Political science department hosts ‘China Town Hall’

Aaron Johnson – General Assignment Reporter

The Southern Connecticut State University political science department participated  in a national conversation about the state of U.S.-China relations this past week, the event was open to all students and staff and was highlighted by a live web-cast with former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.

“Former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, will have her speech going on nationally,” said Professor Arthur Paulson, the chairman of the political science department. “Her speech is one attractive element to the event.”

China Town Hall is an annual event organized by the National Committee on United States-China Relations. At Southern, an introduction and conversation with faculty from the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system. The talk was about the bilateral relationship from a Chinese perspective. Paulson – who invited his PSC 475/Capstone class – said that the United States-China relationship is an important subject for students, which is why he invited his class.

“Things going on with China right now are too timely not to study,” said Paulson. “I wanted students to get the experience.”

Tyler Kekac was one of the students from Paulson’s class who attended the event. Kekac said that the atmosphere of the event was something that drew his attention immediately.

“I didn’t really expect all this when I first got here. It’s nice that they set up this Asian-inspired food. It seems pretty long but it’s okay,” said Kekac.

Another student that came from Paulson’s class was Angela Paniccia of Bridgeport. Paniccia said at first she was not thrilled about the idea of sitting through an event like this but that she understood why.

“I only really came here because it was for my class,” said Paniccia. “But we’re obviously here because my professor thinks this is important so I’m gonna try and make the best of it and try getting something out of it.”

Some Asian inspired food was offered at 'China Town Hall' for all who attended.

Some Asian inspired food was offered at ‘China Town Hall’ for all who attended.

According to the Secretary of State website, Albright served as Secretary of State after being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she was sworn in as the 64th Secretary of State. Secretary Albright is the first female secretary of state and the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. Prior to her appointment, Secretary Albright served as the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations (presenting her credentials at the UN) and as a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet and National Security Council.

Secretary Albright formerly was the president of the Center for National Policy. The Center is a non-profit research organization formed by representatives from government, industry, labor and education. Its mandate is to promote the study and discussion of domestic and international issues.

As a Research Professor of International Affairs and Director of Women in Foreign Service Program at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in international affairs, U.S. foreign policy, Russian foreign policy, and Central and Eastern European politics, and was responsible for developing and implementing programs designed to enhance women’s professional opportunities in international affairs.

Paulson said that the webcast would not be the first time that Albright spoke at Southern and that the last time she spoke it was impressive.

“Last night Secretary Albright spoke at Southern; it went over quite well,” said Paulson.


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