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The Center for Social Development (CSD) and the Gephardt Institute for Public Service at Washington University in St. Louis and DukeEngage of Duke University will host a symposium on international service and higher education from March 30-April 1 at the Knight Center at Washington University.

Leaders in higher education and international service will come together to advance knowledge, practice and policy that supports effective international service in higher education settings.


“International service is not new to higher education, but it is at the threshold of a new era,” says Amanda Moore McBride, PhD, director of the Gephardt Institute and research director for the CSD at Washington University.


McBride, a professor at the Brown School at Washington University, is a symposium organizer.

“We have both the opportunity and responsibility in higher education to support and critically assess the international service performed by our students,” she says.


Carol Bellamy, former director of the Peace Corps and former UNICEF executive director, will serve as the symposium’s keynote speaker at 4 p.m. on March 30 in Brown Hall Lounge.


Bellamy’s lecture, co-sponsored by Missouri Campus Compact, is free and open to the public.


Other noted symposium speakers are David L. Caprara, director of the Initiative on Volunteering and Service at the Brookings Institution, and Rye Barcott, author of It Happened on the Way to War: A Marine’s Path to Peace and co-founder of the non-governmental organization Carolina for Kibera.

International service in a higher education setting can range from internships and alternative spring breaks to study abroad programs and service programs.


“These diverse forms of service pursue a wide variety of objectives and use different teaching approaches,” says Eric Mlyn, PhD, executive director of DukeEngage and symposium organizer. DukeEngage provides funding for Duke undergraduates who wish to pursue an immersive service experience by meeting a community need locally, domestically or internationally.


“This symposium will review the history and purposes of international service in higher education,” Mlyn says. “We will focus on effective service models, with attention to scalability, cost-effectiveness, and impacts for all involved.”


Celebrating the Peace Corps 50th anniversary


The symposium also will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps with the first annual Global Stewardship Awards at 5:30 p.m. on March 31 at the Anheuser-Busch Dining Hall at the Knight Center.


Co-hosted by the St. Louis Peace Corps Association, a group of local returned Peace Corps volunteers, the awards will honor Patricia A. Wolff, MD, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and founder of Meds & Food for Kids-Haiti (MFK), and former Sen. Christopher Bond, a noted advocate for the Peace Corps.


Harris Wofford, former senator for Pennsylvania, and Kevin Quigley, president of the National Peace Corps Association, will serve as featured speakers.


The symposium is hosted in partnership with the Brookings Institution, the Building Bridges Coalition and ServiceWorld.


The Center for Social Development at Washington University and the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution have collaborated on the International Volunteering and Service Initiative since 2006. They lead impact studies on international service, and co-sponsored a research and policy forum on the topic in 2010.


Current research includes an experimental design with Dr. Ed O’Neil of Omni Med, assessing the community health outcomes of international service in Uganda.


Participation in the symposium is by invitation only. For more information about the event, contact the Center for Social Development at 314-935-4212.