Julien Teel, senior SMU student and student fellow at the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, planned, built, and conducted an education outreach at the Hughes Trigg Student Center on September 16, 2013. Between 11.00am and 1.00pm, Julien, along with junior student Julianna Bond, presented information on territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas, answered questions, and encouraged students to learn more about rising tensions in these two regions and implications for U.S. national security. About 30 students stopped by and half engaged in in-depth discussions with Julien and Julianna.
In a chat with Julien after the event, he said he found that most students were surprised to hear that there are decades-old conflicts in the region. Most were keen to learn more and remarked they wish the media would do more to educate the public on complex issues like these and not only report when crisis or violence occurs. Asked what he values most from this experience, Julien said it was eye-opening to see that fellow students are keen to learn more about world affairs and he believes such education outreach is important to raise awareness among young people and prepare them for their careers.
– Anny Wong, Tower Center Fellow
* This activity benefitted from the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Public Education for Peacebuilding Support Initiative.
Julien Teel is a senior majoring in Political Science and International Studies, while also minoring in Chinese and Asian Studies. His research encompasses security and defense issues in East Asia, as well as analyzing the trilateral relationship between the U.S., Japan, and China. Currently, Julien is in the process of applying for Officer Candidate School in the Navy with the intention of entering as an Intelligence Officer. He eventually hopes to become a Foreign Area Officer in the Navy, formulating and promoting American foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region.