To help spark discussion on the blurred lines of terrorism ignited after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, graduate student and U.S. Army veteran Matthew Ceccato spoke about his views on the matter as a part of a new lecture series hosted by the Center for Global Studies.
The Brown Bag Lecture Series, which was created to give graduate students the opportunity to speak about topics within their own field of study, kicked off Jan. 30 in 430 Burrowes with Ceccato’s (graduate-international affairs) presentation.
The lectures last for about an hour and are open to students, faculty and the community.
Ceccato’s lecture, “A Globalized Criminal World: The Blurred Lines Between Terrorist Organizations and Transnational Criminal Organizations,” focused on the reasons why terrorist groups and criminal organizations partner together.
Ceccato provided his own theories to an audience of about 20 people for the potential definition of these merged groups, as well as solutions for bringing attention to the problem.
He said he believes some of the driving forces behind these organizations include opportunity, greed, networks, laws and pressure.
Ceccto’s presentation, as well as his opinions on terrorism, sparked conversation within the audience over various issues, such as finding the difference between a terrorist and a criminal.
“I think it is important as citizens, scholars and practitioners to understand the changing dynamics of terrorism and crime in terrorism,” Professor of International Affairs Scott Gartner said.
Though Ceccato said this was the first time he ever presented on this level, he was excited to be able to share his information while gaining experience.
“I hope my audience makes connections,” Ceccato said. “Although they hear a lot of stories about terrorism, I hope this makes people aware of the organizations and ties between them to help develop their own hypotheses.”
The lecture series will continue throughout the rest of the semester with four additional presentations given by graduate students across various fields of study.
“We are hoping that the lectures will open peoples’ eyes up to global issues, issues they want to know more of and also, to highlight the great amount of research that our graduate students already do,” April Cole, Center of Global Studies administrative support assistant, said.
Cole said she is confident students will continue enlightening the public about topics they are passionate about.
“There is a lot going on at Penn State regarding global studies and the world at large,” Cole said. “The series provides a great way for graduate students to get experience talking to people outside the field and share their interest in their field of study.”