James Hurley | AMENDS Delegate 2012
James Hurley is a senior at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY. He studies Political Science and History, although his undergraduate thesis explored the role of philosophy in constitutional litigation of gay rights cases. While at Iona, James has worked as a researcher with a NGO at UN Headquarters authoring a policy paper on MDG 7 as a gateway for MDGs 1-6 in Sub-Saharan Africa. He has interned for a advocacy firm in Washington, DC on issues relating to global water security and extractive industries. He spent 2010-2011 as a student of the University of Oxford studying British Literature, Legal Philosophy and Balkan Politics. His interest in the Middle East, and in particular youth dialogue and engagement, stemmed from his involvement with the Soliya Connect Program. James is currently in training to become a facilitator for Soliya and is working on a research project that explores the value of internationalizing the curriculum at small liberal arts colleges.
James is an avid traveler and runner, having completed five marathons so far (the most recent being Jerusalem in March) and is looking forward to meting everyone in Palo Alto and maybe going for some training runs!
Drawing on the faith based mission of Iona College and the larger resources of New York City, my initiative seeks to connect the the religious, secular, and academic communities in the region. I propose a series of panel discussions, and indeed conversations, on College campuses. This series of discussions, lectures, round tables, and “brown-bag” lunches will focus around issues relating to youth issues on both sides of the “culture divide,” for example dating in the US and in the Middle East. I hope to develop the program at small schools in the NY region (or wherever I may be living next year) that would not otherwise have the resources or support staff to engage in such a project. In particular I would also encourage use of new technology, similar to Skype or Soliya Connect, to engage with academic colleagues (and students) in real time from the Middle East. The first year or two of the program would be spent developing and tweaking the program to fit a more uniform model that can then be used at other universities, community centers, and religious institutions with limited oversight.