Garlough to present on recent trip to Iraq

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Garlough to present on recent trip to Iraq

September 8, 2009

Dr. Katherine Garlough, director of assessment and institutional effectiveness at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, recently traveled to Iraq to speak on institutional assessment and on human rights initiatives.

Garlough will be giving a presentation about her journey “The Other Iraq,” at 3 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10, in the Ranger Room in the Northwestern Student Center.

Dr. Garlough in Iraq 
Northwestern’s Dr. Katherine Garlough poses with Dr. Dara Jaff, Dean of Education at Salahaddin University, and his staff members. Garlough will be sharing information about her journey at 3 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10, in the Ranger Room in the Northwestern Student Center.

Garlough spent 14 days in Iraq and Jordan, traveling to the city of Erbil in Kurdistan where she spoke at a human rights conference hosted by the World’s Women for Life (WWFL) at the University of Kurdistan. She then lectured at Salahaddin University, and both lectures were televised on Arabic networks.

Currently, Garlough serves as a United States point of contact for higher education in Kurdistan, Iraq. Connections made through serving in this position led to the invitations to speak in Iraq. She had the opportunity to bring the practice of assessment at Northwestern to Salahaddin University where assessment processes are being developed.

She said one of the goals of this trip for her was reaching out to people in higher education to share best practices.

“Making personal connections with people in regions where we’ve had so much conflict is perhaps the best way to contribute to a better future,” Garlough said.

Speaking at the WWFL conference, Garlough said her presentation was about a proposed college curriculum where students learn to take leadership roles in human rights advocacy.

While in Iraq, Garlough was able to see a different country than what is commonly seen on television. She said the Kurdistan region is remarkable for all the new construction and development currently underway. The Kurdish people are very friendly and receptive to Americans.

“Iraq and the people of Kurdistan are so much more beautiful, complex and sophisticated than what we’ve seen on television,” Garlough said. “In fact, Kurdistan is quite secure and is preparing for tourists.”

She considers her trip to have been successful and looks forward to going back. Garlough also said that Northwestern would like to consider the possibility of students from Iraq attending Northwestern in the near future.