Rohatyn Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

By Jess Berry

On Thursday, Oct. 18, the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs celebrated its ten year anniversary. In time with this celebration, the international studies major was changed to the international and global studies major (IGS).

Students and professors commemorated the anniversary with two panels, one led by professors and one by students, to discuss the role of America as a global power in today’s changing world. The first was held in Rohatyn and the second in Atwater Dining Hall.

Professor of Geography Tamar Mayer, who was appointed to the directorship of both the Rohatyn Center and the department of international and global studies this past summer, gave opening remarks at the panels, which applauded the work of the Rohatyn Center since its establishment in 2002.

“Over the last decade, the Rohatyn Center has established itself as the place to go at Middlebury for an in-depth international or global perspective on social, political, cultural and economic issues,” said Mayer in her remarks on Thursday.

In the past 10 years, the Rohatyn Center has hosted over 1,000 speakers, administered over a quarter of a million dollars in Mellon grants in support of undergraduate student international research and has employed over 100 student interns.
Mayer expressed enthusiasm for her new position as the director of the Rohatyn Center and says it fits nicely with her position as the head of the international and global studies department.

“[Director of the Rohatyn Center] is a great job and it’s great center,” said Mayer. “There’s a lot of great energy here, and I think that the mission of the center works really beautifully with what we do in the major and fits perfectly with its newly designed name, IGS.”

Mayer explained that when she stepped into her position as the director of international studies, she brought up the suggestion of changing the name to include global studies. According to Mayer, this is something she has been thinking about for a long time.

The new name, she argued, better reflects what faculty members in the program really do and how the academic program needs to educate and orient students.

“IGS faculty ask questions in the courses that are region specific, but they also ask questions that are transnational, that are global, in nature” said Mayer. “It really was time that the name of the major reflected exactly what we do in the program.”

Of the 11 New England Small College Athletic Conference [NESCAC] schools, only six offer a major that falls into the realm of international or global studies. The five that do not offer any international studies major are Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Hamilton and Williams. No school offers an “international and global studies” major.

Mayer said that she has received only positive feedback on the name change.

While Mayer feels that the new name was necessary, some students are apathetic to the change.

“I have to say I’m pretty indifferent over the addition of ‘global’,” wrote Hudson Cavanagh ’14 in an email. “Although for what is already the wordiest major in existence, it makes writing my actual major on an application essentially impossible.”