West Virginia State Students Take Part in Innovative U.S. State Department Briefing

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
April 18, 2016
West Virginia State Students Take Part in Innovative U.S. State Department Briefing

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – West Virginia State University (WVSU) political science students received real world insight on Thursday, April 14, into issues affecting the Middle East during an innovative new type of briefing delivered to them by U.S. State Department officials.

Using Google Hangouts, students in Dr. Ginta T. Palubinskas Comparative Politics of the Arab Middle East class were able to carry on an interactive conversation with State Department officials from Washington D.C.

Appearing on a large television monitor inside a conference room in Ferrell Hall, Paul Watzlavick, U.S. State Department spokesperson for the Bureau of Near East Affairs, delivered a briefing to the students on timely issues affecting the Middle East and then fielded questions.

WVSU is one of the first universities in the country to participate in this State Department initiative, and Palubinskas said she hopes it becomes a regular component of her courses.

“We hope to make briefings like this both a regular part of our Comparative Politics courses, as well as to organize larger events that include the broader University community,” said Palubinskas, an associate professor of political science. “This provides our students with additional opportunities to connect theory with practice, as well as to help WVSU to build a working relationship with the U.S. Department of State.”

The University of Albany in Albany, Ga., also participated in Thursday’s briefing.

The U.S. State Department’s mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere. For more information, visit www.state.gov.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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