The Kozmetsky Center at St. Edward’s University has developed a videoconference project with partners at Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany and Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MGIMO) in Moscow, Russia to connect students in regularly scheduled direct video teleconference sessions (VTC) with the goal of sharing perspectives and developing better understanding of international issues among students across the globe. During these sessions, students from each university have the opportunity to discuss critical issues in international affairs, with sessions moderated by Dr. Sharyl Cross, Director, Kozmetsky Center of Excellence at St. Edward’s University and co-moderated by faculty at Friedrich-Schiller University, MGIMO, and St. Edward’s University.
The inaugural session took place on October 30, 2014, with students discussing the conflict in Ukraine from the perspective of the United States, Germany, and Russia, with exchange students from Kyiv-Mohyla Academy hosted at the Jena location.
The second event took place on November 5, 2015, focusing on the security, geopolitical, economic, and financial dimensions of the Greek economic crisis and the future of the European Union. Each event was preceded by a panel at St. Edward’s University with experts from leading academic and policy institutions in the United States, Europe, and Eurasia discussing the various global perspectives on the issues. We continue to organize ongoing videoconference sessions on an annual basis so that students may continue to develop strong transnational connections, share diverse perspectives, and provide policy suggestions to the foreign policy networks of their nations.
The third event took place on October 25, 2016 among students of St. Edward’s University with the Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO) and Friedrich Schiller University in Jena Germany. The students of the three universities gathered to exchange perspectives after viewing the series of U.S. Presidential debates. Students discussed the American election process in an international comparative context, and the importance of the issues raised in the U.S. Presidential debate sessions. Professor Brian Smith, specialist on American and Texas politics and Associate Dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at St. Edward’s University, Professor Tatyana Shakleina, expert on American Foreign Policy at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and Professor Michael Dreyer, specialist in Political Theory and Comparative Politics of Friedrich-Schiller University attended and offered their thoughts on the discussion among the students. One of the major topics included assessing the impact of the internet and social media in changing the features of campaigns and elections in the United States and other nations.
On January 23, 2018 the Kozmetsky Center held another three nation VTC session among students of St. Edward's University with Friedrich Schiller University, Jena Germany & Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) for discussion of the "Social Media Microcosms and Fake News" issue.