World Issues Forum Spring 2020


  Fairhaven Auditorium
  (FA 300)

Next World Issues Forum Speaker

No events are scheduled.

World Issues Forum Spring 2020

Wed 4/8 from 11:45 AM to 1:20 PM

COVID-19 Panel Talk
Order of Presentations
John Bower - Biology of epidemics
Frank James - Infectious disease transmission/prevention
Hilary Schwandt - Public Health/ global south perspective
Jack Herring - modelling the epidemic in Whatcom County
Kevin Delucio - Mental health challenges
Jessica Navedo - Economic system in a global crisis



Jack Herring

Jack's research interests are primarily in the search for solutions to the most pressing of today's environmental and social quandaries.  While he always considers these problems in a systematic, global framework, he is often drawn to community-based solutions that scale better to our natural forms of human organization.  

John Bower

John Bower has spent 25 years studying the natural world.  Getting his start as a birdwatcher, his research includes acoustic communication in bowhead whales and song sparrows, as well as population ecology of Pacific Northwest marine birds.  Most recently, John and his family lived on Isla Robinson Crusoe, 500 miles off the coast of Chile, where he studied competition for flowers between the endangered and endemic Juan Fernandez firecrown hummingbird and the green firecrown, a recent arrival from the South American mainland.

Hilary Schwandt

Hilary Schwandt earned her BS in Biochemistry from California Polytechnic State University in 2002. After graduating from Calpoly she lived in Jamaica for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She then earned her master’s degree in 2006 and her doctoral degree in 2009 from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Hilary’s doctoral dissertation was on unsafe abortion in Ghana and included a qualitative study on the pathways to abortion, a comparison of incomplete pregnancy patients and a randomized, noninferiority trial of group vs. individual family planning counseling. Her main areas of research interest are gender and reproductive health.

Kevin Delucio

I am Assistant Professor of Multicultural Psychology & Mental Health and I joined the Fairhaven and broader WWU community in Fall 2017. I am counseling psychologist by training and my work explores how we can improve the well-being of marginalized communities in the U.S.

Frank James

Dr. James is active in teaching, research and medical practice both at home and abroad. For 20 years, he has practiced travel medicine in Whatcom and San Juan Counties. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health. He is involved in service projects in India, Nepal, Taiwan and East Timor.

Jessica Navedo

A student of interdisciplinary studies, Jessica uses systems thinking approaches and narrative to understand sociocultural dynamics, particularly focusing on systems of power and how culture changes. She maintains a high-level and holistic view, contextualizing events and relationships in shared stories which define our characters’ behaviors and roles in society. As a dominating cultural narrative encompassing much of the globe, economic systems and policy determine the way these events and relationships play out. Looking to living systems, or ecology, for clues into how to design our world in ways which encourage life to thrive, she often approaches regenerative economics and cultural redesign in her work. How can we tell a more beautiful story through the way we design ourselves and our livelihoods? How do we get there? She also has a vested interest in ritual revival and the cultivation of resilience in mental wellbeing and public health initiatives, understanding the way economic circumstances intersect with these spaces.

Wed 4/15 from 12:00 PM to 1:20 PM



As evidence mounts that human activities are changing the climate in ways that harm both natural and systems and people, humanity faces an unprecedented set of challenges to create a future trajectory that allows us to live within our planetary means.  This talk will summarize key ways in which global food production, fossil fuel use and climate change are interrelated.  In particular, we will explore what solutions to the climate crisis will also allow us to address the need to feed 10 billion humans by the end of this century while addressing the systemic forces that cause the less privileged globally bear the brunt of the environmental and human cost of climate change.


Jack Herring Dean of Fairhaven College

Jack's research interests are primarily in the search for solutions to the most pressing of today's environmental and social quandaries.  While he always considers these problems in a systematic, global framework, he is often drawn to community-based solutions that scale better to our natural forms of human organization.  

Wed 4/22 from 11:45 AM to 1:20 PM


Generally speaking, Australia has a well-respected universal health care system. However, investment in health promotion and prevention has often sat at the periphery of this system, with notable ebbs and flows in health promotion resourcing over past decades. In this presentation, Professor Smith will discuss the extent to which reducing health and social inequities has been incorporated - both explicitly and implicitly - in health promotion policy development and implementation in Australia. He will discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with these approaches for future equity-oriented national and global health promotion policy landscapes.

James Smith, Northern Territory Fulbright Scholar, Curtis Center for Health Equity Research and Training at the University of Michigan; Father Frank Flynn Fellow (Harm Minimization), Head of the Alcohol, Other Drugs and Gambling Team; and Director of the Freemasons Centre for Male Health and Wellbeing - Northern Territory, Darwin – Royal Darwin Hospital, Menzies School of Health Research, Casuarina, Australia.

Wed 4/29 from 12:00 PM to 1:20 PM


PresentersLiz Darrow, & Australia Hernandez, Community to Community (C2C) Development, Bellingham WA

More than 30,000 farmworkers come to Washington State every year on H2A Agricultural visa contracts. The H2A program provides a pipeline of cheap labor for industry growers and is notorious for abusing workers. Following the death of an H2A worker in Whatcom County in 2017, C2C and other advocacy groups fought hard and won oversight of the H2A system in Washington State. Now, a federal bill called the Farm Workforce Modernization Act threatens to permanently expand the H2A program and reverse important progress that has been made. Darrow and Hernandez Cosby will outline the history of H2A and review what can be done to fight back against this bill.



Wed 5/6 from 12:00 PM to 1:20 PM


Join author and biologist Thor Hanson for a deep dive into the world of bees, from familiar species like honeybees and bumbles to leaf-cutters, masons, carpenters, cuckoo bees, and many more.  Learn about their beginnings as pollen-eating wasps, and how their fascinating co-evolution with plants makes them indispensable to natural and human systems alike.  Featuring stories from Hanson’s award-winning book, Buzz, and illustrated with pictures from around the world, this presentation gives essential context to the threat of modern bee declines.


Wed 5/13 from 12:00 PM to 1:20 PM

Picture of Ashley Hollenbeck


Presenter: Ashley Hollenbeck, Executive Director, Institute for Village Studies

Community-based approaches are widely recognized as a driver for sustainable development. However, many times they fail to meaningful prioritize local knowledge. Asset-based approaches to community development and education provide an alternative framework to redefine traditional development narratives, engage with residents as the experts of their communities, and better understand and utilize the complex web of relationships that are central to sustainability. We will explore the application of asset-based community development (ABCD) through international education programs in central Vietnam. Specifically, we will discuss how the farmers at the Thanh Dong Organic Garden used ABCD to improve their livelihoods, promote organic farming practices in the region, and influence local policy and conservation initiatives in Hoi An, Vietnam. 

Ashley Hollenbeck is the Executive Director of the Institute for Village Studies. She is a native of the Pacific Northwest and moved to Bellingham after spending most of her career abroad. Her work has focused on environmental conservation, international development, and cross-cultural education in various roles in Japan, Vietnam, Morocco, and the United States. Ashley is interested in continuing to explore how international education can be a tool to work to address complex global challenges at the local level through interdisciplinary, cross-cultural engagement.

Wed 5/20 from 12:00 PM to 1:20 PM



Sequoia Pullella-Barca

Exploring Venezuelan Migration in Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru

"The focus of my year on the ALG was to understand the experience of Venezuelan refugees as they left their homes and moved all over the continent. Additionally, I wanted to understand the perspectives of the people in countries that were receiving refugees (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru). I worked with two very different organizations in Ecuador, and learned so much about resilience, community, compassion, and culture. I was incredibly moved by the generosity of people that I met during my trip, and the sheer number of amazing things that can happen when you are open to adventure." 

Gloria Goni-Mcateer

Colonialism, Invasive Species, and Climate Change through the Fish Eye Lens

For my ALG grant I traveled to Patagonia, Chile and New Zealand. During this time I worked with scientist studying the impacts of salmon farms, I interviewed policy makers and Department of Conservation employees, I fished with local guides and indigenous tribe members, and I caught and released more fish than I can count! I learned about the dark roots of colonialism, the detrimental social and environmental impacts of introduced species, and how climate change and industrialization is impacting our fisheries.

Clare Casey 

The Dreaming- appreciating Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander expressive arts: Reimagining world-views through models of tradition and identity in a contemporary world.

Expressive arts can be used as a model in the appreciation of who we are, where we come from, and how we operate in a contemporary global worldview. Utilizing the adventure-learning platform, I will activate modes of listening and learning about the journeys of colonized indigenous peoples. This is my opportunity in juxtaposing assumptions, coming directly from a Western-influenced worldview, with the traditional ways of being in the oldest societies on Earth- that of Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders- deepening my understanding of the ‘other’ before and during colonization, and reimagining future modes of leadership and communication in social practice.


Clare Casey     I travelled to Australia and Ireland as an divergent outcome of my initial proposal. I studied cultural relationships to story in the parallels of western-colonial landscapes. I spent 3 months in collaboration / volunteering with festivals + gathering spaces both indigenous/non-indigenous led and curated on the Eastern coast. I spent 1 month studying bush-craft camps for children and families as a modality for decolonization and "re-wilding" in present-day landscapes. I interned for a in-home preschool that emphasized Parenting-by-Connection as a pathway to engage with emotion and development in children. Expressive arts was my modality to engage with my personal stories of invasion, assimilation, and integration. This led me to Ireland for ancestral story-work of the colonial overlay. I volunteered with forest schools as a model reconnect youth to natural, healing spaces in Ireland.