"Engaging Humanity - at Home and Abroad" was the theme of the first McMaster Symposium held April 12-14 on the Defiance College campus. The event, which examined issues both regionally and globally, was sponsored by the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity. A slate of distinguished speakers filled the symposium including Gillian Martin Sorensen, senior adviser at the United Nations Foundation, and Dr. Sylvia Earle, oceanographer and founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research (DOER).
Opening the symposium on April 12 was Dr. Peter Makari, Common Global Ministries Board UCC, Middle East/Europe Desk.
On April 13, Defiance College students and faculty who have previously been selected as McMaster Scholars and Fellows offered presentations on their research and service in Jamaica, Ireland, Belize, Guatemala, and Cambodia. Also on April 13, the symposium's keynote speaker, Dr. Sylvia Earle, oceanographer and founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research (DOER) presented her topic "Sustainable Seas: The Vision - The Reality."
Addressing regional issues on April 14 was Jerry Hayes, executive director of the Defiance County Economic Development office, Pam Hayman-Weaner, Director, Family Justice Center of Northwest Ohio, Sandy Herman, St. Mary's Catholic School, Sister Karen Bernhardt, Lutheran Social Services, Connie Allgire, Women and Family Services, Inc., Manuela Pena-Chalupa, Migrant Programs: Rural Opportunities, and Jose Salinas, Ohio Migrant Education Center
Examining global issues on April 14 was Sophal Leng Stagg, survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia and founder of the Southeast Asian Children's Mercy Fund, David Jehnsen, chairman and CEO of the Institute for Human Rights and Responsibilities, Dr. Ahmad Al-Akhras of the Council on American Islamic Relations, and Gillian Sorensen, senior advisor at the United Nations Foundation, presented her topic "The United Nations and United States-Controversy and Opportunity ... where do we go from here?"