Vol. VI No. 23 - Tuesday
July 31, - August 6, 2007



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


ACADEMIA NUTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Mae Jo University students learn about U.S. foreign policy

Chiang Mai University to host Global Warming seminar

Award winning authors gather in Chiang Mai

Mae Jo University students learn about U.S. foreign policy

US Vice Consul John Spykerman spoke about U.S. foreign policy to students and faculty from Mae Jo University’s Faculty of Public Administration. The invitation was extended by Ajarn Pattara Chompooming, who had participated in a similar Consulate and Embassy sponsored program at Chiang Mai University on June 27.

Vice Consul John Spykerman speaks to Mae Jo University political science students on the impact of U.S. foreign policy on global affairs. Photo courtesy of US Consulate Chiang Mai.

Some 70-80 students and faculty attended the seminar, with another 70-80 joining in from Mae Jo’s satellite campus in Phrae by digital video connection.
Spykerman’s talk focused on the goals of U.S. foreign policy and how foreign policy is made. As part of his presentation, he described how embassies and consulates work and offered case studies on U.S.-Myanmar policy and U.S.-Thai relations.
Participants both at the Mae Jo campus and in Phrae took the chance to ask the U.S. official about issues such as violence in southern Thailand, the draft constitution, the public image of the U.S. abroad, engagement with China and India, Iraq, environmental policies, and educational opportunities in the U.S.
The Consulate staff provided give-away items, including Consulate t-shirts and CDs about the U.S. Staff also distributed materials promoting the reference services of the U.S. Embassy’s Information Resource Center, where students and others can use to learn more about topics such as American politics and government, foreign affairs and defense, economics and trade, education and culture, and global issues.


Chiang Mai University to host Global Warming seminar

Saksit Meesubkwang
Prof. Phongsak Angkasit, Rector of Chiang Mai University revealed that on the occasion of His Majesty the King’s 80th Birthday on the 5th December, the university will be holding its 3rd Academics Day titled “The Way to Research for a Peaceful and Happy Society” to be held 22-24 November. The event is being held in honor of His Majesty and the opening ceremony will be presided by the Hon. Prof. Dr. Kasem Wattanachai, Privy Councilor and Chairman of the University Board.
The issues discussed at the event will include the effects of global warming which is accelerating natural disasters such as droughts, forest fires, warming and floods. Global warming is the result of the present increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the increase in the global population, as well as economic development and the unlimited consumption of energy resulting in the greenhouse effect
The Rector added that global warming increases global temperatures and has great adverse effects on the ecology, the health of the people and affects tourism related industries and other related sectors. The seminar will be a stage for the mobilization of ideas of experienced researchers and analysts to monitor the effects of global warming.
The activities at the event will include demonstrations by leading researchers and academic studies from three fields, social science and humanities, health sciences and science and technology which will cover topics such as research and community needs, environmental changes, effects on health, effects on tourism, remedies by the government and the private sector. Thai and foreign experts on climate change will be speaking at the event.
An awards ceremony will also take place to honor leading academics of the university during 2007.


Award winning authors gather in Chiang Mai

A dozen writers from the United States, Europe and the Philippines chose Chiang Mai for a 10-day brainstorming session with award-winning authors Rebecca Walker and Chris Abani.

Members of Chiang Mai’s literary scene had a chance to hear a firsthand account of Abani’s extraordinary life and writing career at a reception at the Writers Club and Wine Bar. (from left to right) Barbara Barry, Felicity Aulino, Writers Club host Bob Tilley and award-winning Nigerian-born author Chris Abani.

The workshops, at a resort hotel outside Chiang Mai, were organized by the California organization Abroad Writers. Organizer Nancy Gerbauld said: “Chiang Mai offered an ideal setting for our writers to network and gain new insights.”
Rebecca Walker conducted workshops on her specialty, non-fiction and memoir writing. Her memoir “Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self” became an international best seller. Time magazine named her as one of the 50 most influential future leaders of America.
Workshops on fiction writing were held by Chris Abani, widely-acclaimed Nigerian-born author and described by one American critic as “a world-class novelist and poet.”
Abani was jailed in his homeland by a regime that found his first novel a threat to national security. He was later sentenced to death for his anti-regime views, but international pressure contributed to his release and he resettled in California. CMM Reporters



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