Redefining Citizenship in a Global Context
In keeping with the Marist Mission Statement's emphasis on "enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the
global community of the 21st century," the School of Liberal Arts encourages students to take an active role
as members of regional, national, and global communities. For example, the activities of the United Nations
Club (pictured above and bottom, left, on trips to the UN in Manhattan) provide students with both a practical
and theoretical understanding of international diplomacy. Events organized by the Global Studies Program,
such as a recent talk on responses to the Ebola crisis by aid workers in West Africa, strengthen students'
ability to connect their academic work with contemporary issues and controversies.
Approximately half of all undergraduates at the College take part
in international study, often involving on-the-ground service and
internship experiences, such as the Hansard Scholars
Programme in London and in many placements coordinated by
the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures. These
experiences whet many students' appetites for active study of
international affairs. The second annual Student World Affairs
Conference, to be hosted by the College in February 2015, will
enable students to share their insights and experiences with
like-minded peers and faculty from a variety of other colleges.
Such conversations are not confined to those with majors in
political science or history; in Fall 2014, for example, the English
honor society, Sigma Tau Delta, sponsored "Beyond Borders,"
an interdisciplinary discussion of geopolitical and cultural barriers.
Students also organize and take part in issue-oriented events to foster their active citizenship. Participants in
the annual Sustainability Day, pictured bottom, right, explore both the regional and global significance of
environmental issues. The newly launched Center for Civic Engagement & Leadership has already
fostered new kinds of conversations surrounding citizenship here on campus and beyond. In the classroom,
First Year Seminars, such as Genocide and Human Rights; Greening America; The Global Drug Trade; and
Muslims & Arabs in America & Europe encourage students to consider international topics from the very outset
of their college study. Recent graduates such as Katie Hamer '04, Kristen O'Brien '14, Kendra McKechnie '14,
and Daniel Buzi '04 affirm that their academic and extracurricular work in the School of Liberal Arts provided
a strong foundation for their professional lives in government, education, and community outreach.