Jun 4 2013

Featured Alumni: Dr Bill Erysian (Post-graduate Diploma, International and Comparative Politics, 1983)

Bill Erysian
Post-Graduate Diploma, International and Comparative Politics, 1983

Dr Erysian is currently Manager of Grants and International Programs, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences & Technology, California State University, Fresno.

Bill Erysian

Dr Bill Erysian

Though I have been to London countless times over the past 30 years, I returned to the LSE in the spring of 2013 for a visit and discovered the place had outgrown its old footprint.  There was a new library, plenty of new buildings that had been acquired over the years and quite a number of smart classrooms, which is somewhat of an incongruity to those of us who wandered the halls in 1982.  Somehow I had expected to see an institution that continued to show its age, as I recall the rickety desks,  musty hallways and dark classrooms that so many of us crowded into to hear those lectures and the endless, passionate debates.  But progress and modernization are to be expected and I was pleased to see that the LSE certainly is no exception.  Still, I felt the sense that it remains a special place of learning, especially in the IR Department.

The LSE taught me a number of things, but most important was the fact that there is never really one correct answer to any complex question.  I keep that perspective with me until today and it has served me well, though not always in agreement with others.  The IR Department encouraged this approach back then as I am sure it does now.  Secondly, the concept that was repeatedly drilled into our minds that we are indeed an interdependent, global network of citizens could not have been more relevant as we look at today’s world.  Decades ago we were warned that if we do not address the problems facing the developing world, those problems will become our problems.  Just look around.

I consider one of the most pressing issues we face is growing food insecurity in the developing world.  This is one of the leading causes of regionally instability, conflict and economic uncertainty.  Our professors in the IR Department knew this back when there were no smart phones or internet to provide us with instant information and the decision-making tools we rely upon today.

All IR students should consider themselves to be in the proper framework to address some of the uncertainty we face as a modern society.  I left the LSE thinking at the very least I can try.

Some of my accomplishments include the following:

  • Created one the first Sino-American 1+2+1 Dual Degree Exchange Programs for the California State University
  • Developed “Agricultural Development for Afghanistan Pre-Deployment Training” (ADAPT) a 40 hour hands-on workshop to train US Government personnel in basic agricultural development concepts to promote agricultural education as a conflict mitigation tool in under-governed countries.
  • Established the California State University Consortium for International Development to offer a core of expertise to high-priority Non-Governmental international agriculture and related development initiatives currently underway across the globe.

I wish the LSE continued success and I have no doubt it will continue to be a place of self-discovery and exploration.

This entry was posted in featured alumni and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *