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U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Shannon Takes Part in Classes on MV Explorer

U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Shannon used every opportunity to connect with the students of Semester at Sea in his recent visit. This included visiting classes, eating meals with students and helping them to better understand Brazil’s role in the world.

Thomas Shannon, Jr., the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, has spent the past two days on board the MV Explorer, presenting in a handful of classes and immersing himself into the shipboard community to better help students understand Brazil’s position in the world as we head into the port of Manaus, Brazil.

Shannon served as a guest speaker in a variety of courses, including “Global Studies” with professor Don Gogniat, “Economics of Tourism” with professor Colin White, “International Management” with professor Mark Peters, “Leadership Development” with professor Kathy Manning and “Introduction to Comparative Politics” with professor Jim Danzinger.

In each course, Ambassador Shannon tailored his discussion to apply to the academic content of the course, using Brazil as a focal point. In Mark Peters’ course, for example, Ambassador Shannon spoke about some of Brazil’s leaders, and how the country is emerging as a world leader on the global playing field.

“Ambassador Shannon spent an entire class session with our International Management and Globalization students, providing us with both the historical context and current commercial climate for doing business in and with Brazil,” said professor Mark Peters. “Students left the session with a more informed perspective on one of our most important trading partners in Latin America and inspired to explore creative possibilities for beginning a career in international management.”

For students, the chance to interact with the Ambassador on a personal level has helped many of them view the world differently, and for some, has encouraged a potential career in Foreign Service.

“The ambassador gave me insight into the foreign service and its obligations, further inspiring me to join after graduation,” said Nicole Larson, a family resources and human development senior from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Ambassador Shannon met with our ship’s international students for a fun and informative lunch during his visit.

For others, the time spent on board with the ambassador have helped to learn more about Brazil, as we enter our second and final port in the country.

‚ÄúThe ambassador opened my eyes to the reality that Brazil is no longer experiencing economic, political, or social turmoil and is emerging as a world power,” said Katherine Saffelle, a communication arts junior at Elon University.

The ambassador also took part in some of the community’s events, including the Student Talent Show, and Thanksgiving Dinner.

“The classes have really run the gamut from international management to the larger issues of global studies and, in this regard, I think that I have gotten, first of all, to meet a broad range of students which has been a lot of fun, but also to see just how sophisticated and complex the course offerings on Semester at Sea are,” Ambassador Shannon said. “For me, one of the great things about this opportunity has been to engage with the students because I‚Äôve been very impressed by their sophistication, by their articulateness, and their willingness to engage.”

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