A note from Dean Lee Feinstein:
Dear Friends of the Hamilton Lugar School,
The end of the spring semester, normally a time of communal celebration, has this year given rise to more complicated emotions. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted all of our lives, and the Global and International Studies Building, which should be abuzz with final classes, spirited discussions, and commencement celebrations, has been quiet since the middle of March.
Guided by Indiana University’s far-sighted leadership, the school moved rapidly toward a new and uncertain life online. Our dedicated faculty adjusted their pedagogy to design and deliver virtual courses. Students adapted not only to an unfamiliar learning environment but also a life away from friends, teachers, and the comforts of campus. Staff and administrators worked from home providing the support and resources needed to ensure the continuity of studies.
I am both heartened and inspired to see our community unite to meet the challenge of this global health crisis with a dynamism that speaks to our resilience and passion. As the IU fight song goes, “never daunted, we cannot falter; in the battle, we’re tried and true.”
Though we live in extraordinary times, it’s important that our many joys aren’t forgotten.
Please join me in celebrating the following achievements:
- We are contributing to IU’s digital commencement in a way that only HLS can: through a heartfelt congratulations to graduating seniors in more than a dozen languages, plus well wishes from me and other faculty colleagues. We hope you’ll join our Facebook Live broadcast tomorrow (Saturday, May 9) at Noon EDT for the HLS Graduate Recognition.
- Our summer online courses have attracted widespread attention, offering a diversity of topics covering the regions and issues that animate our world. In addition to expanding the perspectives of current IU students, we now offer summer courses to high school students through IU’s OPEN Program.
- Our Summer Language Workshop, already a national leader in language education, has seen a record number enrollments as it transitions to teaching 22 languages in an online format.
- IU is tied for second nationally in Boren Awards, which helps students planning to serve in the Federal Government to study critical languages and cultures. HLS is proud to be educating ten of IU’s eleven Boren scholars and fellows.
- The US Department of State named IU one of the nation’s top contributors of Fulbright Scholars, highly accomplished students who use the federal grants to study or teach outside the US. I am delighted that four of IU’s fourteen Fulbright recipients are HLS students.
- We recently launched Globally Engaging Together (#GETHLS), an online platform to sustain and build our community as we strengthen our commitment to understanding international issues. It includes blog posts, articles, movie and book recommendations, favorite podcasts, and even a Spotify playlist.
- The Russian and East European Institute, Institute for European Studies, Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, and Polish Studies Center hosted a virtual conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. The interdisciplinary conference hosted panels that discussed challenges to democracy, the unity of Europe, and the pandemic’s effects on Europe’s migrant population.
- HLS senior Tyler Combs showed the impact of a global education with a second-place finish in the 2020 Jeopardy! College Championship.
- We bid farewell to Lieutenant Colonel Angela Reber, who joined HLS as its inaugural US Army War College Fellow. Please learn more about Angela and her experiences in the HLS Russian & East European Institute in this recent spotlight.
The pandemic has clarified the interconnectedness of our world and the need for global expertise at all levels of government and civil society. Now, more than ever, an education in international cooperation, regional studies, languages, and transnational issues is necessary for health, peace, and prosperity. Our graduates are on the front lines of the world’s most pressing problems, and our newest graduates will join the ranks of those working to promote shared understanding and add depth to pressing policy discussions.
As one of our namesakes, Congressman Lee Hamilton, said, “Our challenge as a nation is not to reinvent ourselves, but to use the abundant strengths we possess to find our way through our problems and to emerge stronger on the other side.”
It gives me tremendous optimism to see how our students and graduates are using their education to assist our nation and world as we all seek to emerge greater than we were before the pandemic.
Thanks to all of you for good counsel and support. With wishes of strength and good health in the weeks and months ahead.
Lee A. Feinstein