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Diplomacy Lab Coming

Subject to a final review and confirmation by the U.S. State Department, the University of Tennessee, through the Howard Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy, has been selected to be a partner institution in Diplomacy Lab. UT will be one of a handful of universities participating in the program. Professors Brandon Prins and Krista Wiegand will develop a class related to real world security challenges identified by State Department.  Undergraduate students will work on policy responses to these challenges. Students will interact with State Department officials both via video conference and travel to DC to present and discuss their ideas and work. This will be a great collaborative program for the Baker Center and the Department of Political Science, but most importantly, it offers a unique opportunity for our students.

Professor Krista Wiegand traveled the world in the Spring 2015. She taught classes during the Semester at Sea's voyage on the M.V. Explorer, There were 630 students and about thirty-five  faculty members teaching classes on the ship. They traveled 23,500 nautical miles to twelve countries in East Asia, South Asia, and Africa. Professor Wiegand taught three courses: Human Rights, International Relations, and Politics of Developing Areas. She led her classes on visits to Non-Governmental Organizations in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai, China as field trips related to the courses. Classes were held almost every day when the group was at sea, with two to seven day trips to ports of call where students and faculty explored Myanmar, India, Mauritius, and South Africa. Professor Wiegand reports that the experience was incredible. Not only were the faculty and students able to see the world and live and work on a ship for four months, but to learn so much more about international relations and global security to supplement her research, as well as to broaden experiences she can share with students at UT.

During the summer 2015 Professor Ian Down led a group of UT students on a study abroad trip to London. The students lived in the center of London and undertook a course on the British Political System and Political Culture, combining class material with visits to historic sites, such as the Banqueting House, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, the Cabinet War Rooms, the Royal Courts of Justice, Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace. In addition, students met with representatives of the United Kingdom political parties – the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, the United Kingdom Independence Party and the Scottish National Party – and visited a variety of politically and historically relevant locations within London. Professor Down is already planning a similar trip for summer 2016.

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