Barry McNamara  |  Published January 25, 2023

Great Decisions

In its 43rd year at Monmouth, town-gown discussion series will again tackle Russia and Ukraine, among other topics.

FIRST TOPIC: U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they meet... FIRST TOPIC: U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they meet on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' summit in Bali, Indonesia, November 14, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueMONMOUTH, Ill. – A year ago, Monmouth College kicked off its annual series of Great Decisions discussions with a very timely talk on Russia. A few weeks later, the nation had gone to war with Ukraine.

That topic will once again be on the agenda for the Great Decisions programs, which will open its 43rd year at Monmouth with a Feb. 1 discussion on China and the United States, led by Monmouth political science professor Michael Nelson.

MIKE NELSON: One of my favorite aspects of this series is that we always have a diverse audience... MIKE NELSON: “One of my favorite aspects of this series is that we always have a diverse audience. Getting a wide range of perspectives is one of the goals, because that's how we all become better informed.”The six Great Decisions discussions will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in Room 276 of the College’s Center for Science and Business. They are sponsored by the College’s Center for Civic and Social Change, which is directed by Nelson.

The first 30 minutes of each session is a presentation by that week’s guest speaker, followed by 40 minutes of robust discussion of the issue.

“One of my favorite aspects of this series is that we always have a diverse audience,” said Nelson. “Getting a wide range of perspectives is one of the goals, because that’s how we all become better informed.”

Great Decisions is a foreign affairs discussion series sponsored nationally by the Foreign Policy Association. Founded in 1918, the association was created as a way to “really encourage engagement by Americans in our foreign affairs and foreign policy, and to make sure that there’s great public education regarding those issues,” said Nelson.

Other Great Decisions discussions at Monmouth College:

* Feb 8: “Iran at a Crossroads,” Petra Kuppinger, anthropology professor.
* Feb. 22: “Global Famine,” Eric Engstrom, biology professor.
* March 15: “Politics in Latin America,” Amy de Farias, history professor.
* March 22: “Climate Migration,” Jialin Li, sociology and anthropology professor.
* March 29: “War Crimes (Russia/Ukraine),” Hanna Pullen ’23 and Jessica Vivian, political science professor.

Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Preparation</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p><strong>Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Pi Beta Phi, the first such collegiate women’s organization, was founded at Monmouth in 1867. It was followed three years later by Kappa Kappa Gamma. The two pioneering organizations today boast a total of 275 active chapters nationwide.</strong></p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>