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Great Decisions is a nationally presented lecture series that addresses world topics of our time. The Foreign Policy Association of America chooses the topics each year in November with an eye to international economic, political and social subjects that are current and provocative.

St. Norbert College is one of three institutions of higher learning in Wisconsin that offers the entire series. Lectures are held Wednesdays, starting in February running to April. All lectures are open to the public. Speakers come from the Federal Government, foreign embassies, the international business community, academia and International agencies and organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

2015 Great Decisions Lecture Series

Lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Fort Howard Theater located in the Bemis International Center on the St. Norbert campus. 

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015
7:30 p.m.
India Changes Course
Dr. Varma will discuss how the U.S. can determine the best way to secure its interests as India catapults itself onto the world stage.

Dr. Arup Varma
Professor, Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University
Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015
7:30 p.m.
Syria’s Refugee Crisis
Join Dr. Ozum Yesiltas as she provides insight on what the international community can do to assure safety for Syrian refugees, now one of the world’s largest refugee populations.

Dr. Ozum Yesiltas
Visiting Professor of Political Science, St. Norbert College 
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
7:30 p.m.
Privacy in the Digital Age
The idea of “privacy” has undergone significant changes in the digital age, as has the idea of privacy “harm.” Legislation, both at home and abroad, hasn’t kept pace with technological developments, leaving some wondering if privacy as we know it is long dead.

Dr. Katy Culver
Assistant Professor and Associate Director, Center for Journalism Ethics, University of Wisconsin-Madison 
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
7:30 p.m.
Russia and the Near Abroad
As Ukrainians took to the streets in Nov. 2013, western Ukraine pulled closer to its European neighbors. Meanwhile, another powerful force threatened to tear away the country’s eastern half: Russia. Putin’s pushback against European expansionism has the West wondering: If Putin’s Russia isn’t afraid to take an aggressive stance against Europeanization in Ukraine, what does that mean for the rest of Russia’s neighbors?

Dr. Ted Gerber
Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison 
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
7:30 p.m.
Brazil’s Metamorphosis
After economic troubles in the 1990s, Brazil has risen to new global prominence – it’s drawing in more investment, working on global issues ranging from climate change to peacekeeping, and even hosting the 2016 Olympics. But some of Brazil’s trickiest problems – deep divisions over how to tackle serious income inequality, weak civic institutions and poor regional leadership – have held it back.

Dr. Simone Buechler
Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, University of Illinois-Chicago 
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
7:30 p.m.
Human Trafficking in the 21st Century
Dr. Kennedy will talk about the various treaties and laws to prevent human trafficking and examine the root of the problem that enables traffickers to exploit millions of victims.

Dr. Ellen Kennedy
Executive Director, World Without Genocide 
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
7:30 p.m.
Policy Toward Africa
Africa is home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world, and it’s become a draw for foreign investors from across the globe. The U.S. has promised to favor good governance and healthy economies over profit. How can U.S. policy live up to its promise while securing its interests in the region? Dr. Ranchod-Nilsson will further scrutinize these policies in the context of West Africa’s Ebola outbreak.

Dr. Sita Ranchod-Nilsson
Director of Institute for Developing Nations, Emory University 
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
7:30 p.m.
Sectarianism in the Middle East
Many of the current conflicts in the Middle East have been attributed to sectarianism, a politicization of ethnic and religious identity. Dr. Ishay will discuss how sectarianism fits into a larger narrative of the Middle East, how governments have manipulated sectarian differences and what the U.S. is doing about it.

Dr. Micheline Ishay
Distinguished Professor of Human Rights and International Studies, University of Denver 

For past Great Decisions lectures, visit the archive.



Center for International Education

Phone: (920) 403-3494
Fax: (920) 403-4083
E-mail: cie@snc.edu


St. Norbert College • 100 Grant Street • De Pere, WI 54115-2099 • 920-337-3181