The University of Kansas An Official Employee Publication From the Office of University Relations
 

 

   

Sept. 17, 2004
Vol. 29, No. 3

KU to add soldier’s name to campanile
• Hemenway address: ‘We cannot be silent’
KU ranks among ‘IQ Campuses’
Dance duo
KU announces four Higuchi Awards
Reaccreditation process reveals university strengths, challenges
Family fun
Black writing project brings author to campus
Shulenburger scheduled for UPSA event

Senator saluted
Bluegrass to beats
Sale to benefit Audio-Reader
Employees of the month
KU card
Godzilla takes KU on birthday

NIH, NSF officials to discuss KU research
Brazilian conference is vacation, education
Big Brothers and Big Sisters finds support in KU family, United Way

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Brazilian conference is vacation, education

For some KU professors, summer can mean vacation in an exotic location or perhaps some extra teaching. For Burdett Loomis, professor of political science, a summer journey to the capital of Brazil meant both.


Loomis and Steve Rabe, a history professor from the University of Texas-Dallas, joined 24 South American academics for a 10-day American Studies Seminar in Brasilia that was sponsored by the State Department.


Discussions ranged “from immigration to civil rights to the election of 2000,” Loomis said, and he found the seminar engaging and enlightening.


“Our ‘students’ could not have been better,” he wrote in a recent column about his trip. “What a pleasure to work with 24 professionals, all with masters or doctorates, who truly wanted to learn more about the United States.”


The South American academics, three Brazilian embassy officials and Loomis and Rabe met daily in a conference room in their hotel.


The mornings consisted mostly of lectures by the two U.S. professors, discussion of which often spilled over into lunch.


“We did a lot of socializing over lunches and dinners, which turned into extensions of the seminars in many ways,” Loomis said.


Loomis said spending time with his “students” also helped him learn more about his South American counterparts. Loomis still communicates with the group by e-mail, exchanging articles, poll results and even a recent paper he wrote about the 2004 elections.


“Brazilian professors are underpaid and overworked, and many hold multiple positions to make ends met,” Loomis said. “Although I learned many things—about Brazil and South America, about attitudes toward the U.S., about the State Department’s difficult task in explaining our country to the world—what I came to most appreciate was the commitment levels of these academics.”


Later this month Loomis will travel to Mexico to speak to a series of audiences about the 2004 election and American politics.


“It’s always fun to talk about American politics in international settings. The U.S. election is important around the world, and everyone wants to have some idea of what the Electoral College is all about.”

   
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