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Indiana University hosting its first Diplomacy Lab Symposium

For Immediate Release Apr 6, 2017
A student paying attention in class
Students in a global media studies class listen via Skype to a State Department information officer.Emma Knutson

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana University Diplomacy Lab program is hosting its first Diplomacy Lab Symposium on April 12 in the Indiana Memorial Union Solarium.

The event brings together faculty and students on the IU Bloomington campus who are involved in experiential learning and research projects involving U.S. foreign policy. Presentations by student participants and an introductory keynote by Lee Feinstein, dean of the School of Global and International Studies, will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. and are open to the public.

The U.S Department of State designated IU Bloomington as an official Diplomacy Lab institution in fall 2016. Supported by the School of Global and International Studies, Diplomacy Lab @ IU links university research (mainly through class projects) to real-world international diplomacy problems posed by organizations and embassies within the U.S. State Department.

Launched in 2013, Diplomacy Lab is a public-private partnership that enables the State Department to “course-source” research and innovation related to global policy challenges by harnessing the efforts of students and faculty experts at U.S. colleges and universities.

Students work on a project together
IU Bloomington students work on a project for an international studies course on food security.

Each semester, the State Department accepts about 100 Diplomacy Lab project proposals with topics covering every continent on Earth and topics including culinary diplomacy, human rights, refugee assistance, global health and security concerns.

The IU Bloomington program has in its first year been host to 11 classes involving over 150 students from six academic departments in four schools. Projects involve both undergraduate and graduate students and have been incorporated into existing fall-semester courses or developed as one-on-one mentoring assignments.

Current semester projects include an energy research project for the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam, conflict mediation in Africa and research on antisemitism in Europe.

The symposium is jointly sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Global and International Studies, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the School of Public Health-Bloomington. Refreshments will be provided at the public session.

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