Olmsted Foundation Funds International Immersion Trip for Future Military Officers

NORWICH UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

Feb. 1, 2018

For the fourteenth year in a row, Norwich University has earned a $20,000 grant from the Olmsted Foundation to support the Peace and War Center’s Overseas Cultural Immersion Trip to Israel for students to study the Israeli-Palestinian conflict firsthand.

The grant allows seven Norwich students who are on a commissioning track as active duty officers in the United States military to travel abroad to speak to the people and visit the places in person who comprise a relevant international conflict, free of any charge to the student.

“Thanks to the Olmsted Foundation’s focus on internationalizing American military officers, this grant allows Norwich’s future leaders an immeasurable international experience at no cost to the student,” Peace and War Center Director Travis Morris said. “This experience transforms students, tests their leadership skills through task assignments, and deepens greatly their understanding of these complex conflicts. This experience ultimately makes them smarter and more experienced military officers.”

This is the fourteenth year Norwich has received such a grant from the Olmsted Foundation. Since 2005, approximately 60 students have benefitted from this grant and have travelled to: Tanzania, Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Croatia, Senegal, El Salvador, Chile, Turkey, Georgia and Israel.

New this year, two additional students not supported by the Olmsted grant will also participate to diversify the group. The Peace and War Center will choose and support a cadet planning to pursue an officer post with the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Coast Guard. An added layer of internationalization will complement the group through the participation of a cadet from and supported by the Royal Military College of Saint-Jean in Montreal. Peace and War Center students will travel up to Montreal to interview candidates for that position, which will fill the role as the Palestinian perspective contact. Other student roles include: team leader; communication officer; logistics officer; team analyst responsible for the out-report; travel coordinator; budget officer; Israeli perspective; and international perspective.

The Olmsted Foundation provides financial support to the three Service Academies and four of the Senior Military Colleges for these short-term immersion trips, which often provide the undergraduates with their first exposure to a foreign culture.

“We developed skills that will help us sort through floods of information and perspectives to form professional and culturally aware analyses, a skill that will be highly valuable in our futures as officers,” Cadet Elizabeth Gregory said of the 2017 trip to Israel.

Since 1959, the Olmsted Foundation’s Scholar Program has challenged young military officers to learn a foreign language and pursue graduate studies in that language at a foreign university. The Olmsted Foundation was created through an endowment from Gen. George Olmsted, an Army major general who served with distinction in World War II and went on to become a philanthropist and a successful businessman in the insurance and banking industries.

About Norwich University˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).www.norwich.edu 

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu.    

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin, M’17
Director of Media Relations & Community Affairs
Office Tel: (802) 485-2886
dlarkin@norwich.edu

A Wild Conversation: Self-Will, Ancestors, Norwich & Nature (Video)

Screen Grab: John Hausdoerffer talks with Sean Prentiss
Norwich University Office of Communications

November 29, 2017

Go deep with NU associate professor of English and award-winning author Sean Prentiss as he interviews John Hausdoerffer. A writer and professor of environmental sustainability and philosophy at Western State Colorado University, Hausdoerffer visited the Norwich campus earlier this month as part of the Norwich University Writers Series, an appearance co-sponsored by NU’s Center for Global Resilience and Security. Watch:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDL0CnhsGTE?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

9 Objects: The Office of NU Terrorism and Policing Scholar Travis Morris

Norwich University Office of Communications
September 13, 2016

It’s been a busy year for Norwich Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice Travis Morris. Recently named the director of the university’s Peace and War Center, Morris organized a NATO-sponsored advanced training course on counter terrorism in Macedonia for South Eastern Europe this past spring. He’s also brought a Canadian Fulbright scholar to campus and co-led a summer trip to Israel and Palestine. The trip enabled students from Norwich and the Royal Military College of Canada to explore the roots of the Middle East conflict. All that while teaching and continuing his wide-ranging scholarship, which explores how ideas have shaped modern terrorism. His book, Dark Ideas: How Violent Jihadi and Neo-Nazi Ideologues Have Shaped Modern Terrorism is slated for publication later this year. Morris shares the backstory of nine objects from his office in Ainsworth Hall.

Great Moments in Aviation History Print
A gift from Morris’s father, a retired Air Force colonel, who taught at the Air Command Staff College at Maxwell AFB. “As a kid, I wanted to be a pilot and fly A-10s. But I didn’t have 20/20 vision, so I had to let that dream go.” Morris says the poster is a nod to his father and “reminds me a little bit of growing up surrounded by aviators.”

Kentucky Colonel Certificate
When Morris was a police officer in Kentucky, his in-laws nominated him as a colonel in Kentucky’s honorary state militia. He received the certificate among his wedding gifts.

Mountain Bike
As a PhD student and father in Nebraska, Morris cycled to work to squeeze in a workout. “The problem was the wind.” Today, Morris still bikes to the office, albeit less frequently. “I don’t have time just to go to the gym. So that’s where that fits in.” More often he drives, dropping his kids off at school along the way.

Florida Folksong Book
“My grandfather was a fourth-generation Floridian.” His brother, Alton C. Morris, PhD, was an ethnographer who recorded and preserved folk songs and taught English at the University of Florida. Morris’s grandfather constantly sang Florida folksongs to him as a child. The book speaks to the academic side of his family tree.

Miniature of Point Arena, Calif., Lighthouse
A gift from his father recalling Morris’s early childhood. The family lived on a remote USAF radar base in northern California that scanned the West Coast for the Soviet threat. “There were only several hundred people that lived on this remote mountain top. We had a doctor once a week.”

Scrimshaw Whale Tooth
Another memento from that time. Morris remembers it mostly as kid heaven. “It was like living in some outpost away from the rest of civilization—miles and miles and miles and miles of huge redwoods around us, and wild boars, and the long winding access road that made us car sick almost every time.”

Carnegie Foundation Mug
Part of the grant writing endeavors Morris has taken on as director of the Peace and War Center.

Haifa Photo
Morris spent two years living in Israel with his wife and young daughter while studying Hebrew and doing research for his master’s thesis on the Israel national police. “Believe it or not, that’s looking out our porch. If you turn your head slightly to the right you can see Lebanon.”

Family Photo Taken in Israel
“The girl in the middle is my little daughter, Eden. She was 6 months [old] when we lived there. She happens to be sitting on the Horns of Hattin, which is the site of a historic Crusader battle.” The 12th-century battle marked the turning point of the religious war. There’s no park, just a “small beat up metal sign at the end of a dirt path. You looked down from the battlefield to see the Sea of Galilee.”

Ideas @ Work: #9 Peace and War Center

Logo of Norwich University Peace and War Center

33 ideas big and small from Norwich students, faculty, staff, and alumni that are transforming campus and the world.

The Norwich Record

Spring 2016

In June, NU’s College of Liberal Arts debuted a reimagined Peace and War Center (PAWC) led by criminal justice professor Travis Morris. The center enables Norwich faculty and students from multiple disciplines to study issues related to peace and war in detail as well as showcase and leverage NU’s expertise far beyond campus. This year, the center brought a Canadian Fulbright scholar to campus and organized a NATO advanced-training course in Macedonia to address terrorism threats in southeastern Europe.

More Ideas@Work:

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Norwich Students Attend NATO Counterterrorism Training in Europe

Logo of Norwich University Peace and War Center
Norwich University Office of Communications

February 12, 2016

Four Norwich undergraduates flew to Macedonia today to attend a week-long NATO-sponsored advanced training course on counterterrorism in southeastern Europe.

The symposium is co-lead by Norwich University’s Peace and War Center and the Macedonia Military Academy General Mihailo Apostolski in Skopje.

The participating NU students were also named Spring 2016 Norwich University Peace and War Fellows. They are James Verderico ‘16, Olivia DeSpirito ‘16, Sam DeLong ‘16 and Kendall Manning ’17.

They will assist during the training course and document their experience on the Norwich University Facebook page.

“Their time abroad should prove to be a powerful experience,” said Travis Morris, PhD, an assistant professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Morris directs Norwich University’s new Peace and War Center (PAWC). He developed the grant awarded by NATO to PAWC to help craft the counterterrorism advanced training course.

“The training course … bring[s] together leading terrorism scholars and experts to strategize the best methods for countering the terrorists threat to the southeastern region and its neighboring NATO members,” Morris notes.

Southeast Europe comprises the NATO member countries Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, and Bulgaria, as well as the Partnership for Peace countries Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.

Morris is a former U.S. Army and police officer, who has lived and traveled in the Middle East extensively. His scholarship focuses in part, on radicalization and counterterrorism.

Norwich senior James Verderico is a Computer Security and Information Assurance major and member of the NU Corps of Cadets (NUCC) from Boston, Mass.

His classmate Sam DeLong is a NUCC Lieutenant Colonel and Criminal Justice major from Barnstable, Mass., who plans to attend law school after graduation.

Norwich junior Kendall Manning is a Construction Management major and a Staff Sergeant in the NU Corps of Cadets from Jacksonville, Fla.

Senior Olivia DeSpirito is a biology major with a focus on biological forensics and a Captain in the NU Corps of Cadets from East Greenwich, R.I.

The NATO advanced training course will provide in-depth analysis on how to prevent radicalization and offer best practices for building resilient southeastern Europe societies. The program also seeks to boost understanding and cooperation among NATO and Partner countries in the region.

The training is a joint effort by Norwich University and United States and the Military Academy General Mihailo Apostolski in Skopje, Macedonia.

About Norwich University’s Peace and War Center

The Norwich University’s Peace and War Center (PAWC) advances scholarship and deliberation on warfare and its mitigation, processes, and conditions of peace. The center’s work emphasizes research and discussion on the precipitating factors and preconditions of war and peace. In order to understand the cycles of war and peace, it is critical to examine the role of culture and language, analyze the ideological roots of turmoil and stability, and the evolving role of technology. The Center is designed to be a multi and interdisciplinary mix of international scholars and practitioners.

About the Military Academy General Mihailo Apostolski–Skopje

The Military Academy General Mihailo Apostolski–Skopje is an associate member of the University Goce Delcev-Stip. It functions as a high educational and research institution in defense, military and military-technical sciences, crisis management, protection, and rescue. It also serves as a defense educational hub for the region; cadets from Bosnia and Hercegovina, Montenegro, and Kosovo study alongside Macedonian Cadets. The Military Academy has seven accredited programs for graduate studies, three programs for postgraduate studies, and a PhD program. The Military Academy curriculum is designed to enable students and cadets to acquire skills, knowledge, and capacities necessary to professionally respond to modern security challenges.