Friday, April 29, 2016

A Very Good Day: Appreciating Being Appreciated

One of the great things about Carleton is that the institution, and especially the Faculty of Public Affairs [FPA] (what Americans would label the College of Public Affairs), recognizes folks for what they do.  Yesterday, the FPA handed out a variety of awards including:

I received the award for Public Commentary!  I am most grateful for this recognition of my work in this area.  They gave me a chance to say a few words so I noted the timing:
  • that I received this award just a day after being on 14 radio stations across Canada talking about Trump's foreign policy speech;
  • that is nearly 20 years (June 1996) when I had my most regrettable media appearance: 

There was a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia, and I was working in Lubbock, Texas and the TV folks asked: could it happen here?
Given that the attack in Oklahoma City was just three years earlier, I said yes. 
They asked: where?  I said where people gather—mall, airport, university.  With much enthusiasm, they asked VA hospital?  I said no.
That night they led the news with professor says it can happen here with video of people strolling through mall/airport/university.
The punchline is that five years later, after I had moved on, I got an email the day after 9/11 from a friend who blamed me for Lubbock closing the mall that day.
  •  I received the award two days before the sixth anniversary of this blog.  
I then explained why I do so much public commentary: 

Because of my relentless thirst for attention as the youngest in my family?  Sure.  But more importantly, I have long felt an obligation, a responsibility, to take what I have learned and share it, not just with my students and my colleagues in the profession but beyond.  In the US, there are lots of debates about policy relevance of International Relations scholarship.  It pops up here too.  I think the stuff that I do is relevant, and say so not so quietly.  I feel that engaging in public commentary via a variety means is something we need to do, especially if we receive grants from public agencies.
One of the reasons I moved to Carleton and to NPSIA was that a policy school would value this kind of stuff that I do.  And, given this award, I guess I was right.  So, I ended my few words by thanking my students, my colleagues, the Dean and the folks in the Dean's office.
A happy, appreciated and appreciative Steve



L'il Steve said...

Nah, I think the "most importantly" is your relentless thirst for attention ;-).

Karen Kelly said...

This was much appreciated by everyone in the Dean's office!

Steve Saideman said...

Karen, the mutual admiration society is, um, very mutual!