The Spotlight Series grows out of our annual celebration of International Women's Day. By placing a spotlight on particular places and events around the globe, we bring into focus challenges to human security and the reach of international law.

Leading Exploration
Col. Pam Melroy, Astronaut, Test Pilot, Senior Executive

March 8, 2017
4:00 - 5:30
220 Eggers Hall

Join us on International Women's Day, as Col. Pamela Melroy describes her leadership experiences as a Space Shuttle Commander and discusses the future of human spaceflight. 

Melroy began her career as a U.S. Air Force pilot, serving in Operations Just Cause and Desert Shield/Storm and eventually logging over 6,000 flight hours on 50 different kinds of aircraft. After her selection into the NASA astronaut program, Melroy piloted two space flights and in 2007 became the second woman to command the Space Shuttle. Her three missions, totaling over 38 days in space, were essential to the assembly of the International Space Station. After retiring from the Air Force in 2007, Melroy held senior leadership positions at the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation and at DARPA, where she served as Deputy Director of the Tactical Technology Office. 

Following the lecture and Q&A session, light refreshments will b provided in Strasser Commons. 

@Astro_Pam,, #WeBelieveInAstronauts

CART will be provided. To request other accommodations, please contact Aaron by March 1st at    

Previous Events

March 24, 2016

Spotlight on Syria: The Gendered Perils of War and Forced Migration
All events will take place in the Strasser Legacy Room, 220 Eggers Hall

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Keynote
"International Law and Sexual Violence in the Syrian Conflict"

Zainab Hawa Bangura, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative to the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm Syrian Accountability Project White Paper Release
"Looking Through the Window Darkly: Rape in Syria, 2011-2015"

David Crane, SU College of Law Professor of Practice, founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, SAP Project Leader
Peter Levrant, Executive Director SAP

Started at Syracuse University College of Law in 2011, the Syrian Accountability Project is an internationally recognized cooperative effort between activists, non-governmental organizations, students, and other interested parties to document war crimes and crimes against humanity in the context of the Syrian Crisis. Now in its fifth phase, the project aims to produce non-partisan, high quality analysis of open source materials and to catalogue that information relative to applicable bodies of law; including, the Geneva Conventions, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and Syrian Penal Law.

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm Expert Panel
"Gendered Perils of War in Syria and the Levant"

Zainab Hawa Bangura, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative to the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict
Lamis Abdelaaty, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
Lynn Levey, Syrian Accountability Project, Legal Writing Professor, SU College of Law
Moderated by Catherine Bertini, Professor of Practice, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, former Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme

Beginning at 11:30 am, attendees can experience a virtual reality, 3D journey out of Syria called Clouds over Sidra

February 26-27, 2015

Celebrating Women Who Serve in Combat and Post-Combat Zones

The 2015 International Women's Day events are part of the Maxwell School 90th Anniversary Events and have been created through collaboration with the International Relations Program, the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, the Syracuse VA Medical Center, and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families

Veterans Affairs and Women's Health: Expanding Horizons
February 26th at 4:00 pm in 220 Eggers Hall

Dr. Mindy Grewal, Women's Health Medical Director at the Syracuse VA Medical Center, leads a discussion on how the VA Medical Center is expanding horizons to meet the needs of America's female veterans.

Specific topics of discussion will include the Women's Wellness Program, Working with Post 9/11 Women Veterans, and the sharing of Veterans' Perspectives. 

Preparing for Service
February 27th at 12:00 pm in 220 Eggers Hall

A panel of Maxwell alumni discuss their experiences in conflict and post-conflict environments. 

Deborah Alexander, former U.S. State Department post-conflict advisor ('82 MSSc / '95 PhD SSc)
Lamis Sleiman, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Management Systems International ('10 MAIR)
Alexandria Wise, Associate Director, Shuraako ('02 BA)

Community and Military Engagement
February 27th at 4:00 pm in Maxwell Auditorium

Major General Linda Singh discusses the social economic impacts of military on our communities, the engagement opportunities between the military and the community, and how partnerships between the two build stronger communities.  

Linda Singh is the Managing Director for Health and Public Service North America with Accenture. She also manages a second career as a major general in the Maryland National Guard and is now the Adjutant General for the Maryland Military Department. 

Please join us for a reception following each event and meet our distinguished guests.

Free public parking is available for all International Women's Day events in the Irving parking garage on Stadium Place; be sure to mention International Women's Day. If you need disability accessible parking, please call 315-443-2306 at least 24 hours in advance.

March 21, 2014

Inspire Change

Join the Maxwell School for International Women's Day as we celebrate efforts to inspire positive change for women around the world.

Adia Benton

10:30 am
341 Eggers Hall

Refreshments will be served.

Adia Benton, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Brown University
"But, Really, What's the Prevalence?" Innumerable Subjects in Gender-Based Violence Research

For more information about Ms. Benton's research, please visit her research page on the Brown University website.

Sasha Hart

12:00 pm
220 Eggers Hall

Lunch will be provided.

Sasha Hart, LL.B, B.C.L Legal Counsel, equality effect
"160 Girls" Making Legal History in the Fight Against Sexual Violence

For more information about Ms. Hart's work and the 160 Girls project, please visit the equality effect.

Maxwell Alumnae Panel Discussion
Inspiring Change: Maxwell Graduates Promoting Equality Locally and Globally
2:00 pm
220 Eggers Hall

Join us for a discussion with Maxwell alums inspiring change through their professional endeavors.

Katharyn van der Veen, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Global Women's Issues, U.S. Department of State (MPA, MAIR '12)
Anne Wadsworth, Executive Director, Girls Education Collaborative (EMPA '09)
Flavia Rey de Castro, Youth Development Director, YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga County (MPA '12, MA '13)

Hauwa Ibrahim


4:00 pm
220 Eggers Hall

Hauwa Ibrahim, Sakharov Laureate 2005, human rights lawyer

Women and Shariah: Legal Strategies for Achieving Justice

For more information about Ms. Ibrahim, please visit this Harvard Gazette story and this Frontline story.
Information about Ms. Ibrahim's latest book, Practicing Shariah Law: Seven Strategies for Achieving Justice in Shariah Courts, can be found here

2013 Events

In 2013, the International Relations Program and Sigma Iota Rho hosted a panel discussion on gender equality and development featuring Professors Susan Wadley (Anthropology), Farhana Sultana (Geography), and Azra Hromadzic (Anthropology), hosted by Professor Yingyi Ma (Sociology). Following the panel discussion, students attended a film screening of The Microlending Project, a film examining the role of women in microlending on four continents, and participated in a Q&A session with the film maker.

International Women's Day panel and Sigma 2013       International Women's Day film screening 2013