Diverse Perspectives at the EPIIC Symposium

In a speech given during the Symposium, EPIIC student Maria Ferraz recounted how Director Sherman Teichman told the class at the beginning of the year that the goal was not for them to agree on everything they heard, but for them to be exposed to different ideas. This commitment to considering issues from multiple points of view starts with the composition of the EPIIC cohort itself, which attracts students from a wide spectrum of majors as well as many international students studying at Tufts. Adding to this intellectual diversity, almost 70 international students from 14 countries in Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East, and about 25 cadets and midshipmen from the United States Military Academy (West Point) and the United States Naval Academy are participating in the annual Symposium. Not to mention the more than 60 panelists who have come from around the world to share their expertise and experience with attendees.

Mingling with this rich group of people on the sidelines of the organized panels is one of the main attractions of the five day event, and is a key part of the unique “EPIIC vibe” in the words of Corporation Program Officer Pat Nicholas. In just one sitting, I talked with (photo, right to left) Kristina Piilik (an Estonian studying in Germany), Maria Jose Sanchez Herrera (Ecuador), Caio Duarte (Brazil), Diana Herrera (Ecuador), and Gitte Christensen (Denmark). Kristina Piilik is also a member of the current cohort of the University Consortium, another Corporation-sponsored program that brings together students from six U.S., European, and Russian universities for academic collaboration and increased mutual understanding. The week before the EPIIC Symposium, Kristina was at Harvard for the second module of the University Consortium, and presented her doctorate research on “The Role of the European Union, the United States of America, and the Russian Federation in Democratization Efforts in the Former Soviet Socialist Republics after the Dissolution of the USSR” as part of the student webinar.

To learn more about EPIIC (Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship) and other programs at Tuft University’s Institute for Global Leadership, visit their website at http://www.tuftsgloballeadership.org/.

For more on the University Consortium, housed at St Antony's College, visit their website at http://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/university-consortium.