Next Conversation: Monday, October 1


Global (dis)Order? The U.S. Role in International Affairs

Red Raider Ballroom, Student Union Building 5:30 - 7:00p.m.

Mission Statement

Civil Counterpoints: A Campus Conversation Series aims to stimulate thoughtful and respectful dialogue on volatile contemporary issues among members of the Texas Tech community. The series offers the university community opportunities to hear experts in the field tackle difficult topics through the engaged dialogues we encourage in the classroom, the lab, our hallways, and other forums. The series strives to highlight the diversity of research, creative endeavors and critical analysis on campus, and to demonstrate the possibilities for meaningfulcollaboration across disciplines, perspectives, and expertise in a respectful environment. Among the hallmarks of a vibrant and engaged university is the safeguarding of academic freedom, a principle that protects our ability to explore, discuss, investigate, and challenge oneanother's ideas intellectually and courteously.

Civil Counterpoints

Global (dis)Order? The U.S. Role in International Affairs

Since taking office, the Trump administration has delivered on its promise to disrupt the status quo in global affairs and put the United States' interests first. From targeted travel bans to unconventional diplomacy to criticizing allies (and even U.S. intelligence agencies) to erecting significant trade barriers, much of the established wisdom and process regarding policy, politics and trade has been upended. At the same time, some senior members of Congress, the diplomatic corps and other government officials have endeavored to reassure overseas allies. This interactive session will bring together experts from policy, trade and military fields to discuss the present and potential futures of U.S. leadership and participation in the international domain.

Guests for the Apr. 4 Session

Ari Cohn

Director, Individual Rights Defense Program, FIRE

See bio

Ari Cohn is an attorney who joined FIRE to defend civil liberties after leaving private practice in Chicago, where he represented large multinational companies in high-stakes litigation. He regularly comments on First Amendment issues in the press, appearing in national and international television and radio broadcasts as well as in various print and online publications.

Ari is the director of FIRE's Individual Rights Defense Program, which engages in direct advocacy on behalf of students who have suffered violations of their rights, and he speaks regularly to diverse audiences about the importance of free speech, with a particular emphasis on bridging ideological divides and finding mutual understanding. Ari has authored and co-authored briefs to state and federal courts across the country, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

Ari earned his J.D. cum laude from Cornell Law School, and his B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A native of Skokie, he studied the famous ‘National Socialist Party of America' case at an early age, which cultivated a profound respect for the First Amendment, and a lifelong passion for free speech issues. He brings a diverse perspective on student disciplinary issues as well; as an undergraduate, he served on the University of Illinois' student conduct hearing committee, and later returned to work as a legal intern in its Office of University Counsel. Ari is a member of the Illinois State Bar and the First Amendment Lawyers Association.

Jody Randall

Lead Administrator, Office of LBTQIA

See bio

Jody Randall serves as Lead Administrator for LGBTQIA at Texas Tech University. She joined the Red Raiders in January, 2017 after serving fifteen years at Murray State University where she founded their Office of LGBT Programming. While at Murray State University, she received the President's Award for Diversity and Inclusion and, in 2011, a Staff Excellence Award. She is a past member and co-chair of the Board of Directors for the Equality Federation. While in Kentucky, Jody was an active leader for the LGBTQIA community in advocacy and service sectors serving on the boards of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance (now Fairness Campaign) and Heartland CARES, Inc. Currently, she serves as a Board member for the Jim Collins Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds gender-confirming surgeries for transgender people who need it. Jody holds a Master's of Science in Human Development and Leadership, a Bachelor's of Integrated Studies in Human Services, and an Associates in General Studies from Murray State. In her role at Texas Tech University, she facilitates the development of educational, personal, and social support programs for LGBTQIA students, serves as an advocate for issues affecting LGBTQIA people, and provides leadership on efforts to promote inclusive excellence. In January, 2018, Jody was ordained and installed as a ruling elder Presbyterian USA Church at Covenant Presbyterian in Lubbock.

Wendy-Adele Humphrey

Associate Dean, School of Law

See bio

Wendy-Adele Humphrey is the interim Associate Dean of Admissions, and the Associate Dean for Educational Effectiveness and a Professor at the School of Law. She also serves as the director of the Texas Tech University Pre-Law Academy. Her research primarily focuses on women's decision making rights, with an emphasis on reproductive justice, and she is the Chair of the President's Gender Equity Council. She is currently the Chair of the national ABA Negotiation Competition committee, the President of Law Focused Education, Inc., and a member of the statewide attorney disciplinary board. She also serves as the Chair-Elect for the Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research section of the Association of American Law Schools and is the President of the Lubbock Area Bar Association. Dean Humphrey has received numerous teaching awards, including the 2017-18 Chancellor's Council Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2014 Spencer A. Wells Creativity in Teaching Award. She earned her B.A. from Westminster College (Fulton, Missouri) and her M.Ed. and J.D. from Texas Tech University.

Kimberly Simón

Title IX Coordinator, Texas Tech

See bio

Kimberly Simón serves as the Title IX Administrator at Texas Tech, working to ensure a safe environment for the campus community. The office collaborates with various stakeholders across the institution to provide resources and remedies, campus-wide education on policies and procedures, and crucially, a fair and equitable process for all parties involved in a Title IX matter. Having been at the university for over a decade, Kimberly has had the opportunity to serve in several roles, including as an instructor in the College of Human Sciences, and working with the Student Activities Board. In 2015, Kimberly became the first director of the Risk Intervention & Safety Education (RISE) Office, laying the groundwork for the prevention and wellness education and outreach for Tech students. Kimberly earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy from Texas Tech, and holds a B.S. in human development from Virginia Tech. Kimberly was proudly recognized as a 2017 Top Techsan and awarded the 2017 Paul Michael Rogers Activist Award for service to the Lubbock LGBTQ community.


Tom "Smitty" Smith

Director of Public Citizen's Texas Office

Calendar of Events

Monday, October 1

Global (dis)Order? The U.S. Role in International Affairs

Red Raider Ballroom, Student Union Building 5:30 - 7:00p.m.

Prior Discussions

President Schovanec's Civil Counterpoints Greeting (Video)Oct. 3, 2017 - "Cooling Down the Heated Debates: Understanding Approaches to Climate Change"

Related Bibliography and Videos

Media reports of conflicts on university campuses 2016-17

Essays/research regarding higher education institution's roles in society during turbulent times

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