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UD Alum Returns as the Fall Wendt Lecturer

Wednesday, October 30, 2013  
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Dr. L. Ripley Smith (C'86) addressed 450 people Monday night, October 14, about refugees and their needs, challenging the audience to be a part of the solution. Current figures suggest that there are more than 45 million displaced people around the world--an 18 year high. Through his experience working with the growing population of refugees in the Twin Cities area, and through his research, Smith suggested that we can have a dramatic impact on these "strangers in our land."

A Professor of International and Media Communication at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN, Dr. Smith is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on the subjects of intercultural social support networks, refugee resettlement, cross-cultural partnership development, and the role of trust in post-conflict regions. He is also the chair of the board of directors for World Relief, Minnesota, a non-profit refugee resettlement agency.

As an alum, Dr. Smith returned to UD early enough to participate in Homecoming activities, including singing in the alumni choir at the Heritage Center dedication service. In addition to his Monday lecture, he met with various faculty, spoke to Honors students at a luncheon, and lectured to an intercultural communication class and to the mass Freshmen Worldview I class. There he challenged students not to be tourists in life but, rather, to be travelers—full of curiosity and willing to engage.

Dr. Smith graduated from UD with majors in speech communication and business administration. He went on to complete a master's degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. His recent research has explored identity reconstruction among KaRen and Somali refugee populations and partnership criteria in German and American NGOs. He is also a Fellow in the International Academy of Intercultural Research and author of many book chapters and journal articles.

Click here to read more November 2013 articles.

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