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Release: Immediate

International Mondays seminars continue in April

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- International Mondays!, a University of Iowa seminar series specially engineered for internationally minded people, continues this month with presentations on resettlement of war refugees, study abroad opportunities, daily life for the poor in India, and development of national parks and monuments in Africa. These seminars, presented by individuals who have had an international experience, will be from noon to 1 p.m. every Monday in the International Center, Room 230, unless otherwise noted. The sessions are free and open to the public.

Following is a schedule of upcoming seminars:

April 6, "Costs of War and Refugee Resettlement"

Amy Weismann, a UI law student, will speak about the challenges of helping refugees to settle in a new area without ignoring the international problems which have caused them to flee their native countries. Weismann has worked in the field of refugee resettlement for many years in a variety of contexts. She was the director of volunteer services in two large refugee camps for the humanitarian organization Suncokret in Croatia from 1993-95, serving Bosnians fleeing the war in their homeland. Upon return to the U.S., she worked for Conflict Resolution Catalysts in Vermont, as program manager, establishing a volunteer training program and writing grants to support indigenous initiatives within Bosnia, primarily the building of community "reconciliation" centers. She then served as a refugee resettlement caseworker and ESL services coordinator for Lutheran Social Service of Iowa, assisting both Bosnian and Somali refugees throughout Eastern Iowa.

April 13, "New Directions for University of Iowa Students Abroad"

Janis Perkins, director of the UI Office for Study Abroad, will share information on new international initiatives and opportunities for UI students, including new study abroad programs, internship opportunities, scholarship initiatives and opportunities for faculty to lead Study Abroad programs.

April 20, "The Real India"

Elizabeth Kutter, an editor and writer for the Cedar Rapids Gazette, will speak about the India that lies beyond tourists sites like the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri. Kutter's travels to India with Dr. Chirantan Ghosh, a Cedar Rapids oncologist and native of Calcutta, took her to the slums and suburbs of Calcutta. She interviewed doctors and researchers at universities and hospitals as well as residents in rural farm villages and tribal villages of West Bengal. Her stories appeared in The Gazette issue dated February 8, 1998 to mixed reviews from the Indian Community in Cedar Rapids.

April 27, "Making History: Linking Africa's Past and Present in Contemporary Development Projects"

Michael L. McNulty, associate provost and dean of UI International Programs, will speak about the large-scale development projects being undertaken by African Governments, international donor agencies, global corporations and other interests to create national monuments, museums and parks within African nations. The central region of Ghana is the site of one of these development efforts involving the ancient trading forts and castles at Elmina and Cape Coast. This project involves the Ghanaian government, the local people, the U.S. Agency for International Development, international financial institutions, and many private and corporate interests. The project has been the source of considerable controversy as the various "stake-holders" have struggled to define the purpose of the project, which interests it should serve, and whose interpretations of Ghanaian history it should reflect. This project provides an excellent opportunity for understanding the process of "making history."