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Global Awareness program begins Oct. 1 with ‘Iceland’s Saga Today’

Photographer, world traveler, and Communications Studies professor Carole Elchert will explore the island nation of Iceland in a special program Wednesday, Oct. 1. This free event is the first of this year’s Global Awareness presentations.

Photographer, traveler and professor Carole Elchert will discuss Iceland Oct. 1

Photographer, traveler and professor Carole Elchert will discuss Iceland Oct. 1

Entitled “Iceland’s Saga Today: Lessons from a Small Island,” the program will show how Iceland is a microcosm of global issues and a fascinating study of ways to deal with them. It will run from 11:40 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the multipurpose room, Room 186, on MMCC’s Mt. Pleasant campus. The program is open to the public.

Elchert’s presentation will look at Iceland’s approaches to the issues that face rich or poor, large or small countries around the world: how to preserve the environment and develop resources; how to increase literacy; how to reduce poverty while increasing wealth; how to protect the freedom of information and privacy rights; how to eschew war in a well-armed modern world; and how to revitalize today with the past’s great literature.

She also will present her photographs and insights from multiple visits to Iceland and lead a discussion on issues that impact all cultures.

This event is sponsored in part by the Michigan Global Awareness Consortium, a group of five community colleges dedicated to bringing global issues and international opportunities to their campuses. MAGAC includes: Mid Michigan Community College, North Central Michigan College, Bay de Noc, Alpena Community College, and Northwestern Michigan College.

It is the first in MMCC’s 2014-2015 series of Global Awareness events for students and the community. The MMCC Global Awareness Program has been bringing speakers, performers and exhibitions, as well as travel abroad opportunities, to MMCC’s students, staff and community every year since 1989.

Jim VanderMey,  English and Humanities faculty member at MMCC and also the head of Mid’s Global Awareness Program, noted that Elchert’s program deals with interacting issues from across the liberal arts curriculum, such as the environment, economics, internal politics and international relations, as well as literature. “This program will be relevant to many courses across the curriculum,” he said. “One of the beauties of Global Awareness education is that it shows how different fields of study interact in our complex world.”

Elchert graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Sociology from Bowling Green State University and later earned a master’s degree in Interpersonal and Public Communication. In 1981, she traveled for the first time to Nepal and the Himalayas. Elchert returned to the Himalayan regions–including India, Nepal, Ladakh, and Tibet–every year or two for ongoing study of these cultures. Since 1993, she has organized more than 17 eco-cultural tours for adults and students.

An outgrowth of her travels to Europe and Asia is her professional work as an editor, writer, speaker, lecturer and photographer. As for Elchert’s photographic work, images from numerous trips to Tibet and Nepal have appeared in exhibits in New York, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne as well as art galleries and universities throughout Ohio and the Midwest.


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