CMU official to study European issues on trip

Colorado Mesa University Vice President for Student Services John Marshall will embark Wednesday on a four-week, fellowship-funded trip to Europe.

Marshall is one of fewer than 50 young U.S. leaders selected to participate in the annual Marshall Memorial Fellowship program this summer. The fellowship is named after former U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, namesake of the Marshall Plan, which dedicated U.S. dollars to rebuilding post-World War II Europe.

The German Marshall Fund of the United States, a public policy and grant-making group, created the fellowship 30 years ago to strengthen U.S. and European understanding by sending Europeans to the U.S. to study the nation’s political, economic and education systems. The fellowship started sending U.S. residents to Europe to learn about the same systems abroad 13 years ago.

Marshall will begin his trip with a briefing in Washington, D.C., then fly to Brussels for briefings on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union. Three cohorts of about 15 people each will split after Brussels into groups of about five people, Marshall said.

Berlin will be the next stop for Marshall, where he said he hopes to learn about Germany’s monetary policy and its role in trying to keep the European Union and its common currency afloat. Then it’s off to a country not doing as well with the euro, Greece.

“I think I’m there 10 days after their election, so I have no idea what to expect,” Marshall said.

Marshall said he requested an audience with the president of Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, but is not sure whether the request will be granted. He also asked for a meeting with Croatia’s equivalent of a secretary of state during a visit to Zagreb, which will be the next stop.

The trip concludes with more briefings in Istanbul.

Marshall said he was humbled to be nominated by a fellowship recipient he met while working in Denver. Nominees go through a three-month vetting process before selection and have to be considered up-and-coming leaders in the public or private sector.

“I just view it as one of those rare opportunities as a leader to gain perspective, regardless of what my next professional opportunity holds,” Marshall said. “It’s one of those once in a lifetime opportunities to get what I anticipate to be a well-rounded view of Europe.”

Marshall said he plans to make a presentation about what he learned on the trip to Colorado Mesa trustees and possibly host a few presentations on campus. What he learned about government and economic policies in Europe also will weave into his teachings as a political science instructor at the university, he said.


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