Global Cultures Conference

GCC 2021 Logo

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Peter J. Werth Residence Tower

(WTRH on the campus map)

1:00 - 4:00 pm

Check In Begins at 12:30

Days Until the Global Cultures Conference
Ends On November 13, 2021

The first annual Global Cultures Conference invites students to better understand the role they play as global citizens.

By hearing from subject-matter experts, you will be analyzing Refugee Movement from 2010 to the Present and how it impacts International Business, Economics, Government, Health and the Environment. We will ask you to consider: As a leader, how would you act in these situations? What is the best course of action? Attendees should walk away with the ability to understand the complexity of global relations. In doing so, we will foster an environment of cultured intellectuals capable of deeper thought and reasoning at UConn.

Our mission is to bring to light the differences and similarities in cultures throughout the world to inspire cooperation, curiosity, and confidence on the global stage – provoking conversations that matter within our  UConn community.

Dress business casual. If you require any accommodations to participate, email by November 8.

Event Overview

Check In Begins

Werth Tower Lobby

12:30 pm
Welcome & Opening Activity

Forum/Idea Lab (112/113)

1:00 pm
International Business & Economics Panel Discussion

Forum/Idea Lab (112/113)

1:30 pm
Government, Health, & the Environment Panel Discussion

Forum/Idea Lab (112/113)

2:15 pm
Scenario Discussions

Breakout Groups in Werth Tower Classrooms

3:05 pm
Summarizing Discussion & Closing Remarks

Forum/Idea Lab (112/113)

3:45 pm


International Business & Economics Panelists

Jorge Aguero

Dr. Jorge Agüero

Dr. Jorge M. Agüero is Associate Professor of Economics and El Instituto at the University of Connecticut, where he co-founded the Health Economics Lab. He is a research affiliate of the Group of Analysis for Development (Peru) and Editor of the Review of Economics of the Household. His work lies at the intersection of development economics and labor economics, with a special focus on education and health economics. His work has been published in several leading economic journals, including the Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Health Economics, and the American Economic Review.

Marco Nardone Guerra

Marco Nardone Guerra '22 (BUS)

Jeremy Pressman

Dr. Jeremy Pressman

Jeremy Pressman studies international relations, protests, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Middle East politics, and U.S. foreign policy. Pressman has held fellowships at Harvard University, the University of Sydney, the Humanities Institute at the University of Connecticut, and the Norwegian Nobel Institute where he was a Fulbright fellow. Pressman previously worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Irene Soteriou

Irene Soteriou '23 (CLAS)

Government, Health, & the Environment Panelists

Mason Holland

Mason Holland '23 (CLAS)

Kathy Libal

Dr. Kathy Libal

Kathryn Libal, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Social Work and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut and Director of the Human Rights Institute. She received her doctorate in cultural anthropology at the University of Washington. Since 2007, she has taught at the School of Social Work and Human Rights Institute, specializing in human rights, humanitarianism and migration, and social welfare in the Middle East and United States. Her scholarship has addressed women’s and children’s rights movements in Turkey; international non-governmental organizational advocacy on behalf of Iraqi and Syrian refugees; and the localization of human rights norms and practices in the United States, with a focus on social mobilization for the right to adequate food and housing. She is currently conducting a collaborative qualitative study on the politics and practices of voluntarism and refugee resettlement in the United States and Canada. In that research she is examining how voluntarism in an era of xenophobia and backlash creates new forms of civic connection and political participation among volunteers, social service providers, and refugees. Kathryn co-edited Human Rights in the United States: Beyond Exceptionalism (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and wrote Human Rights-Based Approaches to Community Practice in the United States (with Scott Harding, Springer, 2015). She also was lead editor of the contributory volume titled Advancing Human Rights in Social Work Education (Council on Social Work Education Press, 2014). She is currently completing an edited volume with S. Megan Berthold on Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the United States: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (forthcoming, Praeger). She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Human Rights and Social Work and the University of Connecticut’s liaison with the Scholars at Risk Program. She teaches courses on human rights and social work, qualitative research methods, social policy analysis, and approaches to human rights advocacy.

Sarah Renn

Sarah Renn

Sarah Renn is a Fully Accredited US Department of Justice Representative in the Immigration Legal Assistance Program of Ascentria Community Services (former Lutheran Social Services of New England), Worcester, MA.  In this role, Sarah represents human trafficking survivors, asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors, humanitarian parole seekers, Temporary Protected Status applicants, and victims of crime in front of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Immigration Courts. She previously worked five years for the US government in areas of immigration and refugee affairs, including two years as an Asylum and temporary Refugee Officer in the US Department of Homeland Security. This work included processing refugee applicants from Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Togo in the aftermath of civil wars and regime changes. Sarah volunteers at a local refugee resettlement project, which resettles Syrian, and soon Afghan, refugee families.

chris vials

Dr. Chris Vials

Chris Vials is Director of American Studies and Professor of English at the University of Connecticut-Storrs.  His research focuses on the impact of left and right-wing movements on US culture, and since 2012 has focused on antifascism and the far right in the United States.  He the author of Haunted by Hitler: Liberals, the Left, and the Fight against Fascism in the United States (Massachusetts, 2014) and co-editor, with Bill Mullen, of The U.S. Antifascism Reader (Verso, 2020).  He has appeared on CBC radio, PBS, and NPR to discuss the history of American fascist and antifascist movements.