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HJI Faculty Participate in the Annual Faculty Development Seminars

HJI, in partnership with the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Affairs Committee, convened its annual Development Seminar for Full-Time and Part-Time faculty. President Thomas Walsh joined other members of the faculty at both of these events. On August 10 Dr. Frederick Swarts, Dean of Bridgeport International Academy, and Adjunct Faculty in Research Methods at the University of Bridgeport spoke on “Research, Protection of Human Subjects and the Role played by an Institutional Review Board”.

Dr. Frederick Swarts, a 1982 graduate of HJI, served for twelve years as a member of the US Department of Energy’s Institutional Review Board on Research Proposals. Dr. Swarts spoke on the steps leading to the creation of federal guidelines to protect human subjects from unethical research practices. He outlined the guidelines, the mandated trainings for researchers, and the protocols in place to maximize the protection of human subjects. Not only in the natural sciences but in the social sciences as well, the protection of human subjects in research projects must be a priority. Potential participants must be fully informed, must provide signed consent and with the option of withdrawing at any time in the process if they do not wish to proceed.

Dr. Keisuke Noda, Professor of Philosophy, commented that he appreciated the presentation by Dr. Swarts because of the way in which it traced the rationale and the procedures for research involving human subjects. In their sharing, faculty noted that the program was especially helpful at a time when HJI is establishing its own Institutional Review Board.

HJI’s second Faculty Development Training took place on August 15 on the HJI Campus in Manhattan. The President and the Provost hosted a luncheon for staff and faculty on campus and additional faculty also participated online. In her introduction to Dr. Salah, former Women’s Federation for World Peace USA President Alexa Ward noted that Dr. Salah had lived her early years as a Palestinian refugee and that her personal and public life have prepared her to bridge gaps across cultures, civilizations and politics on a global scale. Dr. Rima Salah has dedicated her career to being United Nations civil servant. She served as Deputy Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) worldwide and was also chosen as a member of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s High Level Panel on Peace Operations. Dr. Salah spent much of her career in Africa and in Asia overseeing UNICEF Operations.

In her presentation, Dr. Salah shared on the growing role played by “human security” in the work of the United Nations. She reflected on the ways in which it had expanded the notion of security beyond “state security” to the broader concerns of human well-being. Dr. Salah pointed out that it was “not until 1994 that the UN Human Development Report introduced the concept of ‘Human Security’ which addresses the chronic threats that humanity faces including hunger, disease, repression and protection from all harm.” She explained that this is why “human security” lays at the very heart of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. Salah’s talk stimulated lively discussion. Recognizing HJI “as a respected institution of higher learning with a commitment to Peace and Public Leadership” Dr. Salah encouraged HJI President Thomas Walsh, Provost Ward and the entire HJI faculty and students to continue with their efforts to support and collaborate with the work of the United Nations in going forward.