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first_imgUniversity President C. L. Max Nikias announced last week that he will teach a course on government in Ancient Greece next semester, available only to freshman and sophomore students. Nikias gave the Daily Trojan an inside look at what’s to come in his course, “The Culture of the Athenian Democracy,” which he will teach alongside professor of classics Thomas Habinek.A native of Cyprus and a graduate of the National Technical University of Athens, Nikias holds a deep connection with Greek literature and culture. He believes that understanding Athenian democracy’s influence on Western civilization is invaluable in students’ education.Students who are interested in the course must submit an application, including two responses about the applicant’s interest in the course and former experience with  classics, by Nov. 6. Nikias also encourages students to consider a minor in the classics, for which his class in the spring will fulfill a requirement.Daily Trojan: This is a topic that you’re very passionate about. What do you think your personal passion is going to bring to the classroom?C. L. Max Nikias: I want to bring the passion and hopefully to spark the fire in the minds of the students. There is so much wisdom, timeless wisdom, in the classics. And this wisdom is so relevant to our everyday life today as citizens of the world. So this is what I really want to achieve with this class, and I feel honored and humbled that Professor Habinek agreed to co-teach the class with me, who, as you know, is a renowned classicist.DT: What was the importance of just making the class available to freshman and sophomore students?CLMN: We are only going to enroll 40 students, and that’s why we’re not inviting everyone to apply. Because of the limited size, this isn’t the type of class where we can accommodate 100 or 200. With Professor Habinek, we decided that we should restrict it for freshmen and sophomores. And hopefully we can excite kids in the classics so that they might seriously consider pursuing a minor in the classics, whatever their major might be.DT: What do you think will be most impactful part of this course?CLMN: We’re going to cover a period that history refers to as “The Golden Age of Athens.” And then in particular, I’m going to do the analysis of three tragedies, three masterpieces of Sophocles — Antigone, Oedipus the King and Philoctetes. Then, Professor Habinek — and we are going to interchange in the lectures — he is going to cover the Peloponnesian War, but also the events that surrounded those periods of time. So hopefully the students will try to get in the minds of the Athenian audience when these tragedies were staged for the first time. Antigone was staged in 442 B.C., Oedipus the King in 429 B.C. and Philoctetes in 409 B.C. So we’ll cover a long period of time in the Athenian democracy.DT: What is important about studying this period of time?CLMN: We basically study these people, we ask the question, “Who were these people?” They pretty much gave us the principles of democracy because that’s when democracy was practiced and introduced, invented and practiced. So who were these people that gave us the first democratic experiment in human civilization? These were the people who gave us the trial by jury, these were the people who gave us the separation of church and state, these were the people who gave us that military authority must always be under civilian control. Or the right of dissent and open criticism, without having the fear of being persecuted — so they give us free speech. That’s why we chose the particular period of time.And, of course, theater was invented, in other words, theater as we know it today pretty much was born around the same time that democracy was born in Athens. So theater blossomed in parallel, together with this democratic experiment. And through these plays, these stories, these tragedies there are so many leadership lessons that could apply today. That’s what I want to emphasize in this class — what are the leadership lessons that we can extract as individuals from these three masterpieces of Sophocles?DT: What types of students are you hoping to see?CLMN: We want students from all disciplines to apply. Ideally, Professor Habinek and I would like to have a class that is very diverse in disciplines too. So we would like to have students from every professional school, whether it’s business or engineering or cinema or Annenberg and so on. And yes, we would also love to have students from the Dornsife College.DT: What are you most looking forward to about getting back in the classroom?CLMN: I feel that I’ve been missing that. I’ve been doing, for the last 10 years, micro-seminars where I do the analysis of Antigone over two days and a little bit of history of theater. I found that I enjoyed those micro-seminars very much, and the interaction with the freshman students. I think I have come to a point now, as president of the University, that it’s really worth going back to the classroom to co-teach a full course. It’s a lot of work, preparing for it, much more than just doing micro-seminars. But honestly, I am very excited. I am looking forward to it.last_img read more

first_imgBen NicholSterling.VC, a sports, media, and real estate company, has recruited Ben Nichol as its Head of Events and Business Development. Sterling.VC is part of Sterling Equities, which is co-owned by Fred Wilpon – the owner of the New York Mets and Overwatch League franchise New York Excelsior.Ben Nichol previously worked for Red Bull Media House in the esports division, starting in January 2014. His most recent position though, was as the Senior Program Manager for Events for the company – which began in November 2016 and lasted until February, where he was then acquired by Sterling.VC.Not only that, Nichol has experience in casting and commentating esports events, working for ESL, MLG, Blizzard, DreamHack, ASUS, and other organisations in the scene up until 2013. NYXL’s previous pick-up happened in January of this year, with the acquisition of David Kopelman as Head of Sponsorship for the franchise. Despite this, no jersey sponsorship has been revealed thus far.Nichol took to Twitter to say he’s “excited for this to finally be official,” and that he will post a “blog or something later with my thoughts”. New York Excelsior is currently sitting at the top of the Overwatch League, which is currently in its second stage, with a record of 14 wins to 2 losses. They topped Stage 1 of the league but came second in the playoffs after losing to London Spitfire. Esports Insider says: All of Nichol’s esports experience will likely add up to him being a great acquisition for Wilpon and co., who are venturing more and more into esports as time goes on. It can’t hurt that NYXL are currently at the top of the OWL either!last_img read more

first_imgThe National Elections Commission (NEC) has taken a number of highly proactive initiatives in preparation for Liberia’s historic forthcoming 2017 presidential and general elections. Last Sunday NEC’s Acting Chairman, Counsellor Sarah Findley-Toe, took the momentous step in launching the countdown to October 10, 2017, when the presidential and general elections are scheduled to be held.Acting Chairman Findley-Toe also displayed NEC’s very attractive and symbolic new logo, a “see through,” or a highly transparent ballot box intended to highlight NEC’s corporate image as an independent electoral management body.Said she, “This represents transparency and an electoral process in which all voters can freely elect their leaders in a free, credible and transparent manner.”NEC has also taken a series of dramatic and visionary initiatives to get its image across worldwide. It has first reconstructed its website, leveraging technology platforms that are relevant and efficient. Determined not to be left behind by any other electoral body worldwide, NEC has launched new social media platforms—Facebook and Twitter—designed “to present a whole new paradigm (concept, model) for effectively disseminating civic/voter education messages to the public as the country moves closer to the 2017 elections.”“In an era of greater transparency and authenticity,” Acting Chair Findley-Toe continued, “social media is rapidly delivering a new standard of interaction among people, thus motivating the launch of the Commission’s Facebook and Twitter platforms.”She commended the Liberian media’s continued partnership with NEC, and called on them to continue to disseminate effectively information about all aspects of the electoral process to the public as the Commission strives to extend civic voter education messages to the public, to ensure the conduct of free, fair, transparent and credible elections in 2017.We commend NEC for embarking upon this bold and up-to-date communication strategy being employed as it undertakes its advance work toward the ensuing elections.We at the Daily Observer, and we are certain the rest of the Liberian media, are aware of the importance and urgency of these preparatory initiatives and are prepared to do all we can to assist NEC in disseminating its messages to the people, in order to prepare them for these all important impending elections. Let us, meanwhile, remind NEC that it is a Liberian government institution, and that most GOL agencies, not necessarily NEC, are in a consistent habit of delaying payments to the media for legitimate work done for the said Ministries and Agencies. Last month, after years of delayed action in the face of mounting debts owed by GOL to the media, outgoing Finance Minister Amara Konneh, on his last day in office, approved media payments authenticated by Information Minister Eugene Nagbe. But guess what! No sooner had Minister Konneh sent the payment approval down stairs than the Deputy Minister James Kollie quickly announced that there was “no money to pay the media.” This has been a habitual tendency of this government, which increasingly appears to be a deliberate attempt to strangulate the media—small businesses all—that have so many expenses, including fuel for their own generators, providing their own water, buying films, inks, newsprint and plates; purchasing gadgets and maintaining transmitters for the electronic media; and paying salaries and other expenses. How do we meet all these expenses when our biggest customer, the Government of Liberia, fails to settle its indebtedness to us? Yes, the media knows that it is its civic and patriotic responsibility to give NEC all the encouragement and promotion necessary to ensure that the 2017 elections—indeed all elections—are held in a free, fair, credible and transparent manner. But the government of President Sirleaf needs to understand that there is a symbiotic (interdependent) relationship between government and the media. We need each other to keep this small country of ours going. The new trajectory of tracking GOL’s media spend through the Ministry of Information now makes it rather simple for the Ministry of Finance to disburse payment without going through a tedious vetting process. We call on the new Finance Minister, Boima Kamara, to make it one of his prime duties to cooperate with the media by ensuring that GOL pays them on time, while we appeal to President Sirleaf to encourage her officials to pay the media what they owe us and do so expeditiously. Madam President, we are hurting, to the point of suffocation. On a more URGENT note, the President, the Finance Minister Kamara and Information Minister Nagbe must know that the media folk are very worried that if we do not get paid our outstanding bills before June 15, when the GOL fiscal year ends, these current bills will go into recession and Heaven knows what that might mean. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more