This past summer Kimi King and Jim Meernik took another group of students to The Hague, Netherlands as part of their award-winning study abroad course, International Criminal Tribunals. The students watched the trials of Radovan Karadžić, Ratko Mladić, and others indicted for genocide and other crimes against humanity committed during the Balkan Wars in the 1990s. This course won the American Political Science Association’s Rowman and Littlefield Award for Innovative Teaching in 2007. It has been a life-changing experience for a number of students over the years. Chris Fariss took it as an undergraduate, subsequently changed his major from Art to Political Science and went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego. He recently started a faculty position at The Pennsylvania State University teaching and is doing cutting edge research in human rights. Geoff Dancy took the course as an undergraduate and went on to earn a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. He just joined the faculty of Tulane University and is also teaching and doing research in human rights. This year the Dallas Bar Foundation supported this course by donating $5,000 to help offset travel costs for students. The Castleberry Peace Institute also contributed $7,000 in scholarships for students who took this course.
Kimi King and Jim Meernik also began their research project on victims and witnesses who testified at the ICTY. The ICTY asked them to take on this project. They chose Kimi and Jim because of the strong working relationship they have developed with the ICTY staff over the years of teaching the course there and because of the cutting edge research on the ICTY that those two – and their students – have published on the ICTY. We are very proud to have in the Castleberry Peace Institute two people whose scholarship is matched only by their commitment to improving the lives of those who have been victims of gross human rights violations.