Nearly 3,000 people came to hear U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s Oct. 15, 2015 address commemorating IU’s new School of Global and International Studies, the first campus visit by a sitting secretary of state in 20 years.
“I want to congratulate everybody here who played a part in conceiving of and developing your new School of Global and International Studies,” Kerry said during his foreign policy address at IU Auditorium. “It’s phenomenal. I just learned there are 70 different languages being taught … and you have an extraordinary number of Chinese and other students here on campus, truly international.”
Among those present at the lecture were the 10 graduate and undergraduate students invited to meet personally with Secretary Kerry, from areas of study including journalism, sociology, religious studies, political science and economics, among others. Two of those students, Katie Cierniak and JonZachary Forbes, share their experience meeting with Kerry in the guest blogs below.
Katie Cierniak is pursuing her Ph.D. in international and comparative education, with a minor in religious studies. Her Fulbright Student Research Grant recently took her to Bangladesh, which she describes in her blog post. Cierniak is also the recipient of the Dept. of Education’s Title VI Foreign Language Area Studies Scholarship (Islamic Studies Program). “This meeting helped to reaffirm my dedication to my chosen career path,” Cierniak writes.
JonZachary Forbes is an undergraduate pursuing degrees in international studies and East Asian languages & cultures with a minor in French. He is part of the Chinese Language Flagship program. “Secretary Kerry, who engages with the world’s most powerful people on these topics every day, seemed interested and excited to engage with students about topics ranging from West African electoral processes to Pakistani relations,” writes Forbes. “That day will always live in my memory.”