TTU hosts recent ETSU graduate to speak about Haiti

Posted by Lori Shull - Thursday, November 10 2011

“Every day a child in Haiti dies from a disease whose vaccine has existed for more than a century,” Jonathan Calloway wrote. “It upsets me when we hide behind token terms like ‘sustainability’ and ‘cost-effectiveness’ to justify stupid deaths.”

Calloway is the first-prize winner of the annual Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics essay contest. The recent East Tennessee State University graduate will be at Tennessee Tech University at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21, in the Nursing Building auditorium.

As the speaker in the TTU Honors Program Fall 2011 Forum, he will discuss his recent mission trip to Haiti, which formed the basis for his winning essay.

“It’s a highly regarded national prize,” said Rita Barnes, honors program director. “We’re hoping this will inspire more students to think not just about doing service now, but to let it have a major impact on their lives and careers.”

Members of the honors program student organization, the Associated Scholars Guild, organize the forum every semester.

“Haiti is still a very timely issue, but it’s being put on the back burner,” said communications major Bridgette Buchanan, who has been in charge of organizing the event. “I think it would be great to revive the issue.”

The talk, about the ethical implications of international development and social policy in the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, is free and open to the public.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the small island nation in January 2010, destroying much of the capital city, Port-au-Prince.

“I think that we’re always in danger of becoming callous about well-publicized tragedies,” Barnes said. “Hearing from someone who has not only been there, but who is also from Tennessee, and is their age, that may make the difference.”