Colombia after the Drug War

Event Date: December 12

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Club Room , Hoogland Center for the Arts

Dinner:Club Room , Hoogland Center for the Arts

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.


Dr. Stan Ruecker is the Anthony J. Petullo Professor in Design at the University of Illinois. For the past three years, he has been working with colleagues at the National University of Colombia, focusing most recently on design for peace in post-conflict zones. Dr. Ruecker will discuss the 50 years of civil war in Colombia involving jungle fighting among four armies. In July 2017 the communist guerrillas known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a peace treaty with the government. FARC unilaterally disarmed and began a process toward reincorporation into society that led to convening a diverse group of people to attend the International Development Design Summit, “Building Peace, Reconciliation through Co-creation”. It envisioned the design for a new future for all stakeholders to achieve reconciliation.

Mr. Andrew Koch was born and raised in Springfield, Illinois. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a minor in Spanish. From 2016 through 2018, Mr. Koch served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia where he supported small business development, micro-finance projects, and financial literacy initiatives. He will share his experience and perspective on day-to-day lives of people in the rural Caribbean region of Colombia, the Peace Corps, and small business development and micro-finance in Colombia. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Mr Koch lived and worked for two years in the community of Fundación, Magdalena, Colombia. It has an estimated population of 60,000 residents, the majority of them are living in vulnerable conditions at or below the poverty line.

Dr. Adriana Piatti-Crocker joined the UIS faculty in 2006. A native Argentinean, she is a professor of Political Science and teaches comparative politics and international relations courses with an emphasis on Latin American politics. Her 2017 book, Gender Quotas in South America’s Big Three: National and Subnational Impacts, focuses on policies intended to promote the inclusion of women in Latin America’s legislatures and their effects. Dr. Piatti-Crocker received the distinguished 2016 Pearson Faculty Award that recognizes a faculty member whose performance exemplifies UIS commitment to excellence in teaching. In 2018, she became the first Presidential Fellow from UIS. Dr. Piatti-Crocker will moderate a panel discussion during the Question & Answer session.

“How World War I Changed the World”

Event Date: November 26

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Student Union Ballroom, University of Illinois at Springfield

Dinner: Student Union Ballroom,University of Illinois at Springfield

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

2018 marks 100 years since the end of World War I – “The Great War,” the “War to End All Wars.” However, the 20th century continued to be scarred by devastating wars among nations. In commemorating the armistice on November 11, 1918 that ended World War I, the following interdisciplinary presentation illustrates the significant international and domestic effects of the world’s first global war.

Mr. Karl L. Rubis will discuss how World War I witnessed the appearance of modern, mechanized warfare, yet the massive destructiveness over four years resulted in a stalemate with no clear victor. Following the war, each major country innovated new military systems and coped with the new international political regimes.

Mr. Rubis has a M.A degree in American History and Military History from the University of Kansas and a B.A. degree in History from Pepperdine University. He also has a Certificate in International Relations from Johns Hopkins’ University School of Advanced International Studies. Mr. Rubis has taught courses at the University of Kansas, University of California at Los Angeles, Pepperdine University, and the University of Richmond. He is a member of the Society for Military History and has presented at its annual conferences. He has published articles and book reviews in Army History and other publications on military history and logistics. Mr. Rubis also is a graduate of the Naval War College who retired in 2016 from the U.S. Navy as a Naval Intelligence Officer.

Dr. Christine A. Anderson will explore the war that provided a rapid turning point in the women’s movement and the rise of modern feminism in the Western world. The women’s movement experienced an array of achievements and setbacks, and had vast social and cultural implications upon people’s daily lives.

Dr. Anderson has a Ph.D. in British History, a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, a M.A. in British History from the University of Kansas, and a B.A. in History from the College of Wooster. Her research interests include late 19th and early 20th century cultural history and women’s history. Dr. Anderson has published several book reviews and anthology chapters in Feminist Writings from Ancient Times to the Modern World: A Global Sourcebook and History, Volume II: 1900-2009. She has taught courses at the University of Kansas, Marymount University, Richard Bland College of William and Mary, University of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Anderson is a member of the North American Conference on British Studies, The Victorians Institute, the American Historical Association and the National Women Studies Association.

“Great Britain’s Decision to Leave the European Union”

Event Date: October 16

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Brookens Auditorium, University of Illinois at Springfield

Dinner: Public Affairs Restaurant ,University of Illinois at Springfield

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

Professor Chris McDonald will  present this program on Brexit. 

In this presentation and discussion, Dr. Chris McDonald will examine several aspects of the chaotic “Brexit” situation. He will start with a review of the origins of Britain’s decision to break away from the European Union (EU) and a consideration of the referendum campaign and results, and then identify some of the key moments since the vote as the various actors have struggled to come to terms with the outcome. Finally, he will consider the current situation and sketch out some alternative paths that EU- GB relations may follow, and what the consequences may be.

Chris McDonald joined the Political Science faculty at Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) in 1998 after completing his doctorate in Political Science at the University of Georgia. McDonald has conducted research into the nature of European institutions including the European Union in cooperation with a colleague in the Netherlands, publishing several articles examining the attitude of European labor unions toward EU immigration policy and also the status of Turkey regarding the EU. For many years McDonald spoke in the World A airs Council’s “Great Decisions” series and continues to be active in examining international issues with his Model UN students.

More recently McDonald’s focus has shifted towards a more historical consideration of broader patterns of conflict within Europe and globally. Much of McDonald’s teaching at LLCC is in entry level political science classes; however, he has had a number of opportunities to teach about the EU and has, on four occasions, led student groups to visit European countries. McDonald lives in Rochester with his wife, pianist Maria Horvath, and their son.

Sino-American Relations: Competition or Conflict?

Event Date: September 17

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Student Union, University of Illinois at Springfield

Dinner:Student Union ,University of Illinois at Springfield

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

Professor Michael Swaine will  present on the relationship between the U.S. and China. 

Michael Swaine is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and one of the most prominent American analysts in Chinese security studies. Formerly a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, Swaine is a specialist in Chinese defense and foreign policy, U.S.-China relations, and East Asian international relations.

Dr. Swaine has authored and edited more than a dozen books and monographs and many journal articles and book chapters in these areas. These include America’s Challenge: Engaging a Rising China in the Twenty-First Century (2011) and Sino-American Crisis Management and the U.S.-Japan Alliance (2009).

His latest analysis includes: “The U.S. Can’t Afford to Demonize China” for Foreign Policy, “Chinese Views on the U.S. National Security and National Defense Strategies” for China Leadership Monitor, and “Creating an Unstable Asia: the U.S. ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’ Strategy” for Foreign Affairs.

Dr. Swaine directs several security-related projects with Chinese partners, and advises the U.S. government on Asian security issues. He received his doctorate in government and a master’s degree from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University.


From Russia with Love: Combating Human Trafficking from the Post-Soviet Region to Central Illinois

Event Date: May 23

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Hoogland Center –  Club Room

Dinner: Hoogland Center – Club Room

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

Laura A. Dean is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Millikin University. From 2014-2016 she was an Assistant Professor at Clayton State University in Georgia. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 2014 with a Ph.D. in Political Science. She also has a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (2013) and a Master of Arts in Political Science (2011) from the University of Kansas, a Master of Arts in International Studies focusing on Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies (2006) from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor of Arts in World Politics (2003) from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

Dr. Dean researches gender and politics issues focusing on public policy, migration, and gender based violence in the former Soviet Union. Her research has been supported by the American Asso- ciation of University Women, Social Science Research Council, Fulbright Program, Rotary Foundation, and appeared in The Journal of Comparative

Policy Analysis, Human Rights Review, Journal Teorija in Praksa and Femina Politica, the Feminist Journal of Political Science. In the summer of 2016, she was a Title VIII Summer Research Scholar at the Kennan Institute, part of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

She is the adviser of the Model United Nations Club, a member of the Gender Studies Committee and the Leadership Planning Committee.

Climate Change as a Civil and Human Rights Issue

Event Date: April 16

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

Program: Brookens Auditorium, University of Illinois at Springfield

Dinner: PAC Restaurant

All programs are free and open to the public. Dinners require a reservation.

As the Director of the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program, Jacqueline Patterson works with community leaders in the United States and around the world to address climate change as a human and civil rights issue. Research demonstrates that climate change does not and will not affect all communities equally. People of color, low-income communities, and women are more vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change.

Patterson will discuss why climate change is an important human and civil rights issue, and she will explain how the NAACP is working to empower community leaders to address the causes of climate change, rectify its impacts, and advance a global society that fosters sustainable, cooperative, regenerative communities.

Jacqueline Patterson is the Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. Since 2007 Patterson has served as coordinator and co- founder of Women of Color United. She has also worked as a researcher, program manager, coordinator, advocate and activist working on women‘s rights, violence against women, HIV&AIDS, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental and climate justice.

Patterson holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves on the International Committee of the US Social Forum, the Steering Committee for Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, Advisory Board for Center for Earth Ethics as well as on the Boards of Directors for the Institute of the Black World, Center for Story Based Strategy and the US Cli- mate Action Network. She also served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica, West Indies.

Venezuela Collapses

Event Date: March 6

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

UIS Student Center, University of Illinois at Springfield

All programs are free and open to the public

Professor Michael Coppedge from Notre Dame University will present “Venezuela Collapses.”  Venezuela used to be the richest country in South America and a showcase of stable democracy. Now it is an unstable dictatorship with a collapsing economy. What happened? What’s next?

Michael Coppedge is Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and a Faculty Fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, where he co-leads the Democratization Theory Research Cluster.

He is also one of the principal investigators of the Varieties of Democracy project, which has produced new measures of hun- dreds of aspects of democracy and governance for nearly all countries since 1900.

He is the author of Democratization and Research Methods (Cam-
bridge University Press, 2012); Strong Parties and Lame Ducks: Presidential Partyarchy and Factionalism in Venezuela (Stanford University Press, 1994); and dozens of articles and chapters on democratization, research methods, and Latin American political parties and elections. His current research projects cover the nature, causes, and consequences of democracy, especially democracy measurement and the diffusion of democracy.

The US Healthcare System(s): Time for International Comparative Policy Analysis

Event Date: Thursday, February 1

UIS Student Center, University of Illinois at Springfield

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.

All programs are free and open to the public

Dr. Jerry Kruse has been appointed Dean and Provost of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, effective January 1, 2016. He has served in the dual role of Executive Associate Dean of the SIU School of Medicine and CEO of SIU HealthCare, the 300 physician faculty practice plan, since January 2013. He will continue in his position as CEO of SIU HealthCare. Dr. Kruse is Professor of Family & Community Medicine (with tenure) and Professor of Med- ical Education at the SIU SOM, and has been on faculty at SIU for 31 years.

He has served many roles at SIU, including: Chair of the De-
partment of Family & Community Medicine (1996-2013), Residency
Program Director for the SIU-Quincy Family Medicine Program
(1991-2003), Director of Clinical Operations of the Quincy Family
Medicine Center (1984-2003), Complex Office Laboratory Director of
the Quincy Family Medicine Center and Quincy Center for Family Medicine FQHC (1984-present), Chair of the SIU SOM Educational Policy Council (the SIU SOM cur- riculum committee 2000-2011) , and two terms on the Tenure and Promotions Committee.

Dr. Kruse is a native of Salisbury, Missouri, and completed all of his training at the University of Missouri- Columbia – BA Chemistry 1975, MD 1979, Residency in Family & Community Medicine 1982, Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship in Academic Family Medicine 1984, MSPH 1984. He has been an active member of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (President 2012-2013, chair of the Academic Family Medicine Advocacy Committee), the Association of Departments of Family Medicine (long time chair of the Legislative Affairs Committee), the Association of Family Practice Res- idency Directors, and the North American Primary Care Research Group. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for both the American Board of Family Medicine and for Family Medicine for America’s Health. From 2007-2011, he served on the Council on Graduate Medical Education, the leading healthcare workforce policy body that advised HHS Secretaries Leavitt and Sebelius and the health care legislation authorizing commit- tees of Congress.

Dr. Kruse was a frequent member of a team that provided public health and acute medical care in Honduras. Dr. Kruse is a student of the interactions of biology and soci- ety. He has pioneered cooperative relationships between osteopathic and allopathic insti- tutions and interprofessional systems of care. Dr. Kruse has a special interest in cross-cultural and population health to inform effective policies and improve health care systems.

He and his wife, Lois, have three children, Emily, a poet at Oregon State University-Cascades, Julie, an elementary and preschool teacher in Columbia, South Carolina, and Anna, a biostatitician and PhD candidate in clinical epidemiology-maternal and child health at the University of North Carolina. Among other things, Dr. Kruse enjoys golf, wine, trumpet and humorous poetry.

Trump and the World Economy

Monday, December 4, 2017

Reception 5:30 p.m.; Dinner 6:15 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m.
Hoogland Center for the Arts, Club Room
420 South Sixth Street, Springfield, Illinois

The program is open to the public and is free. 

Dr. Steven Livingston, Professor of Political Science

Donald Trump appears to be inaugurating the biggest change in America’s foreign trade policy since the 1930s. Dr. Livingston will discuss why and how he is trying to do this.  Will he succeed?  And if he does, what will result – for the U.S., and for the world?

Dr. Steven Livingston is the Associate Director of the Business and Economic Research Center and a professor of Political Science at Middle Tennessee State University. He edits Global Commerce, a quarterly trade newsletter, which has twice been the recipient of the AUBER Award for Excellence in Publications. The author of two books and numerous papers and articles, his research focuses upon America’s international economic policies and he closely tracks state and regional-level international trade activity.

Dr. Livingston has been awarded the Pew Charitable Trust Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs, and he has been an Academic Fellow of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He is a Professeur Invité at the Université de Caen, where he has taught on the politics of the international economy each year since 2004. He has received grants related to his trade research from the Energy Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, among others. Dr. Livingston received his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University, where he was an Associate of the Harvard Center for International Affairs.


Mexican Democracy in the Age of Uncertainty

World Affairs Council of Central Illinois Presentation/Dinner

Speaker: Duncan Wood

Program: Thursday, November 9, 2017

7:30 pm, Conference Room C\D, Public Affairs Center, University of Illinois at Springfield
Program is free and open to the public.

Reception 5:30/Dinner 6:15 pm in Conference Room C\D

Duncan Wood, Director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute since January 2013, is a “North American citizen,” lecturing and publishing widely in the United States, Mexico and Canada on intracontinental issues and relations, politics, security and trade with a primary focus on U.S.-Mexican ties.

A widely-quoted authority on energy policy, international banking regulation and corruption, he works closely with the World Economic Forum and leverages decades of experience at Mexico’s leading universities and newspapers.

Before coming to the Wilson Center, Dr. Wood served as professor and director of International Relations Program at Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) in Mexico City for 17 years. Prior to ITAM, Dr. Wood led the Renewable Energy Initiative at the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute and is a two level member of the Mexican National Research System.

He has been editorial advisor to both Reforma and El Universal newspapers, and member of editorial board of Foreign Affairs Latinoamerica. In 2007, he was a non-resident Fulbright Fellow and between 2007 and 2009, he was technical secretary of Red Mexicana de Energia, experts in energy policy in Mexico.

He has been a Senior Associate with the Simon Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. His research focuses on Mexican and Latin American energy policy, including renewable energy.

Dr. Wood studied in the UK and in Canada, receiving his PhD in Political Studies from Queen’s University, Canada in 1996. He is a recipient of Canadian Governor General’s Visit Award for contributions to Mexico-Canada relationship.

The Wilson Center, chartered by Congress as the living memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, is the nation’s key non partisan policy forum. In tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue, the Center informs actionable ideas for Congress, the administration and the broader policy community.