will take cross-nation operations to solve,” said Emma Woods ’18, a member of the planning committee.

Here is the schedule of lectures as follows:

• Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m., cybersecurity expert Laura Galante starts off the lecture series with her lecture “Cybersecurity in the Age of Connectivity.” Galante is the founder of Galante Strategies, a cybersecurity company that protects governments, companies and private citizens from cyber threats, and is a senior fellow of the Atlantic Council.

• Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m., Angela Maria Kelley will present her lecture “Immigration Policy and Politics under the Trump Administration: What’s Happened and What’s Happening Next.” For the Open Society Foundation and Open Society Policy Center, Kelley is a senior strategic advisor on immigration whose work focuses on the policies and politics of immigration and integration issues at the state and federal level.

• Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m., journalist E.J. Dionne will present “One Nation After Trump,” a commentary on the book he co-authored titled “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported.” Dionne is a nationally known commentator who regularly appears on National Public Radio, MSNBC and other media outlets.

• Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., “Chasing Coral,” a documentary about the disappearing coral reefs, will be screened. The 2017 film premiered at the latest Sundance Film Festival and follows a group of divers, scientists and photographers trying to unravel why the world’s coral reefs continue to disappear.

• Feb. 28 at 11:45 a.m., producer of “Chasing Coral” Larissa Rhodes will present her lecture “From Chasing Coral to Chasing Conversations” in Kittredge Dining Hall as a luncheon.

Tickets to the luncheon are $13.50 and can be purchased online, but all other lectures are free and open to the public, taking place in Gault Recital Hall inside the Scheide Music Center.

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