Campus News


Faculty News

Robert Allinson – Professor of Philosophy

Robert Elliott Allinson, SUA Professor of Philosophy, was awarded the highly regarded and internationally competitive Senior Research Fellowship to the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Yad Vashem is the national center for Holocaust Research for the State of Israel and is the premier center for Holocaust Research in the world. Professor Allinson was the first philosopher/ethicist to receive this award in the history of Yad Vashem.  Professor Allinson also delivered an invited Distinguished Public Lecture, ‘Shattering the Myth of the Banality of Evil: Deconstructing Arendt and Eichmann,’ at the International Institute of Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, July 17, 2017. This lecture was attended by such renowned dignitaries as Justice Gabriel Bach, the former Supreme Court Justice of Israel and  Deputy Prosecutor of the Eichmann Trial and Dr. Efriam Zuroff, Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem.

Shane Brter, Associate Professor Comparative Politics, Associate Director of the Pacific Basin Research Center

George Busenberg, Associate Professor of Environmental Management and Policy

Deike Peters, Assistant Professor of Environmental Planning and Practice

Lisa MacLeod Associate Professor of International Studies

Jay Heffron, Director of the MA Program in Educational Leadership and Societal Change,  Professor of Educational History and Culture

On Saturday, September 23rd, several Soka University of America faculty members collaborated to form a panel at the International Studies Association (ISA) West conference in Pasadena.  Organized by Professor Shane Barter, “Studying the Pacific in a Global Age” featured presentations by five SUA professors, with Dr. William Ascher, Director of the Pacific Basin Research Center, serving as discussant.  The panel was also attended by eight SUA undergraduate students, undaunted by the 830am timeslot.

Dr. Barter presented an overview of the new textbook, The Pacific Basin: An Introduction, providing some background and conceptual context.  Professor George Busenberg’s presentation “Environmental Protection in the Pacific Basin” discussed major environmental threats and policy responses.  He emphasized that there is limited scholarship focused on environmental policy in a number of Pacific Basin countries, suggesting considerable potential for new work.  Professor Deike Peters’ “Global Cities, Megacities, Ordinary Cities: Urbanization across the Pacific Basin” assessed the utility of the Pacific Basin concept for studying urban networks and hierarchies.  She noted growing connections among cities across the Pacific Basin and some common challenges in the various sub-regions.  Professor Lisa MacLeod presented on “Reflections on Writing ‘Boundary Disputes in the Pacific Basin’,” providing an introspective account of the writing process for undergraduate learners, specifically writing on International Relations.  Finally, Jay Heffron presented some concluding thoughts on “The Transnational Pacific”, look at the growing interregional connections that make the Pacific Basin such an important frontier of research and teaching

Michael Weiner –  Associate Dean of Faculty, Director of Faculty Research and Development, Professor of East Asian History & International Studies

Ian Read – Associate Professor of Latin American Studies, Director of International Studies

Disease and Disease Control in Eras of Globalization Conference | September 22-23, 2017

This conference, sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs and co-organized by Professors Ian Read and Michael Weiner brought together scholars in the social sciences, the sciences and the humanities from across the United States to explore three interrelated assumptions. The first is that we cannot control disease without defining it. Disease can be politically contentious, or it can leave no room for debate. Disease can be intimately private, or it may sweep across continents with devastating consequences. In fact, disease is often defined by its control, the second assumption this conference explores. This may require the quick and private puncture of a needle, or it may be the call to marshal an army against a national threat. Cure may be a doctor’s heroic intervention, or the attempted extermination of an entire population. Finally, this conference explored the assumption that disease and its control are best understood in their “eras,” as products of history and the stream of cause of effect that cannot be confined to the local or the global.