ESU Professor and Students Reflect on World Summits of Nobel Laureates
Sam Quainoo, Ph.D., professor and chair of political science at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, has now been to four World Summits of Nobel Laureates.
And they never cease to amaze.
Dr. Quainoo, along with two ESU students, attended the 16th World Summit of Nobel Laureates from February 2-6 in Bogota, Colombia. Quainoo, who also took part in previous summits in Poland, South Africa and Spain, participated in workshops with other students led by leaders from around the world, including the presidents of Colombia, Costa Rica and Poland. The Summit’s goal is to find viable ways to bring about peaceful resolutions to conflicts around the world.
“With almost every trip, there are different issues highlighted, and you have a different Nobel Laureate featured,” Quainoo said. “We meet different students from all over the world. Probably the most interesting part for me are the informal discussions. You learn so much from people from different cultures and what their perspectives are. You get first-hand information that you would never get if you stayed in your own country.”
Since Quainoo can bring only a limited number of students with him – this year he took Angela Cantor and Mia Gaeta – he makes sure to bring as much of the trip back with him as possible. He and the students take countless photos and then sit down with other students in his classes and gives a presentation about what they experienced. In addition, ESU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Joanne Zakartha Bruno, J.D., invited Quainoo, Gaeta and Cantor to share their experiences with faculty members.
Quainoo, who is originally from Ghana and has traveled all over the world, was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk about what he learned from the trip, and even happier two ESU students had the chance to share all they learned during the trip.
Gaeta, a junior political science major in the college of arts and sciences who graduated from Pen Argyl High School, was born in Russia and adopted when she was 2. While she loves America and appreciates all she has here, she has always wanted to travel. This trip gave her that chance.
“To me, this was an opportunity of a lifetime,” Gaeta said. “How do you pass this up? I am very big into learning about other cultures and seeing what they prioritize. And I met other students from around the world, and we exchanged phone numbers and are now Facebook friends. I want to experience this all over again.”
Quainoo feels the same way. He’s eagerly awaiting the announcement for the site of next year’s Summit.
“It doesn’t matter to me where it is – I would like to go,” he said. “But if it’s a country I haven’t been to, that’s even better because I will get a chance to learn something new.”
Quainoo’s initiative is just one of many opportunities at ESU where faculty take students abroad for study in their specific disciplines. “This is a high impact, best practice,” said Peter Hawkes, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “It one of the many ways ESU encourages its students to expand their horizons in this global world.”