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‘Teach-In’ on Human Dimension of Migration Crisis to Be Held at Ramapo College

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 6, 2015

MAHWAH, N.J.  – Ramapo College of New Jersey will hold a “teach-in” to help students put a human face on the current wave of migration into Europe brought about by turmoil in the Middle East and Africa. The program will focus on the migrants’ aspirations, resilience and the experiences of their quest for safety and a better life.

The teach-in, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Friday, October 23 from 10:15 a.m. to noon in the Trustees Pavilion at the College (PAV 1-3). The program is co-sponsored by Ramapo College’s School of Social Science and Human Service and the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. It is organized in conjunction with an ad-hoc faculty, staff and student initiative in solidarity with refugees.

Participants in the teach-in, who have had on-the ground experience of the phenomenon, will be:

Marilee Johns, the resettlement supervisor for the International Rescue Committee’s New York City’s regional office;

Timothy Jay Smith, a France-based American author who has been tirelessly working as a volunteer with refugees on the Greek Island of Lesbos;

Ivan Watson, CNN’s senior international correspondent based in Hong Kong who, from his former base in Istanbul, documented the surge of refugees across the border into Turkey and reported on the ethnic and sectarian cleansing of hundreds of thousands of minority Christians and Yazidis in Iraq by the militant group known as ISIS.

Behzad Yaghmaian, professor of Political Economy at Ramapo College and a frequent traveler to Turkey and its neighbors, is the author “Embracing the Infidel: Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journey West.” He will introduce the program by providing an overview of the topic.

Timothy Jay Smith and Ivan Watson will be participating in the event by teleconference. Each participant will deliver a brief statement on his or her view of the topic. Afterwards, the floor will be opened for a Question and Answer session.

Michael A. Riff, director of the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, will serve as moderator of the event.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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