As a high school student Benjamin Craig's motto was, "Here's my plate, load it on." He brought that mentality with him to Emmanuel, where he has always been ready to take on a new opportunity.
Emmanuel’s Institute of Eastern Mediterranean Studies held its inaugural event on November 9 at its new headquarters on the College’s Notre Dame campus in Roxbury. The event welcomed former ministers and diplomats as well as prominent academics.
The mission of the Institute of Eastern Mediterranean Studies is to promote and support the study of the Eastern Mediterranean and neighboring regions by building on the liberal arts mission of Emmanuel College and leveraging the academic and innovative power of Boston. The Institute sponsors academic programs, research and educational opportunities for students, scholars, policymakers and practitioners in Boston and throughout the Eastern Mediterranean.
While formally established this year, the Institute of Eastern Mediterranean Studies has had a presence at Emmanuel since 2012, when Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies Petros Vamvakas, the director of the institute, began guiding summer academic programs centered at the island of Crete and at the Institute of Cretan Studies. Moving forward, the institute will continue to organize various programs in both Boston and in the Mediterranean.
"The establishment of the Institute will position Emmanuel College as a distinct center for study and research focused on the Eastern Mediterranean and neighboring regions," Vamvakas said.
This semester, the Institute continued to host a lecture series titled "Eastern Mediterranean in the Fenway: Borders and Crossroads" and in September formally introduced the establishment of the Ambassador in Residence. Ambassador Vesko Garcevic, will serve as the Ambassador in Residence for the 2018-2019 academic year.
During his diplomatic career, Amb. Garcevic dealt with issues pertinent to European security and NATO for almost 14 years. In 2004, he was posted in Vienna to serve as Ambassador to Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He had been Montenegro's Ambassador to NATO from 2010 until 2014 and served as a Montenegro's National Coordinator for NATO from 2015 until he joined the faculty at the Pardee School.
Amb. Garcevic will provide mentorship and expertise on issues relating to the region of the Eastern Mediterranean by participating in classes and panels and giving a College-wide lecture each semester. During the Fall semester Amb. Garcevic organized and led a four-week simulation on Syria within the "Model United Nations" political science course.
On November 15, Amb. Garcevic, professor of the practice of international relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, spoke at Emmanuel on the topic of "NATO and the Western Balkans: The Center of Great Power Competition."
"Having someone of Ambassador Garcevic's stature provides the Institute an immediate acceptance as a center of expertise in the areas of diplomacy and strategic negotiation in the Eastern Mediterranean and wider Eurasia," Vamvakas said. "Furthermore, it gives the wider Emmanuel community the opportunity to interact with a practitioner and someone that has negotiated for his country at the highest level. We couldn't have asked for a better inaugural Ambassador for the Institute of Eastern Mediterranean Studies."