A group of Troy University students recently listened to and conversed with a groundbreaking U.S. diplomat.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who served under President Bill Clinton, spoke to a select nationwide audience on a conference call last month sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations.
About 10 students, many from Dr. Michael Slobodchikoff’s American Foreign Policy class, participated in the conference call, and Albright even answered a question from a TROY student.
“We got invited to attend this talk as one of a handful of schools,” said Slobodchikoff, Chair of the Department of Political Science. “We opened it up to all of our majors. Because it was a conference call, we had to limit number of students we could take in, and we were huddled around a conference table. They were very excited about it. They walked out of there thinking, ‘This is really neat.’”
The Council, a nonpartisan think tank, sponsors several such talks during the year, and Slobodchikoff said TROY participates in those that are of particular value to students.
“It was particularly useful, because it’s not every day you get to talk to a former Secretary of State,” he said. “We take part in the ones that are the best fits for our students and that they might get the most out of. It’s extremely important.”
Slobodchikoff said he was proud of the students for how engaged they were with the conference call, and how closely they followed Albright’s discussion.
“It means a lot to our students who realize they’re just as competent as the others out there. That’s really important,” Slobodchikoff said. “Thanks to technology now, we can do it, where in the past we’d have had to go to Washington D.C. to do it, and now we can do these here in Troy.”