December 7, 2016

Dear Members of the College Community,

Last year I convened a task force to consider actions we might take as a College to help support the millions of refugees displaced by the ongoing civil war in Syria. Since that time, I am aware that students, staff, and faculty on our campus have been working with local and state organizations assisting newly resettled Syrian families in Connecticut. Among the ideas coming out of the task force was a recommendation that a more permanent committee be established at Connecticut College to coordinate these efforts. I am writing to announce the formation of a new Committee on Refugee Relief and Education to help advance this work at Connecticut College.

Tristan Borer, professor of Government and International Relations, has agreed to chair the group. Joining her will be Mary Devins, associate director of the Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA); Jamila Ezbidi ’19; Ramzi Kaiss ’17; Laura Little, instructional designer/director of the Language and Culture Center; Karolin Machtans, assistant professor of German Studies; Tracee Reiser, senior associate dean for Community Partnerships and associate director of the Holleran Center; and Melissa Ryan, assistant director of the Global Commons. The committee will work with the Global Commons and other existing groups on campus and in the region to organize programs drawing on our resources as an institution of higher education. It will also serve as a clearinghouse for information about volunteer work and other engagement opportunities relating to refugee issues more broadly, both in this country and abroad.

If you are interested in becoming involved in this effort, please be in touch with Professor Borer. And please join me in thanking these colleagues for their commitment.

Katherine Bergeron