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Calling all to the HDC

Katie Buetow | Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dear Editor,

Why should engineering majors attend the 4th Annual Human Development Conference? Why should Biology majors, English majors or Graphic Design majors show up? Because all of you — scientists, writers, artists — are the reason for this event. You are presenting your research on the relationship between the spread of Emerging Infectious Diseases and freedom of the press. You are explaining your project to develop sustainable housing designs in an earthquake-ravaged Haiti. You are showing us how photography has the power to loosen the brutal grip of xenophobia in South Africa.

No matter what’s printed on our official transcripts, we are all students of international development. Experts in every discipline use their gifts to study life in developing nations and provide solutions for its many difficulties, from poverty to corruption to pollution. Whether “homework” means slaying a problem set or devouring the last 300 pages of Don Quixote, we share the same lifelong assignment: ensuring that every individual may enjoy a fulfilling, dignified existence.

This weekend, the HDC Committee invites you to attend the presentations of fellow undergraduates hailing from universities around the nation and world. This year’s conference theme, “Faces Behind the Figures,” reveals the individual stories that define life in developing nations. Through documentaries, photographs and lectures, presenters will delve into the truth that hides behind generalities and first impressions.

The 4th Annual Human Development Conference, sponsored by the Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity and the Kellogg Institute and cosponsored by SIT Study Abroad and the Center for Social Concerns, will take place on Feb. 10 to 11 at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 10, with panel sessions through the following evening. Please see http://nd.edu/~hdc for a complete schedule of speakers and events.

We hope that you will join the conversation as we seek to understand and aid the developing world. Together, we possess the ability to see the human faces printed on the pages of our textbooks, to hear the hope echoing in quiet places where we least expect to find it.


The 2012 HDC Committee

Katie Buetow


off campus

Feb. 8