Nationally Recognized Photojournalist Dean Jacobs Will Open the UNK World Affairs Conference on Monday, March 8

Ann Marie Park
International Education, 308.865.8944

UNK– The two-day James E. Smith Midwest Conference on World Affairs at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will open with an  address by nationally recognized newspaper columnist/photojournalist Dean Jacobs on Monday, March 8.

Jacobs will open the conference at 9 a.m. in the Nebraskan Student Union, Ponderosa Room E. His talk is titled “Wondrous Journey–A World Filled with Kindness, Dignity and Respect.” The presentation will include photographs from his two-year, 28-country journey around the world.

“The world is filled with more beauty and kindness than what it is given credit,” he said.

A native Nebraskan, Jacobs was born in Wahoo and moved to Fremont with his family when he was five-years-old. He graduated from Wayne State College as a biology major with a minor in earth science and art. After graduation, Jacobs worked at the college as the assistant to the president. He moved on to Purina Mills and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, where he worked in the sales/marketing department for more than 10 years.

“After a great deal of soul searching, Jacobs left the security of corporate America and decided to pursue other dreams,” said Ann Marie Park, WAC coordinator. “This was the beginning of a process that would lead to a traveling adventure that would span 22 months and cover 28 countries.

“Taking photos became a natural expression of the journey for Jacobs as he documented and verified the common ground of our humanity,” Park said. “To Jacobs, photography is a discovery process where something extraordinary can be found within the confines of ordinary life.”

The 2010 conference theme is “Creating Hope: Positive Responses to Global Challenges.” The conference, which is coordinated through the UNK Office of International Education and sponsored by each of the four colleges, is free and open to the public.

“Panel discussions, lectures, classroom presentations and group activities over the two days of the conference give attendees exposure to a variety of issues and the opportunity to interact with distinguished guests from all over the world,” said Ann Marie Park, UNK international program coordinator.

After Jacobs’ opening address, the schedule and locations for presentations for Monday includes:

10:10-11 a.m.
– Poetry by Cuban poet Nancy Morejon, Cuban author. Ponderosa Room E.

11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m.
– “Latin American and Political Struggle” by Cecelia Zarate-Laun, Colombia Support Network Program director; Stephanie Bergeman, Consulate of Brazil foreign trade officer; Jesus Rodriguez-Espinoza, Consulate of Venezuela consul general; and Patricia Maza-Pittford, Consulate of El Salvador consul General. Ponderosa Rooms C and D.

11:15 a.m.-12:05 p.m.
– “Human Rights and Journalism” by Tamara Banks, U.S. journalist/activist; Dean Jacobs, U.S. newspaper columnist/photojournalist; Robert Borje, Embassy of the Philippines third secretary and vice consul; and Ricardo Kellman, Embassy of Barbados first secretary. Ponderosa Rooms A and B.

– “Environmental Challenges: Climate Change,” by Bayney Karran, Embassy of Guyana ambassador; Soren Jensen, Embassy of Denmark deputy head of mission; and Thomas Schnoell, Consulate of Austria consulate general. Ponderosa Rooms C and D.

1:25-2:15 p.m.
– “Comparative Experiences in Education” by Lucy Kiruthu, Embassy of Kenya first counselor of education; Aysha Murad Ali, Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain cultural counselor; Huei-wen Hsu, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office education director. Ponderosa Rooms A and B.

7:30 p.m.-
 Keynote address: “The American Empire: A Libretto in Eight Movements” by Chris Abani, PEN Freedom-to-Write Award winning Nigerian Author. UNK Fine Arts Building Miriam Drake Theater.

More information about the World Affairs Conference can be found on the UNK Web site: