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April 11, 2005

Coming To Campus

Coming to Campus is a section announcing visiting speakers of note.

Those who wish to submit items for this section should send a brief description (maximum 300 words) of the event, including the date, time, and place, and giving the name, title, outstanding accomplishments and, if available, a color photo of the speaker to: Visiting Speaker, Advance, 1266 Storrs Road, Storrs, CT 06269-4144 or by e-mail:, with Visiting Speaker in the subject line.

The information must be received by 4 p.m. on Monday, a minimum of two weeks prior to the event.

Publication will depend on space available, and preference will be given to events of interest to a cross-section of the University community.

Alumni to Give Presentation about Experiences in Iraq on April 14
UConn alumni Scott Holcomb, ’94, and Brett McGurk, ’96, will deliver a presentation titled “Iraq: A First-Hand Look at the War and Occupation,” on Thursday, April 14. A reception from 5 to 6 p.m. will be followed by an hour-long presentation and question and answer session. The two, who have both served in Iraq, will discuss their experiences before, during, and after the removal of Saddam Hussein from power.

Holcomb was a legal adviser to the Coalition Forces Land Component Command, a subordinate command to U.S. Central Command responsible for all land forces in Iraq. Holcomb advised the planning cell that drafted the campaign plan for Iraq from February 2002 until the start of the war on March 19, 2003. During the conflict, he provided guidance on international law and reviewed all potential targets for law of war compliance.

McGurk served with the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.S. Embassy from January to October 2004. He worked on a number of high-level projects, including Iraq’s interim constitution , the legal framework for nationwide elections, and the transfer of authority to the Iraqi Interim Government. After the transfer of authority from the United States to the Iraqis, McGurk worked as a legal advisor to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, where he advised U.S. officials on issues of international law and helped the United Nations prepare for elections.

International Nursing Expert to Give Keynote at Day-Long Event April 14
Lynda Law Harrison, co-deputy director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for International Nursing at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, will be the keynote speaker for the School of Nursing’s Distinguished Scholars Day on Thursday, April 14. She will speak on “The Evolution of a Program of Research: From the NICU to the Global Village.”

The day-long event on the topic “Approaches to Nursing Research: Impact of Culture” begins at 9:30 a.m., and ends with the keynote address at 5 p.m. It will take place in the Rome Ballroom.

A professor of nursing at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Harrison oversees the MSN/MPH coordinated degree and the neonatal nurse practitioner program.

Her research focuses on promoting positive parent-infant relationships and developing tactile interventions to reduce stress for premature infants. She has evaluated the effects of these interventions on a variety of bio-behavioral outcomes, and has published widely in the area of neonatal nursing and parent-infant interaction.

Her international work includes collaboration on teen pregnancy prevention projects in Guatemala, serving as a project evaluator for health projects in Estonia and Latvia, and consulting on two current research projects in Chile.

Her research has been funded by the National Center for Nursing Research and the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, among others. She is a former editor for the Americas for the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

To attend Distinguished Scholars Day, RSVP by Tuesday, April 12 to or 860.486.1701.

African Statesman to Discuss Human Rights, Democracy, on April 19
Sir Ketumile Masire, former president of Botswana in Southern Africa and a renowned champion of human rights, will deliver a public address on the state of human rights and democracy in Botswana and Africa on Tuesday, April 19. The event will take place at 12:30 p.m. in Student Union Room 304 B/C.

Botswana has been the most successful democracy in Africa, and Masire is second only to Nelson Mandela as the most respected statesman from Africa.

Masire became president in July 1980 after the death of the first president of the country. He previously served as vice president, and minister of finance and planning, and was largely responsible for establishing the country on a sound fiscal basis.

Under his leadership, in addition to consolidating a culture of democratic pluralism, Botswana increased youth literacy rates for both men and women, and developed a public health system that is committed to providing quality health care to the entire population.

The talk is hosted by the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Human Rights and co-sponsored by the African American Cultural Center.