Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

J. Michael Adams Lecture and Conversation at the United Nations — December 1, 2016

I am honored to have attended the 2016 J. Michael Adams Lecture and Conversation,”Living in a Shrinking World — Sharing Our Future TOGETHER!”

The speaker was Mark Harris, President Emeritus of ELS Educational Services and Berlitz, at the third in the annual series in remembrance of the late Fairleigh Dickinson University President and advocate of global citizenship, and organized by the United Nations Academic Impact.

Speaking to a large audience, Professor Harris and the panel, which included UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, discussed the importance of language and of multilingualism in an increasingly globalized world, frequently referencing the ELS/ United Nations Academic Impact Many Languages One World Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum, inspired by the vision of President Adams.

The closing remarks by Mrs. Susan Adams, a panel member and member of the IAUP Senior Advisory Council,  were an inspirational conclusion to a memorable event.

The dignitaries in attendance included current FDU President Capuano, Vice Provost of  Academic and International Affairs Jason Scorza, President Emeritus Robert A. Scott of Adelphi University, and Ramu Damodaran, Chief, UN Academic Impact Secretariat.  The panel also included India’s Ambassador to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, and Cristina Gallach, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.

The entire lecture and conversation may be viewed @

Languages do matter!





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