Webinars on virology, volunteerism join French Tournées film festival on activities list

Although the start of the 2021 Peace and War Summit may be the marquee event, the coming week’s calendar remains full of intellectually stimulating fare. A virology webinar from the Master of Public Administration Speakers Series, a webinar on equity, diversity and inclusion in the armed forces and the start of the Virtual Tournées French Film Festival highlight the schedule.

Dr. Mark G. Lewis, president of Bioqual, a publicly traded, Rockville, Maryland-based contract research company will deliver the virology webinar, “Pandemics, vaccines and research: How did we get the COVID-19 vaccine so quickly?” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Lewis’ company focuses on viral infectious diseases, researching COVID-19, AIDS, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus infection, flavivirus infections including Zika and Dengue, malaria and hepatitis. The company serves commercial and government clients.

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Dr. Mark G. Lewis, president of Rockville, Maryland-based contract research company Bioqual, will deliver the virology webinar, “Pandemics, vaccines and research: How did we get the COVID-19 vaccine so quickly?” on Wednesday. (Photo by Hakan Nural/Unsplash.)

Lewis, who joined Bioqual in 2003, earned his Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University and his master’s degree (1980) and doctorate (1983) from Ohio State University’s Department of Veterinary Pathology.

He performed postdoctoral studies in Ohio State’s Pharmacology Department and continued as a research associate there. Lewis was later staff virologist at the Southern Research Institute in Frederick, Maryland (1988 to 1991) and a principal scientist for the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, Rockville, Maryland (from 1991 to 1998). In 1999, Lewis rejoined the Southern Research Institute as a staff scientist; he was named acting director and senior scientist in 2002.

Last week, The New York Times reported on Lewis’ scramble to find research monkeys for pharmaceutical companies including Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to aid in developing COVID-19 vaccines. In August, Bioqual published research on the successful testing of an mRNA vaccine in nonhuman primates. Scientists at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center and a pharmaceutical company co-developed the candidate vaccine, mRNA-1273.

Click here for details on Lewis’ presentation.


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EYE ON EQUITY: The Office of Academic Research and the John and Mary Frances Patton Peace and War Center will present “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Armed Forces: An overview of an international research project on immigrants’ participation in the military” from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday.

This presentation summarizes a research project that brings together scholars from 12 countries (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, India, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States). The project names challenges, best practices and possible solutions for eliminating barriers to ease immigrants’ participation in the armed forces.

This presentation summarizes a research project that brings together scholars from 12 countries (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, India, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States).

The project team includes Grazia Scoppio (Queen’s University and Royal Military College of Canada); Sara Greco (Queen’s University) and Alex Olteanu (Queen’s University).

Scoppio is spending the spring semester at Norwich as a Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Peace and War Studies and guest of the Peace and War Center.

During her Norwich University residency, Scoppio, whose current research is on immigrants’ participation in the military from an international perspective, will network with students, faculty and partner organizations. She’s backed by the Peace and War Center.

The seminar will run in a physically distanced, masked, limited-seating version at Mack Hall and online. Click here for details.

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Unify, a student-run organization sponsored by the Center for Civic Engagement, aims to raise awareness and support for those who are differently abled. (Photo by Mark Collier/Norwich University.)

GOOD CAUSES: Norwich’s Center for Civic Engagement will hold a webinar from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Thursday.

The center, in its 19th year at Norwich, coordinates all local, national and international volunteering and community service opportunities for our campus community, including Alternative Break Service trips, the Civic Scholars Program, the Buddy-Up Youth Mentoring Program, Rotaract and Special Olympics.

The group also organizes twice-a-year Red Cross blood donation drives at Plumley Armory and in recent years helped establish collegiate chapters of nonprofit organizations Girls Who Code, Habitat for Humanity and Amnesty International.

Center for Civic Engagement Director Nicole DiDomenico and Assistant Director Abigail Joyal will present Thursday’s webinar. Click here for details.

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SETTING SCREENS: The Tournées French Film Festival in a virtual format starts Friday, making its Norwich University debut.

The festival will feature six French films with English subtitles screened over six weeks online; round-table discussions with Norwich professors will follow each film. Dr. Sophia Mizouni, an assistant professor of French, was awarded a $2,200 grant from the FACE Foundation to mount the festival.

The festival’s first film, “The Freshmen” tells the story of Antoine and Benjamin, two study buddies who cram relentlessly for a make-or-break exam to determine whether they can pursue medical careers. Antoine, on his third try, is desperate to succeed; Benjamin, a prominent surgeon’s son, is fresh from high school. Their differing fortunes highlight this savagely competitive system and its implications for different social mobility.

Click here for details on the film festival.

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Click here for a complete listing of upcoming Norwich University events.


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