Humanitarian Samantha Nutt, an authority on how war impacts civilians, will address honors students from across the nation Jan. 13 when North Central College hosts the 2012 Blue Key National Conference.
The Blue Key Honor Society recognizes college students at senior institutions of higher education for balanced and all-around excellence in scholarship, leadership and service. Nearly 120 students are expected to participate in the three-day national conference Jan. 13-15.
“We’re looking forward to bringing together students who have a commitment to leadership, academics and service,” says Renee Kosiarek, assistant to the director of North Central College’s Leadership, Ethics and Values program and advisor to the College’s Blue Key chapter.
Nutt’s keynote talk at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, in the College’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., is free and open to the public. Nutt is a medical doctor, founder and executive director of War Child North America, a regional office of War Child International—an organization that helps children overcome the challenges of living with and recovering from conflict.
For 15 years, Nutt has been at the front line of many of the world’s major crises from Iraq to Afghanistan, Somalia to the Congo and Sierra Leone to Darfur. She recently was appointed to the Order of Canada—that country’s highest civilian honor—and authored a book on her experiences, titled “Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies and Aid.”
Other events of the conference include opportunities to engage in local service projects, breakout sessions, team-building activities and an academic research symposium. The research symposium is a new event and invites students from attending chapters to submit research for presentation and peer review.
The conference has been organized in large part by the planning committee of North Central’s Blue Key chapter led by conference chair Ali Kordelewski, a senior from Plainfield who is majoring in music education.
North Central College’s Blue Key chapter was established in 2007 and has had a growing presence on campus. After graduation from North Central, Blue Key members have pursued studies in law and medical schools, participated in Teach for America and assumed leadership roles in not-for-profit organizations.