Student Conference Focuses on Humanitarian Aid

Monday, June 30, 2008

One of the most central values of Jesuit education is that of service to others, but just beyond that is the idea of magis, or the search for more. Ten Saint Joseph's University students joined their counterparts from other Jesuit institutions in combining those two concepts this past weekend at a national workshop for the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN).

From Friday, June 20 through Sunday, June 22 at Fordham University, the organization hosted "Engaging Students in Humanitarian Action," a workshop focused on bringing together undergraduate students, faculty, and staff from all the Jesuit universities in the country to share resources, expand their knowledge and advocate for solidarity on humanitarian issues. The workshop was designed to be especially useful to students who are interested in pursuing a career in humanitarian aid.

"Our goal in sending students to the workshop was to choose people with a real sense of the Jesuit ideals," said Nancy Fox, Ph.D., associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, who helped to organize the Saint Joseph's delegation. "One of the important goals of the conference is for the students to share what they learn with their home campus, and I'm certain this group will be excited to do just that."

At the workshop, students attended plenary and breakout sessions and discussed a number of issues, including the effects of humanitarian action by military and civic organizations, disaster management, world health and nutrition, sanitation, cross-cultural relationships, psychosocial programs and security.

Founded by the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs and Fordham University JUHAN aims to coordinate the coursework and training programs on humanitarian aid work with all Jesuit universities in the United State. The network is based on exchanging ideas, resources, and increasing the effectiveness of individual efforts among all Jesuit universities' responses to world humanitarian crises.

--Jeffrey Martin '04, '05 (M.A.)

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