Mershon Center for International Security Studies
February 9, 2015
In This Issue
Geoffrey Parker
Andreas Dorpalen Professor of History
His book Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century (Yale, 2013) received rave reviews in the William and Mary Quarterly, the foremost journal of colonial history, along with Climate Change and the Course of Global History: A Rough Journey (Yale, 2014), by Ohio State's John Brooke. Read the dual review (pdf)
In the Media
Paul Beck
Distinguished Social and Behavioral Sciences Professor Emeritus
"SOTU Approach to Health Care: Imply, Don't Announce"
January 21, 2015
Hideaki Kami
Doctoral student in History
January 2015
Peter Mansoor
Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History
"ISIS getting 'desperate,' struggling to replenish fighters"
January 30, 2015

"NBC's Williams fighting for his reputation"
February 5, 2015
Erik Nisbet
Associate Professor of Communication
"Demand for Internet Freedom?"
February 4, 2015

"Things Russian People Want Off The Internet: Pussy Riot, Gay Porn, Foreign News"
February 5, 2015
Oded Shenkar
Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management
World Insight, CCTV News, minute 23:05
January 27, 2015
About Mershon Memo
Mershon Memo is a weekly e-mail newsletter distributed by the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, a unit of the Office of International Affairs at The Ohio State University.
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Mershon Events
Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Alon Tal
"The Environment's Role in Middle East Peace: A Blueprint for Progress"
7 p.m., Wexner Jewish Student Center, 46 E. 16th Ave.
Co-sponsored by Ohio State University Hillel

Alon Tal Come hear Alon Tal, veteran Israeli environmental activist, speak at OSU Hillel. Tal founded the Israel Union for Envrionmental Defense, Israel's leading green advocacy organization, and also founded the Arava Institute for Envrionmental Studies, a regional center for Arabs and Israelis. Voted as Israeli's Most Effective Environmental Leader, Tal will review more than 20 years of "below the radar" environmental cooperation in Israel and will consider the stalled peace process and how it might be leveraged to ensure ecological progress for the area.  Read more
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Istv�n Poved�k
"The Sacralization of Nation: How Neonationalism Affects Vernacular Culture in Post-Socialist Hungary"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Istvan PovedakIstv�n Poved�k is a research fellow at MTA-SZTE Research Group for the Study of Religious Culture in Szegad, Hungary. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies as a specialist in vernacular religion. Poved�k is pursuing a project comparing celebrity images of Hungarian Romani and Afro-American heroes and stars. He is interested in the contemporary cult of heroes and celebrities, vernacular religiosity and the mingling of neonationalism-Christianity-neopaganism. In this presentation, he will discuss how certain Hungarian subcultures relate to their national consciousness. Co-sponsored by the Center for Folklore Studies and English Department. Read more and register at
Monday, February 16, 2015

Nils Petter Gleditsch
"Climate Change: A Threat to the Waning of War"
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Nils Petter GleditschNils Petter Gleditsch is research professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and professor emeritus at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. His publications include "Demand, Supply, and Restraint: Determinants of Domestic Water Conflict and Cooperation" (Gleditsch, et. al. 2013), in Global Environmental Change; "Whither the weather? Climate change and conflict" (Gleditsch, 2012) in Journal of Peace Research; "Conflicting Messages? The IPCC on Conflict and Human Security" (Gleditsch & Ragnhild, 2014), in Political Geography; and "Is Climate Change a Driver of Armed Conflict?" (Gleditsch, Thesien, and Buhaug, 2013), in Climatic Change. He will discuss climate change and armed conflict, arguing that evidence of a relationship is precarious. Read more and register at
Thursday, February 26, 2015

Williamson Murray
"The Iran-Iraq War: The War No One Knows About"
Noon, 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Williamson Murray Williamson Murray is adjunct professor at the Marine Corps University, having just completed a two-year stint as a Minerva Fellow at the Naval War College. He taught military and diplomatic history at Ohio State for many years. In 2012, he edited with Peter Mansoor Hybrid Warfare, Fighting Complex Opponents from the Ancient World to the Present (Cambridge University Press), based on a conference at the Mershon Center. In 2014, Murray published Successful Strategies, Triumphing in War and Peace from Antiquity to the Present, co-edited with Richard Sinnreich. He is currently completing an edited manuscript with Peter Mansoor for Cambridge on grand strategy and alliances, based on another Mershon Center conference. Read more and register at
Featured News
Young Rae Choi (right), doctoral student in geography, interviewed a fisherman mending his net while on a Mershon-funded research trip for her dissertation on urbanization and land reclamation in China.
Mershon Center offers faculty, student grants, scholarships


Each year, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies holds a competition for Ohio State faculty and students to apply for research grants and scholarship funds. 


Faculty and student research grant applications must be for projects related to the study of national security in a global context. We are also interested in projects that emphasize our initiatives in climate and security, peace-building and development, and democratization; strengthen the global gateways in China, India and Brazil; relate to campus area studies centers and institutes; or address the university's Discovery Themes of health and wellness, energy and the environment, and food production and security.


In recent years the center has funded several dozen faculty and student research projects with grants for travel, seminars, conferences, interviews, experiments, surveys, library costs, and more. To learn about the types of projects being funded, please see past issues of the Mershon Center Annual Report on the website under Publications.


The Mershon Center has also established the International Security Study Abroad Scholarship to support undergraduates whose professional training and career plans lie in the field of international security and who would benefit by studying in a foreign country. Students are encouraged to take foreign language courses, especially those deemed critical for national security. As many as 12 scholarships of up to $2,000 each will be awarded.


For more information, including application forms and instructions, please see the Grants section  of the Mershon Center website. The deadline for all applications is Friday, February 13, 2015.

Other Events
Friday, February 12, 2015

Taste of OSU
5-9 p.m., Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St.
Sponsored by Office of International Affairs

Taste of OSU 2015 poster  

The Office of International Affairs, along with more than 30 Ohio State student organizations and the Student Life Dining Services chefs, are coming together to prepare an evening of international food, exhibits and cultural performances for the campus community at Taste of OSU 2015, which is set for Friday, February 13 from 5 - 9 p.m. in the Ohio Union.


The event is free and open to all Ohio State students, faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends. Tickets to purchase small samplings of international foods cost $1 each (Cash and BuckID only). The student organizations will prepare foods with an international flavor that are characteristic of their home countries.


Student organizations will set up booths in the Grand Ballroom and the Performance Hall to serve international cuisine and share insight into their home cultures. Performances will be live in the Great Hall and will be simulcast on the big screens throughout the Ohio Union.


A wide range of student organizations and university departments come together in support of this Ohio State Signature Event, which last year attracted close to 4,000 people. Read more

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Edward Maibach
"TV Weathercasters as Climate Educators: Making the Global Local"
11 a.m., 360 Journalism Building, 242 W. 18th Ave.
Sponsored by School of Communication and Byrd Polar Research Center


Edward Maibach

Since the first Climate Change in the American Mind survey (2008), investigators at George Mason and Yale Universities found that 2 out of 3 American adults trust TV weathercasters as a source of information about climate change. Upon learning this factoid, a senior TV meteorologist working in the Washington, D.C., media market phoned the lead investigator at Mason with a proposition: Let's work together to test the proposition that TV weathercasters can be effective climate educators.


That call led to three NSF grants (and philanthropic funding), and to a partnership involving universities (Mason, Yale, and Cornell), nonprofit organizations (Climate Central), professional societies (American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association), and government agencies (NOAA and NASA), and to considerable evidence that supports the proposition that America's TV weathercasters can indeed play an important role in educating the public about the local consequences of a global challenge.


Edward Maibach MPH, PhD (Communication, Stanford, 1990) is director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University. He conducts research on public engagement in climate change, and co-chaired the Engagement and Communication Working Group for the 3rd National Climate Assessment. He previously served as associate director of the National Cancer Institute, worldwide director of social marketing at Porter Novelli, and chairman of the board for Kidsave International. Read more

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Taking Ohio's Temperature: Assessing Local Health Impacts of Climate Change
7 p.m., WOSU@COSI, 333 W. Broad St.
Presented by Health Science Frontiers


NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently announced that 2014 was globally among the top three warmest years since record-keeping began. However, what does this change in global climate mean locally for Ohio and Ohioans in the long-term?


According to 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment, Ohio is likely to experience more extreme heatwaves, increased heavy rain downpours, and flooding that will significantly worsen both local air and water quality. Climate change will also likely worsen existing environmental problems to harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.


How will these environmental changes impact human health in Ohio? Scientists and health experts warn that lower air quality may worsen asthma and increase respiratory diseases and infections. Lower water quality may also boost rates of infectious insect and water-borne diseases. Drinking water supplies may also be threatened, as recently happened in Toledo last year, as toxic algal blooms occurring in Lake Erie and inland water reservoirs occur more frequently.


So how do we adapt to these new climate conditions? What health precautions do we need to take? How do we communicate and educate Ohioans about these health risks? Please join us for a public conversation on these topics and more with a panel of local and national health, risk, and climate experts, including:

  • Edward Maibach, Professor and Director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University
  • David Bromwich, Professor of Geography and Senior Research Scientist at the OSU Byrd Polar Research Center
  • Jeffrey Reutter, Director, Ohio State Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory
  • Richard Hicks, Director, Office of Health Planning at Columbus Public Health

The panel will be moderated by a WOSU journalist. The event is free and open to the general public with seating beginning at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will be able to participate in the panel discussion during the Q and A session. Free parking vouchers will be distributed at the event. Please RSVP your attendance to by February 18, 2015.  Read more

Friday, February 20, 2015

Kathryn D. Sullivan
John H. Glenn Lecture on the Future of Space Policy and Exploration

7 p.m., Sanders Grand Lounge, Longaberger Alumni House, 2200 Olentangy River Road
Presented by John Glenn School of Public Affairs

Kathryn Sullivan

Kathryn Sullivan is a an esteemed scientist, renowned astronaut and intrepid explorer.


Prior to being confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, Sullivan held the position of assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction and deputy administrator.


Sullivan is the United States co-chair of the Group on Earth Observations, an intergovernmental body that is building a Global Earth Observation System of Systems to provide environmental intelligence relevant to societal needs.


An accomplished oceanographer, she was appointed NOAA's chief scientist in 1993, where she oversaw a research and technology portfolio that included fisheries biology, climate change, satellite instrumentation, and marine biodiversity.


She was the inaugural director of the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University.  Prior to joining Ohio State, she served as president and CEO of COSI.


Sullivan was one of the first six women selected to join the NASA astronaut corps in 1978 and holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space. She flew on three shuttle missions during her 15-year career, including the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope.


Sullivan holds a bachelor's degree in earth sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a doctorate in geology from Dalhousie University in Canada. Read more and buy tickets 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Ohio State Law Journal Symposium
"State Constitutions in the United States Federal System: An Exploration of the Construction, Execution, and Interpretation of State Founding Documents"

8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saxbe Auditorium, Drinko Hall, 55 W. 12th Ave.
Presented by Moritz College of Law

State constitutional law has historically been under-studied in comparison to federal constitutionalism and yet, it is an extremely important source of American law. this symposium will explore the various structural aspects of state constitutional law.


Panelists will examine where state constitutions fit in to our federal system and how they are to be interpreted, amended, and utilized by advocates amidst the backdrop of its federal counterpart. They will also debate topics including popular constitutionalism, state constitutional independence, individual rights' protections, state administrative agencies, and more.


Featured guests will include:

  • James Gardner - Professor of Law at SUNY Buffalo.
  • Sanford Levinson - Professor of Law, Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin.
  • The Honorable Goodwin Liu - Associate Justice, California Supreme Court.
  • Ann Lousin - Professor of Law, John Marshall Law School.
  • Jim Rossi - Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School.
  • Aaron Saiger - Professor of Law, Fordham University.
  • Miriam Seifter - Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin.
  • Virginia Seitz - Former United States Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel and current Partner at Sidley Austin LLP.
  • Steven Steinglass - Professor Emeritus, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
  • The Honorable Jeffrey Sutton - Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and Adjunct Professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
  • Alan Tarr - Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University at Camden.
  • Robert Williams - Professor of Law, Rutgers School of Law.

Registration is required. Reserve your spot today.

Other News
Nominations sought for multicultural engagement award


The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is seeking nominations for the Ruth C. Bailey Award for Multicultural Engagement. Now in its third year, the award recognizes a faculty, staff member, or volunteer at Ohio State who has demonstrated a significant contribution toward multicultural interaction and understanding.


Criteria for Nomination


Submit a 1-page nomination statement that addresses how the nominee has demonstrated a significant commitment to enhancing interaction between multicultural and foreign-born, naturalized students and the Ohio State community through one or more of the following:

  • Excellence in helping multicultural students/faculty with social, cultural or cultural transitions
  • Serving, supporting and/or mentoring a culturally diverse body of students
  • Creating a supportive environment for foreign-born students and faculty
  • Recruiting and retaining multicultural and foreign-born students, faculty, and staff.

Read more and submit a nomination.  Deadline: Friday, March 27, 2015.

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