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October 28, 2013 : AUDIO: Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington International Week Nov 12 – 15: “Conflict & Contact”
To watch "Women in Islam" presentation LIVE on November 12 at 7 p.m. -- click here.

- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager

Conflict and Contact

Lancaster – Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington is celebrating International Week November 12 – 15. This is the first year the event is being held on the regional campuses of Ohio University. The Lancaster Campus and Pickerington Center theme is "Conflict & Contact."


"We actually have a lot of veterans of foreign wars who come here as our students," said International Week Committee Chair Dr. Matt Wanat. "A number of our students have had experience overseas. Some of it is not necessarily positive, but sometimes it is positive.Many of those experiences have been related to American foreign wars."


International Week falls the same week as Veteran's Day. Ohio University's regional campuses were founded in the 1940's on the idea of bringing higher education to communities where World War II veterans with families and jobs needed access. Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington prides itself on being able to help veterans acquire the education and skills they need to get a job. There are currently about 90 veterans enrolled on campus. Wanat said the idea for the "Conflict & Contact" theme seemed like the perfect fit.


"That kind of culture here on campus makes it an interesting opportunity not only to talk about some of that history we have as a campus and as a country, but also to think about the moments of contact that occur in those kinds of situations," said Wanat. "We're hoping that what we can do is think a little bit about some of the conflicts we've had and some of the cross-cultural contacts that have come out of those conflicts."


The first event will be held on November 12 at 7:00 p.m. in Brasee Hall's Wagner Theater. Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin is giving a presentation called "Women in Islam." Mobin-Uddin is a pediatrician in the Columbus-area and is a Muslim American who will speak about her experiences as a woman practicing Islam. Her presentation will be streamed live here the night of the event.


The second event is a veteran's appreciation night on November 13 in the Raymond S. Wilkes Gallery for the Visual Arts in Brasee Hall. Columbus-native and veteran, Colin Halloran, will read from and discuss his book of poetry at 6:30 p.m. Students at OUL who are veterans will be recognized for their service at the veteran's recognition event which begins at 7 p.m.


"Neither of our speakers is from the community. So we're bringing outside perspectives into our community," said Wanat. "To a degree, I think there is less visible diversity in a smaller community, and I think it is important to bring that to smaller communities. At the same time, I think there is a misconception there. We have a lot of international contact in these communities.A lot of the OHIO campuses are in Appalachia. These southeastern Ohio communities have a long of history of service in American foreign wars. So, we tend to assume that we don't have a lot of people who know anything about other countries. But, we do. We have a lot of people who know a lot about other countries because of their experiences.Some of those experiences, as our title suggests, are experiences of conflict, and that tends to limit the way we see other countries. But within that conflict there's always contact. I think smaller communities are in a unique position to offer that perspective."