St. Lawrence in the News - June 7, 2021 | St. Lawrence University

St. Lawrence in the News - June 7, 2021

This regular roundup features a selection of recent mentions of St. Lawrence University and its students, faculty, and staff in regional, national, and international media outlets. 

In a recent interview with North Country Public Radio on Friday, May 28, President Fox, who will retire at the end of June, reflected on the legacy he will leave behind.

“My hope is that I will be remembered for instilling a sense of community, that starts with the first principle about caring–caring for each other, caring for the institution, about caring for this remarkable North Country community,” said Fox. 

Fox was appointed president of St. Lawrence University in 2009. Throughout the Laurentian community and beyond, he is known for his forward-thinking approach to how St. Lawrence provides a liberal arts education. During his twelve years as president, Fox expanded international education, launched the Experience St. Lawrence Task Force, advanced service and learning opportunities in the North Country, and remained steadfast in his support of the Laurentian community. 

Associate Professor of Education Jeff Frank, who examines the philosophy of education, recently explored how the Greek philosopher Socrates would fare among media influencers in today's society and 'cancel culture' in his opinion piece published by on Wednesday, June 2. 

“If Socrates were alive today, he would remind us that exerting influence and asking questions that challenge deeply held values and beliefs comes with a responsibility that too few of our cultural and political leaders take seriously,” wrote Frank. “This is why Socrates would be canceled. Not because ‘snowflakes’ on the left would be offended by his hard questions. Socrates would be canceled because he demands accountability from people who exert influence over another person’s beliefs.”

Frank’s research focuses on the philosophy of education, liberal education, as well as teaching and teacher education. He has taught a First-Year Seminar (FYS) titled What Does it Mean to be Educated and courses in Contemporary Educational policy, Teaching and Teachers, and American Philosophies of Education.

Associate Professor of Biology Aswini Pai, whose research lies at the intersection of ethnobotany and ecology, shared gardening best practices and the important role that bees play in a garden in an opinion piece originally published by the Utica Observer Dispatch on Thursday, May 27. 

“Pollinators such as native wild bees are the reason that fruits and vegetables line the bins in your cellar and your refrigerator,” wrote Pai. “This summer, as you dig around in your garden and feel one with the earth, think how small changes in your gardening habits could reward these tiny but critically important critters that make up a significant part of your world.”

As an ethnobotanist and a plant ecologist, Pai is interested in the ecology of economically important plant species in the wild and agroecosystems, especially medicinal plants. She has conducted fieldwork in India, Nepal, North America, and Borneo. Pai regularly teaches General Biology, Ethnobotany, Tropical Ecology, Medicinal Plant Ecology, and Forest Ecology of Asia.

Professor of Global Studies John Collins, the author of multiple books about Palestine, recently shared his perspective on reactions to the Israel-Palestine conflict through an op-ed originally published by The Record/ on Thursday, May 20. 

“If you are a liberal who is troubled by what is happening in Palestine, hear these voices. Recognize the structural realities that they reveal. Confront your own complicity and responsibility to be a part of the struggle for justice and decolonization. Don’t look away,” wrote Collins. 

Collins is an original member of the global studies department at St. Lawrence. His course work focuses on themes of globalization, nationalism, colonialism, violence, memory, political activism, and media criticism. Among the courses he regularly teaches at St. Lawrence are Theories of Global Cultural Studies, Global Palestine, and Blogging the Globe: News Analysis and Investigative Journalism. 

Associate Professor of History Howard Eissenstat recently commented on the prosecutorial harassment of opposition figures in Turkish politics in an article published by Arab News on Tuesday, May 29.

“Some of this is centrally planned, while other parts, I suspect, come from individual prosecutors attempting to demonstrate their loyalty to the government,” said Eissenstat. “So far, the real target of this has been the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, but this new investigation is part of a broadening campaign of pressure against the CHP.”

On Tuesday, May 4, Eissenstat’s expert insight into Turkey’s priorities following the Biden administration’s acknowledgment of the Armenian genocide was mentioned in an article published by the international media outlet Asia Times.

Eissenstat's research focuses on nationalism and Islam in the 19th century Ottoman Empire and the history of the Turkish Republic. His recent work has focused increasingly on contemporary Turkish domestic and foreign policy, especially on issues of rule-of-law, minority rights, and the reshaping of political culture under the Justice and Development Party (AKP). In addition to traditional academic work, Eissenstat served for over a decade as a Turkey Country Specialist for Amnesty International-USA. He has lectured at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. military, and the Canadian Foreign Service Institute and given testimony to the Canadian Senate, and offered briefings to Congressional Committees.

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