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August 14, 2013

Joao Vale de Almeida, European Union ambassador to the United States, was the featured speaker at a luncheon marking the conclusion of a week-long professional development workshop for ten faculty members from the University of Duhok in Kurdistan.

The ambassador was introduced by state Sen. Marc Pacheco of Taunton and welcomed by Dr. Michael Kryzanek, executive director of the Minnock Center for International Engagement.

Dr. Jabbar Al-Obaidi, professor of communication studies at BSU and director of the Center for Middle East Studies, spoke of the ambassador’s contribution to the weeklong program.

“The workshop participants from the University of Duhok were pleased to have the chance to hear his remarks on the European Union’s efforts to boost world-wide economic development and foster good diplomatic relations,” he said.

The five-day workshop focused on curriculum assessment and academic program review. Eight of the ten administrators from the University of Duhok were deans.

In addition to President Dana Mohler-Faria and Provost Howard London, more than a dozen BSU faculty and administrators participated in the workshop.

The program included a trip to Boston for the visiting faculty members and administrators where they toured the Statehouse with Sen. Pacheco and met with Dr. Saeyun Lee, policy director in the state Executive Office of Education.

During their visit to the Statehouse, Sen. Pacheco told the visitors, “‘You are looking from this opening to the city of Boston. You are looking at freedom.’ ” The deans presented him with Kurdistan's flag.

The group also visited Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The luncheon was sponsored by the Minnock Center for International Engagement in conjunction with the Massachusetts Legislative Caucus on International Trade and Global Competitiveness and the Massachusetts Portuguese American Legislative Caucus.  (Story and photo by David K. Wilson, '71, University Advancement)