On the Front Lines
A delegation of three students in the Masters of Public Administration program have just returned from visiting Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. The group was led by Professor Deniz Zeynep Leuenberger, coordinator of the Center for Legislative Studies (CLS) Global Civic Leadership and Education Program and faculty director of the university’s Institute for Policy Analysis and Regional Engagement.
The participants were Meredith Ann Deacon, Jodie Morrell and Samantha Loutzenhiser.
The students, each in the nonprofit concentration, learned much during their time in Jordan, said Dr. Leuenberger. “The biggest thing is how overwhelming the humanitarian crisis involving children is,” she said. “What you don’t expect when you go into these very dangerous situations is that who you see are children.”
In fact, in these tense and high-risk camps, 60 percent of the residents are children, Dr. Leuenberger said.
Jordan is a key provider of refugee services, and in recent years it has taken in Palestinians, Syrians and Iraqis who have fled their countries.
“The need for support there is so high,” Dr. Leuenberger said.
Yet, despite the hardship all around, the students encountered the kindness of strangers, she added.
“They were overwhelmed by the kindness of the people in the community and the hospitality they received in contrast to this high risk area that surrounded them,” Dr. Leuenberger said.
For those interested in hearing more about the situation in Jordan and the graduate students’ experiences, a forum will be held in the fall where they will present, along with Dr. Leuenberger, their findings and thoughts.
The funding and support for participants were provided by BSU's CLS and office of external affairs, as well as Jordan's Yarmouk University.
There are several images in this photo collection, each with a short narrative attached that is visible when the photo is clicked. (Story by John Winters, University News)