Augustana to host Peace-Building Conference

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The William F. Freistat Center and Augustana College will host a conference, Peace-Building: InnovativeStrategies, Nuts and Bolts, on Saturday, Nov. 23, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in Room 102 of the Hanson Hall of Science (726 35th St.). The conference is sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

The conference aims to expose and assess the effectiveness of humanitarian rather than political solutions to heal conflicts that disturb peace, and will feature three plenary speakers. It is free to attend, and registration is online at

“This is an important aspect of public education because it makes clear that one doesn’t need to be a diplomat or highly trained professional to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Dr. Heidi Storl, the William F. Freistat Professor of World Peace Studies and organizer of the conference.

The first plenary speaker, Dr. Joseph M. Hyser ’99, will give a lecture titled “Global Burden of Rota-virus Disease.” Dr. Hyser currently is an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, working in the department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology.

Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi’s lecture is titled “Rescuing the Bottom 100 million in the Americas.” Dr. Bottazzi is the associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. She also directs research and administrative activities of Baylor’s new Section of Pediatric Tropical Medicine.

The last plenary lecture, “Global Awareness and Peace Multipliers: Spread Seeds of Hope Around the World,” will be given by Jacqueline Tome. Tome is the president and founder of Global Awareness Consulting, and she serves international companies, hospitals, schools, governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Augustana College’s Dr. Christopher Whitt, Sarah Michel of Baylor College, Dr. Mark Blaser from Medical Arts Associates, and Karan Metcalf from Quad Cities Interfaith will be hosting sessions in between the plenary speakers.

The USIP is the independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by the U.S. Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence. USIP works to save lives, increase the government’s ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs and enhance national security. USIP is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As part of its congressional mandate, USIP devotes a portion of its budget to support organizations that will advance the field of conflict management by developing new techniques, establishing best practices, and professionalizing the field through education and training.

For more information, please contact Keri Rursch, director of public relations, at or (309) 794-7721.