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Associates on rural education initiatives; Great Decisions on U.S.-China trade

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Two series will continue at Monmouth College Feb. 20-21.

At the next Monmouth Associates program on Feb. 21, educational studies professors Tammy La Prad, Michelle Holschuh Simmons and Craig Vivian will shed light on challenges faced by rural districts and also explain the College’s new education initiatives.

The program will begin at noon in the Whiteman-McMillan Highlander Room of Stockdale Student Center.

Teaching at an institution located in a rural area, the College’s educators are keenly aware of some rural school districts’ struggle to recruit and retain teachers. In response to that need, the educational studies department has developed several initiatives, including its Rural Teacher Corps and TARTANS – Teachers Allied with Rural Towns and Neighborhood Schools.

The cost for a buffet lunch is $10 ($9 for Monmouth faculty and staff). Reservations can be made by calling 309-457-2231 by Feb. 19 or by email at

A free shuttle van transports passengers from two locations to every Associates luncheon. The van stops at the northeast quadrant of the Public Square at 11:45 a.m. and at the Faith United Presbyterian Church parking lot at around 11:50 a.m. It returns to both locations immediately following the program. Shuttle reservations can be made also by calling 309-457-2231.

Parking is available along North Ninth Street and in the parking lot near the Stockdale Center.

At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20 in Room 276 of the Center for Science and Business, Monmouth political science professor Farhat Haq will lead the next Great Decisions program, discussing U.S.-China trade.

Though arguably the most advanced economy in the world, the United States still uses centuries-old numbers to measure trade. These antique numbers mangle understanding of the U.S.-China trade relationship, shrinking America’s true economic size and competitiveness, while swelling China’s.

Bad numbers give rise to bad policies that ultimately kill U.S. jobs and cede market share to China. What other tools can the United States employ to counter China’s unfair trade practices? There are several available, yet they remain mostly unused.

Called “America’s largest discussion program on world affairs,” Great Decisions is a nationwide program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association, a non-partisan, non-governmental association that works to increase Americans’ understanding of foreign policy issues.