The Korean American Student Association and the Elliott School of International Affairs have teamed up this semester to create a new student lecture series.
Sophomore KASA member Casey Reivich said the group began the series to highlight the academic interests and pursuits of students.
“The University has thoughtful, insightful, interesting students and we want to expose and celebrate this,” Reivich said. “The lectures provide a unique forum and atmosphere in the sense that they are both formal and informal.”
Reivich said she hopes to host one lecture a month this semester and expand the number next year. Students who are interested in speaking must present Reivich a rough sketch of their topic.
“Students who want to speak are showing that they think beyond the classroom and have a love for what they’re studying,” she said. Fifteen people attended senior Nicole Speulda’s lecture Feb. 9, the first in the series. Speulda discussed her 120-page thesis on nationalism in Ireland, where she lived for four months last year.
“I am really glad so many people came because it was the first time something like this has been done,” Speulda said. “I think there are a lot of students who study abroad or have other interesting experiences. (These students) are knowledgeable and have a lot to teach their peers.”
The idea for the student lecture series began when Speulda asked the Elliott School for a forum to give her speech, she said.
“I heard about Nicole’s problem and it seemed to fit in well with what KASA was trying to promote,” Reivich said.
KASA members, who last semester lobbied to promote a Korean studies program at GW, said the creation of a student lecture forum was an outgrowth of the group’s desire to improve academics, Reivich said.
ESIA Associate Director of External Affairs Carrie Lammers, who helped coordinate the program, said the school’s administration is excited about the program.
“We are offering support to the series, especially with advertising, but it’s really by students, for students,” Lammers said. “I would like to see students really get involved and take a hands-on, active role in it.”
Lammers said although the program is run by ESIA, the series is meant to include students from every school.
“An upcoming speaker might be discussing music by Mozart,” she said. “We want to broaden the scale of things we offer to students.”