Students from Hollins University, George Mason University, and the University of Virginia took part in a candid conversation with the former U.S. ambassador to Oman at a panel discussion on U.S. policy in the Arabian Gulf Region. The event was held at UVa on September 14.
The panel’s featured speaker was Ambassador Richard J. Schmierer, who served as U.S. envoy to Oman from 2009 to 2012.
Three undergraduate students, one each from Hollins, George Mason, and UVa, joined Schmierer on the panel. Hollins was represented by Ashraqat Sayed Ahmed ’17, who is double-majoring in economics and international studies. Her paper focused on Oman’s economic prospects.
“I was certainly very impressed by the student presenters at the event,” Schmierer said. “It is nice to see that we have some great young talent entering the international relations field.”
Sayed Ahmed noted, “I was excited to participate in a panel with Ambassador Schmierer because it gave me the opportunity to debate and converse about a country and a topic that have always intrigued me. My time at the panel exceeded my expectations. It was an honor to be surrounded by people who are so knowledgeable and passionate.”
Most of the Hollins students who attended the event are first-year students enrolled in Professor of Political Science Ed Lynch‘s seminar, “How to be a President.” Lynch coordinated the event with Sonja Taylor, a professor in George Mason’s global affairs program, and members of UVa’s international relations club.
Lynch said he hopes the event’s success will lead to more joint efforts involving Hollins and other colleges and universities in Virginia.