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ODU Graduate Students Gain Valuable Insights from Gen. Mattis

Gen. Mattis, second from left, talks with graduate students in ODU's GPIS program.

Students in Old Dominion University's Graduate Program in International Studies (GPIS) were afforded a unique educational opportunity Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of the United States Joint Forces Command, came to speak with the 12 students enrolled in a course that considers the future of world politics, "World Order - Chaos or Coherence?"

Following a brief introduction and commentary from Chandra de Silva, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and Regina Karp, director of the GPIS program and associate professor in the department of political science, Mattis spoke with the students about the complexity of the issues in today and future world politics.

"You are inheriting a more inter-related and complex world," Mattis said.

"Wars are still started for the same reasons…," he said, adding that, "We need students like you to study these issues and be willing to address the challenges."

Citing specific examples based on his experiences, Mattis then invited the students to ask questions related to their particular areas of research.

"We were honored to have Gen. Mattis spend time with us and share his ideas about world order," Karp said. "The students were fascinated by his comments and insights; most of them had never met a senior military leader and his thoughtful reflections introduced them to a level of strategic thinking that was truly eye opening."

"Gen. Mattis made a very strong personal and professional impression that will resonate with the students well beyond this course," Karp added.

This article was posted on: December 3, 2009

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