April 6, 2020
Jason Hatch is a retired U.S. Army soldier who served for 20 years including in Iraq and later as a military attaché at embassies in sub-Saharan Africa, before retiring as a major in 2013. Jason shares his personal journey and how his experiences led him to advocate for those children who find themselves caught in the horror of war as victims and even as soldiers themselves. His recent work includes a drama called Rope Tension about two Civil War drummer boys, one Union and one Confederate, thrown together one night after a battle. Jason was the Artist in Residence at the Gettysburg National Military Park in early 2020.
Additional thanks to the Seminary Ridge Museum on historic Seminary Ridge in Gettysburg, PA.
March 23, 2020
Haya Mohanna came to the United States from the Gaza Strip in Palestine to study at Gettysburg College. She was sponsored by LE.O (Leonard Education Organization) which supports nearly 60 qualified students in American universities. Even with this support, she experienced the difficulty of leaving occupied Gaza, and the frustration of not being able to visit her family whom she has not seen in seven years. She has flourished in America even while she continues to make adjustments as a Muslim woman to her new environment. She believes that this country is a beacon of hope that must come to terms with itself as a cultural mix where no religion, culture, or race can be privileged.
December 5, 2019
Ukraine is more than a late-night punchline or a pawn in U.S. domestic politics. It is a country rich in resources and history. Dennis Carter, recently retired career foreign service officer after 38 years in the Department of State, including postings in Kuwait, Peru, France, Jordan, the United Kingdom, and Grenada takes deep into the the history and the importance of Ukraine on the world stage. Strategically, it abuts western Russia. Other nations have coveted its territory for centuries because it is the “breadbasket of Europe, has rich mineral resources, and lately, technology. In recent years Ukraine has had to resist Russian incursions, especially a take-over of Crimea and threats to the Donbass region.
Also listen to our 2014 interview with Ambassador Lawrence Taylor on the conflict in Ukraine.
August 26, 2019
Fresh from a day of hanging large format portraits of Garmair Marines in the woods near the National Park Visitor Center, documentary photographer and film-maker Louie Palu took time for a chat with Katy Giebenhain and The Seminary Explores. Palu has navigated combat zones, mining shafts, Arctic terrain and many other sites and situations in his role as artist and photojournalist. For his mid-July to mid-August 2019 residency on the Gettysburg Battlefield he installed the portraits (taken in Afghanistan) and began new work in response to his experience in Gettysburg. Palu’s many awards include a Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Grant (2012) to cover the Mexican Drug War and a Milton Rogovin Fellowship at the Center for Creative Photography.
The Artist-in-Residence program is made possible by the Gettysburg Foundation and The National Park Arts Foundation, with support from the National Park Service
December 17, 2018
Gretchen Natter is the Executive Director of the Center for Public Service and Assistant Dean of College Life, Gettysburg College; and Communications Liaison, Project Gettysburg-Leon. In this podcast she describes the current political crisis in Nicaragua brought about by protests against President Daniel Ortega, the long-time leader of the Sandinista Movement that overthrew the Somoza dictatorship but is now using similar tactics to suppress opposition. The situation has directly affected the work of groups that encourage cultural interchange and assistance such as Project Gettysburg-Leon and others around the country.
October 8, 2018
On the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, Lt. Col. (ret.) Thomas Dombrowsky a Vietnam War combat veteran and Adjunct Professor, Gettysburg College, asks what we have learned: the trauma of veterans was not so much outright hostility as disinterest or silence; we should not blame the soldiers for bad policy; and, above all, we need to think beyond the end of hostilities so that winning the peace becomes as important as winning the war. On the positive side, he notes that two American presidents, Obama and Trump, have visited Viet Nam.
July 29, 2018
A widely traveled, award-winning “ambassador” of peace, Rev. Sandra Mackie, Spiritual Director, Ruth House, and Recipient of the Lifetime Peacemaker Award, Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice, believes that fear is a significant factor in war, and that better understanding is a key ingredient for peace. She observes that Iran should not be lumped together with other Mid-East nations. Iranians are not Arabs, but Persians with a long and proud history. They want to be democratic and open to the West, but free and independent; and when threatened, they think it necessary to develop a nuclear program.
June 4, 2018
Richard Michael, Interim Pastor Big Spring United Lutheran Church, discussed his recent travel to the Holy Land. Having led several groups over the years, he described the sites the group visited, the orientation to the trip for participants and the benefit of the trip for participants. For him and individuals in the group, the arrival to the Holy Land was “coming home” since the sites (cities and roads) are familiar to Christians through their reading of scriptures. In addition, Michael discussed the political realities which exist. Such a trip helps pastors to preach and teach more effectively and assists participants to reflect more critically when reading scripture and listening to sermons.
May 21, 2018
In the second of two interviews (the first on immigrating to the United States), Odila describes the circumstances of his arrest, imprisonment, brutalizing, and eventual escape. He was apprehended while working with the Red Cross in the Republic of Congo because he opposed the use of children as soldiers in Congo’s civil war, some as young as seven or eight. He continued his counseling during the 17 years he lived in an immigration camp in Zambia.
Recorded live on Sunday, May 6, at St. James Lutheran Church, Gettysburg.
March 12, 2018
Justine Odila talks about his journey from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United States. While in the Congo, he worked to help child soldiers to return to school, their families and mental stability as well as helping other young children to not become soldiers in the first place. This work resulted in him being arrested but he escaped to Zambia where he lived in a refugee camp for 17 years where he carried assisting those around him. After a 5-year vetting process, he was finally able to come to the United States via a resettlement program. He presently works at Walmart, works part-time as a mental health counselor, and attends classes at the community college.
To learn more about the Democratic Republic of the Congo you can begin here: