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Union professor is taking love of learning to Syria

JACKSON, Tenn.July 11, 2002 – A Union University professor will spend the next 18 days teaching and learning at two universities in the country of Syria. Ann Livingstone, associate professor of political science at Union, was invited to teach at Al-Baath University in Homs and the University of Damascus in Damascus through the Consortium for Global Education, an organization of which Union is a member.

At Al-Baath, she will discuss the importance of the relationship of a university to its community, using the recent town-and-gown events that have been held at Union as a model for the Middle Eastern university, and will assist in helping with faculty developent. At Damascus, she will participate in a lecture series with other foreign professors and will address the issue of hydropolitics.

Ann Livingstone, associate professor of political science, says that her time in Syria this month will help her own students in the classroom when she returns.

Ann Livingstone, associate professor of political science, says that her time in Syria this month will help her own students in the classroom when she returns.

“What I want to learn from the faculty and students there is how they’re processing the current world scene,” said Livingstone before leaving for her trip. “Hydropolitics is a very nebulous term to us here in America – but it’s very real to people in the Middle East and other countries throughout the world. This opportunity opens an avenue of communication that has been closed in the past.”

Livingstone explained that the president of Syria is changing the learning structure within the country to incorporate English early on in elementary-age classes.

“This gives us an opportunity as a private liberal university to help influence – even ultimately one day to create an exchange program between their students and ours,” said Livingstone. “This is a way to break down the walls.”

Livingstone is just one of more than 12 Union faculty who have gone overseas to serve in their respective fields within the last six months. For more information on any of their international studies programs, contact Union's Institute for International and Intercultural Studies at (731) 661-5358.


Media contact: Sara B. Horn, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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