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NMSU faculty to share international experiences with community

A New Mexico State University history professor's recent visit to Africa convinced him of the value of sharing his own international experience. Jon Hunner, who is also head of the history department, is spearheading a year-long series of lectures by enlisting other faculty in the College Arts and Sciences to share their global connections with the public.

NMSU History Department Head Jon Hunner, family and friends explore the Lake Ladgo Dam in northern Cameroon. Pictured from left are Clifford Ebong, Bryan Ebong, Harley Hunner, Jon Hunner, Mary Ellen Hunner and Sydney Ebong (Courtesy photo).

Hunner will give the first of these talks about his trip to Cameroon at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 6 in the Creative Media Institute Theatre at Milton Hall.

"We ate some traditional foods and met many of the people in that village," Hunner said. "The lecture series will offer an armchair experience of different peoples and different lands."

With support from the arts and sciences college, the series called "Global Connections," will feature faculty members' exotic trips around the world. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for members of the campus and surrounding community to listen and ask questions about the kind of first-hand experiences most people might never otherwise encounter.

Hunner described a grueling 30-hour flight to Cameroon to visit his son, Harley, who is in the Peace Corps. Hunner and his wife Mary joined their son in a village with no running water and no electricity.

"The power was out when we went there too, so we got a taste of the 'real Africa' as Harley said. We met some of Harley's friends and toured a local hospital where there is a cholera hut to treat the outbreak of cholera that occurs every wet season which is the summer," Hunner said.

He not only expanded his understanding of the local culture during his trip to Cameroon, but Hunner also gained new perspective from how the experience has affected his son who has spent 27 months in the African village.

"We live in an interconnected world and many of us don't have the opportunity to go out and see it." Hunner said. "I thought it would be nice to share my experience in Africa with the university."

The "Global Connections" series runs through April 2012 and will be offered on the first Tuesday of each month, except December and January. Each presentation will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Creative Media Institute Theatre at Milton Hall.

The lectures are free and open to the public. A parking permit for off-campus visitors may be obtained at https://corridor.nmsu.edu/auxadmin/ParkingForms/epermit.aspx.

For more information, call 575-646-4601.