Dr. Lois Oppenheim, AJU's Political Science Department Co-Chair, is being recognized for her expertise in globalization both in India and Spain. The Spiritual Paradigm for Surmounting Global Management Crisis conference, to be held in Varanasi, India at the end of February, has invited Dr. Oppenheim to present her paper, Globalization, Mindfulness, and Community, at a plenary session. The focus is on creating a sense of connectedness and trust, and a healthy exchange of ideas, resources, and knowledge among the citizens of the world.
The position of the conference is that, "Something is grossly wrong in the overall global management scenario… the once established management paradigms are constantly failing." Simultaneously, interest in spirituality is growing among scholars, practitioners, and professionals with an emerging theme that spirituality may provide a model on how to surmount the management crisis faced by leadership, organizations, and professional disciplines across the world. Dr. Oppenheim's own research, and the political science department under her leadership has continued to evolve, providing students with classes that address the latest economic and cultural effects of globalization, including their impact on food production and consumption, international security, human rights, and environmental issues.
"I am looking forward to hearing new ideas and perspectives on spirituality and globalization at the conference," says Dr. Oppenheim. "At AJU we create a space for students to consider who they are, their place in the world, and what Judaism teaches us about navigating through the world. College is the time for them to do this, before they begin careers and families."
Dr. Oppenheim will also be participating in the International Political Science Association's conference in Spain this July. Their world congress, Reshaping Power, Shifting Boundaries, will examine how globalization is leading to reconfigurations of power and boundaries. As a renowned expert on the politics of Chile, who specializes in third world and Latin American politics, Dr. Oppenheim will participate in a panel discussion about the impact that the current U.S./European economic crisis is having on Latin America.
Between conferences, Dr. Oppenheim will be taking a group of AJU students, as she does every April, to San Francisco to participate in a program for college students, the Model United Nations of the Far West (MUNFW), which simulates the U.N. Every year the conference assigns each college team a different country; this year AJU will represent Haiti. The students must study the culture, history, economic structure, and politics of Haiti. In addition, they need to understand the position Haiti would take on a myriad of social, economic, military, and political issues, including with whom they might ally. Last year, AJU's Finnish delegation scored enough points to be awarded the coveted Certificate of Achievement.