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Professor remembers Steve Pasternack in Global Connections talk

The final Global Connections talk of the semester will feature a special presentation by Associate Professor Nathan Brooks about the late Steve Pasternack?s career and outreach work at New Mexico State University.



Steve Pasternack was a professor at NMSU from 1983 until his death in 2004. He served as journalism department head from 1994 to 2002.

Brooks, NMSU history professor, will present ?The International Travels of Steve Pasternack? at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in the Gerald Thomas Auditorium.

?I first met Steve on one of my first days on campus in August 1991,? Brooks said. ?This was a particularly exciting time because it was during the failed coup attempt that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union later that year. We became fast friends from that time.?

The ?Global Connections? series sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, features faculty members? trips around the world. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for members of the campus and surrounding community to listen and ask questions of NMSU professors about the kind of global first-hand experience they might otherwise never encounter.

Pasternack was a professor at NMSU from 1983 until his death in 2004. He served as journalism department head from 1994 to 2002.

Brooks will detail Pasternack?s trips to more than 17 countries, including Latvia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Albania, Mali and Ethiopia.

?My talk will focus on the countries where he taught classes and conducted workshops for various U.S. government agencies, including the Fulbright program, Voice of America and the U.S. State Department,? Brooks said. ?He talked about mass media ethics, freedom of speech, communications research methods and more. His goal was to increase the level of professionalism in journalism in countries emerging from authoritarian rule or which had suffered from violence in the past.?

In 2000 in the aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda that claimed nearly a million lives, Pasternack helped establish a journalism program at the National University of Rwanda during his first extended stay.

?I hope students will learn what a great impact a professor from the U.S. can have on students and professionals in other countries, and what a great loss his death was to all of us at NMSU, New Mexico and the United States,? Brooks said.

?The work that Steve did in these countries is the type of grass-roots help that not only improved the quality of life of the citizens in these countries, but I am sure also boosted the image of the U.S. in these countries. In fact, the journalism school bears Steve?s name in honor of his work there.?

Those who attend the lecture will have an opportunity to dine at 100 West Cafe prior to the talk. 100 West Cafe is a hands-on laboratory for students in NMSU?s Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management program, offering buffet-style dining every Wednesday for $8.