Vassar Today

On Educating the Global Citizen

What must students consider as they enter a world in which politics, economics, even social ties are becoming increasingly international? During Vassar’s Sesquicentennial conference On Educating the Global Citizen, held November 11–13, students from Vassar and several peer institutions heard the perspectives and insights of prominent alumnae/i and faculty experts who addressed such topics as international relations, communications and the media, and the role of the academy in educating global citizens.

Noor Mir ’12, one of more than 40 Vassar students who participated in the conference, said, “As someone who was born and raised in Islamabad, Pakistan, I find that Vassar students are generally educated and politically and culturally aware of our similarities and differences. However, with today’s more antagonistic foreign policy decisions, I think a new, more encompassing approach should be taken towards the ‘global citizen’—including elements such as language, cultural awareness, foreign policy, and contemporary politics.” These issues are of particular concern to Mir, who plans to pursue a career in international relations, specifically in peace and conflict studies, and foreign policy.

Michael Mestitz ’12, a student organizer of the conference, said he wanted to help create a dialogue on “what it means to prepare students to be active in an international society.” Mestitz plans to pursue a career in law, but says, “Global issues are about so much more than working in a given field. Issues of media, scientific research, social justice, and international economics affect us all.”

VQ brings you a few of the highlights from the conference, where panelists addressed these issues and more.