Read Full Story A new free online course from Harvard University will explore the principles guiding humanitarian response to modern emergencies as well as the challenges faced by responders when providing aid.Humanitarian Response to Conflict and Disaster—offered through HarvardX, the University’s branch of the online education platform edX—begins Aug. 30, 2016. Already, more than 9,000 students from 175 countries have enrolled.Through interviews, discussions, and case studies, the course will cover topics such as rapid population displacement, violence against civilians and aid workers, civil-military engagement, and neutrality of humanitarian workers during combat. The course will be co-taught by Jennifer Leaning, François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights and director of Harvard’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, and Michael VanRooyen, chair of emergency medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI). Other course contributors will include experts from Harvard, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Oxfam America and the U.S. Naval War College.“From the Syrian refugee crisis to the West Africa Ebola outbreak, humanitarian emergencies have reached unprecedented dimensions and proportions,” said VanRooyen. “This course is designed to raise the bar for leaders in the humanitarian field, in policy roles, and in the armed services who will face increasingly difficult challenges while serving vulnerable populations around the globe.”VanRooyen and his team at Harvard have responded to some of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history—in Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
General Martin Dempsey will speak at the University’s 171st Commencement Ceremony this May, the University announced Wednesday morning.As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Dempsey served as the nation’s highest-ranking military officer.Dempsey, who retired Wednesday after four years at the position, spoke on campus last September on the threats facing the U.S. for the annual Jack Kelly and Gail Weiss Lecture on National Security. During that same visit, he presented the American flag during the ceremonies before the football game against Michigan, according to the press release.According to the press release, he graduated in 1974 from the U.S. Military Academy and later earned a master’s degree in English from Duke University before serving as an assistant professor of English at West Point for three years. He also holds master’s degrees in military art and national security sciences.Throughout his career, Dempsey has served all over the world, and received awards including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star with “V” Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Action Badge and the Parachutist Badge, according to the press release.According to the same press release, Notre Dame’s Commencement Ceremony will be held in Notre Dame Stadium on May 15, 2016 at 9 a.m.Tags: Commencement 2016, Commencement Speaker, General Martin Dempsey