Dr. Frank Triplett discusses Georgia-Russia Conflict at LINC Luncheon

May 25, 2010

Frank Triplett Addresses community members at recent LINC Luncheon Dr. Frank Triplett, professor of foreign language and director of international programs at Mount Union College, presented “From Russia with Love?” at the first LINC Luncheon held on Tuesday in the Hoover-Price Campus Center.

Triplett has traveled to Russia eight times, and all but one trip was in the middle of winter. His first trip to Russia was on the invitation of the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church (EOC) in January of 1997. He has always stayed with a family, and these people were in a variety of professions ranging from civil engineers to a mayor.

Since 1997, Triplett has been involved with the development of an exchange program, an art project and a faculty exchange with Kursk State University.  “I have met with Local and State Duma officials, as well as the mayor and vice-mayor of the city of Kursk,” he added.

Triplett has learned from his travels that “it is possible for the rest of the world to have an opinion and some of their opinions make sense.”  Americans must learn as much about the rest of the world as they already know about us.

He discussed the conflict between Georgia and Russia and pointed out that there are tensions that are not resolved today. Triplett pointed out that the Russians say the Georgians attacked and the Georgians say the Russians attacked and, in fact, the truth lies somewhere in between.

Tensions have heated up since July 17 when United States troops began training in Georgia and troops that Georgia had serving in Iraq returned home. In response to this, Russia flew long-range bombers by the Caribbean and spent several days in Venezuela and Cuba. The expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is also a concern to Russia and reduces the level of trust even further.

“In context all of these things make sense,” said Triplett.”But the real question is what is next?”

He pointed out that people from Russia, Georgia and the United States all have a different view of the conflict. According to Triplett, one way to gain a fuller understanding of international affairs is to study abroad. “Studying abroad allows students to hear another perspective and understand the context,” said Triplett.

A member of the Mount Union faculty since 1993, Triplett earned a bachelor of arts degree from Ricker College, a master of science degree counseling/psychology from the University of LaVerne (California) and master of arts and doctoral degrees in French from the University of Cincinnati.

The community luncheon series known as LINC (lunch, information, networking, and conversation) that began last year was conceived to take advantage of the local expertise from Mount Union’s faculty and staff that exists in Alliance, in light of the College’s exceptional academic reputation.

The sessions are open to the public and will run from noon until 1 p.m. during the third Tuesday of September, October, November, February, March and April. The cost for the lunch is $9. A season ticket is available at a reduced cost. Sessions will be chaired by Doug Schwarz, vice president of Alliance Ventures and executive director of the Greater Alliance Foundation, with comments and updates from Dr. Richard F. Giese, president of the College and Harry Paidas, vice president for public affairs and marketing.

The October 21 session will feature Sharon Luke, director of the physician assistant studies program, who will present “The Healthy People Initiatives.” The November 18 session will feature Angela Smith Alder, associate professor of criminal justice and director of pre-law, who will focus on “How Powerful is the President?”

For further information or to make a reservation contact Diane Thomas, assistant director of public affairs at (330) 823-6063 or e-mail thomasdl@mountunion.edu.

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