USA: Expanding higher education at the margins
07 March 2012

International Director of Jesuit Refugee Service, Peter Balleis SJ, speaks at the podium alongside Mary McFarland, International Director of JC:HEM and Chris Lowney, Jesuit Commons President. (Rhonda Sheya, Regis University)
JC:HEM is an initiative of the Society of Jesus to bring Jesuit higher education to those on the margins of our society.
Denver, 7 March 2012  The International Director of Jesuit Refugee Service, Peter Balleis SJ, was one of several presenters offering initial remarks at the opening of the first international Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins (JC:HEM) conference at Regis University in Denver, Colorado.

Leaders in Jesuit Catholic higher education and innovators from 30 countries are among 120 attendees at the four-day event this week. The meeting is designed to envision and chart the future of a program that has provided online education to refugees in Kenya, Malawi, and Syria for the past two years.

The conference aims to expand the vision and outreach of JC:HEM and empower those at the very edges of our societies through access to Jesuit higher education, so that together we may foster hope to create a more peaceful and humane world.

Also offering welcoming remarks at the opening event were Mary McFarland, international director of JC:HEM and a Gonzaga University professor; Heroic Leadership author and Jesuit Commons President Chris Lowney; Patricia Ladewig, vice president for Academic Affairs at Regis University, and Steve Jacobs, conference chair and assistant vice president for Academic Affairs at Regis University.

The second day of the meeting included keynote presentations by Vincent Cochetel, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees regional representative for the US and Caribbean, and Michael Garanzini SJ, president of Loyola University Chicago and secretary of Higher Education for the Jesuits.

JC:HEM is an initiative of the Society of Jesus to bring Jesuit higher education to those on the margins of our society. JC:HEM works with Jesuit Refugee Service enabling more than 250 refugees to study courses online and on-site in partnership with a global network of Jesuit universities. Refugees can earn a diploma in liberal studies and pursue community service learning tracks for a certificate of completion that benefits daily life in the camps

For further information on the JRS higher education initiative click here






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